GRACE BIBLE CHURCH

02162022

PASTOR ROBERT R. MCLAUGHLIN

Christian Soldier 47, Profile Of Elijah: Typology Of The Mantle

 

 

We are now ready for our fourth point on “The Profile of Elijah” which is the fact that:

 

  1. King Ahab’s wife Jezebel, had introduced the pagan cult to Israel following his victory of 850 prophets of Baal, including the 450 that Elijah killed personally.

 

  1. In 1KI 18, Elijah fled from Jezebel, King Ahab’s wife, eventually running away from her and looking for caves to hide from her.

 

  1. The prophet Elijah wore a mantle which was as a cloak made of cloth and the passing of the mantle, like Elijah did to Elisha, symbolized the passing of prophetic authority to Elisha.

 

Now, before we continue of profile of Elijah, we need to note somethings concerning Elijah’s mantle.

 

First of all, what is a mantle?

 

In Bible times a mantle was a loose sleeveless garment worn over other clothes and it was made of sheepskin leather.

 

In giving his mantle to Elisha, Elijah symbolized the passing of the authority of prophetic leadership from himself to Elisha.

 

The significance is that Elisha would be clothed with the Spirit of prophecy as the divinely appointed successor to Elijah.

 

Elijah “threw” the mantle over Elisha when he called him to serve; 1KI 19:19) and then later, just as Elijah was taken to heaven, the mantle fell to the ground and Elisha took it as his own.

 

He chose it as his own says; 2KI 2:13 He also took up the mantle of Elijah that fell from him,

 

Elijah was now gone and only his mantle remained.

 

This mantle signified the power of God in the life of Elijah, who taught that there would be a drought and he prayed to God and God heard his prayer; JAM 5:17-18.

 

JAM 5:17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain; and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.

JAM 5:18 And he prayed again, and the sky poured rain, and the earth produced its fruit.

 

The mantle of Elijah also represented the fact that Elijah asked God to send fire from down from heaven while he was on Mt. Carmel.

 

1KI 18:19 "Now then send and gather to me all Israel at Mount Carmel, together with 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the Asherah, who eat at Jezebel's table."

 

 

1KI 18:20   So Ahab sent a message among all the sons of Israel, and brought the prophets together at Mount Carmel.

 

1KI 18:21 And Elijah came near to all the people and said, "How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." But the people did not answer him a word.

 

1KI 18:22 Then Elijah said to the people, "I alone am left a prophet of the Lord, but Baal's prophets are 450 men.

 

1KI 18:23 "Now let them give us two oxen; and let them choose one ox for themselves and cut it up, and place it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other ox, and lay it on the wood, and I will not put a fire under it.

 

1KI 18:24 "Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, He is God." And all the people answered and said, "That is a good idea."

 

1KI 18:25   So Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, "Choose one ox for yourselves and prepare it first for you are many, and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it."

 

 

1KI 18:26 Then they took the ox which was given them and they prepared it and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon saying, "O Baal, answer us." But there was no voice and no one answered. And they leaped about the altar which they made.

 

 

1KI 18:27 And it came about at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said,   "Call out with a loud voice, for he is a god; either he is occupied or gone aside, or is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and needs to be awakened."

 

1KI 18:28 So they cried with a loud voice and cut themselves according to their custom with swords and lances until the blood gushed out on them.

 

1KI 18:29 And it came about when midday was past, that they raved until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice; but there was no voice, no one answered, and no one paid attention.

 

1KI 18:30   Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come near to me." So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord which had been torn down.

 

1KI 18:31 And Elijah took twelve stones according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, "Israel shall be your name."

 

1KI 18:32 So with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he made a trench around the altar, large enough to hold two measures of seed.

 

1KI 18:33 Then he arranged the wood and cut the ox in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, "Fill four pitchers with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood."

 

1KI 18:34 And he said, "Do it a second time," and they did it a second time. And he said, "Do it a third time," and they did it a third time.

 

1KI 18:35 And the water flowed around the altar, and he also filled the trench with water.

 

1KI 18:36 Then it came about at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, "O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that Thou art God in Israel, and that I am Thy servant, and that I have done all these things at Thy word.

 

1KI 18:37 "Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that Thou, O Lord, art God, and that Thou hast turned their heart back again."

 

1KI 18:38 Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

1KI 18:39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, "The Lord, He is God; the Lord, He is God."

 

Just like Elijah had times when he caused nations to tremble because of his prophecies and also who resuscitated the dead, was now taken up by Elisha.

 

Elisha carried Elijah’s mantle back to the river Jordan and asked, “Where is Elijah’s God; 2KI 2:14?

 

2KI 2:14 And he 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.

 

Next, he struck the water with this mantle just as Elijah had done previously; 2KI 2:8.

 

 

 

2KI 2:8 And Elijah 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.

 

Elisha has fulfilled the principle that the student becomes like his teacher; LUK 6:40.

 

LUK 6:40 "A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.

 

Let’s return to the earlier part of the narrative.

 

As Elijah and Elisha walked and talked together, a fiery chariot from heaven swooped between them and took Elijah along in its terrific wind up into heaven.

 

It was over in an instant.

 

Elisha literally cried out in amazement to his departed master Elijah, who was now gone.

 

The era in which he lived ended; another began.

 

And…….

 

This was all signified by Elijah passing the torch of performing signs and wonders to his servant Elisha.

 

So, When Elisha struck the water with the mantle, he discovered that although Elijah was gone, the Lord was not, because the water separated before Elisha just as it had done when Elijah earlier with his mantle.

 

The sons of the prophets who witnessed this scene understood that the Spirit of God rested now upon Elisha in zeal and in great power.

 

Now,……

 

Even though Elijah seems to think that he was the only prophet left and asked God to kill him, it’s interesting that centuries earlier, another leader went into deep depression and asked God to kill him.

 

His name? Moses.

 

You can read about it in Numbers 11:11-15.

NUM 11:11 So Moses said to the Lord, "Why hast Thou been so hard on Thy servant? And why have I not found favor in Thy sight, that Thou hast laid the burden of all this people on me?

 

NUM 11:12 "Was it I who conceived all this people? Was it I who brought them forth, that Thou shouldest say to me, 'Carry them in your bosom as a nurse carries a nursing infant, to the land which Thou didst swear to their fathers'?

 

 

NUM 11:13 "Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they weep before me, saying, 'Give us meat that we may eat!'

 

NUM 11:14 "I alone am not able to carry all this people, because it is too burdensome for me.

 

NUM 11:15 "So if Thou art going to deal thus with me, please kill me at once, if I have found favor in Thy sight, and do not let me see my wretchedness."

Like Elijah, Moses thought that he was the only one left and that he could not do what the Lord asked him to do.

 

It is also significant that it was these two men, Moses and Elijah, who had experienced such terrible depression and despondency, who were both sent from heaven to rescue the people of God but failed to do so.

 

Luke records Christ’s meeting with Moses and Elijah when he says:

 

LUK 9:30  And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah,

 

 

LUK 9:31 who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.

 

No doubt that the struggle our Lord was about to enter into in Gethsemane to Calvary was discussed.

 

By the way, what does Gethsemane and Calvary mean to you?

Gethsemane was the garden in Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives, where Jesus went with His disciples after the Last Supper and was also betrayed; MAT  26:36-46.

 

Calvary refers to our Lord’s place where he was crucified and it is also called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, MAT 27:33.

 

Calvary is also referred to in LUK 23:33  And when they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.

 

The disciples chose strong words to communicate the extreme emotional distress our Lord experienced while He was sweating blood in the Garden; LUK 22:44.

 

LUK 22:44 And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.

 

Our Lord’s own words expressed his emotional state when He said “My soul is over-whelmed with sorrow to the point of death; JOH 12:27.

 

JOH 12:27 “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour.

 

This is a description of inner sorrow and depression that was so deep that our Lord literally sweat drops of blood through His veins as He was getting ready to carry His cross to Golgotha.

 

He thought He was on the verge of dying and his emotional distress was so great that He didn’t know if He was going to have the strength to carry His cross.

 

All His power seems to be gone as He was crushed and beaten down.

 

It is here He tastes “death for every man;” HEB 2:9.

 

 

 

HEB 2:9 But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.

 

Notice a few things about this passage, such as:

 

Our Lord was made for a little while lower than the angels, but through His spiritual death on the cross, He was elevated higher that all the angels, both the elected ones and the fallen ones.

 

Also because of the suffering of His spiritual death, He was crowned with glory and honor so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.

 

And While He was in the process of dying, at the last moment, an angel was sent from heaven to strengthen Him; LUK 22:42-44.

 

Notice what He said in LUK 22:42 “Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Thine be done."

 

LUK 22:43 Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him.

 

 

LUK 22:44 And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.

 

Does this sound familiar?

 

Does this remind you of someone else whom God sent angels to minister to Him when He needed them to?

 

Concerning our sixth point in the profile, note the similarities that existed beginning in 1KI 19:5.

 

1KI 19:5 And he lay down and slept under a juniper tree; and behold, there was an angel touching him, and he said to him, "Arise, eat."

 

1KI 19:6 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.

 

1KI 19:7 And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, "Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you."

 

1KI 19:8 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.

 

1KI 19:9   Then he came there to a cave, and lodged there; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"

 

1KI 19:10 And he said, "I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Thy covenant, torn down Thine altars and killed Thy prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away."

 

Now, there is a difference in the outcome of Jesus’ depression and that of Elijah.

 

Jesus never gave up.

 

His faith held.

 

Jesus was victorious even in deep depression and He gives to those who suffer depression encouragement to go on.

 

He knows all about their situation.

 

He has experienced depression at its deepest level.

 

Not only will He comfort those in depression, He will bring them through triumphantly as they exercise faith in Him.

 

Back to Elijah.

 

After hiding in a cave on Mt Sinai, he finally heard the “still small voice” of God.

 

In 1KI 19:11, we read: So He said, "Go forth, and stand on the mountain before the   Lord." And behold, the Lord was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the   Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.

 

 

1KI 19:12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing.

 

This is what a depressed person needs to hear.

 

God led him out of his depression and took him to heaven without seeing death.

 

Before God translated Elijah, He instructed him to anoint three men to take his place in order to finish the reformation began with him on Mt Carmel.

 

These three were a pagan king, a wild man, and a gentle prophet known as Hazael, Jehu and Elisha;  1KI 19:15-17.

 

1KI 19:15   And the Lord said to him, "Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you have arrived, you shall anoint Hazael king over Aram;

 

1KI 19:16 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.

1KI 19:17 "And it shall come about, 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.

 

All three worked to change Israel.

 

The two kings, Hazael and Jehu, used methods of reform that did not work because their works were never approved by God.

 

The only methods approved by God were those used by the one on whom Elijah’s mantle was placed.

 

The mantle Elisha put on represents the gentleness of Jesus along with His righteousness.

 

As that mantle was made from a sheep’s skin, so Christ, “the Lamb of God” has a mantle of righteousness ready made in heaven.

2KI 2 contains one of the most spectacular passages in all of the Old Testament which tells the miraculous story of the aging prophet Elijah and his servant Elisha.

If you are familiar with these two prophets, you probably remember Elisha’s parting request: “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me”; 2KI 2:9.

 

2KI 2:9 Now it came about when they had crossed over, that 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."

 

In this request Elijah and Elisha receive Elijah’s prophetic mantle, and immediately parts the Jordan River, just like Joshua and Caleb or Moses and Joshua.

 

It is no accident that Elijah is the key figure at the end of 1KI and Elisha is the key figure to open in 2KI, and together, they bring the Word of God to the people of God, and especially the kings of Israel and Judah.

 

But just as important as their relationship with the kings is their relationship to one another.

 

And this is where the typological relationship between the two come into focus.

For starters,……..

 

The author of First kings and Second Kings intentionally paints Elisha as a second Elijah, thus giving us the first glimpse that the typology of the mantle is given.

 

Consider two ways this is observed.

 

First, when Elisha seeks a double portion of the Spirit, the author of Kings who was probably Samuel, fulfills this perfectly when we are told that Elijah recorded sixteen miracles and His servant Elisha performed thirty-two.

 

Elisha received a double portion of the Spirit of Elijah.

 

Then second, when we compare the lives of Elijah and Elisha, we discover an intentional recapitulation, i.e., Elisha is presented as re-living the events of Elijah.

 

Another example of this principle is that…..

 

Elijah ended a drought, Elisha ended a famine.

Taking one step back from first and second Kings, we can observe something else about Elijah and Elisha, namely that……

 

These two prophets mirror the previous pair of prophets (Moses and Joshua) and foreshadow a later pair of prophets (John the Baptist and Jesus).

 

Additionally, I could also show you that…..

 

Elijah and Elisha also foreshadows Christ and the Church.

 

At the beginning of 2KI 2, Elisha follows his master Elijah, refusing to stay behind, until Elijah is taken from him in a whirlwind.

 

Because he follows Elijah…….

 

Elisha becomes like his master, and after Elijah departs he immediately begins to replicate his ministry.

 

Still under typology and similarities, the Gospels end at an empty tomb, and Elisha’s story ends with his life-giving grave; 1KI 13:20-21.

 

1KI 13:20   Now it came about, as they were sitting down at the table, that the word of the Lord came to the prophet who had brought him back;

 

1KI 13:21 and he cried to the man of God who came from Judah, saying, "Thus says the Lord, 'Because you have disobeyed the command of the Lord, and have not observed the commandment which the Lord your God commanded you,

 

The story of 2KI 2 reaches backward as well.

 

Throughout his ministry, Elijah is like a type of Moses, and Elisha a type of Joshua.

 

Ahab is a type of the Pharaoh of Egypt, and once his son dies (Passover), Elijah and Elisha leave the land whose gods are defeated and whose prince is dead which we call the Exodus.

 

In other words,……

 

Following the pattern of sound words found in the Law and the earlier Prophets (Joshua, Judges, etc.), the author of 1–2 Kings filled his story with biblical typology.

 

And accordingly, in the fulness of time, we see how Elijah and Elisha not only point back to Moses and Joshua, but also forward to Christ and the Church.

 

  1. God has informed Elijah that his ministry on earth is over and he is to cross the Jordan River and go to a certain place, where a heavenly chariot will pick him up and translate him to glory.

 

  1. He invited his servant, Elisha, to go along with him, and the pair set off for what I see as a "teaching journey."

 

And what do I mean by that?

 

Elisha sees Elijah depart, receives Elijah’s prophetic mantle, and immediately parts the Jordan River, just like Elijah, and Joshua, and Moses before him.

 

In short, the storyline of Elijah and Elisha is one that is more than simple history.

 

As noted in the past…..,

 

1 and 2 Kings are a history that centers on Israel’s prophets.

 

It is no accident that Elijah is the key figure at the end of 1 Kings and Elisha is the key figure to open 2 Kings.

 

Together, they bring the Word of God to the people of God, and especially the kings of Israel and Judah.

 

But Just as important as their relationship with the kings is their relationship to one another.

 

And this is where the typological relationship between the two come into focus.

  1. After visiting both towns, Bethel and Jericho, they arrived at the bank of the Jordan River where Elijah took off his mantle and supernaturally the waters parted, and the two men crossed over on dry ground (2KI 2:8).

 

2KI 2:8 And Elijah 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.

 

Now, before we continue with our profile of Elijah, let’s look at an amazing passage, especially if you have never read it or studied it.

 

We begin with 2KI 2:1 And it came about when the Lord was about to take up Elijah by a whirlwind to heaven, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.

 

2KI 2:2 And Elijah said to Elisha, "Stay here please, for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel." But Elisha said, "As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you." So they went down to Bethel.

 

2KI 2:3 Then the sons of the prophets who were at Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him, "Do you know that the Lord will take away your master from over you today?" And he said, "Yes, I know; be still."

 

2KI 2:4 And Elijah said to him, "Elisha, please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to Jericho." But he said, "As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you." So they came to Jericho.

 

2KI 2:5 And the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho approached Elisha and said to him, "Do you know that the Lord will take away your master from over you today?" And he answered, "Yes, I know; be still."

 

 

2KI 2:6 Then Elijah said to him, "Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan." And he said, "As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you." So the two of them went on.

 

2KI 2:7   Now fifty men of the sons of the prophets went and stood opposite them at a distance, while the two of them stood by the Jordan.

2KI 2:8 And Elijah 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.

 

2KI 2:9 Now it came about when they had crossed over, that 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."

 

2KI 2:10 And he 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."

 

2KI 2:11 Then it came about as they were going along and talking, that 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.

 

2KI 2:12 And Elisha saw it and cried out, "My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!" And he saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.

 

 

2KI 2:13 He also took up the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and returned and stood by the bank of the Jordan.

 

2KI 2:14 And he 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.

 

2KI 2:15   Now when the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho opposite him saw him, they said, "The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha." And they came to meet him and bowed themselves to the ground before him.

 

  1. Elijah also failed people testing when it came to his servant "Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken from you"; 2KI 2:16.

 

He failed this test because he made a promise to his servant and then did not fulfill it.

 

Without hesitation, the young man Elisha said, "Please, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me."

So, he even asked Elijah for help spiritually.

 

  1. At first glance, Elijah appeared surprised by Elisha's response. He said in 2KI 2:10 "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."

 

As they walked along, suddenly a chariot appeared out of heaven and separated the men.

 

In a flash, Elijah was taken up in the chariot and Elisha witnessed the whole scene.

 

He cried out in 2KI 2:12, "My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and the horsemen he saw him no more so he took hold of his own clothes and ripped them in two pieces."

 

Elijah was gone - but his mantle had dropped to the ground.

 

When Elisha saw it, he ripped off his own clothes, tore them into pieces and placed Elijah's mantle on his back.

 

Then he returned to the Jordan and did just as his master had done:

 

He took off the mantle and struck the water with it and immediately the waters parted, and Elisha walked over on dry ground and so began the young prophet's own remarkable ministry.

 

The events in this chapter are absolutely incredible yet what does this passage have to say to us today?

 

I believe God has given us an unmistakable lesson here, with a clear, simple meaning:

 

  1. Elijah learned God wants to do greater things with each succeeding generation but each new generation must seek the Lord for its own experience of the Holy Spirit and its own enduement of power from Him.

 

It is wonderful to read about God opening the Red Sea for Moses and parting the Jordan for Joshua but it's another thing for us to ask God to perform wonders for us. Yet that is exactly what our Lord desires for us.

 

He wants to perform miracles and provide more of His Spirit for His people beyond anything seen in the past.

 

He longs to increase and enlarge our faith so that, like Elisha, we will ask for a double portion of his Spirit, for God’s glory.

 

  1. Elijah is also a type of Christ ascending to the father as Jesus promised to us in JOH 14:12, where believers are told that they were going to do greater works than even he has done.

 

  1. Elijah failed people testing when it came to King Ahab who he could not handle basically because the king was a wimp who could not control his wife Jezebel.

 

Like all wimps can’t.

 

  1. Elijah failed people testing when it came to Jezebel who he lived in fear; 1KI 19:3.

 

And we can understand why, when we understand some things about Jezebel as we did on Sunday morning.

 

  1. Elijah failed people testing when there was a certain “unnamed prophet” that Elijah apparently did not know about.

 

How do we know that?

 

We know that because of something the apostle Paul said in Romans 11.

 

ROM 11:2 God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?

 

ROM 11:3 "Lord, they have killed Thy prophets, they have torn down Thine altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life."

 

ROM 11:4 But what is the divine response to him? "I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal."

 

ROM 11:5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God's gracious choice.

 

Look at 1KI 19:10 "I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Thy covenant, torn down Thine altars and killed Thy prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away."

 

The key word is the word alone…..

 

Elijah thought he was the only prophet left but he found out that the Lord had over 7,000 prophets who have not bowed their knees to Baal.

 

  1. God affirmed the unnamed prophet's ministry to Elijah with other supernatural works but this same holy prophet was later seduced and compromised by a lack of spiritual power.
  2. Elijah had known all along the need for the Holy Spirit to do a greater, more powerful work in him before he could face down the evil and wickedness in Israel.

 

One of the places that Elijah tried to save was in BetheI.

 

Bethel represents the kind of evil society our own nation has become in just a generation's time. We too live among scoffers and mockers, sensual people given over to lust, idolatry, homosexuality.

 

JUD 1:16 describes them to us.

 

JUD 1:16 These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.

 

And this present generation is worse than any Elijah or Elisha ever faced.

 

Those holy prophets saw children mocking, scoffing and blaspheming - but America's children are murdering one another.

Ten-year-old boys are raping five-year-old girls.

 

Young children are killing without any guilt or sorrow cutting down parents, classmates, innocent strangers.

 

I don't wish to make a broad, sweeping judgment against all youth.

 

I know there are many godly teenagers in this society who are on fire for the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

I thank God for every young person who takes a stand for Christ in these wicked times.

 

Yet, this evil day demands that God's people obtain a double portion of his power and authority, to be able to reach this lost generation.

 

It's going to require a measure of anointing such as we have never seen in all of history.

 

It demands that a holy remnant rise up like Elisha (not Elijah) and cry, "Oh, Lord - more is needed."

 

  1. Elijah and Elisha proceeded to Jericho, which means "a place called pleasant" even though the city was now barren, dry, utterly lifeless.

 

There were no trees, no pastures, no fruit.

 

Everything had withered because a stream of poison had infiltrated Jericho's water supply.

 

This city represents dead, dry Christianity, a church our Lord described in Revelation this way:

 

REV 3:1 He who has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars, says this: 'I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.

 

  1. Elijah had established a school of prophets in Jericho, and apparently, he and Elisha visited the school and some of the young, upstart prophets approached Elisha, and asked him if Elijah was dying.

 

Elisha quickly cut them off, telling them, "Be silent."

 

Now, these strong young men of God were students of the scriptures.

 

They even had some prophetic vision, because they knew Elijah was going to be taken up that day.

 

This was the generation of ministers who would be sent out across Judah and Israel to minister to society - building schools, feeding the poor, preaching the word.

 

But something was clearly missing in them: the power, anointing and authority of the Holy Spirit.

 

The next day, these same ministers would be begging Elisha to let them go look for Elijah's body, in case the Holy Spirit dropped him off some mountain or into some valley.

 

They were totally ignorant of the ways and workings of the Holy Spirit.

 

They could witness, preach, speak of miracles - but they hadn't experienced God's power for themselves.

 

  1. Elijah overheard their conversation with Elisha and wondered if his servant discerned where their fleshly ministry was headed.

 

So, once again, the old prophet tested his young protege.

 

  1. It appears that “Elijah” suggested to "Elisha” that he should be looking at the next generation of ministry yet you can obviously see the lack of the Spirit's work in them.

 

Why don't you settle here and teach these ministers the ways of the Spirit?

 

You're just the man to awaken this dead, dry, intellectual church."

 

But Elisha knew what would happen if he pastored these ministers.

 

They would remain “memorized” of Elijah's powerful ministry - and they would constantly bombard him with questions about him: like:

"How many hours a day did your master pray?”

How much time did he spend in the books of the law?

 

What methods did he use?

What passages did he preach?

What doctrines did he teach?"

 

Elisha would end up spending all his time recounting revivals and miracles of the past.

 

And These young ministers would spend all their energies trying to be a little Elijah hoping to recreate his miracles - yet without the power and authority of the Holy Spirit.

 

The church today has fallen into the same snare.

 

We study past movements and revivals, looking for keys, trying to discover methods to bring down fire from heaven, like Elijah did.

 

Since I can remember, the church has been crying out for truth and doctrinal teaching as the basis for revival.

 

Yet this all stems from a desire to see God recreate something He has done ever since the creation of man in GEN 2.

 

  1. Elijah also knew he couldn't impact anyone in the a dead, dry nation of Israel unless he received his own touch from God.

 

He couldn't rely on others and their so-called great works.

 

  1. Elijah was not going to settle for anything less than more of the Spirit and believed at times that his forefathers, the spiritual giants of the past, knew the Lord loves to do new things.

 

I want to go back now to the scene at the Jordan River and begin with a question that will lead us to our 25th point on the profile of Elijah.

 

  1. Why did Elijah insist on miraculously passing through the Jordan river which wasn't a deep, wide river, and scripture gives no evidence that it was even swollen.

Besides, there were fifty strong, young prophets on the other side who could have built a raft for them in a matter of a few hours.

 

I believe Elijah sought to teach his successor that the miracle crossings of the past - from Moses, to Joshua, to the present day - were all ancient history.

 

He wanted to challenge Elisha, as if to say:

 

  1. "When you start your own ministry, and you preach that God is a God of miracles, you have to testify of what he has done for you personally.

 

I'm going to be gone soon, Elisha.

 

And tomorrow, when you return to this river, I want you to go back across the way you came.

 

Believe God for the miraculous in your own life."

 

Most of us don't have faith to believe God for our own miracles today.

 

We spend our time pouring over the incredible wonders in scripture - yet all along God wants to tell us, "I have something even better for you.

 

I want to do miracles in your life - to change your home, fix your marriage, save your unsaved loved ones.

 

You're going to face your own Red Sea, your own Jordan River and I want to part those waters just for you like I did for them.

 

So much then for the Profile of Elijah and the fact that he failed people testing and passed people testing.

 

He wasn’t the first prophet and he would not be the last that did just like Abraham did when he was faithful on the one hand and faithless on the other.

 

For example……

 

Isaac had no fear when he trusted that the Lord would provide a sacrifice; GEN 22:1-19.

 

 

Yet in spite of the faith that Isaac had concerning the fact that the Lord would provide a sacrifice, he also lacked faith when it came to his wife Rebecca; GEN 26:7.

 

In fact, let me give you some of the names of those believers who both failed and succeeded in the same realm.

 

I could document them all for you but that is not a part of our profile.

 

But In HEB 11, there is also Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, Barak, Samson, David, Samuel, the prophets, and many other more biblical characters that I could mention who are found in the Word of God.

 

This is not our study but it would be an excellent study someday that I would entitle:

 

“The Seeming contradictions found in the Word of God.”

Scroll to Top