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Monday, July 10, 2017

The Ascension Of CHRIST Is Prefigured In The Removal Of Elijah










2 Kings 2:1-25 NIV







Elijah Taken Up to Heaven



1When The LORD Was About To Take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; The LORD Has Sent me to Bethel.”


But Elisha said, “As Surely As The LORD Lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.


3The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, “Do you know that The LORD Is Going To Take your master from you today?”


“Yes, I know,” Elisha replied, “so be quiet.”


4Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, Elisha; The LORD Has Sent me to Jericho.”


And he replied, “As Surely As The LORD Lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho.


5The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that The LORD Is Going To Take your master from you today?”


“Yes, I know,” he replied, “so be quiet.”


6Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; The LORD Has Sent me to the Jordan.”


And he replied, “As Surely As The LORD Lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them walked on.


7Fifty men from the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. 8Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.






9When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, 


“Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?”


“Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.


10“You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.”


11As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. 12Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two.






13Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. “Where Now Is The LORD, The GOD of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.






15The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, “The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha.” And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him. 16“Look,” they said, “we your servants have fifty able men. Let them go and look for your master. Perhaps The SPIRIT of The LORD Has Picked him Up and Set him Down on some mountain or in some valley.”


“No,” Elisha replied, “do not send them.”


17But they persisted until he was too embarrassed to refuse. So he said, “Send them.” And they sent fifty men, who searched for three days but did not find him. 18When they returned to Elisha, who was staying in Jericho, he said to them, “Didn’t I tell you not to go?”




Healing of the Water




19The people of the city said to Elisha, “Look, our lord, this town is well situated, as you can see, but the water is bad and the land is unproductive.”


20“Bring me a new bowl,” he said, “and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him.


21Then he went out to the spring and threw the salt into it, saying, 


“This Is What The LORD Says: 


‘I Have Healed this water. Never again will it cause death 

or make the land unproductive.’ ” 


22And the water has remained pure to this day, according to the word Elisha had spoken.






Elisha Is Jeered



23From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here, baldy!” 24He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in The Name of The LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys. 






25And he went on to Mount Carmel and from there returned to Samaria.






Elijah Taken Up to Heaven




The LORD Had Let Elijah know that his time was at hand. He therefore went to the different schools of the prophets to give them his last exhortations and blessing.  


The removal of Elijah was a type and figure of the Ascension of CHRIST, and the opening of the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers. 



Elisha had long followed Elijah, and he would not leave him now when he hoped for the parting blessing. Let not those who follow CHRIST come short by tiring at last.



The waters of Jordan, of old yielded to The Ark of JEHOVAH; now, to the prophet's mantle, as a token of GOD'S Presence. When GOD Will Take Up His faithful ones to heaven, death is the Jordan which they must pass through, and they find a way through it. The Death of CHRIST Has Divided those waters that the ransomed of The LORD may pass over. O death, where is your sting, your hurt, your terror!


Elijah is carried to heaven in a fiery chariot. Many questions might be asked about this, which could not be answered. Let it suffice that we are told so. He was engaged in serious discourse, encouraging and directing Elisha about the Kingdom of GOD among men.


The chariot and horses appeared like fire, something very glorious, not for burning, but brightness. By the manner in which Elijah and Enoch were taken from this world, GOD Gave a glimpse of the eternal life brought to light by the Gospel, of the glory reserved for the bodies of the saints, and of the opening of the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers. It was also a figure of CHRIST'S Ascension.


Elijah was to Israel, by his counsels, reproofs, and prayers, better than the strongest force of chariot and horse, and kept off the Judgments of GOD. CHRIST Bequeathed To His disciples His Precious Gospel, like Elijah's mantle; the token of the Divine Power being exerted to overturn the empire of Satan, and to set up the Kingdom of GOD in the world. The same Gospel remains with us, though the miraculous powers are withdrawn, and it has Divine Strength for the conversion and salvation of sinners.


Observe the miracle of healing the waters. Prophets should make every place to which they come better for them, endeavoring to sweeten bitter spirits, and to make barren souls fruitful, by The WORD of GOD, which is like the salt cast into the water by Elisha. It was an apt emblem of the effect produced by the Grace of GOD on the sinful heart of man. Whole families, towns, and cities, sometimes have a new appearance through the preaching of the Gospel; wickedness and evil have been changed into fruitfulness in the works of righteousness, which are, through CHRIST, to the Praise and Glory of GOD.


Here is a curse on the youths of Bethel, enough to destroy them; it was not a curse causeless, for it was Elisha's character, as GOD'S prophet, that they abused. They jeered at him by saying “go up”, reflecting on the taking up of Elijah into heaven. The prophet acted by Divine Impulse. If The HOLY SPIRIT Had Not Directed Elisha's solemn curse, the Providence of GOD Would Not Have Followed it with judgment.


The LORD Must Be Glorified as a Righteous GOD WHO Hates sin, and Will reckon for it. Let young persons be afraid of speaking wicked words, for GOD Notices what they say. Let them not mock at any for defects in mind or body; especially it is at their peril, if they scoff at any for well doing. Let parents that would have comfort in their children, train them up well, and do their best to drive out the foolishness that is bound up in their hearts. And what will be the anguish of those parents, at the Day of Judgment, who witness the everlasting condemnation of their offspring, occasioned by their own bad example, carelessness, or wicked teaching!







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