- 1 The Lord’s Day
- 2 The Lord’s Day in Daniel
- 3 Christ as the Word
- 4 The Manifestations of the Spirit of Christ
- 5 The Lord’s Day as Sunday
The Lord’s Day
The meaning of the Lord’s Day is in the statement, “I am the First and the Last.”
Here, Christ, as the Word, spoke for the invisible God, as He did in the Old Testament.
God is “the First and the Last.” God was the Lord in the Old Testament, and He will be the Lord again, on the LORD’s Day.
For this reason, John called the Day of the Lord, “the Lord’s Day.” It is the Day when God becomes the Lord again. When the Apostles used the expression “day of the Lord” in the New Testament they were speaking of the Day of Christ’s return, because Christ was made the Lord in the New Testament.
In the Old Testament, the expression “Day of the LORD,” signified the Day of destruction. It can refer to the Day of Christ, or the Day of God. The expression “LORD” in our Bibles is only a substitution for the Hebrew Name Yihvah, “He WILL BE,” which was the shared name of Christ and God in the Old Testament.
The invisible God was the He WILL BE of whom Zechariah said, “that Day is a unique Day, known only to He WILL BE” (Zechariah 14:7). And Christ was the He WILL BE of whom Zechariah said, “He will go forth and fight against the nations . . . His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives” (Zechariah 14:4). Therefore, in Revelation 9, the Apostle John called the Day of the Lord, “the Great Day of their wrath.”
Paul and Peter called the “Day of the Lord’ – “the Day of Christ,” and “the Day of our Lord Jesus.”
When speaking of the Father, Peter called it, “the Day of God” (2Peter 3:12).
John used the expression “Lord’s Day” to differentiate the Day of God, from the Day of the Christ, which the Apostles called “the Day of the Lord.”
The Lord’s Day in Daniel
Coming to the Ancient of Days
Daniel had two visions of the Lord’s Day, and both were repeated in Revelation Chapter 1. From these visions, we understand that “the Lord’s Day” is the Day of Christ’s return, when Christ gives the kingdom to God.
Daniel’s first vision was of the Son of man coming to the Ancient of Days.
Daniel said that he was watching in the night visions,
And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven!
He came to the Ancient of Days,
And they brought Him near before Him,
Then to Him was given dominion and glory ….
His kingdom shall never be destroyed
Here, Daniel described the Lord’s Day, as the Day when Christ hands over the Kingdom to God. This is the scene that we find in Revelation 1,
Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him.
This vision of Daniel was explained by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:24,
Then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to God, the Father.
In Revelation 11:15-17, John also explained the Lord’s Day, as the Day when Christ hands over the kingdom to God.
The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and His Christ – We give you thanks O Lord, God, the Almighty, who were and who are, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign.
Here, again, God was called the Almighty, as He was in Chapter One. In the Book of Exodus, after Christ told Moses that He only appeared to him as “God Almighty,” the expression, “Almighty” was never used again. But it is used on this Day, when the Almighty God takes back His power, and He begins to reign.
The Glorious Man and the Kings of the North
In Daniel 10:5-6, we find Daniel’s second vision of Christ in the Lord’s Day.
In his first vision, the Son of Man handed over the kingdom to God. In the second vision, the Angel Michael, “WHO IS LIKE GOD” stands up on the last Day.
I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz! His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude.
The meaning of Daniel’s vision was explained by an Angel as “what will happen to your people in the latter days” (Daniel 10:14).
Three kings would yet stand up in Persia, and the fourth shall be far richer. His riches, would stir up all the realm of Greece, and a mighty King would arise, who was Alexander the Great. From verses 4 to 30, the Angel went on to describe all the Kings of the North, of the Seleucid Empire, from 320 to 163 BC. From verses 31-35, the Angel described the Antichrist. In verses 36 to 39, he described the beast in 2 Thessalonians and Revelation 13. And finally in verse 40, he described “the King of the North in the time of the end,” and the final attack of the King of the North on Israel.
In the next Chapter, comes the explanation of the vision. In the Lord’s Day, the Angel Michael, WHO IS LIKE GOD, “shall stand up . . . and many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake” (Daniel 12:2).
The vision of Christ in Daniel 10:5-6 is the same vision that John saw in the Lord’s Day in Revelation Chapter 1, verses 13 to 16. It is the vision of Christ on the Lord’s Day.
Christ as the Word
Revelation 1 explains Christ as the Word. Christ as the Spirit, or Angel of God, becomes the speaker and image of the invisible God, as He was in the Old Testament when He appeared “as God” to Abraham.
The expression “Almighty” appears in verse 8, for the first time since it was used in Exodus 6:3, when Christ said to Moses, “I, YHVH (He Will BE), appeared to Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My Name, YHVH (He WILL BE), I was not known to them.”
After Exodus 6:3, the name “Almighty” was never used to describe the God of Israel, because God Almighty made “The Angel of YHVH” – Jacob’s God, in Genesis 35:1. The Angel of God was not God Almighty, and so this Name would never be used for Him.
In Revelation 1:8, God introduced Himself as the “the Alpha and the Omega,” “who is, who was, and who is to come,” the eternal God, who existed before Christ.
But who is speaking these words? Of course, it is Christ as “the Word.” He speaks for the invisible God, just as He did in the Old Testament. We can see this again in verse 17, where Christ says “I am the First and the Last.”
This brings us back to Isaiah where Jesus Christ was identified as the Word, the speaker for the invisible God,
Thus says YHVH, He WILL BE, the King of Israel,
And its Redeemer, He WILL Be of the Armies
I am the first and the last;
Besides Me there is no God
The King of the Jews was the name that Pilate put above the cross, and so Jesus told the Jews, “when you lift up the Son of Man, you will know that I AM” (John 8:28).
The Manifestations of the Spirit of Christ
A key theme of the Book of Revelation is the image of the beast, the false image of a three-person god: a lion, a leopard, and a bear (Revelation 13:2,14-15).
The first Chapter of Revelation begins by explaining the identity of Christ, and the relationship between Christ and God.
• In verses 13 to 16, the Spirit of Christ, called “the Angel” in verse 1, appears as “as one like the Son of Man.”
• He appears as “the image of the invisible God,” the Ancient of Days, with “head and hair as white as wool,” as we saw Daniel 7:9.
• He appears as the Body of Christ, the Rider on the White Horse, with “eyes a flame of fire” and “a sharp two-edged sword” from His mouth.
• And He appears as the Archangel, “with a golden sash around His chest,” like the Angels we see in Chapter 15.
The Spirit of Christ also speaks from these many manifestations.
• He speaks as the Son of man, saying “I was dead and behold I am alive forever.”
• He speaks as the Word, the image of the invisible God, saying “I am the first and the last.”
• He speaks as the Body of Christ, with “the sound of many waters.”
• And He speaks as the Archangel, “with the seven stars in His hand.”
The Apostle John’s explanation of Christ continues throughout the Book of Revelation. In Chapter Three, John called Christ, “the beginning of the creation of God.” And in Chapters 19, and 22, he tells us that in the Lord’s Day, we will no longer worship Christ, because He will no longer be our Lord. In Revelation 19:10, and 22:9, Christ says to John, “Worship God! I am your brother.”
The Lord’s Day as Sunday
The Apostles could not have created the Lord’s Day
We know that the Lord’s Day in Revelation 1:10 is the Day of Christ’s return. In verse 7, and verses 13 to 16, John saw the two visions of Christ on the Lord’s Day, that were seen by Daniel. John used the expression “Lord’s Day,” to distinguish the Day of Christ from the Day of God. Christ was made the Lord in the New Testament, and so the Apostles called the Day of Christ, the Day of the Lord.
But many who believe that the Lord’s Day was a day of weekly observance created by the Apostles.
They cite the fact that the Church came together to break bread on Saturday night in Acts 20:7. They also cite 1 Corinthians 16:2, where Paul instructed the believers to set aside their offerings on the first day of the week.
But, in fact, the early Church met daily to break bread, and the setting aside of offerings on the first day of the week was a practice from the Old Testament.
The Apostles could not possibly have created a religious day for worship.
Jesus told us that the Father is seeking true worshipers, who will worship Him in Spirit and truth, “neither in Jerusalem, nor on this mountain” (John 4:21-24). Not according to a time or place, which Paul called, worship according to “the elementary principles of this world.”
Paul asked the Galatians,
how is it that you have come to know God … but return to the weak and worthless elemental things? …you observe days, and months, and seasons and years. I fear for you that perhaps I labored for you in vain.
Paul admonished them not to observe religious days with the Jews, saying, “if anyone bring you another Gospel let him be eternally condemned.” And Jesus Himself called those who say that they are Jews, and are not, “a synagogue of Satan” (Revelation 2:9; 3:9).
False Translations of the Lord’s Day
Defending Sunday worship, A.T. Lincoln wrote, “Of the New Testament texts it is only Revelation 1:10 with its designation of the first day of the week as the Lord’s Day that can indicate the theological significance that was attached to this day.”1
A.T. Lincoln has assumed “the Lord’s Day” in Revelation 1:10 is speaking of a weekday, and not the Day of Christ’s return.
The Greek text tells us that John was “in the Lord’s Day,” not “on the Lord’s Day. Of course, A.T. Lincoln knows this, but many other false translations have been made of early writings that lead us to believe that “the Lord’s Day” referred to a weekday in the early Church. In the 16th Century, Ussher translated “Lord’s life” in Ignatius letter to the Magnesians, as “Lord’s Day.” Others replaced “Lord’s Word” with “Lord’s Day,” and “Lord’s Holy Day” with “Lord’s Day” in Eusebius’ Church history. And in 1912, Kirsopp Lake added “Lord’s Day” to the Didache where the Greek inferred “Lord’s commandment.”
Besides these false translations, there are many manuscripts falsely attributed to Bishops and Apostles that describe the “Lord’s Day” as a weekday. But all these were written, or rewritten in the Fourth Century, or later.
Once we remove all these fraudulent writings, the truth of the “Lord’s Day” is easy to see. The expression “the Lord’s Day” did not describe Sunday until the Fourth Century.
In fact, some used the expression “Lord’s Day” to describe the Sabbath Day, “the Lord’s Holy Day.”
But at the end of the Second Century the Churches of Egypt and North Africa began to call their annual celebration of the resurrection “the Lord’s Day,” to remember the saints who will rise again. Many even believed that Christ would return on Easter Sunday, during the annual Lord’s Day celebration.
It wasn’t until 325, that the Church at Rome made every Sunday a celebration of the resurrection of the saints.
The Annual Celebration of the Lord’s Day
At the end of the Second Century, the Churches of Egypt and North Africa called the annual celebration of the resurrection of the saints, “the Lord’s Day.” It seems that this practice began after the Quartodeciman controversy.
In 193, the Bishop of Rome exalted himself as high as Christ, and cast truth to the ground, by writing letters of excommunication to the Churches of Asia because they did not accept his doctrine of Easter Sunday.
In this debate, Polycrates stated that he could only follow the tradition of remembering the Passover on the 14th of the month,
We observe the exact day; neither adding, nor taking away. For in Asia also great lights have fallen asleep, which shall rise again on the day of the Lord’s coming . . .
The Churches of Asia did not actually celebrate the resurrection, they remembered the Passover. But the annual resurrection celebration in Alexandria and North Africa, became as Polycrates described, a celebration of the saints who will rise on the Lord’s Day. Tertullian said it was the anniversary of the birthdays of those who will resurrect. He wrote,
As often as the anniversary comes round, we make offerings for the dead as birthday honours2
In the Third Century, the expression “Lord’s Day” was used in no context other than the Easter celebration. Origen listed the Days of the resurrection season, as the Lord’s day, the Preparation, the Passover, and the Pentecost. Origen, and Tertullian compared the significance of the Lord’s Day to the Day of Pentecost.
But by the Fourth Century, Churches all throughout the world were calling the annual celebration of the resurrection, “the Lord’s Day.”
In 324 A.D., one year before Rome called every Sunday “the Lord’s Day,” Eusebius, the Bishop of the Emperor, said the Lord’s Days were the time to celebrate “rites like ours in commemoration of the Saviour’s resurrection.” Of course, these were not rites that were performed on a weekly basis.
Jesus rose on Saturday
There are many who believe that Sunday is the Day to remember the resurrection of our Lord.
But in the 19th Century, we discovered a writing that absolutely clarified the Day of His resurrection. He rose on Saturday.
The Gospel of Matthew says,
after the Sabbath, as it began to “shine on” (ἐπιφωσκούσῃ) toward the next day of the week, Mary Magdelene and the other Mary came to look at the grave, and behold there was a great earthquake, for the Angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone.
Jewish days end at sunset. This is when a new day “dawns.” The sunset in Matthew is described by an obscure Greek word, epiphóskó (ἐπιφώσκω) “shine on.” This word is only otherwise used in our Bibles in Luke 23:54, to describe the evening when Jesus died, “it was the preparation day, and the Sabbath was (ἐπέφωσκεν) ‘shining on’ about to begin.” In the late 19th Century, we discovered a copy of the so-called Gospel of Peter, originally written in the second century. It used the same same word (ἐπέφωσκεν) ‘shining on,’ to clearly describe the sundown when Jesus was buried, and rose again.
The Gospel of Mark tells us that the two Marys went to the tomb, while it was “very early (“πρωῒ)” (Mark 16:2). Early is described by the Greek word prói (“πρωῒ), and is used in John 20:1, “Mary and Martha went to the tomb, (“πρωί), early, while it was still dark, and they saw the stone already taken away from the tomb.”
To summarize the Gospels: at sundown on Saturday evening, the two Marys went to the tomb when the stone was rolled away, and Jesus had risen. Mark said that this was “very early,” on the first day of the week. Later, while it was still “early,” still dark, Mary and Martha went to the tomb. And finally “at dawn,” (ὄρθρου) “the women who had come with Him out of Galilee” went to the tomb, as described in Luke 24:1.
The True History of Sunday
Today, those who support the idea that Sunday was observed by the early Church assume that the phrase “Lord’s Day” described a weekday in the early Church, and they assume that the early Christians met on that day for a special service.
But in fact, the phrase “Lord’s Day” as a weekday is only found in false translations, and false writings attributed to early Christians.
There is no evidence that the early Church met on Sundays.
Socrates Scholasticus, in his fifth Century Church History, said that ALL churches in the world observed communion on the Sabbath day, “yet the Christians of Alexandria and at Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, have ceased to do this.”1 According to Socrates, even the Churches of Alexandria and Rome originally observed communion on the Sabbath day.
In the Second Century, the Church at Alexandria, and some other Egyptian churches, observed communion on Saturday night as described in the so-called Epistle of Barnabas.
The “ancient tradition” of Sunday communion in Rome began after Justin Martyr told that Emperor that ALL Christians in cities and in the country, observed the Lord’s supper on Sunday.
In 150 AD, Justin Martyr was living in Rome and wrote to the Emperor, saying,
Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead.
First Apology, Chapter 67
But NONE of Justin’s statements were true. ALL Churches did not meet on Sunday for communion. Jesus did not rise on Sunday. And it was not the first day in which God made the world. These were ALL events of Saturday.
It seems that Justin Martyr simply equated the Jewish first day of the week to the Roman day of Sunday, for the Emperor’s sake.
The Image and Mark of the Beast
Both the mark of the beast, Sunday rest, and the image of the beast, the Trinity doctrine, had their beginnings in a letter written by Justin Martyr to the Roman Emperor, in the year 150.
Because of his letter, these two errors were proclaimed to be doctrines of the Church.
In his First Apology, Justin Martyr carelessly equated the First Day of the week on the Jewish calendar, and the events of Saturday evening to Sunday, and he told the Emperor that the Holy Spirit was “the Spirit of Prophecy” that was born on the waters in Genesis 1:2.
In about 229, Origen of Alexandria said Justin Martyr’s theory about the Holy Spirit was the official doctrine of the Church,
In his Commentaries on John, Origen wrote,
all things were produced through the Word, and that the Holy Spirit is the most excellent and the first in order of all that was produced by the Father through Christ3
And in his Homilies, he said,
On Sunday none of the actions of the world should be done.4
In 321, Sunday was declared as a day of rest by Emperor Constantine, and in 381, the Trinity doctrine became the official doctrine of the Catholic Church.
The image and mark of the beast are two significant themes of the Book of Revelation.
Both of these false teachings are refuted in the first Chapter of Revelation. The meaning of the Lord’s Day in Revelation 1:10, is not Sunday, as the Church later claimed. And the many manifestations of the Spirit of Christ, in verses 13 to 16, explain the true relationship of Christ and God in the Bible. Christ was the Word, the firstborn spirit, who John called “the Beginning of the creation of God,” in Revelation 3:14.