LORD’S DAY OR DAY OF THE LORD? (2)

Rev 1-10 bPMT 2014-074 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I am continuing a presentation and defense of the view that John’s “Lord’s day” in Rev 1:10 is referring to “the Day of the Lord.” If this is so, it fits perfectly with the redemptive-historical preterist understanding of Revelation as a drama presenting Christ’s judgment-coming against Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70.

I will pick up where I left off in the last article. There I presented and briefly rebutted the argument for Rev 1:10 pointing to the Lord’s Day (the weekly day of worship). Now we are ready to look at the positive evidence for it picturing the Day of the Lord, i.e., AD 70.

So then, what evidence supports te kuriake hemera (“the Lord’s day”) as signifying an eschatological “day of the Lord”? I will present six arguments supporting this view.

First, the tone of this judgment-oriented book well suits the concept. In both the OT and NT the day of the Lord is a day of judgment, wrath, destruction, and doom (Isa 13:6, 9; Eze 30:3; Joel 1:15; 2:1; Am 5:18–20; Zep 1:14; Mal 4:5). It may even be called “the day of the wrath of the Lord” (Eze 7:19). Thus, it is appropriate that in his opening vision we hear of this dreaded day by way of anticipation. Indeed, attached to this statement regarding “the Lord’s day” is the trumpet voice commanding John to “write in a book what you see” (1:10b–11), which includes “all that he saw” (1:2). This means that the whole of Rev is impacted by this experience, not just the one vision following (1:12–20). And the remainder of Rev certainly presents numerous eschatological judgments.


Charismatic Gift of Prophecy
(by Ken Gentry)
A rebuttal to charismatic arguments for the gift of prophecy continuing in the church today.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


Second, in fact, the day of the Lord expressly appears in Rev. In 6:17 terrified men cower before the one who sits on the throne and before the Lamb, crying out: “the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”(6:17). (This fear of standing before the Lord also fits the eschatological day; cf. Eze 13:5; Joel 2:11; Mal 3:2). In 16:14 demons gather the world’s kings “for the war of the great day of God.” Commentators agree that these two passages speak of that eschatological day of the Lord (e.g., Beale; Smalley Osborne).

Interestingly, neither of these obvious references to the day of the Lord uses the common phraseology, hemera kuriou (see: Isa 13:6, 9; Eze 13:5; 30:3; Joel 1:15; 2:1, 31; Am 5:18; Ob 1:15; Zep 1:14; Mal 4:5; Ac 2:20; 1Th 5:2; 2Pe 3:10; cp. hemera tou kuriou, Am 5:20; Zep 1:7; 1Co 5:5; 2Th 2:2). So why may John not use different terminology in 1:10?

In fact, in Scripture the “day of the Lord” appears under a wide variety of expressions other than this leading phrasing. It is called: “the day of His burning anger” (Isa 13:13; cp. Lam 2:1; Zep 2:2, 3), “a day of panic” (Isa 22:5), “that day” (Isa 22:25; 24:21; 27:1; Jer 4:9; 30:8; Hos 2:21; Am 8:9; Ob 8; Mic 5:10; Zec 14:13), “a day of vengeance” (Isa 34:8; 61:2; Jer 46:10), “the day that is coming” (Jer 47:4), “the day of the wrath of the Lord” (Eze 7:19), “the day” (Eze 30:2, 3), “a unique day” (Zec 14:7), “the great and terrible day of the Lord” (Mal 4:5), and so forth.

Even the NT itself refers to it by different expressions, sometimes in the statements or writings by the same person: “his day” (Lk 17:24), “the day” (Lk 17:30; Ro 13:12), “that day” (Lk 10:12; 17:31; 21:34), “the great and glorious day of the Lord” (Ac 2:20), “the day of wrath and revelation” (Ro 2:5), “the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1Co 1:8), “the day of our Lord Jesus” (2Co 1:14), “the day of Jesus Christ” (Php 1:6), “the day of Christ” (Php 1:10), “the great day” (Jude 6), and so forth.

In Ac 2 Peter quotes Joel 2:31, applying “the day of the Lord” (hemeran kuriou ten megalen) in terms perfectly compatible with the fuller expressions in Rev. Peter’s “day of the Lord” upon Jerusalem points to Rev’s day: “I will grant wonders in the sky above, and signs on the earth beneath, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and glorious day of the lord shall come” (Ac 2:19–20). Rev bursts with such destruction imagery: “blood,” “fire,” and “smoke,” as well as a darkened sun (6:12; 8:12; 9:2), and a bloody moon (6:12). Interestingly, Peter points to the tongues-speaking (Ac 2:16, cp. vv 2–15) of Pentecost as a sign of the approaching “day of the Lord” (Ac 2:16–17, 20–21). As such, tongues were a sign to non-believing Jews regarding the day of the Lord against them in the first century (cp. 1Co 14:22; cp. Dt 28:49; Isa. 28:11; 33:19; Jer. 5:15).


Tongues-Speaking: Meaning, Purpose, and Cessation
(Book) by Ken Gentry

A careful study of the biblical material defining the gift of tongues.
Shows they were known languages that served to endorse the apostolic witness
and point to the coming destruction of Jerusalem, after which they ceased.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


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