The Book of The Gospel of John

The Book of The Gospel of John2018-11-04T06:49:31-08:00

The Doctrine of the Nicolaitans

Nicolaitans is a transliterated word; therefore, there is no English equivalent. We must look back at the original language and translate its meaning into English to understand what it expresses. Nicolaitans (Νικολαΐτης) is a combination of two words: victory (νῖκος) and people (λαός). By compounding these words, they communicate a victory over the people; therefore, it is a person who holds a position of authority over the people.

The concept of the Nicolaitans doctrine comes from the Jews and the priestly structure under the law. From the very beginning of the Church, it is a false doctrine that continually attempts to creep into the local assemblies. The apostle John writes of this doctrine while addressing the first of the seven assemblies in the book of Revelation. Those in Ephesus were indifferent to the Nicolaitans doctrine, even though some attempted to impose it.

But this you have, that you are indifferent to the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also am indifferent to. Revelation 2:3.

In Christ, the distinctions of sex, class, and race have no value; instead, it is the new creation, Galatians 6:15. This new creation is the body of the Christ, in which Christ is the head and the Church is His body, 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 1:22-23. Within the body of the Christ, there is no separation based upon any of these statuses, for we are all part of one body, 1 Corinthians 12:13. The doctrine of the Nicolaitans is distinct from the Mosaic law, which implemented a priesthood and specific classes of people. However, in the local assemblies of the Church, the Pastors and other leaders are not separated from the congregation.

In its full form, the doctrine of the Nicolaitans is found in Catholicism and her daughters. In a more subtle form, it is found within elder-ruled assemblies and those who merchandise the saints.

But I have a few things against you because you have there those grasping hold of the doctrine of Balaam, who taught to Balak to cast a scandal before the sons of Israel, eating things offered to idols and fornicating. Thus, likewise you also have those grasping hold of the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. Revelation 2:14-15.

The Nicolaitans doctrine is in direct contrast to the doctrine of the Christ. Any assembly with a board separated from the people and not fully liable to the congregation partakes in this type of false doctrine. The position of a Pastor is not as the head of the Church, for that spot solely belongs to Christ, Ephesians 1:22. Instead, he is an overseer of healthy doctrine so that the assembly comes to a oneness of the faith unto maturity in Christ, 1 Timothy 3:1. He has no authority to lord over the assembly, 1 Peter 5:1-3. A Scriptural assembly structure is managed by deacons appointed by and answering to the congregation, with a pastor serving as an overseer in doctrinal matters, Acts 6:3-4.

Might (κράτος)

Might (κράτος) expresses the ability of resident strength, the quality of being able.

When the exorcists of the ruling religious party attempted to rebuke a malignantly evil spirit by using Jesus’ name, for they had seen the Apostles doing this, the spirit responded by first stating that he has an intuitive knowledge of Paul but not of them. He then proceeded to strip them naked and sent them running. This caused great fear in the city of Ephesus, and the Word of the Lord grew in the region.

thus, according to the might of the Lord, the Word increased and became strong – Acts 19:20.

As Christians, our eyes are opened to the truth so that we may know the hope of His calling, the riches of the proper opinion of His inheritance among the saints, and the exceeding greatness of his inherent ability towards us according to the working of the might of His strength, Ephesians 1:18-19. Wicked hands crucified Christ. In response to such malignantly evil work, God the Father raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand. He is now over all authorities and is the head of the Church, which is the new creation God made in raising Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:17. This was a display of the resident strength of His inherent ability.

When it comes to battling Satan, we are not called to rebuke demons or to exercise authority over them; instead, we are instructed to stand firm against them by the strength we have in the Lord. For it is in the might of His strength that we have victory, Ephesians 6:10. Our battle is not physical – of flesh and blood. It is a spiritual battle against malignantly evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, they seek to influence our minds to persuade us to follow Satan’s ways and reject God. When we put on the armor of God, it directly relates to the ability of His strength, reminding us of the truth in what God has done so that we overcome all the methodologies of the devil to get us to act independently from God.

As we govern our lives in this wicked world, we are to walk in a worthy manner of our Lord so that we are being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the full experiential knowledge of God being able in all inherent ability according to the might (resident strength) of His proper opinion in all patience and long-suffering, Colossians 1:11.

Through Christ’s death, He rendered ineffective Satan’s might over death, for throughout the life of those under law, they were in bondage, fearing death. Therefore, in all things, He was made like His brethren so that He is a merciful and faithful High Priest of the things facing God and inherently able to help those who are tempted, Hebrews 2:14-18.

Might expresses the resident strength of God to do what He says He will do. Through His might, He caused a young virgin to be with child, fulfilling His promise to David and Israel, Luke 1:52. Through the working of the might of His strength, He raised Christ from the dead so that He can die no more, answering His supplication to save Him from death. In Christ, we are able to have victory over Satan because through the might of Christ’s strength, He has overcome, and since we are in Christ, we are also victorious. Therefore, in understanding such incredible displays of the might of God’s strength, for He can do what He says He will do, let us properly manage our lives, bearing fruit in righteousness and growing in our experience with God.

Mental (κάμνω) and Physical (ἐκλύω) Weariness

Mental weariness (κάμνω) is an exhaustion of the soul that impacts the mind. It can result from continual struggles, long, arduous journeys, or the accusing of the conscience for wronging another person.

James writes of the vow of faith by those who are mentally weary. In the early Church, the Elders (Pastors) would assist those who were physically sick (ἀσθενέω), praying over them and anointing them with oil, which was used for relief from sickness. However, for those who are having a mental issue, it is the vow of faith that will provide calmness. This vow is to correct a wrong done, which is causing a negative impact on the mind because of the weariness of the soul.

And the vow of faith will save the mentally ill and the Lord will raise him up and if he has done a sin, it will be forgiven him – James 5:15.

A physical weariness (ἐκλύω) can cause a person to lose heart. During His earthly ministry, Jesus fed a large crowd that had come out to hear Him speak on the Kingdom of the Heavens. He has compassion on them because they were exhausted from their journey, Matthew 9:36. A person who sows should not exhaust their strength, for in due time, he will reap from his work, Galatians 6:9. Sowing righteousness will take more time to reap than sowing to the flesh, which seeks instant gratification. Patience in doing good and taking time to rest is essential so we do not grow weary in overcoming what is wrong with good. As sons of God, He corrects us when we do wrong. We are not to become physically exhausted by this child-training, for the Lord rebukes those He loves, Hebrews 12:5. One who resists His correction will become weary of their struggle because they are not accepting His guidance. The Lord will not allow His own to be condemned with the world; therefore, when we are judged, we are child-trained, 1 Corinthians 11:32.

When it comes to facing troubles for our faith, instead of growing mentally weary of the soul and becoming physically exhausted by the struggles we face, we are to remember Christ, Who suffered such hostility from sinners towards Him, for He is the author and finisher of our faith.

For consider this One who endured such hostility from the sinners against Himself in order that you all do not become mentally weary of the soul, being physically exhausted. Hebrews 12:7.

Let us remember that we do not walk alone and take time to fellowship with other saints so that we encourage each other as we rest together from the struggles we face in this life. Time spent with other saints, especially during the week, can be very restorative for the soul and mind.

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