"And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven."
(2 Kings 2:11 KJV)
Elisha, who was to replace Elijah as chief prophet for Our Awesome God, was staying very close to Elijah since he knew that Elijah was to be taken up that day to Heaven. When Elijah asked Elisha what he could do for him, Elisha said he wanted a double portion of Elijah's spirit. Elijah told him if he saw Elijah go up to heaven he would have his double portion. Now we don't know exactly what Elisha knew, but the "chariot of fire" was not mentioned in the Bible before Elijah ascended.
The chariot was a powerful religious symbol of Our Awesome God for ancient Israel: not the ordinary chariots used for war, but what the Bible calls "chariot of fire." The first mention of a chariot of fire is in 2 Kings 2:11, cited above. This is the story of Elijah being caught up into heaven. Although tradition imagines it was the chariot that carried Elijah away, the Bible says a fiery chariot and its horses separated Elijah from Elisha, his disciple, while a whirlwind snatched Elijah away and, some think, into the fiery chariot. If it was a fiery chariot that Elijah rode in, was it a symbol to Israel?
So Elijah didn't die, he went to up with or in, a "chariot of fire". His time on earth was over and his replacement on earth was Elisha. Our Awesome God had fulfilled his wishes to die by taking him up with a spectacular "chariot of fire" in full view of God's prophets. Did God plan it that way? Of course He did. Everything God does is with the purpose of having His children (Christians) know He will give them the best. Are we watching carefully as Elisha did? Elisha got his double portion of spirit and he used it spectacularly.
Are you a "child of the King"? God will give you what you have earned when you get to heaven. But for any awards, you must be a Christian. Our Awesome God wants anyone who realizes that they are sinning and is ready to stop sinning and do it God's way. Come just as you are and tell Him. Even Christians have to admit their sin because only our Lord can get rid of sin for you. Don't wait! Get to God and then to a church that preaches and teaches that Jesus Christ died for you, taking your sins upon Himself and arose the third day to sit by God, interceding for you when you sin. He was Elijah's God!
Join us at Living Word Baptist Church as we pray and worship Him this Sunday at 9:30 AM for Bible Study and 10:30 AM for worship Service. Sunday evening at 6:00 PM for Bible Study along with a children's program called AWANA which goes until 7:30 PM (September through May). On Wednesdays, we meet at 7:00 PM for Prayer Requests and prayer. There are more programs during the week. We love visitors!
Flo & Bill