In the ancient Greece, the 2,885 meters high Mount Olympus was the dwelling of the gods. Jupiter or Zeus was the sovereign of all gods of heaven, which according to the fable killed his own father, Saturn, and took his place. Mars, son of Jupiter and June, was the god of war. Mercury, his brother, was the messenger of the gods, and the god of eloquence. Volcano, also from the family of Jupiter, was the god of fire and of all metals. In Greece the god of wine and joy was called Dionysius, corresponding to Bacchus, in Rome. Nemesis was the goddess of vengeance. Pluto, Jupiter’s brother and Saturn’s son, was the god of hell, with his wife Proserpina.
Will Pluto be the god of hell? Let us look at what the Bible says about hell. We read in the letter to the Hebrews: “Since then the children have shared in flesh and blood, he also himself in the same way partook of the same, that through death he might bring to nothing him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might deliver all of them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Heb. 2:14-15). If the empire of death is of the devil, he is the king of hell, not Pluto. Devil, Satan, and Dragon are three names of the same character (Rev. 12:9). The very same Satan declares that he is the owner of all the kingdoms of this world, with powers to give to whomever he wishes (Luke 4:5-6).
Jesus declares that this world is the kingdom of Satan, in the following way: “Then one possessed by a demon, blind and mute, was brought to him and he healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. All the multitudes were amazed, and said, ‘Can this be the son of David?’ But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, ‘This man does not cast out demons, except by Beelzebul, the prince of the demons.’ Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?’” (Matt. 12:22-26).
Let us find where hell is, by the Bible, for the Bible is the Word of God, from Genesis through to Revelations, and the Word of God is the truth (John 17:17; 8:32). “while as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the beginning of the dust of the world. When he established the heavens, I was there; when he set a circle on the surface of the deep” (Prov. 8:26-27). “He laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be moved forever. You covered it with the deep as with a cloak. The waters stood above the mountains” (Ps. 104:5-6).
Paul reveals more about the abyss, saying: “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead.)” (Rom. 10:7). When Christ came down from heaven, he plunged into the deep, that is to say, the dwelling of the dead. This world is an immense spherical tomb. The apostle John reveals that the earth, that is to say, the abyss, is the prison of Satan: “I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. He seized the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole inhabited earth, and bound him for a thousand years” (Rev. 20:1-3). We conclude from this that the devil is not the king of this world, or king of the abyss, but he is condemned to the abyss together with men. The earth, or the abyss, is inhabited by demons, which are also imprisoned with Satan.
The prophet Isaiah made yet another darker revelation about the abyss, that is to say, the earth where we live: “How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, “I will ascend into heaven! I will exalt my throne above the stars of God! I will sit on the mountain of assembly, in the far north! I will ascend above the heights of the clouds! I will make myself like the Most High! Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the pit” (Is. 14:12-15).
Saint Peter says: “For if God didn’t spare angels when they sinned, but cast them down to Tartarus, and committed them to pits of darkness, to be reserved for judgment” (2 Pet. 2:4). As the earth where we live is the abyss, the dwelling of the dead, the prison of Satan, the hell where the fallen angels are, and also the place of eternal condemnation for the wicked, murderers, pederasts, rappers of poor innocent children, thieves, and the carnal and worldly Christians, etc. etc, it is not a place for the saints.
What perplexes me is that Christians, who should run from this dark world filled with demons, as the first Christians would do, are attached to the abyss. In the letter to the Hebrews we read: “Others were tried by mocking and scourging, yes, moreover by bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned. They were sawn apart. They were tempted. They were slain with the sword. They went around in sheep skins and in goat skins; being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts, mountains, caves, and the holes of the earth” (Heb. 11:36-38). There were other Christians that, after being resurrected, and refusing to return to this world, were tortured, for they chose to die in order to attain an eternal resurrection in Christ (Heb. 11:35). As we were saying, today Christians, differently from the ones of the Primitive Church, seek fervently the honors of this world, and its riches, and its glories. They come to the point of demanding the riches of Jehovah, for Jehovah is the god of the silver and gold (Hag. 2:8). And Jehovah declares that he gives wealth (Prov. 10:22). It looks like the Christians of our day want to make a pact with hell and settle in the abyss.
Another surprising aspect to us is to read in the psalms: “Arise, God, judge the earth, for you inherit all of the nations” (Ps. 82:8). “The earth is Jehovah’s, with its fullness; the world, and those who dwell therein” (Ps. 24:1). This world, though, is inhabited by fallen angels, by demons, by Satan, and also by men. Fantastic! It is surprising that Jehovah should have established his kingdom here on the earth, that is to say, in the abyss, rather, in hell. On mount Sinai, he spoke: “You shall be to me a kingdom of priests” (Ex. 19:6). And Moses declared: “Jehovah, which you have made for yourself to dwell in; the sanctuary, Lord, which your hands have established. Jehovah shall reign forever and ever” (Ex. 15:17-18). Jehovah moved from heaven to hell (Ezek. 31:15-18). And Jehovah destroys and kills his people with the fury of hell (Deut. 32:22-25).
There is an escape in Jesus Christ: “Giving thanks to the Father, who made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the Kingdom of the Son of his love” (Col. 1:12-13).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira