The Netherworld Power Of Pneuma
n recent times, we’ve been examining the prophetic processes with which Satan deceives the world, and we’ve been focusing on the various texts which address how the Spirit found in the False Prophet deceives those who dwell on the earth. In previous studies, we’ve shown the prophetic metaphor which is inherent in prophecy identifies the lost as “they that dwell on the earth” (Revelation 17:8), as opposed to those who “sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6).
Of particular interest is the other anointing which is found in the Spirit of Antichrist. Since “Christ” means anointed, and the Greek word “Anti” meansanother, the Scriptural term Antichrist literally means Another Anointing. Further, since the dragon enables the Spirit in the False Prophet to “exercise all the power of the first beast before him” (Revelation 13:12), and the False Prophet inaugurates the activity which “causes” the earth-dwellers to follow the Antichrist beast, we’re probing just how the False Prophet is able to accomplish this.
This is actually related to the mystical energy which is identified inRevelation as emanating out of the second beast of Revelation 13. Fortunately, we are now in the position of recognizing this nefarious power, because this Spirit betrays its identity when it is manifested in those who are caught in it. This commonly occurs when that wicked Spirit clashes with the light of God. Further, the collision between that hideous strength and the truth routinely causes the deceived to sink even deeper into their Strong Delusion.
Even worse, because we are already deeply into the prophesied Falling Away (II Thessalonians 2:3), there are huge numbers of believers who, “professing themselves to be wise, [have] become fools” (Romans 1:22) by their flawed reasoning processes. Unfortunately, most contemporary Christians reject such statements as audacious (or arrogant) when, in fact, it is this entire evil and adulterous generation which has heaped to themselves teachers that rarely step outside of the consensus:
“For the time will come when [the believers] will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own [subjective desires] shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (II Timothy 4:3, 4).
It is a rare individual indeed who recognizes this is the direct result of the strange force the book of Revelation tells us flows through the False Prophet, and it is this very mysterious phenomenon which deceives those who dwell on the face of the whole earth:
“And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth… And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast” (Revelation 13:14, 15).
Most know the New Testament use of Greek has several different words in the original language which are frequently reduced to a single word in English – and the word life is an excellent example. It’s instructive to see the Greek word used in practically all the New Testament verses where life is mentioned, is not the same word used in connection with the “life” given by the False Prophet. For instance, in John 3:16’s classic verse, we learn that God so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten Son, thereby providing us with the doorway to everlasting life.
The word rendered “life” in this verse, is Zoe (pronounced zo’ay), meaning life, in a literal, or figurative sense, and it’s used all over the Bible. Another verse, where the LORD tells us that he who seeks to save his life shall lose it, but he that loses his life for the sake of the LORD will find it, uses the word Psyche (or psuche), and it also occurs many times. However, the “life” which animates the image of the beast, is Pneuma, and it is not widely used, so it’s not only different from the life of the LORD, it’s uniquely applied in connection to a strange power associated with the Image of the Beast.
It should be self evident that, not only is Satan incapable of creating life, since the text tells us the two beasts of Revelation receive their power from the dragon, they are also incapable of creating life. Thus, the infusion of “life” into the mysterious Image of the Beast speaks of the Devil’s utilization of a Spiritual substance which animates the Image through a power which the world believes is life, when it is not.
An additional clue regarding the mystical Pneuma generated by the False Prophet is found in adjacent descriptions of Satan’s twin Spiritual entities (Antichrist and the False Prophet). In the verse which tells us “all the world wondered after the Beast” (Revelation 13:3), we find the word wondered is existemi, where we get our word ecstasy. It speaks of an amazement, or astonishment that is mesmerizing. The way this word is utilized can greatly help to illustrate just what Revelation is communicating when it tells us these devilish powers give “life” to the Image, for it reverses the emphasis from the source of the power, to the recipient of the power.
An illustration is in order. In another chapter of Revelation, we see Revelation’s John wondered [existemi] when he beheld the wicked whore of Babylon:
“And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration” (Revelation 17:6).
This usage surprises no one, for it is obvious the woman riding on the back of the Beast is associated with evil, so the existemi she temporarily generates in John is consistent with most people’s understanding. However, when we move to the book of Acts, where the story of Simon the Sorcerer is told, the roles are reversed. Here we see Philip the evangelist comes into Simon’s Samaria, and he is casting out unclean spirits in such an impressive fashion that a large number of people came to Christ – including the wicked Simon:
“Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done” (Acts 8:13).
Thus, the source which evokes the existemi in one verse is the LORD, but it’s the Devil in another. This means the existemi which is triggered in the person (or all those who dwell on the earth) is related to something that was already present.
In the case of John, his life is in Christ, and it is eternal; but when he encountered the Babylonian harlot, he still had a flesh and blood existence,which was impacted by her presence. In the case of Simon the Sorcerer, he had a flesh and blood existence as well, and clearly his relationship to the LORD was in question – but both experienced existemi when they beheld the Spiritual power.
The common denominator is both men were still flesh and blood – even though John’s life is in the heavenlies in Christ. This tells us the mitigating factor is how the individual’s two parts of heart and mind respond to the power.
This shifting of emphasis away from the False Prophet’s installation of Pneuma [life] into the Image, instead focusing on what occurs in the hearts and minds of the people who comprise the Image, is the key to understanding how this Netherworld Power of Pneuma works. This is also related to just why the False Prophet does not create the Image himself, instead manipulating the lost to perform the construction process:
“And [the False Prophet] deceiveth them that dwell on the earth….saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast” (Revelation 13:14).
Thus, the False Prophet does not create the Image of the Beast, neither does he create the Pneuma which inhabits it. It is the deception, which convinces the lost that if they follow the Spiritual directives of the False Prophet, they will find the life of God; and this process of deceiving these earth dwellers is what infuses the body of Antichrist, which is the Image of the Beast, with the Pneuma in question.
As this truth is so profoundly important to our eternal destiny, it is tragic that so many False Prophets continue to degrade the meaning of these awesome verses with shallow, comic book characterizations, such as those who cheapen the depth of the passage by suggesting an individual False Prophet brings a statue (or other inanimate object) to life.
In reality, the Word of God is describing how the power of the False Prophet leads those who dwell on the earth to follow the Antichrist beast, by manipulating the people’s hearts and minds, into believing the Death inherent in flesh and blood, is actually the life which only God can give.
“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you” (Romans 8:9).
---- James Lloyd