A DOUBLE PORTION
Elijah an Old Testament prophet was used mightily by God in calling down fire and in other miracles including even raising the dead (1 Kings 17-22). On a certain day God handed out a number of assignments for him to do, including to anoint Elisha as a prophet to learn from and later, would succeed him (1 Kings 19:16).
God prepared each of His servants for their assignments, there were also “schools” of the prophets in Ramah (1 Samuel 19:18), Bethel (2 Kings 2:3), Jericho (2 Kings 2:5), and Gilgal (2 Kings 4:38).
One of Elijah’s strengths was to obey God’s instructions without a moment’s hesitation. Shortly after God spoke, he found Elisha ploughing in a field. Elijah threw his mantle on Elisha symbolizing he was choosing Elisha to receive God’s authority and to walk in his anointing. Elisha left everything, and committed himself to being Elijah’s servant for the next ten years.
There are two essential characteristics of an anointed person:
- They give up everything for the cause.
- They are willing to become nothing more than a humble servant until such time God appoints them to the position for which they have been called.
In 1 Peter 5:6 (NKJV) “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” The time came, for Elijah to pass on his anointing to the younger prophet.
However Elisha had a remarkable desire for more than Elijah was willing to pass on this young prophet. In our calling there will also be a time of testing that will occur to check out our heart attitude. It was no different for Elisha he had to pass a number of tests. God will test your faithfulness along the journey to our calling. We will read about an interesting series of events that took place which tested Elisha determination and endurance to receive his calling (2 Kings 2).
How did Elisha get hold of his “Double Portion.”
At each location Elijah prophetically tried to persuade Elisha not to follow him but to remain at that location, (v2, 4, 6) “Stay here, please for the Lord has sent me on to” teaches us something about Elisha tenacity and his motivation for acquiring such a noble inheritance from his master.
I do believe Elisha’s request for the “double portion” was not from a heart festering with selfish ambition, to become even greater than Elijah. Rather his aspiration to obtain a double portion was to develop into a vessel to demonstrate God’s power and glory on the earth. Elisha realized he did not have the capacity to fulfill the awesome responsibility of carrying on Elijah’s work. The “double portion” speaks of a multiplication of the anointing. The fact, whereas Elijah performed eight recorded miracles, Elisha performed sixteen.
Elijah’s and Elisha’s visited locations where schools of prophets were stationed. This symbolizes the importance of the prophetic words over our lives as we set our sights on the “double portion!” The call on Elisha’s life was confirmed by his dedication and determination to receive everything God had for him along the journey.
1. GILGAL means “Rolling away and Cutting away.”
In 2 Kings 2:1, Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal means “Rolling away and Cutting away.” There were things that Elisha had to cut away and shift away all that would stop him from his pursuit to receive his “double portion” before he could move onto Bethel. “I want you to stay at Gilgal,” but Elisha replied, “As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” Gilgal was the name of the place where Joshua crossed into the Promised Land. This was the location where the children of Israel were circumcised, so they named the place Gilgal, which means ‘rolling away’. This prophetically addresses the importance of cutting away the flesh life by having our “………hearts circumcised” (Romans 2:29).
In Acts 7:51 we read, “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.” The Lord is concerned about the condition of our hearts! Are we willing to do His will, to follow the commands of our Lord Jesus?
To have the “Double Portion” we will have to pass through Gilgal
1. Sadly many stop here, they do not want to crucify the lusts of the flesh.
2. They do not want to surrender their all.
3. The price is too high for many.
4. We will never know what could have been the full power of the anointing.
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20). Those who have crucified the flesh live in Christ’s (Gr: ‘the part of a person that is prone to sin’) with its passions and desires (affections and lusts) (Galatians 5:24).
This is something we need to regularly assess. The secret to the power of God flowing through the Apostle Paul, “I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord “I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31).
When you get to Gilgal you will have found ‘holy ground.’
Visiting Gilgal hurts, but it’s worth the glory that will be revealed after-wards! When Joshua arrived at Gilgal, the Captain the Lord’s of Hosts commanded Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand [is] holy.” And Joshua did so” (Joshua 5:15).
2. BETHEL means “The House of God”
Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, please for the Lord has sent me on Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So they went down to Bethel (2 Kings 2:2).
To receive our “double portion,” we need to fully comprehend we are God’s tabernacle, the very dwelling place of the fullness of God. “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). Our relationship with God is our union with Him, our consecration to the same end – one mind, one purpose and one life. The Holy Spirit would speak into the mind of his prophets (Elisha) to illuminate his spirit and saturate his thoughts, while nothing of a person is taken away, yet everything that was essential was revealed to enable the prophet to declare divine truth in all its fullness that was imparted to him.
“They were “holy men of God who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).
3. JERICHO means “Fragrant”
Then Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here, please, for the LORD has sent me on to Jericho.” But he said, “As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So they came to Jericho (2 Kings 2:4).
Jericho was the first major city the Israelite’s conquered (in a rather unconventional way) as they took possession of the Promised Land. The city’s walls were reduced to rubble; Jericho became a symbol of supernatural conquest over the powers of darkness. Satan hates to see men and woman anointed with a “double portion,” so he will set up some roadblocks to try to hinder their progress. However, we are the fragrance of Christ (the gospel) to those who are perishing an aroma of death leading to death, and leading to eternal judgment. But to those who are being saved find knowledge of Christ to be an aroma of life leading to abundant life. The prophet is called to prophecy eternal destinies into lives.
“For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 2:15).
The enemy’s effective strategy is ‘discouragement.’ This can adversely affect prophetic men and women, particularly when they are anointed but the doors for ministry appear closed. We need to be reminded there are seasons for everything. There may be delays while God is preparing our hearts, remember, God’s delays are not His denials. Sadly, this is where many who are called, end their journey.
The waiting period is a time of humbling. Again and again, we die to our vision, allowing God to place his vision upon our heart. It isn’t easy; in fact it can really hurt, especially when we see others validated by those in authority while we continued waiting. As the war against an anointed person intensifies the journey can seem too difficult. Discouragement has the potential to take precedence over the desire for a greater anointing. Instead of rising up with determination like Elisha, many stop at the roadblock of discouragement. If anything is hindering your progress, be determined like Elisha – “As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you”, put the past behind and move forward with perseverance.
4. JORDAN means “To Descend”
Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, please, for the LORD has sent me on to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So the two of them went on.
Elijah discouraged Elisha again from accompanying him, Elisha remained with him, perusing something he desperately desired. Elijah places his mantle in the water (v8); a path was made so they could cross the Jordon. This speaks of stepping out in faith and seeing supernatural signs, wonders and miracles.
We need to fully understand what Jordan represents?
Elisha asked Elijah for a double portion of his spirit (anointing). Elijah replied, “You have asked a hard thing.”(v10) Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you;” Elisha’s eyes were firmly fixed on Elijah.
1. Elisha was fully focused and absolutely nothing whatsoever would distract him.
2. Elisha desperately wanted that double portion so nothing else really mattered.
3. Are you that desperate? The word ‘Jordan’ means ‘to descend’ this reminds us that in order to gain a “double anointing,” we are going to have a humble attitude. John the Baptist example “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).
4. In v.9 Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me,” v10 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.”
5. Elisha asked for the hard thing, the spirit of Elijah – the Holy Spirit is the Author of Elijah prophetic gift, the energizing power of his prophetic spirit.
6. And Elisha stooped down (descend) ‘took up the mantle of Elijah,’ (v13), within you lies an anointing that far exceeds anything you have known, if you allow Jesus to fully complete His work in you.
Jesus said, as He preparing to return home: “that we’d do greater works than He” (John 14:12). Like Elijah, Jesus left us His mantle; “Tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued (Gr: clothed) with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).
The power from on high was in reference to being anointed with the power of the Holy Spirit. Elisha inherited Elijah’s mantle in order to fulfil his ministry to the nations.
The Hebrew word for ‘mantle’ speaks of it as being: ‘glorious; magnificent; large and honourable.’ The anointing that dwells in you by the Person of the indwelling Holy Spirit the ‘HELPER’ parakletos, Strong’s #3875 from para, “beside,” and kaleo, “to call” hence called to one’s side. The word signifies an intercessor, comforter, helper, advocate, counselor.
The Holy Spirit is alongside us to lead us into all truth, to guide us and strengthen us to endure to the end.