WHERE IS THE LORD GOD OF ELIJAH?
Hebrews 9:27 tells us that it is appointed unto man once to die. None of us can avoid it or stop it, so why should we fear, or let it keep you from serving or ministering for God? We are told in II Kings that Elisha was sick to death, yet we see him still ministering;
II Kings 13:14, 15 Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And 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. And Elisha said unto him, Take bow and arrows. And he took unto him bow and arrows.
We see from the comment of Joash (the exact words of Elisha as he watched Elijah taken) that he expected Elisha to go up as Elijah did. The children who taunted Elisha “go up thou bald head” (II Kings 2:23) also expected Elisha to be taken up. But it was not to be for Elisha; we cannot change the sovereignty of God. Yet on his deathbed, we see Elisha ministering and leading the king to shoot the arrow of the Lord’s deliverance for Israel (verses 16 – 19).
A Godly woman, a dear sister and minister in the lord, Sister Jean Allmon, has passed. While we had expected her to be there for Monica’s miracle, and go in the rapture, it was not to be. It was her time to go and be with the Lord, and now it is time to reflect on her legacy. Sister Allmon was a woman of tremendous faith, compassion, works, and prayer. Yet it is not in spite of these things, but because of them, that she was a mighty warrior in this spiritual battle. As with Elisha, when faced with her illness she still saw the needs of others and ministered and prayed for them.
Even after his death, we see Elisha still ministering;
II Kings 13:20, 21 And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.
Elisha is not the only individual that the Word speaks about ministering after death, Able is testified of in Hebrews;
Hebrews 11:4 By faith Able offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
We are told in II Peter 1:20, 21 that the word was spoken by holy men moved by the Holy Ghost. Therefore God himself truly testifies of Able! While the ministering after death of Able and Elisha are again physical examples (I Corinthians 10:11), they confirm the spiritual possibilities of what Jesus said in John 12:24;
John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
Satan has used men to pervert the natural things of God, and so it is with fruit or grain; men have learned to ferment it and stop its ability to multiple, bringing it to a failed end and a failed use. When you leave this world will you have prepared, as Jesus did, to die, germinate, and bring forth fruit? Or are you just going to ferment? What will you leave after you?
There is an obedience required to “fall into the ground”, and more obedience necessary to “die”. To each is given spirit and faith; your obedience will determine your use of them, or whether you will fail to reach the spiritual walk God has for you.
Let us now go back to the beginnings of Elisha and see his calling and his response;
I Kings 19:16, 17 And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay.
When Elijah cast his mantle on Elisha, the word tells us Elisha ran after Elijah (verse 19:20), and went after and ministered unto Elijah (19:21). Elisha was in a time of preparing, and that preparation was as a servant to Elijah. It is in obedience that we may find and fulfill our calling. His servitude is noted later to Jehoshaphat, that he “ … poured water on the hands of Elijah.” When the time of the fulfillment of Elisha’s calling as a prophet came, his desire was evident;
II Kings 2:1, 2 And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. 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.
II Kings 2:4 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.
II Kings 2:6 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.
Here we see the depth of the servitude Elisha has for Elijah. There are only a few instances in scripture where we see this type of devotion in following an individual; Ruth with Naomi for example. The greatest is Jesus with the Father; … I do always those things that please him. Will we find the depth of commitment and walk that Elisha had in our spiritual lives?
In reading the chapter it is apparent that the sons of the prophets at Bethel (verse 3), the sons of the prophets at Jericho (verse 5), Elisha (verses 3 and 5), and Elijah (verse 9) all know that Elijah would be taken away. Elisha does not want to be parted from Elijah, and declares he will not leave him on two things that he knows to be true: the first exhibits his faith; that the Lord lives, and the second that the soul of Elijah lives. Elijah then parts the waters to be where God has called him to;
II Kings 2:8 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.
Elisha has seen and respects the life and walk of Elijah, and he knows it to be true. But again we cannot change the things that God purposes, so Elisha has to choose what he can;
II Kings 2:9, 10 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. 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.
Elisha has such a respect for the spirit of Elijah that he desires and asks for a double portion of it! He is asking for seconds before having the first portion! With the response of Elijah can you imagine Elisha afraid to blink for fear he might miss the promise! Do we have this depth of respect unto the things of God? Elisha is prepared and “… in the place …” that the Lord chose for him. Despite the preparation and the promise, there were actions and faith required from Elisha;
II Kings 2:11 – 14 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. And he took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; 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.
Elisha had to see Elijah taken up from him; take up the mantle; had to return to the river; and had to smite the waters with the mantle, as Elijah had, before God showed him that the promise had taken place. When Elisha spoke, it was not with a question of if, or where, God is, but with a declaration of the promise! It was a declaration of faith.
Why did the mantle fall from Elijah? It was not by chance, but an example and admonition to all generations, that they may be called by this example. We must stand in the promises, and take up the mantle of those who have gone before us.
Are you warming a pew with the question Where is the Lord God? God wants you declaring, Where is the Lord God of Sister Allmon? Where is the Lord God of Sister Schoonover? Where is the Lord God of Brother B. H. Clendenenn? These all prepared, sought God, walked in faith, and ministered; and then passed prepared to die and bring forth much fruit. Are we going to ferment as the enemy purposes? or will we germinate, and take up their mantle?
You don’t have to be a son, daughter, or grandchild to take up the mantle. It has now been over eleven years since Sister Schoonover quoted John 12:24 to us and passed. Take up the mantle and bring forth fruit! Do you have enough desire to ask for a double portion of anointing? Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Our flesh keeps us from desiring, receiving, and walking in the things of God.
There is another point to recognize here. When Elisha saw Elijah go up … he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. This is the example of giving up self, or flesh, and the things of the past. It is fully and truly taking on the mantle of Elijah. The old man is gone, and Elisha has answered the call of God. God gave him the desires of his heart. It is this change that is spoken of in II Corinthians, that we only hear to be a salvation scripture;
II Corinthians 5:17 – 21 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
We cannot fulfill the calling walking in our flesh, or returning to the things or pleasures we enjoy. The flesh will leave us spiritually deaf and blind. These scriptures declare that the ministry of reconciliation is given and committed unto us! Will you be an ambassador for Christ? Will you be made the righteousness of God in him? Be obedient to the Lord; hear and do. Take up the mantle and become the child of God He wants you to be!