“Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. And to him was given the key to the bottomless pit.” Revelation 9:1.
Another star, with some differences; this time the star is not an object, but a person. This is confirmed in the last line of verse one and in the first phrase of verse two, “And to him was given the key to the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit…”
The words he and him makes this an angel. Furthermore, the star is fallen from heaven to earth, not coming down, so this person is a fallen angel, a demon; good angels do not fall from heaven, they come down.
See Revelation 10:1 below where another angel comes down; notice the glory of his description, so different from the fallen one who receives the key to the bottomless pit in Revelation 9:1.
“And I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire.” Revelation 10:1.
Interestingly enough, the fallen angel is given the key to the bottomless pit; Christ Jesus has this key.
“I am He [Christ] who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”Revelation 1:18.
God is in such control that He can just hand a key over to a demon without worrying whether this fallen angel will misuse them or not!
“And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. And the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit.” Revelation 9:2.
This brings up visual images of the Mt. St. Helens eruption on 5-18-80, which shot ash 80,000 feet into the atmosphere for ten hours.
And then the Mt. Pinatubo eruption almost exactly eleven years later, 6-3-91 to 6-15-91, that ejected ten times the material of St. Helens.
Mount Pinatubo is considered the second largest eruption of the twentieth century, after one that occurred in 1912. You can do a computer search of these events and find some stunning photos.
By the way, one 10 second burp from one of these volcanoes wipes out all of the carbon footprint our entire civilization has saved over the last few decades. There are going to be more.
It is the duty of mankind and especially Christians to responsibly use God’s earth’s resources, but that does not mean that we have to give up the necessities of life or stop doing the things that we and our families enjoy. We owe nothing to alarmist propagandist.
God has given us, whether rich or poor, “…all things to enjoy.”
“Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.” 1 Timothy 6:17.
“And the sun and the air were darkened”, a dark sun is expected but the air is also darkened so this may be like a volcano erupting with ash flung into the air and will necessitate the use of masks as they did during the aforementioned eruptions. So just the opening of the pit is a health hazard in itself.
The “bottomless pit”, is an immeasurable depth to the underworld’s lower regions and is rendered, “the pit of the abyss” in the American Standard Version of 1901 A.D. It is also known as the shaft of the abyss.
It is this same abyss that the demons begged Jesus not to send them into when He confronted the ones who had possessed the Gadarene demoniac.
“And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss.” Luke 8:31.
The shaft of the abyss is always mentioned in connection with demons, so it is likely that it is the abode of demons, an unpleasant prison from which they can be loosed. This is important, as we shall see here and later on in this book.
If the bottomless pit is the abode of demons and hell or Hades, is the place where unsaved humans are kept, then that leaves one other place you may never have heard of, Tartarus.
Tartarus is not Hades, hell, or the bottomless pit, but rather it is a special place reserved for angels that sinned in the days before the flood of Noah’s time.
“For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell [Tartarus] and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment…” 2 Peter 2:4.
The sin of these angels was not just terrible but they must have been completely out of control for God to put them “into chains of darkness”.
Undoubtedly other demons had, at times sinned just as badly, yet you will notice that here in chapter nine that they stay within the restrictions that God puts them under.
If there are three different abodes, then it is likely that they are separated from each other, especially since demons are more powerful than the unsaved men in hell and they would use their superior abilities to torment helpless humans.
That would seem to be the point of hell, but it is not, this is not a place where demons torture people for eternity; hell is a prison until the Day of Judgment when both demons and humans are cast into the lake of fire.
The abyss keeps demons from enjoying themselves by tormenting hell’s occupants, until they too will become powerless on judgment day.
It is possible that though men and demons are separated from each other, they may be able to see each other and perhaps communicate, as in the case of Lazarus and the rich man.
“So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom [Paradise]. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’” Luke 16:22-26.
This incident occurred before the Lord was crucified, died, entered Hades and rose again, having made the payment for sin; the animal sacrifices to that point were only able to cover sins. Our blessed Lord Jesus Christ’s sacrifice utterly erased them.
“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12.
As a result, Jesus was able to remove the inhabitants of paradise, where Lazarus was, and take them to heaven.
“Therefore He says: ‘When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive [those in paradise were in captivity], and gave gifts to men.’ (Now this, ‘He ascended’ – what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)’” Ephesians 4:8-10.
The inhabitants of Tartarus are in pits of darkness so it is unlikely that they can see or communicate with anyone else and likewise those in Hades and the abyss will not be able to see or communicate with them.
Knowing all these things, the question remains, what will you do with God’s Son Jesus Christ?
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9.
Revelation 9:1-2 taken from godisrevealed.com posted on 11-30-16, updated on 7-16-22.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.