The Netherworld Power Of Pneuma Part II
s detailed in our last essay, the word Pneuma is the Greek term, translated into the English word life, which is used in Revelation, in the passage where the False Prophet gives life to the Image of the Beast:
“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).
Obviously, the “life” associated with the Devil is not the same as the life of the LORD, as evidenced by differing Greek words used for the latter. In examining how the Spiritual presence allegorized as the “False Prophet” is able to animate the mysterious entity known as the Image of the Beast, we also note how the entire world wondered when they encounter the evil presence of the Beast -- with the word wondered derived from existemi – indicating an ecstatic state of mind:
“…and the dragon gave [the beast] his power…and all the world’s [minds were excited by] the beast” (Revelation 13:2, 3)
As the Pneuma mentioned herein is not connected with the life imparted by the LORD, and the False Prophet cannot create life in the conventional sense, we’ve sought to show the passage is telling us about the mechanism which Satan uses to energize the Image, through his surrogate identity the False Prophet. It should be self evident the true nature of the Image of the Beast dictates an accurate understanding of the “life” which is imparted. To this end, we’ve long demonstrated this “Image” may essentially be viewed as the “body” of Antichrist.
The New Testament clearly informs us that JESUS CHRIST is the Image of the invisible God and, since we are inhabited by His Spirit, the Scriptures repeatedly refer to the collective of those who are renewed in Him, as the body of Christ:
“…the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine….in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God….” (II Corinthians 4:4, Colossians 1:14, 15).
When we return to the fundamental understanding that evil is the opposite of good, and death is the opposite of life, those who are inhabited by the Spirit of death in Antichrist, must be considered the body of Antichrist. They are repeatedly identified in Revelation as “they that dwell upon the earth” (Revelaton 3:10, 6:0, 11:10, et al.),
As the conflict of the ages unfolds, this terminology becomes universal, for as the first beast of Revelation is introduced, we find that everyone whose name is not written in the lamb’s book of life, will follow the Spiritual power defined as Antichrist.
“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).
Once again, the body of this Antichrist “beast” is comprised of those who are inhabited by the Pneuma which was generated by the False Prophet beast, so it is the collective souls of the entire world which are in view, as all unsaved people comprise the Image of the Beast. Although Christians, widely misled by the many deceivers of our time, tend to visualize this Antichrist and False Prophet as being active and ultimately judged in the individual sense, it is collective mankind that is cast into the Lake of Fire in the end:
“I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the [Little] horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame” (Daniel 7:11).
This means it would be extremely useful to definitively identify the Pneuma which is deployed by the False Prophet, as it is a key element which is present when we see the binding of the body of Antichrist into the cohesive unit described as his Image. In this pursuit, another key component of the Spirit described within this allegorical False Prophet is related to his ability to call fire down from heaven:
“And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men” (Revelation 13:13).
Here we find one of the most remarkable clues concerning what will really happen with this “False Prophet.” We might remind the reader that this False Prophet has horns like a lamb and speaks as a dragon, so it’s already been established the text is not speaking of a literal human being. However, a superficial read of this statement does contribute to the widespread anthropomorphization of the imagery, as the verse allows the misconception that this is describing a mystical individual, not unlike the prophet Elijah of old, who was able to invoke a fiery power upon the earth. To fully understand the truth of the matter, we need to digress for a moment, and examine the prophet Elijah.
The fact is, the Old Testament explicitly tells us Elijah also exhibited this ability to call fire down from heaven on multiple occasions:
“And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came fire down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty” (II Kings 1:10).
Elijah was certainly considered a pivotal figure in the Old Covenant between God and Israel, so when the Old Testament prophet Malachi issued the final prediction before the coming of the Messiah, it was not surprising he indicated that Elijah would appear before the entrance of the Saviour:
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Malachi 4:5).
When Jesus told us John the Baptist fulfilled the prophecy of Elijah, but mitigated the statement by adding “if you will receive it” (Matthew 11:14), He added a layer of complexity to prophetic fulfillment that was unprecedented. He had just been transfigured before them and, in a spectacular display of supernatural power, Elijah and Moses had appeared with Him. The disciples then asked why it was said that Elijah must come first:
“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias [Elijah] truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, that Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they [desired]” (Matthew 17:11, 12).
Even though Jesus identified Elijah [Elias in the Gospels] with John the Baptist, it is clear that John never called fire down from heaven. Further, John the Baptist himself said the following of Jesus:
“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he….shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner [barn]; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:10, 11).
Not only is there no record of Jesus ever working to gather wheat into a barn[garner in the old English], nor burning up the waste product left over from a harvest, there is certainly no account where the LORD was “baptizing” anyone with fire. Furthermore, well after the LORD had ascended into heaven, in the very same portion of Scripture which speaks of the believer’s bodies being the temple of God which are filled with His Spirit, the learned Apostle Paul wrote about how the LORD will purify the believer’s work with fire:
“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (I Corinthians 3:13).
Thus, it is abundantly clear that the fire with which the LORD sanctifies His body references the indwelling of the Spirit of God. Further, since the False Prophet is associated with the Spiritual entity we know as Satan, a balanced view of the “fire” which that wicked one wields must also be viewed as Spirit – albeit the Spirit of Antichrist (I John 4:3). However, the details of how the Devil’s emissary animates the body of Antichrist with the Netherworld Power of Pneuma will have to wait for our next installment.
---- James Lloyd