Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 9

Abaddon or Apollyon

Revelation 9:11

John gives the name of the ruler of the evil forces in two languages. He is called Abaddon or Apollyon. Both names mean the Ďdestroyerí; they seem to be names for Satan, the devil.

The word Apollyon does not appear elsewhere in the Bible, although similar words appear often. However, Abaddon appears several times, for example in Job 26:6 and Job 31:12. There, the meaning seems to be hell.

It is the devilís desire always to destroy, that is, to cause pain and trouble. You might expect the devil to show kindness to the people who serve him. However, that idea is not correct, because the devil is completely evil. In Revelation chapter 9, he leads his evil forces to attack cruelly the people who serve him (see verse 20). These people give honour to the devil, but the devil does nothing good for them. He only causes them to suffer.

Verse 11 refers back to verse 1. Once the devil was an angel (a special servant of God) in heaven. When he opposed God, he lost his place in heaven. God permitted him to have authority over evil spirits in hell. The devil uses that authority for evil purposes, for example to hurt people or to fight against God.

God does not do any evil thing. He never carries out any cruel act. However, he allows the devil to carry out his (Godís) judgements against people. In effect, people who serve the devil are allowing the devil to attack them. People who refuse to obey God are permitting the devil to destroy their lives. All Godís judgements are right and proper; all the devilís actions are cruel and wicked.

Next part: The final judgement is certain (Revelation 9:12)


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© 2016, Keith Simons.