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Thread: Is there a literal bottomless pit?

  1. #16

    Re: Is there a literal bottomless pit?

    That hardly makes the book a 'revelation' (uncovering, unveiling, revealing, clarification, exposure, etc.) of the things it serves to prophesy if, after reading it, the most we can possibly say is 'I don't know what he's talking about'.

    I absolutely believe it is possible that the book could be talking about a physically endless hole that is locked with a king's seal of authority, but based on my convictions (the same thing that causes me to believe the Bible is a series of trustworthy documents, that there is the one God Yahweh, and that the man Jesus of Nazareth is his son who died for the sins of the world, etc.), I also absolutely believe that it is most probable that it's a figurative thing John is talking about, not a literal thing. Yes, we can leave open the 'possibility' of a literal depthless pit... but not at the expense of our (read: my) conviction that that 'possibility' is an obscurely minute 'probability' in the face of other 'possibilities'.

  2. #17
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    Re: Is there a literal bottomless pit?

    Sure, your points are absolutely on the money here.

    Except that the book isn't "the Revelation of the Bottomless Pit" , it's the "Revelation of Jesus Christ". It's the Father unveiling His Son to us that He might be fully known. The details of the book and its narrative ultimately serves that storyline: what is it that the Father wants us to know / wants to unveil about Jesus?

    It's possible then, to grow in our revelation about Jesus and still lack certainty regarding some of the details - which does not violate the genre or the intent of the book

    But I absolutely appreciate your second paragraph. In these forums, however, we tend to speak of "what John was saying" with a certainty we can't possess. My conviction as it relates to what the Father was saying to John, and why, is different than proving a metaphorical scheme as an interpretive key for all.
    The Rookie

    Twelve is the number of government. Thus, it is quite apropos that I am on my way towards wielding the power of twelve bars - each bar like, say, a tribe.....or a star.....or, maybe an apostle. A blue apostle. Like apostle smurfs. Does anyone remember smurfs? And all the controversy about them being from the devil? It's probably bad that I juxtaposed "apostle" and "smurf" in the same sentence. But then, I probably lost you at "blue apostle". Yes, my friends, this is what "rare jewel of a person" is actually implying. "Rare Jewel of a Person" really means, "Potentially Insane".

  3. #18

    Re: Is there a literal bottomless pit?

    I believe it to be figurative. A place or condition of imprisonment that Satan is put into for the Millenium. 2 Pet 2:4, hell here is translated from tartaroo and is the only time in the Bible the word occurs but the idea is mentioned in Jude 13 and connected to the demons.

    Oh by the way tartaroo...

    G5020
    ταρταρόω
    tartaroō
    tar-tar-o'-o
    From Τάρταρος Tartaros̄ (the deepest abyss of Hades); to incarcerate in eternal torment: - cast down to hell.

    Seems to indicate imprisonment.
    Last edited by John 8:32; Dec 27th 2011 at 08:13 PM. Reason: added thought

  4. #19

    Re: Is there a literal bottomless pit?

    Do you think the bottomless pit beast comes out at the 5th trumpet, when it is opened? /as the smoke -linked to Isaiah 14:29-32
    This would also link to Nebuchadnezzar as he was the cockatrice in Jeremiah's day. So he would have also his appointed time as the fiery flying serpent.

    The 6th trumpet has breastplates that look fiery.

    If the bottomless pit beast is out by the time of the voice in the third seal, then that would put the four trumpets back into the third seal.

  5. #20
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    Re: Is there a literal bottomless pit?

    Let's go this route for a moment. Besides the Scriptures in Revelation that I already provided, 'abussos' is used in two other passages. Luke 8:31, Rom 10:7.

    Let's look at the Rom 10:7 passage first.

    Romans 10:7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead. )

    My point here is not to try and determine if the phrase "Or, Who shall descend into the deep?"..if that's to be understood literally, but to try and determine if deep is based on a literal place. In order to determine that, since I believe in trying to stay consistent about things, let's then look at verse 6.

    Romans 10:6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above: )

    The part I want to focus on, and again, not whether the entire phrase is to be understood literally, but if one particular word is. In this case, that word would be 'heaven'. Is there a literal place called heaven? Of course there is. So let's compare a cpl of things in these two verses, mainly this.

    Romans 10:6....Who shall ascend into heaven?
    Romans 10:7....Who shall descend into the deep?

    Regardless whether verse 6 is meaning literally ascending into heaven or not, that's not the point. The point is, is there such a place as heaven to begin with? Of course. And since there is, in order to stay consistent, one must also conclude there's a literal place such as the deep, as well. That's why I wanted to start with this passage first. What's interesting about verse 7 is this...(that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.). To me then, the deep seems to be associated with the dead. With that in mind, when satan gets cast into the bottomless pit a thousand years, he's basically getting cast into a place where the dead are. So what I'm starting to think is this. The bottomless pit equals the abode of the dead, which would be in the heart of the earth, since that's where Jesus went when He died...Matthew 12:40.

    So let's go with that, and see if anything makes sense.

    Revelation 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 ABODE OF THE DEAD.

    Revelation 9:2 And he opened the ABODE OF THE DEAD; and there arose a smoke out of the ABODE OF THE DEAD, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the ABODE OF THE DEAD.

    Perhaps this smoke is meaning devils are being let out. It seems to go with the following.

    Revelation 16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

    Where could they have been, and where did they come from?

    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.

    Why couldn't that great day not be that great day of God Almighty in Revelation 16:14 ? It would seem to me, these in Jude 1:6 have been held in the bottomless pit until the fifth angel sounds.

    Revelation 9:11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the ABODE OF THE DEAD, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.


    Revelation 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the ABODE OF THE DEAD, 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.

    If the abode of the dead is within the earth, it then makes perfect sense why the beast is seen ascending out of it.


    Revelation 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the ABODE OF THE DEAD and a great chain in his hand.

    Revelation 20:3 And cast him into the ABODE OF THE DEAD, 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.

    If the bottomless pit is the abode of the dead, so to speak, then I don't see how the 1000 years can be anything but future. Plus it does seem to agree with Isaiah 24 21-22, tho I realize many aren't going to see the connection, since it would conflict with their view.

    I fully realize I likely wasted my time typing all of this, since I don't expect anyone to see it this way. But this is currently what's running thru my mind, so think of it as food for thought if nothing else.

  6. #21

    Re: Is there a literal bottomless pit?

    You're assuming the word carries the same meaning in its uses outside of the Revelation. John already uses 'hades' when referring to the place of the dead, and he never makes it parallel to the depthless pit. Aside from that, I wouldnt say the word means 'place of the dead' in those other uses anyways.

  7. #22

    Re: Is there a literal bottomless pit?

    Sorry, I feel like my last reply was a bit truncated. I'll elaborate, if that's cool.

    The passages from Romans is a paraphrase of Deuteronomy 30.11-14. Moses has 'heaven' and 'sea', while Paul has 'heaven' and 'depthless'. While John thematically parallels the 'depthless pit' with the 'sea' between Revelation 11, 13, and 17 (i.e. what the Beast rises from in each of these chapters), Paul's parallel is simply one of interpretation/paraphrase. 'Heaven' is representing the closest to God one can get, with the 'sea'/'depthless' representing the farthest to God one can get. Moses was saying that no one had to go searching in the highest heights or the deepest depths to find God's Law, because God himself had already brought it to them, and indeed, it was already 'in your mouth and in your heart'. Paul paraphrases this to say that we don't have to go to the highest heights or the deepest depths in order to find the Christ, because, as Moses said about the Law, he is already 'in your mouth and in your heart', particularly when we confess and believe that he is Lord. Anyway, my point here is that 'heaven' and 'depthless' are not referring to two spiritual realms, one where God is and the other where the dead are. Aside from 'depthless' being Paul's paraphrase of the 'sea', these two 'places' are referring to heights and depths of the world itself.

    As for Luke 8.31, the use of 'depthless' there falls more in line as a prison-like experience. That certainly does fall in line more with the thing we see in Revelation 20, but even then we can't dismiss the simple fact that we're reading two wildly different genres, where Luke relates historical events as directly he can, while John relates a fantastical visionary experience full of metaphor and symbolism. We simply can't go about interpreting the two in the same way, let alone just because one of them uses particular word in such a way that it must mean the same thing in the other. Instead, we should interpret Luke 8.31 in light of its parallel in Mark 5.1-13. Where Luke has the demons begging not to be sent to the 'depthless', Mark instead has them begging not to be sent 'out of the region'. Between the two, it's unclear what exactly they're referring to. (Though, they beg not to be sent to the 'depthless', and immediately after entering the herd of pigs, they 'drowned in the sea', another loose, if ironic, connection between the 'depthless' and the 'sea' again. Maybe the narrator is trying to show the futility of their resistance to the Christ.)

  8. #23
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    Re: Is there a literal bottomless pit?

    Quote Originally Posted by divaD View Post
    Let's go this route for a moment. Besides the Scriptures in Revelation that I already provided, 'abussos' is used in two other passages. Luke 8:31, Rom 10:7.

    Let's look at the Rom 10:7 passage first.

    Romans 10:7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead. )

    My point here is not to try and determine if the phrase "Or, Who shall descend into the deep?"..if that's to be understood literally, but to try and determine if deep is based on a literal place. In order to determine that, since I believe in trying to stay consistent about things, let's then look at verse 6.

    Romans 10:6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above: )

    The part I want to focus on, and again, not whether the entire phrase is to be understood literally, but if one particular word is. In this case, that word would be 'heaven'. Is there a literal place called heaven? Of course there is. So let's compare a cpl of things in these two verses, mainly this.

    Romans 10:6....Who shall ascend into heaven?
    Romans 10:7....Who shall descend into the deep?

    Regardless whether verse 6 is meaning literally ascending into heaven or not, that's not the point. The point is, is there such a place as heaven to begin with? Of course. And since there is, in order to stay consistent, one must also conclude there's a literal place such as the deep, as well. That's why I wanted to start with this passage first. What's interesting about verse 7 is this...(that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.). To me then, the deep seems to be associated with the dead. With that in mind, when satan gets cast into the bottomless pit a thousand years, he's basically getting cast into a place where the dead are. So what I'm starting to think is this. The bottomless pit equals the abode of the dead, which would be in the heart of the earth, since that's where Jesus went when He died...Matthew 12:40.
    Christ's spirit went to paradise when He died, not somewhere deep within the earth. His body went into a tomb but His spirit went to the Father in paradise (Luke 23:43, 46). The "heart of the earth" is a figurative expression that speaks of where one's body goes when someone dies (in a tomb or grave). You say the bottomless pit is the abode of the dead. I thought Hades was the abode of the wicked dead (Luke 16:19-31) and paradise is the abode of the righteous dead (Luke 23:43)? But the bottomless pit is something different than Hades or paradise.

  9. #24
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    Re: Is there a literal bottomless pit?

    Quote Originally Posted by DurbanDude View Post
    What I meant is that the "bottomless pit" could be referring literally to the area under this crust, but figuratively to a literal 4th dimension that isn't actually in the centre of this earth but is more like a spiritual place where spirits are bound. Both ways Satan is literally bound but I do battle to picture an actual pit with an actual lock and an actual key.
    It seems to me that if the key of the bottomless pit is spiritual or figurative, as most seem to agree that it is one or the other (and not physical), then it could only open a spiritual or figurative place which would mean the bottomless pit has to be a spiritual or figurative place. If it is a literal spiritual place, as Luke 8:31 seems to imply, then I would say that it refers to the spiritual realm outside of heaven. The casting of Satan out of heaven correlates directly with his binding in the bottomless pit, IMO. So, for the bottomless pit to represent the spiritual realm outside of heaven and without access to heaven would make sense in that case. But it also could be figurative and not an actual place at all just as the chain used to bind Satan there is figurative and the key that opens and locks the pit is figurative. Either way, I don't think it makes a lot of sense to think of Satan's binding as if it was like a physical binding in a physical prison where he was locked up and unable to do anything at all. Instead, I believe his binding spiritually restrains him from unleashing his full power rather than preventing him from doing anything at all as a physical binding in a physical pit or prison would suggest.

  10. #25
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    Re: Is there a literal bottomless pit?

    The bottomless pit sounds like a blackhole in outerspace or even outerspace in general. Is it not endless?
    I didnt know the link didnt work

  11. #26
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    Re: Is there a literal bottomless pit?

    Quote Originally Posted by John146 View Post
    It seems to me that if the key of the bottomless pit is spiritual or figurative, as most seem to agree that it is one or the other (and not physical), then it could only open a spiritual or figurative place which would mean the bottomless pit has to be a spiritual or figurative place. If it is a literal spiritual place, as Luke 8:31 seems to imply, then I would say that it refers to the spiritual realm outside of heaven. The casting of Satan out of heaven correlates directly with his binding in the bottomless pit, IMO. So, for the bottomless pit to represent the spiritual realm outside of heaven and without access to heaven would make sense in that case. But it also could be figurative and not an actual place at all just as the chain used to bind Satan there is figurative and the key that opens and locks the pit is figurative. Either way, I don't think it makes a lot of sense to think of Satan's binding as if it was like a physical binding in a physical prison where he was locked up and unable to do anything at all. Instead, I believe his binding spiritually restrains him from unleashing his full power rather than preventing him from doing anything at all as a physical binding in a physical pit or prison would suggest.
    I hear you regarding this, and the way you have expressed it does sound like a valid alternative view on the pit. My own take on it is that Satan is still there in heavenly places because of my view on Rev 12 as referring to a church age Satan that only falls out of heaven for the last 3.5 years of this age. Thus I believe he currently has influence, will then have greater influence for 3.5 years, and only after the second coming of Rev 19 will Satan be in the bottomless pit as per Rev 20. Looking at Rev 20 it appears that satan has no influence until released, as opposed to Rev 12 where it appears he has some influence until cast down. So my view does differ.

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    Re: Is there a literal bottomless pit?

    Quote Originally Posted by markedward View Post
    Anyway, my point here is that 'heaven' and 'depthless' are not referring to two spiritual realms, one where God is and the other where the dead are.
    I agree. But I was coming from a whole other perspective altogether. The fact heaven was used in that passage, regardless the sense it is to be understood, it's still based on an actual location. And since heaven is an actual location, then so would be the deep. If in heaven, it is the realm of the living, then in the deep it would be the opposite, the realm of the dead. I don't disagree with anything you said in this 1st paragraph. I found it to be insightful. Yet I basically understand the passage similar to you, except you have far greater insight into that passages than what I do.


    Quote Originally Posted by markedward View Post
    As for Luke 8.31, the use of 'depthless' there falls more in line as a prison-like experience. That certainly does fall in line more with the thing we see in Revelation 20, but even then we can't dismiss the simple fact that we're reading two wildly different genres, where Luke relates historical events as directly he can, while John relates a fantastical visionary experience full of metaphor and symbolism. We simply can't go about interpreting the two in the same way, let alone just because one of them uses particular word in such a way that it must mean the same thing in the other. Instead, we should interpret Luke 8.31 in light of its parallel in Mark 5.1-13. Where Luke has the demons begging not to be sent to the 'depthless', Mark instead has them begging not to be sent 'out of the region'. Between the two, it's unclear what exactly they're referring to. (Though, they beg not to be sent to the 'depthless', and immediately after entering the herd of pigs, they 'drowned in the sea', another loose, if ironic, connection between the 'depthless' and the 'sea' again. Maybe the narrator is trying to show the futility of their resistance to the Christ.)
    I like how you're reasoning here. I see much of it the same, well especially how you indicated we should interpret Luke 8.31 in light of its parallel in Mark 5.1-13. I agree. But this depthless that they ended up in, this literal sea, it wouldn't be the same depthless where they did not want to go before their time, would it? What would have happened to these spirits once these swine drown? Wouldn't they then leave their bodies? One can't drown a spirit being, right? The reasons I am coming to my conclusions, that this depthless, IOW, this literal sea they end up in would not be the same depthless that they begged not to be sent to before their time, would be based on what is stated in the following.


    Luke 8:32 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.

    If by doing this, this would have sent them into the depthless that they begged not to be sent to before their time, why then would they request to be sent there anyway?

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    Re: Is there a literal bottomless pit?

    Here's another thing to consider regarding the bottomless pit. Whatever the bottomless pit is exactly, it appears to me that the following indicates that the beast was there (figuratively or literally) when the book of Revelation was written.

    Rev 17:8 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.

    This says the beast was (was in full power before the book was written), is not (was not in full power at the time the book was written), and would ascend out of the bottomless pit at some point in the future (would regain full power). This tells me that the beast existed before the book of Revelation was written and still existed when the book was written but was in the bottomless pit at the time the book was written. Then at some later time it would ascend out of the bottomless pit. So, what does this tell us about the beast and about the nature of the bottomless pit? Can the beast be an individual Antichrist person if it existed even before the book of Revelation was written? Can an individual human being have been in the bottomless pit ever since the book of Revelation was written? The answer is no to both of those questions, right? And could an individual person be in a literal bottomless pit? Again, the answer is no, right? So, the bottomless pit has to be either a spiritual place or a figurative place and not a literal physical place, IMO. Even though Luke 8:31 speaks of that place as though it is a literal spiritual place (Greek: abyssos) I'm not sure if the book of Revelation is referring to that spiritual place that the demons didn't want to go to before the time or if it is using that place in a figurative sense the same way I believe it figuratively refers to Babylon, Armageddon, the Euphrates and "Gog and Magog" rather then the literal places.

  14. #29

    Re: Is there a literal bottomless pit?

    what's so hard beliveing in a bottomless pit, a pit at the very center of the earth, no matter which way you move your going up!
    so there is no down, so no bottom!

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    Re: Is there a literal bottomless pit?

    Quote Originally Posted by divaD View Post
    Is there a literal bottomless pit?
    Yes I believe there is. I think we all know it's hot down there. Where do volcanoes come from? Scientists aren't sure what causes them to get so hot. Also theoretically towards the center of the earth it is close to zero gravity. And some astronauts have said that while they were in outer space and experiencing zero gravity they felt like they were falling all of the time.

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