Rev 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
The name Pergamos means ‘elevated.’ This is a church raised to a higher level. The Church in Pergamos is the church in which Jesus placed the Protestants at the time of the Protestant Reformation. The Church in Thyatira is the church in which Jesus placed the Roman Catholic Church at that time, The church in Ephesis would also be seen as devolving into the church at Thyatira
The Church in Pergamos is representative of the degrees of separation of doctrines and polity within the Protestant churches as they splintered into all of the myriad of sects that formed within the Reformation movement that began in 1517 when Martin Luther first Published his arguments against the many practices, policies, and polity of the Roman Church. However, fragmentation of the notion of any Roman Catholic (Universal) Church preceded the events of the Reformation by at least 1200 years. The History of the Roman Church is replete with splinters, wars, separations and reunions. So many divisions and reunions over the centuries that even a summary is beyond the scope of this page.
As Christianity began to spread beyond Jerusalem in the rest of the Roman Empire and beyond divisions about doctrines have divided the church which brought about councils of bishops to decide matters ( as if 100 men are less infallible than 1. Most monastic orders were founded unintentionally by one man wanting to separate himself from the world in order achieve personal perfection, a doctrine that is not only unscripteral but also selfish. Jesus wants His Church to be in fellowship, loving one another as He has loved us.
But the Protestants have been even worse, and today the schisms are too numerous to count. Congregations split anytime a preacher from one church would have a disagreement with the rest, and a new sect would spring up. I suppose the largest was the split between the Calvinists and the Armenianists which was not settled by the council at Dort as the Calvinists claim. After the Armenianists left the council because they believed the rules of debate imposed upon them by the Calvinist majority were unfair to them, the debate was solely among the Calvinists over the five remonstrances that had been proposed for the debate at the council by the Armenianists. It seems the Calvinist side won every debate! A situation that illustrates the principles of the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes more perfectly than any scenario I could have imagined
Jesus praises the church in Pergamos for their steadfast faith even when faced with death among themselves. The hold fast His Name. That means, whatever else the doctrines they hold, they refuse to be swayed from the Only Truth of Christianity - Jesus is the reason, the only reason they can claim to Christian. It is His name that unites us everyone to the other. While it is the doctrines of Balaam that divide us for other reasons: It is very true that Balaam taught Balac to build whore houses at the outskirts of the Hebrew encampments to lure the Hebrew men into fornication and sacrifice to idols; what is more to point, but more subtitle, is that he sold himself to a political power instead of joining himself to the people of the Lord.
Within every nation since the reformation, The Church has almost always sided itself to the nation within which it existed in any political war between nations. I suppose it is only natural, and almost impossible to avoid. Even though the Church is supposed to be a Spiritual Body, she still finds Herself confined within carnal, human bodies, a truth which Satan uses much to his advantage during this age.
The doctrine of the Nicolaitanes is even more subtitle that those Balaam. There have been zero documents ever found since the Revelation was given the John that showed who are what the Nicolaitans were. There have been several opinions written, many be early Church Elders, none of which were conclusive or factual. Many supposed them to be followers of an heresy founded by Nicolas, one of the seven deacons, but it seems most unlikely given Nicolas’ spotless reputation among the churches for piety, sobriety, and moral purity.
The total lack of any thing other than their name to begin with, we must therefore begin there to determine who and what the Nicolaitans are. The name ‘Nicolaitan,’ is a transliteration of two Greek words: ‘Nikos,’ meaning, ‘Victory’ or ‘Triumph,’ and ‘laos,’ meaning ‘People.’ Because of their intense dislike of the Roman Church, most of the Protestant Expositors have written that the two words together mean, “Victory over the people,” or “Triumph over the people,” their intention being to blame the doctrines of the Nicolaitans on the Priests and Bishops of the Catholic Churches. They do so by disregarding the scripture whereby we are told:
Heb 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
Heb 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
Heb 13:24 Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you.
Considering the three verses above, we must reject the explanations of past expositors that the doctrines of the Nicolaitans pertained to the Catholic Clergy. The words, ‘nikos,’ and ‘laos’ can just as easily mean “Victory of the People,” or “Triumph of the People.” This meaning relates very closely with the Greek word for ‘Democracy,’ which means ‘Power to the People.” The intent of Democracy is to give the People the Power to decide for themselves. However, we must also assimilate the verse from Acts 6:2 - :5 “Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. (3) Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. (4) But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. (5) And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:”
The people chose the seven and the apostles ordained them to the office of deacon. But it was the people that decided upon them. Therefore, it is not the people having the power to chose for themselves that Jesus hates, so it must what they have taken the power for themselves to chose that He hates.
The words, Nicolaitans and Laodicea are so closely related as to be almost inseparable. They are like the terms Baptist Doctrines, and Baptist Churches. The word, Laodicea means. “The People Decide.” The church of the Laodiceans is the church where the people decide, but not just about some things, but about everything! A Democrat is anyone who believes it is the right of the people to decide everything for themselves. When men take unto themselves the right to make church doctrines from what they want it to be, then they have become Nicolaitans, the thing that Jesus hates. Lesbians preaching to congregations while openly living in homosexual relationships and ignoring the Biblical doctrines about such things are an example of the doctrine of the Nicolaitans and the thing that Jesus hates.
This has nothing to do with political parties beyond the beliefs of those people within those parties. Anyone who believes it is the peoples’ right to decide on everything, Democrat or Republican by politics, is a Democrat by DOCTRINE, WHICH THING JESUS HATES!
AMERICA IS NOT A DEMOCRACY! WE ARE A REPUBLIC, AND THOSE WHO CONTINUALLY CALL US A DEMOCRACY TO THE PUBLIC NEED TO THEIR RELIGIOUS DOCTRINES AND THEIR POLITICS EXAMINED! The political leaders closest to the people within a republic are chosen by the people to represent them in the Government, just like the deacons were chosen to represent the people in the serving of the tables.
Democracy is the devils own form of government. The rule of the Majority is his own form for making all decisions. The Laodiceans are the Devil’s Doctrinal advocates. The only reason that the Roman Catholic Church as been allowed to continue through the age is because of their hatred of the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. That will eventually change however, if they are not ever vigilant against the wiles and designs of Satan.
Lastly to the Church in Pergamos, Jesus tells those who hold to the doctrines of Balaamites and Nicolaitans that they must repent, or He will fight against them with the sword of His mouth. The sharp sword with two edges is the sword to which He refers. A two edged sword cuts all ways, on the down swing, on the upswing, on the forehand, and the backhand.
Heb. 4:12-13 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (13) Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
The Power to Love
1 Pet. 4:8-9 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall
cover the multitude of sins. (9) Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
Rom. 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath
fulfilled the law.
John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. (23) I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Isa. 45:22-23
1 Cor. 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
1 Cor. 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.