DEEDS AND THE DOCTRINES OF THE NICOLAITANES
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f it is your first time reading the book of revelation, it is likely that you will pause in the second chapter of the book when you encounter the word “Nicolaitanes” and ponder over it…
So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate (Revelation2:15).
Since the word is mentioned only in the book of revelation without an in-depth explanation, there are many theological suggestions concerning what the Nicolaitanes represent, their deeds and their doctrine. One tradition suggested that the Nicolaitanes were a heretical sect in the early church founded by Nicolas, supposing to be one of the seven deacons in the Jerusalem Assembly (Act6:3-5). Some early scholars claimed that Nicolas deviated from the truth in his latter days and established a heretical Christian cult, but there is no concrete evidence that the Nicolas of Samaria who held the philosophies of Simon Magus was the same Deacon mentioned in the book of Acts.
WHO ARE THE NICOLAITANES
t is my opinion that Nicolaitanes is more of a system than a heretical sect. After intensive in depth research from the writings of the “church fathers” and many other great books of church history including many bible commentaries and dictionaries; I have come to agree with the opinion that the word “Nicolaitanes” is a combination of two Greek words “Nikao” which means to capture, conquer, overcome or enslave, and “Laos” which the word “laity” is derived from, which means “lay people rather than clergy”. Both words combined means “conquerors of congregation”, “captivators of souls” or “slave masters”. In the early church, the Nicolaitanes represented the money conscious preachers “pastors and bishops” who despised God’s principle of leadership and established their own leadership pattern; instead of them to remain humble servants of the Lord among other Christians, they exalted themselves and became lords and masters, dominating and using young believers to achieve their selfish desires.
THE DEEDS OF THE NICOLAITANES
here are deeds and doctrine of the Nicolaitanes. The Church of Ephesus was commended by the Lord for disliking the practices of the Nicolaitanes, which the Lord also hates….
But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate (Revelation2:6).
The deeds of the Nicolaitanes stands for wrong principles in ministry: For the purpose of monetary gain, some people in the early church deviated from the apostolic traditions and established their own kind of church structure different from the spiritual pattern that Jesus Christ revealed.
DRAWING OF DISCIPLES AFTER ONE’S SELF
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them (Act20:28-30).
aul the apostle gave a prophetic warning to the Christian elders in the city of Ephesus concerning the rising of the Nicolaitanes. The early apostles of Jesus Christ were not preaching the gospel to be famous or to win recognition of man, and they were not recruiting followers for themselves; instead, the apostles were directing people to Christ; all their effort was to make disciples for Jesus Christ. Apostles were bringing sinners back into a direct fellowship with God so that the believers would not depend on them. To make Jesus Christ known, the apostles and elders were down to earth type men; they extremely humbled themselves, making themselves unpopular always to enable people to fix their eyes on Jesus Christ. Also in the early church, believers were taught to celebrate Jesus Christ alone; people were not allowed to celebrate preachers as Christians do today. Christians talk about the greatness of their preachers more than they preach Christ. It was an abomination to praise a preacher instead of God who gives men the grace and the gifts to perform miracles (Act14:8-14).The Christians in the early church knew that it is only Jesus Christ who can save, there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved (Act4:12).
The Nicolaitanes preachers were working contrary to the apostolic mindset, they were proud; presenting themselves to the congregation instead of Christ, and that shifted the minds of the Christians from looking unto Jesus Christ to becoming dependent upon the pastors as the ultimate oracles. Some think that Nicolaitanism pertains to things of the past, however; Nicolaitanes system continues to live up till today, most pastors and bishop’s today have absorbed the mediatorial seat in the church. Nowadays people go to church to watch a pastors’ performance on stage instead of Christians to become like Christ, the majority are conforming to the exact image of their pastors, bishops and so forth. The reasons why some Christians behave more like their pastors instead of Jesus Christ is because the majority of the present day pastors present themselves to the congregation instead of Christ. The structural church pastors are seen by the believers as the local almighty, a “demi-god” , some of them represent the eyes, ears and mouths of the assembly; it is the pastors alone who hear from God on behalf of the entire church and tell the people what God is saying. I have witnessed in a church where the pastor alone dominated all of the fivefold ministerial offices; he is the only one who travels as an apostle to preach in different churches and in different nations, and he is not reaching the unreached people groups of where he goes. When he travels, half of his congregation will not attend the so-called church service until he returns to resume his place as a teacher. This pastor (also being the ultimate prophet) will give his congregation a “new year prophecy” at the end of the year, while none of his church members can take the initiative to hold crusades to convert sinners and make them disciples for Christ. The pastor alone is the only one “called to do that”, he has the power alone to organize and preach on crusade grounds, run television, internet and radio ministries. All that his church members are good for is to give monetary offerings and pay their tithes to support his family and other personal affairs.
It is obvious that the church leaders nowadays have forgotten that every Christian has an assignment (2Corinthians3:6-7, 5:17-20). The responsibility of the Christian leaders is not to use their members to raise money to support their selfish religious business empires. The duty of any person who assumed office as a leader in the structural church is to equip the people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians4:11-13).
In searching through the New Testament scriptures, you will not find where it is written that Jesus Christ laid hands on his disciples and prayed to heal them from sickness and diseases. Jesus taught the disciples all that He learned from the Father. Instead of praying for them always, Jesus taught them how to pray for themselves and other people, he also empowered them to heal the sick and to perform other miracles. The Lord assured his disciples that they would do the same works He has done and even greater works than Him (John14:12). Christ did that so that the people would not depend on him, but God. He wants everyone to have a one on one relationship and fellowship with the Father, and that is the essence of the gospel. It is clear that most of our present day pastors will not allow their church members to see beyond them; if someone in their congregation wants to grow spiritually above them, they will find a way to frustrate that person’s effort or press them down by trying to kill their vision. If the majority of the so-called “men of God” were not walking in error (operating in the Nicolaitanes spirit), Christians would make a great in impact in this world. Jesus promised that everyone who believes and are baptized in his name shall be saved, and miraculous signs will accompany them: “They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed (Mark16:16-18)”. Imagine if the estimated 2-3 billion Christians in this world today were being trained to fulfill the commandments of Christ (Mathew28:18-20, Mark16:15-18) would the world not be a changed place? Let us be aware that Nicolaitanism is still very active in the structural churches today, which is why instead of Christians becomeing miracle workers, they remain miracle chasers.
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE CHURCH MEMBERS
esus teaches that a good shepherd laid down his life for the sheep (John10:11). The Nicolaitanes church leaders rejected the divine counsel of the Lord, by allowing the sheep to die for them instead of them laying their own lives down for their congregation, and this practice continues till this day. As I have written in a previous article, “Return of the Nimrod” in the structural churches of today, the sheep are laying their lives down for the shepherds. The leaders in today’s church are the first to drive fine cars, live in expensive houses and mansions, own private jets, and send their children to school overseas using the monetary contributions of the saints! The saints return home to endure sleepless nights, thinking of where their next meal will come from or how their bills will be paid. These ministers of Satan use all sorts of gimmicks to steal from their victims such as selling anointing oil, mantles, prayer aprons, miracle soap and so forth, all to deceive people that these things will help them to receive miracles from God. In their congregation, the poor are getting poorer while the pastor is getting richer. Most of them use the churches money to loan to the rich, who will in turn do business with it, afterwards returning the amount borrowed plus interest to the pastor. The pastor cannot just set up a small-scale business for one poor member of his church or establish a business employing the poor church members. God sees and He will judge all! Also in most churches today people have to “sow seed” for everything; for instance, if you want to buy a car you have to sow the seed of car to the pastor, is it a house that you want? You will sow a seed of house, or to get a good husband or wife you must sow seed for it. If the pastor gives you a personal prophecy, he will expect you to sow seed to activate the prophecy! On the pastor’s birthday, everyone is expected to send their envelope containing monetary offerings or other good gifts, but the pastor will never have time to visit homes of the poor, or sow a seed on the members’ birthdays. Pastors who already have five cars and live in mansions, still have some blind folks who will continue to buy more cars for him and give him their offerings without considering the poor people in their church and communities. However, the scripture teaches that…
He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want (Proverb22:16).
The May the Lord help us Christians to wake up for reality in Jesus name!
REJECTION OF THE MELCHESEDEC PRIESTHOOD ORDER
he scripture teaches that the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John1:17). The order of worship during the time of Law was very different from the principle of worship in this period of Grace, for instance, the priesthood system in the period of Law was known as the Levitical priesthood, which began with the tribe of Levi and proceeded through the sons of the family of Aaron (Number18). Apart from people from the lineage of Levi, persons from other tribes were not permitted to serve as priest. In the Old Testament tabernacle and the temple of Solomon, there were courts restricted only for the priests; the entrance to the Outer Court was free to all, including Gentiles, but the Gentiles were not allowed any further into the temple other then the Outer Court, and women in the time of their menstruation were not allowed to enter. The High Priest alone could go into the Holy of Holies, behind the curtain only once a year on the Day of Atonement when he made a sin offering on behalf of all of the people. Now, contrary to this, at the time that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, the temple curtain that covered the entrance to the Holy of Holies was torn in two by the supernatural mighty hand of the Lord (Matthew 27:51). In this God was telling us that that the Leviticus priesthood order was no longer necessary, believers could come directly to Him through the blood of Jesus Christ who is our great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16). Christians can go into the Holy of Holies, which is now spiritual only through the help of the Holy Spirit (Hebrew10:19). There should be no earthly mediators between God and man as existed in the Old Covenant, the dispensation of grace has come with a system of priesthood known as the Melchisedec priesthood order. Jesus Christ our Lord was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchisedec (Hebrew5:10). In the Melchesedec priesthood system, every born again child of God is divinely ordained a priest (1Peter2:9, John 15:16), while Jesus Christ remains the only high priest and the bishop of our soul (Hebrews6:20).
The Nicolaitanes denied the priesthood of all believers for the purpose of exploiting the saints. Jesus said to His disciples that they must not be called teacher, because they are all equal brothers in the kingdom of God and have only one teacher. He also told them not to call anyone here on earth father, because they have only the one father in heaven, and none of them should answer master, because they have only one master, the Christ. That the greatest among them should be their servant (Matthew23:8-11). The Nicolaitanes ignored the word of the Lord and created class within the church, separating the clergies from the lay people; they drew lines between leaders and the congregation by converting the ministry gifts into ranking “titles” instead of leaving it as functions in the church. That is where the idea of Pope, Cardinals, Rev, father, Archbishop and so forth comes from. Now, the priesthood of all believers is denied not only by the Roman Catholic Church but also in Protestants, Evangelical, Pentecostal and Charismatic circles. To seek counsel from a pastor today in the structural church you have to fill out forms, make appointments and ensure that you have an envelope containing your offering and tithe. Pastors have believers to clean their houses and wash their clothes but them as leaders can’t visit the homes of the poor, eat with them or wash their clothes in order to be an example. Jesus Christ is the role model of the New Testament Priesthood; though He was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges, took the humble position of a slave, and was born as a human. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross (Philipians2:6-8). During His earthly ministry, he went everywhere including interior villages, towns, city streets, market places, etc. and preached the gospel to the people. How many pastors and bishops are willing do that? Pastors can’t leave their offices today to go into the world where the sinners are and preach to them, instead they will spend the congregations money to print flyers and posters for distribution to invite customers to their church.
RESTORATION OF THE TEMPLE SERVICE
he destruction of the physical temple in Jerusalem was a sign that the era of temple worship is over, that is why God allowed the Romans to demolish it in 70 AD. God’s temple is now with men….
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God (Revelation21:3).
We are now the spiritual temple of God, as we should know, the outer court, Holy place and the Holy of Holies of the Old Testament tabernacle represents our spirit, soul and body. God has chosen to dwell in our heart through the Holy Spirit …
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defiles the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are (1Corinthians3:16-17).And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people (2Corinthians6:17)
Since God has abolished the system of temple worship, the true worshippers are to worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father looks for such to worship him…
But the hour cometh and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth (John4:23-24).
Jesus Christ is the “Truth”…Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John14:6). Christ is also called “the Word of God”….
And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. (Revelation 19: 13).
WORSHIPING GOD IN TRUTH
orshiping God in truth means to abide deeply rooted and strongly grounded in Christ and the word of God; it does not mean to join religious church groups…
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you (John15:5-7)
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving (Colosians2:6-7).
God desires us to be inside of Christ not in all of these confused, man made religious bodies that people have mistaken as the church. Jesus Christ is the true spiritual temple where we all should enter and worship the Living God…
The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe (Proverb18:10).
The scripture teaches us that if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new (2Corintians 5:17). We must understand that there is big difference between being in Christ and being in the structural Church. Most people who have spent many years in the structural church has none or minimal changes to have taken place in their life, the reason is because the people only joined an organization but never baptized into Christ by the Holy Spirit (1Corinthians12:13). The scripture teaches that when one baptizes into Christ that person will be clothed with Christ (Galathians3:27). The word baptism comes from the word “Baptizo” meaning to dip in completely, baptism into Christ is beyond a mere water baptism, dipping in completely into Christ or to be buried in Christ is a state of life where someone has forsaking all in life to live for Christ; it is that realm where Paul the apostles attained spiritually and said, “I am crucified with Christ nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me (Galatians2:20)”. When we crucify the flesh completely Jesus Christ will resurrect fully in our mortal body (2Corinthians4:10-14). It is no longer about fulfilling physical religious ceremonies in the temple, but to allow Christ to form in us and be revealed through us, all creation is waiting eagerly for the full manifestation of Christ’s character in us christians (Romans8:19). We need more than church going to obtain full conformity to the image of Christ, time alone with God in prayer and fasting, quiet scriptural studies and meditation is needed. Now it is more profitable to meet and fellowship one on one with pure spiritual Christians than gathering with crowds in cathedrals. The Holy Spirit will lead us to the true holy and spiritual Christian remnants that remain in this hour of moral decay. When I say Christian remnant I am not referring to any organized Christian group, be it called denomination or non- denominational they’re all the same. What I am suggesting is that you allow the Holy Spirit to lead you to the right people who know the Lord, which will be people who have set good examples in following the principles of Christ. Avoid any so-called “Christian gathering” where one person claims to be the president and founder, if you do join them, you will soon discover that it is a business, not a Church. As we should know already, church means a called out people, which is more than a name, it’s a lifestyle. Christians don’t require a name or government registration of this world to operate as church, all that is needed is to live Christ. The spiritual church of Christ is registered in heaven not in an earthly book of the government of this world (Hebrews12:22-23). Jesus Christ was conscious of building men not physical cathedrals.
WORSHIPING GOD IN THE SPIRIT
he scripture teaches that for all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God (Roman8:14). That is where many Christians are totally missing it; people always claim that they follow the bible, without realizing what they are saying; scripture says that the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life (2 Corintians3:6). There are many bible versions in circulation today, if we are to follow the bible which version should we follow when all of them are contradicting each other? If you are used to reading the King James Version, it is possible that when you read NIV, you will end up throwing it away, especialy the Message Bible. The present day bible translations are leading to different directions, Christians should beware. We are not under the law where we follow a written scroll; under the New Testament, our law is written inside the table of our heart through the Holy Spirit, and it is the Holy Spirit who is able to teach us those eternal laws of God ….
For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says:“Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the LORD. For this isthe covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says theLORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them (Hebrew8:7-11).
Since we have been delivered from the law we can now serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit…
But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter (Romans7:12).
It is not about carrying bibles as the Jehovah witnesses do, we should read the written word of God, but fasting, prayer and daily holy meditation is needed for us to be in tune with the Holy Spirit. God is speaking continually within us; and we must separate ourselves from the crowd to be able to hear His inward voice, that is what it means to worship God in the spirit. We must learn to hear from God first before doing anything, Jesus says….
Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise (John5:19).
Jesus Christ should be our role model indeed, Christ didn’t carry out any assignment without first listening to the Father to hear and see accurately what God was doing in the heavenly realm. After hearing and seeing what the Father was doing in heaven, simultaneously, Jesus would bring it down into physical manifestation. If we are actually working in the spirit there will not always be a gap between our revelation and manifestation. It is important for us to know that the same God who spoke to Moses, the prophets and the apostles is still speaking in this present time. When we receive the current word of the Lord all that we need to do is to judge it with the written word of God; every true revelation must be in agreement with the written word of God…
To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them (Isaiah8:20).
We should be very careful of the Bible translation used to judge prophecy or revelation, as for me, I am convinced to use the old King James Version with original Hebrew/Greek concordance, let the Spirit lead you.
The Nicolaitanes re-established the pattern of temple service as a part of end time rebellion against Christ. Instead of making people to realize that they are God’s temple, they made them believe that without appearing or gathering together in the physical cathedral on a particular day they are not true worshipers. If each Christian would actually comprehend the truth that we are representing God on earth and that the most High God is living in us, we would remain holy each day and that is when we will achieve sinless perfection. All of the cleansing rituals that were going on inside of the Old Testament temple should be transpiring in our hearts every day; in other words, we are to cleanse ourselves from sin everyday by the word of God to achieve total holiness in Christ (Ephesians5:26-27, 2Corinthians7:1). It obvious that the Nicolaitanes spirit is still very active today, we are all witnesses that the present church leaders spend more money in building physical structures than developing the real church which are the people. Church service means to go outside of the four walls and make disciples for Christ; to convert sinners and make them saints in Christ (Mathew28:18-20). What Christians call church service today is gathering on Sundays to watch the super performance of the choir, and to listen to super star acting preachers on the stage, afterwards paying the entertainment fees (aka offering and tithes). When the Jerusalem temple completely became a trade center where the Jewish leaders went to sell their religious items; prayer shawls, doves, sheep, olive oil, incense, candles, hats, girdles and so forth, God allowed the Romans to destroy it. Now, since the present church leaders have converted the church into a place of marketing Bibles, books, CD’S, videotapes, anointing oil, mantles and other items, soon the physical attacks of the enemies will stop us christians from gathering in large numbers in the temple. God will bring us back to meeting in homes and one on one discipleship pattern because all of the big structural church buildings and Christian temples are becoming the target of the Jihadists.
OPERATING CHURCH AS A FRANCHISE
n the first century, neither Jesus nor His early apostles built any cathedral and named it church headquarters; all of the local believers’ meetings mentioned in the bible were autonomous. There was no such thing as a “general overseer”, Christian missionaries and preachers were being called and sent out by the Holy Ghost not by men (Galatians1:1). And as they went forth to preach the gospel, no bishop or general overseer tried to control them; the people were led by the Holy Spirit to carry out their assignments, it was the Holy Ghost who directed them where to go preach and where not to preach (Act16:6-10). Their message was given directly by God through the Holy Ghost (Act13:1-4, 11-12). The Jerusalem church was not regarded as the headquarter church and Simon Peter was just a brother, not a general overseer. No one requested that the churches planted by the Jewish apostles outside of Jerusalem should be collecting tithes and offerings to send to the Jerusalem church as the headquarters.
The Nicolaitanes started the system whereby they would manipulate gathered large crowds of people; they presided over these people and established the place as their headquarter church. Nicolaitanes bishops train up young ministers and place them on a good monthly salary, and then send the people out to plant branches of their churches in a foreign country, not for the sake of winning souls for Christ, but instead to use the missionaries to generate income. The young preachers go to other places and set up churches for the sending bishops, they will then be asked by the general overseer to collect the offerings and tithes from the people and send the money to the headquarter church, and it doesn’t end there; these people that they send out mostly preaches only what the sending bishop or general overseer is preaching, and all of his activities are conducted according to the general overseers instructions. In most cases the young minister must go to a country where the economy is booming, so that they will be able to send a good return back to their sending overseers. If the sent out pastors deviate from their policies, for instance, preach a revelation contrary to what the “G.O.” is preaching; their salaries will be withdrawn and they will be forcefully retracted from the mission field. Christians need to realize that the Nicolaitanes system is even stronger in today’s Christianity; the pastors working with denominational churches can tell you the truth; they are all prisoners under bishops or general overseers. Pastors working with organizational churches cannot preach where God is leading them or preach the current message that the Holy Ghost is revealing to them, they must go to the place appointed by their church leaders and adhere to their sending church doctrine and mission policies, which is one of the reasons why Christian cross-cultural ministers are not making any impact. Vision and strategies must come from God, not from the “general overseer” or mission board; not all policies are effective in all nations, and tactics used in one country may not work in another because people are different and have different beliefs and traditions. All countries and even cities, towns and villages within the same country view things differently and have different approaches towards things. In some countries where there is no freedom of religion, a missionary has to pioneer underground work, and in other places he can freely walk around to tell people about Christ and set up discipleship centers. Missionaries must work with the Holy Spirit. Most church leaders want to take charge over those sent out pastors and control them simply because they are supporting them financially. The posting and withdrawing system of missions is an anti-God principle, whereby the senior pastors relax in their air-conditioned offices, send out immature Christians as missionaries and preside over them directing them where to go to set up their religious organizations. They dictate what they should preach to the people, the amount of offerings and tithes they are expected to return to their sending church and determine when to withdraw them from a particular field and post them to another place. Christians must be led by the Holy Spirit to carry out their tasks in the field.
Jesus despises the Nicolaitanes church-networking principle because it is a great business empire. The present church leaders are selling “church” as a franchise! Imagine if a Bishop or an overseer is presiding over a 20,000-30.000 congregation in a place he calls his headquarter church, and has about 1000 branches of his churches planted abroad in different countries led by his own-trained junior ministers, and each branch of his church has at least 2000-5000 members. The bishop is collecting offerings and tithes in each church meeting from the 20,000-30,000 people seated under him in the headquarter branch; then, at the end of each month the bishop’s junior pastors will make an account for the bishop in his church, giving him the offerings and tithes of their church members, Afterwhich; the senior pastor will pay salaries to his overseas pastors. Can someone tell me any business that is more lucrative than this evil Nicolaitanes denominational system of Church? The Nicolaitanes networking system is what most pastors and bishops (especially in Africa) have used to secure great wealth, what is reigning for African Bishops now is to own private jets, most have gotten up to two or three private Jets through wrong church networking principles. It is pure evil for example, for someone to go another country and establish a church, return and expect the people to collect their tithes and offerings to send to you. Every local gathering place must be independent; for instance, if a Brazilian pastor travels to South Africa and establishes a church, he must endeavor to train up South African nationals as leaders and freely hand over the church to them when going. He need not call his brother from Brazil to come take over the church in Africa. All offerings and tithes collected in South Africa should be used in developing poor South African communities, not to be sent back to Brazil. I have been to South Africa and have seen many foreign churches in the country but none is headed by the South African Nationals. We called out people must work together to break down this Nicolaitanes system dominating Christians in the structural church, it is also wrong to charge people fees in order to train them in bible school; discipleship is be free. It is bad that in Africa some structural churches are collecting from fifty dollars upward to admit people into “new membership and baptismal classes”, I actually witnessed this ludicrasey in Johannesburg South Africa! Soon people will be paying gate fees before entering into “church” buildings. May the peace of the Lord be upon every soul who stands for the truth!
THE DOCTRINE OF THE NICOLAITANS
So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate (Rev 2:15).
ne of the few things that Jesus had against the church in Pergamos was that they held the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, the word doctrine in Greek is, “Didache” (did-akh-ay'), which means instruction or teaching. Before Christ ascended to heaven, He commanded that the church go and make disciples of all nations, to baptize the people in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and to teach them to obey everything that He has commanded them. (Mathew28:19-20). Simon Peter stated that they were commanded to preach and teach Christ…
And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead (Act 10:42).
Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them (Act8:5)
The teaching of the early apostles was the revelation of Jesus Christ. The church leaders in those days were very much aware that informing people about Christ and His kingdom would help them to seek for total conformity to the image of Christ which is our destiny in Christ(Romans8:29). Paul the apostle warned the Church to be very careful of those ministers whose mind is set on earthly things (the financial breakthrough preachers)….
Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ (Philipians3:17-20)
The earthly minded preachers are the type that causes Christians to deviate from the path of life since their message is focusing only on how to live comfortable in this present world with no regard to that which is to come, their followers will not see the need to strive hard in order to enter into that life which is to come by pursuing after holiness and righteousness. The early Apostles made sure that they delivered to the people the total counsel of God “justification, sanctification, purification, perfection and glorification of the outward man”. The original church does not teach anything about “Virgin Mary” neither was their message focused on financial prosperity or material blessings like in the Pentecostal religion(1Timothy6:3-10). Jude warns the church concerning the secret introduction of the Nicolaitanes heresies…
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 saints. 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(Jude1:3-4).
To understand the doctrines of the Nicolaitanes well, Simon Peter spoke of it as destructive heresies (Peter2:1-3). Meaning that it is the kind of teaching which perverted the grace of God, turning the divine grace into a license to sin instead. You should know also that the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes is still very much alive today; I have heard preachers saying that all your sins have been paid for, even the ones that you will commit tomorrow that the grace has taken care of them all. Others believe that they are saved by the righteousness of Jesus Christ, meaning that God does not take records of the evils that they are committing because Jesus has paid the penalty for all their sins on the cross. Even Martin Luther in his a day held a similar view; In Luther’s translation of the bible, he translated thus in Romans1:17…..“The just shall live by faith alone!” in the original manuscript, it is “The just shall live by faith”. And that is the reason Martin Luther made an attempt to remove the books of Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation from the New Testament canon; because James teaches that faith without work is dead (James2:17, 20, 26). What we must know is that the righteousness of Christ does not set aside the necessity of our personal holiness, for it is written, “be you Holy for I am Holy” (1Peter1:15-16). As we have freely received God’s divine nature called righteousness, we are mandated to manifest God’s character on earth, for the light cannot produce darkness (1John1:5-7). If there is no righteousness by works, Jesus couldn’t have said:
For I say unto you. That unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, You will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:20)."
Paul the apostle teaches that….
For God hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2Corinhians5:21).
This scripture simply means that God’s standard becomes us that we might becomes God’s standard, in other words, Jesus Christ who was sinless died for us so that we sinners by nature can become sinless. Oh! Theologians have tried to define grace as unmerited favor, but it is not as simple as that. The grace of God is God’s Divine Ability or Heavenly Enablement to accomplish God’s will on earth. For more clarification, “Grace is power of the eternal Spirit of God.” Jesus Christ offered himself unspotted to God through the power of the eternal spirit (Hebrews9:14), which means that a person who is living under grace can reach sinless perfection…
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace (Roman6:14).
Under the law came the atonement of sin, which means to cover sin, but grace came with the remission of sin, which means to take away sin. The power of Christ, which is in grace, has destroyed the sin nature which made us sinners when we were in the world. Now, sin is not supposed to rule us because we have received grace to overcome it….
knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. (Romans6:6)
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace(Romans6:12-14)
Every Christian must know that grace is not a license to sin but power to live a sinless life in Christ Jesus. Since the grace was not present in the Old Testament, the people practiced atonement to cover their sin while waiting for the Messiah. Now, anyone who claims to be saved by grace and continues to live in sin is a liar, for it is impossible to abide in grace and continue to walk in darkness. I don’t mean that a Christian cannot fall into sin, there is a difference in falling into sin and living in sin, a believer can unintentionally fall into sin and then repent from it, which is why the scripture teaches
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. 1John1:8-10
However, it is impossible for a true Christian to live in sin, because we have shared with the divine nature of God:
No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. Those who are born of God will not continue to sin, because God's seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God (1John3:6-9).
May the Lord grant us more understanding to live the life that we are created for in Jesus Name Amen!