The Bottomless Pit

| February 15, 2012

In the 9th chapter of the book of Revelation we are forewarned of a great and dreadful time, specified as lasting five months, when what is called the “bottomless pit” or “abyss” is opened up to unleash a spiritual wickedness upon earth such as has never been before. In fact this event is so great that it is singled out as being the first of a series of “three woes” to come upon the inhabitants of the earth.

As it is written:

And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!”

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.

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.

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. –Revelation 8:13-9:2

I don’t know about you, but when God or one of His angels announces something as a “woe”, or something as being catastrophic, I want to understand what it is so that I’m not on the receiving end of it. If I can at all help it.

So let us analyze this “bottomless pit”, find out what it is, and what it is that comes out of it.

A difficult chapter

But first let me forewarn you that Revelation 9 has been one of the most difficult chapters for Christians to understand ever since is was put to paper by the Apostle John. Today you will find commentary after commentary about this chapter, most of which is built almost entirely upon speculation and opinion. One commentator will say that this chapter was fulfilled sometime a long time ago by some invading army, another will say that the locusts symbolize the Arab nations of today, and another will say that it is all allegory. You can listen to or read a hundred of these commentaries and still be just as confused and perhaps more frustrated than you were beforehand.

However that doesn’t excuse us from attempting to diligently seek for its meaning.

Putting the pieces together

You know oftentimes when I’m researching or studying something difficult I try to erase any preconceived ideas I may already have and put aside the commentaries of men that may hinder me from understanding something, and just start building afresh, one piece at a time. Sort of like a jigsaw puzzle. I first gather the pieces together that appear most obvious to be ones that fit together and then piece it together from there.

Too often I see people not able to grow much in their understanding of the Word because they don’t handle the puzzle pieces themselves. Instead of going through the trial and error process of seeing which pieces fit and which do not, they allow someone else to lay the framework for them.

(See article titled “Destroyed For Lack of Knowledge“)

These are the same people who get caught up in their particular denominational beliefs or the teachings of their favorite Pastor, Minister, Preacher, Evangelist, Priest, etc.

And they can be very difficult to reason with, because if your puzzle piece doesn’t fit into their pre-arranged puzzle they’ll immediately reject it. Oftentimes they will say something like, “Well that can’t be because I heard Pastor so-and-so say this, or my denomination believes this certain way.”

And to them their puzzle appears to fit just fine. They feel they’ve already got it all worked out. But if you’ve ever put together a jigsaw puzzle before I’m sure you’ve had a time or two when you saw two pieces that really looked like they belonged together, but when went to put them together you sort of forced them to fit. Deep down inside you knew that they really didn’t belong together, but you ignored it, because you just wanted to finish the puzzle. Then when you got near the end you had to start all over again.

There was a point in my life when I did just that. I had been studying for many years under a great Bible teacher. I think probably one of the best there has ever been. But there were some things, mostly minor, he taught that never completely made sense to me.

But who was I to question, he was the teacher and I was the student. I thought, “Surely there must have been something he knew that I didn’t. Maybe he had access to some special resources or some hidden manuscripts or something. Or maybe God personally told him to teach these things?”

So at times when having a discussion with others I would simply repeat what my Pastor had taught me as 100% fact even when I was unable to back it up with solid scriptural support.

However, the great thing about my Pastor is that he consistently told his students not to put their trust in a man, no matter how great or smart that person may be, and that they must search the scriptures for themselves.

Spiritual Growth

The day I finally put this into practice was a day I began to grow in leaps and bounds. Scriptures I formerly had trouble understanding now appeared to unfold before my very eyes! I no longer looked at something and said, “No, that can’t be, because my Pastor didn’t teach it like that.” I started afresh. I pulled the puzzle apart, shuffled the pieces around, and began to assemble it for myself.

You see a Pastor’s job is to lead you to the feeding trough, it isn’t their job to spoon feed you from cradle to grave. In fact a good Pastor will strive to teach you how to handle the scriptures for yourself rather than attempt to put the entire puzzle together for you.

This is one reason we do our best to include links to others scriptures, books, dictionaries, Bibles, and other suggested study tools in almost every blog posting we do. We’re trying to help lead you to resources you can use to help further your own understanding and formulate your own opinion on the subject matter.

Well, I can see that I already wrote quite a bit with this little digression, so we’re going to begin digging into the details of this “bottomless pit”, and what these “mysterious locusts” may be, in our next posting.


Links to our series of studies on Revelation 9

  1. The Bottomless Pit
  2. Demons from the Abyss
  3. Infernal Locusts of Revelation 9
  4. Scorpions and Serpents in Prophecy

In His Service,
Pastor Ben Heath

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Category: End Times Prophecy

Comments (7)

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  1. Which Trumpet Are We In? : Christian Overcomers | March 14, 2013
  1. Phillip Evans says:

    Nahum chapter three comes to mind. I studied Nahum on my own a few years ago and just glossing over is interesting in light of very current events.

  2. Bill says:

    Thanks Ben that is something I need to work on is doing my own research.When you find a good teacher it is so easy to tak things at face value and believe everything you hear and forget even if someone is being used as a tool of God,they are also a man and not perfect.I will be looking forward to your next blog,maybe I’ll get some help with my puzzle as well.

  3. Rachel says:

    How much longer till we get to read it? 🙂

  4. Hey I’m glad you are anxious for more information about Revelation 9 and The Bottomless Pit Rachel 🙂 We have done 1 follow up study on this in our latest article titled “Demons from the Abyss” and we do plan to expand upon this topic even more in a couple more postings. We’ll push them out as quick as we can but quality over quantity is kind of the way we do it. God bless!

  5. Greg says:

    Liked your study Ben, I believe we need to understand as much as possible and try to figure out what is being said (on our own as you said also) even though we may not have complete understanding, such as Rev 9. But by trying to understand as best we can, we will have what is written locked in our minds, and when the time of that particular scripture comes to pass or just before, this information will already be locked securly in our minds and we will be able to put that information in a more logical sense when scriptures come to pass or are about to come to pass.

  6. Thanks for the feedback Greg. I couldn’t agree more. God bless!