Stewarton Bible School

The Bottomless Pit (Abyss)

1. Introduction

There are several interpretations as to what constitutes the Bottomless Pit or Abyss. It is, say some Christians, the 'industrial regions of Europe' from which billions of tons of smoke pour forth every year. Others contend that the Abyss is the 'uninhabited earth.' Still others say that the word Abyss is simply a 'figurative way of describing the dark depths of sin.' The Oxford dictionary defines the word Abyss as: a hole so deep that it appears bottomless. And that is exactly how the King James Version of the Bible in Revelation 9:1 renders the Greek word 'abussos.' It calls it, the Bottomless Pit or the deep. Other translators render 'abussos' as the Abyss.

Strong's concordance explains abussos as follows:

12 abussos {ab'-us-sos}
AV - bottomless pit 5, deep 2, bottomless 2; Total: 9
1) bottomless
2) unbounded
3) the abyss
3a) the pit
3b) the immeasurable depth
3c) of Orcus, a very deep gulf or chasm in the lowest parts of the earth used as the common receptacle of the dead and especially as the abode of demons.
To identify the Bottomless Pit (the Abyss) is important to say the least; for it is from there that the Antichrist comes. Failure to identify the Abyss has led to much confusion.

2. What and Where is the Abyss?

We will rely on the Scriptures to find out. When we do this we discover that the Greek word 'abussos' is translated in the King James Bible as the "Bottomless Pit" or in Luke's gospel as "the deep." In Luke's account we are given an important clue about the Abyss. We find that it is a kind of spirit penitentiary, a prison which evil angels dread.
Luke 8: 26: And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee.
27: And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.
28: When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.
29: (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)
30: And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.
31: And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the DEEP.
32: And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.
33: Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.

Similar information is given by Apostles Peter and Jude who also wrote of this dungeon where evil spirits are held captive. These evil angels are confined in the Abyss for committing sexual sins similar to that of Sodom and Gomorrha.
Jude 1: 6: And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
7: Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

2 Peter 2: 4: For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

3. When is the Abyss Opened?

The prophecy of the Revelation tells us in chapter 9 that the Bottomless Pit is opened at the 5th trumpet; which is the 5th stage of the 7th SEAL of Revelation. Briefly the structure is as follows: For further details of the above see our booklet Understand the Revelation, which is available online. Here we will briefly consider what occurs when the 5th Trumpet sounds.

4. The Fifth Trumpet or 1st Woe

Rev. 9: 1: And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the Bottomless Pit.
2: And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
3: And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
4: And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have NOT the seal of God in their foreheads.
5: And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.
6: And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
7: And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.
8: And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.
9: And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.
10: And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.
11: And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.
12: One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

You will notice from this passage that when the Bottomless Pit is opened at the 5th Trumpet, a period of 5 months' torture begins for those who do not have the Seal of God in their foreheads. Yahweh's Seal is His Name and character as expressed in His Law; and His signature is His Sabbath days. See the SBS article concerning The Mark of the Beast where Yahweh's Seal and the Beast's Mark are explained.

5. The King of the Abyss

Though a mighty host of evil angels ascend from the opened Abyss, we are only given the name of one spirit. He is the king of the Bottomless Pit.

Abaddon / Apollyon

In Rev.9:11 we are told that the name of this king in the Hebrew language is Abaddon, but in Greek his name is Apollyon.

The Scarlet Coloured Beast with 10 Horns

Further in the prophecy of the Revelation (chapters 11 and 17) we are told that the scarlet coloured beast who kills the Two Witnesses also ascends from out of the Bottomless Pit, the Abyss. This is a vital clue when trying to identify the Beast, the Antichrist: both come from the Bottomless Pit, the Abyss.
Rev. 11: 7: And when they (the Two Witnesses) shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
Rev. 17: 3: So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
4: And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
6: 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.
7: And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
8: The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Who is the scarlet coloured, seven headed and ten horned Beast of Revelation chapters 13 and 17? See the SBS article Who/What is the Antichrist? for the answer.

6. Satan Sentenced to the Abyss

Towards the end of the book of Revelation we are told that Satan the Devil will be chained in the Bottomless Pit for a thousand years.
Rev. 20: 1: And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2: And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.
3: And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

7. Summary

For further details, see the following SBS articles: SBS     Prophecy
Author: David B Loughran
November 1996 ... Reformmatted December 1999