“In the Spirit”

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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About Rev. Paul L. Beisel

Graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN in 2001 (M Div.) and 2004 (S.T.M.); LC-MS Pastor and Adjunct Instructor for John Wood Community College; Husband of Amy and father of Susan, Elizabeth, Martin, and Theodore.
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5 Responses to “In the Spirit”

  1. Rev. Shane R. Cota says:

    And, indeed, where else would John see the veil between heaven and earth pulled aside so that he could witness the heavenly worship, but at the altar? “With angels and archangels, and all the company of heaven…”

  2. That would be a funky sight for the parishioner.

    We now pause the Gloria Patri for a revelation…. 🙂

  3. Mike Baker says:

    I’m sure some old cranky parishioner had a few pointed comments for John after the service. If he’s going to deviate from the way Patmos does things he needs to at least post that in the bulliten the week prior. 😛

  4. lDAY says:

    This is a great thought and seems to take any credibility to those who are stuck in charismatics.

  5. lDAY says:

    From those stuck in charismatics. I got in a hurry from a bolt of information that I had to comment on.

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