THE ABYSS  


  HADES is the Greek word that refers to the place where the dead dwell before resurrection.
The Hebrew word is sheol.
According to Luke 16:22-26, prior to Christ's resurrection, Hades was divided into 3 compartments.

1. Torments: This is for the unbelievers, and is a place of agony.
Verses 23, 28

2. Abraham's bosom: This is for the believers, and is a place of comfort.
Verses 22, 25.
    At Luke 23:43, Jesus called it paradise. Paul calls it Paradise at 2Cor. 12:1-4.
    This part of hades was removed and taken to the third heaven when Jesus ascended
    to the Father's throne after His resurrection.
    For details see topic:  THE SAINTS IN HEAVEN

3. The great chasm between: Verse 26, which is probably to be Identified with -

A. The abyss of Revelation 9.1-2; 20.1-3

B. And tartarus of 1 Pet. 3.19-20; 2 Pet. 2.4; Jude 6

The abyss is the prison for a group of fallen angels who engaged in gross immorality and aggression against God's plan for fulfillment of the Messianic promise.

1. 1 Pet. 3:19, spirits in prison
2. 2 Pet. 2:4, in tartarus, ie, pits of darkness, reserved for judgment.
3. Jude 6, preserved in everlasting bonds under darkness.
4. Each of these three passages make it clear that the angels in prison are the ones involved in Gen. 6:1-13

1 Peter 3:19-20a

After Jesus died physically on the cross, his soul went into Hades where he joined all believers who had died in the past and were now dwelling in paradise (Luke 16:22) and where he reunited with the believing thief who also died on a cross (Luke 23:43).

While in hades, He also made a victorious proclamation to a group of "spirit beings" who were imprisoned in a separate compartment. These are specifically identified as some who were disobedient in the days of Noah, while God's patience was waiting until He would bring the flood.

This group cannot refer to a group of humans who were disobedient at that time, because ALL unbelievers of the Old Testament period went without exception to the place of torments (Luke 16:22-23), and no person or group was "set apart" from the others as more evil than anyone else. They all went to the same place. Accordingly, this group of spirit-beings must refer to a group of fallen angels, who committed such a specific and grievous evil that God chose to imprison them as a punishment.

2 Peter 2:4-5

Peter tells us that there was a group of angels who sinned and were placed in pits of darkness, reserved for judgment.

The Bible makes it clear that the devil and his angels are not imprisoned, but are "alive and well" and causing much harm in the world today, both to unbelievers and believers alike.

Accordingly, this specific group of angels cannot refer to those who rebelled against God at the very beginning in the revolt led by Satan and which resulted in him being removed from his heavenly home. Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:1-19
SEE TOPIC: Angelic Conflict

So this must be another and different type of evil that was committed by a specific group of these fallen angels, and such a deed that would prompt God to actually imprison them or "tartarize" them as the Greek indicates. Based on this Greek verb, tartaroo, the place of imprisonment for these spirits, has been designated as tartarus and should probably be identified with the "pit of the abyss" (bottomless pit, Rev. 9:1; 20:1) and the great chasm (Luke 16:26).

It is significant that Peter makes immediate reference to the generation of Noah and the flood judgment as if to give us a chronological fix on what group of angels he is talking about.

Hopefully, it is clear that the spirits in prison" of 1 Pet. 3 and the "angels who sinned" of 2 Pet. 2 are one and the same.

Jude 6-8

Here we are told of "angels who did not keep their own domain" which is described as abandoning their proper abode.
The word, domain, is archā and means beginning, and refers to the "original" sphere of existence in which they were created, Ie, the angelic sphere of existence.
The word, abode, is oikātārion and means a sphere of "dwelling" or function.

Thus, we learn that these angels left the sphere of their angelic existence and the sphere of their angelic "function" and as a result, were imprisoned to await the final judgment.

Jude tells us what exactly is meant by these concepts of "domain" and "abode" when he explains at verse 7, that the men of Sodom and Gomorrah, "since they IN THE SAME WAY AS THESE (the angels) indulged in gross immorality and WENT AFTER DIFFERENT FLESH. The men of Sodom pursued sexual activity with "strange" flesh, that is, flesh other than what God designed for their sexual expression. Ie, men with men. In the same way, the angels pursued sexual activity with "strange" flesh, in that they went outside the "angelic sphere of existence" and pursued sexual activity with humans. That is, they accomplished the angelic infiltration as is described at Genesis 6.

Although these fallen angels are in prison awaiting their final judgment and placement in the lake of fire, it seems that they are released for a short time in order to oppress the unbelievers who worship the beast. Revelation 9:1-11
There seems to be no other group of creatures that this could refer to other than those spirits who are described in the above passages.
The RULER of these demons is called DESTROYER (Abaddon and Apollyon, Rev. 9:11). This ruler is either the head demon who is imprisoned there, or Satan himself, who is probably in view at verse one.

Another reference to the abyss is at Revelation 17:8. Here we are told that when the beast begins his rule, he will come up out of the abyss.
At about the mid point of the week, the benevolent world ruler who established the covenant of peace, will be assassinated (suffer a fatal head wound). Of course, when he dies, his soul will go into Hades. It seems that "the abyss" can refer to Hades IN GENERAL, as well as the "great chasm." After this ruler has been dead for awhile, he will be raised up by the power of Satan which brings his soul back from the place of torments in the abyss of hades. It is for this reason that he can be described as "was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss."

Rev. 17:8
The beast that you saw was and is not,
and is about to come up out of the abyss and to go to destruction.
And those who dwell on the earth will wonder,
whose name has not been written in the book of life
from the foundation of the world,
when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.

Notice that the people of the world will OBSERVE that this person "was and is not and will come." Accordingly, it does not seem likely that this has reference to the "7 kings" of verse 10, where we see that "five have fallen, one is and one is to come."

Here, at verse 8, viewed from the perspective of people alive AT THE TIME -

1. "Was," refers to the life of the world ruler (#7) as he reigned over the 10-nation confederacy.

2. "Is not," refers to the fact that #7 is killed and "lies in state" before the eyes of the watching world.

3. And "about to come" refers to the resuscitation of the world ruler as he comes from Hades in the abyss and becomes the 8th king.

Since the abyss is probably to be identified with the great chasm in Hades, when DEATH and HADES are cast into the lake of fire after the last judgment, the abyss will of course be included. Revelation 20:14

 

 
 

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İRon Wallace, http://www.biblefragrances.com. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it,
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