The Passing of the Mantle
30 x 48
Gouache on canvas with accents of chalk, ink, and pencil
Black Bible Illustrations
If you were called to follow in the steps of someone 'larger than life', you would do whatever you had to do to be prepared, You would hang on your mentor's every word, and 'shadow' them. You would want the ability to execute your duties as well as your predecessor, so those whom you ministered to would be confident in your leadership.
This is where we find Elisha as he is being commissioned to become the head prophet in Israel. Elisha knew he had to stay right by Elijah's side until the commissioning was complete.
THREE TESTS OF LOYALTY
And it came about when the LORD was about to take up Elijah by a whirlwind to heaven, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, "Stay here please, for the LORD has sent me as far as Bethel." But Elisha said, "As the LORD lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you." So they went down to Bethel .
Then 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; be still."
Elijah said to him, "Elisha, please stay here, for the LORD has sent me to Jericho." But he said, "As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live,I will not leave you." So they came to Jericho.
The sons of the prophets who were at Jericho approached Elisha and said to him, "Do you know that the LORD will take away your master from over you today?" And he answered, "Yes, I know; be still."
Then Elijah said to him, "Please stay here, for the LORD has sent me to the Jordan." And he said, "As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you." So the two of them went on.
ELIJAH'S FINAL MIRACLE
Now fifty men of the sons of the prophets went and stood opposite them at a distance, while the two of them stood by the Jordan.
Elijah took his mantle and folded it together and struck the waters, and they were divided here and there, so that the two of them crossed over on dry ground.
Eyes on the prize to win the double anointing.
DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK GOD
FOR THE DESIRE OF YOUR HEART
When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, "Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken from you." And Elisha said, "Please, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me." 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." As they were going along and talking, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven.
ELISHA TESTS THE ANOINTING
Elisha saw it and cried out, "My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!" And he saw Elijah no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces. He also took up the mantle of Elijah that fell from him and returned and stood by the bank of the Jordan. He took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him and struck the waters and said, "Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?" And when he also had struck the waters, they were divided here and there; and Elisha crossed over.
ELISHA CONFIRMED BEFORE THE PROPHETS AS SUCCESSOR TO ELIJAH
Now when the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho opposite him saw him, they said, "The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha." And they came to meet him and bowed themselves to the ground before him.
II Kings 2:1-15
!! ARTIST OBSERVATION !!
Elijah's translation would not be the only time Elisha was privileged to see the fiery chariots of Israel and their horsemen. He would witness it again later in his ministry—this time as a panoramic display when the Syrian army surrounded the city of Dothan where he was residing. Never forget there are always more of God's forces deployed on behalf of the saints, then the minions of the enemy against us!