So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. (Rev 2:15)
Defining the word doctrine
Greetings. In this Bible study, we will look into the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes. As you study Rev 2, you will find that God mentions the Nicolaitanes two times. When you see a word repeated in the Bible, pay attention. Doing so will help you find out what God is trying to tell you.
First, let’s define the word doctrine. Webster’s dictionary defines it as something that is taught. Teachings or instruction. The word of God places great importance on the doctrine of Christ. (Heb 6:1) What is God trying to tell us concerning doctrine? Correct doctrine is important and failure to adhere to it can have grave consequences
Let dig in further. The word Nicolaitanes comes from two Greek words. Nikos and Laos. Combine together it means the conqueror of the people or laity. The Lord has placed Pastors as the authority of the local church. The Holy Spirit speaks to the Pastors first, and then to the church. Pastors are supposed to be hearing and guiding the church thru the Holy Spirit.
The root of false doctrine
When the people override the Pastor’s authority, there is division. Respecting God’s spiritual authority in the church will bring you into a safe place. Everyone needs to know their place in the church so it can operate in peace and harmony. Miriam and Aaron got into trouble because they tried to override Moses authority. (Numbers 12:1-9)
Most theologians believe that the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes came from Nicolas, one of the first deacons of the church. (Acts 6:1-5). The Apostle Paul had warned that out of the congregation would come division and strange doctrines. (Acts 20:30-31) This message would not be received in today’s modern user-friendly church. The church needs to receive correction and warnings so that they could be watchful and not allow the enemy place.
Let’s look at the life of Nicolas and how this false doctrine came into being–
- First, Nicolas might have been a charismatic person, finding fault with everything and everyone. Maybe, he wanted to go on his own (without being ordained) and have his own church.
- Another possibility is mixture. Mixture could have played a role because some people in the church of Ephesus had books of curious arts (Witchcraft and sorcery–Acts 19:19).
- Finally, it stands to reason since they were in a sexually liberal city, they had lowered their standards.
Watch and pray
It is not clear what happened, but false doctrine rose up to try to destroy the Ephesian church. God complimented them for their stand against those false teachings. What is the central message for us in this day and age? Watch! Brethren, now more than ever, we need to watch for false doctrine.
Some churches are lowering their standards. Holiness is a foreign word in some churches and grace is being perverted. It’s time to pray, stand firm in the Lord, and be vigilant. Let’s learn from this example and reject any false teachings in our lives. Pray and support your Pastor. Allow God to use him to bring about correction and order. Doing so will keep you on the right path and in a place of safety. God bless.