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Elijah Taken Into Heaven

INTRODUCTION: This passage tells of the translation of Elijah to heaven, but the real story is about Elisha. He is determined to follow his master to the end and he desires a double portion of Elijah’s blessing. We see that he gets the blessing and begins to perform some of the miracles for which he is known. Oh, that we might follow hard after God (Psalm 63:8) as Elisha followed hard after the spirit of Elijah!

    1. Elijah in Gilgal (2 Kings 2:1)
      1. At the time when God was to take Elijah
        1. Up into heaven
        2. By a whirlwind
      2. Elijah was found in Gilgal.
    2. Elijah in Bethel (2 Kings 2:2-3)
      1. Elijah asked Elisha to tarry at Gilgal (2 Kings 2:2).
      2. Elisha refused to tarry at Gilgal (2 Kings 2:2).
      3. They both went down to Bethel (2 Kings 2:2).
      4. The sons of the prophets reported to Elisha (2 Kings 2:3).
      5. Bethel means house of God and is the place where Old Testament saints drew close to the Lord (Genesis 12:8; Genesis 13:3-4; Genesis 28:16-19; Genesis 31:13; Genesis 35:1-3, 15).
    3. Elijah in Jericho (2 Kings 2:4-5)
      1. Elijah asked Elisha to tarry at Bethel (2 Kings 2:4).
      2. Elisha refused to tarry at Bethel (2 Kings 2:4).
      3. They both went on to Jericho (2 Kings 2:4); Note: Although Jericho is technically down from Bethel, it is not called such in scripture because it does not fit the spiritual type.
      4. The sons of the prophets reported to Elisha (2 Kings 2:5).
    4. Elijah at Jordan (2 Kings 2:6-8)
      1. Elijah asked Elisha to tarry at Jericho (2 Kings 2:6).
      2. Elisha refused to tarry at Jericho (2 Kings 2:6).
      3. They both went on to Jordan (2 Kings 2:6) and stood by it (2 Kings 2:7).
      4. The sons of the prophets went (2 Kings 2:7).
        1. Fifty of them
        2. They stood to view afar off.
        3. Note: many people want to get close enough to see the action but not close enough to be a part of it.
      5. Elijah divided the waters of Jordan (2 Kings 2:8).
        1. With his mantle
          1. He took it off.
          2. He wrapped it together.
          3. He smote the waters.
        2. They two passed on dry ground.
    1. Elijah Received a Request from Elisha (2 Kings 2:9).
      1. Elijah granted a request.
        1. Ask what I shall do for you.
        2. Before I be taken out of the way
        3. Note: Elisha got this chance because he would not leave Elijah.
      2. Elisha made his request.
        1. For the spirit of Elijah
        2. For a double portion of his spirit
    2. Elijah Put a Stipulation on Elijahs Request (2 Kings 2:10).
      1. The request was a hard one.
      2. The request depended on the presence of Elisha at the departing of Elijah.
      3. This was the point from the beginning. Elisha received the spirit of Elijah because he would not let him go away from him. See Genesis 32:24-26.
    3. Elijah Was Taken Up into Heaven (2 Kings 2:11).
      1. Elijah and Elisha were parted asunder.
        1. By a chariot of fire
        2. By horses of fire
        3. Note: Elisha stuck so close to Elijah that the Lord had to forcibly separate the two so He could rapture Elijah.
      2. Elijah was taken into heaven by a whirlwind.
    1. Elisha Responded to the Translation of Elijah (2 Kings 2:12).
      1. He cried out.
        1. My father, my father he was very close to Elijah.
        2. The chariot of Israel and the horsemen this probably refers to his amazement at the display of Gods power.
      2. He rent his clothes in two.
    2. Elisha Took Up the Mantle of Elijah (2 Kings 2:13-14).
      1. Elisha took up the mantle of Elijah (2 Kings 2:13).
      2. Elisha smote the Jordan with the mantle (2 Kings 2:14).
      3. Elisha asked: Where is the LORD God of Elijah? (2 Kings 2:14; see Judges 6:13)
      4. The waters parted for Elisha; Note: it is not so much the man of God as it is the God of the man that makes the difference. Most men exalt themselves or other men. True men of God exalt the Lord.
    3. Elisha Received Recognition of His Position (2 Kings 2:15).
      1. The sons of the prophets saw the parting of the waters.
      2. They concluded that Elisha had the spirit of Elijah.
      3. They met him and bowed down before him.
    1. The Prophets Requested to Seek Elijah (2 Kings 2:16).
      1. The fifty desired to seek for Elijah.
        1. In case the Spirit had taken him
        2. In case he had been set down in some other place
      2. Elisha told them not to go.
    2. Elisha Granted Permission to Go (2 Kings 2:17-18).
      1. They continued to urge Elisha (2 Kings 2:17).
      2. Elisha then allowed them to go (2 Kings 2:17).
      3. They returned when they could find nothing (2 Kings 2:18).
      4. Elisha reminded them of his earlier command (2 Kings 2:18).
    1. Their Situation in the City (2 Kings 2:19)
      1. A pleasant situation
      2. A place without good water: the water was bad.
      3. A place where the ground is barren.
        1. If the water is bad, the land will not yield fruit.
        2. Since water is often a picture of the word of God, this is a picture of a pretty practice of religion with a corrupt bible.
    2. Elisha Healed the Waters (2 Kings 2:20-22).
      1. Elisha filled a cruse (a small container) with salt (2 Kings 2:20).
      2. Elisha cast the salt into the spring of waters (2 Kings 2:21).
      3. The Lord healed the waters (2 Kings 2:21-22).
        1. So that they brought forth no more death and barren land (2 Kings 2:21)
        2. According to the saying of Elisha (2 Kings 2:22)
      4. Salt is a type of preservation and incorruptibility. The answer to a barren land was a spring of waters preserved incorruptible (for application, see Psalm 12:6-7; 1 Peter 1:23-25).
    1. Little Children Mocked Elisha (2 Kings 2:23).
      1. Elisha was going up to Bethel.
        1. Bethel had been a special place of the presence of God.
        2. It had become a place of idolatry (1 Kings 12:28-33; Amos 3:14; Amos 4:4).
      2. Children of the city mocked him.
      3. They said, Go up, thou bald head.
        1. They mocked the man of God.
        2. They probably followed their parents in doing so.
    2. Elisha Cursed the Children (2 Kings 2:24).
      1. The curse of Elisha
        1. He turned back.
        2. He looked on them.
        3. He cursed them in the name of the Lord.
      2. The judgment of God
        1. Two she bears came out of the wood.
        2. Forty-two children were killed.
    3. Elisha Continued His Journeys (2 Kings 2:25).
      1. To Mount Carmel the place of Elijahs greatest victory
      2. Returned to Samaria

CONCLUSION: The Lord took Elijah to heaven, but he left a witness to His greatness on this earth in the person of Elisha. The Lord never leaves Himself without a man to witness for Him.