The Seven Churches
The Nicolaitans are mentioned twice in the letters:
Revelation 2:6 – But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. (NIV)
Revelation 2:15 – Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. (NIV)
Verse 6 is to the church of Ephesus and verse 15 is to the church of Pergamos. Who were the Nicolaitans? John doesn’t say much about them, but look at this quote:
“The Nicolaites, the disciples of Carpocratus and of his son Epiphanus, taught promiscuous concubinage, and rendered themselves guilty of great crime in so doing in the sight of God.” – Cormenin’s History of the Popes, Vol.1, p. 30
The Nicolaites practices concubinage, in which a women was treated halfway between a wife and a slave. This connects to the Old Covenant, with Abram and his concubine Hagar:
Galatians 4:24-26 – which things are allegorized, for these are the two covenants: one indeed, from mount Sinai, to servitude bringing forth, which is Hagar; for this Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and doth correspond to the Jerusalem that now [is], and is in servitude with her children, and the Jerusalem above is the free-woman, which is mother of us all, (YLT)
Abram’s relationship with Hagar is similar to the Old Covenant, while Abram’s relationship with Sarah is that of the New Covenant. This New Covenant marriage is the kind of marriage that God desires all of us to have with both Him and our spouses. In this marriage, both partners have an equal authority. God wants to share His authority and knowledge with us as seen in this verse:
Revelation 2:11 – He who is having an ear – let him hear what the Spirit saith to the assemblies: He who is overcoming may not be injured of the second death, (YLT)
Again, the overcomers comes up. The overcomers will share in Christ’s judgment on the day of the Great White Throne. They will also will escape the second death in the lake of fire.
The Ephesian Age
As I mentioned earlier, each church is also symbolic of a prophetic age. The Ephesian Church Age is from 33 A.D. – 64 A.D.. This is from the resurrection of Jesus to when Nero begins persecuting Christians. During this time, Peter and Paul were the leaders of the church. Peter and Paul were called “apostles” because they were thought to be messengers of God, which is also why this is called the Apostolic Age. Similar to the Ephesian church itself, it was during this time that people looked to men that God talked through, instead of talking to God directly. This is not the kind of relationship God desires to have with His people. All men have the ability to hear God’s voice and should pray everyday to develop this ability.
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