Category Archives: Nicolaitans

FALSE APOSTLES AND FIRST WORKS

The messenger at Ephesus is commended for *rejecting false apostles, chastised for leaving his first love, and summoned to return to his first works.

In his exhortation to the “messenger” at Ephesus, Jesus begins by stressing his intimate knowledge of all the churches in Asia. He is “grasping” the seven messengers tightly in his right hand, and “walking” continuously among the seven assemblies. Therefore, he knows their “works and labor and endurance” – (Revelation 2:1-7).

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FALSE APOSTLES AND NICOLAITANS

Deceivers within the seven congregations were encouraging believers to compromise with the idolatrous rites of pagan society.

One of the chief concerns in the seven letters to the churches of Asia is with deceivers that work within the congregations. While several groups and one individual are named, the net effect of all their efforts is to cause believers to “commit fornication and to eat food offered to idols.” In short, to induce idolatry and compromise with the surrounding society.

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CHURCH AT PERGAMOS

The church at Pergamos received correction for tolerating the teachings of “Balaam” – Revelation 2:12-17

Pergamos lay sixty kilometers to the north of Smyrna and twenty kilometers from the sea. Though not a major commercial center, occasionally, it served as the seat of the Roman provincial government and the provincial center for the imperial cult. The first temple dedicated to Augustus Caesar in Asia was built at Pergamos in 29 B.C.

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CHURCH AT EPHESUS

The “angel” at Ephesus was commended for rejecting false apostles but chastised for losing his “first love” – Revelation 2:1-7. 

The first three letters form a distinct literary unit, which is indicated by the order of the concluding exhortation and promise at the end of each for “he who overcomes.” Each of them ends with the exhortation to “hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches,” followed by the promise to overcomers. This sequence is reversed in the final four letters.

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