disclaimer: At times it may sound as if I am anti-pastor. This is not so, I am a teacher-pastor.
We love the overseers whom God has graciously put in our lives.
The truth is for exposing the harlot system and her institutions, and not at any individual.
"But this thou hast, that thou hatest the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate
the sword of my mouth.
VERY few Christians recognize the Nicolaitane error and fewer "hate" that which they do not understand.
Not only are the Nicolaitanes singled out in that passage, but upon examination we can find them
throughout the scriptures!
Revelation 2: (To the church at Ephesus)
6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate;
15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.
16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
Here is the truth:
What He detests happens to be the most common form of church government .
"Nicolaitane" is from two Greek words "Nike" and Laos", and means:
The word "nike" means "to conquer"…to dominate/ intimidate/ manipulate.
The word "laos" means "the people", the laity.
Therefore hidden within the word itself is the answer.
By definition the deeds and teaching are of those who conquer, dominate, manipulate, and "lord it" over the people.
Today they are known as "Reverend", "Bishop", "Pastor", "Apostle", etc., (note the Capitalized Titles) because they are part of an institutional church system God never created.
The difficulty in identifying the Nicolaitane error is because the labels have changed,
thus the illusion that something is not what it is.
Most of us who were part of that system had no clue as we followed the church culture.
Why does Jesus "HATE" their deeds and doctrines?
Simply put, when men take authority by means of a Title, hierling, or Bible College Degree, they often take the place of God, through the process known as "having respect of persons", in which a mans titled position elevates him as a "lord over God's heritage".
This has become modern idolatry in the New Testament. (see Two Ways to Answer God's Call )
Clergy over the laity virtually guarantees the majority of God's people never mature into faith as Christians and walk in the steps of Jesus or do what His disciples did in the book of Acts.
People follow their "leadership", rather than Jesus Christ, as men make "disciples after themselves" as Paul warned in Acts 20: 30
-In other words, the local church is conformed to the man with the title, who usually gets his position from his denomination or group.
The church or ministry is then conformed to that mans image, which is an incomplete image of Christ.
Denominational, factious, competitive Christianity has given the church a hierarchial, professionalized, titled,
church governmental system foreign to scripture, i.e., "the error of the Nicolaitanes". For example:
- There is no senior pastor, pope, cardinal, Arch Bishop, General Superintendent, priest, or denominational structure in scripture
- There is no scripture giving any pastor-priest sole rulership, headship, or authority over God's people.
- There are no formal titles or labels attached to any New Testament disciples including the obvious ones like the apostles.
- There are no church boards, assistant pastors, co-pastor, associate pastors, or senior officials.
- There are no presidents, superintendents, youth pastors ; there are no capitalized Apostles, Prophets, Bishops, Pastors, deacons, Elders. Anyone wearing a formal title is well on the way to becoming a Nicolaitane.
- The word "pastor" is used only once in the New Testament, and not even one Titled pastor is named!
but how hard it is for the people to use it with a leader.
Jesus said He hates the Nicolaitane error and the Nicolaitane error usually prevents leaders from being held accountable for either sin or error.
Overcoming the Nicolaitane error and deeds
In Revelation 2, this is for the people of God who have "eyes" and "ears" to overcome.
To him that overcometh, to him will I give of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and upon the stone a new name written, which no one knoweth but he that receiveth it.
-that mysterious verse is understood by those that DO overcome and are taught of the Lord Himself, which is the Spirit-revealed truth of the Word.
As opposed to those that only learn to repeat what they hear in church from the doctrines of men, especially the teaching (doctrines) of the Nicolaitans .
Several strong admonitions are given in scripture in regard to what Jesus said was the relationship among the brethren and what correct church government is: (we have a series on this www.preparehisway.com)
Here is what Peter said in 1Peter 5:
1 The elders (plural) among you (the church) I exhort, who am a fellow-elder, and a witness of the
sufferings of Christ, who am also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
2 Tend (feed) the flock of God which is among you, exercising the oversight, not of constraint (force) ,
but willingly, according to the will of God; nor yet for filthy lucre (not for reward) ,but of a ready mind;
3 neither as lording it over the charge allotted to you, but making yourselves ensamples to the flock.
In this passage, note the elders (plural) are among us, Peter includes himself as an elder, and there is no specific mention of "pastors".
Why not? Because God gave elders to have oversight and "tend" the flock. The "elders" were to do so not from duty, obligation, or money.
- "neither as lording..."?
"neither": "as in not even, no, not once".
Lording is "to control, subjugate: - exercise dominion over (lordship), be lord over, overcome"
But this is exactly what the Nicolaitane error does and Peter said not even once was the flock to be carnally subjugated, controlled, or have someone exercise dominion over the flock. When the Christian sees the truth of scripture, he will need to realign his thinking in terms of what the New Testament ministry truly is, not from what we have seen all around us.
1Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ;
(not a pastor, Bishop, apostle, or Senior Church official)
The ministry is given to serve, edify, and stewardship the faith.
They are to comfort, correct, and contend for the faith. The faith they are to condend for is THE faith of scripture, not the fragmented, conflicting, sectarian confusion of faith found in the church world.
The ministry is not to become the head of every man and woman. There is no "spiritual covering" as such, in scripture.
Friends, Jesus gave, taught, and lived THE FAITH to His disciples, who in turn gave the same gospel and the same faith to the churches they established.
The Bible record bears no resemblance whatsoever to the practices and structure of the modern church and one-man ministries around us.
No pews, pulpits, choirs, worship leaders, assistant pastors, co-pastors, boards, orchestrated services, voted-in or hired pastors, etc... see what the Nicolaitanes have wrought: "NOT in Scripture?"
1 Cor 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, *governments, diversities of tongues.
Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
*governments"?, The word "governments" means: "pilotage, directorship, steerage".
Do we need to correct ourselves here?
Should we put the hired flock tenders, tithe collectors, hierarchial leaderership, titled clergy, robed or Gucci suited, camera focused, accent lighted, big screen, weekly orators back on their platforms so we can devour their words, visions, and fund their programs?
Let's look at the verse again and run for the shelter of scripture.
1Corinthians 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, *governments, diversities of tongues.
1. NOTICE the order "God hath set in the church... governments ",
if the pastor is the primary governmental "director, pilot, and steerage" of the body, then he is way, way
down on the list behind the prophets, teachers, miracle workers, and healers.
2. Where in the verse does it say the word "pastor" in terms of "governments"?
3. IF pastors are the head of local church governments, where is that in the verse?
4. If pastors are "governments", then why are the helps, healings, miracles,
AHEAD of the directorage-pilotage-steerage?
5. If pastors are "governments" then why are teachers, prophets, and apostles ahead of the directorage-
6. If pastors are "governments" should they not do what Jesus said "them that believe" would do in Mark 16?
17 And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
20 And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed. Amen.
In Matthew 10, Jesus said:
7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons: freely ye received, freely give.
I have been to far too many Christian funerals for those who died young and were never healed according to the Word. And that freely give part? ..... well, you can figure out what free means without me.
The pastors of scripture were the "no-name" laborers of their day, "among the people", serving, supporting, and sharing their substance with the believers as the apostle Paul was "careful to do" and as he told the bishops of Ephesus to do likewise in Acts 20:35.
The same went for the prophets, apostles, teachers, and evangelists, who all served Christ without expectation of fame or fortune. They were the elders, overseers, deacons, teachers, and ministers of the faith who did so without a smidgen of self-promotion or lording any carnal authority over the people God gave them to serve. (Except the wolves like Diotrephes in 3rd John)
These actions were NORMAL for the Christians and pastors of scripture, but they are rare today.
Many pastors compare themselves to Moses who led the people of God to the "Promised Land".
The idea there must be a solo leader-centered administration of a church body over the folks in the pew is 100% Nicolaitane.
As the Nicolaitanes John wrote about in 90 a.d, . imposed their error and deeds upon the church, the pastor-priest became the preeminent personage; i.e., the directorage-pilotage-steerage.
It was never meant to be.
Who gave the pastor-priest preeminence over the rest of the five-fold ministry and the false hierarchial system of "accountability"?
It was the Nicolaitanes.
And as many of us finally realize, this is the most common form of church government around us. .
Before the end of the kingdom of ancient Israel, (the last days of Israel), the Lord was manifested in flesh and called His people to come out of the harlot, the apostate church of His day which was ruled by the Nicolaitanes. History now repeats, the same pattern is being played out in the last days of the church.
How do you "overcome" the Nicolaitanes?
For most, it means walking out the "church" doors, going home, and asking God Himself to take their error and deeds out of your hearts. It means leaving the deceiving comfort and false assurance of a fallen church system you cannot find in God's Word.
The Lord said "come out of her MY people..."