Revelation 2:24

to you . . . and to the rest
You is plural (ὑμῖν [hymin] ). The question then becomes if you refers to the members of the Thyatiran church (and not just the angel), then who are the rest? The MT and NU do not have the conjunction “and” (καὶ [kai] ), and read to you, the rest. The TR kai could possibly be translated by “even,” that is to you . . . even the rest. In either case, it appears that you and the rest denote the same group of individuals: the members of the church at Thyatira beside the angel. Christ’s words which have been primarily addressed to the angel (Rev. Rev. 2:18+, see commentary on Revelation 1:20), are now explicitly broadened to the entire fellowship. depths of Satan

Two explanations of ‘the deep things of Satan’ are widely held: (1) that the phrase is an ironical retort to the claims of Jezebel’s followers to esoteric knowledge of ‘the deep things of God’; (2) that the opposition actually boasted of a knowledge of ‘the deep things of Satan’, saying that the spiritual man should experience all evil to demonstrate his superiority over it.1

He ventures into Satan’s strongholds to demonstrate the powerlessness of the enemy over him, or else to learn the real nature of sin in this firsthand way.2

Some may have felt that they could attend trade guild festivities honoring patron gods or acknowledge Caesar as god if called to, since close association with idolatry would enable a Christian to “know the deep things of Satan” (Rev. Rev. 2:24+) and his inner council. Such knowledge purportedly would allow Christians to know the satanic opponents’ deceptive methods so well that they could all the better defeat Satan in the future.3

A trademark of all mystery religious and secret societies is the teaching that true knowledge lies below the surface, only attainable by the initiate. By mysterious activities, they purport to know “the deep things of God” (1Cor. 1Cor. 2:10). These “deep mysteries” stand in stark contrast to the simple gospel of Jesus Christ which is hidden from those who purport to be wise , but revealed to babes (Ps. Ps. 8:2; Mtt. Mat. 11:25; Luke Luke 10:21; 2Cor. 2Cor. 11:3).

The Magians from Babylon continually spoke of their “deep things,” their “inner knowledge,” just as the Theosophists, Christian Scientists, Spiritualists, and “Unity” devotees do today (simply ancient Gnosticism revived!). The Lord sees through all the enemy’s delusions and “mysteries”; they are not “deep” to Him. . . . It is no sign of spirituality to be familiar with Satanic psychic or demonic “depths.”4

They taught, as we know, that it was a small thing for a man to despise pleasure and to show himself superior to it, while at the same time he fled from it. The true, the glorious victory was, to remain superior to it even while tasting it to the full; to give the body to all the lusts of the flesh, and yet with all this to maintain the spirit in a region of its own, uninjured by them; and thus, as it were, to fight against pleasure with the arms of pleasure itself; to mock and defy Satan even in his own kingdom and domain.5

The fatal error of such cultish systems is overconfidence in the ability of man and a woeful underestimate of the appetite of the flesh and the schemes of the devil. Weaving webs of sophistry, the resulting philosophy often exchanges truth for error:

The veneration of the serpent was but the logical development of a theory, the germ of which is common to many of the Gnostic sects. Proceeding on the assumption that the creator of the world is to be regarded as an evil power, a thing in hostility to the supreme God, it follows as a natural consequence that the fall of man through disobedience to the command of his maker must be regarded, not as a transgression against the will of the supreme God, but as an emancipation from the authority of an evil being. The serpent, therefore, who tempted mankind to sin, is no longer their destroyer but their benefactor. He is the symbol of intellect, by whose means the first human pair were raised to the knowledge of the existence of higher beings than their creator. This conception, consistently carried out, would have resulted in a direct inversion of the whole teaching of Scripture; in calling evil good and good evil; in converting Satan into God and God into Satan.6

Scripture makes plain we are not called to focus on the darkness, but to focus on the light (Php. Php. 4:8). Paul warned the Colossians against such worldly philosophy which stands opposed to the simplicity which is in Christ:

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. (Col. Col. 2:8-10) [emphasis added]

The pattern of those who purport to plumb the depths of Satan is one of bondage, not liberty. “Promising liberty to others, being themselves servants of corruption.”7

Notes

1 Colin J. Hemer, The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia in Their Local Setting (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989), 122.

2 Robert L. Thomas, Revelation 1-7 (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1992), 228.

3 Gregory K. Beale, The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1999), 32.

4 William R. Newell, Revelation: Chapter by Chapter (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1994,c1935), 59.

5 Richard Chenevix Trench, Commentary on the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1861), 145.

6 M. R. Vincent, Vincent’s Word Studies (Escondido, CA: Ephesians Four Group, 2002), Rev. 2:24.

7 Trench, Commentary on the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia, 145.

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