The Transfer Of The Holy Spirit
by Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
(Chapter 24 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, Meet The Holy Spirit)
Though it is a bit difficult to understand exactly all of the meanings involved, the patriarchs in the Bible often gathered their children and grandchildren before their death and imparted to them some kind of a blessing. This was the blessing that Jacob stole from Esau when he deceived his father and received his brother's blessing.
There is also the story of Elisha receiving the mantle of Elijah before Elijah went to Heaven. Elisha told him that he wanted a double portion of his power. Elijah told Elisha that the Lord had sent him to Bethel, but Elisha would not leave him. (II Kings 2:2) Then Elijah announced that he was going to Jericho. Again Elisha said, "As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee." (II Kings 2:4) When Elijah got to Jordan, he took his mantle, wrapped it together and smote the waters and they were divided. Elijah and Elisha went over on dry ground. When they walked over, Elijah said unto Elisha, "Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee." Elisha said, "I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me." Then Elijah said, "If thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall be not so." Consequently, Elisha stayed with Elijah until Elijah was taken into Heaven.
II Kings 2:11-13, "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. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan." Then Elisha took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him and parted the same waters that Elijah had parted. II Kings 2:14, "And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the Lord God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over."
There is a similar statement at the call of Elisha in I Kings 19:16, 19, "And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphhat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him."
It is not clear just exactly what happened, but there is a truth here that should not be overlooked. there is certainly nothing wrong when someone wants what someone else has that can be used in service for God. Exactly what power it is that is transferable is unclear, but it is clear that good men want to receive some form of blessing from great men who precede them.
When Dr. Bob Jones, Sr., was in his last days, Becky, our oldest daughter, and I went to Bob Jones University to see him. We went in the room where he was spending his last days. We talked for a while and I asked him if he would place his hand on my head and pray that God would give me the kind of power that he had . Oh, what a prayer as I knelt at his knees and as the dear old giant of God laid his hands on my head and prayed for God to impart to me a special blessing! I do not know exactly what happened. Maybe because of our hunger for a special blessing, God gives it to us. Perhaps we get more hungry in the presence of greatness.
When Dr. John Rice was coming toward the end of his life, again and again I would ask him to place his hand on my head and pray for me. How sacred were the hours that we spent when he was praying for God to bless me! Though I do not know exactly what happened, I do know that God blessed me. Was it because of my hunger and thirst after righteousness? Was God pouring water on him who was thirsty? I do not know, but I do believe there is merit in a servant of God wanting to be touched by greatness so that in some way the power that rested upon an Elijah could also rest upon an Elisha.
This does not mean we are to ask God to make us like another. It does mean it is all right to ask for power of another. Paul wrote young Timothy and told him to stir up the gift that was given him at the laying on of his hands. I am sure that the laying on of hands had nothing to do with it, and yet there seems to be something about the touch of the man of God that God uses to bless people and oftentimes to save people and to heal people. Now the man of God does not do the saving or the healing or the blessing.
Whatever it is, let us look at those whom we admire-our pastors, our parents and other spiritual leaders and ask God to give us the qualities that we see in them that would help us be better servants of our Lord. The wise preacher boy will watch his pastor an other great preachers carefully. The wise son will watch his father. The wise daughter will watch her mother. Even in the humblest of men and in the simplest of women there are admirable traits that should be desired by sons and daughters and sons of the prophets. As a minimum, lit us hunger and thirst for the greatness that we see in others and ask God that in some way these traits of greatness and power be transferred or at least given to us.
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