Mantles And Majesty

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 LSB “But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree; and he asked for himself that he might die, and said, “It is enough; now, O Yahweh, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.”5 Then he lay down and slept under a broom tree; and behold, there was an angel touching him, and he said to him, “Arise, eat.”6 Then he looked and behold, there was at his head a bread cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again.7 And the angel of Yahweh came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you.”8 So he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 Then he came there to a cave and lodged there; and behold, the word of Yahweh came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”10 And he said, “I have been very zealous for Yahweh, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, pulled down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”11 So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before Yahweh.” And behold, Yahweh was passing by! And a great and strong wind was tearing up the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before Yahweh; but Yahweh was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but Yahweh was not in the earthquake.12 Then after the earthquake a fire, but Yahweh was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a thin gentle whisper.13 Now it happened that when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”14 Then he said, “I have been very zealous for Yahweh, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, pulled down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”15 And Yahweh said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and you will arrive and anoint Hazael king over Aram;16 and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.17 And it will be that the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall put to death.18 Yet I will leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him.” 19 So he went from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, while he was plowing with twelve pairs of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth. And Elijah passed over to him and threw his mantle on him.20 So he forsook the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Please let me kiss my father and my mother, then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, 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 implements of the oxen, and gave it to the people and they ate. Then he arose and followed Elijah and ministered to him.”

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 LSB “One generation shall laud Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty deeds.”

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 2:9-14 says, “Then he came there to a cave and lodged there; and behold, the word of Yahweh came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”10 And he said, “I have been very zealous for Yahweh, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, pulled down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”11 So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before Yahweh.” And behold, Yahweh was passing by! And a great and strong wind was tearing up the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before Yahweh; but Yahweh was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but Yahweh was not in the earthquake.12 Then after the earthquake a fire, but Yahweh was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a thin gentle whisper.13 Now it happened that when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”14 Then he said, “I have been very zealous for Yahweh, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, pulled down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” (LSB).

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 LSB “Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sits on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; having a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself,13 and being clothed with a garment dipped in blood, His name is also called The Word of God.14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.15 And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the wrath of the rage of God, the Almighty.16 And He has on His garment and on His thigh 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.

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