The Meaning of the Title Antipas
The Spirit says to the Star-Angel in Pergamos, "Thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, as in the days in which Antipas was my faithful witness, who was put to death with you where the Satan sojourns." The Star-Angel was still faithful, and had been so in former days of trial, characterized as days in which Antipas was put to death in Pergamos. Antipas is styled "my faithful witness." Hence the name is identical with him, or them, who held fast the name and denied not the faith of Christ, whether in Pergamos or elsewhere, in the midst of persecution. The name is typical of a class at that time related to "the things that are." The word Antipas signifies "against all;" and is doubtless introduced here as the apocalyptic designation of those who were the faithful in opposition to all pretenders to Christianity . Paul and all who adhered to his teaching were Antipas. They were against all Nikolaitans, Balaamites, children of Jezebel, false apostles, and spurious Jews, who, as Justin says, "are called Christians, but are atheists and impious heretics, because that in all things they teach what is blasphemous, ungodly, and unsound."
The Antipas Christians were obnoxious to the hatred both of the Diabolos and the Satan. The Satan were sometimes persecuted by the Diabolos; but the Antipas were persecuted by both. The Satan, however, who called themselves Christians, when hard pressed by the Pagan Diabolos, would, as Pliny relates in his letter to Trajan, deny the faith to save their worthless lives; but the Antipas were always "faithful unto the death." The Satan was contending with the Diabolos for supremacy in the Roman State, which brought them in collision and bloodshed; but the Antipas party were "contending earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints," that they might be approved of God, save their contemporaries, and transmit it uncorrupted to the next generation. The Antipas, or Christ's faithful witness, cared nothing about the riches, and honors, and power obtainable in the present evil world. His affections had loftier aspirations. Not so the Satan. They were ambitious of all these. They aspired to political ascendancy, and when they found themselves powerful enough, they appealed to the sword, and conquered. And when the Diabolos found that the cause of paganism was lost, the religion of the Satan, the catholic, became the religion of the State, under the old style of "the devil and the Satan." But Antipas still continued in affliction. The victory of the Satan professing christianity was of small advantage to Antipas. The faithful witness had to fly into the wilderness from the face of the New Power, which sought to sweep them from the earth. -- Rev. 12:6, 14-17.
But, it is said of Antipas, that he was put to death in the Satan's kingdom -- "Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death with you where the Satan sojourns" -- at Pergamos, the place of their throne. When the Satan removed from Pergamos to Rome and Constantinople, Antipas fled into the wilderness, and was protected there during 1260 years. But at the end of that period, the adversary made war upon the Antipas, and slew them; for being against all, in their testifying they incurred the wrath of the self-styled Christians who ruled and argued with the sword -- Rev. 11:1, 2, 7.
Antipas, however, though put to death, hath been resuscitated; and they now "stand upon their feet," and their enemies are afraid of them. The Satan of Pergamos is still prosperous in the enjoyment of the lusts of the flesh and the pride of life; with a dominion coextensive with Christendom. Their church is large, and embraces within its pale all sects, and parties, names and denominations, except Antipas; who is still, as in apostolic times, against all. Antipas, who holds fast the name and denies not the faith of Christ, has no fellowship for any of them; but protests against them all as the Satan. As he is against all, so all are against him. No "orthodox christian" of the Satan's synagogue will admit an Antipas into their pulpits, because he is not in what they term "holy orders;" -- he has not been ordained by the imposition of the hands of those "reverend divines," who say that they are "apostles;" the ambassadors of Jesus Christ, and successors of his apostles; "and are not, but are found to be liars." Antipas has no more respect for these than Jesus had for the "scribes, pharisees, and hypocrites;" or Paul for "the false apostles and ministers of the Satan," who perverted the gospel, and sought to exclude him on every side. The author of this exposition is an Antipas; and would rather stand alone, faithfully adherent to the name and faith of the Spirit, than redolent of the odors of sanctity burned to his honor by all the clergy and pietists of "Christendom."
-- Dr. John Thomas, Eureka, Vol. I, pages 286-288, Logos Edition, 1860 Published Feb. 11, 1861 My Faithful Witness Rev 2:13