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The Ascent of Elijah...Elijah pt 16 ^ | 1-7-21 | Bill Randles

Posted on 12/07/2021 5:19:11 PM PST by pastorbillrandles

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.( 2 Kings 2:1-2)

Just as unexpectable as when he came on the scene, the time came for Elijah to leave. It is not the end of God’s dealings with Israel, rather a transition into the next phase of ministry that God revealed to Elijah on the mountain. The threefold Judgment, Elisha, Jehu and Hazael of Syria were to be interments of God’s judgment and (in the case of Elisha) God’s grace upon his erring people.

The day begins in Gilgal, and proceeds from there to Bethel. Both of these places have in common the fact that they were known centers for idolatry in Israel, and also that in those places were thriving ‘schools of the prophets’ also. These schools of the prophets were little communities of true believers which came about as a result of the initial showdown on Carmel, and Elijah’s subsequent ministry.

Elijah is a type of Jesus, and Elisha and the ‘schools of the prophets’ are types of the disciples of Jesus, who carry forth his mission after his ascension. On Carmel Elijah was used to strike the decisive blow against Baal, but the remaining work is then carried forward by his followers, Just as Jesus defeated Satan on Calvary, but left a body of believers to carry the work forward, after he ascended to heaven.

The typology surrounding Elijah and Elisha goes in many directions actually. We have already mentioned how He, Elijah was like a new Moses, confronting a Pharaoh (Ahab). Elisha would be like a new Joshua, continuing on the program of Jahweh.

On the other hand, we can reverse the typology of Elijah, and Elisha. Elijah would be a type of John the Baptist, a “voice crying in the wilderness” and confronting Herod, and even being persecuted by Jezebel’s wife as John was by Herod’s (false)wife.. Elisha, who comes after him, would be like Jesus. Elijah’s ministry was centered around repentance, but Elisha, who came after him, has a ministry of life giving miracles, as we will see.

There is merit for this typology throughout scripture, especially surrounding Elijah, for many places tell us that Elijah would come back again , before the “Great and terrible day of the LORD”, and when asked about it, Jesus himself told the disciples that Elijah had indeed already come in his day.

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.( Malachi 4:5-6)

Elijah and Elisha take a “reverse” Joshua’s conquest tour, going from Gilgal, to Bethel to Jericho, all cities which have to do with events in Joshua, and also these are places which Ahab and Jezebel, as rulers, seemed to have been led to try and reverse the gains of Joshua, by rebuilding Jericho for example. It was almost as if the policy of Ahab was a kind of “Re- Canaanization” of the promised Land, much like those who seek to reverse history itself in the Americas, renouncing the Christian origins and celebrating the pre Christianized pagan America.

This particular tour could have been a warning to Israel of her coming exile judgment , by back tracking the entrance into the promised Land.

Elijah had always insisted that he was a lone prophet, but now He and Elisha run into bands of believers, the “Sons of the Prophets” in Bethel and Jericho. Judgment and Exile is coming to Israel, but these people are the seed of the body who will survive the exile, and eventually end up in Judah, as a remnant testimony to the living God. They were the counter to the “Golden Calf” state sanctioned new religion of jahweh, which eventually went to judgment with the Baalists.

In each of the cities they pass through, Elijah urges Elisha to stay behind, but in each case Elisha insist on staying with His master. He knows He is the successor and doesn’t want to miss out on the bestowal of the prophetic mantle. Centuries later Jesus would challenge his little flock to leave him, in order to test their resolve.

The prophets keep reminding Elisha that the LORD was going to “…take your master from your head today”.

Elijah was Elisha’s head, he had taught him and guided him, and that season was coming to a close, Elisha’s spiritual ‘head’ was now going to heaven. Similarly Jesus told His disciples, that it was better that He leave them, and that He would one day come and receive us unto himself. He was not going to leave us “.comfortless”.

Elisha began asking Elijah for the Holy Spirit, and for the portion of the firstborn Son. His “Head” was now leaving, and the question as to whether or not there was a God in Israel would be asked again.

Elijah and Elisha both come to the Jordan River, and cross it, thus completely reversing the Exodus and Joshua’s conquest. They are leaving the Land of Israel. Even the miracle of the crossing of the Jordan in Joshua is reversed. In Joshua, the swollen waters of the Jordan are stopped and backed up, so that the people can follow the Ark, into the land on dry land. In 2 Kings, Elijah takes his mantle and whacks the Jordan, stopping it again, to let the two Prophets out of the Land.

Elisha has persevered, He would not be separated from his master, even when he was given every out. Could He be given a ‘double portion’ of the Spirit upon his Master?

Elijah couldn’t say for sure, but gave him a sign, If he could “see” Elijah, when taken up…that would be the sign of receiving the double portion a gift from God.

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.( 2 Kings 2:9-10)

The double portion is that which belongs to the firstborn Son, for the purposes of the continuance and safeguarding of all of the family for which He is responsible. Is Elisha truly the :”firstborn of Elijah”?

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; 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. ( 2 Kings 2:11-14)

With the Ascent of Elijah, the question ” Is there still a God in Israel”was settled, Elisha would carry on the program of the gathering of the remnant, and the witness to the nation under Judgment already. He saw Elijah ascend in a fiery whirlwind to heaven He saw the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof. His comforter had gone away, but he was not left “comfortless” for he had received the Mantle, the symbol of the power and equipping bestowed for ministry.

Thus did Elisha cross the Jordan again and enter back into Israel.

Eidersheim always seems to put it best,

And Elisha saw it. As if to render doubt of its symbolic meaning impossible, the mantle, which was the prophet’s badge, had fallen from Elijah, and was left as an heirloom to his successor. His first impulse was to give way to his natural feelings, caused alike by his bereavement and by veneration for his departed master, “My father, my father!” His next, to realize the great lesson of faith, that, though the prophet had departed, the prophet’s God for ever remained: “The chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof! (Eidersheim,Alfred, OLD TESTAMENT HISTORY)

TOPICS: Charismatic Christian; Evangelical Christian; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: elijah; jesusprophecy; typology

1 posted on 12/07/2021 5:19:11 PM PST by pastorbillrandles
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To: pastorbillrandles


2 posted on 12/07/2021 5:22:43 PM PST by sauropod (Meanie Butt Daddy - No you can't)
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