Revelation 2:6 "But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. "
Revelation 2:15 "So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate."

There is no factual summary of who these Nicolaitans were that Jesus refers to twice in the book of Revelation

1. NICOLAITANS - TRADITIONAL EXPLANATION by John Gill derived from the Writings of Irenaeus and Hippolytus

"I know that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate." The Nicolaitans were a sect of base antinomians which had arisen in those early days of Christianity. They contended that since we are saved by grace and are free from the law, nothing is evil. They made every excuse for lewdness and licentiousness. John Gill tells us that the Nicolaitans "committed fornication, adultery, and all uncleanness, and had their wives in common." All this evil was practiced and promoted in the name of Christian liberty! All true believers, like these Ephesians and like Christ himself, despise those who promote ungodliness in the name of grace.

These seems somewhat unlikely for two reasons.

a. Nicholas, one of the original deacons is mentioned as the founder only by Irenaeus, however his report is refuted by Clement of Alexandria who states that Nicholas was a godly man and taught the way he lived.

b. The traditional explanation simply provides us with a type of Gnosticism. In spite of the fact that we know the names of some Gnostic leaders such as Valentinius and Simon Magus, their movements never assumed the names of their teachers. They were simply referred to as "Gnostics". If these men were "antinomian" (against any law for Christians allowing Christians to live in sexual immorality supported with spiritual doctrine), the followers would have been classified as Gnostics.

The alternative explanation is that Nicolaitans refers to those teachers in the Body of Christ who began to elevate the clergy above the laity, a distinction that did not exist in the Christian Church until the end of the second century. This teaching did not simply recognize that elders (presbuteros and episcopas) along with deacons (diakanos) are valid biblical offices in the church. Although these church offices required the men in leadership to be servants of those to whom they minister, the Nicolaitans began ruling over the laity in a manner condemned by Jesus.

Below are links to explain further this alternate theory regarding the Nicolaitans.

The Nicolaitans from Latter Day Rain

Nicolaitans by

Nicolaitans from bible

Nicolaitans from Bible studies

Nicolaitans 1

Nicolaitans 3

Nicolaitans 4

Nicolaitans 5

Nicolaitans 6

Nicolaitans 7

The Leader as Servant

Jesus warned his 12 Apostles about how authority was to be used within His church clearly in the following Scriptures. However, in spite of Jesus' words, the early church slowly centralized authority in several bishops, one over each large church. These were then consolidated under the autocratic leadership and primacy of one bishop over the others. This is not what Jesus wanted in His church leadership

Mark 10:42-43 "But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister"

Matthew 20:25-27 "But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant"


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JESUS-IS-LORD Ministries of Monroe, Inc.
May 1, 2000