Pastor James J. Barker

Text: II KINGS 2:1-15


  1. Elijah was one of Israel’s greatest prophets. But eventually the time came for him to finish his ministry, and God chose Elisha to succeed him (cf. I Kings 19:15,16).
  2. Encouraged by Elijah to make a final request, Elisha asked for "a double portion of thy spirit" (II Kings 2:9), i.e. the Holy Spirit.
  3. Elisha knew the Spirit of God was upon Elijah and he knew he needed that same power in his life if he was going to succeed this great prophet. And so he asked for a double portion.



    1. You will notice that Elijah does not say that it is an impossible thing; he says it is a hard thing (2:10).
    2. The double portion was the right of the firstborn son (cf. Deut. 21:17). In asking for a double portion, Elisha was asking to be treated as a firstborn among the sons of the prophets (Bible college students – 2:3,5,7).
    3. By the way – are you a member of the "church of the firstborn"? (cf. Heb.12:22-24).
    4. Now, let’s stop for a moment to consider – why was this such "a hard thing"? (2:10).
    5. First of all – it is only because God can do it. If man could do it, it wouldn’t be so hard. Man can send a rocket ship to the moon, and send a submarine to the bottom of the ocean. Man can invent computers, and split the atom, and do all sorts of wonderful things.
    6. But no man could grant Elisha’s request – only God could do that.
    7. Elijah recognized this. That’s why he attached a condition that would be entirely dependent upon the will of God – "Nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee…" (2:10, cf. 2:12).
    8. Let me add this: it is a hard thing because most Christians are not in the place of blessing where God can put a double portion on them.
    9. For example: if a vessel is filled up with dirt, can you fill it with water? And yet some Christians are so filled with the world that it is virtually impossible for them to be filled with the Spirit of God.
    10. Some Christians are full of pride – or materialism – or lust – or resentment – or some other bad attitude, and they wonder why God is not blessing them.
    11. Beloved, it is a hard thing but it is not impossible. Changes must be made. Certain conditions must be met. Turn off the garbage on TV (most of it is garbage). Start reading your Bible more. Be faithful in church.



    1. Not only was it a hard thing, but it was a powerful thing. The Bible says, "And Elisha saw it" (2:12, cf. 2:10).
    2. There is a principle I learned a long time ago – some things cannot be taught, they are caught. Some people are not really part of the program because they just don’t see it.
    3. I can teach you about prayer, about fellowship with God, about the power of the Holy Spirit, and so on but unless you are in the place of blessing, it will go over your head like a jet on its way to JFK Airport.
    4. You have to catch it. And you have to want it. Elisha wanted it. Notice his persistence (2:1-6).
    5. I wish we had more people with that kind of dedication. We had people coming down to the altar every night when Darcel McCoy was here. But as soon as he left town, they went back to their old ways – skipping Sunday school, skipping Sunday night service, etc.
    6. Elisha wasn’t like that. He kissed his parents goodbye, cooked his cattle, and went out to serve God (I Kings 19:19-21).
    7. The Bible says, "Elisha saw it…" (II Kings 2:10-12). "And he cried…" (2:12). Great joy must have flooded his soul when he realized his prayer was being answered.
    8. Elisha cried, "My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof" (2:12). Elijah was the greatest weapon back in those days and represented power. Elijah was God’s instrument through which His power was manifested. Elijah was like the chariot of Israel in those days of spiritual darkness (Baal worship).
    9. Great men of God like Elijah and Elisha were far more valuable to Israel than all of their chariots and all of their soldiers (cf. II Kings 13:14).
    10. It was a hard thing and it was a powerful thing. Elijah’s mantle fell on Elisha (2:13; cf. I Kings 19:19). The mantle was the symbol of the prophetic office.
    11. Standing on the bank of the Jordan River, Elisha "smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? (2:14). The question did not express doubt or unbelief. Elisha was giving God an opportunity to show that although Elijah had left, God had not left.
    12. Beloved, the LORD God of Elijah is still with us today!
    13. God demonstrated His power by parting the waters and allowing Elisha to pass over (2:14b). God wants to demonstrate His power in your life and in my life but we have to make ourselves available.
    14. Sometimes God meets with us in a special way on Sunday nights. God’s presence is so real that people don’t want to go home. But you will not get a blessing from God if you stay home and watch TV!
    15. Some are probably thinking – it’s hard getting up and going out at night. Yes, Elijah said it was a hard thing – but remember God did it! He wouldn’t have done it if Elijah didn’t want it.



    1. The sons of the prophets were watching from the other side of the Jordan River and saw that the Spirit of Elijah rested on Elisha (2:15).
    2. Beloved, you have neighbors and friends watching to see if God’s power is resting on you. They want to know if your religion is real or if you are just another phony-baloney church-goer.
    3. They are watching to see if you are consistent. To see if your religion affects the way you live.
    4. And let me say this – when God moves and saints are stirred and souls are saved, people take notice.
    5. Several members have remarked that once our building is renovated, many people will take notice and our attendance will shoot up. That is undoubtedly true, but do you know what? We do not have to wait for our renovation to be complete before people take notice.
    6. We need to ask God for a double portion of His power and then people will take notice!
    7. Elisha asked for a double portion and God gave it to him. Elijah performed eight recorded miracles in the Bible and Elisha performed sixteen!
    8. Let’s not underestimate what God can do. The same God of Elijah is our God! The same God of Elisha is our God! The same God of Moses is our God! The same God of the apostle Paul is our God! The same God of D.L. Moody and Billy Sunday is our God!


    1. I heard a story about an infidel who was always putting down churches and Christians and he never had a good word to say about Christianity. One night the neighborhood church caught on fire and all the neighbors came out to help put it out.
    2. In the midst of the crowd was this infidel running toward the fire with a big bucket of water. A friend saw him and said, "Hey Joe, I never thought I’d see you helping a church!" He replied, "I never saw a church on fire before!"
    3. TO THE LOST: Elijah’s name means "MY GOD IS JEHOVAH." Is your God Jehovah?
    4. Elisha’s name means "MY GOD IS SALVATION." Is your God salvation? In other words, just acknowledging that your God is Jehovah, the same God of Elijah and Elisha, will not save you. Have you asked Him to save you? Every day I meet people that acknowledge that my God is their God, that they believe in Jesus, that they accept the Bible, etc. But they are still not saved.
    5. What about you? Are you born again?

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