“Who will pick up Elijah’s Mantle”
District Elder M.L. Maughmer, Jr.
2nd Kings 2
We find here a miraculous part of history. It is the story of Elijah being taken up into glory on one of God’s fiery chariots and the transference of power and authority from one generation to the next generation.
God unmistakably is teaching a lesson not only to Elisha but to us today. This lesson that God is teaching is He wants to do greater things with each generation then what was done with the previous generation. The Bible says He calls the old because they know they way the young because they are strong. Elijah represents the older generation while Elisha represents the younger generation. Elisha done greater works than Elijah, not better, but more in abundance. Elijah is accredited with 16 miracles and Elisha is accredited with 32 a double portion – greater works. Jesus said greater works shall you do for I go unto my father. However, in order for the next generation to do greater things that generation must seek God’s face and experience God for themselves. They must be endued and equipped with power from on high for themselves. What mom and dad did and had was good enough for them but you need your own experience with God.
We find here in our text the time had come for Elijah to go off the scene. Understand that a shift in the prophetic era was about to happen. This shift was going to take what Elijah had done and move it to another level. However, there was a process that had to be done first. How many of you realize that in order for you to go from here to there is a process. First you have to decide in your mind that you actually want to go from here to there. Second step of the process is you have to put that thought into action and get up. Third step of the process is you have to move from that place and start to head for this place by putting g one foot in front of the other until you get to the place you wanted to be. Understand that when you put processes together you get results.
In our text today Elijah was about to leave this old world behind and go on into glory. God had told Elijah to go to a certain place and from that place he would be raptured away. Elijah and Elisha begin a process that will bring supernatural results. Elijah and Elisha went from Gilgal. Gilgal is the place where the children of Israel came after they crossed the Jordan River. It was at Gilgal where Joshua had them erect 12 standing stones as a witness of what God has done. Gilgal means standing stone or witness. Gilgal represents the church because the church is a witness to the world of what God has done. Although Gilgal represents the church; nevertheless, in order for the shift that was to happen they had to leave Gilgal, the church – the organized religious system. They had to leave their comfort zone, their traditions, their familiar surroundings, they had to leave what they were used to because it was part of the process that was going to bring about a change.
Once they left Gilgal, the religious system, they came to Bethel. The name Bethel means “House of God” and here it represents the world because Bethel had a great spiritual heritage yet something happened to the city. Jeroboam the 1st king of the northern kingdom of Israel set up a golden calf in the city of Bethel causing the people to be given into idolatry and as a result an entire generation had become lost to skepticism, mockery, scoffing they became contemptuous, disdainful, sardonic, and disrespectful not doubt making fun of Elijah and Elisha as they walked through the streets of Bethel.
Elijah the older, wiser, spiritually matured prophet looked at this backslidden generation, no doubt with a tear in his eye wanted to fight sin and change their evil ways, but his strength wasn’t as it use to be. This new generation was more hardened, godless, rebellious, and evil then he had ever dealt with before. Elijah knew Elisha was younger, he knew Elisha talked the talk of this generation so he says to Elisha why don’t you stay here in Bethel. But Elisha knew he had to go through the process. He wasn’t worried about making a name for himself, he wasn’t worried about a title, but he wanted to be endued with power, so he said to Elijah “As the Lord liveth and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee”. He understood that there was still something he needed to learn from Elijah and in order to learn it he had to go through the process.
Elijah and Elisha leave Bethel and come to Jericho. Jericho means “A place called pleasant. Although its name is pleasant Jericho was barren, dry, lifeless, unresponsive, unmoving, motionless, and dead. There were no trees, no flowers, no fruit everything had withered because poison had infiltrated the water supply of Jericho and killed life or rather the reproduction of new life. The city of Jericho represents dead and dry Christianity – church not relationship. In this city of Jericho there were some prophets there. These prophets were students of the scriptures, they even had a prophetic vision because they knew that Elijah was going to be taken away today, but something was clearly wrong with them, they lacked power, they didn’t have an anointing, and they didn’t know how to operate in the spirit of the Holy Ghost. They could preach with the best of them, they could speak in tongues, witness like it was no body’s business, but they hadn’t experienced God’s anointing for themselves, they couldn’t effectively make a change, they were caught up in a fleshly ministry. They represent church folk that have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof. Constantly trying to recreate something that happened in the past, crying for an old time revival instead of realizing God wants to do a new thing. Elijah looked at this dry group of people and said to Elisha why don’t you stay here. But Elisha knew he had to go through the process so he said “I will not leave you”.
Elijah and Elisha leave Jericho and they come to the Jordan River. The name Jordan means “flowing down” and a river is a natural stream of water. Water in the Bible represents God’s spirit. At the Jordan River something was going to happen. There was going to be a shift that took place at the Jordan River. Elijah the seasoned prophet took his mantle wrapped it together and smote the water, the waters divided representing the dividing of the spirit, distinguishing the old and the new. The Bible says they crossed the Jordan on dry ground.
VS #9 says Elijah asked Elisha “what shall I do unto thee” Elisha said “Let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me”. See Elisha knew he had to do a new thing and it was going to take more power to deal with what he had to deal with, he needed more anointing, because he was going to be dealing with a new generation of sinners that were more hardened then the previous generation. He knew that just putting his hand behind his ear and screaming wasn’t going to be enough for this new generation. So he said a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. What you have is good enough for you, but I need more, so let more fall upon me.
VS #10 says Elijah said “Thou ask a hard thing, nevertheless, see me when I am taken away from thee and it shall be so unto thee, but if not it shall not be so. NOTE TO US TODAY: - KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE.
VS #12 says Elisha saw it and saw Elijah no more. So he rent his clothes in two pieces representing he was taking off the old man, he was taking off traditionalism, he was taking off religiosity, he was taking off man made rules.
VS #13 says “He took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him”. WATCH THIS: - A mantle is a covering, something that envelops, something that clothes. The word clothe in the Greek means to be endued.
When Elisha picked up the mantle of Elijah and placed it upon himself he was endued, covered, wrapped in the spirit.
VS #14 says Elisha comes back to the Jordan River (flowing down). At the Jordan River he smote the waters and asked where is the God of Elijah. He knew to smote the river because he had been trained by Elijah, he had gone through the process. When he smote the waters the waters divided and he came across on dry ground. But when he got back across the Jordan he was met by 50 prophets, these were the church folk that weren’t ready for a change they wanted to keep on doing things the same old way. They saw something in Elisha, but they were comfortable with Elijah, they knew Elijah, they were use to his ways. So because of familiarity instead of wanting to move forward they wanted to go back to what was comfortable to them, they wanted to do what was familiar. Fear of the unknown kept them from going forward, fear caused them to go back to look for Elijah, they were looking for their comfort zone. For 3 days they looked for Elijah but were not able to find him – why- because a shift had taken place and this was a new thing. After 3 days they came back to Jericho, Elisha was there in Jericho, Elisha said “Did I not say Go not” don’t go backwards God wants to do a new thing.
Understand that Elisha was dealing with folk that had a form of godliness, but denied the power thereof. Now Jericho means a place called pleasant, but there was no life there or rather no new life.
VS #19 says and the men of the city (they represent the deacons of the church) said unto Elisha “Behold I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant as my lord seeth, but the water (SPIRIT) is naught (ruined, morally bad) and the ground is barren”. The church has a form of godliness but denies the power thereof when lives are not being transformed, people come to church hurt, hungry, thristing for love, looking for a new lease on life. We show them how to shout and speak in tongues, but we fail to teach them how to live when all that is done. They came to Elisha and said look at what has become of this place.
Elisha said in vs #20 bring me a “NEW CRUSE” and put salt in it. WATCH THIS: - This new cruse is a new vessel, it couldn’t be an old one but a new vessel. This represents the next generation, a generation that is not marred by traditionalism. It represents those that are willing to be used by God in this next move and are not trying to ride the coat-tails of our predecessors, but those that are willing to do a new thing, “NEW CRUSE”. Then he said in the new cruse put salt. Salt represents the “Word of God”. There’s a lot of so called preachers preaching, but don’t have the word deep down in there hearts.
WATCH THIS: - VS #21 says Elisha cast the salt in the water and the waters were healed. When you apply the spirit and the Word change takes place.
After Elisha brought about a change at Jericho, the church, see charity begins at home, if the church gets right then we can change the world. After Jericho was healed he went to Bethel the world and worldly system. Bethel means ‘house of God”, but it had become corrupt, this world was created perfect, but has become corrupt. Idolatry, mockery, scoffing is just how Bethel was and it is how our society is today. Wrong is being called right and right being called wrong, every abomination under the sun is being done and the church is scoffed at. They laugh at the church and make a mockery when they say it is politically incorrect for you to preach about homosexualism in the church and if you do we can sue you and even close the doors of the church.
However, Elisha when he came back to Bethel after the shift had taken place and a new thing had come about, there came a group of children out of the city and mocked him, they said go up bald head go up. Understand that these were not young children as we suppose, most commentators and theologians agree that these were young people between the ages of 25 – 40 years old, old enough to know better, but they had gotten so far away from God that they did not have any understanding of God, they were a lost generation. They also did not understand the shift that had taken place, so they were comfortable with making a mockery of Elisha and everything that was Holy, kind of like today. However a new thing had come into play Elisha turned, looked at them, cursed them in the name of the Lord and the Bible says 2 she bears came out of the wood and tare (killed) 42 of them. A new thing was in place.
Today God is looking for someone to take up the mantle. It time for the next generation to pick up the mantle and take it to another level.
God wants to do a new thing and He needs Elisha’s to pick up the mantle that will not compromise.
God needs Elisha’s that will expose and deal with sin.
God needs Elisha’s that will pick up the mantle and raise the standard of Holiness.
God needs Elisha’s that will die out to self and self centeredness and say here am I Lord send me.
God needs Elisha’s who fear the Lord and not man.
God needs Elisha’s that Worship in the spirit and in truth and move beyond spectatorship and entertainment.
God needs Elisha’s who will say for God I live and for God I die.
God needs Elisha’s who will tell the world were not going to stand for this any more.
God needs Elisha’s that will say HELL no we’re not going to take it.
God needs Elisha’s that will not try to counsel everything but operate in the spirit and cast thing out.
God needs Elisha’s that will call down the fire of the Word of God to consume all that is not holy.
God wants Elisha’s that will release the church of the bondage of traditionalism and take her into her destiny.
God needs Elisha’s that are not going to stand for complacency, mediocrity, lukewarmnes, hypocrisy, immorality, profanity, worldliness, a form of godliness and the lack of power.
Are you willing to pick up Elijah’s mantle. Are you willing to stand for holiness for holiness without no man shall see God.
Who will pick up the mantle..
My mind goes to Dec. Sanders, he has been on the battlefield for a long time. So many times when its time for the offering I see Dec. Sanders struggle to get up, his knees aren’t what they use to be, his hands shake because he is getting older in age. He has been wearing the mantle but its now time for a younger person to pick up the mantle and take it to the next level.
WATCH THIS: - A NEW THING – Sometimes the younger generation my not want to pick up the mantle on their own they have become comfortable relying on the older ones to do. They say well they have always done it so let them continue on they are in a comfort zone to put it nicely, but in reality they are stuck in a rut. So what now needs to happed is they need someone that understands the whole vision and chooses out someone and places the mantle on them in order that continual prayer and ministry of the word will not be effected. Now someone may say you can’t do that – WELL WRONG – NEW THING tradition and fear of man says you can’t do that, but I find in the Bible in Acts 6 the apostles said choose out 7 men that we may appoint them. That word appoint means to designate, to order or decree, to ordain. That we may appoint them over these matters so we can continue in prayer and ministry, they understood the whole vision and in order to get results process had to come together and this was part of the process.
WATCH THIS:- __________ come here Dec. Sanders has run this race for a long time, he knows the way, but his strength is not what it use to be, its time for the next generation to take what Dec. Sanders has done to another level. So as an Elder that understands and is looking at the big picture I need you to help with his mantle. You may be scared, you may feel as though you don’t understand it yet, but there is wisdom and if you do as Elisha and stay by his side he will teach you what you need to know. Now understand that I am here for you, I got your back, I will help any way I can, but as an elder here I’m part of another process I can’t leave my Elijah.
In closing I just want to ask the question “Who will pick up Elijah’s mantle”.
District Elder M.L. Maughmer, Jr.