2 Kings 2 continued by Pastor Don
Check out yesterday’s post for the background to this study.
Elijah recognizes that he is going to be with the Lord. It is not a natural death. Alongside of Elijah is Elisha, his student and follower, who is spiritually aware. Elisha is spiritually mature. He has been following in Elijah’s footsteps for some time now. (Heather’s aha moment, I have had a hard time remembering which prophet came first, and today just noticed that “j” comes before “s”, and will not have that problem again.)
2 Kings 2:1 And it came to pass, when the LORD was about to take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went to Elisha from Gilgal.
Gilgal means a wheel, a rolling circle, going round and round. It was a wilderness place. Moses and Joshua came there at the end of the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. When Joshua arrived there, after the wandering, he had his men circumcised. In their wandering in the wilderness, they had neglected to do this, and circumcision was a sign of the covenant of Abraham.
When we reach our Gilgals, our flesh is going to be cut off, and we will be dedicated to a new righteousness of God, starting a new phase. We will not be able to continue to sin. It is true that a person who has been saved and received the Holy Ghost can continue to sin, but the Holy Ghost will keep convicting the person, holding them to a higher standard. When we hear from, God we have the choice to obey or not to obey. The Holy Spirit leads us to truth, and gives us exact details. If we refuse to listen and continue to disobey, the Holy Spirit will back off. He cannot bless disobedience. This leaves us open for those fiery darts from satan, for our armor will have chinks in it.
At our Gilgals the Holy Spirit will see that we are circumcised and ready to pass over. Gilgal means rolling – and God rolls away our flesh, He rolls away our carnality. He also rolls away our Manna. Remember when the Israelites came to Gilgal and ate of the land, the manna stopped. They ate their last heavenly meal because they were going into the Promised Land, to be in grace. When we reach our Gilgal, God stops doing it all for us, he wants us to be able to do what He has promised us we can do. (Heather’s note, just like as a baby learns to walk, the parent does not always carry them around, but lets them grow and develop).
When the Manna stopped, they had to grow their own food, and depend on God’s grace. If the Manna had continued they would not have had to activate their faith for provision. We cannot get into heaven by someone else’s faith. We are given the grace to stand, and to stand in God’s authority. We need direct empowerment to manifest – faith, power, grace, gifts, manifestations of power is available to believers.
Pastor Don said even when circumstances do not seem to happen according to God’s Word, we need to keep speaking His Word. For example, “By His stripes I am healed.” We may have to say and believe those words 50, 100, 1000, 5000, 10,000 times until one day we realize we have what we said.
Gilgal rolls away the reproach against us. Israel was in the wilderness 40 years and did not circumcise their males. Had they walked into the Promised Land uncircumcised, the promises of Abraham would not have been available to them. When Born Again believers come into the Holy Ghost, the reproach against us is rolled away or we would all die. If we have sin in us, we cannot see God and live.
Reproach against God is rolled away. There is a power in confession. Pastor Don pointed out that he doesn’t necessarily like sharing his past errors with us, but by being open and transparent, there is no way satan can come in and cast aspersions. It is all in the open. He then pointed out that Obama was wise in writing a book and sharing all of his mistakes in the book, for the candidates might want to dig up dirt, and he can say, “Yes, I know, I wrote about it in my book.” If there is nothing hidden, there is nothing that can be used against you, for the enemy is disarmed.
God rolls way reproach in mature believers, circumcises our flesh. And our Passover is Jesus Christ.
Elisha was with Elijah.
2 Kings 2:2 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.
This is the level of dedication the mentor needs from the mentee. We may know the teaching, but we also need to walk in the fullness of it and not depart from it. Our dedication is to what Pastor Don teaches, not to Pastor Don. Our dedication is to what he has taught by the truth of God and the Word of the Lord. We are not to depart from the truth of the mentor, but follow Him to the next place.
2 Kings 2:3 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.”
There is always that time and place. We need to defend the church and the ministry. We hold in our tongues the destiny and outcome of the church. If we do not defend the church, the devil will have his way. We have to be fair and emphatic. This is the house I am planted in. We need to know our message and our mission. We need to defend our members, family and support system. It is very easy to kill a Lone Ranger. If someone has your back, you have more protection.
We cannot be talked out of following our mentor. Ruth came out of the flesh and went to where she wanted to be, in the Promised Land. The people in Israel were led to where God wanted them to be – the Promised Land. When we are faced with a struggle, we need to realize that a great test will give a great result.
Bethel means House of God. Abraham went to Bethel, Joshua went to Bethel and faced his great battle of Ai. Remember, in Ai, Joshua first went up to fight without God and got decimated. God revealed hidden sin (Achan’s taking of the garments and money) and then went with God’s direction to the battle. Jacob wrestled with God at Bethel. At the House of God, Bethel, Jacob’s mission and call was given.
Elisha had to have his own personal place where he could meet God.
We all need our Bethels, where we meet God. We need to remember the Bethel when we first met God and then visit it spiritually. It is a place of strength, of renewal. When we are tested in our lives we need to go to Bethel and refresh ourselves.
We do not want to go back to Gilgal instead of Bethel. We don’t want to get caught back into the same cycle of defeat, rather go to the place where we met God and He changed us. We don’t want to revert to how we used to deal with situation.
2 Kings 2:4 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.
Jericho means fragrant, to blow, to breathe, to smell, to perceive and understand quickly.
We get to Jericho because we have been to Gilgal (roll away reproach) and Bethel (house of God) and now we have discernment. It is not the discernment of the world. The breath of the Holy Ghost helps us to perceive and discern quickly. When we are in the world, we weigh pros and cons, but we need to consult with the Holy Ghost for direction.
Pastor Don mentioned how people often act in their own understanding, see things falling around them because they did not consult God first, or speak with their mentor or spiritual father. So often they come to him after things have collapsed, and they have clawed, and dug a huge hole for themselves. Sometimes, Pastor Don mentioned, an hour of counseling before a major decision will save five or six hours of counseling to sort out the problems caused by moving before seeking God. Remember, Peter did not get out of the boat until Jesus called to him.
At our Jerichos the Holy Spirit breathes on us, and gives us direction. We need this to go on in confirmation and understanding of where we are to go. If we are doing God’s best for us or not. If God has given us the green light, we can proceed even if circumstances seem to look wrong.
2 Kings 2:5 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!”
We should not get to the point where we love the prophetic word from others and forget wisdom. The Holy Spirit protects us, not the prophetic words.
To be gifted in the prophetic means we are willing to listen, to be teachable, and testable. The Body of Christ must discern who is speaking to us, who is leading us.
Someone mentioned that the walls of Jericho were brought down with breath – for they were brought down with a shout.
We had to stop for today, but Pastor Don said that he will continue next Bible study. I am excited about this, for several places in the Bible there are place names that speak about spiritual states in people. And this is one that I hadn’t discovered before.
But it is true, we come to Gilgal (where our reproach is rolled away by Jesus) and that leaves us open for Bethel (meeting with God) who gives us the Holy Spirit and direction to speak His Word (breath) into a situation. Wonder where He will take us next.
Have a blessed day!
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