Antipas is the "faithful martyr" of Pergamos, one of the seven churches of the Apocalypse. Antipas was the bishop of Pergamos during the reign of Emperor Domitian in 83. His name means "against all" which could represent that he was standing alone for the faith against the forces of evil, but more precisely and in keeping with apocalyptic prophecy, his name has come to represent "those against the pope" during the Reformation period. These seven churches of Asia are the main groups of Christendom through the church age and each beginning at different times through history. The martyred Saint Antipas is celebrated on April 11th by the Orthodox Churches especially, but the western churches as well, around the world.

According to orthodox tradition St. Antipas was consecrated bishop of Pergamos by the Apostle John. I find nothing of his life but the fate of Antipas is recorded by Simeon Metaphrastes. The residents of Pergamos were worshipping demons who had appeared to them and the demons told them that they could not live there nor accept their sacrifices because the power of Antipas was casting them out. Antipas was captured by the idolaters of Pergamos and delivered to their conservative governor who tried to convince Antipas that the older things are more honorable than the new. For this reason, the religion of the Greeks was more honorable than Christianity since it was older and grew better with the passing of time. On the other hand, the faith of the Christians is not to be honored since it started later and was accepted by fewer people. Antipas countered the argument by using the example of Cain and Abel. Even though Cain was older than his brother Abel, Abel was accepted by God and Cain was not. Cain, by killing his brother is hated and despised by all men who have lived thereafter, even though he was older, therefore the Greeks' impiety is hateful to the Christians who came later, even though it is older. When the governor and the Greeks heard this they burnt with anger and the aged Antipas, after refusing to pinch some incense in the red hot copper bull-shaped altar of Caesar, was thrown into the same brazen altar alive and roasted. While he was there, the saint fervently prayed to God, glorifying His great power and thanked Him for being worthy to suffer for His love.

The spirit of the conservative traditions of men is what made Antipas a martyr and of what Antipas represents in the historical sense of the Reformation. Pergamos represents the church of Rome dating from the time they instituted the Nicolaitan system of separation of the priests and laity and throughout their history with giving heed to seducing spirits and the doctrines of demons. Antipas represents the opposition to the excesses of Rome and the tradition of men which led to the Protestant Reformation.
[309, Revelation]

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