“Purifying Death in the Pot”
Key Verses: 2Ki 4:38 – 4:44
We return to the Book of Second Kings in the new series and cover another story where the prophet Elisha is called on to help the needy sons of the prophets. Lord willing, we will learn some new things and be reminded of what we know as these events are all ours to live out.
1Co 3:21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
In covering these events it is also important to remember they portray shadows of the truth, yet the fullness of truth is found only in the sum of thy word (Psa 119:160 – ASV). None of these Old Testament prophets received the promise (Heb 11:39) or the Holy Spirit (Joh 7:39) yet these stories are shadows and reminders of deeper spiritual truth revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. Here are the first of two short parables in this study that declare spiritual realities to those given eyes to see and ears to hear.
2Ki 4:38 NKJV And Elisha returned to Gilgal, and there was a famine in the land. Now the sons of the prophets were sitting before him; and he said to his servant, “Put on the large pot, and boil stew for the sons of the prophets.”
2Ki 4:39 So one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered from it a lapful of wild gourds, and came and sliced them into the pot of stew, though they did not know what they were.
2Ki 4:40 Then they served it to the men to eat. Now it happened, as they were eating the stew, that they cried out and said, “Man of God, there is death in the pot!” And they could not eat it.
2Ki 4:41 So he said, “Then bring some flour.” And he put it into the pot, and said, “Serve it to the people, that they may eat.” And there was nothing harmful in the pot.
On the surface this reads like just another physical miracle of the Lord worked through one of His servants. The Lord is certainly capable of feeding His people during the midst of a famine and can just say the word and any poison would disappear and the food would become edible. Yet the physical miracle is not the point being made despite all the Babylonian speculation about which gourds and herbs were in this pot. It is so easy to want to compare physical with spiritual to decipher what is being said yet those with ears to hear are taught differently.
1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
There are many physical items cited that speak to spiritual truths and experiences. A spiritual famine is when we do not hear the words of the Lord (Amo 8:11). Such periods are caused of the Lord to make us needy and bring adjustments through the chastening grace (Heb 12:6, Tit 2:11) that is turning our hearts back to the Lord and His Christ. Such is the setting in Gilgal and in the Body of Christ where are learning by judgment.
Psa 119:71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.
The fire is of course the Word working righteousness via judgement. To put on the mind of Christ, our fleshly carnal mind must be transformed and this new mindset (a new heaven) is changed only by the fiery trials of judgment.
Jer 1:13 And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying, What seest thou? And I said, I see a seething pot; and the face thereof is toward the north.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Isa 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
Spiritual food is our thoughts and what we take to heart and act upon. The pot itself is our mind where the battle for truth is being waged (Rev 12:7) and our food is made ready to eat. The living bread and His “meat indeed” will only be found in a seething pot on a fire. The transformation from a beast and man of sin into a mature of son of God is only done by being seethed in a pot full of trials and afflictions (Isa 48:10, Rev 15:8) brought on by the Word.
Heb 10:32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;
The Lord is the devouring fire in the midst of the Body of Christ (Isa 33:14, Heb 12:29) that is judging us now and teaching us righteousness as we die more each day. Converting our mind requires being converted from a carnal mind to the mind of Christ trusting not in ourselves.
2Co 4:8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
2Co 4:9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
2Co 4:10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
It is the collective mind of Christ that is the fire and is the fullness that dwells in the Body that is feeding us with judgment (Eze 34:16) which renews our minds in a fiery pot. The Lord’s throne is in heaven, in our mind and from where we are fed the truth that matures us.
Rev 7:17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
Gilgal as we have seen in prior studies means Wheels and is the first camp of the saints on the west side of the Jordan. Gilgal symbolizes the Body of Christ, where the prophets of the Lord are gathered and from whence they set forth to battle the giants in the land within us (Luk 17:21). Let’s look deeper into the parable.
2Ki 4:39 KJV And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred them into the pot of pottage: for they knew them not.
“We are what we eat” applies spiritually as well as physically (Rom 1:20). Learning to eat spiritually is learning to be diligent and to guard our hearts and what we allow into it. We must learn to truly be separate from the world to be transformed. Otherwise we will languish and be yet carnal and not progress.
Heb 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
We learn not to go to the world but rather to the house of God for our nourishment not even thinking above what is written (1Co 4:6). The field is the world (Mat 13:38) which is full of lies and false prophets masquerading as light. Thus, we are commanded and learn to try the spirits and prove all things.
1Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
But as the Scriptures teach, we learn obedience by suffering first for our disobedience and then we are corrected by our mistakes and sins (Jer 2:19, Tit 2:11). The other jesus so easily deceives us through smooth and flattering words.
2Co 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
In our youth (immaturity), we forget to be diligent and readily gather wild herbs from the field that is the world. Interesting the word for herbs is the same word as light as used in some well-known verses.
Feminine of H216; luminousness, that is, (figuratively) prosperity; also a plant (as being bright): – herb light.
Total KJV Occurrences: 5
herbs, 3 —— 2Ki_4:39, Isa_18:4, Isa_26:19
light, 2 —— Est_8:16, Psa_139:12
Gathering herbs from the carnally minded world is our seeking light (truth) from the wrong sources. We need to learn the schemes and devices of Satan who is a master disguiser.
2Co 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
Mat 6:23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
It is our old man who lusts after the things of the world and wants the red pottage and instant gratification of right now. This was one of the lessons of Esau, the rejected first Adam who demanded of Jacob the red pottage of the world (Gen 25:30-34). Bringing back wild cucumbers (gourds) in our garments (lap) is covering ourselves with worldly seeds and thoughts which is the mindset of self-righteousness and the law for a carnal nation. Going above what is written is adding to the word, and brings poisonous thoughts, contrary to faith which results in only further deception and plagues of unbelief.
Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
1Co 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
We continue in the story and the sons of the prophets (men of God in training) begin to partake of the stew of thoughts they are making on the fire.
2Ki 4:40 KJV So they poured out for the men to eat. And it came to pass, as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out, and said, O thou man of God, there is death in the pot. And they could not eat thereof.
Eating and drinking carnal thoughts is fornicating with other gods and brings damnation and leads to spiritual sickness and ultimately death if not corrected.
1Co 11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
1Co 11:30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
Unless we eat the true living word, we are eating death. When worldly thoughts and wisdom is mixed in our mind there is death in the pot.
Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Until faith comes, and we are freed from the bondage of self-righteousness, that gets its power from the law of Moses/Gentiles (Rom 2:15), there will be death in our pot.
Rom 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.
Rom 7:6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.
Getting the law of faith into our action and deeds requires many spiritual meals and lessons where we learn the narrow ways of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
2Co 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth (brings death), but the spirit giveth life.
Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
Adding in worldly wisdom poisons the pot and is the natural condition of our yet carnal mind. This is offering strange fire to the Lord as did Aaron’s sons (Lev 10:1) which resulted in death. It is by examining our walk to see if we are in the faith (2Cor 13:5) that we can see the fruit of unrighteousness and know that we are eating and drinking unworthily. We will see death in the pot and know an ingredient needs to be added. We call out to the saints of God who are shepherds of the sheep that watch over one another and provide healthy nourishment.
1Pe 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
Joh 10:2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
Eze 34:23 And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.
This is especially true of the elders the Lord has appointed over His Body.
1Pe 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
1Pe 5:3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
The Lord has raised up His Body to help us in our time of need. The people of God respond.
2Ki 4:41 KJV But he said, Then bring meal. And he cast it into the pot; and he said, Pour out for the people, that they may eat. And there was no harm in the pot.
The truth evaporates carnal lies. That is what cleared the pot (mind) and made it safe to eat with no harm to be had. The word translated “harm” in the KJV comes from two Hebrew words which make it clear what the harm in the pot was.
Harm H1697 H7451
H7451 is “RA”, the word for evil that we look at all the time and H1697 means WORD.
H1697, dâbâr – Total KJV Occurrences: 1446
Putting in the pure Word, is the meal or grain that cleanses our minds (the pot) and brings no harm to the new man but works only good (Rom 8:28). The great commission has the Lord’s disciples preaching the word to those prepared to hear it. With Christ risen and seated in our heavens (pots), any leaven taken in or poison drunk shall not harm us as the truth will purge it out and we will be healed of all our spiritual diseases.
Mar 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Mar 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
The meal [H7058] cast into the pot, is the word of God given to the hearers. This process is what gives and increases our faith and allows us to stand in the face of trials.
Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Putting meal into the pot was putting the Word of God into the hearts and minds of the yet carnal “doubting Thomas’s” who are at first sinking in the time of great trial (famine).
Yet the message here about the meal flour is much deeper than just speaking or hearing words. The greater action is us being doers of the Word (Jam 1:22). Our obedience is doing the Word and that is what ultimately will purge the pot of its evil words (false doctrines, diseases) contrary to faith.
Exo 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.
Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
Jesus Christ is the Word and is the Meal that is saving His people from death via the transformative process of judgment now on the house of God. As Christ was sent into the world, so is His Christ sent to do the same, even the greater works (Joh 20:21, Joh 16:12). The food of Jesus Christ is to do the will of His Father and feed His people.
Joh 4:34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.
Mat 14:16 But Jesus said to them, They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.
Jesus Christ laid down His life for the brethren. That is giving the brethren the living bread to eat and be nourished upon. As His Christ that is what our calling and election demands of us. There is no greater love (obedience) than to lay down our life for our friends (Joh 15;13).
1Jn 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren (Christ).
When we lay down our lives in service to the brethren, we are throwing Jesus Christ in us, the obedient word into the pot of trials and tribulations. Nothing can harm a dead person and being dead to self and alive to Christ is the instant cure for death in the pot. It is this gift and sacrifice through which we nourish the priests and prophets of the Lord. Such is the symbolism of the Meal (aka Meat) offering in Scriptures that were a shadow of what our “DIVINE” or reasonable service requires.
Like our Lord, His Christ (The Body) is a living sacrifice for one another that is nourishing all the Elect (The priests and Sons of Aaron symbolically).
Lev 2:1 And when any will offer a meat offering unto the LORD, his offering shall be of fine flour; and he shall pour oil upon it, and put frankincense thereon:
Lev 2:2 And he shall bring it to Aaron’s sons the priests: and he shall take thereout his handful of the flour thereof, and of the oil thereof, with all the frankincense thereof; and the priest shall burn the memorial of it upon the altar, to be an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD:
Lev 2:3 And the remnant of the meat offering shall be Aaron’s and his sons’: it is a thing most holy of the offerings of the LORD made by fire.
Our meal offering must be built upon a burnt offering, symbolizing a life sacrificed to the Lord which makes it a sweet-smelling savor (Num 29:2-3). A burned offering destroys SELF and is what makes the meal flour very fine (Mat 21:44). Jesus Christ is the bread of life and as His Christ (1Jo 4:17). We feed each other.
Joh 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
Giving of our selves is the putting meal (aka meat) into the pot. This is our reasonable service and is what nourishes the Body of Christ. The righteous are the Meat Offering who feed, comfort, clothe and visit Jesus Christ.
Mat 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
Mat 25:38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Mat 25:39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
Mat 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Renewing our minds and separating from the world is what enables us to become that living sacrifice and to give the service and spiritual nourishment to the Body of Christ.
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Psa 132:15 I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread.
Feeding the lambs of the Lord is laying down our lives for one another. We are the bread of life that is broken for each other in the Body of Christ.
1Co 11:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
1Co 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
The Lord will never leave us or forsake us. We need to cling to these promises when times are tough, and our faith is being tried. In times of scarcity we are to go to the priests and the table of the Lord where we always have, plenty to eat and there are always willing and able servants to cast our cares upon.
Psa 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
Luk 14:13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
It matters not from whence we have come. Everyone in the Body has a gift and something to offer to feed, comfort, clothe and visit the brethren.
2Ki 4:42 KJV And there came a man from Baalshalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley, and full ears of corn in the husk thereof. And he said, Give unto the people, that they may eat.
2Ki 4:43 And his servitor said, What, should I set this before an hundred men? He said again, Give the people, that they may eat: for thus saith the LORD, They shall eat, and shall leave thereof.
2Ki 4:44 So he set it before them, and they did eat, and left thereof, according to the word of the LORD.
A man coming from Baal Shalisha, is one having been taught true doctrine by the enduring through the many tribulations of judgment. The Hebrew word Shalisha H8031 is from a root meaning trebled or three, signifying the three-day process (Joh 2:19) that rebuilds the Lord’s temple that we are (1Co 3:16). The mind of Baal is the mind of men, a carnal mind and one full of idols and false gods. One coming from BaalShalisha has been healed of his spiritual diseases and is prepared for service and every good work, even bringing food!
Joh 4:34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.
Joh 4:35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!
Elisha threw meal into the pot and here the young minister does the same in bringing all he had, the firstfruits of the harvest to feed the flock. It is better to give than to receive as giving brings multiplied blessings on the whole house.
Eze 44:30 The best of all firstfruits of any kind, and every sacrifice of any kind from all your sacrifices, shall be the priest’s; also you shall give to the priest the first of your ground meal, to cause a blessing to rest on your house.
The Living Word (the flour, the meal), living through us will always accomplish the purposes for which it has been sent. We have parables from the old and new that show the Lord feeding His people way beyond what the wisdom of the world would say is possible.
1Ki 17:16 The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke by Elijah.
Mat 15:37 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full.
The fruits and grain brought were young as the corn was still in the husk and barley is the earliest harvest in the year. This newly minted minister (servitor) formerly of the mind of Baal questions whether his gift it is enough to satisfy the prophets. The Word of the Lord which is His thoughts and His ways is boundless and will never run. Those thoughts and ways are actioned through His Elect who are given and grow in the mind of Christ.
Isa 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
Isa 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Isa 55:10 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater,
Isa 55:11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
This young servitor is every one of us in the Body of Christ. We need to know that every gift is precious in the sight of the Lord. Giving our all, no matter what it is, pleases the Lord.
Psa 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
The parable of the widow’s two mites confirms how the Lord looks at our giving and especially giving of our very life.
Mar 12:42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans.
Mar 12:43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury;
Mar 12:44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”
Sincere comments and questions are always welcome and encouraged. You can also email me questions directly at firstname.lastname@example.org