The Weekend Word

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28 Responses

  1. Jean says:

    Great lesson!

  2. Em again says:

    “Why couldn’t Jesus have shed his blood and died for the sins of the world here in Bethlehem?” i think the answer to this one is easy… because he had to die of his own volition (obedience to the Father) – not simply get killed, get it over and done with – his death was far more than just a simple ‘God allowed His (only begotten) son to be killed.’

  3. Mr Jesperson says:

    This section begins with God speaking to Joseph in a dream. I am curious to see how many of the commenters here actually believe that God still does that, speak to his people, in dreams?

  4. Xenia says:

    I do believe God speaks to people in dreams. He has spoken to me in dreams.

    You have to be careful, though, because it’s easy to deceive yourself.

  5. Em again says:

    agreeing with Jes and Xenia – never had a dream visit from God – have had clear “words” from Him… those times when you hear the voice, but it isn’t a voice and yet you know you’ve been addressed… always tied to hit the wall moment for me…

  6. I think we end up in dangerous theological waters when questions like this are asked.
    1.) God speaking to us in dreams today is not the point in that verse. It is descriptive of what God did in that particular case but is not indicative or predictive of what God does today.
    2.) The danger comes in when someone suggests that the dream they had was from God because the dream Joseph had was from God.
    3.) This passage is technically still an Old Testament event under Old Testament guidelines.
    Hebrews says “God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways” – I consider the ‘various ways’ to include dreams.
    4.) but continues “but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things.” – which I think He superintended in the Holy New Testament through the Holy Spirit.

  7. Michael says:

    I believe it’s possible, but as MLD pointed out, not normative.

    The question before the house would be “why didn’t God send the dream to all the parents?”.

  8. Michael says:

    ““‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;”
    (Acts 2:17 ESV)

  9. Em again says:

    3s 6 & 7 MLD and Michael, that’s what Xenia cautioned and i agree completely – sometimes i feel guilty for not spending those hours that some do, seeking a word from God, but i know that my mind can play tricks on me
    before i became a Believer i had a very detailed prophetic dream (with no purpose), so i’d have a hard time trusting any dream manifestation

  10. Forget just dreams – does God communicate outside of his word? The lady this week who had the picture of Jesus show up on her sonogram (and it was a perfect picture as we would imagine the event) was that God communicating to her is a ‘various way’?

    And once the dream is out – is it private, one person only or public proclamation to be shared?

  11. Em again says:

    that was supposed to be a pound sign or hashtag – whatever – not a 3 … i need new fingers or a new keyboard

  12. Em again says:

    it’s a stock answer to #10, but Satan imitates

  13. Xenia says:

    Does God communicate outside of his word? <<<<

    Yes, otherwise you are just having a relationship with a Book.

  14. “Yes, otherwise you are just having a relationship with a Book.”
    Not so – the preached word is God’s word
    Baptism, absolution and the Lord’s Supper are physical forms of the Gospel.

    I have relationship with God through my praise and prayer.

    I think what may be missed when we use this passage and ask about today – Joseph was not being given little nuggets or assurances from God through his dream – he was given a command. I think if we look at all the dreams systematically (and I haven’t) I would guess they are all commands. The dreams I hear of today are the same that could have come if I was dreaming a Tony Robbins talk – how to live a better life.

    Here in Joseph’s case the dream was a sure command that he obey promptly because there was no doubt who it was from.

  15. Xenia says:

    Well, once you have a dream from God, you will never again say you can’t have a dream from God.

  16. I can only answer Mr. J’s question on a theological / doctrinal plane – I have no way to argue people’s personal experiences.

    But to the task at hand – the Holy Family is on the move.

    To interact with Em’s answer @#2 – you are right – God is moving the chess pieces – he needs to get the Holy Family to Egypt so that the prophecy of Hosea can be fulfilled.

  17. Xenia says:

    Theology/ doctrine is on the side of dreams and visions because there are several mentioned in the NT after Pentecost.

  18. I could be wrong, but I think you are confusing visions & dreams as interchangeable.
    But I am going to look through the epistles to see if I find any teachings on what to expect from or how I am to use visions & dreams.

  19. Xenia says:

    If God sends you a dream or grants you a vision, you will know what to do.

  20. Jean says:

    I rarely disagree with MLD, because he’s incredibly knowledgeable, but also because disagreeing with MLD can be like tugging on Superman’s cape or spitting into the wind. However, in this particular case, Luther and the Lutheran Dogmaticians would ask MLD to use a bit more nuance. 🙂

    “The question has often been asked whether divine revelations pertaining to external events in Church or world might not be given to individual persons in our time. It does not contradict Scripture to admit the possibility and fact of such revelations. [Examples in Scripture (Acts 11:27-28; 21:10-11). In church history: John Hilten’s prophecy of the coming of Luther (Trigl. 419, 1-4). It is added: “The outcome will teach how much weight should be given to this declaration.”] But it is contrary to Scripture to assume that new revelations on doctrine will be given; the revelation of doctrine has come to an end with the Word of the Apostles and Prophets. [Quenstedt says on this score (I, 75): “We must distinguish between revelations which pertain to, or attack, an article of faith, and those which concern the state of the Church or the State, social life, and future events; the first we repudiate; the latter, however, some hold, are not to be urged with any necessity of believing, nevertheless are not to be rashly rejected. B. Balduin says in his Commentary on 1 Tim. 4, P. I, q. 1: ‘We do not doubt that God to this day at times reveals to some men future things pertaining to the state of the Church or the State, to be announced for the use of men.’”]”

    (Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, Vol. I [Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1950], p. 211)

    “Still I do not deny that Noah heard God speak after Methuselah’s death. God speaks ordinarily through the public ministry—through parents and the teachers of the Church—and in rare cases by inward revelation, through the Holy Spirit. It is well that we remember not to overlook the Word in vain expectation of new revelations, as the fanatics do. Such a course gives rise to spirits of error, a source of disturbance to the whole world, as the example of the Anabaptists proves.” – Martin Luther, Commentary on Genesis

  21. Xenia says:

    A dream or a vision will give a person some kind of marching orders or information but will not present a new doctrine. St. Paul was told to go to Macedonia, St. Peter saw a blanket full of unclean critters, St. John saw all kinds of amazing things and I am not going to tell you what my dream way about, other than to say it was a warning and subsequent events proved it to be true.

  22. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean, I agree that God speaks through other people – parents, SS teachers etc – but they are effective only to the extent that they are communicating God’s word. Personal testimony sans word is failure.

    I do have an issue of God coming to us in an unmediated format.

  23. Mr Jesperson says:

    I have received useful information and direction through dreams. I have also had encounters with angels, demons and even Jesus himself. No, I am not a heretic. God’s Word is normative for doctrine, but it cannot tell you that you are in danger and need to leave town right away as in today’s post. There are dangers of idealistic people trying too hard to find something spiritual in ordinary dreams. I could write a book about that, and perhaps some day I will. In my case, I had a warning in a dream for my brother the year he died. I went to a holding cell in hell. It was the most real thing I have ever experienced. I had two dreams warning of my fathers death. I wrote him to warn him for he was not a believer. As I saw in the dream, he did nothing and died in events as I had foretold. There is more as well. Perhaps some other day…

  24. Em again says:

    Mr. Jesperson, your #23 is very interesting to me (i know that you’re not alone) in light of the following scriptures
    “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;”
    Act 2:17 -21 KJV…
    “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
    And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
    And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
    The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
    And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
    perhaps some say that this was for the day in which Peter spoke, but then the extreme of the ‘wonders’ indicate that we’ve yet to see this, so i’m still puzzling and watching

  25. Em again says:

    Mr. Jesperson, your #23 is very interesting to me (i know that you’re not alone) in light of the following scriptures:
    “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;”
    Acts 2:17-21 (KJV)…
    “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
    And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
    And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
    The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
    And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
    perhaps some say that this was for the day in which Peter spoke, but then the extreme of the ‘wonders’ indicate that we’ve yet to see this, so i’m still puzzling and watching

  26. Em again says:

    i do not know why this posted 2x – i got a msg. “you’re not connected to the internet” and then 2xs? … my computer has a bug or something

  27. Josh the Baptist says:

    Goon notes, MLD. I had occasion to look back on my old class notes this weekend, and they made no sense, even to me 🙂 Your weekly studies have inspired me to do a better job of recording what I teach.

  28. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Thank you Josh. My initial notes are crazy. I print out the Chapter and have about 3 verses per page. I scribble my notes as I study – it may be in the car, in the bathroom or where ever. I can barely read my notes. But then I type them out in the format I do and I add words so sentences or bullet points make sense to me. I write them out as if I was actually going to read them to the class. It has made life easier on the recycles 😉

    I then use a larger font so as I wander back to the podium, I can glance and actually see my notes.

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