The Power of Affirmation: The "Meta-Yes" In Scripture

The Bible, Meta-States and the Neuro Semantic Model - Part II

Rev. Michael Davis  

In my last article1 we explored a biblical basis for the Meta-No pattern. As believers in Jesus Christ we are taught to negate, to reject, and disown, to literally “say No!” to all concepts, ideas, attitudes and frames that contradict and are contrary to the will of God. We are to say “No!” to all that does not serve and aid us in serving God. (Titus 2:11,12).

In this article we will explore the concept of affirmation, or the Meta-Yes according to Scripture and it’s importance in renewing the mind.

In my first article I stated that during my Meta-states certification training Dr. Bob Bodenhamer said, “All change in essence boils down to saying ‘No’ to what you don’t want and ‘Yes’ to what you do want.” I believe this is one of the most significant contributions that the field of Neuro-semantics has made. The idea that beliefs are confirmed thoughts2; that it is the affirming and saying yes to a thought that solidifies and confirms it as a belief and thus as a frame is really quite simple and yet at the same time quite profound. I believe that in the Scriptures we have a foundation for this theory.

In 2 Corinthians 1:20 we are told “…all the promises of God in Him are “yes”, and in Him ‘amen’, unto the glory of God by us.”

The NIV bible translate this passage:

“For no matter how many promises God has made they are all ‘Yes!’ in Christ and so through Him the ‘Amen!’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.”

All of God promises are fulfilled in Christ. If we ask God, “Is this promise fulfilled in Christ; is it true in Him?” God answer is always “Yes! That promise is fulfilled and it is true in Christ!”

For example we have in and through Christ redemption and forgiveness of sin (Colossians 1:14). If you were to ask God “Are we redeemed in Christ, are we forgiven in Him?”, God’s answer is ALWAYS “Yes! You are redeemed, you are forgiven in Christ.”

If you were to ask God, “When we were baptized, were we united with Christ in His death and resurrection?” God’s reply would be “Yes! When you were baptized with Christ you were united with Him in His death and resurrection!” (Romans6:3-8)

Again all that God promised is fulfilled in Christ, a fulfillment that God affirms and confirms, that He says “YES!’ to. As a matter of fact the word translated, as “YES” from the Greek is “NAI.” It denotes the strong affirmation, assertion and confirmation of a thing3. So God’s “YES” is an affirmation and confirmation of His word and its fulfillment.

Now 2 Corinthians 1:20 states that we utter the “AMEN!” to God’s “Yes!”. In regards to a promise God declares, “Yes that promise fulfilled in Christ!”, to which we utter “Amen!”. What does it mean to utter or say “Amen!” to something? And why must we through Christ say “Amen!” to God’s “Yes!”?

Amen: The Meta-Yes In Scripture

The word amen in English and Greek comes from the Hebrew word amen (the word sounds basically the same in all three languages). Amen literally means “It is true, it is so, so be it, or let it be so”4. Biblically amen serves as a formula and expression of confirmation or agreement5.

In the scriptures amen always serves as a positive response to something that one has just heard or said. This can be a prayer or a teaching (Galatians 1:5 and Deuteronomy 27:15-26). Actually, amen serves at least three positive purposes in scripture: 
  1. It can be used as an exclamation point, as a way of emphasizing and strengthening something just said6
  2. It is also used to confirm the word of another. 
  3. And it is used as a means of identification and association7

According to the Encyclopedia of Jewish Concepts

“By pronouncing ‘amen’ the listener associates himself with what has been uttered; he makes it his own and is ready to conform to it. The people said ‘amen’ to the commandments Moses gave them (Deuteronomy 27:15-26) thus agreeing to follow them and accepting the consequences implied.”8

The NIV Encyclopedia of Bible Words states that “ To say amen is to identify with what is said and to confirm that what has been said is true and binding.”9

Thus to say “Amen!” to what one hears is to affirm that which one hears, to confirm it as true , to identify with it and make it your own.

Does this sound familiar?

In the Meta-states/ Neuro-Semantics model to say “Yes!” to an idea, thought or concept is to confirm it and make it a belief. Your belief. It is to make it a frame of reference and with repetition, your frame of mind. In the same way, to say “Amen!” to God’s Yes of promises fulfilled in Christ is to affirm and confirm His “Yes!” and the truth of those promises being fulfilled. It is to identify with God’s “Yes!” and the truths affirmed and make those truths Your own.10

When we say “Amen!” we are in essence saying “Yes!” to God’s “Yes!”. Thus our “Amen!”  is a “Yes!”, i.e., an affirmation and/or confirmation that is meta to God’s “Yes!” (Our “Amen!” is about his “Yes!”). Our “Amen” is a Meta-Yes!

Applying This to Our Lives

Within the context of the Christian faith and the Christian life to say “Amen!” to God’s Word, to His Truths and promises is to have and exercise faith in God. Said another way to have faith in God is to “Amen!” God and His Word.

According to the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia concerning the use of “Amen!” by the Jewish people:

“‘Amen’ is an affirmation of a firm belief… and as there were many opportunities for pronouncing it the rabbis were quick to note its psychological value as a compact yet all inclusive declaration of faith.” (p. 224)

Theologian Charles Hodge D.D. in his commentary on 2 Corinthians stated,

“To receive God’s testimony concerning His Son, to say ‘Amen’, and to believe all mean the same thing” (The Second Epistle to The Corinthians, p. 23).

That to “Amen!” God’s Word is to exercise faith in, or to believe God’s Word may also be seen in the fact that the Hebrew word for faith, EMUNAH, is derived from the Hebrew word AMAN which denotes firmness and certainty. Depending on how its used Aman can also mean, “to cause to be certain,” “to believe” or “to establish.”11

Amen is also derived from this word Aman. Thus to believe God, to say amen to His Word is to apply and bring to bear certainty, firmness, and confirmation to the word of God and thus to establish it in our own hearts and minds.

This also sheds light on and expands our understanding of a familiar passage of Scripture: Romans 10:17

“So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”

The word hearing in Greek is akoe. This word refers to a responsive hearing not a passive one.12 In other words when we hear the word of God there is a response that we are to have toward the word we hear, and that response results in faith.

What is the response we are to have? We are to respond to God’s word with “Amen!”, with a Meta-Yes! As we respond to His word with an Amen! (Yes!), bringing affirmation, confirmation, and identification to bear upon His word the result is faith, i.e., a belief frame by which we live and move and have our being.

Does this means that our faith is merely or only a human effort or product?

To borrow a phrase from Paul “God forbid!”.

In Philippians 2:11,12we are told:

 “. …Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do if His good pleasure.”

God Himself is at work within us, energizing, and motivating us to fulfill His will, to say Amen/Yes to His will. We say Amen outwardly because God is inwardly working within us and motivating us to utter the “Amen,” the “Yes” to his will.

Our verbalizing of the Yes! or the Amen! is one aspect of our “working out” our salvation, i.e., of carrying out and fulfilling what it means to be saved.

To utter the Meta-Yes to the word of God is not to substitute human activity for Divine activity. Rather it is to cooperate with the Lord in what He is working and doing in us.

And how are we to utter our “Amen” to the word and truth of God?

 To quote again from the Jewish Encyclopedia:

 “Amen is [to be enunciated] with the full power of the voice.” (p. 492)

The church had adapted from the synagogue the practice of enunciating the amen with the full power-of the voice.” (Ibid)

Within the rabbinical literature it is stated:

“Amen should be recited with a strong, clear voice” (Berakhot 45a)

The idea seems to be the amen must be spoken out loud and strongly for it to be effective. This accords with the Meta-states/ Neuro-semantic application of the Meta-Yes pattern where we are told to elicit and utter a strong intense “Yes” to a new enhancing belief in order to install it (Hall, Personal Mastery pp.156-163).

With the Meta-Yes we have a very practical means of exercising and applying faith in God. The insight and understanding that the Meta-states model brings to the concept of beliefs, that they are confirmed thoughts, helps us to understand why Christians often have difficulty believing and making the promises and truths of Scripture our own.

Until we utter the Amen! the “Yes!” to the truth we hear it is not confirmed in us as our truth. It has not become our own; it is not yet our frame.

But once we utter strongly and congruently Amen or Yes to God’s truth it, becomes our truth; it becomes the frame by which we live.

So what truth of Scripture would you like to have as your operating frame? What principle or biblical concept would you like to utter an Amen or Yes to?

How about:

“I can do all things through Christ who strengths me” (Philippians 4:13)?

Or,

“…. We are more than conquers through Him that loved us.” (Romans 8:37)

Or,

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you…” (John 14:27).

Have you uttered Amen/Yes strongly, intensely and congruently to such Biblically enhancing beliefs? Do you want to? Would it serve you to have such beliefs as your frame of mind? Are there beliefs that you need to say “No” to first? Those beliefs that keep you from serving God and following Him fully do these beliefs serve you? Do they help you to walk in the image and likeness of God and fulfill your spiritual potential? 

Are you ready to say “No” to those limiting frames? Then Do It! And remember as you say “No” to limiting frames and Amen/Yes to enhancing ones, keep in mind that God is working in you and with you.  He is empowering you to say “No” to those limiting frames and Amen/Yes to the enhancing ones (that’s a frame by the way).

With the Meta-Yes and the Meta-No we have in our hands two powerful and effective tools for renewing our minds and bringing them into alignment and harmony with the Mind of God.

Williams James, the Father of American psychology, said,  “Tell him to live by yes and no – yes to everything good, no to everything bad.”13

Good advice.  

Now – Go forth and change!! (Amen!)

REFERENCES:

1Davis, Michael L. The Power Of Negation:The Meta-No In Scripture

2Hall, Michael, L. The Structure Of Excellence p.158

3"NAI" Strong's Concordance Greek Dictionary #3483: Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon #3483.

4Strong's Concordance Hebrew Dictionary #543; Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Word P. 45 (1952).

5Encyclopedia of Jewish Concepts p. 46. 

6"Amen" Encyclopedia of Bible Words, p. 38. 

7Encyclopedia Of Jewish Concepts p.46; Encyclopedia Of Bible Words p. 38

8
Encyclopedia Of Jewish Concepts p. 46

9
p.38-40

10
Hall, L. Michael, Frame Games : Persuasion Elegance Winning The Games Of Life pp.167-168;170

11Aman Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, pp. 51, #116

12Dunn G D, James The Theology of the Apostle Paul, P. 361, n. 45.
13Pollan M. Stephan and Levine, Mark. Turning No Into Yes, p. 3 All Biblical Quotes are from the King James Version unless otherwise noted.

About the Author:

Michael L. Davis is an ordained minister, business consultant, trainer and coach. His Biblical teachings focuses on The Renewing of the Mind, the Semitic background of the Christian faith,  the study of the Bible in the light of the Cultural, Linguistically and Historical context in which it was written. 

Contact information: 
Michael Davis
PO BOX 3000-469 Chino, Ca. 91708 
E-mail: kard@gte.net  
Ph. (909)988-6067 
Fax: (909) 988-5558 


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