The Lordly Day

While exiled on the Isle of Patmos, John came to be “in the Spirit” and found himself “in the Lordly Day” where he received visions about the seven congregations of Asia. Though his visions were concerning events that commenced in the first century, they also culminated in the final judgment, the “Day of the Lord” when the wicked will be punished and the righteous vindicated in the city of “New Jerusalem.”

Dawn - Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash
[Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash]

The Book’s opening vision centers on Jesus and his care for the Seven Assemblies which were under pressure from within and without since “The Tribulation” was underway and about to intensify. In the vision, Jesus is seen as the glorious “Son of Man” figure who walks among the churches, and the vision begins and ends with his concern for the saints of Asia.

  • (Revelation 1:9-10) – “I, John, your brother, and fellow-participant with you in the tribulation and kingdom and endurance in Jesus, was in the isle that is called Patmos for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I came to be in spirit on the lordly day.”

John calls himself a “fellow participant” in the “tribulation,” thereby aligning himself with the plight of the Seven Assemblies. The Greek noun sugkoinōnos denotes joint participation. It is related to the term commonly translated as “fellowship” elsewhere in the New Testament.

The single Greek article in the sentence or “the” modifies all three nouns, tribulation, kingdom, endurance. The three terms are grammatically linked, and each is part of the same whole. All three occur “in Jesus.”

The text refers not to just one among many “tribulations,” but to “the tribulation,” singular, and the Greek noun is quite definite. It is the same “Great Tribulation” from which John saw the “Innumerable Multitude” exiting to stand victorious before the “Lamb” – (Revelation 2:9-10, 7:9-17).

On Patmos, John “came to be in Spirit.” The verb rendered “came to be” or ginomai means “to become; to come to be.” It denotes a change of condition or state. The verb tense (aorist) indicates a past action seen in its entirety, a singular event that occurred at a specific point in time.

Two prepositional clauses are used with the single verb or “I came to be.” First, “in spirit,” which is the direct object of the verb; and second, “in the lordly day,” the indirect object. Both clauses have en or “in” in the locative case, and this indicates the place of action - John came to be “in spirit in the lordly day.”

The same image of John coming to be “in spirit” occurs three more times in the Book. Each time it signals the start of a new literary section with John found at a new vantage point: “on Patmos” (1:10), “in heaven” (4:1-2), “in the wilderness” (17:1-3), “on a high mountain” (21:10).


The English term “Lordly Day” translates the Greek noun Kyriakos. In the Greek New Testament, it occurs only here and in 1 Corinthians 11:20 (When, therefore, you come together into one place, it is not possible to eat the LORDLY supper”).

Lordly” or Kyriakos represents the Greek adjective that refers to something that pertains to one who is a lord, thus the sense, “lordly” (Strong’s - #G2960). The term is unusual in the New Testament, but its use with “day” points to the biblical concept of the “Day of the Lord,” the time when God acts decisively to judge His enemies and vindicate His people - (Isaiah 13:6, Joel 1:15, 2:31, Amos 5:18, Obadiah 15, Zephaniah 1:7, Malachi 4:5, 1 Corinthians 5:5, 1 Thessalonians 5:2).

Thus, “in the spirit,” John found himself projected into “the Day of the Lord.” This is demonstrated in several of his visions that culminate in a day of great finality and judgment.

For example, the opening of the “Sixth Seal” ushered in the “great day of wrath.” The emptying of the “Sixth Bowl of Wrath” produced the gathering of all nations to the final battle, the “Great Day of Almighty God.” When “Babylon” was judged, “in one day” she was annihilated, “for strong is the Lord God who judges her” – (Revelation 6:17, 16:14, 18:8).

Not coincidentally, the descriptions of the traumatic celestial and terrestrial events when the “Sixth Seal” was opened echoed Old Testament passages about the “Day of Yahweh” - (Joel 2:10, 2:30, Isaiah 2:17-21, 34:3-5).

At the heart of the Book of Revelation are three sevenfold series, the “Seven Seals,” “Seven Trumpets,” and the “Seven Bowls of Wrath.” Each series concludes with “flashes of lightning, loud noises, and claps of thunder,” and each culminates in a scene of judgment.

For example, the series of “Seven Seals” climaxes in the “Day of Wrath.” The “Seventh Trumpet” produces the judgment of the nations and the vindication of the righteous. The sixth and seventh “Bowls of Wrath” unleash the battle of Armageddon and the destruction of “Babylon, the Great City.” Each sevenfold series concludes at the same final point.

Revelation begins with the Seven Assemblies of Asia, but it does not end there. From the start, it has strong eschatological overtones. It concerns “things that must soon come to pass,” and, the “season is at hand.”

The “Last Days” began with the death and resurrection of Jesus, the “Faithful Witness” (his death), the “Firstborn of the Dead” (his resurrection), and the “Ruler of the Kings of the Earth” (his present reign).

The struggles of the marginalized congregations of Asia are a microcosm of the vast cosmic battle that is taking place behind historical events, namely, the war between the “Lamb” and the “Dragon” that plays out in the daily struggles of the saints.

This “war” will culminate in the final judgment on the “Day of the Lord,” the goal towards which Revelation moves relentlessly. For the wicked, that Day will end in the “Lake of Fire.” For the righteous, it will mean entry into the “city of New Jerusalem.”




Son of Destruction

Rosh Means Head