Rev 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
Rev 2:15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.
These two verses need to be looked at closely. Why does God HATE the deeds and doctrines of the Nicolaitans? The word “deeds” in Strong’s Greek Dictionary of the New Testament is #2041 meaning, “to work; toil (as an effort or occupation); by inpl. An act:-deed, doing, labour, work.” Zodhiates’ Lexical Aids to the New Testament lists the following as the primary meaning, “work, performance, the result or object of employment, making or working…”
“Doctrine” in verse 15 is Strong’s #1322 meaning, “instruction (the act or the matter);- doctrine, hath been taught.” Zodhiates says of this word as the primary meaning, “in an active sense it means the art of teaching, instructing, tutoring…” We need to understand why God hates this.
“Nicolaitans” in both verses is Strong’s #3531 meaning, “a Nicolaite, i.e., adherent of Nicolaus…”
Strong’s #3531 comes from Strong’s #3532, which means “victorious over the people; Nicolaus, a heretic:- Nicolaus.”
Strong’s #3532 comes from Strong’s #3534 and #2992. Strong’s #3534 means, “a conquest (concr.) i.e. (by impl.) triumph:- victory. The primary meaning of # 2992 is “a people.”
Strong’s #3534 comes from #3529, which means “conquest, (abstr.) i.e., the means of success:- victory.”
The following is a quote about the Nicolaitans.
Unger’s Bible Handbook, page 845, under “Ephesus-the Loveless church,” says, “some take this symbolism, however, as indicating the origin of clericalism (nikao, ‘conquer,’ and laos, “people”), making them a group that early favored a clerical system which later developed into the papal hierarchy. To the individual overcomer is promised a reward in the eternal state (ck. Gen.2:9; Rev 22:2, 14).”
A careful study of the verses above and their definitions make it clear why God HATES the deeds of the Nicolaitans. In plain language, it is clergy over the members of a church. The hierarchy system has a human between you and God. God the Father and Christ will not tolerate this. Everyone must go one on one with God.
Phi 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
The hierarchy system takes the people’s tithe and spends it as they see fit. That is detestable in God’s sight. Every Christian has to stand before Christ on Judgment Day and explain what they did with God’s money. Consider the following verses.
Mat 25:15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
Mat 25:20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
Luke 19:13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
Luke 19:16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
Talents and pounds are money. Check for yourself, or read my paper on Tithing. Some Bible versions even translate pounds as money.
How can anyone stand before Christ and say, “Your pound has gained ten pounds, or I have gained five talents more.” To do this, you have to have input into where the tithe money is spent. Tithe money is the only money God gave us when we were called. Notice the last six words of Luke 19:16. It says “thy pound,” not my pound. If you give someone God’s tithe money to spend for you, and you have no input into how it is spent, or if you do not care how it is spent, then you are standing in defiance of God’s instructions.
If you as a minister take tithes from the people and spend it as you see fit with no input from the giver, you are in defiance of God’s Word. You take away their chance to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling and to say, “I have gained five talents more.” A minister can legally take a salary from the tithe in God’s sight, but a minister cannot take God’s tithe money and spend it any way he sees fit without the giver’s input. That is totally illegal in God sight. That is the way the late Worldwide Church of God did it, as well as many other churches.
God has covered in His word how tithes are to be spent and we had better obey Him.
God’s word in the end time cannot be understood except by I Corinthians 10:11.
I Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
“Examples” is Strong’s #5179: “a die (as struck), i.e. (by impl.) a stamp or scar; by anal. a shape, i.e. statue, (fig.) style or resemblance; spec. a sampler (“type“), i.e. a model (for imitation) or instance (for warning).”
Zodhiates’ Complete Word Study New Testament says: “type, as a constituent element of a parable or model of some reality which was yet to appear, a prototype of that which was yet to be developed and evolved.”
“Admonition” is Strong’s #3559: “calling attention to, i.e. (by impl.) mild rebuke or warning.”
“World” is Strong’s #165: “prop. an age; by extens. perpetuity (also past); by impl. the world; spec. (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future):—age, course, eternal, (for) ever (-more), [n-]ever, (beginning of the , while the) world (began, without end).”
God has a problem with ministers (shepherds, overseers) who claim to represent God but do things their own way. Consider carefully Ezekiel 34:1-10.
Eze 34:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?
Eze 34:3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.
4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.
5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. 6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.
7 Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;
8 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock;
9 Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;
10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.
These “No Shepherds” feed themselves and not the flock. Consider carefully verses 3, 4, and 8. They take God’s tithe money without the giver’s input and it turns into what you see in these verses.
These three verses show exactly how it was in the late Worldwide church of God. I have been there and done that, as they say. Being a member of that church for 28 years, I have seen the force and cruelty at first hand, ministers feeding themselves and not the flock.
Never should a minister lord it over the members.
The congregation should vote local leaders and teachers into office.
There is to be congregational input into how and what the group contributes to the end time work.
Sabbath assemblies need a period of time for open discussion of what was taught.
Ministers, teachers, deacons, elders, and overseers do not stand in the way or between the Christian and God. Your job is to lead, teach, and assist, not legislate and enforce. The congregation must be involved in all matters of the church, such as church projects to further the gospel, selection of elders, deacons, teachers, etc., or disfellowshipping a member.
If you are in a ministerial position, you better beware of what God says in His Word and obey it. God will not accept the doctrines and deeds of the Nicolaitanes.
Published August, 2006
© Edgar Y. Bennett
PO Box 509
Black Hawk, CO 80422 USA