Are You A Nicolaitane?

July 31, 2011


We have gotten to the place that there is no sin and nothing to be refrained from as we are under grace. To suggest that something may be sin or a person is a false prophet is to be labeled a legalist and unloving without grace. Nicolaitane doctrine is prevalent in the Church and should be not tolerated anymore than Phariseeism or Saducceeism. Even Baptists have some of these among them.

Nicolaitanes. Irenaeus (‘Haereses,’ i. 26, 3) and Tertullian (‘Praescriptione Haereticorum,’ 46) suppose followers of Nicolas, one of the seven (Acts 6:3,5), as there was a Judas among the twelve. They, Clemens Alexandrinus (‘Stromata,’ ii. 20; iii. 4) and Epiphanius (‘Haereses,’ 25), confound the later Gnostic Nicolaitanes, followers of one Nicolas, with those of Revelation. Michaelis’ view is: Nicolas (conqueror of the people) is the Greek of Balaam, from the Hebrew: Bil`am (OT:1109) `Am (OT:5971), Destroyer of the people. Revelation abounds in duplicate Hebrew and Greek names: Apollyon, Abaddon; Devil, Satan; Yea [Nai (NT:3483)], Amen. The name, like other names, Egypt, Babylon, Sodom, is symbolic. Compare Rev 2:14-15, which shows the true sense; not a sect, but professing Christians who, like Balsam, introduced a false freedom – i.e., licentiousness; a reaction from Judaism, the first danger to the Church, combated in the council of Jerusalem, which, while releasing Gentile converts from legal bondage, required their abstinence from idol meats, and concomitant “fornication;” also in the letter to Galatians. These Nicolaitanes, or followers of Balaam, as Christ designates them by a name expressing their true character, abused Paul’s doctrine of the grace of God into a plea for lasciviousness (2 Peter 2:15-16,19; Jude 4,11, who both describe such seducers as followers of Balaam). They persuaded many to escape obloquy, by yielding in what was a test of faithfulness, the eating of idol meats: going further, they joined in fornication of the idol feasts, as permitted by Christ’s ‘law of liberty.’ Thus the ‘love-feasts’ were made like pagan orgies (Jude 12).
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

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