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What the Bible Has to Say About the Abyss?

Before I get into a discussion of the Abyss, let me say a few words about Enoch. The Bible does not mentioned Enoch but a few times, but what is said about him is amazing: 1) He walked with God. 2) He never saw death; in a time where people lived over 700 years, he was taken by God at 300. And 3) not only that Jude quoted him, but Jude also called him a prophet. Todays’ days we buy all kinds of books from all kinds of folks; I am very interested to know what a man like Enoch has to say, won’t you? 

As we saw in the previous article, Enoch tells us that Azazel and the rest of the angels involved in the iniquity of Genesis 6 are in the Abyss. We will be talking about Azazel later. But let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say about the Abyss. In Revelation 20:1-3, right before the start of the Millennium, the Apostle John tells us that Satan will be captured and will serve time in the Abyss,

And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. (NASB)

Abyss is the Greek word, ábussos, meaning “An extremely deep place. It is a prison in which evil powers are confined and out of which they can at times be let loose.”[1] This is not the final destination but is a prison for all things evil. Demons are very familiar with this Abyss place and, they definitely, do not like it there. In Luke 8:26-33 we see a very fascinating story, 

They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” 29 For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.

30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. 31 And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.

32 A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission.33 When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. (NASB)

The Abyss has a fallen angel in charge, his name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon (Revelation 9:11). This name means destroyer. In Revelation 17:8 the Bible tells us, “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction…” After the thousand years is over God is going to clear the Abyss, the devil, Azazel, the fallen angels of Genesis 6, all the gods who betrayed Jehovah, every demon and the destroyer will be released by God. You will think that after all of this years they would learn something, but no, they are coming out to fight against God. Revelation 20:7-15 describe the extermination of evil,

When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prisonand will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.(NASB)

We have, I think, three more little posts to go. In the next post we will take a look at demons in the Old Testament.

To be continued…

[1] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

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