A Fallen Star Opens the Gates of Hades 

Chapter 15 of Corrupting the Image 3: A Fallen Star Opens the Gates of Hades 

We started the book discussing how some UFO researchers believe the advanced beings inside the UFOs exist behind a “thin psychic dimensional membrane.” And those who claim to have encountered the Draconians report the same thing. The Bible asserts that the portal to that other dimension will eventually be opened.  

In the previous chapter, we learned about the link between the ancient god of death and the coming Beast. Our linguistic study has now brought us to the astounding fact that there is a surviving artifact that depicts the god of death; it is an ancient carving of Nergal, whose epithet was GAG (the arrow) AND who was the god of death, BAD / BAT / GUG. We examined this in Corrupting the Image 2 in the context of Nimrod / Ninurta.  

Yet, we know that the Beast is called the one who will ascend out of the abyss (Rev 17:8). Nimrod merged with Satan to be the Beast who once lived, but died and descended to the abyss to operate as the god of death, Nergal, et al.; and he is waiting to be freed. Nimrod was the first king to rule a kingdom for Satan; it was the first of five world kingdoms that have fallen. As we watch the final decline of the remnants of the Roman (6th) kingdom, we see the emerging Beast (7th) kingdom. This seventh king will be a modern-day man who embraces Satan as he is cast from the heavenly realm; and who also embraces Nimrod, as he bursts forth from the underworld of death with its hoards. The resulting merger is an eighth and final king. “The beast that was, and is not, is himself an eighth king and yet is one of the seven, and is going to destruction” (Rev 17:11NET). Make no doubt about it, Jesus will not return until this merger manifests. Paul made it clear: 

“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition” (2 Thess 2:3). Therefore: 

Gog (GUG / GAG) must come before the Day of the Lord! 

We noted how Pabilsag / Nergal on the Kudurru stone is depicted having a bow and arrow (see Figure 28 above), in the same fashion as Sagittarius in the Greek tradition—also known as a “manticore.” Nergal, of course, is god of war and is an underworld god who is also equated with Ninurta and the rebel Nimrod. The Dictionary of Deities and Demons notes some of the epithets Ninurta possesses:  

“Ninurta who has qardu ‘fierce,’ ‘heroic’ and qarradu ‘warrior,’ ‘’hero’ among his standard epithets … Astronomers of the 8th-7th century added further connotations, identifying Ninurta (or Pabilsag) with Sagittarius or, alternatively, associating Ninurta with the planet Sirius (called Šukudu ‘arrow’), the major star of Canis major (Akk qatsu ‘bow’).222  

Figure 29. Trace of Nergal / Pabilsag from a 12th century entitlement (Kudurru) Stone. 

What emerges from our investigation is the image of the constellation Sagittarius, which is familiar to many of us as a horse-centaur that is armed with a bow and arrow. The centaur-like god, Sagittarius, turns out to be yet another version of Nimrod, whom the Bible revealed as the rebellious person who became a gibbor. The Mesopotamian version portrayed him as Lord of the Earth, the great mountain, the arrow, Sirius, the brightest star. Now we see his appearance as Pabilsag, and we learn he is also known as the chief ancestor and god of the netherworld, like Nergal. 

The ancient Mesopotamian versions reveal a composite being “with a number of features not seen in the Greek version, such as a set of wings, a scorpion’s tail and the head of a dog.”223 We know exactly how Nergal looked due to the recently discovered iconography (see Figure 29). Remarkably, the image appears to be the same creature who comes out of the abyss in Revelation 9.  

Composite Image of the Chimera in Revelation 9224 
9A (Rev 9:7–10) 1st Description 9B (Rev 9:17–19) 2nd Description 
The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle.  On their heads were crowns of something like gold,  and their faces were like the faces of men (Rev 9:7). They had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth (Rev 9:8). And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron,  and the sound of their wings (Rev 9:9)  They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months (Rev 9:10).  And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow;  and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions;  and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone (Rev 9:17).  the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths (Rev 9:18).  For their power is in their mouth and in their tails;  for their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm (Rev 9:19). 

Table 7. Composite Image of the Chimera in Revelation 9. 

The bow draws our attention to Revelation 6 and the rider of the white horse “who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer” (Rev 6:2). We also see in Ezekiel 39, God declared, I will knock the bow out of your left hand, and cause the arrows to fall out of your right hand” (Ezek 39:3). This coming warrior is the hero of old: Nimrod, Ninurta, Pabilsag, Nergal (and other epithets) who were known as a warrior and as an archer; and his principal epithets were the arrow and the star, Sirius. “This arrow (Sirius) is frequently depicted on Kassite kudurrus”225 which we saw in Corrupting the Image 2

The rider on the white horse226 will have a bow, which is representative of his intentions of war made possible by the power that Satan gives to him. He will also be given a crown, and Satan will give the Beast his throne—both of which are symbols of a king. He will go out “conquering and to conquer.” Satan will give him authority and an army will be given to him (Dan 8:12). We recall from Corrupting the Image 2 how Enlil gave Ninurta his power, throne and authority. The rider on the white horse is the same figure. This king will have unique features and will be mighty. He will destroy many and will fight against the saints (the holy people). Comparing Daniel’s descriptions in chapters seven and eight with the rider on the white horse gives us a strong match (see Table 7, below).  

Revelation 6’s White Rider Daniel’s Beast/Little Horn 
A bow for waging war,  Given a crown, kingship conferred He goes out conquering He makes warfare He is called a king He is mighty and conquers many 

Table 8. Comparison of Rev. 6’s White Rider to Daniel’s Beast/Little Horn. 

John’s description of the king of the abyss called, “Destruction” or Abaddon in Hebrew and Apollyon in Greek (Rev 9:11), is a perfect match to the underworld god, Nergal / Ninurta / son of Enlil, the son of perdition, GAG / GUG, the Beast who ascends from the abyss who brings war and destruction!  

Mars Spreads Plague 

With the number of syncretistic names for the Beast that we have seen so far, we probably should not be surprised to discover further astrological associations of BAD with the planet Mars, which is Nergal’s planet. 

According to Michiel de Vaan, in the Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages, the oldest recorded form of Mars is Mamart, and is not Latin but of foreign origin.227 We have learned already that there was Sumerian influence in the Italian peninsula in our discussion from Corrupting the Image, 2 of BAD being found in a grotto in Mesapia (and the word Haruspex – HAR being Sumerian for liver). Thus, discovering that the name of the Roman god, Mars (Martis, genitive), is from Mesopotamian origins is not surprising.  

Franz Wiggenner provides the etymology of “Nergal’s planet … Mars (salbatanu).” He notes how “according to astrological omens Mars spreads death when he rises or flares up.” He goes on to provide a tentative etymology that explains “this role of MUL tzal (sal) bat-a-nu as mushtabarru (ZAL) mutanu (BAD-a-nu) “(the planet) which spreads plague.”228 In other words, BAD, also spelled “BAT,” 229 which is synonymous with Nergal, the god of death.  

Wiggenner’s etymology of “the planet which spreads plague” is incredibly revealing when compared with Bible prophecy.  

“A great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water (Rev 8:10). The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter” (Rev 8:11).  

The Revelation text seems to describe this: John saw a star that was burning while falling from heaven on the rivers and springs. It is significant to understand the ancients considered planets to be wandering stars and “according to astrological omens, Mars spreads death when he rises or flares up.” John then says he saw: a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit” (Rev 9:1). The star he sees “fallen” is the same star that was falling previously. Clearly the reference here it is not to your average night star twinkling in the sky, because this star is given the key to the abyss.  

Open the Abyss—BOR 

This time in chapter 9, John is revealing to us that the “fallen star from heaven” will be given the key to the bottomless pit; and will proceed to open the abyss. Clearly, Satan aka the Beast is ready to gather all his forces together in order to fight the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 

“I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit …” (Rev 9:1–2). 

The abyss or Bor (in Hebrew) is the lowest place in Sheol, the place that Peter reveals is the prison that the angels in the days of Noah, who crossed the line, were thrown into what is referred to as Tartarus, and understood to be the lowest rung of Hades: 

“For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell [ταρταρόω, tartaroó] and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment” (2 Pet 2:4).  

This is also the very place where Satan is prophesied to be cast into for one thousand years. “Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol [ᾅδης, hadēs  שְׁא֛וֹל], to the lowest depths of the Pit [בֽוֹר bor]” (Isa 14:15). The rest of the fallen angels will likewise “be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit [בֽוֹר bor], and will be shut up in the prison …” (Isa 24:22).  

Sheol and the bor are closely related and are perhaps the same place. The “key” to the bottomless pit may be the very covenant the world made with Satan. In other words, the key to opening the abyss was getting the world to agree to the covenant with death and Sheol. Instead of submitting to the One who conquered death (Rev. 21:14), people will seek immortality by making their own deal with death and Sheol. These scornful men have the audacity to brag to God that they made a covenant with Death, and that they have an agreement with Sheol, so God cannot touch them (Lit. “When the overflowing scourge passes through, it will not come to us”) Isa 28:15. However, the Lord God says:  

”Your covenant with death will be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol will not stand; when the overcoming scourge passes through, then you will be trampled down by it” (Isa 28:18).  

Despite their belief that they are immortal and beyond God’s reach, God tells them that their contract with death won’t protect them, they’re not really immortal, and that they and Death itself will be cast into the Lake of Fire. Death and Sheol cannot offer immunity from the second death.  

Darkness 

“And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. The sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit” (Rev 9:2). 

Why will the sky become dark and why will the sun not give its light? The answer is simple: Because the smoke constantly billowing out of the abyss will be like the eruption of a subterranean volcano. When a volcano first erupts, the sun is still visible; but as time progresses more of the light of the sun is blotted out. In 2011, Eyjafjallajökull, an Icelandic volcano, erupted and the effects were felt around the world. Locally and in parts of Europe,230 the sky was dark with black soot. The sun, when viewed through the smoke, looked like it was covered with sackcloth and the moon became blood red. Scripture alludes to this phenomenon by showing that the darkness starts by effecting “thirds” of the planet, and then it goes to “full blast.”  

“And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night” (Rev 8:12). 

The sun is not giving the fullness of its light, because it has been blocked out by that strong ash; and it looks like it has been covered with sackcloth. The moon looks red due to the ash, which we are told specifically: “The sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit (Rev 9:2). That is the reason why the sun and the air will turn dark (not due to a lunar eclipse, as some theorize).  

Figure 30. Extent of ash fallout from the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano. 

This is parallel to what we see in Joel:  

“For the day of the LORD is coming, for it is at hand (Joel 2:1): A day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, like the morning clouds spread over the mountains (Joel 2:2). … the sun and moon grow dark, and the stars diminish their brightness” (Joel 2:10). 

There are many passages that talk about the darkening of the sun, moon and sky.  

  • For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine (Isa 13:9, 10). 
  • the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood (Rev 6:12). 

When the abyss opens, there will be a great deal of smoke and ash; and it will progressively get darker until there is a “thick darkness” on the planet. Humanity is told to fear God; to give him glory for the hour of his judgment has come, but they do not repent. Eventually, the world will be full of darkness: 

“Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds” (Rev 16:10–11). 

The Location of the Abyss, Gates of Hades  

The location of the gates of Hades was squarely in the land of Bashan, at the foot of Mt. Hermon. It was the place where the angels had descended; and also where Og, King of the Bashan and the Amorite king—the kings of the Rephaim—were headquartered. It was at this place that “Canaanite mythology … locates … the abode of its deified dead kings, the mlk(m)/rpu(m) that dwell(s) in ‘Štrt-hdr’y,”231 that is, Og and Sihon, kings of the Rephaim that dwell in Ashtaroth and Edrei. In other words, the underworld was known as a city

W. F. Albright identifies “the City” as the netherworld, and equally of interest, the Ugaritic ‘address’ for Mlk, ‘ttrt,’ is likely to be identified with the city, Ashtaroth in Bashan, just north of Ammon. 232  

W. F. Albright’s understanding of “the City” as the netherworld is based on the Old Babylonian “irigal.” Iri is like the Hebrew “ir” (city) and “gal” is “big.” It meant the underworld, and in Akkadian it was erşetu; qabru meaning “earth, land; underworld; grave.” Erşetu (ertzetu) was also shorthand for “daltu ereti: the door of the underworld.”233 Thus, the notion of the underworld having a gate, or a door is ancient and is found in the land of Shinar where Satan established his false religious system.  

There may have been multiple gates to the underworld, just as there are multiple gates into a city. Nevertheless, the cave of Pan was considered to be one of those locations, and Jesus made that clear to his disciples. In his paper, The Gates of Hades and the Keys of the Kingdom, Joel Marcus confirms that Hades was “believed to house not only the human dead but also the demonic agents of death and destruction.”234 He further notes: “‘gates of Hades’ seems to stand for the entire underworld city of the dead.”235 Thus, Jesus’ use of “Gates of Hades” is perfectly consistent with how the region of Bashan and Hermon itself have many underworld connections.  

Jesus is not merely speaking about gates, but all of the underworld references represented by the logogram BAD / BAT, such as Enlil, Ninurta, Og, MLK (Milcom / Molech), Nergal, etc. Jesus declared to the great bull god Batios, king of the snake-dragons, stationed in Bashan, that he and his forces will not prevail against God’s kingdom. Jesus’ statement was a declaration of outright war against the rulers of the realm of the dead.  

Marcus notes that:  

The image of Matthew is of rulers of the underworld bursting forward from the gates of their heavily guarded, walled city to attack God’s people on earth. When we speak of demonic powers flooding the earth, we are speaking the language of Jewish apocalypticists. Jewish apocalyptists believed that in the end-time, the powers of cosmic chaos—restrained since creation—would break forth from their restraint and bring unparalleled tribulation upon the world. Indeed, O. Betz has pointed out that there are remarkable parallels in the QL to the basic picture of Matt 16:18. In 1QH 3:17-18, e.g. the gates of Sheol open and the ungodly powers imprisoned in the underworld stream out to flood the earth. 

As A. Cooper renders this passage:  

“They open the gates of [Sheol for all] acts of wickedness; They close the doors of the pit behind the conceiver of mischief; The bars of eternity behind all spirits of wickedness. The gates of Sheol, after opening to release the demonic powers onto the earth, close behind them so that they could not return to the underworld even if they wished to; like wild animals shut up in a gladiatorial arena, they have no choice but to attack the human beings who share their confinement. Similarly, in 1QH 3:26-34 the ‘time of the wrath of Belial’ is described as one in which the gates of Sheol open and ‘arrows of the pit’ fly out.”236 

Jesus made the trek up toward Mt. Hermon and spoke to his disciples at Caesarea Philippi, making a direct reference to the “gates of Hell.” This is highly suggestive that Satan had something planned for that time. Jesus went up to the Gates to meet the challenge. The events that Satan had planned might line up with the ideas of the apocalyptists of the day who believed the attack included the Gates of Hades opening and Satan’s hordes flooding out. In the last days, the opening of the abyss may occur at none other than Caesarea Philippi at the base of Mt. Hermon. 

Release of the Demonic Army 

Why does Satan want to open the abyss? Because he will need to build up his forces before the Day of the Lord. Over the course of 3.5 years, the entire world is preparing “to make war against [Jesus] who sat on the horse and against His army” (Rev 19:19). Satan will need every principality and power available to wage war against his Creator.  

In Corrupting the Image 2, we learned that Satan, via his secret name BAD, was the one behind the angels descending on Mt. Hermon (also known as mount Bashan) in the days of Noah. At the base of that mountain was Caesarea Philippi, which was where Jesus took his disciples and proclaimed that the gates of Hades would not prevail against His kingdom. We determined that Satan had likely intended to open the portal at that time, and Jesus quashed his plans. 

Opening the abyss will tap into “the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient … in the days of Noah” (1 Pet 3:19–20). Scripture teaches us that they will be released for the final battle: 

  • the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode … reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; (Jude 1:6). 
  • For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell [ταρταρόω tartaru] and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; (2 Pet 2:4).  

The four specific angels who have been bound (lit. chained) at the Euphrates River will also be released. 

“‘Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.’ So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. Now the number of the army of the horses was two hundred million …” (Rev 9:14–16).  

This is the army spoken of by Daniel “because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn” (Dan 8:12). Herman Gunkel notes in Zum religionsgeschichtlichen Verständnis des Neuen Testaments that “The armies of the horsemen in v 16ff. are certainly ‘composite creatures.’”237 In other words, Gunkel believes that Revelation is speaking of hybridized monsters, as we have noted.  

The four angels that are released are initially “bound”—showing they are wicked principalities (kings) or generals who will serve in Satan’s army. Related to that, “the great river Euphrates, and its water [will be] dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared (Rev 16:12). These four angels who are bound at the Euphrates seem to be the kings of the east. Why the waters need to be dried up is not clear.  

The Day of the Lord 

What is the judgement of the great day? The battle of Armageddon, the Day of the Lord. 

  • The great day of the LORD is near; it is near and hastens quickly. The noise of the day of the LORD is bitter… (Zeph 1:14). 
  • For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand? (Rev 6:17). 
  • For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty (Rev 16:14). 

The Day of Judgment, referred to in both, texts is not where angels stand before God’s throne and receive their sentence. Rather, it refers to the judgment God will bring upon the world when He “will punish on high the host [army] of exalted ones …” (Isa 24:21). They will be judged when:  

The LORD will come with fire And with His chariots, like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire (Isa 66:15). For by fire and by His sword the LORD will judge all flesh; and the slain of the LORD shall be many (Isa 66:16). 

Thus far, we have seen how these demonic forces will be released from their dark prison BEFORE the return of the Lord. It is quite likely Satan could not find a way to get them out of jail earlier. However, in Corrupting the Image 2, we considered how Satan likely tried to open the abyss in Jesus’ time, but Jesus thwarted that plan. Satan’s next move will be using man’s covenant with death and Sheol as the key that gives him power to open the gates of the underworld and release its denizens in preparation for the “great day.” 

Tormenting the Non-Sealed 

“Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power [authority εξουσια exousia], as the scorpions of the earth have power [authority εξουσια exousia] (Rev 9:3). They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads (Rev 9:4). And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man (Rev 9:5). In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them (Rev 9:6). They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months (Rev 9:10). And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon (Rev 9:11).” 

These Nergal-creatures are granted authority to torment all humanity, except for a very select group who have been “sealed … on their foreheads … the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed” (Rev 7:3–4). Thus, no one else will be immune to the locusts’ attacks and torments.  

The word “torment” is the Greek βασανίζω basanizo, which comes from βάσανος basanos. According to BDAG, it means “‘touchstone, test’, then of procedures or ‘torment’ used to extract a confession.” It is also used for:  

Of the tortures in the netherworld (cp. Wsd 3:1; 4 Macc 13:15) and as synon. of ‘unquenchable fire’ 2 Cl 17:7b; ὑπάρχειν ἐν β. be in torment Lk 16:23. Descriptive of place in the nether world τόπος τῆς β. place of torment.238 

How significant that the Greek word “basanizo” for “torture” is associated with the netherworld. The word “Basan” in the Septuagint is the transliteration of Bashan (e.g. Num 21:32–33, etc.), which was the abode of the dead and an epithet for Satan, king of the netherworld. We might understand that the Nergal-creatures are coming to “Bashan-ize” the inhabitants of the earth, or to torment them to extract a confession.  

This raises the question of what confession does Satan, the king of the underworld, seek from mankind by torturing them? Based on the authority afforded him through the covenant with Death and Sheol, Satan may use these creatures to incentivize humanity to completely upgrade to god status. We will not know their purpose for sure until the sequence plays out in real time and these creatures emerge from the abyss. Nevertheless, they would serve as a powerful incentive to take the mark, or else face their stings for five months.  

The text tells us: 

“In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them” (Rev 9:5–6). 

Why is it that men will seek death, but will be denied death? A healthy person does not want to die. They want to keep living; they want to have a family, and they want to achieve their dreams and goals. When people are suffering intense emotional or physical pain, sometimes all they can think about is escaping, and death is the escape and end of the suffering.  

What will change in those days that people who want to die, cannot die? Simon & Garfunkel sang the song “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”: “You just slip out the back, Jack; Make a new plan, Stan; You don’t need to be coy, Roy; Just get yourself free; Hop on the bus, Gus, etc.” 

Certainly, if someone wanted to die badly enough, it seems like there must be at least fifty ways to leave your life—Jump off a bridge, jump in front of a car, use a gun. Sadly, people often nowadays successfully commit suicide. Again, how could it be that people looking for death cannot find it? Something radical must have happened. The answer is simple: they have overcome their mortality and attained some type of immortality. Based on the research in this book, we conclude that they have taken the mark of the Beast, and it has transformed them into “gods,” so they do not die. They have taken the mark of the Beast and have been transformed, and have achieved the transhumanist dream of immortality and divinity. However, once attained, they regret it. They will want to die; but then, it is too late.  

Mark Takers Become Zombies 

They may want to die once they realize they are not in control of their lives anymore and are being manipulated and enslaved; or, they may realize that there is no undoing the fatal step they have taken. Whatever it may be, though they have become gods, with superhuman strength, intelligence and immortality, they will see that the mixture of Satan’s seed with man’s has a critical failure. The two components do not adhere properly, as Daniel 2 says: 

“As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay” (Dan 2:43). 

This critical failure alters their body so that “ugly and painful sores appeared on the people who had the mark of the Beast and who worshiped his image” (Rev 16:2 NET). 

Figure 31. Necrotizing fasciitis. 

They will suffer from foul and loathsome sores. According to the NET Bible notes, they suffer from “ulcerated sores.”239 The Greek word, ἕλκος (helkos), is a “wound, or sore, an abscess, ulcer, a foul and vile sore”240 which reminds us of what happened during the 10 plagues of Egypt where there were “boils [שְׁחִין shechin] that break out in sores [אֲבַעְבֻּעֹ֖ת ababu’oth].” Gesenius defines ababu’oth as “pustules, boils, rising up in the skin, Ex. 9:9, 10; verbal from the root בּוּעַ…to boil up, to swell up.”241 The word shᵉchîyn is a boil or an inflamed spot242 which is closely related to ababu’oth and is translated as “ἕλκος (helkos)” in the Septuagint.  

These sores are ultimately a consequence of the marktakers’ disregard for God’s warnings and laws. God sent his messengers to warn people against taking the mark: “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark …” (Rev 14:9), “he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God …” (Rev 14:10). But just as Pharaoh defiantly went against God and refused to heed warning after warning, and suffered the consequences, so too the world will disregard God’s warning about the mark of the Beast. God finds no pleasure in the things that will happen to those who take the mark; these are simply the choices they will make.  

According to Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament, Helkos is “a noisome and grievous sore; bad and malignant sore. Helkos is an old word for a suppurated wound that is an ulcer or something that opens on your body.” Looking into modern medical descriptions helps us understand boils better:  

“Most boils are caused by staphylococcus aureus, a type of bacterium commonly found in the skin and inside the nose; a bump forms as pus collects under the skin. Boils sometimes develop at sites where the skin has been broken by a small injury, or an insect bite, which gives the bacteria easy entry. If your immune system is weakened for any reason, you are more susceptible to boils and carbuncles.”243 

Those people who take the mark (becoming hybrids), suffer from the wasting flesh condition because of the hybridized, demonic-human DNA they carry. When we consider that people will take Satan’s DNA—and he is the god of death—then what they suffer from may be: 

“…necrotizing fasciitis, decaying skin or … a flesh-eating bacteria, flesh-eating disease; a rapid progressing type of bacterial infection that destroys a skin fat and tissue that covers the muscle, in a short time span within 12 to 24 hours. Actually, the flesh is not eaten but the skin is dying as a result of the infection. The bacteria associated with the disease cuts off the blood supply; hence the tissue dies and goes through the process of decay, medically termed as necrosis.”244 

We may have a sense of what those people who take the Mark will look like based on reports of people who have taken the flesh-eating drug known as “krokodil.”  

Two sisters from Illinois have described how it feels to rot from the inside out, after using the flesh-eating drug krokodil, which emerged in Russia around 10 years ago. It is similar to heroin but is much cheaper as it is made from everyday household products, such as lighter fluid, gasoline, paint thinner and iodine. 

Figure 32. Necrotizing fasciitis after taking Krokodil https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/krokodil-users-describe-rotting-inside-out-blister-514387 

Speaking to ABC, Amber said she first noticed wounds on her skin: “It almost starts like a burn from a cigarette. It starts purple and then goes into a blister after five or six days.” Krokodil has been dubbed a zombie or cannibal drug because it eats users’ flesh from the inside out. The average user has a life expectancy of just three years.245 

Amber and her sister took the drug because they thought they would feel better. One person offered this reason for those who take it:  

“The people I have seen have not known what they were taking, but I believe some addicts will take it by choice despite the effects. There is an intense high and it’s cheap, if people are desperate enough, they will use it.”246 

This is probably the same reason people will take the mark. They will believe the only way to stave off the hostile alien invasion (also known as the return of Jesus) is to upgrade to become a god by taking the mark—worshiping the Beast and the image of the Beast and becoming fully integrated into the hive mind.  

However, in the end, taking the mark of the Beast appears to transform the person into a zombie. They will be a race of walking dead with a flesh-eating disease that decays their corpses. They desire death, but they cannot die. 

Figure 33. Zombie Apocalypse Image by Ahmadreza Heidaripoor from Pixabay. 

Not only will they be the walking dead; they will also have an insatiable appetite, like the demons and Nephilim before them. In Corrupting the Image 2, we studied how Satan and demons receive energy, much like in the movie, The Matrix, where people are actually the batteries powering the machines, except Satan’s hordes crave the blood of their victims.  

“They served their idols, which became a snare to them. They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons, and shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with blood” (Ps 106:36–38).  

Thus, with every human sacrifice, every abortion, every war and every murder, Satan and his kin are recharging their batteries. The more innocent the blood, the more energy is derived. This bloodletting could explain why people are beheaded in the tribulation as well, but we cannot be sure. The book of 1 Enoch confirms how the Nephilim drank blood: 

“the women conceiving brought forth giants, … it became impossible to feed them; when they turned themselves against men, in order to devour them; and began to injure birds, beasts, reptiles, and fishes, to eat their flesh one after another, and to drink their blood” (Enoch 7:10, 12, 14). 

Even in medieval times, the notion of giants (Nephilim) eating blood persisted; as you recall, the giant bellowed: “Fe Fi Fo Fum, I smell the blood of an Englishmen.” The rhyme appears in the 1596 pamphlet “Haue with You to Saffron-Walden” written by Thomas Nashe, who mentions that the rhyme was already old and its origins obscure.247 “Fa fe fi fo fum” is actually a coherent phrase of ancient Gaelic meaning, “Behold food, good to eat, sufficient for my hunger!”248 Historically, the places where demons gained a foothold and were worshipped, were also infamous for rites involving human blood.  

People becoming hybrids by taking the mark of the Beast become ravenous. They need energy to satiate themselves, and blood becomes the only food they find satisfying. Such a thirst for blood could be at least part of the reason why there is a judgment of the waters:  

“Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters saying: ‘You are righteous, O Lord, the One who is and who was and who is to be, because You have judged these things. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due’” (Rev 16:4–6).  

Taking the mark of the Beast is the future version of becoming a Nephilim. God judged it severely with the near-extinction-level Flood in the days of Noah and will do so again at his second coming.  

Gates of Hades

Chapter 19 of Corrupting the Image vol 2: Gates of Hades

Jesus, the true hero of light, continued His attack on the forces of darkness who had cast their shadow of death in Galilee, by taking the fight directly to them. Toward the latter end of His ministry, he took His disciples about thirty-five miles north of Capernaum to Caesarea Philippi, a two-day trek on foot. They went to the Cave of Pan (Banias),cxciii known as the Gates of Hades, at the base of Mount Hermon, depicted in Figure 62. It seems strange for a Jewish rabbi to take His students to a thoroughly pagan place of worship. Yet, Jesus was always intentional.  

When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it (Matt 16:13–18). 

Josephus describes the place:  

When Caesar had further bestowed upon him (Herod) another additional country, he built there also a temple of white marble, hard by the fountains of Jordan: the place is called Panium (Panias, Caesarea Philippi)

hat descends abruptly to a vast depth: it contains a mighty quantity of water, which is immovable; and when anybody lets down anything to measure the depth of the earth beneath the water, no length of cord is sufficient to reach it. Now the fountains of Jordan rise at the roots of this cavity outwardly; and, as some think, this is the utmost origin of Jordan.cxciv 

Figure 62 By Bill Rice from Flat Rock, MI, USA – Caesarea Philippi, CC BY 2.0, commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35423945. 

Before the Romans conquered the area, the Greeks under Alexander, had occupied and governed under the auspices of the Seleucid Empire. It was out of a two-hundred-year dynasty established by the Seleucids that Antiochus (IV) Epiphanes came. He of course, was the one who desecrated the Temple in Jerusalem with the abomination of desolation. This led to the Maccabee revolt and the rededication of the temple, now celebrated as Hanukkah. It was during this fusion of Greek and Near East cultures that Hellenized religious traditions were overlaid on the biblical region. In the area of Banias, they built sanctuaries to worship the god Pan:  

which included strange sexual acts with goats. The Greeks called this place Panias, and the cave was the main attraction for Hellenistic pagan worship. Animal sacrifices were thrown into the bottomless pool inside. If the sacrifices sank, the gods were appeased. Next to the Pan cave are five niches with indented scalloped areas cut into the face of the cliff for their idols. These niches had elaborate temples attached to worship Pan, Zeus, Nemesis, and a sanctuary to the cult of the “dancing goats.” Pan was the god of the goats and his pipe music would entice the goats to dance, and make their fertility assured (he is also linked to sex, lust, and bestiality). It was so wicked, a sin city like today’s Las Vegas, that rabbis forbade a good Jew to come here.cxcv (See Appendix 3, Inanna). 

The Greeks, however, were not the first people to be enamored of the location. We recall that it was squarely in the land of Bashan and at the foot of Mt. Hermon where Baal-Hermon was worshipped. It was the place where the angels descended and also where Og, King of the Bashan and of the Amorites and Rephaim was headquartered. It was at this place that “Canaanite mythology … locates … the abode of its deified dead kings, the mlk(m)/rpu(m) that dwell(s) in ‘Štrt-hdr’y”,cxcvi that is, Og and Sihon, kings of the Rephaim that dwell in Ashtaroth and Edrei.  

The ancient coastal town of Ugarit recorded the location as being ruled by Mlkm (Milcom). This god was also worshipped in ancient Israel and was also known as Molech, a god who demanded child sacrifice. Like many of the gods we have examined before, Milcom was considered a chthonic (underworld) god equated with Nergal, Melqart (king of the city of Tyre) (See Ezek 28).  

Akkadian god lists from the Old Babylonian period onwards include a deity named Malik equated with Nergal, and other Akkadian texts mention mal(i)ku beings with the Igigi and Anunnaki, all in connection with the cult of the dead ancestors. (We may also note a god Milkunni attested in Hurrian.) … the presence of a deity Mlk at Ugarit … (vocalized as Malik, Milku and Mulik in syllabic texts) … appears in two divine directories (actually, snake charms), as resident at ‘ttrt … the same location which is elsewhere assigned to the netherworld deity Rpu it is suggestive of some close relationship, as is the attestation of beings called mlkm in connection with the royal cult of the dead, along with the better-known rpum (OT -Rephaim), who appear to be the shades of dead royalty at Ugarit (or of all the dead in the OT; cr. Ps 88:11). Finally, we may note the similar divine names Melqart of Phoenicia and Milcom of Ammon. Melqart (literally, “King of the City”) may also have connections with the underworld (particularly if one follows W. F. Albright in understanding “the City” as the netherworld), and equally of interest that the Ugaritic ‘address’ for Mlk, ‘ttrt, is likely to be identified with the city Ashtaroth in Bashan, just north of Ammon. cxcvii (Emphasis mine). 

W. F. Albright’s understanding of “the City” as the netherworld is based on the Old Babylonian “irigal”. Iri is like the Hebrew “ir” (city) and “gal” is “big”. It meant the underworld and in Akkadian it was erşetu; qabru meaning “earth, land; underworld; grave”. Erşetu (ertzetu) was also shorthand for “daltu ereti: the door of the underworld.”cxcviii Thus, the notion of the underworld having a gate or a door, is ancient and is found in the land of Shinar where Satan established his false religious system.  

There may have been multiple gates to the underworld just as there are multiple gates into a city. Nevertheless, the cave of Pan was considered to be one of those locations and Jesus made that clear to his disciples. In his paper, “The Gates of Hades and the Keys of the Kingdom,” Joel Marcus confirms how Hades was “believed to house not only the human dead but also the demonic agents of death and destruction.” cxcix  

GATES RELEASE THE ARMY, NOT JUST DEFENSIVE 

Often, commentators view the Gates of Hades as defensive measures trying to protect Hades from attack. Yet, we have seen that Satan’s kingdom has been on the offensive. The gates should not be interpreted as a defensive barrier, but rather as the portal releasing the forces of darkness upon the world. The word κατισχυσουσιν (katischusousin) “prevail” is an offensive word, which according to BDAG means “to have the strength or capability to obtain an advantage, be dominant, prevail to have the capability to defeat, win a victory over.”cc Marcus notes the “insurmountable philological problem with the “defensive” interpretation of the gates…katischynein + genitive is always active in meaning (=”to vanquish”), never passive (=”to resist successfully”).”cci He rightfully concludes that “the gates, therefore, would seem to be attacking the church.” He supports his philological deduction with the “observation of another Matthean passage: 7:24-25” which also portrays a rock, “and here the rock is subjected to a pounding by inimical forces.” ccii 

This leads us to the question of how can gates attack? Marcus points out that “gates” can be a pars-pro-toto term for the “city itself”, and how “English translations occasionally render še’arim ‘town’ or ‘city’” and therefore “‘gates of Hades’ seems to stand for the entire underworld city of the dead.” cciii Thus, Jesus’ use of “Gates of Hades” is perfectly consistent with how the region of Bashan and Hermon itself have many underworld connections.  

Jesus is not merely speaking about gates, but he is speaking of the entire realm of the dead. He is speaking of all of the underworld references we have already considered, many represented by the logogram BAD / BAT, such as Enlil, Ninurta, Og, MLK (Milcom / Molech), Nergal, etc. He is declaring to the great bull god Batios, king of the snake-dragons, stationed in Bashan, that he and his forces will not prevail against God’s kingdom. Jesus’ statement was a declaration of outright war against the rulers of the realm of the dead. Because “Gates … can stand for rulers … Matt 16:18 may point to a military origin for this linkage, which was already present in the OT.”cciv 

THE UNDERWORLD BURSTING THROUGH THE GATES  

Jesus’ trip to the Gates of Hades and subsequent transfiguration, appear to be more a part of a strategy than just an object lesson for His disciples. With history as our guide, we know that God intervened against the Nephilim in the days of Noah and then again, against the gibborim at the Tower of Babel. God quashed Satan’s dangerous machinations to overrun the planet with his demonic host. In the first century, there was a strong sense of the apocalyptic. Marcus notes that:  

The image of Matthew is of rulers of the underworld bursting forward from the gates of their heavily guarded, walled city to attack God’s people on earth. When we speak of demonic powers flooding the earth, we are speaking the language of Jewish apocalyptic. Jewish apocalyptists believed that, in the end-time, the powers of cosmic chaos, restrained since creation, would break forth from their restraint and bring unparalleled tribulation upon the world. Indeed, O. Betz has pointed out that there are remarkable parallels in the QL to the basic picture of Matt 16:18. In 1QH 3:17-18, e.g. the gates of Sheol open and the ungodly powers imprisoned in the underworld stream out to flood the earth.  

As A. Cooper renders this passage:  

They open the gates of [Sheol for all] acts of wickedness; They close the doors of the pit behind the conceiver of mischief; The bars of eternity behind all spirits of wickedness. The gates of Sheol, after opening to release the demonic powers onto the earth, close behind them so that they could not return to the underworld even if they wished to; like wild animals shut up in a gladiatorial arena, they have no choice but to attack the human beings who share their confinement. Similarly, in 1QH 3:26-34 the “time of the wrath of Belial” is described as one in which the gates of Sheol open and “arrows of the pit” fly out.ccv 

As Messiah and God, Jesus would not have succumbed to the latest pop-conspiracies of His day. That means He did not go to Caesarea Philippi for a stunt or to make a name for himself. In fact, coming down from the transfiguration, He instructed the disciples to keep it secret. This is highly suggestive that Satan had something planned for that time. Jesus went up to the Gates to meet the challenge. The events that Satan had planned might line up with the ideas of the apocalyptists of the day who believed the attack included the Gates of Hades opening and Satan’s hordes flooding out. While we do not know definitively if Satan had planned to attack at that time, we do know that he had been preparing his forces since the days of Nimrod, whom we have learned was Ninurta, Nergal, etc., who was also known as the arrow, the star, and the Beast that was, is not, and ascends. Whether Satan geared up for a final battle during Jesus’ ministry, we do not know; but we do know that he is assembling an army for the end of days which may enter through portals, such as the Gates of Hades.