Elijah and Elisha
As a Bride figure, Elijah is perhaps one of the primary figures in Scripture, and certainly the most dramatic. From the prophetic happenings in Elijah’s life we can gain a great deal about the future Harvest separation of the Bride. Likewise, in Elisha we see a part of the commission to the next group of the Harvest, and it is here we see some of the future ministry of the double-portion Two Witnesses company.
Who is Elijah Today?
Elijah is a many-fold prophetic picture of the Bride. It is the Bride who, like Elijah, will one day be separated from the earthly realm, only to ascend alive into the presence of the King. Let’s look at some details.
Elijah the Tishbite, whose name in Hebrew is Eli-Yahu or shortened to Eli-Yah, means “My Elohim is Yahu” or, “My Mighty One is Yahu.” The Hebrew word Tishbite means “captivity,” and appears six times. The number 6 speaks of the flesh.
The combined picture we get from these names, tells us just who this Elijah company is prophetic of today:
The Prophetic Elijah of Today is:
“Even as the Elijah-Bride Company is being prepared for the bridegroom before her separation occurs, she is still in the present-day captivity of her fleshly body; yet she is full of the prophetic voice of an Elijah company, proclaiming the truth of the Living Word of Yahuweh for today.”
Elijah lived in Gilgal. The Hebrew word Gilgal comes from a word that means “whirlwind.” The Barley is the first harvest of the year, and so barley speaks of the first-fruits resurrection. The Hebrew word for Barley means “to sweep away, as with a whirlwind.”
Gilgal was the first place of encampment of Joshua and Caleb, and all Israel with them, when they first came out of the Wilderness, and “ascended up” on the tenth day of the first month, from Jordan into the Promised Land (Joshua 4:19).
Even the name Gilgal reveals a many-faceted prophetic picture. While the Bride lives and abides in her Bridegroom, she is eagerly awaiting her “sweeping away.” She abides in a place of promised resurrection, further helping us to see the picture beginning to appear from the many pieces of the puzzle.
Who is Elisha Today?
It is not evident at first glance who Elisha speaks of today. Let us look at some details in Scripture.
After having served Yahuweh, the time came for Elijah to choose a successor (1Kings 19:16). Yahuweh told Elijah to find Elisha, and anoint him as prophet. The Hebrew word for Elisha, <0477>Eli-Shua means “My Mighty One is Salvation.” Known as the son of Shaphat, meaning “He has Judged/ judgment,” and was of Abelmeholah — from Hebrew words <058><04246>, meaning literally “field of the dance/dancing/company” — which traces back to <04284>, meaning “thoughts/ imaginations/ cunning/ devised/ invented.”
Putting together all the meanings of the names reveals a rather astounding conclusion. All the prophetic meanings of who Elisha was, reveals to us exactly who Elisha is prophetic of today:
The Prophetic Elisha of Today is:
“Yahuweh My Mighty One, who is bringing judgment on the field or harvest of the dancing company, and whose thoughts and imaginations of the heart, are the cunningly devised inventions of man.”
The first thing we will note is that the call of Elisha occurred while Elisha was going about his daily work, perhaps years before Elijah was to leave.
So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him. 20 And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee? 21 And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him. (1Kings 19:19-21)
In these passages we see that Elisha showed commitment to following Elijah, but notice that Elisha showed his priorities, in wanting to first kiss his father and his mother, and then follow Elijah. The Bride will show no such inverted priorities, but will be totally committed, “following the Lamb wherever He goes…” (See Rev 14:4). Those of the Bride company place following of Yahuweh foremost, above all else.
Here we see Elisha as one who may not be ready when the first resurrection occurs. In Elisha we see one needing more time for refining, thus Elisha is one prophetic picture representing the second-resurrection saints.
The time would come, however, when Elijah knew it was time for Yahuweh to take him:
And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. 2 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. 3 And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace. 4 And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to Jericho. 5 And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace. (2Kings 2:1-5)
Elijah was not the only one to know beforehand when he would leave. We can see from the above passages, that Elisha knew also. Likewise, the Sons of the Prophets knew Elijah’s time had come.
This is a very clear picture of today. Today there are those that are among the Elijah-Bride company, who know the time is drawing near, for them to be caught up in a whirlwind to heaven. Even today, some of the Elijah-Bride company know the season, and even a few know the day, that they themselves will be swept away. However, even as Elisha knew the time of Elijah’s departure, so there is also an Elisha company today, who know the time of the Elijah-Bride’s soon-coming departure.
Likewise, just as the Sons of the Prophets of Elijah’s day knew the time of Elijah’s departure, even today there are “Sons of the Prophets” — those “having characteristics of” the Prophets. Like the Sons of the Prophets of Elijah’s day, these prophets are numerous today. Having been professionally trained, they are preaching, teaching, and involved in building programs (2Kings 6:1), and some of these are beginning to know when the Elijah-Bride resurrection harvest will occur.
Elijah: A Lesson for Today
This is a great lesson for us today. Even though the Sons of the Prophets knew the time of Elijah’s soon departure, they did not go up in the whirlwind with Elijah. Likewise Elisha, who knew the time Elijah was to leave, did not go up in the whirlwind. Instead, Elisha had been appointed by Yahuweh to carry out the next phase of Yahuewh’s plan.
We may conclude that both Elisha, as well as the Sons of the Prophets, are prophetic pictures of the second-resurrection Believers, who missed the first resurrection due to unpreparedness. However, each group has a further job to do, and each is to proceed in his own order of “ripening” of Yahuweh’s resurrection-Harvest (1Corinthians 15:23). Let us continue:
And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the LORD hath sent me to Jordan. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on. 7 And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan. 8 And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground. 9 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. 10 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. 11 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. 12 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. (2Kings 2:6-12)
What do we see in the above passages? First we see the mantle parting the waters in verse 8, with the dry ground speaking of resurrection without seeing death.
Then we see the chariots and horses of fire, which parted, or divided Elijah from Elisha. This was a separation made by Yahuweh Himself.
Then we see that Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. What is the significance here? The Hebrew word for the firstfruit crop Barley is from the same Hebrew root word as the word for whirlwind, signifying that this whirlwind event speaks of the Firstfruit Barley, which is prophetic of the firstfruit resurrection of the Bride.
What is the Mantle of Elijah?
Let us look next at the passing on of Elijah’s mantle to Elisha:
He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; 14 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. 15 And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him. 16 And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest peradventure the Spirit of the LORD hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley. And he said, Ye shall not send. (2Kings 2:13-16)
We see in the above verses, Elijah’s Mantle is being passed on to Elisha. The Mantle speaks of Yahuweh’s original commission to Elijah, that of proclaiming the prophetic Truths of Yahuweh, thus preparing the Way for the people of Yahuweh.
The mantle or commission of preparing the Way of Yahuweh is twofold. This commission first reveals the stumbling-blocks to be removed, the sins that prevent Yahuweh’s people from walking in ‘the Way’ — that is, the sins that prevent them from abiding [remaining; continuing] in Messiah (John 15:10; 1John 2:6).
This commission also reveals ‘the Way’ in which His people are to walk (1John 2:6; 2John 1:6). That is, it reveals the Way in which Believers are to allow ‘Messiah-in-them’ to walk together with them, in His path — which is to walk in obedience to Messiah’s Commandments, including those that Messiah gave to Moses — by the ability and power [Grace] He supplies while living within them.
We see in Elijah’s Mantle this same commission that has now passed on to Elisha, of proclaiming, and of preparing the Way — of bringing the message of prophetic Truth [the “now” meaning of Scripture] to those remaining Believers who would become the next phase of the Harvest.
The Hebrew word for mantle addereth, Strong’s Number <0155> also means “glory.” This Mantle is very important, for it speaks of both the prophetic message of Elijah, and the double-anointing of the Holy Spirit that was given to Elisha, in order for Elisha to take up Yahuweh’s Mission he inherited from Elijah.
So we see that Elisha’s new Mantle speaks literally of the “glory” of Yahuweh that was upon Elijah. Even as John the Baptist went forth in the past, in the Spirit and Power of Elijah (Luke 1:17); even so once again, Elijah will go forth in the future, first in the form of an Elijah-Bride-Company, in the Spirit and Power of Elijah; and then in the form of an Elisha-Company, in the Spirit and Glory of Elijah.
The “Elijah to come” has certainly come, in John the Baptist (Mark 9:13), preparing the Way, before the Firstfruit Resurrection of Messiah. Likewise, the “Elijah to come” will again come, to prepare the Way (Mark 9:12), before the Firstfruit Resurrection of the Bride.
So we see from the many features of the Hebrew words for the names and places associated with Elijah, that the Prophet Elijah speaks prophetically of a great company of Believers in the last days, prior to Messiah’s return, whose commission is to prepare the Way of Messiah in the hearts and lives of Messiah’s Born-again, Holy-Spirit-filled people, and to identify the stumbling-blocks in their path, enabling them to make themselves ready as a Bride.
Likewise, we see that the Prophet Elisha speaks prophetically of a great company of Believers in the last days prior to Messiah’s return, whose commission is almost identical to that of Elijah, yet with a greater anointing and greater glory than that of Elijah.
We also see the identity of the Sons of the Prophets of today. The Sons of the Prophets of Elijah’s day had the characteristics of prophets, and continued on in the midst of Elijah and Elisha, yet they were oblivious to the true purposes of Yahuweh, and did not understand the true prophetic import of Yahuweh’s message of the promised Restoration of all things.
And so it is today. Like those of Elijah’s day, the prophetic Sons of the Prophets of today are a Company of professionally-trained Believers who continue on in their daily lives with preaching, teaching, and building, yet remain oblivious to all the prophetic words and events taking place all around them. And so it will continue to be, until the completion of the Harvest.
and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” (Rev 3:3)