Watchman Willie Martin Archive

The Bottomless Pit


[ah BISS]‑the bottomless pit or the chaotic deep. Originally, this term represented a deep mass of waters, and was associated with the water which God created with the earth. Darkness is said to have been on the face of the deep or abyss (Genesis 1:2).

The term is used in several other ways in the Bible. It describes the prison of disobedient spirits, or the world of the dead (Luke 8:31; Romans 10:7). Terms like "the pit" and "bottomless pit" represent the abode of all the wicked dead.

(from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright (c)1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)


(a‑bis'), (he abussos): In classical Greek the word is always an adjective, and is used (1) literally, "very deep," "bottomless"; (2) figuratively, "unfathomable," "boundless." "Abyss" does not occur in the King James Version but the Revised Version (British and American) so transliterates abussos in each case.

The King James Version renders the Greek by "the deep" in two passages (Luke 8:31; Romans 10:7). In Rev the King James Version renders by "the bottomless pit" (Rev 9:1‑2,11; 11:7; 17:8; 20:1,3).

In the Septuagint abussos is the rendering of the Hebrew word tehom. According to primitive Semitic cosmogony the earth was supposed to rest on a vast body of water which was the source of all springs of water and rivers (Genesis 1:2; Deuteronomy 8:7; Ps 24:2; 136:6). This subterranean ocean is sometimes described as "the water under the earth" (Ex 20:4; Deuteronomy 5:8).

According to Job 41:32 tehom is the home of the leviathan in which he ploughs his hoary path of foam. The Septuagint never uses abussos as a rendering of sheol ( = Sheol = Hades) and probably tehom never meant the "abode of the dead" which was the ordinary meaning of Sheol. In Ps 71:20 tehom is used figuratively, and denotes "many and sore troubles" through which the psalmist has passed (compare Jonah 2:5).

But in the New Testament the word abussos means the "abode of demons." In Luke 8:31 the King James Version renders "into the deep" (Weymouth and The Twentieth Century New Testament = "into the bottomless pit"). The demons do not wish to be sent to their place of punishment before their destined time. Mk simply says "out of the country" (Mark 5:10).

In Romans 10:7 the word is equivalent to Hades, the abode of the dead. In Rev (where the King James Version renders invariably "the bottomless pit") abussos denotes the abode of evil spirits, but not the place of final punishment; it is therefore to be distinguished from the "lake of fire and brimstone" where the beast and the false prophet are, and into which the Devil is to be finally cast (Rev 19:20; 20:10). See also ASTRONOMY, III, 7. (from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Electronic Database Copyright (c)1996 by Biblesoft)

From A Study in Revelation by Howard B. Rand, pp.86-88; we find:

In Mecca, on the Midwestern shores of the Red Sea, in the year 569 A.D., and 153 years after the opening of the Fourth Seal when Death began to ride the Pale Horse, Mohammed, the son of Abdullah, was born. One day, at the age of forty, he was wandering among the rocks at the foot of Mount Hara. He entered the mouth of a cave and sat there musing. As he mused he was shaken by an unseen power. As he sat there trembling and disturbed, suddenly a light flashed and the Angel Gabriel stood before him and in the name of God (Allah) commanded him to preach the true religion.

Mohanned is reported to have run home and told his wife that he was possessed of a devil and had gone mad. She listened to the account of his experience and told him he was to be a prophet to his people. But Mohammed was tortured with the thought that the revelations he was receiving might be from the Evil One. John declared that Mohammed was inspired from the Bottomless Pit, so his apprehensions and fears were well founded.

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. (Revelation 9:1)

“And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” (Luke 10:18)

The activity of Mohammed, who by the fourth year of his mission had made forty proselytes, was to be far-reaching. One injunction of the Koran which was responsible for making Mohammed’s followers willing to die on the battlefield in the making of war against the infidels was, “He who was slain while fighting in defense and for the propagation of Islam is a martyr.”

      Persistently persecuted, for he inveighed against the superstitions and idolatrous worship of his day. Mohammed decided to seek refuge in Medina. About one hundred families of his adherents had preceded him to this town. From this flight dates the Hegira, or Mohammedan Era.

      Mohammed now assumed the position of judge, lawgiver and ruler of the city and two powerful Arabic tribes. It was from this city that he set out on the wars which resulted in the conquest of Mecca and the ultimate subjection of Arabia. Thus the way was being prepared for the rise of the Little Horn of the East as the Prophet and his forces, in spired and strengthened for battle from the Abyss or Bottomless Pit, continued their warfare. The evil genius which Mohammed feared might be directing him in his course was the very power urging him on and which animated his followers in their wars against the Christians. No wonder John saw as it were a smoke out of the pit as the smoke of a great furnace, obscuring the Light and polluting the fresh air of truth, offering the sensuous pleasures of life as the reward of the faithful in the life to come.

The king over the Saracens is called Apollyon (meaning destruction, destroyer) and is the angel of the Bottomless Pit (Satan, the Devil, or Dragon). Thus again Mohammedanism is identified with the Saracens who compelled men to accept the authority of the Caliphate or suffer destruction and, if they saved their lives, it was at the price of spiritual death. (Study in Revelation, p. 93, Howard B. Rand)

      Note: That it was less then 100 years later that Satan moved again and the Khazars accepted Judaism as their state religion, thus saving Judaism from extinction.

The Bottomless Pit

The Bottomless Pit, or Abyss, symbolically represents the abode of darkness and evil, the antipathy of heaven, the source of light and power. From this abode of darkness and evil come a monster that is able to accomplish what Papal Rome was never able to do. Rome made war against the WITNESSES, but could not overcome them. She only succeeded in compelling them to carry on in mourning, but this Beast makes war against the WITNESSES and over comes them and finally kills them. (Study in Revelation, by Howard B. Rand, p. 136)


“And I will give power unto my two WITNESSES, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three score days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.” (Revelation 11:13)

The Second Woe does not end until these Two WITNESSES have completed their work. Their activity antedates the Second Woe and runs back to the beginning of their witnessing. Who, then, are these Two WITNESSES, compelled to prophesy clothed in sackcloth, the emblem of mourning? They are described as the two olive trees.

Zechariah saw two olive trees standing on either side of the candlestick. He is told “These ARE the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” (Zechariah 4:14) The olive trees are the emblem of Israel and Judah, who have been set apart for His service. Judah does not mean Jewry, for the fig tree represents Jewry and was cursed by Jesus because of unfruitfulness. (Mark 11:14)

The candlesticks are the Churches, seven of which (this is why the Jews use a candle stick with seven candles, trying to further deceive God’s Israel people) are referred to by Johnas emblematical of the seven churches. Two are here associated with the olive trees, thus defining at least a portion of the church as active in this witnessing. The two golden pipes which Zechariah saw in his vision carrying the golden oil to the cup that supplied the candlesticks with oil is also significant, for the oil is emblematical of the Word and the Spirit.

There are two phases of Kingdom work. One is the national or administrative phase; the other is ecclesiastical. The two are interwoven at times for, without the protection of the Kingdom and its laws, ecclesiastical leaders would long ago have ceased to go forward with their witnessing.

The administration of the Kingdom is carried on by men and women who are loyally working to establish justice and equity in the nation as they labor to keep Israel true to the principles of righteousness. The ecclesiastical work is fulfilled by those who labor that Israel may know of their redemption and that men may be told the glad tiding of the Kingdom. Thus included in the process of building the kingdom is also the work of organizing the true Church of God. This Church stands in the same relationship to modern Israel as the Aaronic order bore to ancient Israel. Theirs is a priestly office.

      Because of the presence of God in their midst and of Spirit-filled men and women in Israel, believing and declaring there is a God, God has said: “Ye are my WITNESSES, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he.” (Isaiah 43:10)

Who are these WITNESSES that prophesy in sackcloth? Now literal Israel of the latter days is not to be in mourning. The prophets clearly show she is to rejoice and be glad because of the outpouring of God’s blessings upon her. While the olive trees signify that the Two WITNESSES are of Israel, yet in the reference to the candlesticks this is qualified to include on a portion of all Israel. John has already shown that seven candlesticks represent all the Churches, therefore the two must refer to that portion of the Church made up of the truly spirit-filled men and women. They are the Body of our Lord. Thus we have defined those in Israel and of the Church who are the overcomers in this age, enduring tribulations as they witness in the two-fold power of the Word and the Spirit.

In modernism we have the propaganda of false doctrines that affect sincere ecclesiastical activities. This is clear from it subtle opposition to the Word and the power of the Spirit. Under its teachings the Bible is subjected to attack, the Old Testament particularly, for it is the foundation on which rests the New. Theological, Bible, and Secular schools, in varied types of modernist teachings (brought in by the Jews), have systematically undermined belief in the Bible.

The atheism of the past is sugar-coated, and has now become the highest “scholarship” of the present and its devotees occupy the pulpits of our land. Thus as wolves in sheep’s clothing they are guilty of lading God’s Israel people astray. Because of this type of evil teaching hundreds of thousands of professing Christians do not now accept the Old Testament as true and many, in some instance, are denying the miracles recorded in the New. Thus, in a comparatively few years Satan has accomplished with his new weapon from the Abyss, what Rome was uable to do by centuries of persecution.

The result of such destructive doctrines has brought the Bible into disrepute and created a state of spiritual decadency throughout our land. Many of the young men and women coming form our schools are without faith in His Holy Word. It is by such means that the WITNESSES have been overcome and their testimony disbelieved.

We quote the following from Professor C.A.L. totten, M.A., it being a description of the results which have followed the introduction of modernistic criticism and atheistical teachings into our schools ad seminaries:

“Most religious people are literally afraid to investigate the Bible, and well they may be if the canon of the ‘Higher Criticism’ are to guide their study. Most of the laity consider it to be beyond their sphere, and so far as ‘Moses and the Prophets’ are concerned, even the clergy almost entirely neglect them.

“We readily grant that Sin, Repentance, and the Gospel of a ‘Savior’ are the vital ‘end’ of apostolic work. Nevertheless we hod that Christ and the Resurrection CANNOT be successfully preached IN THIS AGE upon the undermined foundation left by the Higher Critics. It is well for them if they can hold their own souls within the fold: we question it; but be this as it may, it is the REST OF MEN that are the ones whom Christ desires to save, and they have logic left, and cannot be savingly reached by any other means than a logical exegesis of the whole Bible, and a satisfactory explanation of its inspiration as such, upon this basis that it is ‘THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH, AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH.’ For, not though one rose form the dead will men BELIEVE, unless they likewise are taught to BELIEVE implicitly, and are made to UNDERSTAND, ‘Moses and the Prophets.’

“It is the Bible that Atheists and Infidels attack; the Old Testament chiefly, for they are logical, and perceive that if the foundation goes, the superstructure cannot stand, no matter how eloquently it can be clothed in Agnostic sermons. Hence this Old Testament is our one and only bulwark of defense.

“It will not do to preach Christ and deny Moses. It will not do to doubt Joshua’s Long Day, with sun and moon poised in mid-heaven while he fought, and yet stultify our hearts with hopes of a Longer Day when even sun and moon will not be needed. If the story of Eden and the Deluge, of Jericho and Joshua, are myths, or fables, and not literal facts, then, to the still rational mind, all that follows them is equally so, and faith, lost in those who foretold His advent, can never be savingly and logically found again in Christ and His apostles.”

The above was written by Professor Totten in1890 A.D. The very things he foresaw, as a result of the attacks upon the Bible, have since come to pass and the WITNESSES have been overcome. Thus Satan’s master-stroke in bringing forth the Beast from the Pit has accomplished this work well in his organized drive against the WITNESSES and their testimony.

A perusal of the theological textbooks will demonstrate how far removed from the teachings of the Scriptures are the instructions given the students who later occupy the pulpits, and inoculate their hearers with poisonous doctrines which they received in their seminary training. The situation is well described by Jeremiah, “They have taught their tongues to speak lies.” (Jeremiah 9:5)

Because this is so the prophet said, “And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth.” (Jeremiah 9:5) Thus deception and lying have accomplished what persecution could not do and has resulted in the inability of the WITNESSES to bring conviction to the unregenerated, for by the destruction of the effectiveness of their testimony, the WITNESSES are overcome.

The Death of the WITNESSES

The Beast from the Pit, having gained a victory over the WITNESSES, now moves to destroy them. What is signified by the death of these WITNESSES? We know they are overcome by making ineffective their weapon of warfare; the Word of God. Without the authority of the Bible to substantiate their teachings, the Spirit is powerless to accomplish its purposes.

Now death is the opposite of life. Life means activity and possess the ability to accomplish things. The dictionary defines it as “animated existence, vitality, the ability to exercise natural functions.” Death, then, is the cessation of all this. It is defined in the dictionary as “The total and permanent cessation of the functions or vital actions of an organism; decay; destruction.”

The death of the WITNESSES would, therefore, indicate that they cease to exercise their natural functions. Now their natural function is to witness to the truth of God’s word and convict men of sin. Their testimony in the power of the Word and the Spirit brought consternation into the ranks of the unregenerated.

John’s declaration that the WITNESSES were first to be overcome before they were slain would indicate a process of time during which, under the attacks of the Beast, their power would be curtailed, finally ending with their death. Now this is not a natural death, for John declares they are killed. To be killed or slain is to be put to death by a weapon, or by violence. The weapon used in this case is the cunningly devised doctrines of modernism, “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” (2 Timothy 3:5)

We have seen that the process of overcoming the WITNESSES is through the attacks upon the Word of God bring in its inspiration into disrepute. When men become convinced that the Bible is not the inspired Word of God they cease to give heed to the testimony of the WITNESSES. The inevitable result of such successful attacks upon the Scriptures is that the WITNESSES cease to function as an animated organism to convict men of sin. The WITNESSES, therefore, are slain by this weapon, for as a result men hold in contempt the Word of God and ridicule the testimony of the WITNESSES.

Revelation 11:8‑10:

8: And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

9: And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.

10: And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth

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