The Lord's Day
Revelation 1:10 reads:
- I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet...
William Branham initially believed the reference to the Lord's Day to be a reference to Sunday, the first day of the week. But when he preached the sermon series on the Seven Churches, he changed his view. Was this a revelation from God or was this simply another case of stealing a "revelation" from Clarence Larkin?
We know William Branham took much of the church age sermon series from Clarence Larkin. Here is what Larkin said on the subject of the "Lord's Day":
- The Messages to the Seven Churches, Rev. 2:1–3; 22. As these Messages were to seven churches that were in existence in John’s day, and to whom he personally wrote, the advocates of the theory that John was in the Spirit on a certain Sabbath or “Lord’s Day,” naturally claim that John at that time could not have been transported into the “Day of the Lord.” But that does not necessarily follow.
- He tells us that he was “in the Spirit on the LORD’S DAY.” There has been much confusion as to what is meant here by the “Lord’s Day.” Some hold that the “First Day of the Week” or the Christian Sabbath is meant, others that John meant the “Day of the Lord.” Both the Old and the New Testament speak of the “Day of the Lord.” Isa. 2:12, Joel 1:15, 2:1, 3:14, Ezek. 13:5, Malachi 4:5, Acts 2:20, 2. Cor. 1:14, 1. Thess. 5:2, 2. Pet. 3:10. The term applies to the “Day of the Lord’s Return” and includes both the Tribulation and the Millennium. See the Chart on the Prophetic Days of Scripture. The Christian Sabbath was never called the “LORD’S DAY” until after the Book of Revelation was written and got its name from that source. It is always called in the Gospels and Epistles the “First Day of the Week.”
- It is hardly likely that John could have been caught up as Paul was into the Third Heaven and seen and heard all that he describes in the Book of Revelation on one Sabbath Day, and as the Book from chapter 5 is a description of the things that are to come to pass in the “DAY OF THE LORD,” what better understanding of the “LORD’S DAY” can we have than that John was projected by the Holy Spirit across the centuries into the “DAY OF THE LORD” and had visualized to him the things that shall come to pass in that day. This is the rational solution of the question. See the Chart, John’s Patmos Vision.
When John thus found himself in the “Day of the Lord” he heard behind him a great voice, as of a trumpet, which said—“I am Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last,” and the repetition of the statement in verses 17 and 18, with the added words—“I am He that Liveth, and WAS DEAD; and behold, I am ALIVE FOR EVERMORE, AMEN; and have the keys of Hell (Hades, the Underworld), and of Death (the Grave),” identifies the speaker as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. John had his back turned to the speaker, and when he turned around he saw one like unto the SON OF MAN.
- Thus we have in John’s “Seven-Fold” description of the person of the “Glorified Son of Man” circumstantial or indirect evidence that John saw his vision of the Son of Man, not on a Sabbath Day (or the “Lord’s Day” as we now call it), but was projected by the Holy Spirit forward into the “Day of the Lord” and saw Him as He will appear then as the Judge, and the coming “SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
Unfortunately, Clarence Larkin was not a Greek scholar and, as a result, his understanding of many issues did not benefit from an understanding of the original language of the Nw Testament.
Quotes of William Branham
This was William Branham's original view:
- So the only reason that we keep Sunday, started by our ancient fathers of the Bible, Saint Paul, John, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and all them, they went from house to house, they taken communion on the first day of the week when the disciples come together, and it was called, not a sabbath, but the Lord’s day. John said, on the Isle of Patmos, had already been officially established in the church, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.” That’s right. See? And then he saw… And—and, now, the Lord’s day is—is the day that the Lord arose.
And here is his view after reading Clarence Larkin's book. Notice the similarity of wording to that of Larkin's which is proof that William Branham copied Clarence Larkin but never gave him credit. We refer to this as "plagiarism":
- Now we come to another place here where they get two different ideas. Now, I may be wrong; if I am, God forgive me. But I’m going to disagree with the Seventh-day Adventists that says that, “It was the seventh day he was in, the Lord’s day.” The Seventh-day Advent’s brethren, and many of them, claim that it was the sabbath day that he called the Lord’s day. The Christian church calls it, the Lord’s day, “The—the Sunday, the first day.” And we notice a lot of times that—that the Christian church yet, today, the Protestant people, refer to it as “The Lord’s day, Sunday.” That is not scriptural. Sunday was the first day of the week in the Bible, not the Lord’s day. And neither was it the seventh day, sabbath. It would be impossible for it to be either one of those days ’cause it taken John two years to write the Revelation. Which day was it? There’d be many of those seventh days and first days pass over.
- The Bible, the Revelation was wrote from a.d. 95 to 96, two years. It was the Lord’s day. The Lord’s day is exactly what it said, and that’s what it was. John was carried in the Spirit over into the Lord’s day. This is the day of man, but the day of the Lord shall come. On down through the Scriptures we’ll find that he was in the Lord’s day, caught up in the Spirit and taken over to the Lord’s day. Amen! That’s right. See, he was in the Lord’s day. The Bible speaks of the Lord’s day. We’re get to it in a little bit, the many Scriptures.
- Now here’s more proof that this doctrine is right about it being the Lord’s day. Did you notice Him? He was not a priest during this time, neither was He a king, He was a judge.' Notice, a priest, a high priest, when he went into the sanctuary or went in to minister, to service, he tied himself around the waist. Tying his girdle around the waist, meant that he was serving; never tied it over his shoulder. But here He comes out, walking out with the girdle tied around the top, with a sash over His shoulder; girded about the paps, the breast, with a golden girdle, girded up high. What is it? An attorney, a judge. The judge with his sash over his shoulder, girded up here, not down as a priest. See, that shows He wasn’t in His priesthood now, John went all the way over into the Lord’s day and saw Him coming as the judge.
- All right, the Sun of righteousness with healing in His wings. Now His countenances. He was a judge, or another thing to show that he was over into the Lord’s day. You believe that? He went over into the Lord’s day and saw the Lord as a judge; not as priest, not as king, but as a judge. He is a Judge. Don’t you believe that? Bible says He’s a Judge. And here He was all dressed as the Judge, showing what He had done; what He was: what He was to the sinner, what He was to the Christian. And here He stands now with the Voice of many waters, and His countenances was like the sun shining in its strength.
What the phrase means in the original Greek
The English possessive “the Lord’s” is not in the Greek genitive (possessive) case, but is rather an adjective coined from the noun “Lord,” and means something like “in honor of” or “pertaining to” the Lord. By the mid-second century this word was used to distinguish Christian from Jewish devotion, thus indicating that it had already been in use for a considerable length of time. Given the significance of Sabbath observance for the earliest followers of Jesus, who were Jewish, the only possible explanation for the phenomenon of calling Sunday “the Lord’s Day” is the probability that they held a weekly remembrance of the resurrection.Cite error: Closing
</ref> missing for
- The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Re 1:10.
- Clarence Larkin, The Book of Revelation: A Study of the Last Prophetic Book of Holy Scripture (Philadelphia, PA: Rev. Clarence Larkin Estate, 1919), 13.
- Clarence Larkin, The Book of Revelation: A Study of the Last Prophetic Book of Holy Scripture (Philadelphia, PA: Rev. Clarence Larkin Estate, 1919), 8–9.
- Clarence Larkin, The Book of Revelation: A Study of the Last Prophetic Book of Holy Scripture (Philadelphia, PA: Rev. Clarence Larkin Estate, 1919), 12.
- William Branham, 53-0729 - Questions And Answers On Genesis, para. 166-168
- William Branham, 60-1204E - The Patmos Vision, para. 98, 99, 120, 156, 243