Deeds and Doctrine of the Nicolaitans

The Lord Jesus spoke of His hatred of the deeds and doctrine of the “nicolaitans” (Revelation 2:6, Revelation 2:15). These “nicolaitans” were an ungodly group who sought to infiltrate the churches of Ephesus and Pergamos. They represent a prevailing problem for all true Gospel assemblies throughout the last days. The only thing within the text to show us who they were is the meaning of the word it-self. “Nicolaitan” is a compound Greek word – “nikao” means ―to conquer,‖ and “laos” means ―the people.‖ We get our word ―laity‖ from the latter. They were more than likely leaders in the church who sought to rule over people with clerical (clergical) authority that went beyond the Scriptures. They sought to conquer and rule the people, gain a following for themselves, rather than acting as Christ’s under-shepherds to lead people to Christ and guide them by God’s Word. Men by nature love to follow other men (cf. 1st Corinthians 1:10-13), and certain men love to have it so (3rd John 9-11). But this is not the way of Christ. John the Baptist said it best – “HE [Christ] must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Consider how the Apostle Paul sought to correct this when the people promoted it – “Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” (1st Corinthians 10:13). Christ is the Lord and Saviour of His church. No minister, not even a true minister, can eclipse Christ or His Word as our life and authority. Consider how the Apostle John sought to correct this when a man promoted himself – “Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God” (3rd John 11). Brethren, the Gospel of God’s grace in Christ is a unifying message for God’s people, and whenever men seek to divide, or people divide over men, this is the doctrine and deeds of the “nicolaitans” that our Lord hates (cf. Proverbs 6:16-19).

W. Parker

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