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Depths of Satan
Magazine Article

The Depths of Satan

Are you majoring in evil, or are you doing the Lord’s work? Are you a force for righteousness, or merely a person with a nose for dirt and evil? Will yours be a life misspent in studying evil, or a life spent in knowing and applying God’s Word?

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In the letters to the seven churches in Revelation, our Lord sharply condemned those in Thyatira who felt that to be a Christian, it was necessary to know “the depths of Satan” (Rev. 2:24), or the deep things of Satan. It is very important for us to know what He meant by this.

Many church members felt that it was their duty to study and document endlessly all the activities of Satan and of evil men. They became experts on evil, on conspiracies, on corruption, and on every movement against God and His Son. Christ had ordered His followers to “teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matt. 28:19–20). The task of the believer is to teach and to rebuild as God in Christ converts him and others through him.

Tragically, too many church members, like those condemned by our Lord at Thyatira, neglect their calling in order to study and document evil. In the early church, such people soon withdrew from church into the Gnostic movement, a pretended Christian, but actually radically humanistic, movement. These Gnostics held that, in order to protect themselves against Satan and his hosts, it was important to know the names of the demons. As a result, they memorized the names, or supposed names, of many demons as a means of protection. They also investigated various kinds of sins to arm themselves with knowledge against them. According to Dr. Robert M. Grant, in a study on Gnosticism, some Gnostics argued “that ‘perfect knowledge’ was simply to do ‘everything’ without fear.”  Thus they became practitioners of the evil they were supposedly against.

I submit that we have a similar problem today. Many misguided people spend time and money studying evil, documenting conspiracies, endlessly probing “the depths of Satan.”  They cease to become useful members of society: they are simply experts on evil. They often believe more in the power of evil than in the power of God.

In Thyatira, our Lord tells us that such people ended up as followers of “that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess” and who was seducing the people from Christ and the law (Rev. 2:20). Christ’s promise to all such people was and is judgment and death (Rev. 2:22–23). 

Now, what about you? Are you majoring in evil, or are you doing the Lord’s work? Are you a force for righteousness, or merely a person with a nose for dirt and evil? Will yours be a life misspent in studying evil, or a life spent in knowing and applying God’s Word, so that when you die, men and women will arise to call you blessed, and Christ will say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant … enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matt. 25:21).