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Monday: On the Lord’s Day — 18 Comments

  1. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, Rev 1:10

    Within the readership of this blog, most of us accept the reference to the “Lord’s Day” is referring to the Sabbath Day. I believe that to be true. However, sometimes, when an issue such as this is close to our heart, we are overly defensive of our position. It reminds me of a line spoken by Queen Gurtrude in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “The lady doeth protest too much, methinks!”

    It is possible that we create an impression in our non-Adventist listeners that we have a weak case because we defend it so much.

    One way of looking at this verse is to think of this verse as a tile in the mosaic of Sabbath references found in the Bible. In that perspective, it is a useful and supportive text. (And if we are arguing the case for the Sabbath, we should remember that the best argument is to love and value the gift of the Sabbath to show that it is meaningful to us - not just Sunday church shifted to Saturday)

    Having posted that caveat, we should appreciate the example set by John. "Being in the Spirit on the Lord's day" captures the idea of what God wants to do with us if we would let him. I wonder if "running church" is somehow taking away from "being in the Spirit on the Lord's day"

    • I fully agree with you on that. I think that making a case out of “was it a seventh day Sabbath or not” would have sense only if visions would occur exclusively on Sabbaths, but it as we know it they appear to happen on every day of the week.

  2. "On the Lord's Day" is most definitely the Sabbath; while that is so, it is the "in the Spirit" moment that we may need to explore. John had put the world aside and even shade off his excruciating experience for a moment of walking in the Spirit, - deep inside. Was he in deep meditation and why? John denied his self, the pain and suffering to worship and glorify "He that created the heavens and the earth; and He that redeemed us" - he spared no time for himself and had no time for self pity. Well! He then was ripe for a special kind of "divine sermon", the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

    "....that they may know that I AM the Lord who sanctified (purified and made Holy) them (Ezekiel 20:12).

    Keeping the Sabbath is not just switching off from work and activity, it is a process of recognition and surrender to God, through profession of love to Him and His creation (appreciating that He created us all); of Jesus and His Redemptive gift to man; of the Holy Spirit and His Gift of giving.

    Alone and In Spirit, John kept the Sabbath, and received his teaching and learnt. We at times spend a lot of our time comparing ourselves with those who are "Sunday keepers" or those who are not observing the standards that we have kept in the Sabbath. At that time we may be deemed as trying to vindicate ourselves by comparison. Observe the actions of the Pharisees, and you will find them taking all their time during the Sabbath to measure if Jesus would break the Sabbath; ask yourself then were they (The Pharisees) worshipping "on the Lord's Day" or were they "policing" the Sabbath?

    A brief text from John 7: 21-24 NIV:

    {Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all amazed. Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath. Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath? Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”}

    Then let's ask ourself then, are we resting, setting aside and worshipping "on the Lord's Day" or are we "policing" the Sabbath? We might be missing out on a special "divine sermon" as we are looking at the Sabbath from a defective perspective. The "Lord's Day", should be Christ-centered for us to attract its benefit. Ironically, there is something to learn from the life of Pharisees, when we just look at the lonely John in the rocky island of Patmos.

    • Thankyou Stanley for your fresh look at the Sabbath and worshipping our Creator and Saviour under circumstsnces beyond our control. As a nightduty midwife there are many times where I'm needed to work over Friday night. I always leave work drained and stressed due to the fact that it doesn't feel like Sabbath with TV's on and the talk around me often unchrist like. I now have a new attitude to worshipping God deeply when I next work a Friday night praising Him for the circumstanses that bring me closer to Him inspite of the world around me like John on Patmos though no where near the harsh circumstances he was living under. Praise God!

  3. All the days are numbered one to six but the seventh day is called the Sabbath.
    When we say Sabbath all believers and unbelievers alike know we are referring to the seventh day.
    Lord's day is distinguished from all other days of the week.
    Only the seventh day in creation is separated from all other days.
    It was a day blessed by God
    It was a day made holy or set apart from all other days by God himself
    It was a day when God rested from his work.
    This day belongs to Lord.

  4. I believe this is a allusion to the sanctuary and the covenant in Ex 29:42-45 where Yahweh says at the door of the tavernacle I will meet and talk to Israel and the tabernacle will be sanctified by My glory and goes on to repeat the Everlasting Covenant, I, Yahweh, will be your God, and you, Israel, will be My people and I will dwell with you. Remember God said let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them. This thought ties in with the sanctuary introductions to each vision, after all where would God's people be on Sabbath but at His Sanctuary.

  5. John was a prisoner on the island and his time was not his own. He was forced to labour under the whip of Roman guards seven days a week. So the question in my mind is this: "How did this book get written?" The iconic picture in this post gives the impression of a vacation retreat, which Patmos was not.

    • Richard,

      I am sure John would have rather died than worked on the Sabbath day. By being in the Spirit on the Lord's day, I take that to mean the Sabbath. See Mark 2:27-28. Paul did a lot of writing from prison as well as others. John did too apparently.

  6. Oh that we would appreciate the joys that come from true sabbath keeping!! As we take a pause from all our labor, we go to our maker with thanksgiving for the labor, friends, family, wealth, and many other things He has done for us, our hearts will be filled with the spirit and we shall discern God's messages as we have never had before.

  7. The Protestant Sunday keeping have two main texts they rely on for Sunday as Sabbath for worship. The first is Revelation 1:10 and the 2nd is Acts 20:7 where the disciples are breaking bread on the first day of the week. Likely a Saturday evening gathering but I digress. The two themes they use as the reason for the change to Sunday are of course resurrection Sunday and secondly they use the Old and the New covenant argument which gives them license for morphing Sabbath from Saturday ( Day 7 ) to Sunday the first day of the week. Then they go on to argue that the day is not as important as setting aside A Day, any day. The strongest argument we have is a simple one. What was Christ doing after He completed a His work of salvation. Resting, on the Sabbath day in the tomb. He got up and went back to work on our behalf on Sunday the first day of the week. I rest my case.

    • Anti-sabbatarian preachers will say that the only decalogue commandment not repeated in the new testament is the sabbath. I counter by saying that the Sabbath gets more exposure in the 4 gospels than all the other 9 put together. Also...notice that the apostle Paul allowed almost a whole city of gentiles to attend his follow up sermon from ACTS 13:42 on a Sabbath, when he could have invited them to come sooner. Using Gal 2:14 where Paul publically chews out Peter for compelling gentiles to live as Jews...Paul seemed to be inconsistent if he was a compelling gentiles, in ACTS 13:44, to live as Jews. Many pastors corrupt the use Paul's writings as their foundation for doctrine instead of Jesus.

  8. i like the comment on policing the sabbath! sure lets take the joy it brings when our minds are resting from wordly problems. a time when we pour our hearts to reap his promises and committing to waiting so that he finds us ready. We are going to heaven because he paid it all he wants you and me back home from this exile! Thank you Jesus

    • He paid it all/death on cross, ALONE is not sufficient to save, though essential/necessary. The essence of the gospel is restoration. Restoration involves a person cooperating with the Holy Spirit & grace to be transformed to an individual who is fit for eternal life and who can associate/get along with other transformed individuals.

  9. In the gospels the seventh day is always referred to as the Sabbath thus I always wonder why John said he was in the spirit on the Lord's day.Why did he not say "I was in the spirit on the Sabbath day". I am a Sabbath keeper because I do not see anywhere that the commandment was changed but still I am puzzled about John's description.

  10. Although I'm not refuting that John could have received this vision on the sabbath, The phrase "Lord's day" to me seems to coincide with the OT 'Day of the Lord' which is something close to judgment day or the second coming of Christ. Vs 7 deals with the 2nd coming which could be the immediate context. Our historical interpretation of "The Lord's day" as the sabbath could have been necessitated to counter the popular belief that the Lords day is Sunday. John the beloved has used the word sabbath about 10 times in the gospel, it begs the question why he didn't use the same in Revelation but the cryptic 'Lord's day' if he meant sabbath. It's agreed the language in book of Revelation is largely borrowed from the old Testament. The day of the Lord in OT is a reccuring theme that is understood judgment. The verse may be understood in (John being transported in spirit to the future to behold the events of the second coming).
    I think Dr Ranko is trying to unite the two understandings! The historical adventist understanding and the exegetical!

  11. I am a Sabbath keeper. But this text puzzles me. The history of the meaning is that after Jesus resurrection they start assembling on the 1st day of the week calling it the day of the Lord because Jesus was resurrected on that day. They did not call it the Sabbath. Because of that it was later in 307 AD change to a Rest day


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