What does it mean to speak of “Elijah’s Coming”? As we define such, perhaps we should consider why it is that he must come? To help us address these questions, we need to first understand the spiritual dynamics of Elijah’s prophetic calling and ministry.
Elijah was not only a prophet, but was also a father of prophets. His anointing carried him to such the degree that he appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration. Many believe this to be a prophetic sign which suggests that he will show up again in our time, as he did in the time of Jesus, and that in the form of John the Baptist. Considering this context, as Elijah’s mantle was transferred to John the Baptist, a mantle which even Jesus Himself recognized and acknowledged, so it will come again today, upon those who have been divinely prepared and commissioned to carry-out such.
Elijah was a spiritual father figure, while Elisha portrayed spiritual son-ship. This is a spiritual dynamic which needs to be understood if we are to be fully effective in the Kingdom of God during this time of prophetic and apostolic restoration, and ultimate harvest.
It is not enough, to simply acknowledge that Elijah was a mighty prophet; this acknowledgement alone will not take us to the deepest understanding and appreciation of the message behind his life on earth. There is a general consensus among bible students that Elijah may have prematurely ended his ministry. This widespread conclusion appears to correlate with his ardent focus upon transferring his mantle and authority to others—one of the more beautiful characteristics of spiritual fathers imparting generational blessings and mantles to spiritual sons. There is explosive power to be gained from this selfless act—an act which is desperately needed in recovering and restoring the true godly remnant from the ashes spawned by every godless element within the Church presently.
Let us ask ourselves how it was that Elijah came about his great anointing. Was it simply an integral facet of his innate makeup? Or, was it a reward for a long-tried posture of holiness and contrition? No one knows for certain. Of the few things that we know of his personal life, we know that he was a Tishbite from Gilead (1 Kings 17:1). We also know that he received a prophetic mantle. His anointing carries an ability to turn the hearts of the fathers toward their children (Luke 1:16-17, Malachi 4:5-6). This anointing will be a prophetic showcase in this hour, as we witness the restoration of the fathers and the sons. We Amish and Mennonites have for years been aware of the separation of fathers and sons, and we have not only been helpless, but also clueless as to how to heal such. Many attempts have been made to heal this rift, over many years, with minimal results.
We would do well to understand that being filled with the Spirit is not enough; we must also contend for a mantle and an anointing—a mantle and anointing that will restore fathers to sons. Because we lack knowledge about this, it becomes a major struggle for us to find our identity within the body of Christ. Since the relationship between fathers and sons has yet to be restored, the full destiny of the church continues to be aborted. Whether intentional or unintentional, it happens to be the current spiritual climate within our cultures.
If I join myself to a church or ministry that I have not been called to, the anointing on my life will dissipate, even though I witness the unfolding of other blessings around me. This is not unlike the frog in the kettle—who is wholly unaware of what is transpiring. No doubt, for this reason, there is much frustration and offense within the church—rooted in an ignorance of these spiritual dynamics. Each person receives their unique anointing, whether they are a father, a mother, a son or a daughter. However, there are those like Elijah, Paul, Moses or Joshua for instance, who receive an anointing that transcends most other callings. These are often given for respective regions, nations, or people groups. For the rest of us, these anointings must be identified to find our own place in the Kingdom. There were times when I sought to follow the mantle of anointed men whose work did not cover the sphere God had placed me in. This never works. Neither is there a blessing when anointed men go beyond their own boundaries (see 2 Corinthians 10:13-14).
For the anointing to be effective in our lives, we must follow the mantle. The Spirit-filled life empowers us, and contending for the mantle is what places us on the course toward fulfilling our destinies. On the day of Pentecost, the Apostles, with others, were filled with the Holy Spirit. This was neither their commissioning, nor their mantle. They also received an anointing on the day Jesus was resurrected (John 21:19-23). This level of anointing is reserved for those whom God chooses. He places a mantle of authority on such as are commissioned on a corporate or national level. This places a responsibility on us to find the mantle of authority under which we are held accountable. This level of authority will be earned by those who walk in it. God Himself will see to that. No one will even remotely enter this realm of authority apart from that imparted by God Himself, and this following a long season of preparation. Once received it will be recognized and validated by other authentic ministries who walk in a kindred spirit.
Having taken offense in some way or another, many souls have wandered from church to church, from one ministry to another, seeking the fulfillment of their lives and callings, often with devastating results. Thus who succumb to such wanderlust will eventually abort their calling; by stepping away from the mantle and anointing they are subject and accountable to. We defile divine order when we step outside of that realm, however small the matter may seem, and we have already missed our destiny unless there is immediate repentance.
Many years ago, after having encountered God, I came under severe persecution within our church, especially from the leaders. One day as I determined in my heart to go see my bishop to correct him of his errors, I received a most profound rebuke from the Holy Ghost. I did not at that time understand the dynamics of submitting to ones’ elders, I yet clearly understood that if one is going to reach his destiny, it will not come about by rebuking or degrading our elders (Acts 23:1-5). I now know that had I not been stopped of my behavior, I would have aborted my mission early in my ministry, had I not repented.
With the coming of Elijah’s mantle also comes hope. This hope carries the ability to cover the shame of the sons, to erase the past and all associated mental anguish and pain; to restore our long-lost inheritance; to validate true son-ship; and to place the prodigals among the righteous sons (Luke 15:25-32). This hope permeates impossible places, to heal and to restore that which the enemy has stolen or destroyed. It breaks down the walls and partitions that have corroded marriages, families, churches, and denominations. Its light will penetrate the dark regions—tumultuous chapters where confusion and chaos had previously reigned. All the weapons the enemy has previously formed against us will be exposed and be brought to light. This is the mantle that truly exemplifies the Father’s heart. The powers of darkness can no longer stop its purpose.
In the end, the sons will turn their hearts to the fathers. To honor one’s father and mother is to effect a promise of unlimited blessings (Ephesians 6:1-3). There is unspeakable beauty in observing a natural family walking in harmony; the father validating his sons and daughters, the sons and daughters holding their father and mother in high esteem. Such is the family of God, who are also named in heaven (Eph. 3:14-21).
On a concluding and very personal note; I wish I could say that I was a model father as my wife Barb and I reared nine children. But many who know me, certainly including my family, would quickly tell you otherwise. With this knowledge however, I shall forever rejoice that we serve an extraordinarily loving Father—a Father full of grace and mercy who freely offers hope and healing. Even if we fall seven times, He helps us back up again (Prov. 24:16). It is my goal in this life to be a conduit of the Father’s agape-love. This measure of love restores hope, trust, and confidence, in the place where fear, discord, and utter confusion has reigned previous. It validates, heals and saves to the uttermost (Heb. 7:25). This is the promise we may hold fast, with Elijah’s return. Your hopes and dreams will yet be fulfilled. Hold fast to them, no matter how hopeless it may seem in the present. Look to the faithfulness of our Heavenly Father; He will not fail you. The work of the cross has the power to overcome the darkest and most devastating situations imaginable. To Him be glory, honor and power forevermore. Amen.