Elijah’s Mantle, Pt. 2

2 Kings 2:8-14 (NASB) says, “8Elijah took his mantle and folded it together and struck the waters, and they were divided here and there, so that the two of them crossed over on dry ground. 9When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” 10He said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.” 11As they were going along and talking, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven. 12Elisha saw it and cried out, “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw Elijah no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces. 13He also took up the mantle of Elijah that fell from him and returned and stood by the bank of the Jordan. 14He took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him and struck the waters and said, “Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” And when he also had struck the waters, they were divided here and there; and Elisha crossed over.”

Elisha proved that he was hungry for this anointing because he refused to leave Elijah, especially when he knew Elijah was shortly departing without even experiencing death. (2 Kings 2:1-6) Every time Elijah tried to get away from Elisha, Elisha refused to leave him. Not only was he close to Elijah and it would be hard to see his departure, Elisha wanted his anointing. No matter how many times Elijah persisted Elisha to stay behind, he stuck to him like glue! He was chasing after that anointing, and he wanted even more than what he seen in the life of Elijah! As fifty of the sons of the prophets watched from a distance, Elijah and Elisha stood by the Jordan River. Elijah took his mantle, folded it together, and struck the waters, and when he did, the River became divided as these two men of valor went across on dry ground. It was the mantle, the baton of anointing and purpose, that Elijah used to part the Jordan River. If you want to walk across what drowns most people, hold onto the baton and use it for His glory! So many people, when they are faced with a “dead end” to their desires and vision, want to just throw up their hands and quit. When you carry the anointing, let your mantle set your vision and purpose. You cannot afford to quit because it looks as if you have nowhere else to turn. Use your baton to create a way out of no way and declare God’s direction for your future. 

This older generation, a lot of times, feel as if the only thing worth living for is to die and go to heaven, but as long as there is breath in your body, there is purpose! This older generation is our Elijah’s of this day and time. From my Appalachian culture, I come from a mountain of people who know how to pray and depend on God for everything, and that is the baton that I have been designated by God to carry. These old-time saints that know how to call on the name of Jesus and get results are my Elijah’s. Because they are older does not mean they have nothing to live for, but they must use that mantle of anointing to prepare to reach a designated zone to transfer what they have received from the LORD and impart it into someone else’s life! If you are older and you feel as though you are not having any progression in furthering the Kingdom of God, do not quit, but rather seek by the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit opportunities to impart the wisdom and knowledge of the Scriptures into someone else’s life. Mark them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, especially new converts, so that they can be discipled and rooted in the faith! Although Elijah did not want Elisha to continue to go forward with him, God set up a designated zone for a transfer of the baton. God is not a God of accident, but rather of divine appointment. Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I can do for you before I am taken away.” Elisha responded, “I pray you, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” The word “portion” in the Hebrew is “peh”, which literally means, “mouth, a two-edged sword.” The word “spirit” in the Hebrew is “ruach”, which literally means, “wind, life, resemblance of breath or spirit.” (Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary) Elijah’s ministry just had one edge, but Elisha’s ministry was destined to be a two-edged sword in the mighty hand of God. 

Elisha’s last request to Elijah was for a double portion of his spirit. This was an anointing and power that Elijah did not possess and really could not give, despite Elisha asking it of him. Elijah even stated, “You have asked a hard thing:  nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so unto you; but if not, it shall not be so” (2 Kings 2:10). Only by faith could Elijah grant such a request, but since his ministry was completely “wrapped up” in faith, the impossible became possible! Three times in 2 Kings 2, we read that Elijah tried to compel Elisha to stay behind, but Elisha simply refused. It was because Elijah practically was a spiritual father to Elisha. In my own words, Elijah responded by saying, “If you see me when I depart, you will take up that baton and go further than I ever dreamed of going!” Elisha was determined to see him depart because in the face of losing a spiritual father, he was stepping into a new dimension in God that he had never been before. 

**Elijah was not jealous of Elisha’s petition and potential. Finis Dake said, “Some would have been jealous of a successor receiving more with which to do more than they, themselves did in life, but not so with anyone filled with God in any special sense.” God’s people should always want others to do better than they could ever do. Elisha was hungry for what Elijah had and more, and how could someone at the level of Elijah be jealous of someone adding to his legacy? He was not taking away from it, but he was carrying it so that it could nurture and grow, effecting more people each and every day. You must come to the realize you are not just another man or woman, but you have an opportunity train future Elisha’s under a new dimension of anointing, leaving a legacy behind for an upcoming generation who the devil has sought to destroy with vanity. They are watching every move we make. If we long to see this generation hungry for the glory of God rather than the glory of man, then we must choose to set that example! 

2 Kings 2:11-13 says, “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. 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. He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back and stood by the bank of Jordan.” I believe that Elijah walked with God. By faith, he left one thing behind:  his mantle, which was soaked with such a supernatural anointing. Elisha would undoubtedly be tore up inside for losing a father in his life. But the one thing he was never going to let go was the memories and legacy of Elijah, the anointing that he bore, and the double portion of that spirit being upon his life. He did not want to see him go, but Elisha had to take that ministry further that the footsteps Elijah made in his lifetime. I heard “Mother” Ellen Parsley say one time, “Mantles do not go to heaven,” and I firmly believe this is true. It is that powerful anointing, that baton of God’s purpose and strength, that is still left behind for someone to be trained under and to carry further than the predecessor had ever gone before! The anointing is not in an article of clothing, but it is in the values that man or woman lived by! Elisha was not coveting “popularity, riches or fame”. Ministry has been perverted for a lot of people to being anything but a ministry, more like a “quick make money scheme”. Ministry is all about souls and lives:  that simple. Elisha wanted the mantle of anointing and purpose to change lives, not to make an idol of himself!

Before Elisha ever clothed himself with this new mantle, he chose to go back to the very Jordan River that Elijah had just departed, and he stood by its banks. He took that mantle in his hand and said, “Where is the LORD God of Elijah?” He then hit the waters with that powerful mantle, and the waters parted, as Elisha walked across on dry ground (2 Kings 2:13-14) This is a defining moment where Elisha truly “took hold of the baton and continued running the race”. The last miracle that Elijah performed would turn out to be the first miracle Elisha performed! The Jordan River was the “designated zone” where the spiritual baton was transferred, and it was recognized by many. The sons of the prophets who saw this said, “The spirit of Elijah does rest upon Elisha.” (2 Kings 2:15) They recognized that Elijah’s Spirit rested upon Elisha. However, even though they seen it, they did not want to believe it. How could this little hillbilly farmer become a prophet to a nation in a day? He had been trained under the right anointing, and he was hungry for it! So what if he was not talented. In his hands was an anointing to heal the sick and raise the dead. To be honest, God worked some bizarre miracles through him, like throwing a stick in the water to cause an ax head to float or causing an optical illusion to lead the Moabites into their defeat. God is not after a talent. He is after the passionate heart, for Psalms 37:4 says, “Delight yourself also in the LORD:  and he shall give you the desires of your heart.” When you elevate to a new level in God, even though you know what kind of anointing and mandate is on your life, many people will choose not to believe what God has done in your life. You must refuse to let anybody determine your relationship with God. You must develop that Paul mentality that “nothing shall be able to separate me from the love of Christ.” We must become the Elisha’s of our generation, elevating to an anointing that no man has gone before, to do the work of the Kingdom of God!