Taking Up the Mantle
This article is the first in a series of three articles designed to guide us into operating in the spiritual realm and to better understanding the kingdom of Yehovah.
When we accept Yeshua as our Savior and ask Him to be Lord of our lives, we become His. We belong to Him and are incorporated into Him. Because we belong to Him, we share in His glory. That is why He said that we would do the works He did and even greater works because we are in Him and He is in us (John 14:12).
I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began (John 17:4-5).
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me (John 17:20-21).
After Yeshua ascended into Heaven, the Father sent the Holy Spirit to us. It is easy for us to relate to Yeshua because He was here in the flesh. We cannot see the Holy Spirit with our physical eyes. We do not hear Him with our physical ears. Because of this sometimes we are reluctant or even afraid to operate in the spiritual realm. We may not realize that each of us is first and foremost a spirit who happens to reside in a body while on earth. Should we try to operate in the spiritual realm when we know so little about it?
Perhaps it would help to relate a story about our granddaughter when she was about two years old. She watched a little bird hopping around on the ground and began to imitate it by hopping around also. Then the bird spread its wings and flew away. She put out her arms and jumped into the air, but she did not fly away, of course. She landed with a thud on the ground. The point of this story is that just because there is a law of gravity that we may not understand fully, does not mean that gravity does not exist or that we should be afraid to explore? In fact, the more we understand about gravity, the more we can use it to our advantage and avoid danger. It is the same with the spiritual realm. So, how can we explore the spiritual realm?
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings (Prov 25:2).
Praying and fasting helps us tune out the physical realm in order to focus more on the spiritual realm. We know that Yeshua spent 40 days and nights in the desert praying and fasting after He was baptized with water and the Holy Spirit. When we pray to the Holy Spirit, He responds to us. He is with us day and night to teach us, guide us, comfort us, and advocate for us. The Holy Spirit wants us to succeed! Our physical ears may not be able to hear the Spirit, but our spiritual ears can hear Him very well.
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me (John 16:13-14).
We can also learn from Yeshua’s example. Yeshua prepared us to transition to the spiritual realm while we still reside on the earth, not just after we die and go to Heaven. Yeshua operated in both realms while He was on earth and He modeled for us what He wanted us to do. In teaching, healing, and feeding the hungry, Yeshua focused not on His own discernment or desires, but on the will of His Father. Yeshua watched what His Father was doing in the spiritual realm, then proceeded to do the same in the physical realm.
For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me (John 6:38).
[Yeshua] gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does (John 5:19).
Yeshua taught His followers to operate in both realms. We see this clearly in the Acts of the Apostles. The apostles moved in new boldness and authority after they were baptized in the Holy Spirit. They received from the spiritual realm and acted upon it in the physical realm. We are called to do the same work they did. We are to continue to build the kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. We cannot do that unless we know what is going on in heaven.
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life (John 6:63).
But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw [Yeshua] standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand. And he told them, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand” (Acts 7:55-56)!
It may not feel “safe” to begin work in the unknown (spiritual realm), but Yehovah calls us to move out of our comfort zones and move forward with boldness. I have heard some people express concern that they would hear from the enemy or do his work mistakenly thinking that they were serving Yehovah. If we are truly seeking Yehovah, then He will be sure to help us and will protect us from the enemy. We can forge ahead into the spiritual realm with confidence.
Acts 10 relates the visions of Peter and Cornelius, helping them to understand that Peter was to help Cornelius, a Roman soldier, to become a follower of Yeshua. As Peter began to speak according to the instructions of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit fell on Cornelius and all his household. There are many more examples to be found in Acts. If we look around us today, the Holy Spirit continues to teach, guide, comfort and empower Yeshua’s followers.
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one (2 Thess 3:3).
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Is 41:10).
We are called to do mighty things, just as Yeshua did. We are called to stay in close communion with Yeshua and Abba just as Yeshua stayed in close communion with Abba. We are called to be led by the Holy Spirit, just as Yeshua was. Let us take up the mantle that Yeshua left us, just as Elisha took up Elijah’s mantle. For us, the “mantle” is the Holy Spirit.
Elijah approached him and threw his mantle (cloak) over Elisha’s shoulders, signifying Elisha’s call to be his attendant and disciple. Elisha then kissed his parents good-bye, gave away all he owned, and “arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him” (1 Kgs. 19:19–21)