The Doctrine of the Nicolaitanes


Revelation 2:6, "Thou hated the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate."

God loves, but He also hates. He hates sin because it is so deadly. "The wages of sin is death." Every true Christian must hate sin and deception.

Who were the Nicolaitanes? What was their doctrine that Christ twice stated He hated? Revelation 2:6, 15.

Historic view:

The Nicolaitanes were a group of professed Christians who believed in a community of wives. When "Thou shall not commit adultery" was quoted, their favorite reply was "We are not under law, but under grace." They claimed they were free from the law and that the Ten Commandments are not binding on Christians.

"The Nicolaitanes were persons who excused certain forms of impurity, and made the grace God a cloak for lasciviousness. This belief is known as Antinomianism, which means that the gospel frees Christians from required obedience to any law, whether scriptural, civil or moral, and that salvation is attained solely through faith and the gift of divine grace. That means there is no need for SANCTIFICATION.

The Nicolaitanes were the Antinomians of the Asiatic Church. They didn't care about how they were living morally daily and their conduct were little thought of. They believed that the faith they professed was everything. (Therefore not needing to live their lives in accordance to what they believed in)

"The existence of a sect called Nicolaitanes in the second century is attested by Irenaeus, Tertullian and Clement of Alexander." The Commentary for Schools, Edited by C. J. Ellicott, DD.

"Their doctrines and lives were equally corrupt. They allowed the most abominable lewdness, (behaving in obscene manner) and adulteries, as well as sacrificing to idols. John Wesley, Explanatory Notes Upon the New Testament on Revelation 2:6

Nicolaitanes taught and practiced "Ritualism without spirituality, knowledge without practice. Justification by faith without holiness." Dr. Angus, Bible Handbook.

This dangerous heresy was being taught in the church of Ephesus, the church of the first century. Jude 1:4, warns of ungodly men who were "turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness." Lasciviousness is "immorality" or "profligacy."

The Nicolaitanes used the grace of God as an excuse for the violation of God's law - the moral law. They denied "the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ." Jude 1:4. The Nicolaitanes were willing to acknowledge Jesus as their Savior but not as their Lord and Master. In Luke 6:46 Jesus asked "Why call you me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"

It was this teaching of the Nicolaitanes in the first century that was still corrupting the church of Pergamos a few centuries later, (Revelation 2:15) that led to the changing of God's "Royal Law," the Ten Commandments.

The second commandment that forbids the worship of images was dropped from the ten. When the binding nature of that commandment was emphasized, it was lightly brushed aside with "We are not under law, but under grace," "Christians are free from the law," "We enjoy Christian liberty."

Like other followers of the Gnostic traditions, the Nicolaitanes sought hidden spiritual knowledge through mystical experiences. They believed that this knowledge alone was perfectly sufficient for salvation. They also taught that man's spiritual and physical natures are two completely separate things. This philosophy implied that they were free to commit sexual immorality and to overindulge themselves in any and every way.

The doctrine of the Nicolaitanes was all too evident.

The precepts of the Ten Commandments were not binding with respect to the Christians, and our Savior had come to destroy the law, and not to fulfill it!" God says He hates this antinomianism and commended His people of the first century for hating it too. Revelation 2:6.

There is no need to be confused over the wonderful truth of Grace. Every one who is saved is saved by Grace. Ephesians 2:8,9.

We are saved by grace through faith. It is the gift of God. It is not of works. Grace is not limited to the New Testament, but it covers all time and spans all history.


The Grace of God in the Old Testament.

  • Titus 2: 11, The grace of God that brings salvation hath appeared to all men."
  • Exodus 34:6, To Moses, our Lord was "merciful and gracious."
  • Exodus 25:21, Upon the Ark was the Mercy seat and inside the Ark was placed "the testimony" The Ten Commandments.
  • Genesis 6:8, Before the Flood, Noah "found grace in the eyes of the Lord."
  • Genesis 19:19, Lot, when saved from Sodom declared he had "found grace."
  • Jonah 4:2, Jonah said, "I knew that Thou art a gracious God."
  • Psalms 77:9, The Psalmist knew of God's grace.
  • Exodus 33:12 "Grace"
  • Exodus 33:13 "Grace,"
  • Exodus 33:16 "Grace,"
  • Exodus 33:17 "Grace,"
  • Exodus 33:19 "Gracious."
  • Exodus 34: 6 "Gracious."
  • Zechariah 4:7 It shouts "Grace! Grace!"

Yet some foolishly say there is no grace in the Old Testament.


In the Old Testament people were not saved by works, but solely by Grace.

  • Acts 4:12 Salvation is only through one Name Jesus.
  • Romans 4:6 David was saved without works.
  • Revelation 1:5 In the Glory land, all will praise Jesus for salvation through His blood.
  • Revelation 5:13, Revelation 7:14.


In the Old Testament all good men walked in faith and obedience.

  • Hebrews 11:4 Abel's faith and obedience,
  • Hebrews 11:5 Enoch's faith and obedience,
  • Hebrews 11:7 Noah's faith and obedience,
  • Hebrews 11:8,9 Abraham's faith" and "obeyed,"
  • Hebrews 11:23-29, "These all obtained a good report through faith."


In the New Testament, Faith and Commandments go together.

  • Revelation 14:12 Faith of Jesus and the commandments of God.
  • Romans 3:31 Faith establishes the law


Grace today proves the Commandments are still binding.

  • No one needs grace or mercy if they have not broken the law.
  • "Where there is no law there is no transgression."
  • Romans 6:14,15, Sin is forbidden under grace.
  • 1 John 3:4, Sin is the breaking of God's law.
  • The saved man loves God's Ten Commandments.
  • Romans 8:7, It is only the carnal mind that hates God's commandments.



"The doctrine is now largely taught that the gospel of Christ has made the law of God of no effect; that by "believing" we are released from the necessity of being doers of the Word. But this is the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which Christ so unsparingly condemned." Ellen G. White in "Signs of the Times," February 25, 1897.

It is our work to know our special failings and sins, which cause darkness and spiritual feebleness, and quenched our first love . . . . . Is it the sin of the Nicolaitanes, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness?" Ellen G. White, in the "Review and Herald," June 7, 1887.

Nicolaitanes, believed to be followers of Nicholas, (Nicolas -Nick - Old Nick, a name for satan - Old Saint Nick - Santa Claws - Nicolaitanes) one of the seven deacons in Acts 6:3,5 , who abused the grace of God. He became a traitor to the Gospel. As Judas, one of the twelve became a traitor, so Nicholas one of the seven, corrupted the grace of his Lord. (could also be satan-see greek word study further down)

  • Psalms 1: 2, A good man - "His delight is in the law of the Lord."
  • Isaiah 58:13, God's people "call the Sabbath a delight, for it is "the Lord's day," "My holy day."
  • The keeping of the Commandments is solely the result of salvation
  • Psalms 1:2, A good man - "His delight is in the law of the Lord."
  • Isaiah 58:13, God's people "call the Sabbath a delight, for it is "the Lord's day," "My holy day."
  • The keeping of the Commandments is solely the result of salvation
  • Romans 3:20, No flesh is justified by law, and could not possibly be so.
  • Romans 3:21, Because all have sinned, therefore our only hope is "grace," God's mercy - His undeserved favor.
  • Romans 6:23, All are condemned because they have sinned.
  • Acts 4:12, Therefore there is salvation in Jesus only. Saved Men Keep the Commandments.
  • Matthew 19:17, Jesus said, "If you will enter into life, keep the commandments."
  • John 14:15, Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments."
  • Revelation 14:12, Jesus said, "Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."
  • 1 John 2:3, We know we are saved if we keep His commandments, for only the saved can obey.
  • 1 John 2:4, Claiming to be saved and yet breaking the commandments is a lie.
  • Revelation 22:14, The saved "Do His commandments."
  • Matthew 1:21, His name is Jesus, for He saves from sin - the breaking of God's Commandments. What a Savior! What a salvation!

How is this Doctrine affecting us today?

In the last days, as it was in Malachi 3:16-17, only a few think on His mighty name. Who are these "Nicolaitanes"?

A Nicolaitane, as the Greek shows, means "a follower of Nicolas." Not necessarily the deacon Nicolas of Acts 6:5, but an infamous person.

The name "Nicolas" comes from two Greek words, nikos, meaning "conqueror" or "destroyer," and laos, meaning "people" or "laity."

The original Nicolas was a conqueror or destroyer of the people, Nimrod, who led the post- Flood rebellion against God.

The modern St. Nicolas, or Santa Claus, stems from the worship of the false hero Nimrod who put himself in the place of God and had people worship him as "BAAL," that is, Master or Lord. Some continue to observe December 25, which is a continuation of the Saturnalia, the birthday of Saturn or Nimrod.

"Nicolaitanes" in the Church follow such vain customs, and also institute and practice a corrupt form of Church government based upon conquering the people and keeping them in subjection.(Elite Rulership over the "Laity"(the ordinary people) No need for SANCTIFICATION.

How prophetic for our times, when false shepherds of the Almighty's flock rule the "dumb sheep" with force and cruelty, feeding themselves with rich living while scattering the flock, Ezekiel 34:1-6. Peter warned other elders against this type of Baalism, that they should humbly serve the flock, I Peter 5:1-6.

The Bible concept is a priesthood of all believers, I Peter 2:9, a multitude of gifts in the Church, I Corinthians 12. New Testament Churches were pastured by more than one elder, Acts 14:19-23, 20:17; Titus 1:5; James 5:14.

Those who depend too much on a human spiritual leader, put that leader in place of Christ, and are shunning the true high priest in Heaven.

Beloved we need to study with the teacher, the Holy Spirit.

"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." The exhortation is addressed to "He that hath an ear", or individuals, to hear - not what the Churches say to them - but what the Spirit saith unto the Churches.

The fourteenth and last time that the phrase "He that hath an ear" is used is in Revelation 13:9, in connection with the Beast from the Sea. Where the Churches power has been scattered, verse 7 and Daniel 7:25, and no one can escape the worship of the Beast, except those whose names are written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Rev 13:8

Revelation 13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindred's, and tongues, and nations.

Daniel 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.


Thayer's/Strong's Numbers:

Act 6:5 : 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:

Strongs Numbers:
Act 6:5 : And2532 the3588 saying3056 pleased700 the(1799) whole3956 multitude:4128 and2532 they chose1586 Stephen,4736 a man435 full4134 of faith4102 and2532 of the Holy40 Ghost,4151 and2532 Philip,5376 and2532 Prochorus,4402 and2532 Nicanor,3527 and2532 Timon,5096 and2532 Parmenas,3937 and2532 Nicolas3532 a proselyte4339 of Antioch:491

Nicolas -Nick - Old Nick, a name for satan- Old Saint Nick - Santa Claws- Nicolaitans

Simply put: Traditions that take the place of truth....Taught by un-anointed men...That separated YHWH (God's) people from truth. Truth only Found in Yahushua (Jesus)...

Also, a still further transferred use of "laos" is found in the name Lao(s)diceans, compounded with dike or dice as the Greek "k" is the equivalent English "c." Thus, in the name Laodiceans, we have laos -- "people" and dice judgment, or vengeance, i.e., the people of my judgment, or of my vengeance. Also the Greek word la(ic)os means "laymen," of which laos is the root and stem, which selfsame word, with the "o" short contracted to "i", to which root and stem the plural definite article ton is joined to form laiton -- is a Greek phrase meaning "the laity."

The Bible teaches all believers are priests and have direct access to the Father through Jesus.

Not some Tele-Evangelist squeezing the last penny out of you, and draining you emotionally with false teaching. The term "Nicolaitans" is derived from two Greek words..."Nikos" and "Laos". Nikos is defined as: a conquest; victory; triumph; to conquer; and by implication, dominancy over the defeated. A good translation of Nicolaitan would be "those who prevail over the people."

The Nicolaitan movement marked the beginning of an unrighteous priesthood in the church. The first item on this spirit's agenda is to divide in order to conquer. The primary objective of the Nicolaitan spirit is the separation of the body from the Lord's provision for Spiritual leadership and the insight given through that spiritual authority.





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