10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet..
Revelation 1:10 is not about John being in the spirit on SUNDAY, as taught by many within Christendom. It really has to do with John being in the spirit during God’s time of vengeance upon mankind that we see in Zephaniah 1:15.
15 That day will be a day of wrath—
a day of distress and anguish,
a day of trouble and ruin,
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and blackness—
Zephaniah 1:15: The Day of the Lord
Zephaniah 1:15 vividly describes the "day of the LORD" as a time of wrath, distress, and darkness. This portrayal is a cornerstone in the Old Testament's prophetic literature, encapsulating a period of divine judgment and intervention. The "day of the LORD" is not merely a 24-hour period but symbolizes a significant epoch in God's redemptive history where His sovereignty and justice are manifest.
Revelation 1:10: The Lord's Day
In the New Testament, Revelation 1:10 introduces "the Lord's Day" in the context of John's apocalyptic vision. Traditionally interpreted as a reference to Sunday, this interpretation evolves when viewed through the lens of divine judgment. Here, "the Lord's Day" can be seen as a parallel to the Old Testament's "day of the LORD," signifying a time of revelation and fulfillment of God's judgment and salvation.
Biblical Correlations: The Day of Wrath
To understand the link between these verses, we must consider other biblical passages that speak of God's judgment. For instance, Isaiah 13:9 describes the day of the LORD as coming with "cruelty, both with wrath and fierce anger," aligning with Zephaniah's depiction. Similarly, Romans 2:5 speaks of "the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God," echoing the themes in Revelation.
9 See, the day of the Lord is coming —a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger—to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it.
Joel 2:31 and Acts 2:20: Signs of the Times
Joel 2:31 and its reference in Acts 2:20 mention "the great and dreadful day of the LORD," accompanied by cosmic disturbances. These references connect the Old and New Testament prophecies, indicating that the day of the LORD encompasses both judgment and the fulfillment of God's plan.
Judgment and Redemption
The harmony between Zephaniah 1:15 and Revelation 1:10, when viewed in the broader scriptural context, reveals a narrative of judgment that is both consistent and progressive. The Old Testament sets the stage with a focus on impending judgment, while the New Testament, especially in Revelation, presents the culmination and fulfillment of this divine judgment.
Isaiah 61:2 in Context
In Isaiah 61:2, the prophet declares, "to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn." This verse is part of a larger passage traditionally understood as a Messianic prophecy, describing the mission of the Messiah.
The Year of the Lord’s Favor: This part of the verse refers to a time of grace, blessing, and restoration, echoing the Jubilee year concept in Leviticus 25, where every 50th year, debts were forgiven, and slaves were freed. It symbolizes God's redemptive and restorative actions for Israel (“ and provide for those who grieve in Zion”).
The Day of Vengeance of Our God: The latter part of the verse introduces the theme of divine vengeance. Unlike human vengeance, which is often driven by personal retribution, the biblical concept of divine vengeance is about God’s righteous judgment against sin and injustice, specifically against His people. It is a form of divine intervention to set right what is wrong.
Connection to the Day of the Lord
"The day of the Lord" is a recurring theme in both the Old and New Testaments, often depicting a time when God directly intervenes in human history, either for salvation, judgment, or both.
In the prophetic text, this day is frequently associated with both judgment against the wicked and deliverance for the righteous (Israel).
The "day of vengeance" in Isaiah 61 complements this theme by emphasizing the aspect of judgment within the broader context of "the day of the Lord." It suggests that the day of the Lord will be a time when God executes justice against sin, and those who persecuted Israel, fulfilling His promises of judgment and also bringing redemption.
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God,to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,the oil of joy instead of mourning,and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated;they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. 5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.6 And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast.
7 Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion,and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.
Joel 3 is deeply connected to the theme of God's Day of Vengeance due to its depiction of divine judgment and the gathering of nations for a final reckoning. This chapter is an integral part of the prophetic text that focuses on the eschatological "day of the LORD," a theme prevalent in both the Old and New Testaments. To understand this connection, it's important to delve into the key elements of Joel 3:
1. The Gathering of the Nations (Joel 3:1-2): Joel 3 begins with God bringing all nations into the Valley of Jehoshaphat (which means "Yahuah judges"). This gathering for judgment is a central aspect of the day of the LORD. It represents a time when God will judge the nations for their treatment of His people, Israel.
2. Restoration and Blessing (Joel 3:17-21): Following the theme of judgment, the chapter concludes with promises of restoration and blessing for God’s people. This ties into the broader biblical narrative where the day of the LORD, while bringing judgment upon the wicked, also brings salvation and restoration to the nation of Israel.
3. Connection to Isaiah 61:2 and the Broader Biblical Context: Isaiah 61:2, which speaks of proclaiming "the day of vengeance of our God," provides a link to Joel 3. Both passages describe a time when God will enact justice against the oppressors of His people and vindicate His name. The day of vengeance is not just punitive; it's also redemptive, leading to the restoration of God’s people and the establishment of His righteousness.
New Testament Application
In the New Testament, Yahshua’ references Isaiah 61:1-2 in Luke 4:18-19. He cites the passage as being fulfilled in His ministry, but notably, He stops short of mentioning "the day of vengeance." This omission highlights His first coming as the time of grace and salvation – "the year of the Lord's favor." The full realization of "the day of vengeance," implying judgment and justice, is often associated with Messiah’s second coming, aligning with the themes in Revelation and other eschatological texts.
Adding to the discussion, the imagery of the Messiah coming on a white horse with a sword in Revelation 19:11-16 serves as a powerful symbol of the Lord's return to exact revenge on the nations for their actions against His people, Israel. This vivid depiction aligns with the theme of divine vengeance and judgment. The sword, a traditional symbol of justice and authority, represents Messiah’s role in executing divine judgment. This moment in Revelation encapsulates the fulfillment of the prophetic promises of the Old Testament, where the Day of the Lord is portrayed as a time of reckoning and vindication for Israel. The imagery of the Messiah as a conquering king on a white horse dramatically underscores the theme of God's righteous judgment and the ultimate triumph of His kingdom.
Conclusion: A Unified Biblical Perspective
In conclusion, upon examining the scriptural context and thematic elements across the Bible, it becomes evident that "the Lord's Day" in Revelation 1:10 is more accurately interpreted as referring to the Day of the Lord's wrath and vengeance, rather than a weekly Sunday worship. This interpretation aligns with the prophetic and eschatological nature of Revelation, resonating with the themes of divine judgment and the fulfillment of God's redemptive plan as depicted throughout the biblical narrative. John was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, the Day of Wrath and Vengeance, not Sunday.