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.
John’s vision reveals the angel of the bottomless pit as “Abaddon” or “Apollyon”. These titles share the same basic meaning … “Destroyer”.
There are many who believe this symbolic angel is speaking of Satan. Certainly, if this is the case, the title “Destroyer” fits him to a tee. After all, we are told that Satan is like a “a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1Pe 5:8 KJV) and Christ Himself described Satan as a “murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44). Certainly Satan is a great destroyer.
However, there is another One that could easily retain these titles. Believe it or not, there are several places in the Bible where our Lord and His work are described using these same Hebrew and Greek words for “Destroyer” (Pro 15:11, Jere 10:10-11, Dan 7:9-11, Matt 10:28, 22:7, Luke 17:27-29, 1 Cor 10:10, James 4:12, Jude 5). Please note that: In every one of these texts, the wrath of God against sin and sinful beings is being described.
Based upon the context of Rev 9:11 (God’s wrath being poured out during His second coming), I believe it is very possible that the titles “Abaddon” and “Apollyon” are, in actuality, referring to our Lord. Certainly our Lord will destroy the powers and effects of darkness of this world. Included in this would be Satan, other fallen angels (aka demons), rebellious lost mankind, and the results of sin (death, pain, sorrow, sicknesses etc). All of these will be done away by the Destroyer… our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
It is so easy to think of our Lord as a kind, loving, merciful Lord who would never consider harming or punishing anyone. After all He truly is the epitome of love… “God is love”. But it is also important for us to always remember that Christ is a holy and just God (Acts 3:14) who cannot allow sin to go unpunished, nor will He allow sin to stand in His presence throughout eternity (Matt 7:21-27).
For sin to be dealt with properly, and for justice to be done, He must be a Destroyer who will bring eternal punishment upon those who have rebelled against Him…
“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.” (2 Thess 1:7-10)
May we give praise to our Lord for being a holy and just God who will rid this world of sin, justly punish those who oppose Him and create for us a perfectly holy eternity with Him on the New Heavens and New Earth!
May we all think on these things today and find encouragement and comfort for our hearts!
For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation