"A Hated Doctrine"
In the book of Revelation, the Lord declares His hatred for the deeds and the doctrines of "the Nicolaitans" (Revelation 2:6;15). Many Biblical historians believe this teaching involved the exaltation of the clergy over the laity in Christian doctrine and practice. Rather than portraying authority in terms of humble service, the Nicolaitan error led those in leadership to use their position for their own benefit rather than the blessing of others. This starkly contrasts with the authority and humility of the Lord Jesus Christ.
"So after He had washed their feet, and had taken His garments, and was set down again, He said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call Me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you" (John 13:12-15).
Further error regarding the Nicolaitans involved the misguided notion that pastors, preachers, and teachers have a more direct line to God than believers called to other vocations and responsibilities. Nothing could be further from the truth. For example, pastors are frequently asked to pray for people. Sometimes those requesting their prayers seem to think the Lord might be more likely to answer pastors because of their calling. Again, nothing could be further from the truth. Faithful pastors certainly do not mind praying for people. However, if the person requesting their intercession is a believer, they have every bit as much access to God as does the pastor. Certainly pastors may have had more time and opportunity to ponder the Biblical doctrine of prayer than the one who asks them to pray (or maybe not!). However, while Scriptural knowledge regarding prayer is a wonderful and necessary thing, the heart of prayer is the praying heart. That is, when a believer approaches the Throne of grace through the merits of the Lord Jesus, seeking to humbly pray in accordance with God's will, the prayers of a preacher, pastor, teacher, or missionary bear no more influence with our Heavenly Father than those of anyone else. "God is no respecter of persons" (Acts 10:34). Any notion to the contrary is hated by God, and must also be hated by His children.
I have been blessed to know many wonderful and godly pastors, preachers, and teachers, many of who receive these devotionals. They would all agree with what I have written in the previous paragraphs. I have also been blessed to know many wonderful and godly believers called to other lives and livelihoods. Again, many of you receive these devotionals. Such ones take a back seat to no one in their love, faith, faithfulness, and devotion to the Lord Jesus and to people. Indeed, such a fact should cause us to hate the doctrine of the Nicolatians about as much as we hate anything. But we will not hate it as much as God hates it. Of that we can be sure.
"The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed,feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind, neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock."
(I Peter 5:1-3)
"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."
Weekly Memory Verse
Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name. Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
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