GOD's ARMY, CONTENDING for the FAITH
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murjahel

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26.

THE MANTLE OF FELLOWSHIP

FOR OUR TRAVELS

 

2 Kings 2:9 (KJV)

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.

2 Kings 2:13-14 (KJV)

13 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.

 

 

WHAT IS THE MANTLE?

The outer garment in Bible times, was a large robe which served the purpose of an overcoat. It is made of sheepskin with the wool still on it, of goat's hair, or of cotton. It was dark brown, different shades and having whitish stripes.

The robe or loose mantle was thrown over the other parts of the dress. It served as shelter from wind and rain, and as a cover at night. It was common sight to see a man walking even on a hot day with his heavy mantle. For the mantle that kept out the cold of winter, kept out the heat of summer.

This mantle with which Elijah smote and parted the waters of Jordan became the property of Elisha (2Kings 2:8-13). The three young men who were cast into the fiery furnace were clad in their mantles as well as their tunics and other garb (Dan. 3:21).

The act of Elijah, conveying a double portion upon Elisha, by throwing his mantle upon him, has made the subject of ‘mantles’ to be of spiritual discussion for centuries since. Even the popes of the Roman Catholic church have borrowed the ceremony in the ordaining of archbishops, seeking to invest them with church authority, by sending him what is called by them, a pallium, pall, or cloak.

This pallium was not much like the mantle, actually, for in Zechariah 13:4, and 2 Kings 1:8, we see that the original mantles were rough or hairy garments. The pallium or pall was made of white wool. The nuns of St. Agnes, annually, present two white lambs on the altar of their church. The lambs are later to the pope's sub-deacons, who send those lambs to pasture till shearing time. They are then shorn, and the pallium is made using their wool. The pallium is then placed on the high altar on the supposed bodies of Peter and of Paul. This becomes to them, like the mantle of Elijah, only to them this having been upon what is supposed to be the body of Peter, is supposed to pass the power they afforded Peter, and feel it is invested into the successors.

 

No, that is not the teaching of the ‘gift’ of the mantle. There is a mantle that God can share with us, and we can gain blessing from its bestowment.

 

 

JESUS WORE A MANTLE.

Did Jesus wear a literal mantle? Famous artists have painted pictures of Jesus, and have not always given an letter-perfect view. Upon His head He must have worn the turban. It was probably white, and fastened under the chin by a cord, and came down to the shoulders over his tunic.

His tunic, His underneath apparel, was of one piece without seam. It was of value, This tunic had probably been given to Him by one of those women who "ministered to Him of their substance."

Over this He wore the mantle which was unsecured and flowing. This mantle was not white, for it became white during the transfiguration. It was not red, for that was only the military color, It may have been blue, if it were of the cotton type, or it may have been white with brown stripes if it were sheepskin.

John 13:4 (KJV)

4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.

Jesus laid aside his garments, i.e. His outer garment. (Matthew 5:40) This was his mantle, which is also said to have been without seam. It was customary to lay this aside when they worked. So, this mantle was even worn by our Lord. The significance of the mantle, and of its typical meaning should be discovered, so as to understand what this gift of the Spirit is.

 

THE DOUBLE PORTION MANTLE IS NEEDED TODAY.

Christians have a promise of a ‘double portion’. Elijah and Elisha took a long walk. Elijah was preaching his last set of sermons, to some ‘schools of prophets’ in various communities. The lessons taught teach us yet today. There was a double portion blessing that Elisha wanted to have, and he needed a teaching to illustrate to him how one gets a double portion of God’s power.

When they walked through Gilgal (II Kings 2:2) Elijah told Elisha, ‘tarry here, I pray thee, for the Lord hath sent me to Bethel.’ But Elisha told Elijah ‘I would not leave thee.’

When they walked through Bethel, a bit more advanced group of prophetic students, Elijah also told Elisha to remain there (II Kings 2:3-4). Elisha would not, but continued on with Elijah, for Elijah had prophesied that he would be taken up, and Elisha wanted to be there when that happened.

When they came to Jericho, (II Kings 2:4), Elisha would not stay there either, though requested to do so. The ones there were a bit more spiritual, and also knew that Elijah was to be raptured. A group of 50 of them followed a bit far off, just wanting to see what happened. When Elijah parted the Jordan, they were a bit far off to cross over with them, so they had to wait there, and did not see the rapture of Elijah.

Elijah then had the one prophetic student of the groups, that was the hungriest, most desirous of more. So, Elijah asked:

‘Ask what I shall do for thee... I pray thee a double portion of thy spirit be upon me...’

So, Elisha asked for a double portion, and had already proven, he was not satisfied with what others had, but he wanted more.

The last day revival is a time when a double portion will be available for all, but some will not want it desperately enough. Many have not learned the key to receiving a double portion. The key is the ‘mantle’.

How many Elisha’s are there out there in this day? How many are like the ‘sons of the prophets’ that are apathetic, or at best curious enough to just stay close enough to see what is happening?

Elijah told Elisha, that if he were near when Elijah would be raptured, and caught his mantle, he would have as he desired. That would take some courage, for as the chariots of fire came near, and a whirlwind caught up Elijah, the normal human tendency would be to run and be safe. But, Elisha was courageous, and stood there, probably hoping he would get taken up too.

Some are like the prophets at Gilgal and Bethel, who did not even know about the rapture of Elijah that was to happen. Some like those in Jericho, knew, but only were interested enough to follow afar off. But Elisha wanted to be empowered, and the mantle represented that empowering.

The mantle was a blanket like garment. It was often shared by two as they would walk together, for it could be cold, and the two that were in fellowship together, would share the mantle for warmth, and be able to fellowship easily. The mantle therefore represents ‘fellowship with God’. And God let Elijah pass on that ‘fellowship’ to Elisha. It became a double portion blessing to him.

It was not till Elisha had refused to stay at Gilgal, Bethel, Jericho and at Jordan’s edge, that the offer was made. There are some today, in Christianity, around the world, that are pushing past the snares of the devil, the false doctrines of demonic doctrines, the lures of false prophets, the concerns of the cares of life, the lust for things and carnal mammon. These ones are being offered a garment of clothing beyond the normal blessings of all saints. This mantle experience, this double portion, is a closer fellowship with God. It is a walking daily in fellowship with the Lord.

Elisha was the only one who ventured to stay with Elijah. Some want to press on, and seek in the Word, study with the Spirit, pressing on through all the distractions, and come to a place where God is offering a mantle experience for the last days. We can see great examples of the faith, in the present, and in the past, and we can desire to have more. The key is a ‘mantle’ walk with the Lord.

Elisha knew of the great ministry of Elijah, and wanted more. Others were satisfied, complacent, apathetic, or at best, curious. Yet, Elisha was hungry, anxious, and requested this mantle experience. Some give up in trials, some ‘stay put’ when told to, some refuse to get so desirous of blessing and power, that they do not press on. This is still a request, when we ask for the mantle. But it is a request that shows by action that it is wanted desperately.

 

 

God wants us to be completely dressed,

in all fashion, having all necessities of wardrobe.

 

 

2 Timothy 3:17 (KJV)

 That the man of God may be perfect,

throughly furnished unto all good works.



The mantle experience is not just for an elite few, but for an anxious many. God would like if it all would desire it. God would have loved for all 50 on the other side of Jordan had had the same desire as Elisha. God would have loved the others in other towns to have followed, and requested the double portion. It was not God’s will they were excluded, it was their lack of earnestness that lost their possible blessing.

Are you willing to be dishonored, despised, de-valued, hated, shunned, by others? Are you willing be the ‘off-scouring of all things’ (I Cor. 4:3) to others? If you have no ambition for self, no reputation to try to build, and are willing to just want to do more for God, to be more useful for Him, then you are able to ask and receive the mantle clothing.

David was a man ‘after God’s own heart.’ This means that David wanted to know God’s thoughts. Elisha wanted a double portion experience. What do you want?

Elisha was bent on getting that double portion, he was not indifferent. He had faith and labored toward that goal. He refused to be told ‘no’ by Elijah. He was patiend, bold, and determined.

God’s blessing upon the person of Elisha was great, but add to that the mantle experience he was given, and it became an awesome wardrobe to wear. What are you wearing in this battle? We have the armor, we have the sword, and now, we can receive the the double portion mantle, and watch God work. Yet, few have the spiritual ambition that Elisha had.

Isaiah 64:7

"There is none... that stirreth up himself to take hold of Thee...’

Too often this is still the case. God calls us all to a double portion, and few step up to claim His gift. We can walk closer to the Lord, than we ever imagined. We can see God work miracles for us, and through us, if we are determined to keep closer fellowship with the Lord. He offers this mantle of fellowship, and that mantle allows the double portion blessings.

The day of Pentecost came as people had ‘tarried until’. If you had to ‘tarry until’ the mantle experience would come, would you? Some cannot ask God twice for the same thing. They ask once, and if the answer is not there immediately, they cease trusting God, and look to do what they can for themselves. God wants us to seek, request, and keep on wanting great things from Him. He commanded that we ‘ask largely’.

It is a lonely walk in walking past all the others who are not so inclined, as it was for Elisha. He passed by many other prophets who did not have the desire he had. God will not give the mantle to ones like those. But He stands ready to give out mantles to all who will push toward that goal, and claim the offered mantles.

Elijah cast his mantle upon him. The ‘mantle’ was used to be in fellowship with another walking along the same path. We are in fellowship with God, when He casts the ‘mantle’ experience upon us. Elijah and Elisha walked in fellowship as they walked toward the Jordan River. As we walk this pathway with Jesus, carrying our cross, we will be able to have this ‘mantle-fellowship’ with Him.

 

THE POWER OF GOD IS AVAILABLE

WHEN WE HAVE THE MANTLE.

2 Kings 2:13-15 (KJV)

13 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.

The fellowship with the Lord, that the mantle represented, was obvious to others. He walked with God, had double the recorded miracles of Elijah. The fellowship he had with God provided many bestowments of power.


THEY WANDERED IN SHEEPSKIN AND GOATSKIN MANTLES,

BUT SOME COUNTERFEITED THE RELATIONSHIP

WITH GOD THAT THEY PROCLAIMED.


Hebrews 11:37-40 (KJV)

37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;

38 (Of whom the world was not worthy, they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

"They wandered about in sheepskins" What this refers to are the sheepskins dressed with the wool still on. This was like the mantle that Elijah wore, and which was afterwards used by Elisha. In the Septuagint, in 2 Kings 2:8-13, it says: "and Elijah took his SHEEPSKIN (mantle.)" "And he (Elisha) took the SHEEPSKIN of Elijah which had fallen from off him."

Many of the false prophets imitated this, in order that they might gain the greater credit.

Zechariah 13:4 (KJV)

4 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive:

The mantle of Elijah and of Elisha represented the walk of fellowship that we can and should have. In that time, some wore a hairy mantle to be perceived as a prophet. Today, many claim a fellowship walk with the Lord, but they do so to imitate the real. Some claim to be told things from God that are not from God, do not harmonize with the written Word of God. They tell people what to give to them, promise blessings that God never spoke for them, and pretend to be a real prophet of God. This is the same kind of pretense that many claimed in those past days, by wearing a mantle.


THE REAL MANTLE CANNOT BE PASSED ON,

NOR TAKEN FROM ANOTHER.

Exodus 22:26-27 (KJV)

26 If thou at all take thy neighbour's raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down:

27 For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I am gracious.

If ever one would take another’s neighbor’s garment in pledge, or if one ever enjoys the presence of the Lord felt via another who has a mantle fellowship with the Lord, they will find that the mantle experience is not to be gained by taking another’s. The experience must be from God, must be a personal walk with the Lord. Another’s walk can be shared for a short time, but when one leaves that person, the feeling they had of God’s presence is gone. One must obtain the mantle fellowship from the Lord Himself to make it be a permanent possession.

Going to bed was an uncomplicated issue for the people of that day. Mats were used to lie upon, but the innkeeper did not provide any covering. Each person provided his own covering, i.e. his mantle. It was warm for even the coldest of nights. If he were sleeping outdoors, this covering was waterproof, and therefore far superior to our blankets of today. It was this outer garment, the mantle, that was a person's covering that the law did not allow anyone to keep this pledge or surety, for this would deprive him of his means of keeping warm while sleeping. Such a garment if taken, for a surety, had to be returned by sunset.

In the same way, the circumstances of life require that we keep our fellowship with the Lord, stay close to Him to warm us from life’s cold, to shelter us from life’s storms. We need the mantle fellowship. This mantle relationship with the Lord is something we should all desire. We need to walk closely with Him, fellowship with Him, stay close for His power, and His comfort, to be available as we need it in our ministries.


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murjahel
John
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