All this attention to CERN lately, and speculations over whether or not it might possibly lead to the opening of some sort of “inter-dimensional portal” or allow us to “peek into a parallel universe” or something along these lines, has really had me thinking lately about the topic of the “abyss”, or “bottomless pit” in the Bible.
There is something almost universally embedded in our collective psyche, something so ingrained in our consciousness, in connection to an almost instinctive fear of a deep, dark, pit.
Somehow, it seems to go beyond just the practical fears of falling a long ways and being injured, or being afraid of the dark, etc. It’s a haunting feeling, when even as a small child, you peer over the edge of something like an old abandoned well for the first time, or even walking over an especially large storm drain, with nothing but the iron grate separating you from the depths of a damp, foreboding chasm…
The “abyss” in the Bible was something which, growing up reading Bible stories, I was vaguely familiar with since I had read many times the part of Revelation which talks about these frightening beings which come up out of the “Abyss” during the Last Days:
The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were not allowed to kill them but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes. During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.
The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months. They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon (that is, Destroyer). (Revelation 9:1-11)
I was also familiar with the verses in Luke which describe Jesus’ encounter with a demon-possessed man:
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!” 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.
Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
“Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. (Luke 8:28-31)
Yes despite having been familiar with these references to this “abyss”, I never realized that it was something that I really couldn’t offer any possible explanations as to just what this “abyss” was exactly, or where it came from… It’s another one of those elements, similar to Genesis 6 and the “Nephilim”, which many people in churches simply scratch their heads, shrug their shoulders, and move on. And that’s fine. Not trying to pick on anyone here.
But for me, when I was finally presented with the explanation of the Nephilim involving the “Watchers” of the Book of Enoch, whereby the giants were the offspring of inter-relations between fallen angels and human women, the “abyss” became another one of these previously unexpanded side-details which suddenly had a very compelling explanation! Suddenly it all made SO much more sense. It explained what this place was, and why the demons in Luke 8 are so utterly terrified of being sent there.
In the Book of Enoch, which describes the pre-flood sins of the “Watcher” angels in quite a bit of detail, Enoch is actually shown the prison where the angels who sinned against God and man were sentenced to be cast into as punishment, and Enoch finds it to be a most terrifying thing to behold:
And I saw a deep abyss, with columns of heavenly fire, and among them I saw columns of fire fall, which were beyond measure alike towards the height and towards the depth. And beyond that abyss I saw a place which had no firmament of the heaven above, and no firmly founded earth beneath it: there was no water upon it, and no birds, but it was a waste and horrible place. I saw there seven stars like great burning mountains, and to me, when I inquired regarding them, The angel said: ‘This place is the end of heaven and earth: this has become a prison for the stars and the host of heaven. And the stars which roll over the fire are they which have transgressed the commandment of the Lord in the beginning of their rising, because they did not come forth at their appointed times’. And He was wroth with them, and bound them till the time when their guilt should be consummated (even) for ten thousand years.’ (Enoch, chapter 18, v11-16)
But before anyone starts protesting that this is not a part of the canon of scripture, I must point out the following verses which are all found in the New Testament, and ask you to consider how they actually would make any sense at all, outside of the very explanation provided by that of the Book of Enoch…
“For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water…” (1 Peter 3:18-20)
“If God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly…” (2 Peter 2:4,5)
And finally in Jude:
“Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.” (Jude 1:5,6)
Jude is particularly noteworthy, because a little further on in verses 14/15 is where Jude actually quotes directly from the Book of Enoch, and not only that, but references his own quotation as an actual “prophecy”. Jude refers to the words in the Book of Enoch as prophetic. (This fact actually played a major role in my decision to reconsider my previous assumptions on this whole “Genesis 6” issue.)
Another great resource I have found on this subject is “A Survey on the Abyss in the Old and New Testaments” by “Paradox Brown”. Very well researched and annotated. Definitely worth checking out.
Overall the significance of the Nephilim-Watcher-Abyss connection is that is really does a lot to reveal how the prophecies concerning the Last Days in Revelation and elsewhere are really very much about the whole expanse of Biblical/world history coming almost completely full circle, where the bizarre and almost unbelievable events which marked the “Days of Noah” are foretold to one day again visit the Earth as it experiences very remarkable events indeed. If we understand all that the Bible has to say about how all these things came about, and the reasons behind, say, who this “Apollyon” character is and why he/it would be so eager to get OUT and wreak havoc upon the Earth, then we are far less prone to be deceived by whatever manner through which this prophecy eventually is fulfilled. It is the deceiving nature of these lying spirits, these “fallen, imprisoned gods”, that is to be treated with the most caution. It’s not about being afraid of some army of “Monsters from the ID”.
After all, when the angel comes out of the Abyss in Revelation 9, the ones whom he and his strange horde attack and torture are those who have rejected God and do not have the “seal of God on their foreheads”…