Today, we pick it up in Revelation 2:6 where it says, “But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. In these verses we see another compliment paid to this Church of Ephesus in that they hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans which God also hates. So the question is: Who were the Nicolaitans and what did they do that was so bad? Well, let’s start out by looking at their very name. The first part of the name “nico” comes from the Greek word which means “to conquer or enslave.” The second part of the name “laitans” comes from the Greek word meaning “people.” It’s from where we get the word “laity” today. Hence, their name means “to conquer or enslave the people.”
The Nicolaitans were a group who divided the laity from the clergy in an effort to re-establish the priesthood that was done away with by the sacrificial death of Jesus upon the cross. God hates this. Why is this so hated by God? We are told in Matthew 27:50-51, “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom….” Notice that the veil in the temple was ripped from top to bottom upon Jesus’ death. Why? - It signified that there was no longer a need for a priesthood after the order of Aaron. Remember that only the High Priest was allowed to go behind that veil once per year to make sacrifice for the sins of the people. That veil was really the only thing that separated the “laity” from the “clergy”. Upon Jesus’ death, it was once and for all removed. However, the Nicolaitans immediately set out to re-hang it and have been trying to do so ever since.
Jesus said in John 14:6, “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me....” He was saying that the people no longer would have a priest between them and God. Instead, He would be their High Priest. That’s why the Apostle Paul said to Timothy in 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”
In effect, when Jesus died upon the cross, the priesthood was abolished and Jesus Himself became our High Priest. That’s why the writer of Hebrews says that Jesus is the “mediator of the new covenant” (Hebrews 12:24). Jesus is the Mediator. He is the “go between” between us and God now. If we want to get to the Father, we must go through Jesus!
Now many will nod their heads in approval with all that I’ve just said, but will turn around and go to another man or an idol as a means of reaching God. It should not be! This damnable doctrine was introduced by the Nicolaitans and was hated and still is hated by God to this day. It is also interesting to note that here in the Church of Ephesus the works of the Nicolaitans are described as “deeds”. However, by the time we get to the Church of Pergamos in Revelation 2:15 that they are called “doctrines”. Deeds refer to a one time action that is carried out. While doctrines refer to a body of principles presented for acceptance or belief. In others words, what started out as deeds in the Church of Ephesus became full blown excepted doctrine by the time the Church of Pergamos came on the scene.
We are encouraged in Colossians 3:1, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” Why is Christ Jesus sitting at the right hand of God? He is acting as our High Priest. He is making intercession for us to the Father. Hebrews 3:1 says, “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;”
In conclusion, Jesus is our High Priest. He is the one we all must go to for salvation and no other. If we will but go to Him, He will go to the Father for us. Hebrews 7:25 says, “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” Jesus is the only way!