Chapter 8

"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." Ephesians 4:11-13

Elijah engulfed his cereal, anxious to get back on-line. Gram stopped his quick departure from the kitchen and made sure he rinsed his bowl and put it in the sink. He ran up the stairs and in a flash he was back in front of the Young Prophet's Society. There were already several posts in answer to NoVoice's question.

The first one was by someone that Elijah hadn't seen before named Dreamer. He could see from the side bar that Dreamer was a Mormon girl from some place in Utah that Elijah had never heard of before. Come to think of it he had never heard of any place in Utah before. Dreamer's entry started by quoting the same scripture from Acts that Gram had at breakfast.

"As a Mormon I believe this restitution has been going on for years. I believe that Christ is restoring His church to the way it was when He physically walked the Earth. Ephesians 4:11-14 says that Christ gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers until we all come in the unity of the faith. Perhaps giving all these prophetic visions was a way to help bring us all together. Get unified - Dreamer"

In response to Dreamer, NoVoice had replied:

"Although I don't necessarily agree with Mormonism, I agree with Dreamer about the visions bringing us together and preparing for Christ's second coming. I was looking up Bible versus about prophets and found this in my NIV translation. Amos 3:7 'Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.' All of the visions I have read on this site certainly show God's upcoming plans. Peace - NoVoice"

The next few posts that followed agreed with the belief that the visions were part of God's plan. Unfortunately, no one had touched on the topic of why God stopped talking to men in the first place. The last post, by a boy in Florida, was in the same ballpark though.

"Having had a vision has confused me! My pastor has always taught that we don't need prophets anymore. That prophets ended in the Old Testament and God has already said everything He needs to say in the Bible. So, my reply to 'why now?' is "why are the visions needed at all? - LostInChristianity"

This didn't quite set right with Elijah. Had God already said all that's needed? With all the wars and crime going on in the world, man seems to need God now more than ever. The Bible never touched on Internet predators, terrorists flying airplanes into buildings, or anything like that. It just doesn't make sense that God doesn't have anything more to say to us today. This led Elijah back to his question. If man has still needed Heavenly guidance, why has God been silent all this time?

"Sorry to keep the questions coming everyone, but to take LostInChristianity's post one step further - I wonder why God stopped talking to people in the first place? - Elijah"

Elijah felt hopeful that someone would post the answer to his question soon or at least it could be a question of the week in the weeks to come. After lunch he checked the site for updates, but was disappointed to find that there were no new replies. Dad returned home by mid-afternoon. He had been talking with his employer and would be returning to work on Monday. He had a flight scheduled early Monday morning.

Dad also told Elijah that the school was allowing him to return Monday morning, providing that there would be no more public speeches. Elijah wasn't quite sure how he felt about going back. He knew it would offer opportunities to share the vision, but he would have to be more careful in his approach. There was also the likelihood that he would have to confront Mark again. The thought made him uneasy.

Later Becca arrived with the promised homework Elijah had missed. Fortunately, there wasn't much to do and he had the weekend to catch-up.

"Everywhere I went people were asking about you and if you had any more visions," Becca said flopping down on the couch. "Boy! A week ago no one would have even known I had a brother. Now you're like the most popular kid in school." Her words did nothing to relieve Elijah's uneasiness about returning to school.

"By the way, Ben says 'yo' and to check your email or turn on your instant messenger thingy," Becca added.

Elijah was never good at checking his email and had signed out of his instant messenger client while surfing the web for sites on the visions. He said a quick thanks to Becca and started up the stairs. Before he got far, Gram called everyone for an early dinner. Foiled again, he reluctantly descended the steps and went to the kitchen.

After diner Elijah headed back up stairs. He wanted to see if Ben was on-line. Logging into his instant messenger account (Yo-E) Elijah saw Ben (Hey-B) was on too.

Yo-E: Hey B!
Yo-E: What up???
Hey-B: Yo E!
Hey-B: Thought maybe God took u back to Heaven or something :)
Yo-E: hahaha
Yo-E: Sorry, but I been kinda distracted.
Hey-B: Understandable - they ever lettin' ya back in school?
Yo-E: Be there Monday AM.
Hey-B: Sux 2 B U
Hey-B: Well Becca cleared a path for ya!

Not sure what Ben meant by "cleared a path" Elijah responded with "???".

Hey-B: I missed what Mark said, but when I got there Becca was all kind'sa OD'ing on him.
Hey-B: He just stood there with a stupid look on his face.
Hey-B: Well, more stupid than usual.
Hey-B: lol
Hey-B: Then she turned and walked away while da jerk just watched with his jaw hangin' wide open.
Hey-B: I never seen her that mad.
Hey-B: Not even that time you dumped the ice water on her while she was tanning in the back yard.
Yo-E: Odd she didn't say anything when she got home.
Hey-B: Beats me?
Hey-B: But if I'm ever in a fight, I want her on my side.
Hey-B: Mom's callin', Gotta run!
Hey-B: Catch ya Monday.
Yo-E: l8r

"That's odd!" thought Elijah. "Why didn't Becca say anything about a fight with Mark?"

At first he thought he would go downstairs and ask her, but the more he thought about it, the more he felt he should wait until she was ready to bring it up. Fighting off the urge to procrastinate, Elijah decided to start on his homework. Perhaps he could finish it tonight. That would give him all day Saturday to get updated on the Young Prophet's Society web page, spend time with Dad before he returned to work, and get ready for church.

Looking through the assignments Becca brought home it didn't appear that there was much homework given over the two days he had missed. Elijah enjoyed math so he started with Algebra. History on the other hand was not his favorite subject. It wasn't the history that he minded; it was all of the dates. He usually didn't care what the current date was, so why memorize the day that Columbus set sail for the Americas? The homework was to read the chapter on Hernan Cortes' conquest of the Aztecs from his history book. Miss Freed, the history teacher, had also added a note with the assignment.

"Elijah, I just want to give you a note of encouragement. Many of us are looking forward to hearing what you have to say. The school board doesn't want you preaching during the day, but if you want there is a prayer group meeting before school, 7:45 in the music room. I look forward to having you back in class. Read the lesson carefully, I think you will find it interesting. Stay strong and always ask yourself what would Jesus do? - Miss Freed"

"That was nice," Elijah thought. "Not sure how interesting Cortes is going to be right now though. I'd really rather get back to the young prophets forum."

He skimmed through the chapter, but didn't retain much of what was read. By the last page Cortes and the Aztecs were as distant to him as the years that separated them. Soon, assignments were quickly put away and in an instant he was back in front of the "Young Prophet's Society" forum. His heart sped up with the excitement of seeing a new post by NoVoice.

"LostInChristianity and Elijah - these are both good questions. Let me try to answer them in order. First, why are the visions needed at all? LostInChristianity, I believe your question comes from your first two statements: Prophets ended with the Old Testament and that God has already said everything that He needed to say in the Bible."

"Although these are very popular beliefs today, they really have no foundation in the scriptures. There were still prophets and prophetesses in the New Testament during and after the time Christ was on the Earth. To keep my post short here are some references for anyone that would like to look them up. (Luke 2, Acts13:1; 15:32; 21:10-11). Also, a prophet is someone that speaks for God, often from visions or hearing his voice. I think it's safe to say that the Apostles were also prophets. They had visions, performed miracles, and guided the early church in the name of the Lord."

"Even though we don't have Apostles today, it doesn't mean that they weren't meant to continue. After Judas committed suicide Matthias was ordained to replace him. The apostle Paul was not one of the original twelve, but his conversion and writings make up most of the New Testament."

"Next, has God said everything He needed to say in the Bible? I think the visions show that is not true. The Bible tells us in several places that there will be men and women having visions in the last days, prior to Christ's return. Which leads me to Elijah's question, why did God stop talking to us in the first place?"

"This, too, was something that the Bible told us would happen. I think the best passage to point this out is 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3. Paul tells us that Christ won't come again until there is a falling away first. As far as why it happened, I believe it was man's transgressions that led to God's silence. The more pride that filled men's hearts the less room there was for God. Peace - NoVoice"

NoVoice's answer had satisfied Elijah's question. He was beginning to feel tired and decided to get ready for bed. Tossing off his socks and shoes, he crossed the hall to the small upstairs bathroom; the sound of the television could be heard downstairs in an otherwise quiet house. As he began brushing his teeth, Elijah looked at himself in the mirror. Again the thought crossed his mind, "Am I ready for Christ to come again? Have I been good enough? I haven't really been that bad, but have I ever been that good?"

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