Silencing The Elect
Dr. Jay Worth Allen
“I have a few things against you because you have there
those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, . . . you also have those,
who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate”
What is the doctrine of Balaam? “If you can’t lick-um . . . join-um” (Numbers 22; 23) The way of Balaam is to sell your gift for hire. Balaam’s doctrine said to Balak, “Hey, you’ll never wipe out the people of God, so go and mingle in with them.” So, false teachers move in with all their doctrines of immorality, and mix in with the people of God. And the Bad Apples spoil the whole bunch.
What is the doctrine of the Nicolaitans? “If we can shut ‘em up, we can control ‘em.” If you can take from the people of God, the privilege of ministering to the Lord individually - if you can take the privilege of interpreting the scripture away from the people of God, and place that privilege into the hands of a select group of Church Officials - then the people of God become slaves of the group who know and hold the Book. That’s the Nicolaitans!
The word Nicolaitans means, people rulers, or converters of the people. The word comes from the Greek, nikao which means, “to conquer,” and laos which means, “people.” We derive our word, laity from the word laos. As soon as we began referring to the people of God as The Laity, this was the beginning of the separation of The Clergy from the People of God. The church became a Priest class here, and a Laity class there. And God said “I hate it!” This separation brought about spectator-sport Christianity: the preacher up front and the congregation down below . . . and God “hates it!”
All of this is a result of, and the ultimate end of, what happened in the Pergamum church (Revelation 2:12-17).
Pergamum, the state church, was first established by the emperor Constantine - thus, it became first church of Rome and introduced the first Pope, or Pontifex Maximus. As time went on, all the bishops of Rome were given imperial (and pagan) titles. The emperor and Pope (one in the same) also became known as the Vicar of Christ (Latin vicarius ‘substitute‘ of Christ) and as the Bishop of Bishops. After Constantine’s death and continuing to this day, these three titles are retained by the popes of the Roman Catholic Church.
Of the seven cities mentioned in Revelation, Pergamum was indeed the most wicked, for Satan’s seat or throne was established there (Revelation 2:13). As its name implies, Pergamum (twice married or mixed marriage) was a city of mixed religions and temples.
A title held by the inhabitants of Pergamum was “Chief Temple-Keepers of Asia.” Behind the city was a cone shaped mountain rising 1,000 feet above sea level, which was covered with heathen temples. Towering above all the temples, and visible for miles around, was a giant altar to Zeus, the Grecian father of the gods. The city was also headquarters of the serpent god, Asklepios, and like Smyrna, Pergamum had erected a temple to the Roman emperor. The most prominent religious system of the city and most likely the one that plagued the local church for what Christ had condemned it, was the worship of Bacchus, the Greek god of revelry and licentious orgies. The annual drunken feast held in honor of Bacchus in the spring, called the Bacchanalia, included eating meat sacrificed to idols and climaxed in a sexual frenzy. (Mardi Gras has its roots in the Bacchanalia, which is religiosity followed by Ash Wednesday, fasting, abstinence, and penitence: i.e. Lent.)
Are there Pergamum churches today? Yes.
One signpost of a Pergamum church is Nicolaitanism, or the overthrow by the Clergy of the Laity. Some Protestant churches are run by a hierarchy who dictates all policy, forbidding members to vote on certain issues. The selection and placement of pastors in many denominations are handled by bishops, deacons or superintendents. The vote of church members, if indeed there is one, is simply an endorsement of a prior selection.
Nicolaitanism’s doctrine is identical to that of the doctrine of Balaam: “If you can’t lick ‘um, join ‘um” (Revelation 2:14). There are today, whole denominations who are controlled by organizational demons, who have come into the church as “angels of light.” They are Balaam’s acolytes and they are not interested in the Lord Jesus Christ, though they pretend to be.
Another requirement of a Pergamum church is the System of Unity: of church and State: “mixed” or “twice married” - a mixture of pagan doctrine with church doctrine. Today it’s called a consensus of faiths, which has found a platform in many Protestant churches. The results of this “marriage” is staggering.
Not long ago, 10,000 Protestant clergymen were mailed a questionnaire, a poll to which 7,441 replied: To the first question, “Do you believe that the scriptures are the inspired and inerrant word of God in faith, history and secular matters?”
24% of Missouri Lutheran pastors answered No;
77% of American Lutheran pastors answered No;
67% of American Baptist pastors answered No;
82% of United Presbyterian pastors answered No;
87% of United Methodist pastors answered No;
95% of Episcopalian priests answered No.
To the second question, “Do you accept Jesus’ physical resurrection as fact?”
7% of Missouri Lutheran pastors answered No;
13% of American Lutheran pastors answered No;
33% of American Baptist pastors answered No;
35% of United Presbyterian pastors answered No;
51% of United Methodist pastors answered No;
30% of Episcopalian priests answered No.
None of these accept Jesus’ physical resurrection as fact.
Replace any of those churches with whatever denomination you choose, and you’ll find a similar “mixed marriage” of Church and State, Divine and Pagan in them all. And when this “mixed marriage” has a foothold in any denomination, evangelism ceases and heresy enters the church. If your church has mixed Patriotism with Christianity or Pagan, New Age or Hipster Christianity with Church doctrine, your Church has passed the final test of being a Pergamum church. You are being ruled by Nicolaitans, who are following the doctrine of Balaam. And the Elect has been Silenced.
(Excerpts from Ch. 6, “If you can’t lick-um . . . join-um” in A Brief History of Redemption by Dr. Jay Worth Allen.)
Silencing The Elect
Published: 16 November 2010 on Freed In Christ! blogsite.
Published: 18 November 2010 in the author‘s Faith Column of The County Journal.
(Part Three of the author's END-TIMES APOSTATE CHURCH Series)
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