12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, ‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: 13 “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. 16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”’
Yesterday we discussed the doctrine of Balaam and the destruction that holding to a doctrine contrary to the doctrine of God will bring. Today, we will discuss the Nicolaitans. Who were they? What did they teach? What was their malfunction?
First let us breakdown the name Nicolaitans, it is composed of two parts, Nico-, which means "victory" or "to conquer" in Greek, and laos which means people, or more specifically, the laity; hence, the word may be taken to mean "lay conquerors" or "conquerors of the lay people." You see the Nicolaitans very aggressively taught that there were two distinct divisions in the church. The clergy and the lay people. They divided the church and thus were not of God. They were also very corrupt in their behavior. Early church writings have descriptions of them that range from unrestrained indulgence, to idol worshipers, to those who indulge in selfish desires like goats. The bottom line is they lived unrestrained lives. Please note that in verse 15 this is the second time Jesus uses the term "hate" when describing the practices and sin of the Nicolaitans.
In 2013 how would you describe an unrestrained life. We discussed yesterday the doctrine of Balaam, who basically couldn't curse God's people so he corrupted them. He corrupted them with the following, The Marriage of The Church and The World. Basically, the church and the world mend into one. The old testament result in this was 24,000 dead. Go back and read what happened in Numbers 21-31, yes it is ten chapters but you can do this.
I ask two basic questions: 1) what does an unrestrained life in 2013 look like? What does it look like when the church and the world are married? 2) What does a doctrine of division as the Niclaitans taught look like in 2013? How does division exist in the church? How does it get started? How does it end? Yes, I know that was more than two questions? I will expect the people of The Way to be able to discuss this on Wednesday night so do your homework. You have time, the bottom line, it is either important to you or not? I choose the first. It is important, so do it. Be prepared. Be happy. in fact be Happy happy Happy. Tomorrow we discuss what happens if we do not take corrective action.