Nicolaitans Definition and Meaning in the Bible

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Nicolaitans Definition and Meaning in the Bible

I bet you will agree with me when I tell you that there is some controversy over who the Nicolaitans were, and what they taught.

In this quick reference article, you will discover:

  • The scriptural relationship between Pergamus and the Nicolaitans (7 min. video).
  • What does all this have to do with Hitler, and Zeus (it’s in the video).
  • The speculated origins of the Nicolaitans.
  • Who Irenaeus was, and why it matters.
  • A reliable record of what the Nicolaitans most likely believed and practiced.
  • The key Bible reference to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans.

START HERE: (short 7-minute video) This is foundational! – It was in Pergamum (Pergamos) that Jesus condemned the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. 

(If you are interested in Part 2 of this video, you will learn a lot more about the Nazi/Hitler’s involvement, regarding all of this, and how it played a significant role in the holocaust)

Now that you have watched the above video, about the seat of Satan, and the city of Pergamos, we can get a glimpse in our mind’s eye what it was like there.

The scripture reference is found in the Book of Revelation in chapter 2. At the end of this post, you can read the entire portion of scripture for your quick reference.

Now let’s consider….

nicolaitan origins

The Speculated Origins of the Nicolaitans:

It is speculated that Nicolas of Antioch (from Acts 6:5) may have given his name to a sect in the early church.

Some scholars have said that that they sought to compromise with paganism and enable Christians to participate in their rituals.

The supposed reason was that they wanted to take part in some of the social and religious activities of the pagan society in which they lived.

Nicolaitans-irenaeus

Irenaeus was a pastor in the early church, born around 130 AD, who lived and ministered in Lugdunum, Gaul.

He was a prolific historical writer and is the key historian outside of the Bible who mentions the Nicolaitans and the doctrine of the Nicolaitans.

This is significant because he actually lived within a fairly close time period to the actual existence of Pergamos, and the Nicolaitan sect. This gives quite a bit of credibility to what he said.

Here is the quote from his writing:

(Ante-Nicene Fathers -Volume I – IRENAEUS – Against Heresies: Book I – Chapter XXVI. 

Doctrines of Cerinthus, the Ebionites, and Nicolaitanes.

(section 3) The Nicolaitanes are the followers of that Nicolas who was one of the seven first ordained to the diaconate by the apostles. They lead lives of unrestrained indulgence. The character of these men is very plainly pointed out in the Apocalypse of John, [when they are represented] as teaching that it is a matter of indifference to practise adultery, and to eat things sacrificed to idols. Wherefore the Word has also spoken of them thus: “But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.”)

Nicolaitans-Revelation

The question regarding the “doctrine of the Nicolaitans” is an important one, because Jesus himself told the Apostle John, that he hated it.

Revelation 2:12–17 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; 13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. 14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. 15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, 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. 17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.”

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