Who Opens and Closes the Abyss?


In verse 1, John wrote he...

 “saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain.”

The angel here is not the “mighty angel” in 10:1, but, probably, a cardinal or bishop.  I say this, because John used the definite article with the noun “key,” referring to that “key” given to the “fallen star,” Martin Luther, in 9:1, “the key of the shaft of the abyss.”  The “key” symbolizes the authority to open or close the shaft of the abyss; and, since it was an apostate member of the clergy who opened the shaft, it is fitting a member of the clergy should close it again.

In verses 2-3, the angel seized the Dragon, Satan, and “bound him a thousand years,” i.e., bound him in such manner as would hold Satan for a “thousand years”; and, then, the angel...

“cast him out into the abyss, and locked it and sealed it after him, that he might not still deceive the nations until the thousand years could be ended.  After these things it is necessary he be loosed for a short time.”

Note that the duration of Satan's internment in the abyss is set before he is cast into the abyss, which simply connotes that God is omniscient.

The key symbolizes the Church's authority over the abyss, and the chain symbolizes her power to hold Satan and his demons.  The Church alone can bring peace and plenty and security to mankind.  If men are left to the authority and power of the Church, and do her teachings, then, they will make a society, a civilization that will approach as close to perfect as possible for the offspring of God.  If not, then not.  So, the first time Christ bound Satan; the next time His Church will chain him.