Our Scripture Reference will be from 2 Kings 2: 1-15 from Verse 1 it’s says:
“And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.”
This verse introduces us to the beginning of the retirement of Elijah the great prophet from both public and private life into heavenly sphere. Elijah had accomplished his purpose for living for God at such a time that a true prophet of God was in dear need in Israel. Before his sudden remarkable appearance, the Israel of God had gone down so deeply into abomination of idolatry. Cloud of thick darkness covered the whole land, with images of Baalim and Ashtaroth fearfully doting everywhere. Idolatrous temple and heathen altars occupy the sacred soil and every hill smoked with their evil sacrifices.
Every vale resounded with the blasphemous yells of priestcraft. The people drank iniquity like water and sported in shameless rites around their idols. King Ahab and Queen Jezebel his wife had sold the holy land unto their imported idols. This is as a result of a spiritual captivity that began in the days of King Jeroboam when he substituted the true worship of Jehovah with idol worship in the city of Samaria. He succeeded in driving the hearts of Israel from true worship of Jehovah in the city of Jerusalem by building in Samaria an altar for another god for the rebellious Northern ten tribes of Israel. The Israel of God continued much more in idolatry against the counsels of their God till a true prophet arose to change their course of history.
Elijah appeared on the scene to challenge the Kingdom of darkness and false prophets into a battle that brought light to dispel the thick darkness of his days. He divinely showed up to restore again the true worship of Jehovah in the holy land and the hearts of men back to their only Holy God. His ministry was backed up with supernatural visible miracles that could not be matched or duplicated by stinking dead idols. He sealed up the heavens over Israel at his words so much more that there was neither even a handful of dew nor drop of water from it for a space of three-and –a-half years(1Kings17:1). He called down fire from heaven over men and their evil idols many times.
He worked miracles of provision in the midst of famine and raised the dead back to life(1Kings 17:11-16). He destroyed the kingdom of false prophets and set in motion the restoration of true worship of Jehovah the Most High God in Israel (1Kings 17:21-39). What a glorious ministry he had for declaring the purpose of God to His people. Elijah, in its true sense, is a type of God’s apostolic and prophetic order of the last days to restore God’s church back to true worship of the Father. No wonder Malachi had to recalled what took place in the time of Ahab which I strongly believed it will happen again in this last days. Malachi 4:5 says, “Behold, I will send Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.”
Here in our scriptural passage of study, especially in verse 1, Elijah is getting set to retire from his earthly ministry having withdrawn from public into private life a little. It was revealed to him that his time was up and would be transported into the heavenly by chariots and horses of fire and whirlwind. But it is interesting to note in this verse that a successor who will prolong his ministry was with him being trained in Gilgal. Isn’t Gilgal familiar to us? Yes, it is. It is a place mentioned in the scripture in chapter 5 of the book of Joshua where the children of Israel were instructed to be circumcised the second time as soon as they entered the promised land (Jos. 5:1-9).
What does Gilgal connote? It connotes a place of second circumcision of the heart; a renewal of initial circumcision; a rolling away of the flesh; a separation experience; a consecration of the heart to God; a setting apart for a holy purpose.
Elijah the greater prophet had tutored Elisha the lesser prophet at Gilgal. It is a spiritual experience that begins our true walk with God. We are God’s holy people separated unto Him in holiness. Our hearts are circumcised by God’s word of life for separation from this world.
2 Cor. 6:17 says, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”
Titus 2:11-12 says, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly, righteously and godly, in this present world.”
1 John 2:15-17: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world… 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but of the world. 17 And the world passeth away and the lust thereof…”
Gilgal is our first spiritual experience in the journey into the fullness of Christ. It denotes born-again experience and holiness of life in this world. We must be separated from the world with evidences in our lives.
Matthews 3:8 says, “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (NIV). ” [Let your lives prove your change of heart]” (AMP).
This is a fundamental experience in a Christian’s walk with God. However, Gilgal is not the end of spiritual experience with Christ but a means to an end. Hence, Elijah and Elisha went away from Gilgal (vs.1). Having received training on circumcision of the heart, Elijah and Elisha went forward from Gilgal’s spiritual experience. Therefore, we ourselves must move on; press on into Christ’s fullness and should not settle down with only born-again and holiness experience. Christianity is more than being born-again and attending church services. There are more and deeper truths of Christ’s mystery to explore as a Christian grows day by day in the Lord. May God help us not to build tabernacle around our holiness experience and refuse to move on into fullness of Christ. Amen!!!