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Tartarus (II Peter 2:4)


According to the Living Webster Encyclopedia Dictionary of the English language, Tartarus is defined as the very lowest depths of Hades where rebellious Titans and other Heinous offenders were punished.

Mythology states that the Titans were a race of giants who predated the Olympian gods.  They waged a ten-year war with Zeus which they ultimately lost and after their defeat they were imprisoned in a cavern near Tartarus.

In the New Testament, three Greek words, each referring to a different place, are translated by the one English word “hell.”  This has led to considerable confusion in interpreting those passages where they occur.  The Greek words are Gehenna, haides, and tartaroo.  Transliterated into English these are Gehenna, Hades and Tartarus.

Gehenna refers to the final abode of the wicked dead.  In Revelation 20:14,15, it is called the lake of fire.  Where this word occurs it should be translated “hell” (Matthew 5:22, 29, 30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15, 33; Mark 9:43, 45, 47; Luke 12:5; James 3:6).

The temporary abode of the dead before the resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus is referred to as haides and consisted of two sectors.  The part reserved for the wicked dead is called Hades (Luke 16:23).  The part for the righteous dead is called Abraham’s bosom (Luke 16:22).  In Luke 23:43, haides is translated “paradise” (Acts 2:27, 31, Hades).  In Philippians 1:23 and II Corinthians 5:8, Hades refers to the temporary abode of the wicked dead from those events until the Great White Throne Judgement.  The righteous dead go at once to be with the Lord since the resurrection.

The word “haides” comes from the Greek stem id which means “to see.”  By adding the alpha prefix it means “not to see” and the noun means “the unseen.”

In the noun form it refers to the unseen world made up of all moral intelligences not possessing a physical body.  This would include the holy angels, the wicked dead in hades, the righteous dead in heaven, the fallen angels in Tartarus, and the demons in the atmosphere of the earth and in the bottomless pit.

The context determines whether haides should be translated or transliterated.  When the reference is to departed human beings and their place in the unseen world, it is usually transliterated as “hades” (Matthew 11:23; Luke 10:15; 16:23; Acts 2:27, 31; Revelation 6:8; 20:13, 14).  When the reference is to the unseen world as a whole, the word is translated, e.g., “the gates (councils) of the unseen . . .” (that is the councils of Satan in the unseen world) shall not prevail against the church (Matthew 16:18).  “I have the keys of the unseen and of death. . . . ” (Revelation 1:18) indicates absolute control of the unseen world by the Lord Jesus Christ.  This includes hades, Tartarus and the entire kingdom of Satan.

In II Peter 2:4, “cast down to hell” (tartarousas) refers to some of the fallen angels who were sent to their temporary prison house, Tartarus, to await the Great White Throne Judgement.  These angels were evidently the ones who sinned at the time of the flood (Genesis 6:1-4; I Peter 3:19, 20; Jude 6).

Demons fear this place exceedingly and tremble, saying it is dark, filled with black flames, that the inhabitants are bound by chains, cannot communicate with each other, and that it is a horrible place to go, filled with misery.

A threat to send stubbornly resisting demons to Tartarus as punish ment for their resistance has often caused them to capitulate more easily.  To send one there as an object lesson has also proven helpful in dealing with other demons in the same person.  Evil spirits are punished severely by Satan for failing to hold their ground and this explains their desperate resistance to expulsion.

Annihilating the Hosts of Hell – Book 2 by Win Worley © 1981

The Satanic Cosmos - WorleyThe following is an excerpt from “The Satanic Cosmos-Satan’s Kingdom Exposed, Booklet #18″ by Pastor Win Worley. Copyright © 1983 by Win Worley, Revised 1993. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including storage and retrieval system, without securing permission in writing from the publisher, WRW Publications, PO BOX 9309, Highland, IN 46322.


If you’d like to obtain your own copy of not only this, but other materials authored by Win Worley, please contact WRW Publications at www.wrwpublications.com

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