Who is Abaddon and Apollyon, Satan or Christ?

Image result for picture of satan as angel of light         Image result for picture of Christ coming in clouds of glory

One of the most noted long running Biblical controversies involves the question — who does Abaddon and Apollyon represent? Generally speaking there is a majority opinion among Bible scholars that it is Satan. Our historical SDA belief is not clear and not much help here.

One of the end time prophecies revealed to us, His remnant church, was the understanding of Zech. 4, the two olive trees (old and new Testament) , the two pipes (God appointed two end time interpreters), seven tubes (ministers) going from the Golden Bowl (the Inspired writings) down to the seven candlesticks (the churches of God). In this symbolism we learn how the Lord’s system of Biblical truth is conveyed and passed down to His people and exposing the path of usurpers and false prophets. For those who wish to review our post on this very important subject , click here- https://godsloveandlaw.com/2014/07/12/zechariah-4-gods-method-of-revealing-truth/

Because Zech. 4 was not properly understood until the Lord sent His last prophet to our church–Victor Houteff, many could not truly know subjects like our study subject. In other words , there are all kinds of man-made ideas floated around as–truth. But let us now sink the mine shaft of truth way down and get some pure golden nuggets of glistening gold from the Golden Bowl.

First, let’s look at the specific Bible verses–

“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.” (Rev. 9:1)

“And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.” (Rev. 9:11)

The following is generally the prevailing opinion concerning Abaddon and Apollyon.

“In Revelation 9:11, Abaddon is described as “Destroyer”,[6] the angel of the abyss,[6] and as the king of a plague of locusts resembling horses with crowned human faces, women’s hair, lions’ teeth, wings, iron breast-plates, and a tail with a scorpion’s stinger that torments for five months anyone who does not have the seal of God on their foreheads.[7]

The symbolism of Revelation 9:11 leaves the identity of Abaddon open to interpretation. Protestant commentator Matthew Henry (1708) believed Abaddon to be the Antichrist,[8] whereas the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary (1871) and Henry H. Halley (1922) identified the angel as Satan.[9][10][11] Latter-Day Saints believe that the use of “Abaddon” in Revelation 9 refers to the devil.[12]

In contrast, the Methodist publication The Interpreter’s Bible states: “Abaddon, however, is an angel not of Satan but of God, performing his work of destruction at God’s bidding”, citing the context at Revelation chapter 20, verses 1 through 3.[13][page needed] Jehovah’s Witnesses as well cite Revelation 20:1-3 where the angel having “the key of the abyss” is actually shown to be a representative of God, one from heaven, and, rather than being “satanic”, is the one that binds Satan and hurls him into the abyss; concluding that “Abaddon” is another name for Jesus Christ after his resurrection.”[14] (Wikipedia)

As we can see there is a variety of opinions. But generally throughout Christendom the belief is that these two titles describe Satan. The noted exceptions are the Methodists ,Jehovah Witnesses and Davidian SDA. However, such ideas most likely are arrived at by thinking that “a star fell from heaven” means Satan and his fall. And then because he falls he now has the symbolical key to hell. Sure seems plausible if one surface reads.

But as we mentioned we are going to go beyond surface reading and understandings into an understanding that is all-encompassing, just as the Lord’s promised restoration shows us (Matt.17:11).

To understand the meaning of the “star” and “bottomless pit” mentioned in Rev. 9:1,  we read–

Rev. 9:1-4. “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.”

   Taking in order the parts (the “star,” the “key,” the “pit,” the “smoke,” the darkness, and the locusts) of this fifth trumpet symbolism, we come first to

The Star.

   Just as did the star of the third trumpet, so this  fifth-trumpet star descended from heaven to earth.  And as the third-trumpet “star” has been conclusively identified as representing the advent of the Bible then this latter one, since it is similar to the former must stand for something the equivalent of It.

   The Bible and Christ being complementary affinities, each the Word of God (John 1:1-14), then the fact that the descent of the first “star” is symbolical of the advent of the Bible, compels the conclusion that the descent of the second star is symbolical of the first advent of Christ.  Moreover, the star is personified as “Him” (masculine in gender), thus being limited to a male person.  And finally Christ Himself gives testimony that He is “the bright and morning star.” Rev. 22:16.  To Him, be it remembered, was given

“The Key of 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.” Rev. 20:1, 2.

   As Christ is the one who secures Satan’s captivity, thereby ushering in the millennium, He alone can be fittingly symbolized by the “angel…having the key of the bottomless pit,” and by the “star” to whom the “key” was given.  And as the “giving” of a thing to any certain one must precede the having” of it by that one, the verbs “given” (Rev. 9:1) and “having” (Rev. 20:1; 1:18)  point, of course, to two different times.  Obviously, therefore, Christ received the “key” at the sounding  of the fifth trumpet — sometime before the millennium.  Hence at the commencement of the millennium He already has it.

   Christ’s mission being to bring deliverance from the prison house of sin and of death (the bottomless pit), and to do so through the preaching of the gospel,  the key, therefore, must be figurative of the gospel,  the only power that is able to set free those who are  imprisoned in

The “Bottomless Pit.”

   Since the “bottomless pit” of Revelation 20:3 is symbolical of the earth as a prison house during the millennium, then the “bottomless pit” of Revelation 9:1, being identical, must likewise be symbolical of the earth as a prison house at another time.

   This implicitly Biblical interpretation of the “star,” the “key,” and the “bottomless pit,” reveals  that the earth, at Christ’s first advent, had become a prison house (a pit) for God’s people and that Christ came to open it in order to save them.

   The very fact that God’s people are vested with the power to keep open the bottomless pit, then should they be defeated, the pit would be shut and would become a prison house from which there would be no escape unless it be reopened.  And so Satan in the latter days of the Jews, as sacred history records, attacked them, took them captive, and thus shut the pit.  And knowing that when the Saviour should come, He would open it, the dragon therefore stood ready to devour the “child as soon as it was born.” Rev. 12:4. 

But losing sight of the infant Christ, he incited Herod to slay “all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under” (Matt. 2:16), in the hope of making rid of the Saviour.  Under the protection  of Providence, however, Christ was kept from the  bloody hand of Herod.  Then subsequently with the  gospel key, He opened the “pit” and freed His people.  This, He Himself avowed:

   “The Spirit of the Lord,” He declared, is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovering  of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18, 19. (Tract 5, p.58-61)

To the names and their meaning we read–

“Rev. 9:11. “And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.”

   Genuine Christians, as subjects of the kingdom of Christ, have over them Christ, their King.  Ruling over them in Old Testament time (1 Cor. 10:1-4)  as well as in New Testament time, He is therefore King over them in both periods.  Consequently the Old Testament Scriptures being originally written  in the Hebrew tongue give Him the name Abaddon, whereas the New Testament Scriptures, being originally written in the Greek, give Him the name Apollyon.

   In the blazing light of this symbol, intensifying the illumination from the whole series of symbols of which it is a part, and which no human mind could either have devised or thus rightly interpreted, Christ is clearly seen to be King of His people in both the Old and the New Testament periods, and Author of the Scriptures in both the Hebrew and the Greek.  And from this fact it follows that as He is “the Word” (the Bible in human form), His Hebrew name, Abaddon, is also the name of the Old Testament Scriptures, and His Greek name, Apollyon, is also the name of the New Testament Scriptures.

   Showing that he recognized Christ’s sovereignty over the church not only in the New Testament  period but also in the Old Testament period,  Paul, in his epistle to the Corinthians, declared:  “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were…baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea:…and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” 1 Cor. 10:1-4.

   Woe to him who accepts the one Testament and casts aside the other, pays no attention to either, or exalts tradition above both!

   Abaddon, Christ’s name in the Hebrew, signifying Him as a “destroyer,” shows that in the Old Testament period He simply destroyed many of His enemies; whereas Apollyon, His name in the Greek, signifying Him as an “exterminator,” shows that in the New Testament period He will exterminate all the wicked. (What beautiful precision  of connotation in these symbolic appellations!)  And this exterminatory work is vividly pictured in the climactic scene:

   “And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.  And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.  And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.” Rev. 19:15-18.

   To those, therefore, who accept Christ as their King, He is a Saviour, while to those who refuse to have Him rule over them (Luke 19:14), He is a destroyer.  Hence, accordingly, the curses, or judgments, fall (as the trumpets reveal) upon those who reject the teachings and the authority of the Bible, and who as a result do not have the seal.

   These solemn facts gravely admonish us not to forget the Bible’s warning that our treatment of It will bring one of two results — death or life. (Tract 5, p.69-72)

Christendom has a hard time calling Christ “Destroyer”and “Exterminator”, they cannot fathom the vengeance of Christ to justify His Truth. The Bible calls Him this and we must accept and acknowledge it. Let us not be on the losing end of the soon to come Destroyer/ Exterminator, rather with Godly fear and hope keep living everyday to do as the Word says–

“He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.” (1 John 2:6)

 

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One Response to “Who is Abaddon and Apollyon, Satan or Christ?”

  1. rene Says:

    Amen brother.

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