A whole teaching has sprung up around the area of “having a mantle” — A mantle is a cloak or a covering cloth.
because it is a big thing taught in this river – we need to investigate where this comes from biblically: so here we go- it is found in 2 Kings 2 with the story of Elijah & Elisha
Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah andElisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2 And Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, for theLord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. 3 And the sons of the prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master from over you?” And he said, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.”
4 Elijah said to him, “Elisha, please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho. 5 The sons of the prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master from over you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.”
6 Then Elijah said to him, “Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. 7 Fifty men of the sons of the prophets also went and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. 8 Then Elijah took his cloak and rolled it up and struck the water, and the water was parted to the one side and to the other, till the two of them could go over on dry ground.
9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.” 10 And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.” 11 And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12 And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more.
Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces. 13 And he took up the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan.14 Then he took the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and struck the water, saying, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” And when he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over. (ESV)
Here we see a “passing over of the baton of anointing” from one righteous & Holy man to the other – we also notice from this passage that the same supernatural spiritual power is effective in the parting of the water when the mantle or cloak struck the water- both men demonstrate this.. with the spiritual transference of “power” & a double portion of Elijah’s spirit on to Elisha..
In the teaching in the River – this whole idea of mantles, transferable anointings is based solely on this OT passage… it does not occur elsewhere in scripture.
Elisha, having received the “double portion,” goes on to supernaturally multipy oil, raised a child from the dead, made a poisonous stew edible & multiplied food rations…. these things are echoed in the miracles that Jesus later does in the NT..
from my heart here is the question that cuts to the chase of this teaching .
Are we pursuing the POWER demonstrated or the HOLINESS…?
both Elijah & Elisha were considered OT prophets… We know that the NT is the new covenant & in a sense overwrites the OT- the OT adds weight & understanding to the new… whereby this story becomes a “foreshadowing of what is to come”
We have the Holy spirit – poured out amongst us Acts 1 v 8 says: (ESV)
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Now we see, that the context of that POWER is to do with making Jesus known to the ends of the earth – it has nothing to do with power for “powers” sake…
my concern with this emphasis of teaching we are presented with in the “river” is that it promotes individuals to the understanding that they can have & wield supernatural power around… my observation is that this can produce fleshy attitudes of elitism “im more spiritual – than the next” & superiority “I have more ability to perform supernaturally than you” thinking…
It would never be admitted to of course. Coupled with immaturity – of one who has been sold this power trip as a hook to get in & get further on in this movement – it is completely evident that this is the case …
Elijah & Elisha were humble & holy men- completely mature in the things of God… notice that the sons of the prophets in 2 kings2 v 3 were not endowed with this mantle or anointing– yet they would have been operating as maybe apprentices to the Holy men of God – in the context of learning the ways & words of God they would have been in the loop so to speak…& look at v 5 – these sons were instructed to hold back their prophetic knowledge of that which was to occur… such self control…I believe if they had not done so they would have got busy whipping up a crowd to observe the supernatural happenings- the whisking away of Elijah up into heaven,, A totally amazing sight which they were not permitted to observe – standing some distance away… how different from the attitudes of today when every Bethellite sign & wonder seeker rushes in & pushes for more… Awesomeness/wow factor
On balance I think the teaching on mantles we have been sitting under is off base…. not in the least because a whole prophetic practiced has emerged from just one portion of scripture & also because the context we just discussed would most likely never be taught . The aspect of “covering” is a whole other issue.
Under the new covenent – with us being saved by grace – entering in to the inheritance of the saints & receiving the Power- the Holy Spirit in order to make Jesus known to the ends of the earth – why do we need a transference of an anointing or a mantle back & forth between each other?… If we truly want everything God has for us – surely Christ Crucified & the precious Holy Spirit available for each one is enough? Furthermore, it is HE who gives these things- In the River – the teaching is that the need for mantles & anointings are prophetically perceived – people desire any anointing they want & then pray to receive it- or have another suggest it is theirs & pray over them in a manner such as to receive it…… I know from my own circumstances that this whole mentality leaves the door wide open for control & manipulation- high suggestibility & panders to the desires of the flesh… I have seen these things happen & play out… in the end – when full blown- it leads to spiritual abuse & demonic outworkings
Ultimately, the body, as a group of individuals is made vulnerable & weak instead of strong & established- but at the same time a delusion ensues that the power obtained is “world overcoming”… the reality is that people are enslaved to this perspective of needing a mantle or anointing before stepping out into anything &/or the teachings & touch of the “spiritual ones”/ Gods Generals / Giants of the Faith- who simply have demonstrated “spiritual power” as a a sole authenticator (If that is a word??) – instead of just being obedient to the word of God & living Holy & pure. This is exactly why we saw people en masse rush from all over the world to the Lakeland outpouring in 2008 & why they continue to pour in to Bethel Redding- the mentality of that is recognised & honed by these leaders- people are manipulated into getting to these “power hubs” –
Is this teaching on mantles effectively saying that – that which father God has provided for us is not enough? when we must have the anointing at any cost- where does that leave us?