Church of God - Chicago Church
Lord's Day of Revelation 1:10 - is it a Sunday?
ďI was in the Spirit on the Lordís Day and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpetĒ Revelation 1:10.
Should we understand the term Lordís Day to mean Sunday?
Was the Apostle John referring to the first day of the week, a Sunday, when he wrote this statement or did John have something entirely different in mind?
What did John mean when he wrote; I was in the spirit on the Lordís Day? Just what is the Lordís Day?
Mainstream Christian commentators, clergy and theologians, both Catholic and Protestant alike, believe and teach as a core doctrine, that the Lordís Day is Sunday.
The heart and soul of mainstream Christianity is centered on the worship of God on Sunday. No longer observing the seventh-day Sabbath, mainstream Christianity observes Sunday as the day of worship (and for some still Ė the day of rest).
Conceived on the false-belief that Jesus Christ was resurrected on a Sunday, the first day of the week, nominal Christianity accepts the title ďLordís DayĒ to be synonymous with Sunday.
Notice what is commonly believed by mainstream Christianity regarding the term Lordís Day and the association of Sunday to the Christian:
Formerly it was supposed that the adjective kuriakos (the Lordís) was a purely Christian word, but recent discoveries have proven that it was in fairly common use in the Roman Empire before Christian influence had been felt. In secular use it signified ďimperialĒ ďbelonging to the lordĒ Ė the emperor Ė and so its adoption by Christianity in the sense ďbelonging to the lord Ė to Christ Ė was perfectly easy. Ö Lordís Day in the NT occurs only in Rev.1:10, but in postóapostolic literature we have the following references: Ignatius, Ad Mag. ix.1, ďNo longer keeping the Sabbath but living according to the Lordís Day, on which also our Light aroseĒ; Ev. Pet, ver 35, ďThe Lordís Day began to dawn (cf. Mt 28:1); ver 50Ēearly on the Lordís dayĒ (cf. Luke 24:1); Barn 15 9, ďWe keep the eighth day with gladness,Ē on which Jesus arose from the dead.Ē I.e. Sunday, as the day of Christís resurrection, was kept as a Christian feast and called ďthe Lordís dayĒ, a title fixed so definitely as to be introduced by the author of Ev. Pet. into phrases from the canonical Gospels. Lordís Day, pg. 1919 The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Volume III, 1939, 1993
One day a month was dedicated to the honor of the emperor in Asia Minor, but the Christians dedicated one day Ė probably each week Ė to Christís honor, perhaps in view of the coming ďday of the Lord.Ē According to some Jewish schemes for reckoning history, the seventh and final age of history would be an age of sabbath rest [cf. Rev. 20]; some early Christian interpreters transferred the image to an eighth age, speaking of the Lordís day as the eighth day of the week. Ö Most scholars think that the Lordís Day refers to Sunday, as the weekday of Jesusí resurrection; Comments on Revelation 1:10; pg.766 The IVP Bible Background Commentary, 1993
Sunday, the first day of the week, was also referred to as the ďeighth dayĒ by Christians. Ö The eighth day possessed a certain mysterious significance, which the seventh day did not possess. Ö Our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the first day after the Sabbath. Although the first day after the Sabbath remains the first of all the days, it is nevertheless also called the eighth. Ö The eighth day (that is the first day after the Sabbath), the Lordís DayÖ A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs, Page 228
What today is commonly referred to as Sunday was usually called the Lordís Day by the early Christians. A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs, Page 405.
No longer observing the Sabbath, but living in observance of the Lordís Day. Ignatius
Others Ö suppose that the sun is the god of the Christian Ö because we make Sunday a day of festivity. Tertullian
We celebrate the Lordís Day as a day of joy. For on it, He rose again. Peter of Alexandria
On the day of the resurrection of the Lord, that is, the Lordís Day, assemble yourselves together without fail, giving thanks to God and praising Him. Apostolic Constitutions
But every Lordís Day, gather yourselves together and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, so that your sacrifice may be pure. Didache
And on the day they call Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read Ö But Sunday is the day we hold our common assembly. Justin Martyr
Keep the Sabbath and the Lordís Day festivals. The first is the memorial of creation; the second is the memorial of the resurrection. Apostolic Constitutions
Break your fast when it is daybreak of the first day of the week, which is the Lordís Day Apostolic Constitutions
There are scores of commentaries and historical documents which will verify beyond any doubt, that according to nominal Christian doctrine, Sunday is the Lordís Day. And it is on Sunday, of course, mainstream Christianity, Catholic and Protestant alike, worship and ďgo to church.Ē
Regardless of what nominal Christianity believes; regardless of the history revolving around the development of the doctrine of the Lordís Day, the more pressing question is, did John mean ďSundayĒ when he spoke of the Lordís Day as he was writing the book of Revelation?
Does the Lordís Day as mentioned in Revelation 1:10 refer to a Sunday, the first day of the week or is John speaking of something entirely different?
The book of Revelation was written in the Greek language. Consequently, if we were to read Revelation 1:10 in the original text, we would read the Greek phrase en kuriakos hemera when coming across the phrase on the Lordís Day. This phrase translated literally into the English language means on Lordís Day.
This particular Greek phrase (as written in the New Testament) only occurs here in Revelation 1:10. In no other verse in the New Testament is the phrase Lordís Day found.
By definition we understand this phrase expresses the idea of a day that is owned by the Lord. It is His day; it is the Lordís Day.
If for example, you own a house or car and your name is Bill, your house or car would be known as Billís house or Billís car.
If you (Bill) had a special day to commemorate, that day would be called Billís Day.
Consequently, the day which is owned by the Lord, or the day which the Lord declares to be commemorated, being special, is called the Lordís Day.
What then is this Lordís Day? What does the Bible explain the Lordís Day as being?
To understand the answer we must acknowledge the purpose for the book of Revelation. Revelation was written by John, recording the events that were to occur just prior to the return of Christ; called in Christian circles as the second coming of Christ.
After Johnís introductory statements as contained in verses 1-3 (considered the announcement to John, that Christ would reveal to him events that will come to pass, events of prophecy); and verses 4-8 (considered the salutation by John to the seven churches in Asia); John proceeded in verses 9 and 10 by explaining where he was (the isle of Patmos), when he was given the visions of future events.
John described himself as being ďin the Spirit.Ē This phrase refers to the fact that John was allowed to be, by the power of Godís spirit affecting Johnís mind, in vision or having a vision or having been given spiritually revealed insight beyond his existing in actual physical reality. We can compare Johnís experience with that of Peterís (Act 10:10; 11:5) or Paulís (2 Corinthians 12:2-4).
John, being Jewish, full well understood the concept of in the spirit as it applied to prophecy and revelatory visions. Notice how Ezekiel explained Godís spirit intervening in his mind as Ezekiel was given prophetic visions (cf. Ezekiel 2:2; 3:12, 14, 24; 8:3; 11:1, 24).
Like Ezekiel and the other prophets of the Old Testament, John was influenced by the spirit of God, called the Holy Spirit of God. The spirit of God is holy for the spirit emanates from God, and all that pertains to God is holy for God is Holy (Leviticus 19:2).
All prophecy comes from God, as the prophets were moved, inspired and influences by Godís Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). This is the understanding of being in the spirit.
John was allowed to see future events. Notice Revelation 4:2, 17:3 and 21:10. John was allowed through Godís intervention, through the power of Godís Holy Spirit acting directly on Johnís mind, to see visions of future events. John was projected forward in his inner mind in vision, not bodily, to see events which pertained to the future day of the Lord when God will intervene in human affairs to judge the world, to punish it for its sins and eventually, to initiate the return of Jesus Christ.
Seeing those events, John recorded those events as he saw and understood them, using his terminology and descriptives, adjectives and phraseology, which his readers would have been familiar with back then in the first century AD.
Once again, this is what the book of Revelation is all about; cf. Revelation 1:1-2. To John was revealed future events (which he saw as provided by the influence of the spirit), and he wrote about those events to the elect, the saints of Godís Church back then.
What were the events John was envisioning?
Consider the following scriptures.
Isaiah 13:6, 9 - Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as destruction from the Almighty. Ö Behold the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy sinners out of it.
Ezekiel 30:3 Ė For the day is near, even the day of the Lord is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen.
Joel 1:15, 2:1 Ė Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is at hand and as destruction from the Almighty shall it come. Ö Blow ye the trumpet in Zion and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand.
Amos 5:18-20 Ė Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! To what end is it for you? The day of the Lord is darkness and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion and a bear met him; or went into a house and leaned his hand on the wall and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness and not light; even very darkness and no brightness in it?
Obadiah 15 Ė For the day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.
Zephaniah 1:7 Ė Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord God; for the day of the Lord is at hand; for the Lord prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests.
Zephaniah 1:14-18 The great day of the Lord is near, it is near and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against high towers. And I will bring distress upon men; that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord: and their blood shall be poured out as dust and their flesh as dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lordís wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.
Behold the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle Ö then shall the Lord go forth and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives Ö and the Lord shall come and all the saints with thee. Zechariah 14:1-5
These scriptures (and there are others) record prophetic events that are all to occur during the time called the Day of the Lord.
The Day of the Lord is a time of judgment which will fall upon the whole earth, when God will intervene in the affairs of mankind and will punish the world for their evil and the wicked for their iniquity (Isaiah 13:11).
Since the Old Testament was written in the Hebrew language, we would read the phrase Yom Yahweh in the original Hebrew, when reading the scriptures (such as those above) that contain the phrase Day of the Lord. Yom Yahweh is translated literally into the English as Day Lord, meaning Day (Yom) [of the] Lord (Yahweh). Yom Yahweh conveys an understanding of a day which is, or belongs to the Lord.
This phrase can be understood in the same frame of mind or understanding as provided when we communicate the idea of Billís house or Billís car. The phrase structure is different, the word arrangement is reversed, but the meaning is the same.
Regarding Billís house, it is Billís House (Greek phrase structure) or the House of Bill (Hebrew phrase structure); the House which belongs to Bill. Likewise it is Billís Car or the car of Bill; the car which belongs to Bill.
So it is with the Lordís Day (Greek phrase structure) or the Day of the Lord (Hebrew phrase structure); it is the day which belongs to the Lord. The day is the possession of the Lord.
The Day [of the] Lord is a day owned by the Lord. It is His day for a specific reason or purpose. The Day [of the] Lord is equivalent to the Greek phrase, the Lordís Day.
The Day of the Lord is an eschatological term, once again referring to Godís judgment upon the whole earth.
Meaning more than a 24-hour period of time (a solar day), the Day of the Lord (the eschatological day) is a length of time of some several years during which God is directly involved in human affairs, human activity; when the world will begin to realize that God exists.
The Day of the Lord or the Lordís Day is a period of time in human history when God intervenes and shows His hand, His might, His judgment in human affairs, not only just against Israel but against the gentiles, too.
The book of Revelation is a prophetic book, revealing the end-time judgments of God, as categorized by the Seven Seals, the Seven Trumpets and the Seven Vial plagues.
John was in vision on the Lordís Day to reveal the events that must shortly come to pass before the return of Jesus Christ, as the King of Kings and the God of the earth, ruling from His throne in Jerusalem. Johnís vision, being inspired by Godís spirit, was related to end time events, future events; events that relate to Godís judgment and Christís return.
The term day of the Lord is obvious throughout the Old Testament and in a few scripture verses, in the New Testament.
Notice 1 Thessalonians 5:2: For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the lord so cometh as a thief in the night. Notice also, 2 Peter 3:10: But the day of the lord will come as a thief in the night Ö.
The Lordís Day is to the Greek language as the Day of the Lord is to the Hebrew language.
This is the main point, the heart of understanding what John meant when he declared he was in the spirit on the Lordís Day
To further reinforce this fact, let us notice the difference between the Greek language and the Hebrew language, yet the similarity, as expressed in Biblical terms.
Notice Jeremiah 43:13. He shall break also the images of Beth-shemesh, that is in Egypt; and the houses of the gods of the Egyptians shall he burn with fire.
In the King James Version Bible, we read the phrase Beth-shemesh. This original Hebrew phrase was left in tact (untranslated) in the KJV English version Bible. Rather than translating this Hebrew phrase, the KJV translators kept the original Hebrew phrase. This Hebrew phrase is literally translated into the English language as House (beth) [of the] Sun (shemesh).
For the sake of clarification, notice a couple other English Bible versions, as they render the original Hebrew phrase Beth-shemesh.
Jeremiah 43:13 New Revised Standard Version Ė He shall break the obelisks of Heliopolis, which is in the land of Egypt Ö
Jeremiah 43:13 New American Bible Ė He shall smash the obelisks of the temple of the sun in the land of Egypt Ö
Jeremiah 43:13 Youngís Literal Translation Ė and he hath broken the standing pillars of the house of the sun that is in the land of Egypt Ö
If you read this verse in the LXX (Septuagint - Greek version of the Old Testament), instead of reading the phrase Beth shemesh, you would read the Greek equivalent - Heliopolis or as literally translated into the English language - Sun City.
Notice Jeremias 50:13 in the LXX (equivalent to Jeremiah 44:13 in the KJV): And he shall break to pieces the pillars of Heliopolis that are in On (a city in Egypt, which was the chief city where the sun-god Ra was worshipped), and shall burn their houses with fire.
(For reference, check the following words in the Strongís Concordance. 1) Beth (Strongís # 1004 Hebrew bayith pronounced in English beth meaning house, dwelling. Another familiar Hebrew word which utilizes the Hebrew word beth that comes to us into the English language is Bethel meaning House of God). 2) Shemesh (Strongís # 8121 Hebrew shemesh meaning sun, to be brilliant). 3) Helios (Strongís # 2246 Greek helios meaning the sun, by implication light.))
It is quite evident how these two different languages handle the idea of the place of Egyptian sun worship.
We see the different wording or phraseology employed by each of the Hebrew and Greek languages. These two languages use different phrase structure or word placement.
The Hebrew language reads Ė Beth Shemesh Ė translated into the English as the House [of the] Sun. Grecian literary structure would translate Beth Shemesh as shemesh beth or sunís house.
More technically, the Greeks understood Beth Shemesh as the Heliopolis, the Sun City (city is comparable to house). Both phrases convey the meaning of the place of sun-worship, as used by the Egyptians.
Both Beth Shemesh and Heliopolis described the Egyptian Temple of the Sun, the primary place used by the Egyptians in worship of the sun-god Ra.
Sun house or house of the sun; sun city or city of the sun are all one in the same; the place of Egyptian sun-worship.
Accordingly, the Lordís Day and the Day of the Lord describe the same events.
Whether in the Old Testament (Hebrew language) prophecies or the New Testament (Greek language) prophecies, the Day of the Lord or the Lordís Day are one in the same. Both phrases depict a time of destruction and worldwide calamity; a time of Godís judgment and intervention upon mankind. Said either way, Day of the Lord or the Lordís Day, both communicate the time of Godís judgment and punishment on a disobedient, sinful Israel and a sinful, disobedient gentile world.
Consider the following scriptures (among others): Isaiah 13:6-13 (cf. Revelation 6:17); Jeremiah 46:10; Ezekiel 30:3; Zephaniah 1:14-18; Obadiah 15; Joel 2:1, 11, 30-32; Isaiah 2:12-21; Malachi 4:5.
The Day of the Lord begins the Tribulation period that will affect not only end-time Israel, but all the nations just before the return of Jesus Christ, when He will show Himself as the lord God of Israel and the Savior of mankind.
The book of Revelation validates these Old Testament prophetic events and provides more details of the events which are to occur during the Day of the Lord.
John was in vision (in spirit) on the Day of the Lord (or as he wrote it for his readers, who were largely Greek speaking, gentile converts of Asia Minor - the Lordís Day). Being in the spirit on the Day of the Lord (the Lordís Day) John revealed to the Seven Churches the prophetic events that will occur prior to Christís return.
The Lordís Day of which John wrote, was not a Sunday. The Lordís Day is the soon coming time of Godís intervention, judgment and revelation Ė showing man that He does exist and He is God.
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