"DOCTRINES OF BALAAM
AND THE NICOLAITANES"
Rev. 2:6, Rev. 2:15
"Am I therefore become your
enemy because I tell you the truth?" Galatians 4:16.
chapter two, John is charged, by the Lord, to write these things unto
the church of Ephesus, "Nevertheless I
have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the
first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy
candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. But this thou
hast, that THOU HATEST THE DEEDS OF THE NICOLAITANES, WHICH I ALSO HATE.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;
To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in
the midst of the paradise of God.". (Rev.
2:4-7). HATEST and HATE, strong words!
Words quite abhorrent to the delicate sensibilities of today's lukewarm
adherents of denominational judeo-Christianity. For our Lord to have
used such shocking language, these, "deeds of the Nicolaitanes", must have
been something terribly out of order with our Lord's divine will. And yet,
it seems as though denominational Christians of our age skim over such
obviously divine scriptural commands to "hear what the
Spirit saith unto the churches" without even a second
glance. It is as though the fallen nature within
them senses there is something here contrary to their religious
"traditions", "But he
answered and said unto them,
Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by
"Thus have ye made the
commandment of God of none effect by your
"And he said unto them,
Full well ye reject the
commandment of God, that ye may keep your own
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy
and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after
the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."
The only other place in scripture, other
than Rev. 2:6, where we find the word "Nicolaitanes" used is also
in Revelation chapter two, where the Lord is speaking through John
to the church in Pergamos, "But I have a
few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold THE
DOCTRINE OF BALAAM, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock
before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto
idols, AND TO COMMIT FORNICATION. So hast thou also them
that hold THE DOCTRINE OF THE NICOLAITANES, WHICH THING I HATE.
Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them
with the sword of my mouth." Rev. 2:14-16.
It would seem
prudent then for the sincere Christian, who is desirous of pleasing the
Lord in all things, to investigate this "doctrine of Balaam"
and "doctrine of the Nicolaitanes", lest we
ourselves fall prey to "philosophy and vain deceit, after the
tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."
according to none other than Dr. C. I. Scofield in
his "Scofield Reference Bible" notes on Rev. 2:14, was Balaam's teaching
Balak to corrupt the people who could not be cursed (Num. 31:14-17;
22:5; 23:8) by tempting them to
marry women of Moab (foreign women), thus defiling their separation
(segregation). Thus, the "Fornication" spoken of in
Rev. 2:14, and
committed by the children of Israel, was inter-racial marriage between the
children of Israel and Moabite women.
The Greek word translated "fornication" in this scripture, according to
"Strong's Greek Dictionary of the New Testament" is "# 4203 porneuo"
and means "To act the harlot, i.e. (lit.) indulge in
unlawful lust (of either sex), or (fig.) practice idolatry:-
commit (fornication). According to the New Testament,
"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law:
for sin is the transgression of the law."
The law spoken of here is the Old
Testament law. The lust or sex
that was unlawful in this scripture, Rev. 2:14-16, was the Old Testament
law against racial inter-marriage, "Neither
shalt thou make marriages with them: thy daughter thou shalt not give unto
his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son."
Thus, if New Testament sin is
transgression of Old Testament law, and if the Old Testament states that it
is unlawful to make marriages with peoples other than your own, then to do
so is a sin according to the New Testament. Racial inter-marriage is a sin
according to the New Testament.
The "basic law of God"
is and has always been, even from the very beginning, "kind after kind".
"And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed,
and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind,
whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth
brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his
kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself,
after his kind: and God saw that it was good."
Gen. 1:11-12. "And God created great
whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought
forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl
after his kind: and God saw that it was good."
Gen. 1;21. "And God said, Let the earth bring
forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and
creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and
it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind,
and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth
upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was
good." Gen. 1:24-25.
"doctrine of the Nicolaitans"
then, is a sect
mentioned in Revelation 2:6 and 2:15 charged with holding the error of
Balaam, and casting a stumbling block before the church of God by upholding
the liberty of eating things sacrificed to idols as well as
committing unlawful fornication.
to "Easton's Bible Dictionary", "they were seemingly a class of professing
Christians, who sought to introduce into the Church a false freedom or
licentiousness... and were probably identical with those who held the
doctrine of Balaam", (Rev. 2:14).
Bible Dictionary" states they were, "a sect whose deeds were strongly
condemned. They may have been identical with those who held the doctrine
of Balaam. Mingling themselves in orgies of idolatrous feasts, they
brought the impurities of those feasts into the meetings of the Christian
Church. And all this was done, it must be remembered, not simply as an
indulgence of appetite: but as a part of a system supported by a
the deeds of the "Nicolaitans" and there by those who hold the "doctrine of
Balaam" is a sign of life in a Church that otherwise is weak and faithless,
(Rev. 2:6). To tolerate them is well nigh to forfeit the glory of having
been faithful under persecution, (Rev. 2:14-15).
DOCTRINE OF BALAAM
We can find out
more about Baalpeor, Balaam the prophet, and King Balac by reading Numbers
22 to 25 in the Old Testament.
Briefly, King Balac of Moab wanted to make war with
and destroy the nation of Israel. The Israelites were a powerful nation and this
king feared that his army could not defeat them. So he sought out a famous
prophet. He sought him out with the intentions of having the prophet curse the
people of God.
King Balac figured that his army would prevail if
the enemy nation was under a curse. So King Balac asked the prophet Balaam to
place a curse on Israel. King Balac offered to pay any amount of money for his
Balaam the prophet knew that Israel was blessed of
God, and he informed King Balac that it was not possible to curse, what God has
blessed. However, King Balac was stubborn and he was determined to have Israel
cursed anyway; and this Balaam the prophet, he was anxious to please simply
because he coveted the king's money.
So this is the deal that was worked out while the
prophet could not place a curse on Israel, he could tell the king how to get
Israel to bring a curse upon themselves, and so for money, prophet Balaam told
King Balac, he told him how to get God angry at and to curse his very own
And the plan was successful; the results were -
God, in his anger, he slew 25,000 of his own people. Balaam got his money, and
the enemy king achieved a victory without firing a shot. In fact you could say,
his weapon was peace. He gave peace a chance. From reading just The Old
Testament, just exactly what Balaam told King Balac is not clear.
Fortunately, more details are
available in a well known, well respected history book. That history book is the
History of the Jews, by Josephus. Balaam's advise to King Balac is found in
Josephus Book four, chapter 6; here in chapter six Josephus reports what Balaam
said to the king, Here is what he said;
"If you want to be victorious over
them - follow my advice. Select your most beautiful women, women beautiful
enough to overcome the modesty of their male companions. Dress them in the
finest, most seductive clothing and jewelry that you can afford. Then send them
to the Israelite camp with these instructions that when any of the Hebrew men
desire their companionship, they allow it."
"And when the men lust after them, to
let them do as they please but only after they have been persuaded to abandon
their own laws; the laws delivered at Sinai through Moses, and to live by the
laws and customs of the gods of the Midianites and Moabites; for by this means
their God will be angry at them."
Balaam's advice is simply
this. To; persuade, seduce, trick or otherwise get God's people to break God's
Law, or live by the customs and laws of other lands. This is done to get God to
remove his blessings and bring instead, curses upon his own people.
Lev. 20:22-24. "Ye shall
therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do
them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue
you not out. And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation,
which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things,
and therefore I abhorred them. But I have said
unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto
you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am
the LORD your God, which have separated you from other
Sounds as though the Lord believes in segregation.
Exodus 33:16-17. "For
wherein shall it be known here that I and Thy people have found
grace in Thy sight? is it not in that Thou goest with us?
so shall we be separated, I and Thy people, from all the
people that are upon the face of the earth.
- And the LORD said unto
Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou
hast found grace in My sight, and I know thee by name."
Lev. 20:26. "And ye shall be holy unto me: for I
the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should
Joshua 23:12-13. "If you do
in any wise go back and cleave unto the remnant of these Nations, even
these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in
unto them and they unto you: Know for a certainty...That they shall be
snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides and thorns in your
eyes. Until ye perish off from this good land which the Lord your God has
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