The Spirit of
Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
Elisha, while plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, was honored by the prophet Elijah when he was touched by the anointing, symbolized by the mantle that Elijah cast upon him. Twelve is the biblical number of authority. Elisha broke the yoke that he was laboring under, made it into a fire, slew a yoke of oxen and boiled their flesh. He gave unto the people and they did eat. He was turning his bondage into a blessing, symbolic of the anointing his life had been touched by. Elisha had rightly chosen to follow the anointing rather than the established authority that he had been laboring under. The real anointing is a yoke breaker, as far as form, fashion and tradition are concerned. Elijah represented a higher walk than the traditional prophets were walking in. God had chosen him as a minister of fire.
An angel of the Lord instructed Elijah to speak against the King of Samaria regarding his fall and the worship of idols. The king upon learning that Elijah had prophesied against him, "sent unto him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him: and, behold, he sat on the top of an hill. And he spake unto him, Thou man of God, the king hath said, Come down. And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. Again also he sent unto him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he answered and said unto him, O man of God, thus hath the king said, Come down quickly. And Elijah answered and said unto them, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. And he sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him, O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight. Behold, there came fire down from heaven, and burnt up the two captains of the former fifties with their fifties: therefore let my life now be precious in thy sight."1 Fifty represents Pentecost’s needs or the feast on the fiftieth day after Passover. This Feast of Weeks (see Leviticus 23:15-16) was a requirement under the Hebrew law. "Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and thy shall not appear before the Lord empty."2
Each feast is symbolic of the continuing Christian experience. The presence of Jesus is the key to this continuing walk. When we repent and partake of Jesus as the Passover lamb, we experience the forgiveness of sin and enter into eternal life through the blood of His sacrifice. Many have chosen to set down after this feast or partaking. They have camped around the brazen altar and laver of the outer court.
Jesus, after His passion as the Lamb, exhorted his disciples to tarry till they were given power from on high, when the time of Pentecost (fifty days) was fulfilled. The seeking children received the second feast. The power of this heavenly feast established the Pentecostal realm of the church. It was also symbolic of the second veil of the Tabernacle which led to the table of shewbread, the golden candlestick and the golden altar of incense, a continuing bread and light filled this realm of the church. And like the receivers of the Passover, the partaking is so wonderful that many choose to camp here. But there remained a third feast, as well as a third veil in the Tabernacle. Elijah represented a type that had walked behind this veil and partook of the third feast. Passover and Pentecost were to continue for two thousand years. Each time the fifty reached for the anointing of Elijah, they were consumed because they were out of order. They approached the higher realm, the mountain of Elijah, in the wrong manner. Jesus told his disciples in one place, when they wanted to bring down the fire as Elias did, that they didn’t know "what manner of spirit" they were of.3
The third time, the captain of the fifty, because of his change of heart and his humble request, was able to walk with the anointing of Elijah. The king who had chosen to inquire of the God of Ekron (Hebrew for ‘natural vision’) died according to the word of the Lord. Many today want to compare natural with natural instead of spiritual with spiritual. The carnal (natural) mind can only see carnal things. It has and it will miss God every time.
When it came to pass that the Lord would take up Elijah with the fire, Elijah began a symbolic walk towards his appointed place and time. God doesn’t do anything by accident. He presented a pattern to the spiritual eye of what it would take to receive this anointing.
Elijah’s starting point, Gilgal, is symbolic of God’s covenant with those who were with Joshua (Hebrew for ‘savior’) and came out of the forty year wilderness. Gilgal also symbolized the change of the bread of life. The manna ceased here. Moses had brought the Hebrews out of Egypt - Joshua would see Egypt taken out of the Hebrew children at Gilgal. The reproach of Egypt was removed. This first step, sees the church receiving Jesus as Savior, making a heart change, a covenant, with Him, receiving remission of sin and beginning to partake of Jesus as our daily bread - all foundational. But Elijah continued to walk from Gilgal to Bethel (Hebrew for ‘house of God’). God had blessed Jacob here with a heavenly vision of the ladder of God, a higher order. Jacob was to undergo a name change at this location. Israel (Hebrew for ‘ruling with God’) was to become his new name. Bethel was to be in the tribe of Benjamin, the youngest son of Jacob (Israel) who was the full brother to Joseph, a savior of his people, in type.
Bethel, as the house of God, represents our higher purpose. As a new creation we must realize that we are the house of God. Not some building made by men’s hands. As part of His family, we are joint heirs with Him. Angels (ministering spirits) will help direct us to the upward way (ladder), which is the full stature of His purpose for us. We partake of a new name in our walk with Him.
There were sons of the prophets in the Bethel realm who knew of the ‘catching up’ of Elijah. Elisha already knew of this, but he also knew that the anointing of this fire would empower him to remain with a double portion.
Elijah was to continue his walk, with his next stop being Jericho. Most of us know how that Joshua marched around this city with the ark of God, per the instructions of the Lord, and the walls came down. The name Jericho in the Hebrew means ‘fragrant’ or ‘city of the moon’, which symbolized the walls that must be placed under the feet of the church. The moon, a place of reflected light, is under the feet of the woman of Revelation 12, who is to deliver the many-membered manchild. Fragrance comes from the incense offered by fire in the Holy place.
Elijah continued his walk and Elisha refused to leave him. "Fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan."4 The view of the catching up by the Pentecostal realm is still ‘afar off’. Most have no vision or expectation regarding the fire of God. They are looking for natural clouds, not the fire in the whirlwind of God. When Elijah wrapped his mantle together and smote the waters of Jordan, he with Elisha walked across on dry ground; not damp or wet, but dry. Their direction was toward the wilderness. Elijah said to Elisha, "Ask what I shall do for thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me."5 The double portion was the allotment of manna given the Hebrew children before the Sabbath, or day of rest. This measure of the spirit of Elijah was to be conditional on the asking and the seeing of the fire of God.
Five hundred years later, the prophet Malachi would see a day coming "that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts."6
"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 father, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."7He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear.
1 II Kings 1:9-14
2 Deuteronomy 16:16
3 Luke 9:55
4 II Kings 2:7
5 II Kings 2:9
6 Malachi 4:1
7 Malachi 4:5-6