Satan has been cast into a bottomless pit according to Revelation 20:1-3, but what does this mean? In Revelation 9:1 we find a fallen angel has the keys to the bottomless pit and opened it up. This angel’s name is Abaddon in Hebrew according to verse-11 and means destruction. In the Greek tongue his name is Apollyon meaning a destroyer. We may also take note that the beast came out of this pit to make war with the Lamb (Revelation 17:8-14).
In Revelation 20:1 we are told another angel has the key to the bottomless pit, the fallen angel of Revelation 9:1 had lost the key because he was overcome or defeated. Revelation 20:3 says Satan was cast into the pit for a thousand years, unable to influence the nations or gentiles. It is called his prison (verse-7), but what and where is this bottomless pit.
Luke 8:27 records the event of the Lord’s confrontation with the demons (called Legion – verse-30) who possessed a man. They were afraid that Christ would torment them (i.e. put them to the test) before their time (Matthew 8:29). They asked not to be cast “out of the country” (Mark 5:10), or “into the deep” (abussos – Luke 8:31). They were afraid that Jesus would send them back into the bottomless pit before the time appointed. These are among those released by the Destroyer or fallen angel of Revelation 9:1.
In Romans 10:8 Paul wrote of how close the word of God is to all of us. He says in verse-6 that we shouldn’t seek to bring Christ back from heaven to know or see him for ourselves. That is, let faith reign in our hearts. Neither should we desire to see Christ’s resurrection for ourselves. In other words, we should not desire that Christ descend back into the deep, (abussos – G12). Therefore, the bottomless pit or the abussos is the place where Christ was before he was resurrected. Before being resurrected, Christ was dead. Therefore, death would be the bottomless pit.
Hebrews 2:14 says that the devil had power over death, which is only further proof that Satan is the fallen angel of Revelation 9:1, and that Christ is the Angel of Revelation 20:1; for it is he who destroys the Destroyer and takes his keys. Death has become the prison of Satan, the devil (Jude 1:6; cp. 2Peter 2:4). Today, we hear many people saying that God is dead, but actually it is Satan who is dead. He is under chains of darkness until the end of the Millennium.
Let me point out by way of reminder that Christ does not make war like men do. His thoughts are not like ours, and his ways are much different ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). His implements of warfare are not what man uses (2Corinthians 10:3-5). Our warfare in Christ is conducted through the Gospel. We cast down vain reasoning that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and capture every thought and bring it into obedience to Christ. Once we do this within our own lives, we shall do it to the world in the same way – through the Gospel (2Corinthians 10:6). Satan is cast out through the word of Christ – our only spiritual weapon in battle. Unless Jesus is preached the world will remain in darkness, for the whole world lies in the Wicked One (1John 5:19), and the Wicked One is under chains of darkness – dead!
The Gospel was preached and Jesus said he beheld Satan fall like lightening to the earth (Luke 10:1, 17-24). This great battle is recorded in Revelation 12 as well. There Jesus is called Michael, and the battle is not between, angels. Rather, it is between Christ and Satan and between Christians and the world, especially against the enemy’s religious leaders. The Bible is not a book about angels, though angels are mentioned therein. The Bible is about Christ and the Church, God and his people and the salvation he wrought in Christ for the world. The angels are ministering spirits and are mentioned in God’s word only incidentally, but never play a major role in our salvation. Our salvation is through Christ alone. I do not mean to imply that Jesus was an angelic being. Jesus is not, was not and never shall be an angelic being. I could say the same for Michael. Michael is said to be an Archangel, which means only that he is their Leader. God is Lord of the angels in heaven. He is their Master.
The word angel is transliterated directly from the Greek word angelos (G32) and means “a messenger.” There are numerous places in the New Testament where this word refers to the apostles and preachers of the Gospel and not the ministering spirits of heaven, yet at times the translators have not differentiated between men of God and godly spirits. The point is: Revelation 12 tells the story of a spiritual battle where Satan is cast out of heaven and Luke 10 reveals the identity of the main characters and the time frame of the battle. This is also the time of the blowing of the 3rd Trumpet in Revelation 8:10-11. The great burning star called Wormwood is the fallen angel who has the keys to the bottomless pit in Revelation 9:1 and is called Destroyer in Revelation 9:11.
The tragedy of looking to men for our truth is that we usually overlook what the Spirit seeks to convey. These verses in Revelation are most often represented as events yet to be fulfilled. Nevertheless, they have already been fulfilled in Christ on the way to or at Calvary. When we take our eyes off Christ, we are liable to all sorts or erroneous doctrine. These Scriptures don’t point to Christ’s future return but point to his first coming and the Gospel going out to the world prior to 70 CE when Jerusalem was destroyed.
Satan is referred to a number of times in some of the epistles of Paul, but in Romans 16:20 he says that God shall bruise or tread on Satan under the feet of the Church shortly. Paul, an apostle by God’s appointment, wrote most of the New Testament and said in his letter to Rome that not long after the writing of that letter, it would be all over for Satan! Unless we are prepared to call the Apostle to the Gentiles a liar or a false prophet (Deuteronomy 18:20-22), this Scripture implies Revelation 20:1-3 is fulfilled.
The word translated “shortly” is en (G1722) tachei (G5034). In every case where it appears in the New Testament it gives the idea that the thing spoken is about to occur immediately or very soon. I do not believe 2000 years could be construed as soon or shortly after Paul wrote his epistle to the Romans. It would appear that a 2000-year delay would stretch en tachei beyond its intended meaning. Therefore, Satan is either bound or Paul is a false prophet and most of the New Testament is the work of a false prophet and has no foundation in our Faith. Nevertheless, I believe Almighty God anointed Paul an Apostle, and I agree with Scripture that he ran a good course, but let the reader decide for himself what he believes.