Short Answers: When is the Lord’s Day?
In the Spirit on the Lord’s Day
The phrase, “Lord’s day,” was not used to designate the first day of the week until near the close of the second century CE, when it was used in the apocryphal Gospel of Peter, a text with so little spiritual understanding that one would think it was of purely pagan origin. The phrase is NOT found in the sayings of Jesus; however, its echo — the day of the Lord [YHWH] — is commonly used by the Prophets, but always for events at the close of the age.
Was John “In Spirit” As In Being A Spiritual Creature?
John the Revelator wrote, “I was in spirit in the Lord’s Day” (Rev 1:10). When was John in spirit? Was he in spirit on a particular day of the week, or in spirit in the vision, or in spirit at the end of the age, when the prophets of old used the expression day of the Lord and that day as a euphemism for the coming of the Messiah? Was John in the flesh when he saw the events he describes? Or was he, as he claims, in spirit as in being a spiritual creature? Paul did not know which he was in the flesh or in spirit when he visited the third heaven (2 Co 12:2-3), the location of John’s vision. So for John to say that he was in spirit and not in the flesh introduces a level of complexity that has not been well explored.
When is “Soon”?
Revelation begins, “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place” (1:1 emphasis added). If the events described in John’s vision must “soon” take place, then the time setting for the vision is not the first century CE. No assignment of meaning to soon allows for the passage of two millennia to transpire between when John transcribed his vision and when the events described within the vision take place.
The vision closes with:
· “‘These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place’” (22:6);
· Plus, “‘And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near’” (v. 10);
· And, “‘Behold, I am coming soon’” (v. 12);
· And, “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon’” (v. 20 – emphasis added).
If the Lord’s day is the day of the Lord then John’s vision occurs at the end of the age, when dominion is taken from the four demonic kings (Dan 7:9-14) and the kingdom of this world is given to Christ Jesus (Rev 11:15). At that time, all of the events described within the vision will “soon” occur. The vision is, now, true and trustworthy, but not for the first century or even for the twentieth century.
Humankind Has Not Yet Arrived At the Time When the Seals Are Removed:
On a specific day, dominion over humankind will be taken by force from the prince of this world and his angels (Rev 12:7-10). The single kingdom of this world will be given to one like a son of man. This is a one time occurrence. It doesn’t happen earlier than the time of the end, and it hasn’t happened yet. Therefore, humankind has not yet arrived at that moment in time when the seals on the scroll are removed (Rev chap 6).
The Seven Named Churches:
In the vision, the angel tells John not to seal the vision. If the vision doesn’t occur in the first century but in the twenty-first century [or later], then the letters that John is told to deliver to the seven churches were not to be delivered in the first century, but are to be delivered in the twenty-first, meaning that God has again used shadows to seal and keep secret a vision He openly placed before the saints. But at the close of the first century the seven named churches co-existed on a Roman mail route. Their existence (plus the fact that the letters accurately reflect the strengths and weakness of each) has caused theologians for nearly two millennia to wrestle with the imagery and symbolism of John’s vision.
In Revelation, appearance functions as attributes. For example, Jesus functions as the Lamb of God. He doesn’t appear as a lamb in chapter 1, verses 12 through 20; however, once past the seven letters, He appears as a Lamb, slain, with seven horns and seven eyes, which are seven spirits. These seven spirits function as eyes as Jesus functions as the Lamb of God. The seven churches will now function as seven horns. Thus, the seven churches are NOT first century fellowships, but spiritual fellowships in the same way that the seven eyes are seven spirits.
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."