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.”
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!!