The Double Portion Blessing
“And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.” (2 Kings 2:9)
“If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you.” (John 16:7)
What the Bible does not give us by precept and promise it gives us in pen pictures. Elijah here represents Jesus and His finished mission upon earth. Elisha with his brief petition represents the believer seeking the fullness of the Spirit, viz., the blessing of holiness. The mantle of Elijah represents the blessing.
Let us briefly paraphrase this narrative and notice how perfectly the conditions upon which Elisha received the blessing harmonize with those required to receive it in the present dispensation.
1. It required contrast to make Elisha see and feel his need. His previous association with the man of God had thoroughly convinced him, first, of his need; second, that it was possible for one to live a spirit-filled life right here upon earth. Is it not probable that the blessed Holy Spirit, at some time and point in life, will show the believer a person who enjoys the blessing and lives the life?
2. The promise of the blessing was conditional: “If thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee, but if not, it shall not be so.” All of the promises of God contained in the blessed, old Bible are on the same basis, i.e., conditional. To claim them, you must meet the conditions.
3. Elisha had to renounce all and follow the man of God. In the thirty-second chapter of Genesis we read of a man who before obtaining the blessing packed up all of his possessions and sent them over the brook Jabbok. The Apostle Peter and the other disciples seemed to be on this same line, for Peter called the Savior’s attention to the fact that they had left all and followed Him. Reader, this is the only condition upon which you can obtain the fullness of the Spirit.
4. Elisha would not allow himself to be influenced by his less spiritual friends. They made several attempts to tell him something but he said, “I know it.” If we would be true followers of Christ we must also turn a deaf ear to the clamoring, jeering, criticizing voices of our friends.
5. Elisha followed Elijah down to Jericho. The spiritual significance of Jericho is, “The cursed city,” or in other words, “The city of reproach.” So it is today. If we would have the “double portion” blessing, we must follow Christ “without the gates bearing His reproach.” We must be willing to go anywhere, associate with any people, be called any vile name and undergo any kind of deprivation.
6. Elisha also followed him across the Jordan river. Jordan here symbolizes the crucifixion of the “old man,” the death of the self-life, the destruction of carnality. Reader, if you would receive true holiness, viz., the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire, you must not simply consecrate, but self must be crucified.
7. After Elisha had received the blessing it instantly became noticeable to those about him. “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” (2 Kings 9:15). When we get the real blessing those about us will realize it and on the other hand they will know when we haven’t got it.
8. Satan had agents on picket to confuse him and cause him to doubt away the blessing. “And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest peradventure the Spirit of the Lord hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or in some valley” (2 Kings 9:16). This is the dictation of unbelief. The thought suggested is this: If Elijah was not gone up Elisha was deceived and not in possession of the blessing.
Satan has agents today that meet every newly saved or sanctified soul to talk them out of it or make them doubt it away.
These agents oftentimes are professors of religion, and in many instances preachers.