“And the King talked with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, Tell me, I pray you, all the great things that Elisha has done.”
Elisha was raised up of the Lord to show forth the salvation of Yehovah. As Elijah manifested the sovereign rule of God over all things, so Elisha demonstrated the deliverance God had promised to His people. Neither one of these men was sent forth to stir up a revival or make converts into the Kingdom of light yet both were sent into the land of Israel to show the sin and corruption of the land.
When Elijah was taken into heaven in the chariot of fire, Elisha was given of God a double portion of the spirit for the work of the ministry. He did not receive, as some have ardently contended, a second blessing from above. Elisha did not ask for a double portion of the Holy Spirit that he might perform his work better than anyone else, he asked for a double ‘mouth’ and ‘breath’ as Elijah, for he was the greatest of prophets. Elisha desired to be able to speak as this man had spoken and be as courageous in the face of danger and adversity not being given to consider how Elijah ran and hid from Jezebel.
The concept of the second blessing is very widely accepted and yet as diverse as the explanation of the second blessing is the application and timing of such a thing. Some propose that once a person gives their hearts unto the Lord, then they are the babes in Christ but in order to grow and become spiritual a second anointing of the Spirit is required to activate and manifest the gifts. Others will avow that the gifts of the church are unto all members but in order to transform them into an effective ministry a second blessing must be obtained by the laying on of hands for only then can the Spirit properly perform in His chosen vessel; the list goes on but the subject is not resolved.
All who are in the Beloved as the eternal seed of the Anointing are risen up together in He who is the Resurrection and the Life. They are blessed to be seated together in Him in the heavenly abode and blessed with ALL spiritual blessings “that in the age to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace and kindness toward us through Christ” (Eph. 1:3 & 2:7). He has afore prepared an earthen vessel for each of His children to dwell in at the appointed time and for a specific duration that they may be conformed to the image of the Son and has given them “all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and power” (II Pt. 1:3). The body, therefore, being fitly framed together, each part supplying the needs of the other growing in the grace and knowledge of His will unto the Holy habitation of God, is “complete in Him which is the head of all principalities and power” (Col 2:10)
Since these things be true and righteous in the One who cannot be turned, cannot lie and cannot deny Himself, what more could be added or where is the deficiency that a second blessing is needed? The time of man and his steps have been established and fixed upon a certain path designed of God. The labours of this life are assigned for completion without the possibility of failure as intricate portion of the fabric of creation and the steps of the righteous are ordained of God for good. Yehovah God had ordained Elisha to be the successor of Elijah in the ministry to the nation of Israel and He had properly equipped this servant with all that was needed including the mouth and breath of Elijah.
“…and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah shall you anoint to be prophet in your place” (I Kings 19:16)
God sent Elijah to find a man who was plowing in a field with twelve yoke of oxen. The twelve oxen indeed not be an arbitrary number, represent the twelve tribes of Israel whom the Lord Himself should plow under in the last days at the brightness of His coming when the house should be laid desolate. But the fact that Elisha, ‘The deliverance of My God’ should be there with the last of the twelve seems to indicate that Ephraim, the last according to lineage was under the watchful care of the Deliverer even through the apostasy and sin which is Israel. The first-born of Jacob was Reuben who defiled his father’s bed and the genealogy is accounted unto him, but the blessing of the birth-right is unto the last born of the house of Jacob, Ephraim; thus salvation came first to Israel and nothing that happened in the course of the history of this people was contrary to the salvation of God unto His people, the true Israel of our God.
This young man was able to control the twelve oxen, himself being with the twelfth, and Elijah came to him. He cast his mantle upon him and Elisha left all and followed him just as each of the chosen twelve disciples of the Lord left all and followed Jesus during His earthly ministry. None of these men were on an active search for Messiah neither had they sent forth a resume noting their qualifications for being servants of God yet in the appointed hour, God stirred the Spirit within causing them to come forth, by faith, and follow Him; thus Elisha was made willing in the time of His power to leave all and follow Elijah.
The events of time as orchestrated by the Will of God caused the death of Ahab and Jezebel, the ascent of Ahaziah and Jehoram to the place of king in Israel and then in the fullness of time Elijah was taken away and separated from Elisha. Elisha gave testimony to the chariots of fire yet the sons of the prophets insisted to go and search for the body of this man and when they returned finding nothing, Elisha said, “Did I not say unto you, Go not?” and thus began the ministry of ‘My God delivers’ to Israel. Just as the ministry of Jesus could not be completely documents (“And there are many other things which Jesus did the which if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written” – John 21:25) so there were no doubt many other events in the life of this chosen vessel which openly gave evidence to the salvation of Yehovah but those given in the testimony “were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Rms 15:4).
The Lord had again prepared an individual to attend to the needs of Elisha just as He had prepared the widow woman and her son to sustain Elijah. This was a large woman who dwelt in the land of ‘double rest’ (Shunem) who was given to observe this certain man who passed by continually. She was given the idea and the initiative to set aside a portion of her house as a resting place for the prophet who was given to acknowledge the site and turn aside into it. And the Lord blessed the woman and the husband, who for many years were barren, with a son and in the fullness of time, Elisha came to them and told them that the sovereign over all things, Yehovah God, had called for a famine. Indeed He had decreed before the beginning of time that a famine was necessary for this region of the world and the optimum time of duration was to be seven years. The land would be stricken without water for seven years and thus this family took up their possessions and departed for the land of the dreaded enemies of Israel; the Philistines. Here they endured many things but were granted to be protected and preserved unto the day when they would return unto Israel and seek to regain their house and land. Thus this woman stood before the wicked king of Israel to petition for justice and thus the king was instructed of the Lord to ask the ‘valley of the vision’ (Gehazi) what great things Elisha had done.
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, ready always to an answer to every man of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (I Pt. 3:15)
Neither Gehazi nor this woman could have been able to give an account of the great works which Elisha had done but first they were properly prepared and then enabled to speak; and in the fullness of time God stirred the heart and mind of this wicked king to ask for such an account.
This king was not asking for this information in order to decide whether Elisha was a man of God or if he should repent of his wicked ways and surrender his life unto Yehovah God; he was asking why he should grant the request of this large woman based on the actions of Elijah. Gehazi stood as the ambassador of Elisha for this woman who presented himself unto the powers that be, for they are ordained of God for good, to find redress for an injustice. The king was under no obligation to either party and since Elisha is the one who first said that Yehovah God had called for this seven years of pain and suffering, it would have made perfect since for the woman to return unto him for the resolution of her problem. Yet the perfect will of God had ordained that the king would first listen to the woman and then grant her request by the hand of a certain officer to “restore all that was hers and all the fruits of the field since the day she left the land even until now” (8:6).
Was it because Gehazi was such a great orator that the king was moved to such compassion? Had he given a good talk or put on a good show for all to see? No! The Lord gave this man a mouth to speak and the words to say. He loosened the tongue of this vessel to speak the truth about the great things that Elisha had done and then He turned the heart of the king to justice and compassion. Gehazi did not state that if the king did not comply with this request the fires of heaven would rain down upon him nor did he threaten the king in any way; the first thing that is mentioned in the list of the activities of ‘My God delivers’ is the resurrection from the dead. This identified the woman in question and the son whom Elisha raised from the dead as the ones in need because there can be no deliverance of any kind unless there was the ultimate deliverance first.
The Lamb of God stood from before the foundation of the world as the One who had been slain and whose blood had been shed for His people. He is neither a figure hanging in agony upon a cross nor the icon of death and destruction. He stood before the foundation of the world because He was declared mightily the Son of God touching the Spirit of sanctification by the resurrection from the dead. Thus He is the first born of many brethren and the first born from the dead before the children became partakers of flesh and blood. These, therefore, being one in Him and being raised up together in Him stand together in Him in the power and sanctification of the Spirit that dwells within them; this is the answer for the hope that is within.
“And they were afraid and bowed their faces to the ground, and they said unto them, Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5)
The doctrine of man cannot comprehend the resurrection from the dead. Many have dismissed this as myth and legion which the lore of man has developed to appease the ignorance of the mind. Jesus Christ is accredited with being a good teacher who established a new religion in the region which has spread unto all the world but He is not the Son of God and thus He is studied as a philosopher, a good man and an advocate of social peace and order. But Jesus said, “Think not that I am not come to send peace on earth: I did not come to send peace but a sword” (Matt. 10:34).
He came into this world to preach the acceptable year of Yehovah when the deliverance of His people and the judgement of God would be manifested for all the world to see. This deliverance was accomplished before the foundation of the world because of the love of the Father upon the children of promise and His wrath, which is upon Esau who is Edom, was poured out at the same event. Thus the love and the hatred of God are based solely upon the Will of God and His love, which no man can earn, and have been active since the day that time began. Even today, His people have been chosen in the furnace of affliction as the fire burns the wood, hay and stubble of the ways of Edom and the works of man. The outer man is perishing according to the fire, which is the house of Jacob “and the house of Joseph is the flame and the house of Esau is stubble and they shall kindle in them and devour them and there shall not be remaining of the house of Esau, for Yehovah has spoken” (Ob. 18).
The salvation of the Israel of our God from the inability of the earthen vessels they have been assigned to dwell in is the fact that the head of the house, the elder brother, the Son of Promise and the High Priest of their calling has endured this contradiction of sin against Himself and has come through the same fire. He took the cup of the fullness of the wrath of God and drank well, even to the dregs thereof, as He, who is the perfect sacrifice for sin, became the sin of His people and bore the judgment of God upon Himself; “therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit” (Rms. 8:1).
The revelation of Jesus Christ showed Him to be the One whose feet had been brandished in the fire for He has been tempted in all points, like unto His children, and has overcome all things without sin. He was seen of old as the One who was engulfed in the flame yet as the bush on the mountain He was not consumed. This same fire proceeds a great and strong people; there has not been ever the like neither shall there be any more of many generations. A fire devours before them and behind them a flame burns: the land is as the Garden of Eden before them and behind them a desolate wilderness, and nothing shall escape them (Joel 22f). This is the life of the sons of Adam whose end is destruction but the way of the Redeemed of the Lord is Everlasting Life./
The king asked a question and the Spirit gave Gehazi the mouth, which is what he asked for from Elijah, and the king could neither refute nor deny the petition of the woman. She indeed was a great woman who attended to the prophet and her end was greater than her beginning; not because she named the promise of God and claimed a blessing, not because she was obedient to the commandments or received her temporal blessing and deliverance but because of the inseparability of the power of Yehovah God and His deliverance of His people. Elijah and Elisha are not two separate people to be revered as the heroes of the Bible they are one in the same; the sovereignty of God being the self-existent all-inclusive One who alone inhabits eternity has delivered His people from their sin and that deliverance is demonstrated each and every day of their habitation in the vanity of this world.
“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death” (Phil. 3:15)
The Anointed Salvation of Yehovah is the only hope of glory that the children of grace have. They have been made subject to the vanity of this world by reason of hope and they live by the evidence of that which is unseen and the substance of things hoped for. The power of His resurrection is the surety of life eternal and the declaration that they are the sons of God. The fellowship of His suffering is the manifest token of the righteousness of God that they have been counted worthy of the kingdom of God for which they suffer (II Thes. 1:5). They are made conformable to His death in that the body is dead because of sin but the Spirit is life and thus they walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit of hope; “And hope is not according to shame because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us; for when we yet without strength, in due time, Christ died for the ungodly” (Rms 5:2).
Now hope that is seen is not hoped for and the natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit but thanks be unto God who has given us all things in the Anointed Salvation and has preserved and protected His people in the Beloved that He is indeed the Sovereign over the universe; that he has taken unto Himself His great power and has reigned supreme; that He has put under His feet all the enemies, the last of which is when the time of this habitation is over and these earthen tabernacles are put off and He has made His people subject to the vanity of this world, by reason of hope, that each of them might be delivered by hope.
Many stories have been fabricated concerning the man called Jesus but there is a testimony of truth that begins with the good news of the power of His resurrection from the dead; this is the gospel of our calling and the hope of the final deliverance of His people. The children of grace know how great things the Father has done and is manifesting in their lives daily,
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Rms. 15:13)
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
August 26, 2018