This post is all about mantles in the Bible
Mantles in the Bible are a buzzword in the Charismatic, Pentecostal, and Evangelical community…but what does it mean to receive a mantle, and how do we know when God is calling us to take on a new mantle?”
In 1 Kings 19:19, we read the story of Elijah throwing his prophetic mantle (cloak) onto Elisha. It is clear that Elijah’s mantle was not just a physical symbol – it represented his calling, prophetic office, and ministry. It is then given to Elisha in a powerful (and dramatic way), representing the confirmation of his call to continue Elijah’s mission of proclaiming God’s word and power. (read 2 Kings 2:1-17)
This story can be seen as an example for us today when we feel called to receive a mantle.
Ready? Let’s go!
Why I’m writing about mantles in the Bible!
I wrote an in-depth post about anointing after a supernatural encounter that I had in 2021. This is what really motivated to write that post, and I started thirsting to understand what mantles were.
I asked myself, “What exactly are the differences between anointing and mantles?” Thus, this in-depth blog post was birthed.
If you want to read my post titled “11 Distinct Signs of an Anointed Person (Manifestation)”, you will be blessed because it lays the groundwork and overlaps with this particular post.
Please read after you read this post on mantles.
P.S. Feel free to use the table of contents that I’ve attached. However, please keep in mind that you should read this post systematically.
Now that housekeeping is done…let’s officially begin. Fasten your seatbelts ya’ll!🤣
What is the meaning of “mantle”?
Mantles are a religious concept that appears in several religions, including Christianity. It is also known as the “Divine Mantle” or “Spiritual Mantle.”
In the English dictionary, it means a cloak or cape that symbolizes authority and responsibility.
In Hebrew, the mantle is called “addereth.” It is a general term used to describe any cloak or robe worn by the people in biblical times.
Benefits of a mantle
A mantle is not just heavy and comes with great responsibility; it also has many rewards. Taking on a mantle of authority offers numerous benefits to the person who bears it.
- It can bestow an office or position
- Protection from harm (I believe God will protect His investment!)
- Respect and reverence
But there are responsibilities…
It is a privilege to bear such a heavy burden, and those who do must accept the obligations that go with it. Ultimately, the rewards of carrying such responsibility are plentiful; however, it is essential to remember that great accountability and scrutiny😭 also come with such power.
The obligations that come with a mantle of authority should never be taken lightly. Those wearing it must understand the importance of being responsible and accountable for their actions, as they set an example for those around them. They must act with integrity and remain mindful of their decisions’ impact on others.
Furthermore, they must strive to be fair and equitable in their dealings and always have integrity. When one wears the mantle, they must ensure they carry out their duties with honor and respect for those around them.
Differences and overlap between anointing and mantle
Mantle and anointing are words that often get used interchangeably, but there is a distinction between them. They both involve the passing on of authority or power from one person to another, but the ways in which they do it are different.
In the Bible, mantle and anointing have been used with regard to spiritual leadership. For instance, when Elijah passed his mantle onto Elisha in 1 Kings 19:19-21, this was a symbolic gesture of him passing down his prophetic office. On the other hand, when Samuel anointed David in 1 Samuel 16:1-13, this was a ritual act signifying God’s chosen king for Israel.
1. Anointing is a form of consecration
Generally speaking, anointing is a form of consecration. The anointing signifies being set apart for special purposes or responsibilities – in other words; it represents divine favor and authority from God’s hand.
2. Both involve a transfer of power
Mantle and anointing can sometimes overlap in that they both involve a transfer of power, but they are distinctly different. A mantle takes time to be established (as seen in Elijah and Elisha )so it can be passed on, while anointing is a one-time event that happens more quickly.
Mantles often involve establishing your identity and how you will lead, so it requires mentorship and relationship building. Anointing, as seen in David’s example, is a ritual act that transfers power from the higher authority to the recipient; this process generally happens much faster than passing on a mantle.
3. Both require the Holy Spirit for true empowerment
It’s super important to note that mantle and anointing are still available today. Whether in religious contexts or leadership positions outside of church settings, people are called upon and given the authority to lead differently. Whether through a mentor-mentee relationship or an official ceremony, the power to lead still requires God’s empowerment.
Let me stress and re-iterate: Both anointing and mantles still require the involvement of the Holy Spirit for true empowerment. Yep- remember that the source of your power ultimately lies in God and His Spirit! This means that even when a mantle is passed, or someone is anointed, the Holy Spirit must still move for these events to have any lasting effect.
Transfer of mantles in the Bible
The concept of mantle transfer has been around since the Old Testament. In present day Christianity, some argue that mantles aren’t relevant. However, I totally disagree with this notion.
Anyways, these three verses highlight the long process where the mantle transfer between Elijah and Elisha. As you will see, it wasn’t an overnight phenomenon. It took process.
- The act of Elijah wrapping himself in his mantle at Horeb (1 Kings 19:13) is believed to symbolically represent the Elijah’s authority and power over the nation of Israel.
- In 1 Kings 19:19, Elijah cast his mantle on Elisha while walking together. This is where the idea of transferring a spiritual mantle begins. Elisha now serves diligently under Elijah!
- In 2 Kings 2:13-14, Elisha takes up Elijah’s mantle after ascending to heaven in a whirlwind. With his newfound authority, he performs a miracle, parting the waters of the Jordan River. This is one of the most significant acts in all of scripture when it comes to the final mantle transfer. It serves as proof that Elisha was given Elijah’s authority and power over Israel and that he was also given his spiritual gifts. Since Elisha asked for a double portion, it is documented that he performed 16 miracles while Elijah 8 miracles.
Steps to receive a mantle (case study-Mantles of Elijah and Elisha)
There are several vital facts we must consider before we receive a mantle:
1. Surrender and obedience
Accepting God’s call over your life is crucial in receiving a mantle. In the story of Elisha, we see how excited and enthusiastic he was when Elijah threw his cloak on him. He immediately burned his plow and ate his oxen to signify that he was leaving behind his former life and committing fully to His calling. This is an essential lesson for us to learn in our own lives. When God calls us to do something, it requires complete surrender and obedience. We need to be willing to forego our own plans and turn our hearts entirely towards Him, trusting that He will fill any void of comfort or security we may leave behind. This kind of obedience is essential to receiving the mantle and being able to use it in the way that God has intended.
2. Alignment with God’s will
We must ensure the mantle aligns with God’s will. In the Bible, Elijah passed his mantle to Elisha when it was in agreement with God’s will. We must remember that not all mantles are from God, so it is important to check our motives before we receive any mantles.
3. Serve earnestly (don’t do it for “Instagram”)
In the life of Elisha and Elijah, we see how Elisha served faithfully for years as Elijah’s servant until it was time for him to receive the mantle. We, too, must be willing to put in hard work and dedication without expecting anything in return if we want to be chosen for a mantle.
4. Evaluate our hearts
In order to be ready for a mantle, we must have a pure and humble heart. We need to be aware of our own flaws and strive to improve them so that God can use us for His will.
5. Develop an honest, close, and long-term relationship with the mantle bearer
Elisha made sure he stayed close to Elijah for many years before receiving the mantle, and this teaches us how important it is not only to remain near the person giving out the mantle but also to build a strong bond with them.
6. Understand that they are humans and do err
As the saying goes, “Human is to err”- we must understand that even those who are chosen for a mantle still have their own flaws. They suffer temptation and the Lord is still working in them! This can be seen in both Elijah’s and Elisha’s lives, as they both made mistakes and had to learn from them. Just like them, we must remember to give grace to those chosen for a mantle, even if it is not ourselves.
What happened to Elisha’s mantle?
2 Kings 13:20–21 shows that even after Elisha’s death, his bones still had power and could bring a dead man back to life. This would suggest that Elisha was still connected with the spiritual power of God, and it was, therefore, crucial that the mantle remains untransferred to maintain its sacredness.
For several reasons, Elisha did not pass over his mantle to Gehazi, his servant.
- Firstly, Gehazi didn’t remain loyal or devoted to God and instead chose to use deceitful tactics to gain a monetary reward from Naaman for himself. (read 2 Kings 5:26)
- It is likely that Gehazi was not deemed suitable or obedient enough to receive such an honor given by God himself.
- The Bible suggests he wasn’t fully committed or lacked faith and devotion; he used underhanded tactics when representing Elisha and was not entirely aligned with God’s will. (read 2 Kings 4:27 where he pushes the Shunamite woman and Elisha had to correct him!)
- He showed no respect for God’s power by disrespecting the miracles performed by Elisha and disregarding their significance.
- Lastly, it would have been unsafe and unpredictable to pass over such a powerful mantle to a man like Gehazi. (can you even imagine if Gehazi received the mantle?🤯It would have been a mess!)
Finally, it implies that characters should remain loyal and faithful to God if they wish to receive His blessings. Gehazi made several mistakes in his representation of Elisha. These actions ultimately lead him to be denied the mantle passed down by Elisha.
Tips on stewarding your mantle
There are many tips for stewarding your mantle. Here are some:
1. Recognize and acknowledge God’s call on your life: Elisha knew that God had called him to follow Elijah even before the prophet offered him his mantle.
2. Follow faithfully and obediently: Even when Elijah tried three times to send Elisha away, he refused each time because he knew he was meant to follow him. (see 2 Kings 2:1-18)
3. Persevere even when things seem hopeless: When Elijah was taken away by a whirlwind, Elisha persevered in looking for his mentor even though it seemed like a lost cause.
4. Stay humble and know your place: Despite the authority that came with Elijah’s mantle, Elisha understood that everything came from God and not himself, so he stayed humble throughout the process.
5. Live out what you have been called to do: After receiving the mantle, Elisha knew it was time to take action and start fulfilling his mission as prophet and servant of God.
6. Faith: Elisha believed in God and his calling enough to take on the mantle of Elijah, despite how daunting it may have seemed.
7. Show patience and trust in God’s timing: Elisha waited patiently for Elijah to pass on his mantle even though he did not know when or how this would happen.
8. Stay devoted and committed: Even after his calling , Elisha continued to serve faithfully under Elijah as a prophet of God for many years.
The meaning of “mantles are falling”
The phrase “mantle is falling” evokes a powerful image. It is also another buzz word used in the charismatic community. For real, we have our own lingo at times. hehe. Love it!
This phrase (mantles are falling) speaks to the idea of something being passed on from one generation to the next and of a legacy being carried forward. The phrase is most often used in reference to Elijah and Elisha in the Bible, where Elijah’s mantle falls upon Elisha after he ascends into heaven in a chariot of fire. Even though Elijah had been taken away physically, his spiritual influence still remained and would carry on through Elisha.
The phrase “mantle is falling” can also refer to the passing of an important leadership role or task from one person to another. It implies that when a mantle falls, it is time for someone else to take up the mantle and continue the work started by their predecessor. This could refer to a teacher passing on knowledge to their student, a leader giving way to someone else, or even a parent entrusting responsibility to their child. In each case, the mantle being passed on is seen as something special and significant that should not be taken lightly.
Ultimately, when we hear the phrase “mantle is falling,” we are reminded of the importance of passing on our knowledge, influence, and responsibilities to those who will continue the work we have begun. It is a reminder that, even when we are no longer here on this earth, our legacies can still live on in the hearts and hands of those we leave behind.
What did the mantle of Elijah look like?
I touched this topic in-depth via my post titled, “The Power of The Prayer Shawl | Christian Prayer Shawl.” I even included a link to a powerful sermon I found.
Basically, many scholars believe the mantle was a tallit.
Development, process, and advancement in mantles and anointing: Joseph case study
Joseph’s journey was long, arduous, and filled with trials, faithfulness, and God’s blessing. As we study this Bible character, you will notice that the “coat” and dressing symbolized physical and spiritual levels and dimensions as he was advancing in his calling.
Development 1: Joseph was given a coat of many colors
Joseph’s journey was highlighted when his father, Jacob, gave him a coat of many colors. This coat was a sign of favor and authority, indicating the potential for greatness that God had in store for Joseph. As Joseph grew older, he encountered various trials and tribulations that tested his faith and obedience to God.
Reference: Genesis 37:3
Development 2: Joseph leaves his cloak behind with Potiphar’s wife’s
In Potiphar’s home, Joseph refused to respond to Potiphar’s wife’s advances as it would have been sinful according to God’s laws. He left his cloak in Potiphar’s wife’s hand and ran out of the house. This act of faithfulness caused him to be falsely accused and imprisoned for many years. During this time, Joseph developed a deep relationship with the One who had anointed him long ago – God. Through this relationship, Joseph was able to gain wisdom and discernment that would help him in his later life.
Reference: Genesis 39:11-12
Development 3: Joseph becomes Prime minster and dressed in fine linen clothing
After being released from prison, Joseph found favor with Pharaoh. He interpreted the Pharaoh’s dreams, predicting seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine. This earned him the position of Prime Minister in Egypt, where he now had authority over all of Egypt and was second only to Pharaoh himself! God blessed Egypt and Joseph’s family during the famine through Joseph’s leadership and faithfulness.
Per Genesis, “Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck.”
Reference: Genesis 41:37-44
Takeaways from Joseph’s story:
Although this story took place thousands of years ago, its lessons are still relevant today. With patience and dedication to God’s plan for us, we, too, can build a strong relationship with Him that will help guide our lives. We may not make it to the same level of greatness as Joseph did, but we can use his example as inspiration for striving for greatness in our lives.
No matter what we face in our lives, God has anointed us for greatness and will help guide us through it if we keep faith and trust in Him. Through Joseph’s story, we can learn how to steward and pursue any mantles or anointing God has placed upon us. We must remember that He is always by our side on the journey toward achievement.
If you want to read my other posts about Joseph, please read after this post:
Challenges and Spiritual Warfare with mantles
Once one is ready to take on their spiritual mantle, the enemy will come with all sorts of attacks to frustrate them and stop them from fulfilling God’s plan. The enemy will use a variety of tactics such as constant distraction, lies, doubt, false accusations, and anything else they can think of to throw us off track.
a) We are in a spiritual battle, not a physical one
It is important to remember that we are in a spiritual battle, not a physical one. We must use the tools God has given us to fight back against the enemy’s attacks. This includes prayer, reading the Word of God, and being filled with the Holy Spirit. It is also essential to have a positive attitude and focus on serving God no matter what the enemy throws our way. With God’s help, we can overcome any obstacles the enemy puts in our path and fulfill His purposes.
b) Stay true to ourselves and be obedient to God’s will
In order to be effective in our spiritual office, it is essential to stay true to ourselves and be obedient to God’s will. This can be a difficult task at times, but with prayer and faith, we can do all things through Him who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13). By relying on the Lord and being mindful of how the enemy works, we can do all things through Him and reach the goals He has set for us. We can also resist temptation and stay focused on fulfilling God’s plan for our lives.
c) Be encouraged; God is with us in every step we take!
When you feel overwhelmed or frustrated, pray to God and let Him carry your burdens. He will provide comfort and strengthen you as you strive to fulfill your spiritual office. Don’t forget: no weapon formed against you shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17). Keep your faith strong, and the enemy will have no power over you.
Here is a powerful video by Apostle Joshua Selman that explains how Spirits follow unique destinies and mantles:
And that’s it, folks, Mantles in the Bible
There are so many things I left out in this fascinating Bible study… I’m seriously thinking of doing an in-depth blog post on Elisha. I love His story, and Elisha also happens to be my father’s name! Interesting things.
So I’m off on a tangent. Lots to unpack…but I have to leave now.
May we always be inspired by these lessons so we can live out our calling with excellence!