"I (John) was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet." Revelation 1:10
"IN THE SPIRIT"
The Apostle John states that he was IN THE SPIRIT on the Lord's day. What does this mean? To begin, let's do a quick review.
In a previous blog, the INTRODUCTION TO REVELATION, I touched upon the FOUR times where John is said to be IN THE SPIRIT. Each time the phrase IN THE SPIRIT occurs, John was taken to a DIFFERENT vantage point, a DIFFERENT LOCATION, and to a DIFFERENT TIME, where the prophetic vision unfolded in front of his eyes.
(1.) John received a VISION of Jesus Christ on Patmos on the Lord's Day. John saw Jesus in special way--the Christ Who SPOKE words which SOUNDED like a trumpet, a Jesus Who came arrayed in ALL His powerful glory. The vision given to John employs many symbols to convey truths about the risen Lord. (It happened on THE LORD'S DAY, which I'll explain in a moment.)
(2.) John was IN THE SPIRIT at the Throne of God AFTER he heard a voice like a trumpet say "Come up hither, and I will show you things which MUST be hereafter." Immediately, John found himself in HEAVEN. Revelation 4:1-2.
(3.) John was IN THE SPIRIT in the wilderness, where he saw MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT--an evil empire and religion which overtakes the world during the GREAT TRIBULATION. Of course, that wicked empire and religion exists on THE EARTH during the Tribulation. Revelation 17:3.
(4.) John was IN THE SPIRIT on a great and high mountain, from which he viewed the NEW JERUSALEM descend out of heaven to occupy the NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH--this event occurs AFTER the Millennium, and the final judgment of those who rejected Jesus. It's the beginning of an ETERNITY with God in absolute perfection. Revelation 21:10
In each place where John was IN THE SPIRIT, he saw THE FUTURE. Each NEW LOCATION offered a DIFFERENT SEGMENT of God's dealing with the world and mankind.
IN THE SPIRIT ON THE LORD'S DAY
Many commentators of the book of Revelation explain THE LORD'S DAY as this--John received the prophecy on a Sunday.
There's a belief that the early Church commonly called Sunday "the Lord's day," because Jesus rose from the dead on that first day of the week. Sunday is also the EIGHTH day in a weekly cycle--seven days pass--and we arrive at another Sunday.
Sunday is the FIRST day of a new week, but the EIGHTH day AFTER the WHOLE previous week. EIGHT in scripture pictures a "new beginning." The 8th day of a week's cycle, plus Sunday being the 1st day of a new week, certainly shows a "new beginning." Thus THE LORD'S DAY can be explained with this understanding.
But IS there MORE? What does John, receiving the prophecy on a Sunday, ADD TO OUR INSIGHT about the book of Revelation?
The fact that THE DAY was Sunday adds NOTHING to Revelation's impact. Could there be an alternative interpretation? Remember--the Revelation is declared a PROPHECY in chapter one verse four. Let's consider THE LORD'S DAY from a PROPHETIC PERSPECTIVE.
With that in mind, it's MORE CONSISTENT, with our DEEPER exploration into PROPHETIC implications, to take a fresh look at THE LORD'S DAY. In receiving the FULL VISION of the book of Revelation, John was taken IN THE SPIRIT to the LOCATIONS where he could WITNESS Revelation's events UNFOLD in front of his eyes. He was taken IN THE SPIRIT to the FUTURE where THE LORD'S DAY played out before him.
It's very possible, by this understanding, to see THE LORD'S DAY as another way of saying "THE DAY OF THE LORD."
"The day of the Lord" is a phrase which is carefully defined by scripture, in great AMOUNTS, so much so, that there's NOT ENOUGH ROOM to FULLY explore it in today's blog. To fully show ALL the aspects of "the day of the Lord," I'd need to write a complete BOOK!
The DAY OF THE LORD is a phrase we find all over the Old Testament, and there are many SYNONYMS for this phrase, too. So WHAT IS this day of the Lord?
By carefully examining the BIBLICAL DEFINITIONS, we discover the day of the Lord REFERS TO the final 70th WEEK OF YEARS which is yet to be fulfilled upon Israel in our present world system. The 70th WEEK is a SEVEN YEAR span of God's judgment upon the world, in which He will deal with Israel, those Jews who have denied that Jesus is their Messiah. (The 70th WEEK is defined and explained in Daniel 9:24-27. MUCH LATER in our study, I'll delve into more detail about Daniel's amazing prophecy.)
I'll offer several quick BIBLICAL descriptions of THE DAY OF THE LORD:
Isaiah 13:6--"Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a DESTRUCTION from the Almighty."
Amos 5:18--"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."
Zephaniah 1:14-16 (Please read to the very end of that chapter--I didn't want to take up space by quoting the whole passage--it's a POWERFUL picture of what the DAY OF THE LORD really is.)--"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 there 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 (Revelation's trumpet judgments) and ALARM against the fenced cities, and against the high towers..."
The scripture also pictures HOW the day of the Lord divides into TWO portions of three and a half years.
There's THE BEGINNING OF SORROWS--the first half--Matthew 24:8 and Mark 13:8.
The following terms relate to the SECOND half, the FINAL and extreme WOES of the last three and a half years--THE TIME OF JACOB'S TROUBLE (Jeremiah 30:70), THE GREAT DAY OF HIS WRATH (Revelation 6:17), THE OVERSPREADING OF ABOMINATIONS (Daniel 9:27) and THE GREAT TRIBULATION (Matthew 24:21).
I can sum this up by saying, that WHEN John received THE REVELATION, and was IN THE SPIRIT ON THE LORD'S DAY, he was taken into THE FUTURE by a vision. John ACTUALLY SAW AND HEARD the events of THE DAY OF THE LORD. John saw and knew what's coming!
Think about this....Do we know what's coming like a freight train upon the world?
ADDITION: AN INDEX
SCRIPTURES TO HELP US UNDERSTAND THE DAY OF THE LORD:
(I've listed the exact verses in many of these references. To get the full context, read the verses before and following each reference.)
The day of the Lord----Isaiah 2:12; Isaiah 13:6-9; Ezekiel 13:5; Ezekiel 30:3; Joel 1:15; Joel 2:1, Joel 2:11 and Joel 2:31; Joel 3:14; Amos 5:18, Amos 5:20; Obadiah 15; Zephaniah 1:7; Zephaniah 1:14 to the end of the chapter; Zechariah 2:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4--read on through to 1 Thessalonians 5:11; and 2 Peter 3:10.
The seventieth week----Daniel 9:24-27
The day of God's vengeance----Isaiah 34:8 and Isaiah 63:1-6.
The time of the end----Daniel 12:9
The hour of His judgment----Revelation 14:7
The end of this world----Matthew 13:40 and Matthew 13:49
The indignation----Isaiah 26:20-21
The time of trouble such as never was----Daniel 12:1
The days of the Son of man----Luke 17:26
Sudden destruction----1 Thessalonians 5:3
That day----1Thessalonians 5:4
Wrath----1 Thessalonians 5:9
The beginning of sorrows----Matthew 24:8, but also read the whole chapter; Mark 13:8, but also read the whole chapter. I'll include Luke 21 to the list--for a comparison. (The Olivet Discourse which Jesus spoke to His disciples, giving a prophecy for His people, Israel.)
(A NOTE--Compare the "beginning of sorrows" to the seal judgments in Revelation 6. The first mentioned, false christs (the white horse). The second mentioned, wars and rumors of wars (the red horse). The third mentioned, famine (the black horse). The fourth mentioned (from the account in Luke 21:11), pestilences (the pale horse). The fifth mentioned, martyrdom (souls under the altar). The sixth mentioned, earthquakes in diverse places, fearful sights and signs from heaven (the sixth seal shows an earthquake, black sun, red moon and falling stars.)
(I'LL ADD THIS INSIGHT--what we see in OUR PRESENT TIME, BEFORE the TRIBULATION of THOSE SEVEN YEARS. We see FORESHADOWINGS of things to come. HOWEVER, in the FIRST HALF of the DAY OF THE LORD --the "sorrows" -- "the birth pangs" will proceed to ACTUAL FULL TERM LABOR, which will bring the BIRTH of JESUS' KINGDOM upon the earth.)
THE LAST HALF OF THE SEVEN YEAR TRIBULATION:
The time of Jacob's trouble----Jeremiah 30:7
The great day of His wrath----Revelation 6:17
The overspreading of abominations----Daniel 9:27
The great tribulation----Matthew 24:21 and Matthew 24:29
Affliction, such as was NOT from the beginning of creation which God created unto this time----Mark 13:19
The days of vengeance----Luke 21:22
THE VOICE OF A TRUMPET
Before we move forward to Revelation 1:11, I want to devote a bit of time to THE VOICE which the Apostle John heard behind him. The voice SOUNDED LIKE a trumpet. How can a voice sound like a trumpet?
I think of mutes, used by jazz players, as they coax sounds out of their trumpets. Really talented musicians make their instruments ACTUALLY SAY words. I'm sure you're familiar with this. Trumpets can say, "Hello Dolly," or any number of phrases as a tune is played.
Let's take a closer look at THE VOICE which John heard. WHO spoke in a "trumpet-like" voice?
We jump forward for a moment, to Revelation 1:11. The ONE with the trumpet voice said, "I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last..." In a previous blog, teaching upon Revelation 1:8, we saw that the Alpha and Omega is identified as Jesus. Therefore, here in Revelation 1:10, and continuing into verse 11, this SAME Son of God SPEAKS with THE VOICE of a trumpet!
We see further evidence of this in Revelation 4:1. A door opened in heaven. Then the Apostle John POINTS BACK to chapter one when he said--"and the FIRST VOICE which I heard was, as it were, OF A TRUMPET talking with me, which said..." This time THE VOICE said, "Come up hither, and I will show you things which must be hereafter."
The trumpet voice in CHAPTER ONE belongs to Jesus. We can safely say that the trumpet voice of CHAPTER FOUR was like the FIRST trumpet voice that John heard. This is INDEED the voice of Jesus--the Lord and Savior speaking--Who called John up from the earth and into heaven. (When we return to Revelation 4 to look at this passage in detail, we'll note how THE ACTIONS--given here--show a TYPE of the Rapture of the Church.)
I'll add another insight: This is THE TRUMP OF GOD which is blown in only TWO places in the scripture. (1.) At Mount Sinai in Exodus 19--and (2.) At the Rapture of the Church.
(1.) I'll direct your attention to Exodus 19:19, "And when THE VOICE of THE TRUMPET sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spoke, and GOD ANSWERED him by A VOICE."
Notice how the VOICE of a TRUMPET, waxed long and loud (we can imagine a shofar here--the ram's horn trumpet). This TRUMPET is also linked closely with the VOICE OF GOD, who SPOKE to Moses (like the sound of a TRUMPET).
(2.) THE TRUMP OF GOD also appears in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with A SHOUT, with the voice of the archangel, and WITH THE TRUMP OF GOD: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be CAUGHT UP together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
In this place we also see the SHOUT OF JESUS coming simultaneously with the blast of A TRUMPET. I can imagine the sound of a shofar (the ram's horn trumpet) which is blended with THE VOICE of Jesus, which also SOUNDS like a TRUMPET--as we've seen in Revelation 1:10, and again in Revelation 4:1.
The long blast of a VOICE of a TRUMPET, combined with JESUS SHOUTING, also sounding "like a trumpet." We can get an idea of what we are so SOON to hear!
I'll end our look at the TRUMPET VOICE on that note. (No pun intended, LOL.)
Aren't you growing excited? I know I am!
Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus....