Therefore God’s blessing has lifted, leaving America open to every kind of disaster. But does the New Testament actually teach that the purpose of the Christian salvation is to change people morally and not just forgive them? Is it the sin of sensuality that is intensely active? “There is nothing we are to do! “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). We look to the Holy Spirit for the strength to embrace the good and totally renounce and reject that which is evil. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. Now, let us examine some of the prohibitions issued by the Apostle Paul. To do so is to attempt to improve on the righteousness of Christ. By “whatever was to my profit” Paul was referring to his adherence to the various aspects of the Law of Moses. Believers can cling to parts of it if they wish, and are not sinning by doing so. The deeds and doctrine of the Nicolaitans, and the deeds and doctrine of current Christian preaching and teaching, are, in numerous instances, one and the same. I have written in several places that one of the sources of the confusion in Christian thinking is our misunderstanding of what the Apostle meant when he claimed we are saved by grace and not by works; particularly what he meant by “works.”. I would suppose they are the good works that proceed from a righteous, holy character. guO endstream endobj startxref 0 %%EOF 54 0 obj <>stream Here Paul lists all these traits of character and it sounds like he is speaking of unbelievers but then he says that they have “a form of godliness” but are “denying the power thereof.” He is describing those in the “last days” who take the name of Christ, are members of His church but are holding to this doctrine of the Nicolaitans who believe that they are saved by grace and therefore are free from the claims of the law. Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Christ is the Word, the eternal law of God made flesh. This led to the belief that the desires and affections of the sanctified ones were always right and never in danger of leading them into sin. Here they are commended because they hate the deeds of ‘the Nicolaitans’, which God says He also hates. It is the unmerited love of God. It is mentioned twice in the book of Revelation, first in the message to the church of Ephesus, and secondly to the church of Pergamos. Furthermore, she states that “this doctrine is now largely taught”. In verse 24 we read; “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”. Of course, this does not mean holy and blameless by imputed righteousness. We look to the New Testament, to the Holy Spirit, and to our conscience to learn what is good and what is evil. If we are abiding in Christ and have surrendered all to Him, He will provide the power to be overcomers and victorious and when He “stands up” and probation closes, He will not withdraw that divine power on His people, but it will be even more clearly seen in contrast with the wicked—on which His Spirit has been totally withdrawn. Also, we know this because acts of sexual immorality reveal we love our flesh more than we do God. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. There is no passage dearer to the heart of Christians than Ephesians 2:8,9. It is this word, this law, that is the new covenant. Since the term Nicolaitan may be linked linguistically to the Hebrew word for Balaam, it is likely that the reference is to eating food sacrificed to idols, and to immorality: in other words, to the works of the flesh. If God makes a promise, then He has the power to fulfil that promise. On our own we can do nothing but with God all things are possible. Yet, there was no Law of Moses. So what are the good works God prepared in advance for us to do? (“The Deeds and Doctrine of the Nicolaitans”, 3312-1). We know this is true because of what Paul wrote about circumcision, in the Books of Romans and Galatians. We are only under bondage to the law when we break the law. In this case, the pastor is not saved. According to this doctrine, the Nicolaitans were Balaamites, i.e. The Gospel is the Law unfolded, nothing more nor less. How do we know? But what if being saved has nothing to do with going to Heaven but means being delivered from the person and works of Satan and brought into the image of God and untroubled rest in the center of God’s Person and will? �/�Gw���:�_'�_'1���6�ZV�V7�;�a�\X�F�wX��g���c�Q����t�7: ���XӚAנAo4,��Got�+�UQܠ�SñfUeK@���T����嵿C{4;d�:���S��}E���jֶƯ��ջ��6Y��`��E֔�,����Ƚs\)X}� ~���^�. destroyers of men because they committed fornication and worshipped idols. Paul sought the righteousness that comes only through interaction with Christ, His resurrection and His sufferings, as distinguished from the righteousness that he obtained formerly by obeying the Law of Moses by the efforts of his human personality. This doctrine of the Nicolaitans which turns the grace of God into lasciviousness says that we will be sinning until Jesus comes, but this is a doctrine that God says He hates. What power would attend the proclamation of the gospel to the world! “Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;” (2 Peter 2:14,15).