There is a place called
the underworld. Its name is generally
referred to as Sheol or Hades. It is not a part of our tangible or temporal world,
but is a place of the spiritual world, usually called the world of the dead, or
the land of the dead.
Within Hades (the
underworld), there are four compartments or four realms. The first is Paradise. That is the place where all Old Testament
believers went when they died. It is also referred to as a prison or a place of
entrapment, in that believers had to wait for the Cross, and Christ to defeat
death, before they would actually be free from death. Immediately after the Cross, Jesus Christ led
‘captives,’ those Old Testament believers in a grand procession, out of
Paradise and into heaven. That is where
they are now and that leaves paradise completely empty and unused.
The Old Testament
believers are in heaven awaiting their resurrection, which will occur, at the
end of their dispensation, which is at the end of the Tribulation, immediately
after the Second Advent.
Anyone who wants to go to
Paradise, is saying that they want to go to a place
that has long since been abandoned. And,
it also demonstrates their lack of knowledge of truth and the facts of life. There are several religions that make a big
deal about going to Paradise, but then those religions are false beliefs and
Heaven and Paradise are
not the same place. The reference to the
Paradise of God in heaven, is not the same as Paradise
in the underworld. Just to add a little
more confusion to the pot.
The second compartment in
Hades, is Torments.
That is the place where all unbelievers throughout all of human history,
go, when they die. All unbelievers wait
there in Torments, until their resurrection at the end of history, at the end
of the Millennium, and will then face the Great White Throne, before
Christ. And there they will receive
their indictment for unbelief, and attempt at salvation based on their own
works. Their works will not match that of Christ, and therefore they will be condemned
to the Lake of Fire. Note, that sin is
not a part of their indictment, because Christ paid the price of sin
already. There is no double jeopardy, no
second trial for the same crime.
The third compartment in Hades, is Tartarus.
It was there, that the disobedient angels and their hybrid offspring,
will reside, who mated with human women in Genesis six, in their effort to
destroy the purity of the human race.
Tartarus is described as a place of vast pits of darkness. Those occupants will remain there until their
day of judgment, also at the end of the Millennium. The demons of our passage bear no resemblance
to those in Tartarus, who by their makeup, would be a
widely diverse group in appearance. It
was Peter (2 Pet. 2:4) who stated that they would be there pending their final
judgment. He made no mention of an early
release for any reason.
And that leaves us with
the fourth and last compartment in Hades, called the Abyss. This is where the worst of the worst of
fallen angels, are incarcerated. These
are the incorrigible, the unrepentant, the most evil
of the demon groups. And they have been
imprisoned in the Abyss since before humanity was created. And there they have been waiting for this
future moment in history.
There are two groups in
the Abyss. The first group is going to
be described in our passage covering the fifth trumpet, and the second group
will be described beginning in verse 14 with the sixth trumpet.
Up until now, all of the
events have been temporal and of things common to mankind, such as human
failure, volcano’s, hail and so forth.
But now, the judgments
will enter in to the realm of the spiritual.
Something that humanity has not ever seen since the ancient days of the
Old Testament, during and before Noah’s time.
Today, we can talk of
angels and demons and things of that nature, but we simply cannot see
them. We accept their existence through
Throughout history there
have been people who have prided themselves as being ‘bad,’ even to the point
of boasting about it.
But no one in history really
knows what bad, really bad evil, is. And
unfortunately people in the Tribulation, through their stubborn arrogance of
rejection of Christ, are going to learn just what ‘bad’ means.
This first group is going
to be a torment only group, and people will wish they were dead. And then the second group,
will actually fulfill that wish, and a third of all of humanity will die.
The angel, descended out
from heaven, sent by God, carrying the key to the bottomless pit, and unlocked
that pit and dark smoke, deathly smoke will come billowing out such that it will
darken the skies. This darkness will
last for five months. Seeing will become
difficult, and choking from the dirty air will become common place.
There is an actual smoke
and a symbolic smoke. Light is generally
used to describe truth, or reality with God. And darkness is the absence of truth, the
absence of God, as it were. And out of the
pit will come those who lack all connection with
truth. They are evil to the core.
Notice that the smoke is
not the evil but describes what is coming.
The people of the planet, have rejected God,
and by rejecting God and truth, they by default embrace darkness. So that is exactly what they are going to
And the very thing that
they want, will become the source of their most
miserable misery. No light with which to see, and no air with which to breathe. They will choke and go blind, on evil,
because that is all that it is good for.
That is a true principle
then and it is a true principle now. If
you do not pursue the learning of Bible doctrine, then you are in effect doing
exactly what those folks will be doing. And
remember one important thing, the Tribulation will arise out of an apostate
Church Age. That is our age.
Just as negative volition
toward God and doctrine will bring increased judgments in that future day, so
too, negative volition toward God and doctrine, will bring reduced blessings in
The great revival of humanity
will occur at the end of and throughout the Tribulation. And it will come at a great price.
Our dispensation will not
end in a great revival, but the contrary.
We will slide into the worst apostate phase in all of our era. And why is that? Because people today, do
not take God, Christ, and especially doctrine, seriously. And because we lack a serious attitude toward
our spiritual life now, then life in that future day, will
become really serious.
End of study