Monday, February 18, 2013

The Beast from the Bottomless Pit

In Revelation 9:1, 2 a star falls from heaven 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."

In Revelation 9:11 we read of "the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon."

In Revelation 11:7 a creature described as "the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit" makes war against God's two witnesses.

In Revelation 17:8 we find a beast that "was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go to perdition."

In Revelation 20:1-3 an angel comes down from heaven "having the key of the bottomless pit," and he binds Satan and casts him "into the bottomless pit . . . till the thousand years should be fulfilled."

Each of these descriptions portray the bottomless pit as a domain of evil. Although these passages represent different scenes and different time periods, the common figure to be most clearly identified with the bottomless pit is Satan himself. Understanding a "beast" in Bible prophecy to represent a king or a kingdom (Daniel 7:17, 23), we must expect the "beasts" associated with the bottomless pit to be nations through which the Devil exercises his Satanic power and influence.

We're going to focus here only on the beast of Revelation 11:7. The other passages will have to be dealt with elsewhere. Commenting on this beast, we quote from the book, The Great Controversy.

"Here is brought to view a new manifestation of satanic power." "Another power--the beast from the bottomless pit---was to arise to make open, avowed war upon the word of God." The Great Controversy, p. 269.

Some people are quick to tag this beast as atheism. But nowhere does Scripture ever say that a "beast" can represent an ideology or a belief system. Prophetic "beasts" denote ruling nations or kingdoms. The land where this particular beast was to exercise its power is "spiritually" "called Sodom and Egypt." Revelation 11:8. The country would be "called Sodom and Egypt" because it manifested the characteristics of those places. What are those characteristics?

"Of all nations presented in Bible history, Egypt most boldly denied the existence of the living God and resisted His commands. . . . And the nation represented by Egypt would give voice to a similar denial of the claims of the living God and would manifest a like spirit of unbelief and defiance." "The corruption of Sodom in breaking the law of God was especially manifested in licentiousness. And this sin was also to be a pre-eminent characteristic of the nation that should fulfill the specifications of this scripture." Ibid.

"In the land where the testimony of God's two witnesses should thus be silenced, there would be manifest the atheism of the Pharaoh and the licentiousness of Sodom. This prophecy has received a most exact and striking fulfillment in the history of France." Ibid.

The Great Controversy goes on to document how France during the Revolution of the 1790s manifested the characteristics not only of Egypt and Sodom, but "where also our Lord was crucified." Revelation 11:8.

So the beast from the bottomless pit in Revelation 11 represents the nation of France under the control of Satan during the French Revolution.

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