John was on the Island of Patmos when he received his revelation from the Lord Jesus Christ. More specifically, he was “in the Spirit” on the “Lord’s Day.” What does this mean? I recall someone during my seminary days saying that this indicated that John’s revelation was given in the context of the Divine Service, and I have always pictured John as standing among the congregation when this happened. I think, however, it may have been the case that John was actually the Celebrant. He was not standing in the congregation but at the altar. He was “in the Spirit,” which is to say, he was discharging his duties as a Minister of the Gospel. Here is my reason for thinking this way. I came across the same phrase in the Gospel for Christmas 1 (One Year Series). Simeon came “in the Spirit” into the Temple (Luke 2:27), writes Luke, and then blesses the child Jesus. Wasn’t Simeon also coming into the Temple to discharge an office? Obviously, if I am wrong about Luke 2, then I am probably wrong about Revelation 1. This phrase just jumped out at me and I thought that it sounded like a way of speaking about the discharge of an office. John was “in the Spirit” on the Lord’s Day. Simeon came into the Temple “in the Spirit” and acted as priest to Mary and Joseph and the Child.
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