Being a Prophet I have a desire to study and learn from the life example of Prophets in the Scriptures. At the same time there is a tremendous amount of revelation being released in this hour regarding the truth and importance of “Sonship”. Scriptures like these are really starting to garner attention in the Body of Christ like they haven’t in all of my time in the Church:
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4: 5 & 6 NKJV
“For though you may have ten thousand teachers in Christ, you do not have many fathers. Through the Good News I became your father in Christ Jesus.” 1 Corinthians 4:15 NCV
I want to look at the Elijah/Elisha relationship as it is a great case study of both being a Prophet and of “Sonship”. There are some very key points that we can pull from their relationship that perhaps you may not have ever considered before. I am going to quote quite a bit more Scripture than I normally do just to make it fresh in your mind and to lay the proper Biblical foundation.
“Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. So he departed from there, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he was with the twelfth. Then Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle on him. And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah, and said, ‘Please let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.’ And he said to him, ‘Go back again, for what have I done to you?’ So Elisha turned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen and slaughtered them and boiled their flesh, using the oxen’s equipment, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and followed Elijah, and became his servant.” 1 Kings 19:16, 19-21 NKJV (Emphasis Mine)
“And it came to pass, when the Lord was about to take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. Then Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to Bethel.’ But Elisha said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!’ So they went down to Bethel. Now 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; keep silent!’ 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. Now the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho came to Elisha and said to him, ‘Do you know that the Lord will take away your master from over you today?’ So he answered, ‘Yes, I know; keep silent!’ 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. And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went and stood facing them at a distance, while the two of them stood by the Jordan. Now Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up, and struck the water; and it was divided this way and that, so that the two of them crossed over on dry ground. And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?’ Elisha said, ‘Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.’ So 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.’ Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, ‘My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!’ So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces. He also took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan. Then he took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, and said, ‘Where is the Lord God of Elijah?’ And when he also had struck the water, it was divided this way and that; and Elisha crossed over. Now when the sons of the prophets who were from Jericho saw him, they said, ‘The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.’ And they came to meet him, and bowed to the ground before him.” 2 Kings 2: 1-15 NKJV (Emphasis Mine)
The first thing we want to notice about the Elijah/Elisha relationship is that there was “Sonship” already in operation in the earth at the time these two had their relationship begin. As Elijah & Elisha made their way through each location to the point where Elijah was taken from Elisha they were greeted in each location by the ‘sons of the prophets’, however Elijah was not operating in “Sonship”.
God had to give Elijah a course correction to get him involved in “Sonship”. God spoke to Elijah directly telling him: “And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.” After God’s instruction he came into alignment with God’s program of raising up the next generation, of raising up his successor, of raising up his son. One of the greatest tragedies we see in the earth in our day is that a mighty ministry through a man or woman of God dies in the earth with the home going of that man or woman of God because they never caught God’s heartbeat for raising up Sons & Daughters.
The second thing we can see in the Elijah/Elisha relationship is that Elisha even though he was anointed to be prophet in Elijah’s place, did not start out as prophet in his place; he started out as his servant. Notice in the Scripture it is clear that after Elijah threw his mantle over Elijah, (the symbol of his anointing and office): “Then he arose and followed Elijah, and became his servant.”
Elisha became his servant. He started as what I call in the P I T (Prophet in Training) (like Joseph). If you will Elisha began his OJT (on the job training). He began his apprenticeship. You know we have trades today like carpenters, plumbers and electricians and before one can be a full-fledged master in their field they must go through the apprecticeship process. It is no different for us today moving into our calling. We must spend that time in apprenticeship.
Too many want to move right from calling to walking in the fullness of the office. There is a big difference between “Calling” and “Commissioning”. It doesn’t work that way in the natural and it surely does not work that way in the Kingdom. Even the Apostles of the Lamb, hand-picked by the Master did not start out as Apostles; they started as Disciples under the discipline and training of the Master before they were released into the fullness of their calling. If Elisha started out as Servant…so should we. The Scriptural principle is clear:
“And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” Luke 16:12 NKJV
The last thing we can draw from the Elijah/Elisha relationship is that somewhere between the “Calling” when Elijah threw his mantle over Elisha’s shoulders and his “Commissioning” when Elijah was taken up from him into heaven and he picked up the mantle of Elijah; he moved from “Servant” to “Son”. Notice if you will Elisha’s words when Elijah was taken up into heaven from him: “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen.” Elisha was now no longer the servant of Elijah; he was the son of Elijah.
To help illustrate this point further I want to share something with you that my good friend Apostle Ricci J Hausley Sr. shared with me. When we look at the exchange between Elijah & Elisha before Elijah was to be taken from Elisha; we get another indication of “Sonship”. Elijah asked Elisha: “What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” To which Elisha replied: “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.”
Now most of us have been taught through the years, me included, that this is why Elisha did twice the amount of miracles in his ministry that Elijah did in his. That is one application of this event, but if we look at this event through the lens of “Sonship” we see something else entirely.
To understand this we must go back to the ways of inheritance in the Old Covenant. When a father had sons and was about to die his possessions were divided among his sons, but not evenly; if a father had four sons each son was not given 25%, the firstborn was given “the double portion” 40% and the other three sons would receive 20%.
This is what occurred here. Elisha said let me have my place as your “First-born Son” and receive the “Double Portion”. This was the last sign that Elisha’s apprenticeship was complete and he was ready to move from “Calling” to “Commissioning”. He was in the place of “Sonship”. He declared my Father my Father! When Elijah’s mantle fell and Elisha picked it up, he then did what Elijah had done and the ‘sons of the prophets’ who watched said: “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” This shows us the end result of true “Sonship”; as it was with Jesus a Prophet, who was also a “Sent Son”, The Son takes on the Message, the Method, the Mandate and the Mantle of the Father! May it be so in our day!