Today we are going to look at a prickly pear! This little pear is called Nicolaitan.
Who are the Nicolaitan’s and what is their doctrine? The Church has a lot to say about Jezebel, Ahab and Balaam and other wicked spirits but the Nicolaitan “spirit,” if you want to call it that, seems to go largely undetected, yet it is something that the Lord hates. Now, hate is a very strong word and generally filled with passion.
The saints in Ephesus are commended by the Lord because they too hate the practice of this doctrine. However, to the Church in Pergamum He gives a warning to those that hold to and practice this doctrine. Those who don’t repent will find themselves coming under a rebuke from the Lord. Remember, when the Lord rebukes you it may seem unpleasant, but it is always in the spirit of gentleness and love. He is never harsh or judgmental in His tone of voice. But don’t underestimate the power of His gentleness! His goodness leads you to repentance – a change of mind.
When Jesus rebukes you for any reason He is doing it to bring you back to your senses! Back to your rightful place and position in Him. The last place He wants you is down in the doldrums of this world!
The word Nicolaitan is derived from the words “nikao” and “laos.” Nikao means to conquer and laos means the people or laity. Hence the word Nicolaitan could be interpreted as those who rule over the people – i.e. church leadership over the members. In this I want to leave you with the following Scriptures:
Mat 20:25-28 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, called them to His side and said, “Kings and those with great authority in the world rule oppressively over their subjects, like tyrants. But this is not your calling. You will lead by a completely different model. The greatest one among you will live as the one who is called to serve others, because the greatest honour and authority is reserved for the one with the heart of a servant. For even the Son of Man did not come expecting to be served by everyone, but to serve everyone, and to give His life in exchange for the salvation of many. (TPT)
2 Cor 1:24 But I don’t want to imply that as leaders we coerce you or somehow want to rule over your faith. Instead, we are your partners who are called to increase your joy. And we know that you already stand firm because of your strong faith. (TPT)
Mat 23:7-12 And how they (church leaders) love to be admired by men with their titles of respect, aspiring to be recognized in public and have others call them ‘Reverend.’ But you are to be different from that. You are not to be called ‘master’ for you have only one Master, and you are all brothers and sisters. And you are not to be addressed as ‘father’ for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Nor are you to be addressed as ‘teacher’ for you have one Teacher, the Anointed One. The greatest among you will always be the one who serves others from the heart. Remember this: if you have a lofty opinion of yourself and seek to be honoured, you will be humbled. But if you have a modest opinion of yourself and choose to humble yourself, you will be honoured. (TPT)
The same could be said for the titles of apostle, prophet, pastor, and evangelist. Please do not go seeking a title in church so that you can belong to the Christian “elite!” Jesus is to be your ONLY apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher, Lord, and Master. These titles belong to Him alone. He gives these ‘titles’ as a function to those He has appointed in His Church to equip the saints (you and me) to do the work of the ministry. These offices are NOT the ministry. They are functions which are no different to those who are street sweepers, maids, doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc.
WE ARE ALL BROTHERS AND SISTERS!
We all have a first name and we are all of the same family. My sister is a schoolteacher and I do not address her as “teacher Nicky,” she is and always will be Nicky. Even if she were a Doctor, she would still be Nicky to me. Every one of us are our Father’s child. We are equals in His kingdom regardless of our status and education.
The doctrine of the Nicolaitan’s is associated with those of Jezebel and Balaam, which we will deal with when the time comes. What is important to remember is that these doctrines become the major themes in the rest of the Book of Revelation. We have been called to bring these demonic doctrines that desire to rule over God’s elect to their final end.
How you respond to the Nicolaitan doctrine in your life before the Lord is now up to you.
To my family … enjoy your prickly pear! 😎😍
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