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The End of All Things
The Bottomless Pit
"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." Revelation 20:1-2.
Now, just what do we know about the bottomless pit? Is it a big hole in the ground that has no bottom to it, as the word bottomless implies? And without a bottom, the hole would naturally have to go all the way through the earth. Not likely. Having discarded that thought, some feel it could be a desolate, burned out earth after the natural heavens and earth are set on fire and the Christians have been (1)raptured. Also not very likely, since neither will ever take place.
Carnal minds will form natural pictures of not only the bottomless pit, but they will do the same with practically everything written in the Bible, especially the devil. Regardless of one's image of the bottomless pit, it is clear that it is something that binds Satan and everything related to him.
I sincerely hope that by now we can see that the devil is not the great horned god of hell, and see that he is something more subtle; namely, he is the spirit of man's religion which severs the union between God and man. With this being so, man's religious orders would be the embodiment of that spirit in the same way that the many members of Christ are the embodiment of Him. There is a many membered body of Christ, and there is a many membered body of (2)antichrist, and that body is the dragon, Satan, the devil. The body of Christ is inspired by the Spirit of the living God of the heavens and makes blind eyes see, while the body of antichrist is inspired by the god of this world and blinds eyes who could see.
Hopefully, we can shine the light of truth into men's dungeons of lies, open blind eyes, and set people free from things that have no scriptural basis or spiritual validity. For one, the perpetrators of the lie have Satan as being heaven's chief prosecutor, and after he wins each case, the poor guilty, convicted sinner is dragged off to hell by shrieking demons, and Satan then becomes his cruel warden throughout eternity. Not only do many churches portray him as the most successful prosecuting attorney to have ever disgraced creation by winning 90 to 99 percent of humanity to his fabled hell, he is also supposed to be in charge of the vast oceans of fire and caverns of burning sulfur. It is amazing that such images of archaic pagan religions and poets could take such a hold on "spiritually" minded people. Even so, I rejoice in knowing that there will be an end to it. Truly, we will see the end of the great red dragon that masquerades as an angel of light, and these are the days that his mask is being removed and his true identity being uncovered. This is the beginning of the end of all things of that dead, religious system. The bell is tolling. It is the season for the dragon's kingdom to fall and become the kingdom of the Lord and His anointed (rf. Revevlation11:15).
As it was in 70 A.D. at the end of that age of the kingdom of the Jews, so shall it be at the end of this age. That religious system of natural Israel was cast down from heaven. It fell. Its glory had come to an end, to be no more. With Jesus having blotted out the handwriting of ordinances, removing them by nailing them to His cross, and having spoiled principalities and powers (Col. 2:14), that kingdom was bound and cast into a pit with no foundation of truth to stand on. And so it will be with this present religious kingdom of this world's god. This time the authority to do so will come from those who are caught up to God and His throne, and then descend from heaven with key and chain in hand.
There are two angels mentioned in Revelation that are sometimes said to be the same. The two in question are the angel of Revelation 20:1-2 that comes down from heaven, and the star that falls from heaven in Revelation 9:1-3. They both have the key of the bottomless pit, signifying that the Maker of the pit gave them (3)authority to open or close it.
Both have a word, or a message. For that matter, both are a word or message; but they are so distinct from one another that it would be difficult to see them as being one and the same. For instance, the angel of Revelation 20 comes down from heaven, binds Satan, casts him into the bottomless pit, and sets a seal (God's seal) upon it. The star of Revelation 9 falls from heaven, opens the bottomless pit, and releases smoke of a great furnace and pestilence of locusts. (See next two notes for comparison of falling and coming down):
"And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star (4)fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. 2And 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. 3And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power" Revelation 9:1-3.
"And I saw an angel (5)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" Revelation 20:1-2.
Both have the key to bottomless pit; but while one closes the pit the other opens it. With the bottomless pit having been opened, the god of this world is given power and is set up as the king over those things of the pit (Rev.9:11). Every lying thing ascends with power from the opened pit, but this is only until they have served God's purpose.
It may be hard for some to believe that such would be a part of God's purpose. If it was not, the key would never be given to the falling star. Keys of power and authority come from God, not the devil. Nonetheless, whether it is believed or not, after the hordes of darkness finish their course, the end will come to the king of that pit. He will then be bound and held captive for a thousand years. Of course, when the head loses its power, so does its forces. When a king falls, so does his kingdom. When the spirit of religion is silenced, so is the rest of the body. The prestige, glory, honor, authority, power, and dominion of the dragon, that old serpent of religion, is bound and a seal set upon him that he cannot continue deceiving the nations (Rev.20:3); that is, not until he is released for a short season. "These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth..." Revelation 3:7.
Who can truly bind such an empire as the religions systems of the world? The only ones I know of are those like Jesus, the sons of God. However, we cannot expect it to happen until the proper season comes, and it will certainly not be while they are being prepared in the heavens. However, once they are made ready, they will come down from heaven, which means there will be evidence that these speak with authority, even if they are not yet fifty years old. They will be made known, as they are manifested with power in the earth. Their word from the throne with their illumined presence in the earth will expose every religious lie, leaving no foundation for that system to stand. In that groundless pit, the religious dragon will not be free, as it is now, to deceive the nations until the thousand years are fulfilled (Rev. 20:3-4).
Many view the book of Revelation as being literal, or at least some things are taken to be literal and some as being symbolic, depending on their beliefs. The thousand years is very often viewed as being literal. However, we will remind ourselves one more time that the entire book is symbolic. It is a book of natural signs and symbols that relate to spiritual realities. Verse one of the book is the key that opens the door to those who can read the book and be happy about what he reads (Rev. 1:3). It says, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him...and signified it by his angel unto his servant John" Revelation 1:1.
Signified comes from the Greek, semaino, meaning, a mark, or to indicate. The mark of one's name indicates something about the person. It is not the person; but it tells us something about him or her. When I sign my name, Elwin Roy Roach, it is a mark, an indication that I am first of the Roach family.
Roach is from the French, roche, and means rock. In Ireland the common phrase "As sound as a roach," is supposed to have been originally, "As sound as a rock."
Elwin is from the Teutonic, meaning, noble friend.
Roy comes from the French, roi, meaning king.
When we count the number of Elwin Roy Roach, this is the sum of that name, that mark, that indication, that signature -- A Noble Friend, a King and is as sound as a Rock.
Although I had never especially liked either Elwin or Roach as being my first and last name, with this understanding, I could almost be smitten with pride after summing up all three ; but if the spirit of humility is not already a part of our name, God has a way working that in us. Notwithstanding, the point being made is to note the significance of what a sign is, such as a signature. It tells us something about the person; but it is not the person.
Let us consider another example and some basic points concerning signs. For instance, when we see a sign along the highway with a picture of a sizzling T-bone steak dinner advertising a local restaurant, no one mistakes it for the real thing. You will never see anyone attempting to eat the sign; for they know it is not real. It may be tangible; but it is not the substance that the sign indicates. Although the picture on the sign looks like a steak, and it may cause their mouth to water, they know that the real steak is just down the road where the sign tells them it is located. There are no problems with people understanding signs in the world; but when it comes to spiritual signs, especially those in the book of Revelation, they are blind.
Since the book of Revelation is a book of signs, and with a thousand years being one of those signs, we see the spiritual reality to which it is pointing. At lease, if we can count spiritual things, we will see:
The number 1000 is a multiple of 10, and according to Number in Scripture by E.W. Bullinger (1837-1913), "...ten is one of the perfect numbers, and signifies the perfection of Divine order, commencing, as it does, an altogether new series of numbers. The first decade is the representative of the whole numeral system, and originates the system of calculation called 'decimals,' because the whole system of numeration consists of so many tens, of which the first is a type of the whole.
"Completeness of order, marking the entire round of anything, is, therefore, the ever-present signification of the number ten. It implies that nothing is wanting; that the number and order are perfect; that the whole cycle is complete." -- End quote.
Once we see the significance of this number, a thousand years begins to take on a new meaning. We are told in Revelation 13 to count the number of the beast, and I believe we can also count the number of the sons of God reigning with Christ a thousand years. We know that the 144,000 of Revelation 14:1 are counted and found worthy to have the Father's name written in their foreheads in similar fashion as those of Chapter 13 who have the mark of the beast in theirs. Neither of these are tatoos or electronic chips. This signifies people having the mind of one or the other. These are things that are signified. They are signs which point to spiritual realities.
Ten times ten equals one hundred, and ten times one hundred equals one thousand. One hundred is ten compounded ten times which signifies the compounding of the perfection of Divine order with nothing lacking. One hundred symbolizes the sons of God, and when the sons of God are compounded, or multiplied ten times, we have the absolute manifestation of the perfect Divine order of the Kingdom of God.
Therefore, reigning with Christ a thousand years is not telling us how long the reign will be, but signifies the type of reign it will be. It is not speaking of a definite period of time, but a quality of that reign. If we can number the number of that reign, we can understand the sum of the matter, at least to a degree. We can see the thousand year reign of those on thrones with Christ Jesus is the manifestation of the full glory, authority, and power of God in the earth by the sons of God. That is what the thousand year reign is about.
I would like to see this already upon us, as some say that it is; but it is clear that it is not. With the number one thousand signifying what it does, in no way can I conclude that the sons of God have already been fully manifested in the earth. Creation has not been set free, and we don't see much evidence of even the first stage of it, other than what has been over the past 2000 years. I still see a lack, frankly, a great lack.
Moreover, I will not eat the signs and say that they have made me as a son of God with the power and authority of the Kingdom of God. Nor can I make claims that the signs have come to pass. If that were a fact, we would presently see the perfection of divine order having bound man's religious order, rendering it completely idle. Satan would presently be chained and cast into the bottomless pit. When I count the number of that defeated dragon, the sum does not add up to the thousand year reign of the sons of God. It is simply not a reality in this present hour, and our vaunting it will not make it so.
However, there will be the bright and glorious day of the Lord, and all the dead, ritualistic religions will be silenced, but not forever. Their ultimate end is not to be at this time. That subtle spirit will be released out of its prison after the power of Christ in the manifested sons of God has been revealed to all creation. You see, as it was in the Garden of Eden, there will still be the serpent, the spirit of religion in unregenerated men. They will still have the potential to be tempted; the tempter, however will be bound, out of sight, out of mind, and not considered while chained in the bottomless pit of their dark souls. In effect, a gag order will be put on that old serpent by those who sit on thrones, to whom judgment is given.
With the dragon of religion being held captive by the overwhelming power and presence of the sons of God, the world will be a pleasant place to live for everyone, even for those who do not know Christ during that time. There will be people who could be tempted by Satan if he were free to do so; but until the Kingdom reign of the Lord and His anointed ones have made an open show of the full glory of God in the earth, that temptation will not be. With the sons of God having dominion in the earth, paradise will once again be known as it flourishes like a well tended garden. The subtle power to deceive the nations will have no foothold. It will have no place to stand.
The temptation of being gods will be far removed, even as it was for Adam and Eve before the woman was taken from the man. At that junction of their journey, the serpent was released to bid God's will. As long as they were one, the serpent was held in check by the dove; but when the woman was separated from the man, she took the serpent with her, leaving the dove with the man. It was then that an altogether different dialog began between the two. The voice of the serpent was not tempered with the love and sacrifice of the dove. Abiding alone, it was free to be self-centered, and to exercise its true nature from the beginning, a liar and a murderer. The voice of the serpent became the father of every deadly lie in every lying priest, Pharisee, Sadducee, scribe, preacher, and legalist in the world. This is what will be bound during the full manifestation of God's Sons and His Kingdom.
After a thousand years of the fulness of God's glory abounding, and with the Last Adam reigning and having dominion over all the earth, one would think that everyone would flood the gates of life, but not so. There will still be people and nations without Christ that can be mustered for war. Moreover, all who are not born of God are dead, and they will be the dead who live not until the thousand years are finished. They can certainly be those in the graves as well; but the dead is not limited to those alone. They are like the ones Jesus spoke of, saying, let the dead bury the dead.
Although they will not live in Christ, they can enjoy and be blessed by the natural riches of God's paradise, even as the dead today can be blessed by the good things that God's people bring to the world. Therefore, as it has been with humanity in the past, it will be needful for that ancient serpent, the great red dragon to be released for a little while to tempt them. That ancient serpent, the head of that religious order of old, will rise from the bottomless pit; but this time to meet with its fatal end. Sin of every kind and its deep root will be plucked up and destroyed. After Satan has appeared once again as an angel of light, he and his masses will attempt to kill God's elect as they go against the holy city; but their short, futile attempt will be met with fire. Revelation 20:7-10.
There have been many wars and conflicts between life and death in the heavens and the earth; but this will be the conflict of the ages, the war of the worlds. Unlike World War I, II, and III, or any other war, this will be war to end all wars.
War of any kind is such an aversion to some that they would like for Satan to be imprisoned throughout eternity in the bottomless pit. The sons of God would then reign supreme in all the universe for more than the thousand years. It would be forever. People thinking from the caverns of their carnal minds feel this would be sufficient, saying, "Why release him at all. Leave him in chains throughout eternity. Let him rot in that pit for all I care. That is his just desserts."
There would certainly be no end to that glorious Kingdom if God took their advice; but He does not take the dark counsel of men. Moreover, such would not be a victorious end. That which Jesus came to do would go unfulfilled. There would be a tremendous lack if the enemy of God's people remained in that prison forever.
Legalistic people of religion think like the legal system of our nation. They believe that more and bigger prisons is the answer to all crime. Lock them up and forget about them, is their mind-set; but that is not God's mind-set. He does not look at things as men look at them. His ways are not man's ways. You see, even though the powers of darkness would be held captive, there would still be darkness, sin, and death, the very things that must eventually be destroyed, forever.
Holding Satan captive is only one phase of the victory. The next phase is casting him into the lake of fire after the deceived nations compass the camp of the saints and the beloved city. The answer to opposition is not to lock it in a closet or prison and throw away the key. The answer is to destroy, consume, and/or transform it, and this is by the Great Fire of God; namely, -- the Lake of Fire!
To be continued...
Elwin R. Roach
1. The Rapture Question free upon request.
2. antichrist: antichristos; anti; opposite, or instead of. Christos; anointed.
"For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist." 2 John 1:7. (Satan is the deceiver, they who appear as light but are not cannot confess, or manifest, the anointing. They are the opposite, or instead of Christ. They are actors, hypocrites.)
3."...These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth. Revelation 3:7.
4. fall: Grk pipto; "Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch" Matthew 15:14. "...for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water" Matthew 17:15. "...straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming" Mark 9:20. "And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things..." Acts 5:5. "...lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief" Hebrews 4:11.
5. come down: Grk, katabaino; "For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water..." John 5:4. 17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" James 1:17.
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