Revelation Explained

This site contains my personal views on Revelation. I will be teaching through the book verse by verse. My teachings will be from a conservative evangelical background.

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Thursday, September 08, 2005

Opening Vision: Where, When, ...

"I John, . . . was in the isle called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, 'I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last:' and, 'What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.' " (Revelation 1:9b-11 - King James Version)

In the last post, I wrote about how this passage is the first vision in the Book of Revelation. John describes this vision carefully. John answers the questions that most good newspaper stories should answer. He answers who, where, when, what was said, what was seen, and what was the result. We have already considered who saw this vision: the Apostle John. In this post, we will examine where, when and what was said.

The last part of verse nine tells us where John was when he saw this vision. He was on Patmos. The island of Patmos has been described as lonely, barren, desolate, uninhabited and seldom visited. In New Testament times, it had a small population of prisoners who had been banished there. They were forced to work in small mines on the island.

The island is less than forty square kilometers. It is just off the cost of modern Turkey. Today, it has a small population, and is a popular tourist destination. If you want more information about the island or to view some pictures, visit the island's web site at

It is generally accepted that the Apostle John had been banished there by the Emperor Domitian about 94 AD. Even though he was over eighty years of age, he was likely forced to do hard labor in the mines of Patmos.

According to his own statement, John was banished because he preached the Word of God and proclaimed the divinity of Christ. This was a time of increasing persecution because Christian refused to worship the Emperor.

John in verse ten explains both when the vision occurred and how it began. This is the only place in the New Testament where the term “the Lord's day” is used. The most acceptable interpretation of this is that it is a reference to Sunday which among the early churches became the normal day of worship. Early Christian writings show a clear distinction between the Jewish Sabbath on Saturday, and the Lord's day on Sunday.

So on Sunday, John, although isolated, exiled and without Christian fellowship, worshiped the Lord. As he enjoyed his personal time of worship, suddenly a voice as a loud as a trumpet spoke from behind him.

The person speaking refers to Himself as being the Alpha and Omega. John already used Alpha and Omega in verse eight as a divine title. The voice announces itself as being divine. God was speaking to John.

John wrote Revelation under direct orders from God. He was to write down the visions that he saw and send the resulting book to the seven churches listed. In chapters two and three, we will learn more details about these seven churches.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

but isnt the lords day sat aka the 7th day the day he santified and hollowed at the begining of creation in genesis to be a rest day aka the sabbath day

3:20 AM  
Blogger David Frank Wilson said...

The 7th day, Saturday, is the Sabbath. This is the day that God rested. However, it is not clear that John was referring to the Sabbath when he states that his vision occurred on "the Lord's Day." Many commentaries believe that this is Sunday. From church history, we know that Christians began worshipping on Sunday at an early time.
I do not think this is an important issue. What is important is not whether we worship on Saturday or Sunday, but that we worship in Spirit and in Truth.
If you think John was worshipping on Saturday goood. If you think John was worshipping on Sunday good. Now, read the rest of the book.

8:36 PM  

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