Month: April 2022

Prayer for those in Authority (1 Timothy 2:1-8) (Part 2)

1.2.4 Thankgivings

The term “Giving of thanks” indicates the attitude in which our Prayers are to be offered. It is an Attitude of Gratitude to God for all the Blessings that have already been given and received.

  • The term “Giving of thanks” means “to say something good (eu) to the one who has bestowed gracious gifts (charis) upon us.” Prayer and the “Giving of Thanks” (eucharistias) are inseparable (Daniel 6:10; Philippians 4:6). Paul counselled: “Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1Thessalonians 5:17-18):
  • The plural noun, “Thanksgiving,” denotes that Apostle Paul has in view not merely the inner attitude of gratitude but the repeated public expressions of Thanksgiving to God for His Blessings.
  • Thanksgiving is the complement (harmonise) of all true Prayer. Thanksgiving prepares the heart to appreciate God for His gracious Blessings. Thanksgiving prevents selfishness and coldness in Prayer – Psalm 100:4 “Enter into His gate with thanksgiving, and into His Courts with Praise, be thankful to Him, and bless His Name. for the LORD is good; His Mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.”
  • We must be thankful to God for His Blessings upon us in our past, present, and future. We must thank God for His Answers to Prayers even before those answers are received.
  • In fact, sometimes we need to imitate David and present to God only Thanksgiving with no petition at all (Psalm 103).  A mark of Ecclesiastical Apostasy in the End-of-the-Age will be “an unthankful and murmuring attitude” (2Timothy 3:2; Jude 15-16). 
  • Prayer and Supplication with thanksgiving are a part of Paul’s formula for God’s Peace in our hearts” (Philippians 4:6). It is worth noting that Daniel, the Great Prayer Warrior, practiced this kind of Praying (Daniel 6:10-11).

1.3 The Scope of the Prayer Ministry

1Timothy 2:1d-2a “Be made for all men, for kings and for all that are in authority.” The Scope of the Praying being exhorted upon the Church is all inclusive. The people who are the object Prayers are indicated by the preposition “for” (huper). Although the word “for” occurs three times in the English translation, it appears only twice in the Greek text. “All men, for Kings and for all that are in Authority” should be the Recipients of all Four types of Prayer. The verb “be made” (poieisthai) shows that such Prayer should be a constant priority within the Church. It should be exercised at each Service, not just on National Holiday.

1.3.1 For All Men

(pantón anthrópón) make it clear that no Person on earth is outside the influence of believing Prayer. This exhortation transcends the ordinary scope of the Prayers heard in Churches today! Seldom do the Prayers of the Local Church reach beyond its Local Fellowship or Denomination. One writer state: “Very seldom, in large churches or in small churches, or even in spiritual churches, have I heard a prayer for all men. Those who pray scarcely reach further than their own churches. Some pray a little for the Missionaries overseas; but if we could cover all men through our prayers, what might not happen” (“Prayer That is Good in God’s Sight,” “The Prophetic Word,” November 1949, pg.614).

  • The First Group of Recipients (“all men”) is very general. The classification “all men” includes the Christians and non-Christians, men, women, and children. No racial, political, economic, or social class is excluded. The word envelops men of all Levels of Society.
  • This means that we should Pray for the unsaved and the saved, for people near us and people far away, for enemies as well as friends.
  • We cannot Pray for everybody in the world by name, but we certainly ought to Pray for those we know and know about.
  • This exhortation to Pray for all men is God’s way of safeguarding His Church against self-centredness. Believers are always prone to be so preoccupied with their own interests that their Prayers tend to be confined to their own concern.
  • The Church that Prays for all men is thus continually reminded of its Commission to bring the Message of Salvation to all men. Many people and Nations have not been reached because God’s people failed to pray!
  • Lenski remarks on Prayer for all men: “If such praying were useless, the apostle would not write what he here does write” (R. C. H. Lenski, “The Interpretation of St. Paul’s Epistles to the Colossians, to the Thessalonians, to Timothy, to Titus and the Philemon,” Columbus, Ohio: Lutheran Book Concern, 1937, pg.549).
  • Unfortunately, the Pharisees did not have this universal outlook in their Prayers, for they centred their attention primarily on self – Luke 18:11-12 “The Pharisees stood and prayed thus with himself, God I thank Thee that I am not as other men are extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax-collector. I fast twice in the week; I give tithes of all that I possess.”

1.3.2 – Leaders

Paul exhorts the Church to especially pray for “Kings, and for all that are in Authority.” Because people live in National Groupings, the Church must also Pray for Rulers of the Nations. 

  • Godless Emperor Nero was on the throne at that time, and yet Christians were encouraged by Paul to pray for him. If Paul commands Christians to pray for such a “King,” surely no man is to be regarded as beyond the realm in which Christian Intercessors must feel a sympathy and concern.
  • We must learn to respect the people in authority, respecting even the offices they hold, because they profoundly influenced the life of the people of the Nation, State or Church.
  • Christians should first recognise that God has ordained the Human Institution of Government to administer Law within the Society (Romans 13:1-6).
  • Jesus teaches that there is no innate (inborn) conflict between God and the State (Matthew 22:15-22).
  • Problems of conscience and obedience develop when the State moves into an area not assigned to it by God (Acts 4:19; 5:29).
  • In allegiance to the Sovereign Authority of God over the Delegated Authority of the Government, Home and Church, Christians should render honour and support to their Leaders (Romans 13:7).
  • Peter tersely commanded: “Honour all men, love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the King” (1Peter 2:17).
  • Christians also acknowledge that God is in absolute control of the affairs of the Nations. God removes and replaces Rulers (Daniel 2:21). They perform His (God’s) Pleasure (Isaiah 44:28). Within His (God’s) Permissive Will such Nations and Rulers are morally responsible for wars and assassinations.
  • God, however, works in and through the actions of men whether those deeds are good or evil, to accomplish His ultimate will (Ephesians 1:11). Christians confess that all Governments will eventually surrender their Delegated Authority to the Lord Jesus Christ at His Return to the earth to establish His Eternal Kingdom (Revelation 11:15; 19:11-16).
  • For this reason, Paul exhorts that Prayer should be offered for those in Secular and Spiritual Authority, which has two subcategories: “For Kings, and all that are in Authority.” The first word, “Kings,” refers to National Leaders. For each Kingdom, there is a King or President. The second phase: “for all that are in authority” applies to Leaders in general. Few Christians have direct relationships with the Kings, but all Christians will have relationships with Leaders whether at Personal or Local Level. Regardless, Christians have the responsibility to Pray for those who presently “are” (ontón) in Leadership.

To be continued….. Stay Tuned…..

Prayer for those in Authority (1 Timothy 2:1-8) (Part 1)

The Text

1Timothy 2:1-4 “I exhort, therefore, that first of all supplications, prayers, intercession, and giving of thanks be made for all men. For kings, and for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God, our Saviour, who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

The Charge

concerning Public Worship. “Let all things be done decently and in order” (1Corinthians 14:40) is a basic principle for the conduct of the ministry of the Church. In Acts 6:4 the early Apostles gave themselves to Ministry of God’s Word and Prayer. Prayer was very prominent and should be used properly in the Church. The First Section of the Epistle deals with Paul’s personal charge (command) to Timothy about the Legalists. In the second major portion of the First Epistle to Timothy, Paul gives instructions about the Public Life of the Local Church. These instructions cover 5 areas:

  1. The Place of Prayer in the Assembly (1Timothy 2:1-7).
  2. The Relationship between women to men (1Timothy 2:8-15).
  3. The Qualifications of Elders (1Timothy 3:1-7).
  4. The Qualifications for Deacons (1Timothy 3:8-13).
  5. The Nature of the Local Church (1Timothy 3:14-16).

1.1 The Priority of Prayer

1Timothy 2:1 “I exhort, therefore, that first of all,” background – These words were written after Nero’s first insane persecution of the Church. Every year saw the young Emperor slip more deeply into persecution of Christians at Rome were not only ones who lived in fear. The Aristocracy and Senate of Rome were to be decimated. The grim events of A.D.69 were discernible afar. In that dark year four rivals contended for the throne, and Rome tottered on the edge of anarchy. This was the background of Paul’s direction to all men to pray for those in power, “so that our common life may be lived in peace and quiet with a proper sense of God and our responsibility to Him.”  The phrase “first of all” (próton pantrón) relate not to primacy of time but primacy of important It indicates that Prayer is the most important in the Public Worship of the Church. It also introduces the first subject of many to be discussed:

  • Donald Guthrie, however, claims that it denoted “Primacy of Importance.”
  • Warren W. Wiersbe thinks Prayer is the “most important (element) in the Public Worship of the Church.” 

It is sad to see how prayer has lost its importance in many Churches. “If I announce a banquet,” a Pastor said, “people will come out of the woodwork to attend. But if I announce a prayer meeting, I am lucky if the ushers show up!” Not only have the special meetings for Prayer lost stature in most Local Churches, but even Prayer in the public services is greatly minimised. It is also said: “Many Pastors spend more time on the announcements than they do in prayer.”

  • The late Peter Deyneka, Sr., Founder of the Slavic Gospel Association often said: “Much prayer, much power! No prayer, no power!” Prayer was as much a part of the Apostolic Ministry as Preaching of God’s Word (Acts 6:4). Yet many Pastors spend hours preparing their Sermons, but never prepare the public Prayer for their Congregation. Consequently, their Prayer Meetings are routine, humdrum, and repetitious. 
  • Members also need to be prepared to pray. Our hearts must be right with God and with each other. We must really want to pray, and not pray simply to please people (as did the Pharisees – Matthew 6:5), or to fulfil a religious duty. When the Local Church ceases to depend on Prayer, God ceases to bless its ministry.
  • Exhort – The Greek word translated “exhort” (parakaló) is the same term rendered “beseech” (Romans 12:1) and carries the meaning of “to beg, to entreat, to urge.” The term basically denotes the concept of calling someone alongside for the purpose of urging him to consider an important matter. Apostle Paul’s exhortation is not expressed as a command but an appeal because the Ministry of Prayer cannot be forced by an outward command but must be prompted by an inner conviction of its importance and need. It is this inner conviction of its importance that Apostle Paul seeks to communicate.

The Churches in general agreed on the importance of the Ministry of Prayer but failed to demonstrate in their Practices. In many Churches, Prayer has ceased to be a vital part of their Ministry and Public Worship. This has resulted in the loss of vitality in the Church and the loss of God’s Power to enlarge His (God’s) Kingdom.

1.2 The Variety of Prayer

1Timthy 2:1a “Supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks.” There are at least 7 different Greek nouns for “Prayer,” and four of them are used here. The four types of Prayer mentioned here may be progressive as well as comprehensive, indicating the “supplication” of the person in need, the general outgoing Prayer to God alone, confident boldness of access to God’s Presence (Hebrews 4:15-16), intercession (Hebrews 7:25), to make known the Person’ requests, accompanied by thanksgiving for mercies enjoyed and Prayers answered.

Prayer needs direction and instruction. In this passage, Paul outlined the content of Corporate Prayer by Christians. Jesus taught that Prayer involves relationship, reverence, submission, dependence, forgiveness, and trust (Luke 11:1-4). These attitudes must be manifested through the four types of Prayer listed in 1Timothy 2:1-7.

1.2.1 Supplication –

The word “supplication” (deèseis) means an earnest request and implies a sense of indigence (“poor”), helplessness and need. It is a Prayer arising out of a sense of human inadequacy to meet the demand of life. Such a conscious sense of need, either our own or another is essential to all effective Prayer. Without such a sense of need our Prayers lack depth and sincerity, thus, our Prayers often the mere uttering of words that have lost their meaning and value for us

Supplication carries the idea of “offering a request for a felt-need.” The focus of “Supplication” is upon the needs of others and self. The word “Supplication” stresses the idea of intense entreaty, even to the point of begging. Its urgency can be seen by its use in the request of:

  • The Leper (Luke 5:12).
  • The Demoniac (Luke 8:28,38).
  • The father of the possessed child (Luke 9:38,40).
  • The distressed Simon (Acts 4:31), Cornelius (Acts 10:2), Paul (Romans 1:10), Zacharias (Luke 1:13), Anna (Luke 2:37), the Disciples of John the Baptist (Luke 5:33).

James exhorts “the effectual fervent prayer (same word) of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). Such Supplications are heard and answered by God (1Peter 3:12).

1.2.2 Prayers –

This is the general term used to include all the different Kinds of Prayer. Supplications (deèseis) can be directed to both God and man, but “prayers” (proseuchas) are addressed only to God, and it is the Reverent term. Prayers could also be translated “humble entreaties.” It is one of the most universal word in the New Testament for Prayers, can only be used of a request made to God and includes Worship, Adoration, and Reverence, and is all-inclusive. Prayer is not just an expression of our wants and needs. There should be Reverence in our hearts as we Pray to God.

1.2.3 Intercession

The term translated as “Intercessions” (enteuxeis) occurs only twice in the New Testament, both times in this Epistle (1Timothy 2:1; 4:5 – translated as “Prayer”). It is based on the verb entugchanó, which is found five times (Acts 25:24; Romans 8:27, 34; 11:2; Hebrews 7:25). The verb means “to fall in with a person, to draw close to him so as to enter into familiar speech and communion with him” (Robert C.Trench. “Synonyms of the New Testament,” p.190).

  • Prayer carries the thought of Reverence; Intercession carries the thought of child-like Confidence in Prayer. Intercession comes from a Greek verb meaning “to fall in with, meeting within order to converse freely, like son to the father.”
  • Trench says the term “Intercession” suggests “Free familiar Prayer, such as boldly draws near to God” (Richard Chenevix Trench, “Synonyms of the New Testament,” Grand Rapids: Eerchmans, 1947, pg.190). This leading thought in the term is that of Boldness of Access, or Confidence in Prayer – 1John 5:14 (NIV) “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”
  • Hendriksen suggests that Intercession is “pleading in the interest of others and doing this without ‘holding back’ in any way.” (William Hendriksen, “Exposition of the Pastoral Epistles,” New Testament Commentary, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1957, pg.93).
  • The word “Intercessions” also suggest that we enjoy Fellowship with God in boldness and confidence – Hebrews 10:19 (NIV) “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood Jesus.” The notion of conversation grew out of this, and then an interview with someone in authority. Here the description of Prayer is that of free access to God with childlike confidence. This could be on behalf of others or self.
  • Jewish Leaders, both at Jerusalem and at Caesarea, “dealt” (enetuchon) with the Romans Governor Festus for the execution of Paul (Acts 25:24). Contemporary parallel is the activity of Political Lobbyists. Our Lord Jesus Christ in Heaven (Romans 8:34; Heb.7:25) and the Holy Spirit within the Christian (Romans 8:27) make Intercession for the Christians. Both our Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit share an Interpersonal Oneness and Familiarity with the Father. In enteuxeis, a Christian gets close to God before he makes his request. It is an “approach to God in free and familiar prayer” (Kenneth S Wuest, Word Studies in the Greek New Testament Vol.12, The Pastoral Epistles, p.39).
  • Jesus prayed for Himself before He prayed for others (John 17). It is not wrong for a Christian to Pray for himself or to Pray for himself as he Intercedes for others. There is a valid factor of self-interest in Prayer that should not be criticised.

To be continued….. Stay Tuned…..

The Importance of Amen (Part 3)

1.2.6 Curses Six through Nine (Chastening)

Deuteronomy 27:20-23 (KJV) “Cursed be he who lieth with his father’s wife, because he uncovereth his father’s skirt. And the people shall say, Amen. Cursed be he who lieth with any manner of beast. And all the people shall say, Amen. Cursed be he who lieth with his sister, the daughter of his father, or the daughter of his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen. Cursed be he who lieth with his mother-in-law. And all the people shall say, Amen.”  Have to do with sexual purity and relate to the Seventh Commandment (Exodus 20:14). These sins were prevalent among the Nations in Canaan and Israel was not to imitate their Neighbours. Incest (Deuteronomy 27:20, 22-23) was especially condemned in Israel (Deuteronomy 22:30; Leviticus 18:8-9, 17; 20:11). Reuben lost his rights as the First-born because he violated this Law (Genesis 35:22; 49:3-4; 1Chronicles 5:1). Bestiality (Deuteronomy 27:21; Leviticus 18:23) was practiced in some pagan religions and “sacred animals” were used in the worship of their false gods. The perversion of sex is not only the abuse of God’s gift, but it threatens marriage and the family, which are foundational to the success of the Nation of Israel.

1.2.7 The Tenth and Eleventh Curses (Chastening)

Deuteronomy 27:24-25 (KJV) “Cursed be he who smiteth his neighbour secretly. And all the people shall say, Amen.” Cursed be he who taketh reward to slay an innocent person. And all the people shall say, Amen.” The tenth and eleventh Curses are an echo of the Sixth Commandment (Exodus 20:13). This command speaks of a deliberate deed (murder) and not accentual death (manslaughter, Deuteronomy 21:12-14). Murder is the ultimate crime because its consequences cannot be reversed, but to murder one’s neighbour makes that crime even worse. The only thing more heinous would be to be paid to murder somebody. The Law of Moses condemned those who accepted bribes to break the Law, for making money is not more important than maintaining justice (Deuteronomy 16:19; Exodus 23:8). The Law taught the people of Israel to love their neighbours and do them good (Leviticus 19:18; Deuteronomy 22:1-4). But whether a neighbour or a total Stranger is the victim, murder is wrong, and Murderers must be punished.

1.2.8 The Twelfth Curse( (Chastening)

Deuteronomy 27:26 (KJV) “Cursed is he who confirmeth not all the words of this Law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.” The twelfth curse (chastening) obligated Israel to obey every Law that God gave them, whether it was named in this list or not. Apostle Paul quoted Deuteronomy 27:26 in Galatians 3:10 to prove that there could be no Salvation by obeying the Law since nobody could obey everything God commanded. But the purpose of the Law was not Salvation but Judgement, the indictment of all people as Sinners, and therefore the need of all people to trust Christ, “for the just shall live by faith” (Galatians 3:11). There can be no true conversion without conviction and conviction comes when we see God’s Holiness in His Law and the sinfulness of our own hearts. To say that we have kept some of God’s Law does not excuse us, for to break one is to break them all (James 2:10-11).

When the Israelites in the Promised Land said their “Amen” to these twelve curses (chastening), they would be assenting to God’s Law (Mosaic Covenant), promising to obey it, and agreeing that they deserved judgement if they disobeyed it. This would be a solemn hour in the history of the Nation of Israel. At Mount Sinai, Israel had agreed to obey God’s Law (Exodus 19:7-8; 24:3-8), and not long after, they made a golden calf and worshipped it. It takes more than pious words and good intentions to be a devoted and obedient child of God (Matthew 7:21-23).

1.3 Amen in the New Testament

24 Books out of 27 Books in the New Testament ends with “Amen” (except: the Book of Acts, Book of James, and 3rd John):

  • The significance of the word “Amen” at the conclusion of each Book of the New Testament is the Statement of Affirmation of the Truth.
  • The absence of the “Amen” at the conclusion of a Book in the New Testament does not neutralize the Truth that is recorded in that Book (Acts, James and 3rd John).
  • Jesus, “The Amen” – Revelation 3:14 (NKJV) “And to the Angel of the Church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things say the Amen (Christ), the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the Creation of God.’”
  • Divine Promise, affirmed by “Yes” & “Amen” – 2Corinthians 1:20 (NKJV) “For all the Promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”

1.4 Jesus and the “Amen”

In the New Testament, the word “Amen” occurs 150 times. “Amen” is the original Greek word, which has been translated as “Verily” or “Truly.” Jesus uses “Amen” (or “Verily or Truly”) 101 times. When Jesus uses “Amen” (or “Verily or Truly”), He is issuing the Divine affirmation of the Truth of His (Jesus’) Word. Jesus is the Word Incarnated – John 1:1 (KJV) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” By declaring “Amen, Amen” (“Verily, Verily or Truly, Truly”), Jesus affirms the Divinity, Authority and the Mightiness of God’s Word, because Jesus is both the Word (John 1:1) and the “Amen” – Revelation 3:14 (NKJV) “And to the Angel of the Church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things say the Amen (Christ), the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the Creation of God.’”

1.5 Jesus, “The Amen”

Jesus presents Himself as “The Amen” (Revelation 3:14) which is an Old Testament Title for God – Isaiah 65:16, the word “Truth” is the Hebrews word of “Amen” – Isaiah 65:16a (KJV) “That He who blesseth Himself in the earth shall bless Himself in the God of Truth (“Amen”), and He that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of Truth (“Amen”).”  Jesus is the “Truth” (John 14:6) and He speaks the Truth, because He is “the Faithful and True Witness” (Revelation 3:14) – John 14:6 (KJV) “Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.”

1.6 “Amen”, the Divine Promise

Because Jesus is “The Amen” (Revelation 3:14), in Him we have the affirmation of the Trustworthiness of ALL of God’s Promises – 2Corinthians 1:20 (NKJV) “For all the Promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” All of God’s Promises are channelled through the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ who is called “The Amen” (Revelation 3:14):

  • Jesus is the embodiment of God’s Word.
  • Jesus is the affirmation of God’s Will and Purpose on Earth.
  • Jesus is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6).
  • Jesus is “the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). All the Godhead has to say, the Word (Jesus – John 1:1; Revelation 19:13) has been made evident through Him.

Thus, ALL the Promises of the Bible – whether in the Old or New Testament – are affirmed in Jesus. Jesus, God’s Word became “Flesh” (John 1:14a) and dwelt (tabernacled) among us (John 1:14b) in order that ALL His Promises might be realised among us. If the Individual/Church holds forth His Word, Jesus will honour it with an “Amen” – Mark 16:20 (KJV) “And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.”

1.7 Summary

The Individual/Church should not treat “Amen” passively as the conclusion of the Prayer during the Worship Service because ALL God’s Promises are invested with an “Amen” in Christ Himself (2Corinthians 1:20). Furthermore, Jesus, Himself is“The Amen” (Revelation 3:14).  Thus, whenever an Individual/Church takes hold of the “Amen” and stands on that understanding in its Promise, the Individual/Church makes room for the Holy Spirit to move and actuate (activate) God’s Will and Purpose. “Amen” is the establishing of the Living Word (Christ) of God in the arena of human experience. In declaring “Amen” the Individual/Church invites God’s Rule and Power into his situation/circumstance because Jesus is not only “The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness” (Revelation3:14) but He is also “The Ruler of God’s Creation” (Revelation 3:14c). Amen, Amen!!

The Importance of Amen (Part 2)

1.1.2 Affirmation of Leadership:

  • When the Ark of the Covenant was returned to its rightful place, King David read a Psalm he wrote to praise God, and the people affirmed his (David’s) Declaration with an “Amen” – 1Chronicles 16:36 (KJV) “Blessed be the LORD God of Israel forever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the LORD” (also Psalm 106:48). The “Amen” of the children of Israel affirmed the action of King David and the rule of the LORD in their midst.
  • When David hands over the Rulership of the Kingdom to his (David’s) Son, Solomon, Benaiah, one of the military Leaders made a declaration of “Amen” in agreement – 1Kings 1:36 (KJV) “And Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, answered the King, and said, Amen; the LORD God of my lord, the King, say so.” Benaiah, as the Leader of the Military, is affirming that he will back the reign of King Solomon.

“Amen” is an affirmation of what is transpiring: it affirms that – We are together. We support what Leadership is calling us to do.

1.1.3. Affirmation of Correction:

  • Nehemiah (in chapter 5) steps in to deal with the injustice of exploitation of the poor by their rich Nobles. In response the whole Assembly agreed to Nehemiah’s Directive by an “Amen!” and “Praise the LORD” (Nehemiah 5:13).
  • Apostle Paul’s letters to Timothy, in which he uses, the affirmation “Amen” five times (1Timothy 1:17; 6:16; 6:21; 2Timothy 4:18; 4:22) to guide his son, Timothy in Doctrinal Matters. The affirmation to Correction with an “Amen” is the acknowledgement that God’s Word is correct.

1.1.4. Affirmation of God’s Word:

  • Nehemiah 8:6, when the Scroll of the Law was opened after many years, the people expressed reverence and affirmation by “Amen” – Nehemiah 8:5a, 6 (NIV) “Ezra opened the book…….And Ezra praised the LORD, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded Amen! Amen! Then they bowed down and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.”
  • The 150 Psalms is divided into Five Books. Each Book ends with “Amen” except Book 5:
    • Book 1 – Psalm 1 to Psalm 41 – “Ends with a benediction and a double “Amen and Amen” (Psalm 41:13).
    • Book 2 – Psalm 42 to Psalm 72 – “Ends with a benediction and a double “Amen and Amen” (Psalm 72:19).
    • Book 3 – Psalm 73 to Psalm 89 – “Ends with a benediction and a double “Amen and Amen”
    • Book 4 – Psalm 90 to Psalm 106 – “Ends with benediction, an “Amen” and a Hallelujah” (Psalm 106:48).
    • Book 5 – Psalm 107 to Psalm 150 – “Ends with a call to Praise and a “Hallelujah” (Psalm 150:6).

1.2 The Mosaic Covenant

In the Books of Numbers and Deuteronomy, “Amen” is used 14 times, 12 times of which occur in Deuteronomy 27:15-26. Strangely, this passage relates to curses (chastening) that will befall the Children of Israel who act in ways detrimental to the community. As the Leaders of the Nation of Israel read these curses (chastening), they were not predicting what would happen if the people disobeyed God. They were calling upon the LORD to send these curses (chastening) on His people if they turned away from Him. These curses (chastening) were closely related to the Law Moses had delivered and explained, especially the Ten Commandments:

1.2.1 The First Curse (Chastening)

Deuteronomy 27:15 (KJV) “Cursed be the man who maketh any carved or melted image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen.” – Condemned idolatry and the violation of the First and Second Commandment (Exodus 20:1-6). To carve or cast an idol and worship it is to deny that Jehovah (The LORD) is the One True and Living God, and it is this sin that finally brought God’s Wrath on Israel. Even if a Jew worshipped an idol in secret and did not try to persuade others to join him, it was still a great sin and had to be punished (Deuteronomy chapter 13).

1.2.2 The Second Curse (Chastening)

Deuteronomy (KJV) 27:16 “Cursed be he who setteth light by (dishonoureth) his father and his mother. And all the people say, Amen.” The Second curse (chastening) relates to the family and home (Exodus 20:12). This answers to the Fifth Commandment.

1.2.3 The Third Curse (Chastening)

Deuteronomy 27:17 (KJV) “Cursed be he who removeth his neighbour’s landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen.” This deals with Encroachment of Property (Deuteronomy 19:14; Exodus 20:15). This answers to the Eighth Commandment.

1.2.4 The Fourth Curse (Chastening)

Deuteronomy 27:18 (KJV) “Cursed be he who maketh the blind to wander out of the way. And all the people shall say, Amen.” This reveals God’s special concern for people with disabilities. Leviticus 19:14 mentions both the deaf and the blind. An Individual/Nation who mistreated the people with disabilities would be judged by God.

1.2.5 The Fifth Curse (Chastening)

Deuteronomy 27:19 (KJV) “Cursed be he who perverteth the justice due the sojourner, fatherless, and widow. And all the people shall say, Amen.” The focus is on treating with kindness and justice the helpless and unfortunate in the Land. Widows, Orphans, and Strangers – God called on His people (Israel) to champion the care and welfare of the Widows, Orphans and Strangers cause and see that they received justice (Deuteronomy 24:17,18; Exodus 22:21-24; Luke 18:1-8). Israel had been Strangers in Egypt for 400 years and the LORD had cared for Israel and judged the people, in Egypt, who abused them. If Israel does not care for the needy (Widows, Orphans & Strangers), God would also judge them. Among other things, this involves bringing their special tithes to the LORD every third year so the needy (Widows, Orphans, and Strangers) would have their needs met (Deuteronomy 14:28-29).

To be continued….. Stay Tuned…..

The Importance of Amen (Part 1)

1.0.0 The Statement

An Individual need to be spiritually discerning in the use of “Amen.” “Amen” used with understanding brings forth blessings to an Individual/Church. “Amen” is the declaration affirming the confidence in the dynamic of God’s Order, Promises (2Corinthians 1:20) and His Christ (Revelation 3:14).

  • God’s Promises – 2Corinthians 1:20 (NKJV) “For all the Promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”
  • Christ – Revelation 3:14 (NKJV) “And to the Angel of the Church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things say the Amen (Christ), the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the Creation of God.’”

1.0.1. The Reasons of Amen

  • Jesus is called “The Amen” Revelation 3:14 (NKJV) “And to the Angel of the Church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things say the Amen (Christ), the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the Creation of God.’”
  • 24 Books of the 27 Books in the New Testament end with the “Amen” (except: the Book of Acts; the Book of James and 3rd John).
  • There are 175 mentions of “Amen” in God’s Word: 25 “Amen” in the Old Testament and 150 “Amen” in the New Testament. The word “Amen” is mentioned 25 times in the Gospel of John.
  • In the New Testament, the word “Amen” is the original Greek word, which has been translated as “Verily” or “Truly.” Of the 150 mentions of “Amen” (Verily or Truly) in the New Testament, Jesus uses 101 times.
  • All of God’s Promises are Yesand Amen2Corinthians 1:20 (NKJV) “For all the Promises of God in Him (Jesus) are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God (the Father) through us.”

1.0.2. The Meaning of “Amen”

The term “Amen” in the English is “So be it” or “May it be so,” is incomplete in definition. The term “Amen” essentially means “It is faithful” or “That is true”2Corinthians 1:20 (NKJV) “For all the Promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” “Amen” is derived from the Hebrews “awman,” of which the root meaning means “Built up, Supported or Made Permanent.” (Strong’s Concordance).

1.1 The Four Primary Purposes of “Amen” in O.T

  1. To Bind Oneself to an Oath.
  2. To Affirm Leadership.
  3. To Affirm Correction.
  4. To Affirm God’s Word.

1.1.1 Binds to an Oath

In the Books of Numbers and Deuteronomy, “Amen” is used 14 times, 12 times of which occur in Deuteronomy 27:15-26 and two times in Numbers 5:22. Theses passages relate to curses (God’s chastening) that will befall the Children of Israel who act in ways detrimental to the Community:

  • After each curse (chastening) was pronounced, the people were required to say, “Amen.” The declaration of “Amen” was meant for accountability.
  • And when the people said “Amen” after each statement, they were telling God that they were willing to be chastened if they disobey Him.
  • Their “Amen” was not just their agreement with the curses (chastening) spoken; it was their acceptance of the terms of the Covenant.
  • By responding with an “Amen” the Children of Israel were binding themselves with an oath and with a curse (chastening). God takes no delight in this kind of judgement, but the Children of Israel needed to be aware that their disobedience had repercussions both for the Individual and the Nation.

As the Leaders of the Nation of Israel read these curses (chastening), they were not predicting what would happen if the people disobeyed God. They were calling upon the LORD to send these curses (chastening) on His people if they turned away from Him. These curses (chastening) were closely related to the Law Moses had delivered and explained, especially the Ten Commandments. In Deuteronomy 28:1-14 the Promise of Blessings for Obedience, this response was not called for. The likely reason for this is because we human beings are generally more ready to receive blessings than we are to take responsibility for failures – especially those failures that affect others.

To be continued….. Stay Tuned…..