Thursday, June 6, 2024

The Nicolaitans

Nicolaitans. Our Lord Jesus Christ says to the Church of God – a church group at that time in Ephesus (a city that was in Ancient Greece on the coast of Ionia, just southwest of present-day Selçuk in İzmir Province, Turkey) –

“’ Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent [change] and do the first works [go back to the way you use to be], or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place──unless you repent.’” – Revelation 2:5.

‘Remove your lampstand’ – means you will simply cease to be a representative of our Lord Jesus Christ. And, many have asked, “Well, would the LORD God take a church group and disband it!?” Strike it down? Well, we certainly know of a church group that the LORD God allowed to be highly influenced by Satan the Devil and eventually disbanded! The Worldwide Church of God. Indeed, Worldwide at the ‘first works’ was blessed by the LORD God, it flourished for a long time. But eventually, its leaders began to think of themselves as being MORE IMPORTANT than JESUS CHRIST! Its leaders became fascinated with power and control. The Worldwide Church of God had its lampstand yanked out from under it and thrown away!

A great many people have said over the years, “Satan destroyed the Worldwide Church of God!” No, Satan could not touch Worldwide if the LORD God had not allowed him to. Our Lord Jesus Christ had enough of Worldwide’s hubris, arrogance, haughtier-than-Thou attitude, self-righteousness, self-lining of pockets, and the positioning of power!

Our Lord Jesus went on to say, “’ But this you have, …’” – speaking to His “little flock,” His sheep, those who hear His voice and His calling. “ … ‘that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.’” – vs. 6.

Who were the Nicolaitans? Biblical scholars the world over have pondered just who were the Nicolaitans. Many have always imagined that they were a small sect that disbanded from the great worldly Body of Christ. But, rather the Nicolaitanes were the greater Body of Christ that actually was disbanded from our Lord Jesus Christ’s “little flock.”

Let us remember that the Book of Revelation is a Book of prophecy.

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God [God the Father] gave Him to show His servants ──things which must shortly take place.” – Revelation 1:1.

The word Nicolaitans comes from two Greek words – the first part Nicoli or Nicolas means “to rule with authority or power.” The other word is laitans, and this is the same root of the word laity. The word laity means your everyday regular mom-and-pop church people.

So, ‘the deeds of the Nicolaitanes’ are those people who rule with an iron fist with great authority and power, and often with cruelty, over the regular mom-and-pop church people – the laity. And THIS TOOK PLACE within the Worldwide Church of God, and it continues to take place within the many splinter groups of Worldwide!

As we have said over and over – if the LORD God says something more than once, it’s well worth paying attention to. In the living word of God – the Holy Bible – when you see something repeated, you should realize that the LORD God is trying to wake you up and to understand that this thing that is being said IS VERY IMPORTANT! “’ But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.’”

There is no ambiguity in what He is saying. Our Lord Jesus Christ came to hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans. The Prophet Ezekiel also wrote that our LORD God hates the deeds of the Nicolaitans – the shepherds of Israel (Ezekiel 34:1-11).

I know firsthand many of the despicable characters that were in the leadership of the Worldwide Church of God. And judgment from the LORD God eventually rained down upon the “greater Body of Christ.” The descendants that have flowed from Worldwide (and I wrote up not long ago a Personal From… entitled “Armstrong Religion” in which I speak of this very thing! – you can also listen to the audio version of this article), in that article I call this disbanded “greater Body of Christ” the Church of Armstrong.

Even today – because these churches of Armstrong, basically, do not grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - and are of the same lost flock that is but 'lukewarm'; and one group in particular DOES NOT even acknowledge or speak His great and holy name! – these splinter groups continue to be woefully ignorant of the great meaning of the Day of Atonement. They continue to waste their time talking about, “Well, we must be at-one-ment with God!”

As Minister Michael C. Garrett has often spoken about – the fact that you can take the English word Atonement and divide it up is just a sheer coincidence. The word basically means, “to be reconciled.”

“’ For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.’” – Luke 21:22.

Meaning – all the prophecies may be fulfilled. And we are certainly at the edge of that time.

Our Lord Jesus tells His servants to ‘be the servant, not the master.’ And this has not changed since our Lord Jesus spoke those words! But sadly, in the minds of the leaders of the churches of Armstrong with their various titles, they become drunk with power and with their own self-importance.

Returning again to what our LORD God said to the Prophet Ezekiel – the ‘watchman’ who had a great end-time job. The Watchmen of Revelation 11 – in which in all probability there will be twelve witnesses in the beginning – will carry an end-time gospel message (cf. Matthew 24:14) to the disbanded and now subjugated “greater Body of Christ” – to our Lord Jesus’ ‘lost sheep.’ And, ultimately the last two remaining Witnesses will carry an end-time gospel message lasting 3 ½ years in Jerusalem – to the Gentiles who “tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.” Along with an end-time gospel message to the god of the earth, the end-time ‘beast’ and ‘false prophet’!

One of our great commissions is to ‘go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’ We also believe that our Lord Jesus’ phrase, ‘lost sheep,’ as in ‘feed My sheep,’ is not only the physical people of the children of Israel – meaning, the foundational peoples of the United States of America, the United Kingdom and her Commonwealth Nations – meaning 56 member states, the vast majority of which are former territories of the British Empire from which they developed – but in an even more spiritual sense, more heightened, and even more important sense, we believe our Lord Jesus Christ might well have been saying, “Go to the greater Body of Christ – My lost sheep. Go to those who believe they are in a good organization, those who want to show faithfulness to the Armstrongs but don’t realize their leaders are corrupt and are dying.”

We believe strongly – this has a double meaning!

But, they persecute us. They attack us. In an article entitled, “You’re Not Welcome Here!” I speak of this very thing! You can also listen to this article.

Notice Ezekiel chapter 3 –

Verse 25 – “’ And you, O son of man, surely they will put ropes on you and bind you with them, so that you cannot go out among them.’”

They not only persecuted the Prophet Ezekiel – but they continue to persecute anyone who tries to correct them. Our Lord Jesus spoke concerning the same people (the end-time teachers of the living Word of God, Truth of God, and the Plan of God, ‘they’re going to persecute you!’). Eventually, the LORD God will be through trying to reach them. He has been sending His ‘witnesses’ unto them, but they have turned away every time!

Verse 27 – “’ But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.’ He [or she] who hears, let him hear; and he [or she] who refuses, let him refuse; for they are a rebellious house.’”

My brethren, you are living bound up, worshiping the Old Covenant and the principles of the Old Covenant. LOOK TO JESUS! Are you preparing to rule with Christ, or are you preparing to rule with Moses? – the Armstrongs!? They hated this message so much that the ‘witness’ was persecuted and thrown out of a splinter group of an Armstrong church! LOOK TO THE NEW COVENANT – look to Jesus! Look to our great High Priest, look to the glorious promises of the New Covenant – and you must sever this attraction of “wanting to be Jewish, or Jewish-like!”

The LORD God is telling us in this ‘beginning of sorrows’ – “’ He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches [the Church of Jesus Christ]. To him who overcomes [those who overcomes the Nicolaitans] I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.’” – Revelation 2:7. □

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