Jesus Christ’s next serious concern for His churches He has built by His precious shed blood, is found in His next statement,
Revelation 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
This is a powerful statement here. Notice, the Lord is pointing out another good deed He commends His church for.
This reveals two things here. Jesus Christ hates the deeds of sin, corruption, rebellion and abominable evil, NOT THE PERSON. This is not saying He hates the Nicolaitanes, but rather, he hates the DEEDS of the Nicolaitanes.
And the second thing this reveals, since He hates sin, corruption, rebellion and abominable evil, so should His church body as a whole as well. Just as Jesus Christ points out, “thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes”
This is really teaching us, if we are truly united to God through Jesus Christ, as members of Jesus Christ’s body, flesh and bone (John 15:1-10/Ephesians 5), then whatever God hates we hate also. And whatever God loves we love.
Not just in our own flesh, but also the deeds of others as well; instead of tolerating it. That’s what Jesus Christ commends His church for, in spite of their sin.
Who are the Nicolaitanes? Or better question than that, what is Nicolaitanism? And what were their works that the Lord Jesus Christ hates so much?
Apparently from a couple of historical documentations, Nicolaitanism was an agnostic, heretical teaching of self indulgence and lawlessness, apparently derived from Nicolas of Acts 6:5. According to Irenaeus, He wrotes about the Nicolaitanes of his day,
“Nicolaitanes are the followers of that Nicolas who was one of the seven first ordained to the diaconate by the apostles. They lead lives of unrestrained indulgence. The Character of these men is very plainly pointed out in the Apocalypse of John, as teaching that it is a matter of indifference to practice adultery, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.”excerpt taken from: Irenaeus’ book: ‘Against Heresies’ Book I; Chapter 26:3
According to Hippolytus, He concurs with what Irenaeus wrote about the Nicolaitanes of his day. He also adds a serious detail to our understanding today of what else the Nicolaitanes were doing that Jesus Christ hates so much:
“And when the disciples (of Nicolaus) continued to offer insults to the Holy Spirit, John reproved them in the Apocalypse as fornicators and eaters of things offered to Idols.”excerpt taken from: Hippolytus’ book: ‘Refutation of All Heresies’ Book 7; Chapter 24 sub-titled “The Melchisedecians; The Nicolaitans,”
So the open sins practiced and taught by the Nicolaitanes that Jesus Christ hates so much are:
- Eating foods sacrificed to Idols
- Rebellion against the Holy Spirit
Jesus Christ taught specifically against adultery in this manner found in Matthew 5:27-28, Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Jesus Christ specifically points out, the act of an “extramarital affair” isn’t just what God considers to be adultery, but any married man and woman who also looks at the opposite gender lustfully, has already committed adultery in their hearts.
Next, He didn’t stop with the preaching of sin, He also gave the remedy; the cure for adultery as you read on in Verses 29-30, And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body be cast into Hell.
And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body be cast into Hell.
Which is simply teaching repentance to the physical extreme if you have to. Spiritually speaking though: cut off the affair completely from you, turn to Jesus Christ and sin no more is also what He is teaching as well here.
Just as He did to the church of Ephesus. He addressed the sin by exposing it. Then gave the choice to repent from sin or not. Repentance is the cure from all sins. This is further evidence that Jesus Christ is speaking to the church of Ephesus in the Book of Revelation.
He also points out God’s further definition of adultery is in Matthew 5:31-32, It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
What Jesus Christ is specifically pointing out here, God’s definition of adultery isn’t just the acts of, and the lust of the eyes only. It is also divorcing a spouse for any reason, other than fornication. And anyone who marries that divorced spouse who was divorced for any reason or has committed adultery, committed adultery.
So apparently, the Nicolaitanes were not only practicing the opposite of what Jesus Christ taught here. They were also teaching others to sin this way as well.
Eating Foods Sacrificed To Idols
The next thing they were doing was eating foods sacrificed to idols. This may not mean much to us today, but this was a really big deal with pagan gentiles in the first century who became born-again Christians.
I’m only going to skim through this detail briefly. Butchers back then, would butcher an animal, and sacrifice some choice parts of that animal to idols. And then sell the rest. The Christian belief back then was, if parts of that animal were sacrificed to false gods, then the whole animal is corrupt and unclean to eat.
Nicolaitanes were apparently indulging themselves in this. Eating foods sacrificed to idols in itself, isn’t a Heaven or Hell issue. It’s not even a sin issue per say, as the Apostle Paul preached (1 Corinthians 8). But here’s where the problem is…It is simply a rebellious issue against what was decreed to all Christian churches in,
Acts 15:28-29 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
Rebellion Is The Issue; Rebellion Is The Sin
And Jesus Christ hates rebellion. In fact, God classifies rebellion as bad as the sin of witchcraft in 1 Samuel 15:23, For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
So therefore, this apostate teaching of Nicolaitanism is absolutely against Holy Biblical Doctrines in every way. Self-indulgence rebels against every teaching of the Holy Bible and of God and of His Holy Spirit. What does it say?
Luke 9:23 And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
2 Corinthians 6:17-18 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
And the Nicolaitan heresy still continues today in many different forms now from the original. There is so much out there, it can’t be all named here for time’s sake. But we will cover a few popular Nicolaitan movements of today.
And this really shouldn’t be a surprise, because first of all, as the Book of 1 & 2 Kings points out, sin progressively gets worse and more perverted over time.
The Holy Bible as a whole also teaches this basic principle, ‘As one generation indulges itself in certain sinful practices then the next generation will push the envelope further.’
So, in one form of Nicolaitanism today, is perverting grace as a license to continue to sin and rebel against Biblical Doctrines of Sanctification. And uses the excuse, “we are only human.” Jude warned Christians in his day and to us today this very problem in,
Jude:3-4 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saint
For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 3:1-8 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
And these kinds of doctrines and behaviors have crept into the church. The self-indulgent, rebellion against holiness and sanctification doctrines of the Holy Bible and teaching others to do so is Nicolaitanism today!
And it all boils down to Nicolaitanism is humanism! And humanism is the worship of sinful flesh and godless secular ideas; rejecting the cross and living in continued sin and rebellion as to say by action, that the cross is absolute nonsense while rejecting sound biblical doctrine and disregarding it as absolute truth.
And that is humanism! And humanism is the new world’s sinning church. And this spiritual infection is causing apostasy in the church age today!
Humanist “idea’s” and “popular opinions” of the day are rebellion against the church, God, and the Holy Bible, pure and simple. For rebellion is the root of it all.
People who are doing their own thing under a Christian label regardless of absolute truth, regardless of boundaries and standards God has already set in place, is not the way of God, it’s the way of Cain!
Nicolaitanism Promotes Sectarianism
It’s also causing division in Christianity. That’s the reason why we have denominations. Denominations are born from a backslidden condition away from the move of the Holy Ghost (from the day of Pentecost in the Book of Acts).
Denominations are born from church splits; factions of believers who do not go far enough in Holy Biblical convictions, doctrines and relationship with Jesus Christ and of the Holy Ghost.
Our divisions today are not Scriptural and is rebellious against the perfect will of God and against the Holy Spirit. What does God’s holy word say about divisions? It teaches that sectarianism is sin because it is rebellion against the unity of the body of Christ, The Holy Bible and of the Holy Ghost.
1 Corinthians 1:10-11 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
For it hath been declared unto me, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollo; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucifed for you? Or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
The answer to Paul’s serious question is No! Jesus Christ is not divided. in fact, factions and sectarianism is a direct violation of God’s perfect will. For it is wrought from pride, selfish ambitions, and sins of the flesh. And all of these are rebellion against God, the Holy Bible and of the Holy Spirit of God!
Galatians 5:16-21 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Sectarianism is also against Jesus Christ’s prayer. For He prayed to God His Father for His church to be unified (being in one mind in the mind of Christ and in one accord; according to the Holy doctrines of God in the Holy Bible and of His Holy Spirit) in the power and unity of God the Father, and of the Son and the Holy Spirit of God.
John 17:9-11;19-23 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given Me; for they are Thine. And all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I Am glorified in them.
And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be One, as We are.
And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word;
That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.
And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.
All this, is what Jesus Christ hates! Pride, arrogance, sin, division and rebellion! And that is what Nicolaitanism is and what it does. And Jesus Christ hates it, as He had stated, “that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate”
And anyone who is born of God, washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, baptized in Jesus Christs’ death, and born-again; regenerated by God Most Highs’ Holy Spirit; hates what God and Jesus Christ hates also. We cannot tolerate these sinful, rebellious matters. All Christians need strive to make our call and election sure!
Revelation 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;
Now notice that phrase, “hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;” Jesus Christ is not just referring to the church of Ephesus only, but to every church in all the church age from then to today with this same condition.
Now after Jesus Christ warned about the consequence of not repenting from this sin, He concludes with a blessing, when we deal with this sin, acknowledging it, confessing it, repent from it
To him that overcometh
Overcome: (means to) ‘Succeed in dealing with (a problem or difficulty).’ To conquer, to have mastery over that sin/difficulty.
will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.
This simply means, that God will not blot your name out His Book of Life, and you will keep your place in Paradise; IF you acknowledge this apostate condition in your life; repent and turn back to God with all your heart
Notice, the blessing is only promised to those who overcome this apostate condition. As he says, “To him that overcometh” This is why Jesus Christ conclude with this last statement, because you can lose your salvation if you refuse to overcome these apostate conditions:
- Lacking relationship with God
- Rebellion against God, His word and His Holy Spirit
Remember, Jesus Christ is ministering this as a correction. Because He doesn’t want any to perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). He has given time to repent. For John recorded this 96 AD. Today is the day of salvation.
If you are in this apostate condition, don’t put this off. For tomorrow or the next hour is not guaranteed. Because as Jesus Christ is warning here, the opposite of, “will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God” is splitting Hell wide open, and the Lake of Fire for all eternity, if those who are in this apostate condition does not repent and overcome.
Not one sin in your life will make it into eternity with God in His Kingdom, as it is promised, Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
This is why we have to make our call and election sure (2 Peter 1:5-10), being without spot (sin), wrinkle (blameless), or any such thing (2 Peter 3:14/Ephesians 5:24-32).
So how do you become pure and ready for the kingdom of God? By first acknowledging your sins. That’s the first step. Because we cannot change what we do not acknowledge. Therefore,
How Can You Be Saved?
You must acknowledge in your heart and confess out of your mouth:
- You are a sinner and need Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior
- Repent and confess your sins
- Jesus Christ is Lord
- Jesus Christ came into this world by the virgin birth in the flesh, conceived by the Holy Spirit
- Jesus Christ died on the cross for the remission of your sins
- Jesus Christ raised from the dead and ascended back into Heaven and sits at the right hand of God
Romans 10:8-13 The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.
For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Confess & Repent Repentance is acknowledging and confession of all your sins to God sincerely from the heart, while turning away from the life of sinning. It’s not feeling sorry and asking God for forgiveness. It’s a full surrendering of your heart, soul, mind and body to Jesus Christ, where ever you are right now. Don’t put it off, remember, life is not guaranteed the next hour.
Believe Believing is active faith. Faith is knowing without doubting, when you ask God to forgive your sins and cleanse you from all sins and unrighteousness, He will.
Call Calling upon the name of the Lord is crying out and asking Jesus Christ to save you. Ask the Father and His only begotten Son from this day forward, for forgiveness of all your sins. Ask them to come into your heart and be Lord of your life. Ask God to write your name in the Lambs Book of Life. And ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit
Luke 11:9-13 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; Seek, and ye shall find; Knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone?
Or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?
And that’s how you receive eternal life in Jesus Christ. What do we do after this? We read the Holy Bible, we pray, seeking God’s will, while having fellowship with God. And let Him lead you to a church of His choice.
We do these things to commune with God and to grow and mature spiritually in Jesus Christ, while being strengthened in these confusing days. You’ll be blessed when you do.
God bless you