Revelation - Chapter 1
Revelation 1:9 – I, John, who also [am] your brother, and fellow-partner in the tribulation, and in the reign and endurance, of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, because of the word of God, and because of the testimony of Jesus Christ; (YLT)
In this verse, John tells us that he wrote Revelation while he was in exile on the island Patmos due to his testimony of Jesus. Where is Patmos? Patmos is a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea. It has an area of only 13 square miles. (see picture above) When did this happen? We look to history for the answer:
“After fifteen years of Domitan’s rule, Nerva succeeded to the throne. By vote of the Roman senate Domitian’s honours were removed, and those unjustly banished returned to their homes and had their property restored to them. This is noted by the chronicles of the period. At that time too the apostle John, after his exile on the island, resumed residence at Ephesus, as early Christian tradition records.” – Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History
This was written by Caesarea, who was bishop during the fourth century. According to this quote, John was exiled by the Roman Emperor Domitan. From history, we know that Domitan ruled from 81-96 A.D. Therefore, John had to be in exile some time within these 15 years. Most scholars claim it to be 95 A.D. This time frame makes the historicist view of Revelation the most likely.
The Lord’s Day
Revelation 1:10 – I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s-day, and I heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, (YLT)
When this verse mentions the “Lord’s Day,” what is it talking about? For the answer, look at this quote by Ignatius which I mentioned on my article on the Second Coming:
“On the day of the preparation [Friday], then at the third hour, He received the sentence from Pilate, the Father permitting that to happen; at the sixth hour He was crucified; at the ninth hour He gave up the ghost; and before sunset He was buried. During the Sabbath [Saturday], He continued under the earth in the tomb in which Joseph of Arimathea had laid Him. At the dawning of the Lord’s Day [Sunday] He arose from the dead, according to what was spoken by Himself, ‘As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so shall the Son of man also be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.’ The day of the preparation, then comprises the passion; the Sabbath embraces the burial; the Lord’s Day contains the resurrection.” – Ignatius, letter to the Trallians, chapter 9
Ignatius clearly uses the “Lord’s Day” to mean the day after the Sabbath, which is Sunday. It is not referring a one time event, but simply a day of the week. Remember that Ignatius was a disciple of John, therefore their word usage should be the same.
Do not confuse this with “The Day of the Lord” mentioned in Isaiah 13:6, Zephaniah 1:7, and 1 Thessalonians 5:2. This is referring to a prophetic set of dates in which God’s plan is fulfilled. Remember that God’s plan has phases, so the end of any phase can be called “The Day of the Lord.” This can mean anywhere from days to thousands of years as we see in Peter who quotes Psalms 90:
2 Peter 3:8 – And this one thing let not be unobserved by you, beloved, that one day with the Lord [is] as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day; (YLT)
We also know that seven is the number of completion and spiritual fulfillment as I mentioned in my article on Numbers. Also, a Jubilee cycle is 49 years or 7 times 7 years. So “The Day of the Lord” can mean anything from the end of seven days to seven thousand years.
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