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And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.
And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit, Revelation 9:1,2.
I am a literal interpreter. That does not mean that I take all the inspired writings to he absolutely literal. I am very aware that certain parts of God’s Word are inspired poetically, figuratively and symbolically, but unless it yields ridiculous results, I am always more inclined to accept a literal interpretation over a figurative or symbolic explanation.
In verse one there are some points that can be made literally concerning the symbols, things, places and events described. First of all, the star is identified by the personal pronoun "him” as a masculine spiritual being that comes from Heaven.
Secondly, this masculine spiritual being comes to a physical place: the planet Earth. Now, putting these two factors together, we have a being sent from Heaven to the physical earth. That means he is standing on the surface of what you see in figure 3, on top of these massive tectonic plates that float on top of an underground ocean of liquid rock.
Thirdly, this heavenly visitor has been given a key which represents the authority to unlock something. He has been sent to unlock the earth itself. The earth is the bottomless pit. There are hundreds of geometric figures that have bottoms, but the earth is an oblate spheroid, and as such, it has no bottom. If it were possible to dig through the earth you could never reach bottom for you would simply come out on the opposite side from which you started; the earth has no bottom.
Fourthly, I call your attention to the Koine Greek words translated “bottomless pit,” those being phreatos tes abussou, or literally, SHAFT OF THE ABYSS. This is a perfect scientific description of these great geological faults shown in figure 9. They are a great interconnecting shaft system that extends down through the crust into the abyss. It is this locked system that the heavenly being is sent to unlock. He unlocks the locked plate structure with the power of God symbolized by the key.
Fifthly, please note that the interior of the bottomless pit is likened to a “great furnace.” Virtually all-scientific texts of today use this term to describe the interior of the earth.
And, lastly, please notice the results of the unlocking of the tectonic plates in verse two—a great smoke that rises up to darken the sun and the atmosphere. This is precisely what would occur if these huge tectonic plates were unlocked.
Volcanic smoke would pour upward into the earth’s atmosphere along all areas indicated by the dashed lines shown in figure 3. This smoke would most assuredly darken the sun on a worldwide basis as it collected and advected around the earth under a great temperature inversion just above the tropopause.