In First Kings, chapter eighteen, we read the story of Elijah confronting Ahab and triumphing over the prophets of Baal. After such a great victory, Elijah flees from the evil Jezebel for his life.
The story continues in 1 Kings 19:4-21 TLV “But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom bush. He prayed that he might die. “It’s too much!” he said. “Now, Adonai, take my life! For I’m no better than my fathers.” 5 Then he lay down and slept under the broom bush. Then behold, an angel touched him, and said to him, “Get up, and eat.” 6 So he looked, and to his surprise, there by his head was a cake baked on the hot stones and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. 7 Then the angel of Adonai came again a second time, touched him and said. “Get up and eat, because the journey is too much for you.” 8 So he arose and ate and drank, and in the strength of that meal forty days and forty nights went to Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 When he arrived there at the cave, he spent the night there. Then behold, the word of Adonai came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 “I have been very zealous for Adonai-Tzva’ot,” he said, “for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and slain Your prophets with the sword—and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it!”m11 Then He said, “Come out and stand on the mount before Adonai.” Behold, Adonai was passing by—a great and mighty wind was tearing at the mountains and shattering cliffs before Adonai. But Adonai was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but Adonai was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake a fire, but Adonai was not in the fire. After the fire there was a soft whisper of a voice. 13 As soon as Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle, went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then all of a sudden, a voice addressed him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 “I have been very zealous for Adonai-Tzva’ot,” he said, “for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and slain Your prophets with the sword—and I alone am left, and they are seeking to take my life!” 15 Then Adonai said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram, 16 and anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place. 17 It shall come to pass that whoever escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu will slay; and whoever escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha will slay. 18 Yet I have preserved seven thousand in Israel whose knees have not bowed to Baal and whose mouth has not kissed him.” 19 So he departed from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat while he was plowing with twelve pairs of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth. Then Elijah crossed over to him and threw his mantle on him. 20 So he left the oxen and ran after Elijah saying, “Let me please kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” “Come back,” he said to him. “For what have I done to you?” 21 So he returned from following him, and took the pair of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the oxen’s yoke gear, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose, went after Elijah and became his attendant.”
I read this portion of Scripture Saturday along with Revelation 19:11-21. Many of us are familiar with specific events in Elijah’s life, and this passage is likely one of them. However, reading it this time, something jumped out as I read. Elijah didn’t call Elisha until after a very trying period. Generations need to connect.
Psalm 145:4 TLV “One generation will praise Your works to another and declare Your mighty acts.”
The Lord told Elijah that seven thousand in Israel had not bowed the knee. We read in Daniel that Shadrach, Meschach, and Abed-nego chose to be thrown into a fiery furnace before bowing down to an image. God always has a remnant. There are always those who will follow God no matter the cost. Elijah was worried that there were no true believers in Israel. Elijah was concerned that there were no true prophets but look at what happens, “So he departed from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat while he was plowing with twelve pairs of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth. Then Elijah crossed over to him and threw his mantle on him. So he left the oxen and ran after Elijah saying, “Let me please kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” “Come back,” he said to him. “For what have I done to you?” So he returned from following him, and took the pair of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the oxen’s yoke gear, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose, went after Elijah and became his attendant.”
God already had Elisha picked out. Elijah just had to recognize who was called to follow him. At the end of Elijah’s life, he began telling Elisha to quit following him, but Elisha refused to stop. You see, Elisha had asked for a double portion of the anointing. So Elijah said if you see me when I am taken, it shall be yours.
Now, look specifically at what 2 Kings 2:1, 9-14 says, “Now it came to pass, when ADONAI was about to take up Elijah by a whirlwind into heaven, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.” At this point, Elijah tells Elisha to quit following him three times. Continuing in the text, “Now as they were crossing over, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I will do for you before I am taken from you.” So Elisha said, “Please, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” 10 He replied, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be so to you; but if not, it will not be so.” 11 As they were walking along and talking, behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12 As Elisha was watching, he was crying out, “Avi! Avi! The chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” Then he saw him no more. So he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces. 13 He then picked up the mantle of Elijah that fell from him. When he returned and stood by the bank of the Jordan, 14 he took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen off him, struck the waters and said, “Where is Adonai, the God of Elijah?” As he indeed struck the waters, they parted here then there. Then Elisha crossed over.” (TLV).
Did you catch it? God was taking Elijah up by a whirlwind, but verse eleven says a chariot of fire and horses separated the two of them. The deal was Elisha HAD TO SEE ELIJAH be taken. The chariot of fire was a distraction. We need to get this! God will test us. We need to understand the difference between a test from God to gauge our readiness, a temptation from the enemy to snare us, and an irrelevant distraction that takes us off course.
Elisha had to keep his eyes on Elijah, or he wouldn’t inherit a double portion. Elisha had a right to ask for a double dose of anointing. The problem in charismatic circles today is people think you can lay on a grave and get an anointing, that is demonic. Some preachers and prophets tell people they can have their anointing by coming to a meeting; that is nonsense. I believe in impartation, but you have to be connected to something to receive an impartation. Let’s stop with the charismatic voodoo and come back to a biblical understanding of the laying on of hands.
The Elijah and Elisha generational anointing worked because Elisha dedicated himself to following the prophet. Elisha sacrificed his animals on the plow he burned. There was no going back. An anointing will cost you something, a mantle will cost you something, and any preacher that tours the country giving their mantle willy-nilly is a charlatan.
I believe in mantles, but as I said, you must be connected. But we should also not base our spiritual life on a mantle or impartation from another. Get in the Word for yourself, study yourself, get alone with God and get a word from God. Elisha had a double portion, but he still walked in his own calling and had his own ministry.
Let’s look at the New Testament portion. By the way, when I say portion, I am referring to the weekly Torah Portion Jews read each week. Messianic Jews add a portion of the New Testament as well. That is why these two portions are together.
Revelation 19:11-16 TLV “Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The One riding on it is called Faithful and True, and He judges and makes war in righteousness. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and many royal crowns are on His head. He has a name written that no one knows except Himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which He is called is “the Word of God.” 14 And the armies of heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword—so that with it He may strike down the nations—and He shall rule them with an iron rod, and He treads the winepress of the furious wrath of Elohei-Tzva’ot. 16 On His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “King of kings, and Lord of lords.”
That is what Jesus looks like in all His glory. That is the King we worship and work on behalf of; that King is the one who said, teach My Word to your children. That is the importance of passing on the truth to the next generation; that is the importance of the fathers and the children coming together.
We need fathers in this generation, both natural and spiritual. We need to understand what being a spiritual father means, and young guys like me need to know when someone, even from a distance, is a spiritual father or someone who just wants an offering.
Father, I pray in Jesus’ name that spiritual fathers would be raised up for my generation. Men who speak the Word boldly and clearly. Men who will pour themselves into young men, especially young ministers. I ask that rigid structures would give way to relational structures and that we would see unity in the body of Christ and the salvation of souls like we never have before.