February 11 2022
Today, Friday February 11
Nicolaitans, Balaams, and Jezebels Revelation 2:6 & 15 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate….Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
Jesus loves His Church so it is no wonder that Satan hates the church and through the ages his agenda has always been the same and that is, he wants to deceive and destroy it! As I was preparing for this chat I couldn’t help but think of what Jesus said to Peter, “Indeed, Satan has asked for you that he would sift you as wheat, but I have prayer for you…” (Luke 22:31). Peter did fail the Lord and denied Him three times but the Lord later restored him. It is no wonder that Peter later wrote in his epistle: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)
We need to be alert to the devil’s attacks in our lives and churches even today! Remember we are overcomers in Jesus! James instructed us to “Submit ourselves to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you…” (James 4:7). Paul told us in Ephesians 6:11-17: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. …above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”.
We overcome the evil one with the Word of God as we resist him and stand in Christ!
Today we face the same dangers that these seven church were facing two thousand years ago. If the devil can’t outright destroy the church with persecution, he will join it and attempt to destroy it from within! There are several dangers that these churches in Asia were dealing with.
The churches of Ephesus and Pergamos dealt with the Nicolaitanes (2:6, 15).The name "Nicolaus" means "conquer the people" and suggests a separation of clergy and laity in the churches. One explanation of the Nicolaitanes is that there was a man by the name of Nicolaus of Antioch, who apostatized from the truth and formed an Antinomian Gnostic cult which taught (among other doctrines) that one must indulge in sin in order to understand it. They gave themselves over to sensuality with the explanation that such sins did not touch the spirit. That "Nicolaitans" refers to this cult is probably the best explanation. The church in Ephesus hated it. A little later on we will see that the church in Pergamos tolerated it. So it goes: deceivers introduce false activities into the church, and before long these activities are accepted and encouraged.
The churches of Smyrna and Philadelphia had to deal with Satan's synagogue (2:9; 3:9). This refers probably to assemblies of people who claim to be believers but are really children of the devil (John 8:44). The word "synagogue" simply means "to bring together"; it is an assembly of religious people. Satan, then, has a church!
The church of Smyrna also dealt with doctrine of Balaam (2:14). Read Num. 22-25. Balaam led Israel into sin by telling them that because they were God's covenant people, they could mix with the heathen and not be judged. Balaam could not curse them, but he could tempt them with sins of the flesh. This doctrine, then, is the idea that the church can be married to the world and still serve God.
The church of Thyatira had to deal with a Jezebel (2:20). Read 1 Kings 16 through 2 Kings 10. Jezebel was the heathen wife of King Ahab, a woman who led Israel into Baal worship. She seduced Israel with her false teaching.
May the Lord help us to be aware of the dangers that are facing us and our churches today.