Very many people had tried to guess the history and beliefs of the Nicolaitans. There is very little evidence to support any of those guesses. The only real evidence that we have is Christ’s words here, and in verses 15-16. However, there is in fact a lot of information in these verses.
Firstly, the word ‘Nicolaitans’ means the followers of a man called Nicolas. Nicolas considered himself a teacher of religion or of the Bible. However, the things that he taught were wrong. His followers (or some of them) were church members at Pergamum, but not at Ephesus.
It seems that Nicolas became a powerful leader of his religion. His ideas spread across a large region. People in both Ephesus and Pergamum, which were 100 miles (160 kilometres) apart, knew about his ideas.
However, Nicolas’s ideas were against what the Bible teaches. That is clear because Christ hated the actions of the Nicolaitans. Christ considered what they were doing to be very evil.
In Ephesus, the Christians recognised that the Nicolaitans were wrong. That did not happen at Pergamum. Some church members in Pergamum believed the things that Nicolas taught. Christ declared that he himself would separate them. Careful arguments and strong actions were not powerful enough to deal with this situation. However, Christ’s words would prove that they were wrong. Christ would use ‘the sword of his mouth’, which means his word, in judgement against them. By that means, he would rescue his people from those who could ruin their relationship with God by these evil ideas.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.