Abaddon's calling and mission
May 05, 2014
In Joel 2:11 the army of locusts is said to be God’s army. In Revelation 9:11, however, we read,
11 They have a king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.
Will the real king please stand up?
The apparent contradiction is resolved when we understand that God is sovereign, and that He is the One who raises up the “locusts” to judge people. In doing so, God Himself releases “the angel of the abyss” to do the work of divine judgment. It is no different from God raising up King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to judge Jerusalem (Jeremiah 27:6). God hires agents to do His work, whether those agents are men or angels.
Hence, in Revelation 9, God raised up “the angel of the abyss” to inspire Islam to bring judgment upon the corrupted church. The chain of command preserves the sovereignty of God, while establishing parameters for all lawful judgment. As in every case, the law prescribes limits on divine judgment, first by the forty lashes in Deuteronomy 25:3) and secondly by the law of Jubilee.
So who is this Angel of the Abyss? John identifies him by his Hebrew name, Abaddon, and its Greek equivalent, Apollyon. In Proverbs 15:10, 11 we read,
10 Stern discipline is for him who forsakes the way; he who hates reproof will die. 11 Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord, how much more the hearts of men.
Abaddon is thus another word for Sheol, “the grave.” In Job 28:22 Abaddon is linked to death. Its root word, abad, is a three-letter verb that means “to perish.” Abaddon is a noun that means “destruction, ruin.” As a proper name it means “one who destroys.”
Looking at abad more closely, however, we see a more literal meaning emerge. The letters are alef, beth, and dalet. The alef literally means “an ox,” and has to do with strength or being first. The beth literally means “house or household.” The dalet means “door or opening.”
The word picture created by these letters shows someone who has departed or wandered from the strength (security) of the house. Hence, Strong’s Concordance gives the meaning of abad as “to wander away; i.e., lose oneself, by impl. To perish.” And so in 1 Samuel 9:3 we find Kish sending his son Saul to find the donkeys that had wandered away and were “lost” (abad). Likewise, Deuteronomy 22:1-3 uses abad and abedah in speaking of lost sheep and how we are to care for them until the owner can be located.
Ezekiel 34:4 chides the shepherds who refused to follow the law of lost sheep. Instead of caring for the sheep, they claimed them for themselves.
We see from Ezekiel 34 that the lost sheep of the house of Israel, who “wandered through all the mountains” (Ezekiel 34:6), became a prey for all the beasts of the field. The shepherds (pastors) refused to care for them until their Owner arrived to claim them. And so Ezekiel 34:11 says,
11 For thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.”
Thus we see Jesus Himself coming as the Great Shepherd to search for the lost sheep of the house of Israel. In Matthew 10:6 He sent His disciples on their first mission trip “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Of course, after Pentecost, the mission broadened to include “all the nations” (Matthew 28:19) in “the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The interpretation of this is seen in the example of the apostles themselves, who taught in all nations and did not discriminate between ethnicities.
The Greek equivalent of abaddon is apollyon, and the word translated “lost” in Matthew 10:6 is apollumi. While this word can mean to destroy and kill, it is here translated “lost.” The house of Israel as a national entity was destroyed, but the sheep were merely lost as they wandered among the nations. It is clear that sheep which are lost are not dead, nor are they beyond the reach of the Good Shepherd who is searching for them.
In fact, even if they die, there is a way to recover God’s sheep. It is called resurrection. Many Christians have been told that “destruction” (abad) means destruction for all time. Nothing could be farther from the truth. They are only lost temporarily.
Abaddon, then, is not merely “one who destroys,” but more accurately, “one who loses” in the sense that he causes sheep-people to be lost. That is his calling and mission. And so, when the house of Israel remained in rebellion against the law, breaking their covenant vow, God called up Abaddon from the abyss and empowered him to inspire the king of Assyria to destroy the nation and scatter the sheep.
This gave virtually everyone the opportunity to care for God’s lost sheep until He came to reclaim them. Shepherds, especially, who were specifically called to care for sheep, ought to have done all they could to identify the sheep by their Owner. However, Ezekiel prophesies in Ezekiel 34:3-5 that they ate the sheep and clothed themselves with their wool, but refused to care for them.
He says in Ezekeil 34:3, “you slaughter the fat sheep without feeding the flock.” In other words, if they find any sheep that have been well fed by the Word of God, they slaughter them. At the same time they refuse to feed the flock with the Word. They cause a famine of hearing the word. Paul says in Romans 8:36,
36 Just as it is written [in Psalm 44:22], “For Thy sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
Throughout Israel’s history, the religious leaders killed the prophets. It continued in Paul’s day with the persecution of the Christians by the religious leaders in Jerusalem. Later it was the Roman government that slaughtered the sheep. Still later it was the Roman Church (“little horn”) that slaughtered the well-fed sheep, while refusing to teach the Word that alone could feed the flock of God. As time passed, churches became mere sacramental centers, rather than teaching centers, and the Word was nearly lost during the Dark Ages.
These were the conditions during the time that the Angel of the Abyss was empowered to bring judgment upon the lost tribes of Israel and all who were associated with them.
Then in 1986-1987 we reached the 120th Jubilee from Adam, and things began to change. For my part, God began to reveal the nature of Abaddon/Apollyon, and in 1988 we began to engage him in spiritual warfare. I learned that insofar as territory was concerned, Abaddon was the Prince of Persia (Daniel 10:13). In other words, at that point in history, Abaddon was ruling through the king of Persia, because Persia then held the dominion mandate, having taken it from Babylon a few years earlier. (Daniel 10:1 dates this “in the third year of Cyrus king of Persia.)
We now stand at the other end of history, where the dominion mandate is at last to be given to the saints of the Most High. The kings of the east are coming again to overthrow Babylon. But this time, these kings are no longer under the dominion of Abaddon, whose time is ending. Abaddon’s time, I believe, will end on October 16, 2014, which is the eighth day of Tabernacles this year. Abaddon’s time to rule was 2,520 years (“seven times”). It is now ending, as I have explained in earlier articles.
This is the essential difference between Cyrus and Darius in ancient times and the present “kings of the east” prophesied in Revelation 16:12. The Abaddon factor will be removed. This change will allow “Cyrus” to be more than just the second beast nation that was to arise, according to Daniel’s prophecies. Removing Abaddon’s empowerment will turn the modern earthly Cyrus into a messianic agent to prepare the Kingdom for the one true Messiah and His Body.
Today’s China and Russia may not look anything like Cyrus and Darius, but God has raised them up to overthrow the Babylonian system and to set His people free. These nations are still functioning in the final days of Abaddon’s dominion over them, but the day is soon coming when there will be a great spiritual change in the heavens, as the decree goes forth from the Divine Court, saying, “It is enough! It is done! The saints of the Most High are now given the dominion mandate on account of their faithfulness to Me in the midst of persecution.”
The key to the abyss will be taken from the Angel of the Abyss and given to another angel (Revelation 20:1). Though he is not named in this verse, we may discern that this great angel is the angelic counterpart of Abaddon. Each of these dark “princes” have counterparts—or, as I like to call them, “natural enemies.”
The Red Dragon’s counterpart is Michael, the Angel of Resurrection. The Red Dragon swallows up the people; Michael disgorges the people from the grave.
Abaddon’s counterpart is Peniel, the Angel of Tabernacles, who gathers the people to God, rather than scattering them. His main function is to transform the living saints in the blink of an eye at the appointed time. Because Abaddon is also the Prince of Persia, Peniel is the angel who led the fight against him in Daniel 10:20. He was able to get a message to Daniel after Michael came to help him (Daniel 10:21).
There are many others, of course, and they all work together for a common goal.
All things happen in the spiritual world before happening in the earth. We have engaged in spiritual warfare for a long time, adding our voice to the prayers of countless saints from the past. These martyrs asked “How long, O Lord?” (Revelation 6:10) and received no answer to their question. But we are the generation that stands at the other end of history. It is our place to know the answer to their question, so that we may do the work that we are called to do in this final generation.
Dr. Stephen Jones