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I Came For The Anointing!

2 Kings 2:1-15(NKJV) - And it came to pass, when the Lord was about to take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So they went down to Bethel. Now the sons of the prophets who were at Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that the Lord will take away your master from over you today?” And he said, “Yes, I know; keep silent!” Then Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to Jericho.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So they came to Jericho. Now the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho came to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that the Lord will take away your master from over you today?” So he answered, “Yes, I know; keep silent!" Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So the two of them went on. And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went and stood facing them at a distance, while the two of them stood by the Jordan. Now Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up, and struck the water; and it was divided this way and that, so that the two of them crossed over on dry ground. And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” So he said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.” Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces. He also took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan. Then he took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, and said, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” And when he also had struck the water, it was divided this way and that; and Elisha crossed over. Now when the sons of the prophets who were from Jericho saw him, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” And they came to meet him, and bowed to the ground before him.

Elisha followed Elijah from Gilgal to Bethel, Jericho and over the river Jordan, each time refusing to turn away at Elijah's insistence. Not only that, at each stop along the way, the local sons of the prophets kept reminding Elisha that The Lord was going to remove his master Elijah that day. Nevertheless, Elisha pressed on, determined to never leave Elijah's side until he got exactly what he came for. What did Elijah have that was so valuable to Elisha? Over and over, Elijah told Elisha to leave and the chorus of junior prophets seemed to echo that sentiment yet Elisha remained resolute while literally shutting their voices out. Then Elijah did a miracle at the Jordan by taking his mantle, rolling it up, striking the water and causing it to part in two, like the Red Sea under the rod of Moses, allowing both him and Elisha to walk across on dry ground. That was it!

Once Elijah and Elisha crossed the Jordan, Elijah addressed the "elephant in the room" by asking a direct question. In essence, this is what he asked; "Elisha, why are you here?" Then Elisha provided a direct answer by essentially saying; "I came here for The Anointing, specifically, double the anointing on your life." Elijah explained to Elisha that his request came with a price but that didn't matter to Elisha. He had a one-track mind and was willing to do whatever was necessary to get what he came for. Yet, how did they get to that moment and why did Elisha get the anointing on Elijah's life? At first glance, this looks like an easy question. Elisha faithfully served Elijah and remained by his side all the way to the end making him the logical choice to carry on Elijah's prophetic ministry. In fact, the sons of the prophets referred to Elijah as Elisha's master, further defining the nature of their relationship.

2 Kings 3:11(NKJV) - But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the Lord, that we may enquire of the Lord by him? And one of the king of Israel's servants answered and said, Here is Elisha the son of Shaphat, which poured water on the hands of Elijah.

The king's servants said that Elisha poured water on the hands of Elijah. For a good sermon, it couldn't be any simpler. Elisha received the anointing on Elijah's life because he served him faithfully. Therefore, if you want to walk in a particular anointing, find someone who is operating in it and serve that person with all of your heart until the day comes for you to receive what they have. Do you want to preach like TD Jakes? Move to Texas, become his armor bearer and just wait your turn.

Do you want to sing like Fred Hammond? Volunteer to carry his bags, then try-out as a back-up singer, then follow him around until your day comes? Do you want to be an evangelist like Morris Cerullo? Track him down and get on his team, then follow him around until you get the anointing. It's hard work but it's worth it. It's a simple spiritual father/ son exchange. It's the Apostolic path to succession. The spiritual father chooses the spiritual son upon whom he will bestow the anointing on his life and the spiritual son chooses to serve the father from whom he would like to receive the anointing. The end!

Hence, the man with the biggest church or most explosive anointing will get the most people to serve as armor bearers, leaders and junior ministers because many of them believe that they will one day walk in the same anointing. I don't blame them because that's exactly what I thought for many years. It's also what I was taught for many years. Yet, there were many sons of the prophets in the days of Elisha and Elijah but only Elisha received Elijah's anointing. Nevertheless, Elisha out-served them all. So again, Elisha earned the anointing and the rest of them did not. It's an open and shut case. You serve, you get the anointing. You don't serve, you don't get it. You're either in or you are out. It makes complete sense. Well, almost...

We know that Elisha served Elijah so that's an easy one. We then know that Gehazi did not properly serve Elisha so he didn't get the anointing. So, it looks like Elisha died without intentionally passing on his anointing. Actually, in 2 Kings 13:21, a dead man was thrown into the same tomb as Elisha's bones and the remnant of the anointing on his bones was enough to raise the man from the dead. If I was preaching a sermon, I would say that if Gehazi had done what was right, he would have been able to raise the dead man instead of Elisha's bones. I would then stop there because it's a simple message. It encourages all people to serve in their local churches and leaders to pass on what they have so others could be just like them. However, nothing's ever that simple.

Luke 1:13-17(NKJV) - But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

How did John the Baptist receive the spirit and power of Elijah the same way Elisha received it? Thousands of years had passed and The Bible doesn't clearly depict a direct line of succession that can explain it. In fact, once we get to Elisha's servant Gehazi, we don't know where to go from there. Yet, generations later, another prophet was born with the same anointing and no clear path to getting it. How do you explain that? If you try to use the servant-hood approach you'll reach a dead-end. It makes sense for Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Ephraim, Elisha and Elijah, Naomi and Ruth, Jesus and the disciples, Moses and Joshua, Paul and Timothy, etc. but it won't work here. Hence, there must be more to the transference of the anointing than servant-hood. It definitely has precedence in scripture but it does not present the complete picture. Here's what really happened with Elijah and Elisha.

1 Kings 19:16-21(NKJV) - Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. It shall be that whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill; and whoever escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha will kill. Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” So he departed from there, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he was with the twelfth. Then Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle on him. And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah, and said, “Please let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” So Elisha turned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen and slaughtered them and boiled their flesh, using the oxen’s equipment, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and followed Elijah, and became his servant.

Let me ask the same question that I asked earlier. After reading this scripture, let's see if you change your answer. Why did Elisha receive the anointing on Elijah's life? Did he earn it by serving Elijah? No! Did he inherit it because he was a member of Elisha's family? No! Did Elijah choose Elisha as the person to receive his anointing? No! Did Elisha choose Elijah as the person from whom he wanted to receive the anointing? No! When Elijah quit on God, God told Elijah to anoint Elisha as the prophet who would replace him. In other words, like a good boss, God told his disgruntled employee, Elijah to empower and train his replacement, Elisha before leaving the company for good.

Neither of them had any input in the decision. It was a God idea! Yes, the scripture says that Elijah threw his mantle on Elisha. It also says that Elisha destroyed every remnant of his former life to become Elijah's servant. However, all of that only happened after God in his sovereignty made the decision that Elijah needed to pass the anointing to Elisha. That decision and only that explains what happened. Everything else followed. Elisha didn't serve Elijah so that he would be chosen to receive the anointing, Elisha served Elijah because he was already chosen by God to receive the anointing.

What is the anointing anyway and why is it so valuable? In the Old Testament, the word "anointing" is translated from the Hebrew word "mishchah" and in the context of this discussion, represents the ointment used to consecrate individuals who are "set apart" by God for a special purpose. In the New testament it is translated from the Greek word "chrisma" which in the context of this discussion represents the special endowment of the Holy Spirit. Other words that can sometimes be used in the right context to represent the anointing are grace, gift, power, supernatural ability, mantle and empowerment. Now let me share a personal experience with the anointing.

It's been one week since we buried my grandfather, Dr. Levi Duncan in Trinidad and Tobago. He was 93 years old and left behind a ministry legacy that remains untouched by anyone else in the history of Trinidad and Tobago. He finally received his heavenly promotion and joined his Heavenly Father for eternity. However, he left something behind that The Lord knows we still need right here on earth; The Anointing. During the funeral, my father, Apostle Emanuel Vivian Duncan and uncle, Apostle Joseph Vernon Duncan, stood on the pulpit and declared that the mantle from grandfather would fall on whomever chose to receive it that day. I knelt before the altar with my wife, Angel by my side and opened my heart to receive from The Lord. Initially, it built slowly then suddenly I felt the rush of God's Spirit rising in my heart to a level that was overwhelming.

As waves of God's glory shot through my body I started crying out to God. I didn't serve my grandfather. I barely even knew him. How can I get that anointing? It doesn't work like that. I didn't know what to do with it. I didn't earn it. I didn't fully understand what was going on anyway so I kept talking to God but God said nothing. He just released the anointing. He didn't need my input. He just needed my willingness to receive. The decision to pass on the anointing was not my decision. It also was not my grandfather's decision to pass on anything. It was God's decision. God chose Isaac over Ishmael according to Genesis 17:16-21. He chose Jacob over Esau according to Romans 9:13. He chose Ephraim over Manasseh according to Genesis 48:8-20. Each time, God went against the norm in deciding who would be next to receive a particular anointing. It was not the father's choice. It was not the son's choice. It was God's choice.

Based on my understanding, my grandfather led at least four different churches during his time of active ministry. Three of the churches are in Trinidad (Toco, Curepe and Chaguanas) and one is in the US (Plainfield, NJ). Apart from the churches he personally led, there were countless others that were birthed out of his ministry. Many of which are led by individuals who today refuse to acknowledge any connection to him and some of which chose not to honor him by even showing up to his funeral. In fact, I don't know if he ever personally laid hands on his successors and passed on what was on his life. Some of these churches are led by pastors who were appointed by denominational boards, others are in place because they won elections from the church membership. Nevertheless, they figured out what to do and did it.

What's missing in all of this is a proper understanding of the anointing. Yes, you can do what it takes to get control of someone's ministry. Yes, you can use your connection to a man of God to build your own following and become "successful". Yes, you can receive another man's financial, spiritual and social assistance to become "great" in the ministry. However, what you cannot do is walk in his anointing if God did not decide that you are supposed to receive it. That's the missing link. Elijah took his mantle and struck the water in the Jordan river so that it parted in two, then he and Elisha crossed over on dry land. After Elijah was taken up to heaven, Elisha returned to the Jordan river, took the same mantle that Elijah dropped and struck the water asking, "Where is the God of Elijah?" The water parted again because He was right there. Elijah may have left for heaven but the God of Elijah stayed with Elisha on earth.

Acts 19:11-17(NKJV) - Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.

The seven sons of Sceva did exactly what Elisha did. They mimicked the person they saw walking in a particular anointing. However, there was a difference. While Elisha had the anointing he saw on Elijah, they didn't have the anointing they saw on Apostle Paul. Hence, while Elisha could part the Jordan river just like Elijah, they could only attempt to cast out an evil spirit just like Apostle Paul. Elisha called on the God of Elijah and He answered. The seven sons of Sceva called on the God of Apostle Paul and He didn't answer. Instead, the evil spirit answered and beat them mercilessly. What separated the two was not only their relationship with the person who walked in the anointing they desired. The distinguishing factor was their relationship with the God of the person who walked in the anointing they desired. Elisha knew the God of Elijah but the Seven Sons of Sceva did not know the God of Apostle Paul.

I've seen and heard pastors preach like Bishop TD Jakes. They walk like him, talk like him, they even hold the mike like him. However, it doesn't matter what they do, they do not have the same impact that he does. While they may be able to mimic his preaching style what they lack is his anointing. I've seen people try to preach like Pastor Creflo Dollar. They dress like him. They crack his jokes. They talk about wealth. Yet, their words don't have the same power because what they lack his anointing. I've heard singers try to lead worship like the great worship leaders of our time or prophesy like the great prophets of our time. Yet, they don't have the same impact. What they lack is the anointing. God makes the decision concerning who gets which anointing and when. First, you have to be anointed, then you can do what God has called you to do at the level that He has called you to do it. The people you see walking in power have the anointing and they didn't get it from a person, they got it from God.

1 Corinthians 12:27-31(NKJV) - Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.

The Bible states that you can earnestly desire the best gifts. I don't know what anointing you desire. Are you amazed by the grace of God on your pastor's life and want to see it in your own also? Do you want the gifts of healing and the power to cast out devils like my grandfather? Do you want to prophesy like my father? Do you want to evangelize the world like Billy Graham or do miracles like Benny Hinn? Do you want to teach like Ravi Zacharias or preach like TD Jakes? What anointing did you come for? None of them own the anointing on their lives and it's not up to them who gets to walk in it. So even if you never had the chance to meet them, that doesn't exclude you from receiving what God placed on their lives. However, there's a price.

The anointing is a free gift from God but walking in it is expensive. Elisha paid the price to walk in the anointing on Elijah's life. God picked Elisha to succeed Elijah but Elisha had to walk away from everything he knew to receive it. The disciples received the same Holy Ghost who rested on Jesus but most of them paid the same ultimate price that Jesus eventually paid for it. Now let me ask you a direct question. What anointing do you desire? If God chooses to give it to you, are you willing to pay the price? Hopefully, you already made that decision before showing up in God's presence. My mind is made up. I came for the anointing. Did you?

1 Peter 4:10-11(NLT) - God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
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