Today: [2 Kings Chapter Two]: Path to the Double Portion. It is now time for Elijah to be taken up to heaven. Elisha has been promised to receive of Elijah’s anointing but he must first follow Elijah on a curious journey from Gilgal, to Bethel, to Jericho and finally to Jordan. This speaks to us of the process by which God prepares us for a double portion anointing which we will certainly receive if we follow Jesus as Elisha followed Elijah.
[2Ki 2:1-25 KJV] 1 And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. 2 And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said [unto him, As] the LORD liveth, and [as] thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel. 3 And the sons of the prophets that [were] at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know [it]; hold ye your peace.
When Elijah heard the still small voice in 1 Kings 19 he was instructed to take on Elijah as an apprentice to his ministry. As Jesus called simple men from blue collar vocations even so Elisha was not currently in the school of the prophets but was working his family’s farm with 12 yoke of oxen. Now the time is come that God is going to take Elijah from the earth. Elijah is the only mortal who is spoken of as coming again like Jesus. In Mal. 3:1 and Isa. 40:3 the coming of John the Baptist as the defacto return of Elijah to the earth is spoken of. In Matt. 11:14 Jesus specifically identifies John as the return of Elijah and the fulfillment of these scriptures. We have precedent then for the passing on of mantles and anointings generationally even over great periods of times. Elijah will not only be taken up in this chapter but Elisha will receive his mantle, the same mantle he wrapped his face in to speak to the still, small voice of God.
We are also told specifically how Elijah will be taken up. He will be taken up in a whirlwind. This is interesting because in Gen. 3:8 after Adam’s disobedience when the Lord came walking in the cool of the day the word there means “to whirl”. God knew what Adam and Eve had done and was approaching them to solve the problem but they chose rather to make excuses and point fingers of accusation at each other. Now 3000 years later would God have taken them up to himself even though they are now sinners? He took Elijah and Elijah while a prophet was certainly a sinner. Then fast forward a 1000 years to the day of Pentecost and as Elijah stood on the banks of the Jordan so 120 waited on the day of Pentecost. Elijah was met with a whirlwind and also the 120 were met with a mighty wind that blew through the house. The purpose of the wind on the day of Pentecost was not to take them up but to send them out into all the world. God placed on the inside of them the same manifest glory that caught Elijah up alive into heaven. This is the indwelling Spirit and Glory of God on the inside of you.
The path to Elijah’s translation has several aspects and Elisha must accompany him if he hopes to receive of his master’s calling in his own life. He starts out at Gilgal and while Elijah bids Elisha to stay there he refuses. Gilgal was where Saul was crowned king and was also a center of pagan worship. If you are going to have the mantle God has for you then you must be completely rid of the Saul mentality or willingness for people to look to you what they should be looking to the Father for.
4 And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Jericho. And he said, [As] the LORD liveth, and [as] thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to Jericho. 5 And the sons of the prophets that [were] at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he answered, Yea, I know [it]; hold ye your peace.
From Gilgal Elisha follows Elijah to to Bethel. Bethel is certainly a better place to be than Gilgal. Bethel means “House of God”. Elijah bids Elisha to stay behind in Bethel while he goes on to Jericho. Elisha refuses. Many prophetic people falter here. Surely if they are prophets or prophetic people God wants them to anchor themselves in the culture of the church. It is certainly the only way to receive the endorsement of the church leaders because they absolutely will not see anything beyond the culture of the church. Yet this is not Elijah’s tarrying place and if you are an Elisha this is not where you are going to receive the mantle that God has for you. Are you willing to go out – all the way out beyond church culture if necessary to find what God has for you? If you are called to prophetic gifting this will surely be a test in your life as it was Elisha’s.
6 And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the LORD hath sent me to Jordan. And he said, [As] the LORD liveth, and [as] thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on. 7 And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan.
Elijah now goes from Bethel to Jericho. Jericho throughout the bible is a metaphor for what we now call the realm of the secular or the marketplace. In the ruins of Jericho are the oldest settlements in human history. Once you lay aside the ego and the Saul mentality at Gilgal and do your time in the culture of the church now God will bring you to the marketplace, out into the world to experience being prophetic in that setting. But it isn’t a stopping place. The marketplace and the evangelism that occurs there is not the end goal of prophetic ministry. Great things happened in the marketplaces of the book of Acts. Tremendous blessing and miracles will be found here but it is not a stopping place. We must go on to Jordan.
8 And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped [it] together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground. 9 And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. 10 And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: [nevertheless], if thou see me [when I am] taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be [so]. 11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, [there appeared] a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12 And Elisha saw [it], and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.
Jordan is defined in the original language as “the going down place” or the place of humility. Yet this is where Elijah will be taken up. So the way UP is DOWN. The path to exaltation and the fulfillment of the call of God on your life is found in the place of humility. Jordan was also the crossing point from the wilderness to the promised land. If you find yourself asking when the promises of God will come to pass the answer is found in finding the Jordan in your life and camping there. You have to lose the grandiose ideas of the Saul mentality at Gilgal. You must leave behind the camaraderie and religious culture at Bethel. You cannot be distracted by the outward focus of marketplace ministry and evangelism at Jericho. You must find the “going down place” because the way UP to what God has for you is DOWN to muddy Jordan.
Elijah stands on the banks of Jordan and smites the waters with his mantle and they part for him. What happens when you smite the waters of adversity in your life? Probably nothing. We must remember what Elijah did first with his mantle. When the glory of God came and spoke by a still small voice in a cave Elijah wrapped his face in that mantle to hear what God would say to him. The anointing in your life is not just something between you and the people – it is something between you and God facilitating relationship and communication with God. If that transaction doesn’t take place there will be no power and no miracles.
13 He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; 14 And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where [is] the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over. 15 And when the sons of the prophets which [were] to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him. 16 And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest peradventure the Spirit of the LORD hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley. And he said, Ye shall not send. 17 And when they urged him till he was ashamed, he said, Send. They sent therefore fifty men; and they sought three days, but found him not. 18 And when they came again to him, (for he tarried at Jericho,) he said unto them, Did I not say unto you, Go not?
Now Elijah was taken UP out of the low place of Jordan but Elisha had to walk out. Many Elisha’s falter here because they are looking for shortcuts. They connect with their Elijah and the follow their Elijah but they erroneously believe that their relationship with Elijah will fast track them to a place of promotion without due process. The taking up of Elijah was a disconnect between him and Elisha – and don’t forget he is coming back! Elisha didn’t realize that Elijah was going to drop his mantle. His love was for the man not just his mantle. Yet for all that it is now Elijah’s responsibility to walk out of the low place allowing his character to be refined into his own assignments before God.
19 And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city [is] pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water [is] naught, and the ground barren. 20 And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought [it] to him. 21 And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren [land]. 22 So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake. 23 And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. 24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them. 25 And he went from thence to mount Carmel, and from thence he returned to Samaria.
The first thing Elijah does is heal the polluted waters of the city nearby. The water represents the spirit and also represents the word of God – what God is doing in your city or any city. We can look at the state of the church in your city and complain about the sad state of affairs but what is the solution? What did Elisha do?
- He called for a new vessel. The old vehicle of God’s move will not do. You may have in any city perfectly functional vehicles and ministries that have been around for a long time but if you want to heal the waters of the Spirit in your city you must be willing to start anew and as the apostles not build on another man’s foundation.
He put salt in the vessel and mixed it with the polluted waters and poured them out. You are the salt of the world Jesus said. You need a new containment with a willing mixture of the salt – the kingdom followers and believers with the spiritual pollutions in the city. This is where many believers grieved with the backslidden condition of the church make their mistake. They separate themselves and are unwilling to a.) go to the trouble of building a new vessel or vehicle for ministry. b.) and they are unwilling to put themselves IN the new thing God is doing or to mix with the polluted waters of the people from the old wineskin that will come there. c.) this is why you must be willing to come to your personal Jordan. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.
Elisha is mocked by a gang of young children and curses them. Immediately two bears come out and devour 42 of them. This is Old Covenant paradigm. In Luke 9:54-56 Jesus rebuked his disciples for wanted to act like this. He stated emphatically the division of his ministry in contrast to the Elijah mentality. He came to save not to destroy. Rev. 19:10 says that the spirit of prophecy in the New Testament is the testimony of Christ not the testimony of Elijah or of Elisha. This is the path to the mantle that God has for you – and this is where the double portion will be realized in your life.
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