We have already written about this subject in two previous Updates (Update #157 and #187). We explained that it has long been understood and taught by Godís Church that Christís message to the seven churches has at least a three-fold application. First, it relates to seven literal churches or church congregations in Asia Minor at the time of John. Then, it describes the history of the Church in seven distinct prophetic "Church eras" from the time of John until Christís return. And finally, it points out character traits of spiritual strength and weakness of Godís people throughout the existence of the New Testament Church. Christís message to the seven churches, although in some
We find two references in the Bible about the Nicolaitans, and they are both contained in the second chapter of the book of Revelation. In His message to the church of Ephesus, Jesus Christ says in Revelation 2:6: "But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate." Again, in His message to the church of Pergamos, He says in Revelation 2:15: "Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate."
Much has been speculated about the origin and exact nature of the Nicolaitans and their teaching.
As we will see, there is no biblical evidence, which would support this conclusion. We should, first of all, notice, that Christ did NOT say that Peter would be the first Pope. A Scripture sometimes quoted for this assumption is Matthew 16:18. We discussed this passage in a previous Q&A, as follows:
"Christ said to Peter, beginning in Matthew 16:18: 'And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it...'
As a first step in answering this question, we need to consider what the New Testament is. Why is there even such a collection of books and letters that report on events from the first century A.D.? Are these merely the random writings of an influential religious movement that have found their way into the literature of the present time?
Or, as the New Testament claims for itself, is this part of the inspired Word of God? Understanding who preserved the New Testament adds even more proof about the unquestionable authority of this part of the Bible that we now possess!
What is the New Testament? Consider the following summary statement given in the ďIllustrated Dictionary of the Bible,Ē Herbert Lockyer, Sr., Editor, 1986:
When we read certain historical books, we may find something like the following narrative, as adopted from sources published on the Internet:
The process of canonization was complex and lengthy. In the first three centuries of the Christian Church, there was no New Testament canon that was universally recognized. Nevertheless, by the 2nd century there was a common collection of letters and gospels that a majority of church leaders considered authoritative. These contained the four gospels and many of the letters of Paul. Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and Tertullian (all 2nd century), held these to be on par with the Hebrew Scriptures as being divinely inspired. Other books were held in high esteem, but were gradually relegated to the status of New Testament apocrypha.
Godís Church decided more than 70 years ago that we must follow the current Hebrew Calendar in order to be able to observe the annual Holy Days at their proper times. (For more information on Godís annual Festivals, please read our free booklet, ďGodís Commanded Holy DaysĒ). However, over the years, some concluded on their own, without godly authority, that they should deviate from that decision. As a consequence, estimates suggest that there are no less than 500 versions of ďcalendarsĒ in existence, all claiming that their version is the one and only correct one, and the result is utter confusion, while God states very clearly that HE is NOT the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33).
"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden."-Matthew 5:14