The spirit of compromise is rampant in the world, our Nation, the Church, and our lives today. In Revelaltion 2: 4 and 14-16, Yeshua, King Jesus addresses this at the church in Ephesus and Pergamon.
Before I get into the spirit of compromise and how it is working, I must give you a little background.
Pergamon, a city in Western Turkey, where there was The Zeus Altar as Seen from the Portico, 2nd Century BC. and Asklepion, a Medical Center was there also. Asklepious was the god of healing. People came from all over the Roman world to be treated by medical doctors and the priest of Asklepious who intended to use supernatural powers to heal the sick. It was at this place that was populated of people, even Roman emperors to be healed. And like human nature they worshipped the god of Asklepious. The Pergamon was built very similar to the Parthenon in Rome.
Believers would never enter this temple because they had been delivered from places like this. They had been washed in the blood of Jesus and they had been delivered from all these pagan gods and rituals. And to come there was not a smart thing to do. They understood that demons operated from this place. If you came to these places, you could not leave these places without being oppressed, so they shunned these kind of places.
But there was a group of false teachers in Ephesus and Pergamon, called the Nicolaitans. And the Nicolaitans said, “hey, we need to relax our rules.” Whether than to live separate from the world we need to befriend the world. We need to go where they go, do what they do. We need to speak their language and be more like them so they will be more accepting of us. The Nicolaitans expressed compromise with the world. In Revelation 2:5 and 2:15, Christ says emphatically He is so against their deeds and doctrines that He hated them. He didn’t hate the Nicolaitans, He hated their deeds and He hated their doctrines. We need to know what are the deeds and doctrines of the Nicolaitans, so we can resist it in our own times.
Jesus was aware of this insidious plan working inside the church. They withstood wave after wave of persecution and now this insidious plan was brought into the church. Jesus loved everybody but he hated the Nicolaitan’s insidious plan.
The Greek word Nicolaitans comes from the Greek word Nikolaos which means to conquer or subdue people. Depicts one who conquers or subdues people.
This group of people, the Nicolaitans where teaching compromise. The church was becoming spiritual sick, and they did not have any power of God.
The Greek word “hate” to hate, to abhor, to find utterly repulsive, a deep seeded animosity or repugnance, causing someone to disgust. Jesus loved them, but he hated their deeds and doctrine.
Nicolaism belief was that you can be a Christian and live in the World while doing the things of the world. You could live in two worlds and it not affect your Christianity.
Jesus, in Revelation 2 mentions Numbers 25 as an example of this spirit working in Israel. “But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.” Numbers 25, “Now Israel remained in Shittim of an Acacia Grove,[a] and the people began to commit harlotry with the women of Moab. 2 They invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. 3 So Israel was joined to Baal of Peor, and the anger of the LORD was aroused against Israel.”
Shittim was a place where there was a Grove of Trees and a Mountain. On the top of the Mountain was a temple of Baal called Baal of Peor. Baal Peor was a horrible god of sexual debauchery of the worst kind. This god of Baal is where they sacrificed children. So, the women of Moab according to Revelation 2:14 says they cast a stumbling block before Israel…took their clothes off and dangled themselves before Israel’s army. And the men began to talk among themselves what does it hurt if we begin to lower our standards a little bit, God will understand. Revelation 2 tells us the men gave into the temptation of lust and began to follow the women of Moab and they led them to the temple of Baal Peor to sacrifice their gods of Baal. This was a place that was diabolically apposed to a Holy God. They should of known better to be there.
1. The women called the men to sacrifice to their gods, they lowered their standards.
2. The men ate what they should not eat—entertained what was wrong. What you entertain you will eventually do.
3. The men bowed down to their gods—they accommodated what God despised. They compromised their faith.
4. Israel joined themselves Baal Peor or the people actually began to enter into sexual perversion and moral defilement.
5. The anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel—they incurred Judgement.
Balaam’s doctrine was moral surrender. Let’s get the people to modify their faith, abandon their faith, and morally surrender. If you get them to accommodate the immoral, then they will enter into activities that God does not approve and God will have to deal with His people. And that exactly what happened.
If Israel would have refused to participate this doctrine would have not been affected. It would have had no power against them whatsoever. This was the doctrine of Balaam: moral laxness, moral surrender, and the end result is God’s judgement.
So how is this manifesting in the church today? There are portions of spiritual Nicolaitans who are emerging by saying, Inclusiveness and compromise. Once upon a time these leaders had strong commitment to the inerrant Holy word of God but in time they have changed and they are now propagating compromise that is not part of the Gospels.
What are some of the signs of modern Nicolaism?
1. No emphasis on Holy Living and separation from the world. Leaders in this emerging thought are now saying it’s time for the church to allow members of the Homosexual and Transgender community to blend in to the church. This message is what was taught in the first century church. This will make the church more accommodating and inclusive thus they will be more open to the message of the gospel.
2. No emphasis on the doctrinal teaching of the Bible. Nicolaism addresses itself in the guise of “progressiveness.” The Bible is not absolute truth but is progressive adapting the morals and societies mores. Instead of using the Bible as absolute truth…they use it for references, illustrations, and examples. The Bible, they say is never to be used to judge or condemn. This is now so prolific that most church goers don’t even know the Bible or it’s truths especially to those who are younger.
3. No emphasis on absolute truth or absolute Biblical Authority. Where Nicolaism prevails, doctrine is replaced with social action, social justice, and an appeal to mass audience by making people feel better about themselves. It does away with the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. Nicolaism addresses itself in the disguise of being open minded. It says, everybody has a piece of the puzzle. And to demonstrate how deeply damaging more than half of evangelical Christians today do not believe the Bible is the Absolute truth and Authority. The issue with the progressive Christianity is not truth but respect. Consequently, the truth takes a second seat to other peoples beliefs even though those beliefs are diametrically contrary to the Bible. According this progressive and inclusive mindset not body is wrong, and everybody is right.
Jesus hated this kind of thinking and that was the thinking of the Nicolaitans.
4. No exclusionary belief that Christ alone is the only way to Heaven. Nicolaism addresses itself in the way of “tolerance.” It in effect levels the playing field and makes Christian “a truth” one of many other truths. This is a pagan principle that there are many roads leading to the same destination in the afterlife. And to categorically or to characterize that Jesus is the way, truth, and the life, the only way to heaven is nonsense.
If these four points are embraced it produces a powerless weakened version of Christianity where sin is tolerated, separation is ignored, and the need for ongoing repentance is disregarded.
And that is why Jesus said in Revelation 2:16, “Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.”
Where in my life does the spirit of compromise have dominion? Do I compromise areas of my life in secret? Is there habitual sin that I rely on grace more than deliverance? This is a great season to deal with the spirit of Nicolaitans in this Biblical month of Elul when the King is in our Field.
Shalom Blessings, Jim and Debbie Laymon and Wellspring Israel.