The Setting of the Revelation
The End Times
In my last post, we continued our verse-by-verse study of The Revelation of Yeshua the Messiah to Yochanan. In this post, we continue to unpack Chapter 1 of Revelation.
“9 I, Yochanan, am a brother of yours and a fellow-sharer in the suffering, kingship and perseverance that come from being united with Yeshua. I had been exiled to the island called Patmos for having proclaimed the message of God and borne witness to Yeshua. 10 I came to be, in the Spirit, on the Day of the Lord; and I heard behind me a loud voice, like a trumpet, 11 saying, “Write down what you see on a scroll, and send it to the seven Messianic communities — Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea!” ~ Revelation 1:9-11 (CJB)
The island called Patmos was a small rocky island in the Aegean Sea, about 50 miles offshore from the city of Ephesus on the Asia Minor seacoast. The Roman fortress on the island of Patmos housed prisoners and exiles. Patmos was in a group of islands that protected the thriving seaport of Miletus. The Christian church was facing severe persecution. Almost all Believers were socially, politically, or economically suffering because of this empire-wide persecution, and some were even being killed for their faith. Yochanan was exiled to Patmos because he refused to stop preaching the Good News.
(Photos courtesy of Google Images)
With respect to verse 10, there is a real difference in many English translations on the phraseology of the Greek. Because of my intended audience, I use the Complete Jewish Bible as my translation. Here is what Stern says about his phraseology.
I came to be, in the Spirit. Alternative understandings:
- Yochanan’s body remained where it was, but in his spirit, he saw visions;
- The Ruach came over him, with the result that he saw visions; or,
- The Ruach caused him to be physically present. Compare: “Then a spirit lifted me up and brought me to the east gate of Adonai’s house, the gate that faces eastward.” ~ Ezekiel 11:1a (CJB)“When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away. The eunuch saw no more of him, because he continued on his way — full of joy. But Philip showed up at Ashdod and continued proclaiming the Good News as he went through all the towns until he came to Caesarea.” ~ Acts 8:39-40 (CJB)
“I know a man in union with the Messiah who fourteen years ago was snatched up to the third heaven; whether he was in the body or outside the body I don’t know, God knows.” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:2 (CJB)
On the Day of the Lord. If this is what Greek “en tê kuriakê êmera” means, as I (Stern) believe it does, Yochanan is reporting the unique experience of having seen God’s final Judgment. I think my translation is supported by the context, since the whole book of Revelation is about the Last Judgment, which over and over in the Tanakh is called in Hebrew “yom-YHVH” (“the Day of Adonai,” “the Day of the Lord”). On the other hand, Ignatius, who claimed to be a disciple of the emissary Yochanan, wrote letters only two decades or so after Revelation was written, in which he uses the Greek “kuriakê” to mean Sunday – as does modern Greek. This only shows how quickly the Jewish roots of the New Testament were forgotten or ignored.
If it means “on the Lord’s Day,” that is, Sunday, the day on which Yeshua was resurrected – and this is the majority understanding – then Yochanan is mentioning a relatively minor detail, the day of the week on which his visions took place. According to the NLT Study Bible, “the Lord’s Day” was used in the Roman world to refer to celebrations in honor of Caesar, but Messianics used it to refer to their weekly worship, celebrating Yeshua’s resurrection. The earliest Believers worshiped in Jewish synagogues on the Sabbath, the last day of the week (Acts 18:4), but by the time of Revelation, they were excluded from synagogues and gathered on the day that commemorated the resurrection, the first day of the week.
Special Comparative Note on Revelation 1:10 
Some Futurist commentators support Stern’s translation as implying that the Ruach carried Yochanan into the future so he could observe the actual “day of the Lord,” i.e. the Second Coming and its precipitating events at the end of the age. The majority of expositors, including most Futurists, however take in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day to be a reference to Yochanan’s state of mind on the first day of the week.
In my next post, we continue in Chapter 1 on the verse-by-verse study of this fascinating prophesy.
 Material in this chart is taken from “Revelation: Four Views, Revised & Updated” by Steve Gregg