Psa 69:14  Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.

Psa 69:15  Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.


First of all my understanding is that “the pit” is the basic description of the fact that there is a shaft like cavity that descends into the earth, just like the word “pit” is used to describe a hole or cavity going deep into the ground, or the shaft of some excavation leading into the earth. This shaft like cavity descends into the earth and right into the heart of the earth. In connection with this, it is described as “the bottomless pit,” having no visible of detectable bottom, nor designated or specified depth. Instead it is simply designated as being exceedingly deep descending into the earth without a fathomable bottom. Being “the pit” that it is, as it descends into the heart of the earth it leads to various places, parts, (and/or as I often refer to them as) compartments that exist in the heart of the earth.

Psa 63:9  But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth.

Eph 4:9  (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?


The expression “lower parts of the earth” indicates to me that there are a plurality of literal “parts” or compartments  to descend into the earth and this is further substantiated to me by the fact that there are separate and distinct designations for theses separate places or “parts” in the heart of the earth.


Luk 16:19  There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

Luk 16:20  And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

Luk 16:21  And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

Luk 16:22  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

Luk 16:23  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

Luk 16:24  And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

Luk 16:25  But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

Luk 16:26  And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.


Hence the two particular compartments of “hell” referred to by the Lord in Luke 16 are literal compartments, possessing the features which the Lord describes. I also understand, (as I think I presented in The Battle on The Cross series) that there is an actual main opening or “mouth” to “the pit,” and that it is located under the Red Sea. In addition it is also my understanding that all of the compartments in the heart of the earth to which “the pit” leads, are compartments of confinement. All of them are designed to confine and hold on to occupants. Hence the various references, both general and specific, to “bars,” “prison,” “gates,” “keys,” “chains,” etc., in connection with the pit and its compartments.

Job 17:16  They shall go down to the bars of the pit, when our rest together is in the dust.

Mat 16:18  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Rev 1:18  I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

2Pe 2:4  For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;


With respect to these “bars,” “gates,” “keys,” “chains,” and the like that belong to these compartments in the heart of the earth, it is also my understanding that they are literal. Now in saying this, this does not necessarily have to mean that they are constructed of the same physical materials we ourselves use to construct “bars,” “gates,” keys,” “chains,” and the like, here on earth. But neither does it deny that they very well could be the situation. All I am saying is that I am given to understand by these specific words that these very things exist; i.e. that they are as real and effective in their function in the heart of the earth as I think of them to be here on the earth. And also that they effectually produce the confinement that they are designed to produce for the occupants that are subject to them in the various compartments in the heart of the earth. Now I readily admit that I do not fully understand all of the mechanics pertaining to the issue of how either angelic beings, or the souls of men, can be restrained, or confined, in these literal places in the heart of the earth. So I cannot describe in exacting detail just how the mechanics of confinement work, etc. But I know from what the verses say that it is real; that it takes place.


1Co 15:46  Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

1Co 15:47  The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

1Co 15:48  As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.

1Co 15:49  And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

1Co 15:50  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

1Co 15:51  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

1Co 15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.


(Howbeit I do know, for example, from the reality of my own makeup that a physical, material entity can both contain and retain a spiritual, immaterial entity. For this is just what my physical body is doing right now to my own soul and spirit. My soul and spirit is not free, so to speak, to leave my body until death occurs. Not only that, but in view of what Paul teaches us about the changes that will take place at our rapture/resurrection, our present bodies are “natural” bodies and not “spiritual” ones. Hence our present bodies specifically respond to our souls and not our spirits. Therefore it is even possible for a material entity like our physical bodies to affect an immaterial entity (like our soul) different from how it affects another immaterial entity (like our spirit). However again, I cannot say that I know the precise details of how this is so. Nonetheless the words God uses to describe it testify to me that it is so). Therefore I know that angelic beings and the souls of men can be confined, restrained, imprisoned, and the like, and that it can occur in physical, material places, and even by physical, material means.


1Co 15:53  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

1Co 15:54  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

1Co 15:55  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

1Co 15:56  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

1Co 15:57  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


With respect to what happens to unsaved people upon their death: they experience “the sting” of death as their soul/spirit descends into hell, into the very same compartment of it where the rich Pharisee of Luke 16 is, and where they begin to experience the pain of the judicial judgment for their sins, as the debt and penalty of it (the payment for which the Lord Jesus Christ made for them and could have been applied to them had they believed “the gospel of Christ”) begins to be exacted upon them.

Regarding “the keys of hell and of death,” my understanding is that these are literal keys that lock and unlock the “gates of death” (which are probably at the opening of the pit) and the compartment of “hell” itself located down the descent of the pit and in the heart of the earth. My understanding is that these are not the only keys associated with the pit and the “lower parts of the earth,” but they are the ones which pertain to man and to the compartments of the pit with which men have to do.


Jud 1:6  And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

Jud 1:7  Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.


For example, there is undoubtedly a key that pertains to the compartment of hell which is the “prison” of the angels that sinned in Noah’s day, as referred to by Peter and Jude. Satan as “the prince of the world” and as the one who had “the power of death” before the battle on the cross etc., would not have possessed the key to this “prison” of those angels. Just like he himself does not possess the key to the particular compartment of the pit that will be the place of his own incarceration for the 1000 years described in Revelations 20.

Rev 20:1  And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

Rev 20:2  And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

Rev 20:3  And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.


That particular compartment is also a compartment of hell, but according to Isaiah 14 he will be brought down to “the sides of the pit” when he is confined there. Since the word “sides” is often used to refer to the lowest recesses or farther recesses of some large place like a cave, ship, etc., this particular compartment is probably the one at the furthest recess of the pit (this gives everyone in the pit the ability to “narrowly look upon” him). Hence the emphasis upon “the bottomless pit” in Revelation 20 in describing the time of Satan’s incarceration. So there are more keys to the pit and its compartments than “the keys of hell and of death.” But these particular ones are the keys that specifically concern man, which Satan held until the battle on the cross.


Isa 14:9  Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.

Isa 14:10  All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us?

Isa 14:11  Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.

Isa 14:12  How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

Isa 14:13  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

Isa 14:14  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

Isa 14:15  Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Isa 14:16  They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;

Isa 14:17  That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?

Isa 14:18  All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house.

Isa 14:19  But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet.


Keith Blades

Enjoy The Bible Ministries

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