ELISHA - (In the Spirit and power of Elijah)
ELISHA – (In the Spirit and power of Elijah)
Sunday, December 30, 2018, the Year of Our Lord
2 Ki. 2:15: When the sons of the prophets who were from Jericho saw Elisha, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” And they came to meet him, and bowed to the ground before him.
The Angel Gabriel prophesied to Zachariah concerning John the Baptist: Luke 1: 15-17: He will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. He will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him (Jesus) in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
The spirit of Elijah in 1 Kings reveals a prophetic ministry of restoration that destroys the political and religious Babylon. Just as John the Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah, preceding the manifestation of the first coming of King Jesus, so there will arise an Elijah ministry that is preparing the way of the LORD in His second coming. This prophetic company is coming forth in the spirit and the power of Elijah.
We can all say, we have been hearing this declared for the past twenty-five years. Where are these prophets? We are blessed to live in a period of time on the earth where there is great prophetic activity. It has not always been that way on the earth. There have often been several hundred year periods of time when there was not a prophetic voice on the earth.
The contest on Mount Carmel between Elijah and the prophets of Baal reveals the supernatural, end-time conflict between God’s Kingdom and the Kingdom of darkness. I believe the spirit of Ahab is the political spirit over the government shutdown. Ahab represents political Babylon; Jezebel, religious Babylon.
The moral decadence of Israel began with Solomon and led to the division of the kingdom between Jeroboam and Rehoboam, which in turn led to the deterioration of the monarchies and their eventual deportation. The United States of America is a nation divided between the Christian-right and the Liberal-left. The prophets were raised up to warn of the final doom of Israel, but went unheeded. Yes, we now have a few prophetic voices who are not afraid to preach what the Word of God says; but still many like the prophets of Baal, are careful to not cause offense, thus keeping their pocket books filled. During the time of Obama, the fearless voice of truth was few and far between. Under the government of Donald J. Trump, some church leaders have again found their courage.
My purpose today is to explore the ministry of Elisha as a type of the ministry which exists between Jesus and his ministries. The Elijah ministry is an end-time prophetic ministry (in the principle of John the Baptist) that precedes the manifestation of the many-membered Son (the Overcomer), and the literal coming of Jesus Christ.
Elisha’s name means “God of supplication, God of riches; God is a Savior, salvation of my God, God gives salvation, God of deliverance, to whom God gives victory.”
Elisha’s name appears for the first time in 1 Kg. 19:16, as the one Elijah was ordered to anoint as his successor.
1 Ki. 19:16-17: Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah you shall anoint to be the prophet in your room. It shall come to pass, that him that escapes the sword of Hazael Jehu shall slay; and him that escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall slay.
While Elijah’s ministry continued, Elisha served him much as Joshua had served Moses.
As with Elijah, God revealed Himself as the Sovereign One to Elisha. God is revealed in many dimensions.
2 Kg. 4-6
- 4: 1-7: Provider in need.
- 4:8-17: Rewarder for acts of kindness
- 4:18-37: One who has power over death.
- 5: 1-19: Sanctifier and Healer.
- 5:20-27: Omniscient One
- 6:8-23: Lord of Hosts.
- 6:24-31: God of Judgment.
2 Ki. 6:17: Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. Behold the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
The life of Elisha demonstrates preparatory principles of ministry leadership. We see the developmental training and tests that many servants of God must undergo. Much took place between Elijah casting his mantle on Elisha (1Kg. 19: 19-20) and Elisha actually receiving Elijah’s mantle and the double portion of his spirit (2 Kg. 2:13). This is the test of patience and delay.
I have been blessed to be a pastor for 30 years. I have watched many whom the LORD has called, but they loose patience and go out ahead of the LORD’S timing often bringing forth an Ishmael.
2 Kings 19: 20-21: Elisha left the oxen and ran after Elijah, and said, “Let me I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” Elijah said to him, “Go back again; for what have I done to you?” Elisha returned back from Elijah. He took a yoke of oxen, slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen; and gave unto the people and they did eat. Then he arose and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.
This is one of the first tests of ministry. There cannot be a divided heart. Note Elijah did not try to persuade Elisha. He stated simply what was necessary to do the Kingdom work to which Elijah had been assigned.
Like Elisha, we are all tested in many dimensions:
- Testing of the affections (1 Kg. 19:20)
- Testing of his sincerity (2 Kg. 2: 1-2)
- Will or resolution (2 Kg. 2:3)
- of Faith (to go on) (2 Kg. 2:4)
- of Patience (2 Kg. 3:5)
- of character (2 Kg. 2:9)
- Of endowment (2 Kg. 2:13-14).
Elisha received a double portion of the Spirit of Elijah. Accordingly, Elisha worked 16 miracles and Elijah worked 8 miracles.
Elijah’s importance in God’s purposes is seen:
- In his predicted reappearing before the great and terrible day of the LORD. (Mal. 4:5)
- In his presence with Moses and the LORD upon the Mount of Transfiguration, where the three talked about the LORD’S sacrificial death.
Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the son of man suffer of them. The disciples understood that he spoke unto them of John the Baptist. (Mt. 17: 11-13)
The life of Elisha teaches us about being a leader:
- Only God makes a way for our ministry.
- Confidence that God will confirm ministry out of the mouth of two or three prophets.
- The Presbytery and others will recognize our ministry.
- Never allow pressures that come through other leaders to cause us to doubt the will of God.
- Realize that others may not give up the old order.
- A leader must cast Christians into a world that needs healing.
- A leader must know that God judges those who curse His servants.
- A leader must be a servant to other ministries.
- A leader must know that praise and worship releases ministry.
- Follow the good qualities of seasoned ministry.
- Teach people to combine God’s resources with their own to bring forth a life of spiritual anointing and fruitfulness.
- A leader must know how to receive from others.
- A leader must know how to return thanks and to bless.
- Exercise discretion at all times.
- Never put things ahead of people.
- Never presume the mind of the LORD.
- In emergencies, do what God has taught through past experiences, but not rely upon it.,
- Be able to use the Word of God to bring healing to the spiritual food when it is contaminated by the immature when they create a worldly mixture.
- Use what he has and have faith for more.
- Must maintain his/her dignity in the face of politically or educationally prestigious people who flaunt themselves.
- Never accept bribes.
- Judge people by motives and not externals.
- Seek the specific mind of God for each need.
- Discern the hearts of his/her people, and not become defensive when they misrepresent him unto others.
- Always be willing to help others find their ministry by a balance between God’s sovereignty and human responsibility; he/she knows how to delegate authority.
- Have insight to solve problems ahead of time ---as being warned in dreams, word of knowledge, etc.
- Have a ministry of perception and cause others to be enlightened to see the realm of the Spirit.
- Have a balance of truth and mercy.
- Believe God for a revelation of the Spirit about the kind of attacks that the enemy would bring against him.
- Be concerned also about practical aspects.
- Trust the LORD to bless those whom he/she cannot.
- Sensitive toward people
- Impart direction and help unto others as long as the LORD gives him/her strength to do so.
2 Kings 2: 7-10: Elijah went up, and his mantle came down. Jesus went up, and the Holy Ghost descended (Acts 2). Fifty men of the sons of the prophets went and stood to view afar off. Elijah took his mantle and wrapped it together. He smote the waters, they were divided hither and thither, so that the two (Elijah and Elisha) went over on dry ground. Let us not be afraid to ask for the “double portion” of the Spirit of Jesus. This is the portion of the Firstborn!
This is a hard thing. This is many hours of prayer, seeking the LORD, taking many blows of rejection and persecution; many will be jealous; many will want to run you out of the city. You will be misunderstood. When you deliver the Word of the Lord, it will very often not be received. People will dis-fellowship you because you’re not validating and covering their sin.
This is a high calling and a choice covenant :
Phil 3:1-14: …that I be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. I do not count myself to have apprehended, but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Elisha made separations in three dimensions, and had gone to the wrong side of the Jordan! This is the price to pay for the three dimensions of the Life of Jehovah (2:2,4,6; 1 Thess. 5:23). Elijah was lifted up into another dimension. Can you see Jesus in His Ascension as the King of Kings, totally victorious over all enemies? We are to see Him as he is. Jesus in all of us! We are becoming his flesh, the Bread of God. If we don’t see this, “it shall not be so.”
2 Ki. 2:10: Elijah 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.
2 Ki. 2:12: 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.
As they still went on and talked…there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder. Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. The chariot of fire is the throne of God in motion. The horses of fire are divine beings similar in function to the four living creatures.
Ez. 1:4: I looked, and behold a whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself, and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire.
It is very interesting this verse is repeated when King Joash of Israel came to see Elisha who had fallen sick.
2 Ki. 13:14: Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.
The anointing, power and spirit of Elijah who was one with the Father was also on Elisha.
Elisha took up the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, went back, and stood by the Jordan. The mantle of power is not for our adornment, but His employment. He smote the waters and said, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?”
Elisha’s first miracle was breaking the spirit or curse of death over barren land.
2 Ki. 2:21-22: Elisha went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, thus says the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from this day any more death or barren land. So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spoke.
Sixteen Miracles of Elisha:
- Dividing the Jordan (2 Kg. 2:14)
- Healing the waters and breaking the power of death off the land. (2 Kg. 2:21)
- Bringing the bears from the woods (2 Kg. 2:24)
- Providing water for the kings ( 2 Kg. 3:20)
- Providing oil for the widow.
- Providing a son for the Shunamite
- Raising the son of the Shunamite.
- Healing the pottage
- Multiplying the bread.
- Healing Naaman the leper
- Smiting Gahazi with leprosy
- Causing the iron to swim.
- Giving, smiting, and restoring sight (2 Kg. 6: 17-20)
- Creating plenty in the time of famine.
- Putting down and setting up kings.
- Restoring life to the dead.
The majority of the miracles performed by Elijah were associated with death and destruction, whereas by far the greater of those attributed to Elisha were works of healing and restoration. Elijah was a prophet of judgment. Elisha was the prophet of grace.
Elisha had proper spiritual judgment and joy. He knew how to slay with a sword. He had a servant’s heart and did not mind doing menial tasks. There are many who never pass that test. A leader must keep a special respect for his parents. He must be willing to make known to his family and friends in a very practical way that he is sacrificing his old life-style in order to be a slave to the Lord Jesus Christ. A leader must ask great things for his ministry and his generation.
When Elisha died, they buried him, the Word God says the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. So this could have been months or even a year after they buried Elisha. The Moabites were burying a dead man, and they cast the man into Elisha’s grave. When the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood up on his feet.
That would shake up even the Moabites.
This is the overwhelming presence of the LORD on and end-time Elisha company which will come alive and stand on their feet. The spirit of Elisha is the spirit of Elijah, a type of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Who are you? Where are you? Take your place! Take a stand for your nation and break the power of Ahab over this nation.
Carolyn Sissom, Pastor
Eastgate Ministries Church
Scripture from K.J.V. and N.K.J.V.
I entered into the labors of Principles of Present Truth, 11 Kings by Kelley Varner. Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those who I enter into their labors.