Jesus Christ: the Amen
In Revelation 3:14, Jesus presents himself as the "Amen". This word has a special meaning which, if properly understood, will allow us to see depths of God's love that are still unknown, and will bring us closer to Him. This result is an enough motivator for any sincere Christian to be interested in the topic.
The word was spoken to the apostle John, when he was imprisoned "on the island called Patmos". Then, he was “caught up in spirit” and saw the Lord Jesus, who said to him: “what you see you write in a book and send it to the seven churches in Asia: Ephesus, Smyrna, and Pergamum, and Thyatira, and Sardis, and Philadelphia, and Laodicea” Revelation 1: 9-11. Churches, in the order in which they were presented, represent elapsed periods of time, in the Christian era, from the time of the apostles to the return of Christ. The latter mentioned has special significance. The original term translated as "Laodicea" means "people of judgment", or "judgment of the people". The arrival of the time of judgment is presented in Revelation, the last of the books of the Bible, dedicated to revealing the end: “fear God and give Him glory, for the hour of His judgment is coming” Revelation 14:7.
The announcement of judgment awakens men to the need for preparation. Solomon wrote: “Fear God and keep His commandments; because this is the duty of every man. Because God will bring to justice all the work and even everything that is covered, be it good or bad” Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14. And in the letter to Laodicea there is how to do it. It begins with the words: “and to the angel of the church who is in Laodicea writes: This says Amen, the faithful witness, the principle of God's creation” Revelation 3:14. Jesus begins by identifying Himself as both the "Amen" and the "principle of God's creation". Both terms are connected, so that understanding one is the key to understanding the other. For the sake of better teaching, we will first analyse the second.
The expression “the beginning of God's creation” is in line with John's statement about Christ: “all things were done by Him, and without Him nothing was done” John 1:3. Since Christ did all things, He predates them. He is the Creator, not a creature. He created all things together with the Father. Said, "when He prepared the heavens, there I was ... when I composed the foundations of the earth, then I was with Him and was His student" Proverbs 8: 27-30.
But, since Christ created all things, how can it still be called "the principle of God's creation"? From the Bible, we can understand. There was a time when only God the Father existed. “From eternity to eternity, You are God” Psalm 90:2. Christ was generated later, but still in distant eternity. Its “origins are from ancient times, from the days of eternity” Micah 5:2. God sees the end from the beginning and “calls things that are not as they already were” Romans 4:17. He foresaw the fall of man and his need for a Saviour. "The wages of sin is death" Romans 6:23. God could not die for man, since He is “immortal” I Timothy 1:17. So, before creating even the principle of the dust of the world, He planned to grant the “gift” of “eternal life in Christ Jesus” Romans 6:23, and for this He begat the Son (Proverbs 8:25, 26). The Son, not being "God" but having a character equal to Him, could die for the sinful man, taking his sins upon Himself and subsequently being resurrected by His own righteousness. The holiness and justice of the Son generated the Father's “expressed image” (Hebrew 1:3), would satisfy the requirements of the transgressed law.
After the birth of Christ, in eternity, it was up to God to tell Him His plan to create the universe - and man - and reveal what would be the necessary providence to meet the emergency brought about by sin. He should choose to become the bearer of our sins. In addition, He would have another mission: to justify the government of God. The rebellious beings would challenge the Creator and lay accusations about the justice of His government and His law. Through the Son's offering, for man's sake, God would win when he was judged (Romans 3:4). Therefore, in order to ensure the stability of the government of the universe to be created, first Christ should consent to die for us, and carry on His shoulders the responsibility to justify the government (Isaiah 9:6). He agreed; and that is why it is written that the "blood of Christ ... was known even before the foundation of the world" 1 Peter 1:20. Thus, it can be said that when Father and Son began the work of creating the universe, Christ was, so to speak, signing His death sentence. The Lamb “was slain since the foundation of the world” Revelation 13:8.
Therefore, the conclusion is reached that God's plan to create the universe and its inhabitants, including man, was based on the Son's sacrifice project. And it is in this sense that He is “the beginning of God's creation”: without Him being generated and agreeing to surrender to sinners, nothing would have been created; for there would be no way to save sinners; nor to demonstrate the depths of the love of God which, seen by the creatures, would win his affection and lead them to a cheerful and voluntary obedience. And it is in this same sense that He is the "Amen". The word amen means "so be it". Christ is the “so be it” for creation; or the one through who it has become viable. This is also the case for redemption: the Saviour through whom we can obtain forgiveness of sins and recover the eternal life once lost.
But note that both objectives - the justification of God's government and the salvation of man - were achieved by the incarnation of Christ: “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, as the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father” John 1:14. And when He incarnated he received another name: "Jesus", which means "Jehovah saves". When He announced His name, the angel said: “and you shall call Him the name of JESUS, because He will save His people from their sins” Matthew 1:21. Therefore, “grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” John 1:17. It follows, therefore, that the Man Jesus Christ, the Son of God incarnate is the "amen", as He Himself identified Himself in the Laodicean letter. He is the “so be it” for creation and for redemption; for our existence and subsequent salvation from sins. “Because all the promises there are from God, they are in Him, and through Him the Amen.” 2 Corinthians 1:20.
Looking at the passage from the perspective of prophecy, we see that this revelation arrived at the right time. In Revelation 3:14, Jesus said, "To the angel of the church who is in Laodicea write". “Angel” also means the messenger, preacher of the word, pastor and leader of the true church. The apostle Paul mentions that he was received by the Galatian believers "as an angel of God", referring to the fact that they welcomed him as a preacher of the true gospel (Galatians 4:14). Jesus declared His intention to give special revelations of Himself to the preacher of the gospel who lived in the time of judgment, of Revelation, so that he could transmit them to the church. This is the revelation that she needs to be prepared for God's judgment.
Paul, by inspiration, wrote elsewhere: “I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you, and for those in Laodicea, and for those who have not seen my face... so that their hearts may be comforted and united in love and enriched by the fullness of intelligence, to know the mystery of God - Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and science” Colossians 2:1-3. Today, at the time and in the way pointed out by God, the revelation of Jesus Christ as "Amen" comes to you. Jesus Christ is the way it is for your new life in the practice of justice. And it is for this very reason that baptism must be performed "in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of sins" Acts 2:38. For baptism means death to the past life and rebirth to a new life, without sin. Then, in the name of Jesus, "amen"! And not only that: “whatever you do by words or works, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father” Colossians 3:17.
God exhorts us to continue seeking the knowledge of Christ, for in this way we will obtain the necessary preparation for the judgment: “come and let us return to the Lord, because He... will heal us... know and continue to know the Lord; like the morning, it will be His way out; and He will come to us like rain, like the latter rain that waters the earth” Oseias 6:1-3. “He will give you a teacher of justice and bring down the rain, the early and the latter” Joel 2:23. And explaining the meaning of the term “rain”, he adds: “I will pour out My spirit” Joel 2:28. Strengthened by the spirit of God, we will obey the law of His ten commandments. The "justice of the law" will be fulfilled "in us, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit" Romans 8:4. And so be it in our lives until the end.
God bless you,
Pr. Jairo Carvalho