Gal 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
There is a very valuable principal that can be applied to nearly everything…CUT OUT THE MIDDLEMEN.
Food is a good example, the more times that food is handled and processed by other people, the more tasteless and unhealthy it generally is for you. Whereas, if you grow you own food, and eat it directly from your own garden, when it is ripe and ready to harvest, generally it will provide you with optimal freshness, taste, and nutrition.
This principal of “cutting out the middlemen” is doubly important for your spiritual health.
1Co 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
1Co 11:4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
1Co 11:5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
The Church has become horribly abnormal and corrupt through the historical machinations of various people seeking to gain wealth and power (the Nicolaitans).
When the Apostle Paul discussed marriage, he often brought the discussion right back to the very beginning of creation, to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. His argument was simple, yet very powerful…the husband should ALWAYS represent Jesus Christ, and the wife should ALWAYS represent the Church.
Did you notice that Paul said that the head of EVERY man is Christ…NOT the apostles, NOT the prophets, NOT the pastors, NOT the popes, NOT the bishops, NOT the priests, NOT the ministers, NOT the elders, NOT the church board of directors, etc., etc. Let that sink in for a while, “the head of EVERY man is CHRIST!
Col 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of ANGELS, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
We see where these false teachers were coming from by the words “vainly (eike – without success or effort)” and “puffed up (phusioo – proud)”. It brings to mind false prophets like Muhammad or Joseph Smith, who both claimed they received visits from angelic beings, which somehow gave them license to totally corrupt the gospel of Jesus Christ and start whole new religions.
The word (HUMILITY), occurring elsewhere always in a good sense, in this chapter (comp. Col_2:23) seems to point to something blameworthy: ‘a false and perverted lowliness, which deemed God was so inaccessible that He could only be approached through the mediation of inferior beings’ (Ellicott). A Popular Commentary on the New Testament.
ANGELS: G32, aggelos, ang'-el-os
From ἀγγέλλω aggellō (probably derived from G71; compare G34; to bring tidings); a messenger; especially an “angel”; by implication a pastor: - angel, messenger.
Although the world “angel” is often used to describe “heavenly messengers”, it was also often used to describe “people”. SEE Matt. 11:10, Luke 7:24, James 2:25.
Read the 2nd Chapter of Colossians closely, you will see that false teachers were attempting to substitute “philosophy” and the “traditions of men” for the perfect gospel of Jesus Christ. I like Ellicott’s commentary: ‘a FALSE and PERVERTED lowliness.’
Whenever we place frail and flawed people on a pedestal, they are destined to disappoint and fail us. We should never confuse a mere human with God. It is like comparing a drop of water with the ocean!
All through the Bible we notice that people seem to want a human intermediary between them and God. When God came down on Mount Sinai to meet with the children of Israel, the people wanted Moses to be their intermediary.
Exo 20:19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.
During the time of the Judges of Israel, the people wanted God to make a king to rule over them.
1Sa 8:4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,
1Sa 8:5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
1Sa 8:6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD.
1Sa 8:7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
When we determine in our heart that we want to serve a flawed human being, in reality we are rejecting God’s reign over us. I suspect that most people are convinced that a person is much easier to serve than God. If there is one thing the Bible makes perfectly clear… people are much, much harder to serve than God! This applies both to the secular and to the religious world.
If you look hard enough for somebody to serve, you will usually find them, and the people who insist on being served all the time are not the type of people you actually want to serve.
Dan 4:17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.
Think about it for a second, Who actually NEEDS to be served all of the time? I think I can break it down into three categories: 1) Very YOUNG children NEED to be served. 2) Very SICK people NEED to be served. 3) Very OLD people NEED to be served.
Everybody else should serve ONLY God!
Mat 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him ONLY shalt thou SERVE.
ONLY: G3441, monos, mon'-os
Probably from G3306; remaining, that is, sole or single; by implication mere: - alone, only, by themselves.
SERVE: G3000, latreuō, lat-ryoo'-o
From λάτρις latris (a hired menial); to minister (to God), that is, render religious homage: - serve, do the service, worship (-per).
We observe that the words “service”, “homage”, and “worship” are all related. Service and worship are what Satan craves and demands from people. Therefore, when people crave to be in positions of power, we know exactly where they are coming from…don’t we?
I should interject that there is nothing wrong with lending people a helping hand occasionally, or when we enter into short term contractor situations, the problems begin to magnify and get out of control when we enter into permanent employee/employer relationships with other people…especially when we cultivate religious relationships based on money!
Act 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Act 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
This description is in stark contrast to Paul’s description of himself as a true Apostle:
Act 20:33 I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.
Act 20:34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
Act 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Now let us read how the Apostle Peter described the conduct of a true elder of the Church.
1Pe 5:2 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;
1Pe 5:3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
Now let us read how the Apostle Peter described false prophets and teachers that would infiltrate the Church in the last days.
2Pe 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
You do not need to possess the wisdom of Solomon to know the difference between a true disciple of Jesus Christ and a false shepherd.
Rev 2:15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
Rev 2:16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
The LORD commends the Church of Ephesus because they hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans and He condemns the Church of Pergamos because they tolerated the Nicolaitans.
We see that the Nicolaitans have been in the church from nearly the beginning and now they are so much part of the church that people don’t even recognize that Jesus “hates” their deeds and their doctrine.
The word nicolaitan comes from the combination of two Greek words:
G3532, Nikolaos, nik-ol'-ah-os
From G3534 and G2004; victorious over the people; Nicolaus, a heretic: - Nicolaus.
Let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?
G3534, nikos, nee'-kos
From G3529; a conquest (concretely), that is, (by implication) triumph: - victory.
G2004, epitassō, ep-ee-tas'-so
From G1909 and G5021; to arrange upon, that is, order: - charge, command, injoin.
The Strong’s concordance says that Nicolaitans were adherents of a heretic named Nicolaus. I believe this is just a deception the Nicolaitans came up with to hide their presence in the Church.
We can understand who they really are and what they believe by the Greek meaning of the name: VICTORIUS OVER THE PEOPLE. The Nicolaitans believe that somebody should be in charge, and that the people needed to be under a command structure or hierarchy.
If you have not recognized who the Nicolaitans are then all you need to do is look into the infrastructure of nearly any modern organization. Most modern organizations are set up under the Nicolaitan system of hierarchy, a system of command and control, whether the organization is government, corporate, or religious. Another name for the Nicolaitan system in the Bible is BABYLON! The Nicolaitans will tell you about Jesus all day long and every day of the week but they will never introduce you to Jesus.
The True Church is just the opposite. The saints hear directly from God, they serve ONLY God, and ALL the saints are Kings and Priests of the Most High. The saints have a family relationship with ONE Father, and ONE High Priest, and ONE another.
Zec 11:15 And the LORD said unto me, Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd.
Zec 11:16 For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces.