Chains Of Darkness
by Wayne Blank
"God spared not the angels that sinned ... and delivered them into chains of darkness"
In the New Testament, the original Greek word of the Scriptures, pronounced ab-us-sos, describes a deep pit - so deep that it is, in effect, bottomless. I say in effect bottomless because the Scriptures describe the abyss as being on earth, or rather in the earth, and therefore it cannot be deeper from the surface than the earth's radius (surface to center) i.e. about 4,000 miles. Since the Bible refers to the abyss as a place where demons are imprisoned, it would not then be entirely a physical place within the earth anyway, since demons are spirits who can pass through physical barriers. The abyss is logically a spiritual and physical place within the earth. Depending on the version of the Bible, the original Greek word is variously translated as "abyss," "the deep," or "the bottomless pit."
Demons feared Jesus Christ not just because He had the power (as did, and do, others e.g. Matthew 10:8 - see also Casting Out Demons), by means of the Holy Spirit, to cast them out of someone they possessed, but also because He had the power and authority to sentence them into the abyss.
"And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. And they besought Him that He would not command them to go out into the deep." (Luke 8:30-31 KJV)
As described below, the abyss is a hot place. In the time just prior to The Return Of Jesus Christ, the abyss will be opened:
"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. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man." (Revelation 9:1-5 KJV) (see also The Seven Seals)
The great military "beast" (see Revelation 13) will get much of his great power from demons when they ascend out of the abyss:
"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." (Revelation 17:8 KJV)
At the time of the return of Jesus Christ, the Messiah will take control of the earth from Satan (see Who Still Rules The World Today?) and Satan will be cast into the abyss and held there for 1,000 years (see What Satan Fears Most):
"And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, 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." (Revelation 20:1-3 KJV)
Fact Finder: What will happen when Satan is released from the Abyss at the end of the 1,000 years?