As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. Romans 9:13 KJV
But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate Revelation 2:6 KJV
I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Revelation 2:9 KJV
Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. Revelation 3:9 KJV
Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:19-24 KJV
This Blog is addressed to the Saints who stand mature in the Word rightly divided. Amen!
I pray God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ bless this writing – that it may open the eyes of our understanding in the most profound way for the blessing and honor and glory and power forever and ever unto Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever AMEN!
In order to comprehend or a better word: apprehend this work – please have a firm understanding of Godhead and that Jesus Christ exists and has always existed as the visible image of God. See notes on Meet My Kinsman Redeemer to understand this. Also read links and studies on Harmonizing Love and Hate in Scripture – Yes God really so loved the world that He sent His only “begotten” son and yes God really did say he loves Jacob but hates Esau.
There is literally thousands of pages of misguided literature out there and flawed hermeneutics by the very Nicolaitans I address here trying to prove that what the word of God says is not really what it says. Yes God really did say he has hated Esau.
From the beginning of the deception of Eve. Satan – the father of the Nicolaitans – said, “Yea, hath God said?…” Genesis 3:1KJV.
Jesus Christ said the reason the Pharisees (Nicolaitans) couldn’t understand what he was saying was because: “You are ‘OF’ your father the devil.” John 8:43,44 KJV.
Please also see extensive study on how the seed of the fallen angels survived the flood through the wife of Ham and later became that same seed that was in Esau.
Read how that blood line came to be known Nicolaitans through Nimrod and ultimately to all of those that by their very DNA hate God and his creation. This bloodline of the Pharisees.
As all in this realm must have an origin this issue has its very origin from the fall of man in the garden. To take it even further back, this takes place after Lucifer was literally thrown out of the third heaven and then defiled his once beautiful realm called planet earth of which turned void and without form for millions of years until the creation of Adam and Eve and through their fall from paradise. This is the root cause of all of this destruction that ultimately each human being is born into sin.
God in his infinite knowledge knew who of those born into sin would receive him and believe on His only begotten son for their salvation. The Nicolaitans are those who reject the truth and embrace the lie of their father the devil. They then go on to hunt and conquer and make spoil of the laity- the sheep of the pastures.
Who not necessarily by DNA bloodline of the Nephilim but choose to follow their father the devil and his dominions of evil and their blood line with human DNA – the direct demonic Nephilim forefathers who did same.
Contrary to popular Gnostic belief that has infiltrated the Church by the Nicolaitans and now only leaving the Church of Philadelphia – today only a small percentage of believers who are blood bought and born again believers in the finished work on the cross by Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ, the visible image of God, is not a sappy hugging love bug who loves every soul and winks at their sin and looks beyond them to love them “unconditionally “. Read past John 3:16 KJV to the end of chapter 3.
The wages of sin is death means what is says. Without the blood of Jesus Christ there is NO remission of sin means what it says.
From the MEGA church 501C3 Evangelical CEOs and their machinery to the small 501C3 operation charlatans to the false fellowship assembly wolves along with the Vatican and the Cabal Zionist agenda and all the other hoards of false teachers out there in this fallen lost world who preach a false gospel who make merchandise of and spoil their sheep.
These reprobates are the ones who will be spewed out of the mouth of Jesus Christ and who will hear those horrific words: “Depart from me, I never knew you!”
Even so Come Lord Jesus!
These are NICOLAITIANS:
Come meet my Kinsman Redeemer
Understand Biblical Love and Hate
AntiZionism is NOT AntiSemitism
Esau and his genome
Oct 21, 2019 · Esau was hated or not chosen by God from the moment of conception because he unfortunately inherited seed from the sons of God passed into by the Nephilim onto Ham’s wife, Canaan the child and transmitted to Rebecca who gave rise to a Nephilim child Esau …
If you are to consider the possibility of Genesis 6 as being true and accurate, namely that the sons of God copulated with human women in order that they might corrupt the human seed (genome) and thereby destroy the possibility of a redeemer as prophecied that would restore humans back into right standing with God
“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”” Genesis 3:15
(Notice both the woman and the deceiver have seed)
And that the seed of the sons of God survived the flood through Ham’s wife and child Canaan cursed by Noah
And that God decided after the nations rebelled against The God of heaven, to put over them gods to rule over them as they were divided Deu 32:8 LLX and Psalm 82
But God made His own nation from Abraham by the son of promise Isaac Deu 32:9 and Deu 7:7 the youngest and therefore the fewest of all the nations
If you believe that God had a specific plan and therefore a particular bloodline lineage through which He would bring the Messiah into the world then it will make complete sense why Esau was hated.
thought I made the connection in that God exterminated the earth with a world wide flood because of the Nephilim. “And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.” Genesis 6:12 Except for the family of Tamaiym Noah, his wife and three sons. “These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous תמים man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.” Genesis 6:9 there are plenty of responses on this verse in This stack concerning תמים tamaiym. I could share some links when I have some time to find them. – Nihil Sine Deo Oct 25 ’19 at 21:01
hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/34181/… AND hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/29057/… physical purity is included as an explanation though most prefer in light of the fallen angels not to include this definition yet it is used of sacrificial animals which are amoral. Let me know if this answers your question why God hates this seed contaminating the human race and why He instructed for the annihilation of only specific families descending from Canaan – Nihil Sine Deo Oct 26 ’19 at 11:28
Rebecca[a] appears in the Hebrew Bible as the wife of Isaac and the mother of Jacob and Esau. According to biblical tradition, Rebecca’s father was Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram, also called Aram-Naharaim. Rebecca’s brother was Laban the Aramean, and she was the grand daughter of Milcah and Nahor, the brother of Abraham,,you are right,rebeccas father was an Aramean,and so Rebecca was from the bloodline of the nephillims and that bloodline continued from Ham wife,and descendent of ham mostly Canaan,the Arameans were Canaanite,the devil wanted to corrupt the seed of promise,as Isaac was a seed of promise so would have been isaac children but Esau’s was corrupted that was why he looked the way he was as a child and God choosed Jacob, and when you look until Jacob cried for help he was like a servant to Laban Rebecca brother and his uncle for 14 years
If we pay attention to the language of those boarding Noah’s ark we will notice that every group is followed with the words “after their kind”
“On the very same day Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark, they and every beast after its kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, all sorts of birds.” Genesis 7:13-14 NASB
This passage was already mentioned in Chapter 6 and that phrase “after its kind” is mentioned only after the animals but not after Noah’s family. The implication being that The eight souls are not all of the same kind.
We read that Noah was tamiym, translated as perfect or without blemish undefiled. Genesis 6:9
Noah and his wife being echâd G-d would say the same of both of them. I’m not going to side track on this. Both being undefiled their sons could likewise not have been corrupted with the seed of the elohim. So why couldn’t the Bible add after their kind to Noah’s family? The implication is that the wives of the sons were corrupted and given the verse
“God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.” Genesis 6:12 NASB
That would infer that all flesh other than the animals G-d kept undefiled and Noah and his immediate family. But the daughters in law were not included as blood relations to Noah.
Cursing the Grandson
This is where it gets curious. Noah plants a vine and gets drunk and the Bible drops an “Easter egg” when it uses the phrase “saw the nakedness of his father”
“Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside.” Genesis 9:22 NASB
That is the same phrase used in several other places to describe sexual union but not that Ham united with his father but with his mother as per
“You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s brother; you shall not approach his wife, she is your aunt.” Leviticus 18:14 NASB
This language is highly cryptic and for good reasons but it becomes evident that Noah understood something. Instead of cursing Ham who tried to lay with his own mother Noah curses his grandchild Canaan
“So he said, “Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brothers.”” Genesis 9:25 NASB
That is most peculiar. But it seems to make sense in this light. Ham after knowing his nephil wife gave birth to a child and the child had nephil traits. Maybe his wife didn’t outwardly display any phenotypic traits but the child made it perfectly evident that she had nephilim DNA. So any other children he would have with her would very likely also be carriers of nephilim DNA. Seeing he had little to no chance convincing his brothers to share their wives to raise up a house for himself, when his father had become drunk he saw an opportunity in a pure/tamiym mother.
Noah blames the grandchild for Ham’s behavior, he was desperate.
If we follow Canaan’s progeny it has many with nephilim traits.
This is one way that the nephilim seed passed over the flood.
Beside this method there is also the possibility that gnostic witchcraft of the gods was employed for trans human and animal genetic mutants but the key remains, elohim seed had to survive somehow in order that it be used.
Example of Nephilim after the Flood
Here are three examples of nephilim in the Bible after the flood
“”Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorite before them, Though his height was like the height of cedars And he was strong as the oaks; I even destroyed his fruit above and his root below.” Amos 2:9 NASB
A mature cedar today grows anywhere from 20’ – 65+’ these are the giants Israel saw when they went spying the land. If they were only 7-9’ tall I don’t think they would have been that scared of them.
“Now Ephron was sitting among the sons of Heth; and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the hearing of the sons of Heth; even of all who went in at the gate of his city, saying,” Genesis 23:10 NASB
The name Ephron meant fawn-like and names generally had meanings back then, descriptive meaning like Esau. Efron was pet human and part goat. The Hittite have a really interesting ancient artifacts of human animal hybrid drawings.
“Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many acts; he slew two lionlike men of Moab: also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day.” 1 Chronicles 11:22 KJV
Was Ham’s Wife of the Nephilim?
Project: Bibilical History
Richard B. Sorensen
The Nephilim were said to be a race or a group of people that had distinct physical characteristics of large size and great strength. They are first mentioned in Genesis chapter 6 as the progeny of the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men.” Although the psychological characteristics of the Nephilim are not specifically described in the Bible, they are generally pictured as being very proud, belligerent, sexually aggressive, and prone to conflict. Immediately after they are mentioned Genesis goes on to discuss how the heart and minds of people became continually evil, and God’s flood judgement in response. But the Bible indicates that the Nephilim reappeared after presumably being killed off in the Flood. How could that have happened? This paper explores a possibility that may not have been previously considered – that the wife of Ham (one of the sons of Noah), who was one of the individuals present on the ark, was born from Nephilim stock. She would therefore have passed her DNA to some of her children (especially to her son Canaan) and later descendants, so that individuals of large size and/or psychopathic behavior could therefore reappear later in history. Also considered is the possibility that the biblical Nimrod, a descendant of Ham, was the Sumerian king Gilgamesh, and that he also was genetically Nephilim.
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Was Ham’s Wife of the Nephilim? By: Richard B. Sorensen February 24, 2020, updated March 3, 2021 email@example.com http://www.richardsorensen.com http://www.unholygrail.net ABSTRACT: The Nephilim were said to be a race or a group of people that had distinct physical characteristics of large size and great strength. They are first mentioned in Genesis chapter 6 as the progeny of the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men.” Although the psychological characteristics of the Nephilim are not specifically described in the Bible, they are generally pictured as being very belligerent, sexually aggressive, and prone to conflict. Immediately after they are mentioned, Genesis goes on to discuss how the heart and minds of people became continually evil, and God’s flood judgement in response. But the Bible indicates that the Nephilim reappeared after presumably being killed off in the Flood. How could that have happened? This paper explores a possibility that may not have been previously considered – that the wife of Ham (one of the sons of Noah), who was one of the individuals present on the ark, was born from Nephilim stock. She would therefore have passed her DNA to some of her children (especially to her son Canaan) and later descendants, so that individuals of large size and/or psychopathic behavior could therefore reappear later in history. Also considered is the
possibility that the Biblical Nimrod, a descendant of Ham, was the Sumerian king Gilgamesh, and that he also was genetically Nephilim. A. Background on the Nephilim. Genesis chapter 6 contains a short and cryptic account of the ancient world at some point after Creation. It indicates that a group called the “sons of God” were attracted by the beauty of the “daughters of men” and took some of them as wives. The children of these unions were called “the Nephilim.” Now it came about when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless, his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came into the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Genesis 6:1-41 The actions of the Nephilim in the pre-flood biblical account are not described, but the following verses speak of the societal conditions at the time of Noah. Apparently, the presence and actions of the Nephilim were part of the societal milieu of extreme evil that led to the flood. Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in his heart. The Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. Genesis 6:5-8 The Nephilim are portrayed as men who were tall, strong, and belligerent. The paper “Were the Nephilim Genetically Psychopathic?”2 discusses the possibility that in addition to being physically intimidating they were also mentally psychopathic. It is known that psychopaths have differences in their brain structure that produces the following effects: 3 Superficial charm combined with the use of mind games Absence of nervousness and little concern for personal safety Substance abuse Extreme selfishness 1 All Scripture references in this paper are from the New American Standard Bible. 2 See the following for more background on both the sons of God and the Nephilim: Richard B. Sorensen, “Were the Nephilim Genetically Psychopathic?”, https://www.academia.edu/41967404/Were_the_Nephilim_Genetically_Psychopathic 3 See: “A Conscious Rethink: Signs You’re Arguing with a Psychopath”, https://www.aconsciousrethink.com/3454/8-signs-youre-arguing-psychopath
No respect for law or custom Continual deception, deviousness, and cunning Unrelenting condescension and threatening behavior Overly controlling and sexually obsessive Guiltlessness – lack of conscience and refusal to take responsibility Rapid mood shifts especially when the individual is unable to win and/or get their way, and swings between depression and animation Twisted view of reality Total lack of empathy In other words, psychopathic individuals such as today’s serial rapists and serial killers will engage in forced sexual activities as well as maiming and killing others for personal enjoyment without any empathy for their victims. Furthermore, they are deceptive, cunning, and completely selfish with little or no conscience or sense of having done anything wrong, and they seek to control and use others for their own purposes. This is exactly what Satan and the demons are like. Given the assumption that the Nephilim were the product of demons mating with human women, and the testimony from Genesis about the conditions of increasing evil in Noah’s era, it seems likely that their DNA would include a predisposition to psychopathology.4 As discussed below, centuries later during the conquest of the land of Canaan under Moses and Joshua, the Israelites encountered individuals described as being of Nephilim ancestry; i.e., they were very large and belligerent. The question therefore becomes: if the Nephilim of Noah’s time all died in the flood, how were there any surviving descendants? There are four possible answers: 1. The individuals encountered by the Israelites were not actually Nephilim.5 4 Richard B. Sorensen, “Were the Nephilim Genetically Psychopathic?”, https://www.academia.edu/41967404/Were_the_Nephilim_Genetically_Psychopathic 5 Aside from the text in Genesis 6, the word “Nephilim” is only mentioned one other time in the Bible in Numbers 13. This chapter tells the story of twelve Israeli men sent in to spy out of the land of Canaan. When the spies returned, they were very positive about the fertility of the land, but that some of the inhabitants were huge. They said that the Anakim were there (sons of a giant named Anak) who was supposedly of Nephilim ancestry. So ten of the twelve reported that the inhabitants were too big and tough for the Israelites to handle – “we were like grasshoppers compared to them.” The spies could not, of course, have known what pre-flood Nephilim actually looked like or how tall they were, so some have alleged that the individuals they saw may have been large but were not actually descendants of the Genesis 6 Nephilim. The ten may therefore have exaggerated or tried to associate the Anakim with “boogeymen” from the past in order to justify their fears. However, their assessment was not challenged by Joshua and Caleb, the other two spies, who essentially said, “these guys may be big and tough, but we can take them.” There is also much evidence that some of the inhabitants of Canaan were Nephilim-like and therefore probably had a genetic connection with the Nephilim of Genesis 6. These include Og, the king of Bashan who had a huge bed, the Rephaim (another name for the Nephilim), various tribes such as the Anakim, Emim, and Zamzummim, and later Goliath, his kin, and others.
2. The sons of God somehow returned after the flood and re-created a race of Nephilim. However, there are no mentions or hints of this happening, and the sons of God from Genesis 6 were imprisoned for their actions.6 3. The flood was local and some of the Nephilim survived. This is a possibility with geologic and archaeological evidence on both sides of the debate. 4. The flood was universal (the position of the author) but at least one of the individuals on the ark had a Nephilim ancestry that emerged in their descendants. Whether or not the flood was universal, it still seems very likely that Canaan, Noah’s grandson, was the ancestor for the post-flood Nephilim, because their only known appearance was in the land of Canaan, the area eponymously named after him. B. Background on Ham, his Wife, and the Flood Genesis 6:9 states that Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth. The same verse further states in that Noah was “blameless among the people of his time”, implying that both he and his sons were not tainted with any Nephilim genetics in their ancestry. However, this was not necessarily true of the son’s wives. When Noah boarded the ark he took along with him his wife, his sons, and their wives, a total of eight people.7 The Bible does not provide any information about the names or the background of the women on board the ark, but apocryphal sources state that Ham’s wife was named Ne’elatama’uk.8 The Book of Jasher indicates that all of the wives of Noah’s sons were the daughters of Eliakim, son of Methuselah.9 However, different sources vary,10 and even if Ne’elatama’uk was a daughter of Eliakim we don’t know if all of his daughters came from the same mother. So the identity of these women and their genealogy is an open issue. After the flood waters receded, Noah’s family emerged from the ark and settled somewhere on the plains of Shinar, today’s southern Turkey, Syria, or Iraq. Genesis then tells a curious story of family problems: Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine, became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father’s nakedness. Another potential reason for the presence of Nephilim descendants in Canaan is the command given by God to completely wipe out certain groups (i.e., those with a corrupted ancestry), but not others. The bottom line is that a Nephilim connection with some of the Canaanite peoples is therefore likely but cannot be conclusively demonstrated. 6 2 Peter 2:4 7 1 Peter 3:20 8 Book of Jubilees 7:14 9 Book of Jasher 5:35 10 “Wives aboard Noah’s Ark”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wives_aboard_Noah%27s_Ark
When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him. So he said, “Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants he shall be to his brothers.” He also said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem, and let Canaan be his servant. May God enlarge Japheth and let him dwell in the tents of Shem, and let Canaan be his servant.” Genesis 9:20-27 The term “saw the nakedness of his father” is a euphemism for some type of incestuous sexual act. The Bible uses this euphemism for incest in other places, such as repeatedly in Leviticus 18-20 and Ezekiel 16-23. Therefore, there was more involved than merely “seeing”, and further evidence for this is the statement that “when Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him.” In other words, this involved action and not just viewing. Therefore, it seems likely that the act was either homosexual and performed on Noah, or heterosexual and performed on Noah’s wife. Noah specifically cursed Canaan and indicated that he would be subordinate to both Shem and Japheth, so it seems that Canaan was guilty party, with Ham watching and not stopping or rebuking him. The text also states that it was Noah’s “youngest son” who did whatever was done. Ham is always listed as the second of the three sons, so either he was actually the third son, or most likely, Noah was referring to his grandson Canaan who at that point may well have been his youngest offspring. Some in the past have indicated that Ham was cursed, and as he was the ancestor of the African peoples that a curse was somehow laid on them. But it is clear from the Genesis text that only Canaan was cursed, and not his father Ham. It therefore seems that Canaan was involved in debased sexual practices. Canaan showed no respect either for his grandparents, for social norms, or for the laws of God. He also seemed to be very selfish, sexually obsessed, and had little regard for his own safety and future (sexually abusing the head of the clan or his wife by a grandson was an act of both audacity and stupidity). Given the limited details we have on his life it is hard to make a firm judgment, but it is possible that Canaan had Nephilic elements in his genetic makeup from his mother and passed them on to his progeny. The tribes of Canaan were the most sexually debauched peoples of the ancient world, as discussed below. C. The Canaanites – their lineage and religious practices There are no further details about either Ham or Canaan in the Bible except a list of their descendants. According to Genesis 10:6, Ham had four sons: Cush – the founder of Ethiopia, Mizraim – the founder of Egypt, Put – the founder of Libya, and Canaan. Following is the lineage of Ham’s youngest son: Canaan became the father of Sidonians (Zidon) his firstborn, the Hethites (Heth), the Jebusite (Jebus), the Amorite (Amori), the Girgashite (Gergashi), the Hivite (Hivi), the Arkite (Arkee), the Sinite (Seni), the Arvadite (Arodi), the Zemarite (Zimodi), and the Hamathite (Chamothi); and afterward the families of the Canaanite were spread abroad. The territory of the Canaanites extended from Sidon as you go toward Gerar, as far as Gaza; as you go toward Sodom and
Gomorrah and Admah and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha. Genesis 10:15-19 with individual son’s names from the Book of Jasher 7:13 The descendants of Canaan settled in the land which was named after their father (other groups in Canaan include the Hittites, Horites, Kadmonites, Kenites, Kenizzites, and Perizzites; some may have been offshoots of the other groups). When Abraham was called by God to settle in Canaan, he was given the promise that eventually his descendants would occupy the land “after the iniquity of the Amorite was complete,” i.e., after God had judged the sins of the Canaanites and especially their Nephilim bloodline. God said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years. But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with many possessions. As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age. Then in the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.” On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land. From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the Jebusite.” Genesis 15:13-21 The Canaanite peoples became known for aberrant sexual practices associated with the worship of their gods. They practiced “sacred prostitution” where sex with various women (i.e., other than between marriage partners) was a part of their religious duties, particularly to the god Baal11 and the goddess Ashtoreth.12 These were performed in temples as well as on “high places” (either hill tops or in groves of trees) which were designated as such by Asherah poles.13 The women involved may have been girls whose duty was to serve as temporary sex objects, and/or females who were long-term religious prostitutes. The sex acts were done to petition the gods for various benefits, especially increased fertility. In an attempt to excuse the Canaanites, some contemporary scholars have proposed either that the ancient accounts were distorted, and/or that sacred sex somehow ennobled women. However, there is evidence from many different sources that variations of sacred prostitution were widespread in the ancient world, that it was depraved, 14 and that Canaan was the place 11 Baal or Ba’al (meaning “lord”, “master”, or “owner” – “el” means “god” or “deity”) was a storm god and often seen as the chief of the gods. He was later transmogrified into Zeus of the Greeks and Romans, and Odin of the Norse. 12 Ashtoreth (meaning “womb”) is also known as Asherah, Astarte, Anath, Ishtar, and Isis. Gods and goddesses of the ancient world often morphed into each other and were sometimes thought of as being associated with particular cities or areas. 13 Ashera poles were trees or carved poles to honor Ashera, the goddess of sex and fertility. They were said to be carved and perhaps were a phallic symbol, but no surviving evidence of them has as yet been discovered. 14 In the temple of Apollo at Bulla Regia, a woman was found buried with an inscription reading: “Adulteress. Prostitute. Seize (me), because I fled from Bulla Regia.” It has been speculated she might be a woman forced into
where it was the most prevalent and the most immoral. On a number of occasions, the leaders of Israel deeply involved the nation with the surrounding culture and religion. Solomon, the wealthiest king in Israel’s history (ca 950 BCE), had many foreign wives for whom accommodations were made: For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods, and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been… Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable idol of Moab, on the mountain which is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon. Thus also he did for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods. 1 Kings 11:4-8 Another example is Jezebel the wife of Ahab, king of Israel around 850 BCE. She was the daughter of Ithobaal, the king of Tyre and Sidon, with whom Ahab made a political alliance. Ithobaal had been a priest of Astarte before becoming king, and his daughter Jezebel became a vigorous promoter of the worship of Baal and Ashtoreth in Israel. She used her authority to bring in hundreds of priests to support and enforce Baal worship, and slaughtered the priests supporting Yahweh. She and Ahab were opposed by Elijah, the prophet, who at one point responded to God as follows: “For the sons of Israel have forsaken your covenant, torn down your altars and killed your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” 1 Kings 19:10 The worship of Baal also involved ritual cutting, ecstatic blood-letting, and scarification. In a showdown with Elijah, the priests of Baal did the following: They called on the name of Baal from morning until noon saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice and no one answered. And they leaped about the altar which they had made… So they cried with a loud voice and cut themselves according to their custom with swords and lances until the blood gushed out on them. When midday was past, they raved until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice; but there was no voice, no one answered, and no one paid attention. 1 Kings 18:26-29 This showdown occurred near the end of a long period of famine when no rain had fallen and was especially significant to the people because Baal was the god of storms. If Baal was real and actually had any power, he could have responded to his priests with a rain storm. Canaanite religion also involved infant sacrifice by burning their children to the idols of sacred prostitution as a punishment for adultery.” Biblical Archaeology Society Staff, “Sacred Prostitution in the Story of Judah and Tamar?”, 7 August 2018
Molech15 and Chemosh16 when people were especially in need of favor from the gods.17 Appeasing these demanding gods sometimes required human victims, usually the firstborn of the one making the sacrifice.18 Ahaz and Manassah, two kings of Israel, sacrificed their sons to Molech at ritual locations known as topheth (“burning places”).19 The Valley of Hinnom south of Jerusalem was apparently one of those locations, as it was called Tophet,20 and later named the Valley of Gehenna (“the valley of wailing” and “the valley of hell”). The “north” was sometimes a symbol of evil for the Hebrews, not only because of Bashan and Mount Hermon, but also because it was the home of the god Baal. He was said to live on the mountain Jebel Al-Aqra (also called Hazzi by the Hittites and Cassius by the Greeks), located in northern Syria on the Turkey border. In ancient times it was known as Mount Sapan (Zaphon in Hebrew), the “mountain of the north”; zaphon is the Hebrew word for north. Baal was thought to live in a silver and lapis lazuli palace on the “heights of Zaphon,” and was the god of storms – lighting and thunderstorms often occur at this mountain. Many came there to worship and sacrifice to Baal and later to Zeus, the Greek name for Baal,21 and some have called it “the Mount Olympus of the near east.” There is an ancient cult worship site at the summit with a huge mound of ashes. When kings and emperors climbed Mount Kasios to sacrifice at its peak sanctuary, it was a notable cultural occasion. Seleucus I Nicator sought there the advice of Zeus in locating his foundation, a Seleuceian city, on the coast. Coins struck there as late as the first century BCE still show the city’s emblem, the thunderbolt, sometimes placed upon the cushion of a throne. In the winter of 114/15 CE Trajan was spared in a major earthquake that struck Antioch; commemorative coins were struck featuring the shrine of Zeus Kasios, with its pointed roof on pillars, and a representation of its rounded sacred stone, or betyl. Trajan’s adoptive son Hadrian accompanied him; he returned in 130 CE to scale the mountain at night… It was said later that a thunderbolt at the peak struck the animal he was about to sacrifice. In spring of 363 the last pagan emperor, Julian, scaled the mountain, where he had an epiphanic vision of Zeus Kasios, according to his friend and correspondent Libanius.22 15 Molech (also called Milcom) was a god of the Amorites and Ammonites in eastern Israel and other parts of Mesopotamia, and a Baal knock-off. He was closely associated with the goddess Ashtoreth as well as with the Rephaim. Ugaritic texts present Molech an ancient god of the underworld, involved in the cult of dead ancestors and the worship of snakes. See: Michael S. Heiser, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible, Lexham Press, Bellingham, WA, pp 228-230. 16 Chemosh was a god of Moab in south-eastern Israel – a local version of Molech. 17 Leviticus 18:21, Leviticus 20:2-5, 1 Kings 11:7, Jeremiah 32:35, Hosea 4:10-19 18 Jeremiah 19:5 19 2 Chronicles 28:3, 33:6 20 Jeremiah 7:32 and 19:6 21 As indicated previously, gods and goddesses often morphed from one culture to the next, with only minor differences in their characteristics, hence the transmogrification of Baal into Zeus. 22 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jebel_Aqra
The ancient city of Ugarit, now known as Ras Shamra, was located a few miles south of this mountain. The city was destroyed around 1200 BCE probably by the Philistines, but archaeologists have found a large number of cuneiform tablets that detail the worship of Baal and the religious beliefs of the Canaanites. Following is a summary: The Ugaritic literature has helped reveal the depth of depravity which characterized Canaanite religion. Being a polytheism of an extremely debased type, Canaanite cultic practice was barbarous and thoroughly licentious. It inevitably had a most serious retarding and debilitating effect on every phase of Canaanite cultural and community life. It was inescapable that people should gravitate to the moral level of the sordid gods they worshipped, or rather that the gods were a reflection of their society. “Like gods, like priest – like priest, like people” expresses a law that operates unfailingly… The brutality, lust and abandon of Canaanite mythology is far worse than elsewhere in the ancient near east at this time. And the astounding characteristic of Canaanite deities, that they had no moral character whatsoever, must have brought out the worst traits in their devotees and entailed many of the most demoralizing practices of the time, such as sacred prostitution, child sacrifice, and snake worship.23 Baal was also referred to as a “prince” (zbl in Ugaritic), and called “prince and lord of the underworld,” 24 which was the place of the “Rephaim” (“the dead ones”). Rephaim is a general term for the Nephilim in Canaan, and may refer to the fact that the Nephilim were fathered by sons of God who were judged and imprisoned in Hades for their actions (i.e., they are the dead ones). The presence of the Rephaim/Nephilim in Canaanite societies thus seems to have been a significant factor in Canaanite and eventually Philistine culture. This is the heritage of the Nephilim through the person of Canaan – a revival of the evil that existed prior to the flood. In contrast, the Bible both identifies and condemns these practices: None of the daughters of Israel shall be a cult prostitute, nor shall any of the sons of Israel be a cult prostitute. Deuteronomy 23:17 They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons and shed innocent blood – the blood of their sons and their daughters whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan. And the land was polluted with the blood. Psalms 106:37-38 He [King Josiah] did away with the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had appointed to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah and in the surrounding area of Jerusalem, also those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and to the moon and to the constellations and to all the host of heaven. He brought out the Asherah from the house of the Lord outside Jerusalem to the brook Kidron, and burned it… He also broke down the houses of the male cult prostitutes 23 “The Religion of the Canaanites”, http://www.theology.edu/canaan.htm 24 As the prince of the underworld, Baal was also associated with snakes and serpents, which were symbols of Satan and the demons. So “Baal Zbl” became transliterated to “Baalzebul” and “Baalzebub” which are Biblical titles of Satan.
which were in the house of the Lord, where the women were weaving hangings for the Asherah. He also defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter pass through the fire for Molech… The high places which were before Jerusalem, which were on the right of the mount of destruction which Solomon the king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Sidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Milcom the abomination of the sons of Ammon, the king defiled. 2 Kings 23:4-14 Why would the people of Israel be drawn into such decadence, when they supposedly had higher standards of behavior? There are several answers: 1. The leaders made political alliances with other groups that got them involved in the religious and social practices of those groups. The alliances often involved marriage contracts with foreign women, with the expectation that her religion and lifestyle would be maintained. 2. When they experienced disasters such as crop failures, famines, or military attacks (all of which are hard for contemporary people to relate to), there was intense pressure to “do something” and the temptation was to do the same things that the cultures around them did. 3. The milieu in which people lived exerted a powerful influence on what they considered to be socially acceptable. They were, no doubt, also attracted to the unbridled sexuality of the Canaanite culture, even though it created many social problems (divorce, brutality, broken families, abused women, sexually-transmitted diseases, society-wide selfishness, hardened and uncaring attitudes about the sufferings of others, etc.) as it does today. D. The war against the Nephilim When the people of Israel under Moses were preparing to enter the land, twelve spies were sent out to investigate, and they returned the following report: “And there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who come of the Nephilim; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” Numbers 13:32-33 The spies would not have known if these were actual Nephilim (i.e., if they were actual descendants of the pre-flood Nephilim), but given their large size and aggressive appearance, the spies believed that they were. Years later when the Israelites were about to invade, Moses gave the following speech: “Our brethren previously made our hearts melt, saying, ‘The people are bigger and taller than we; the cities are large and fortified to heaven. And besides, we saw the sons of the Anakim there.’” Deuteronomy 1:28
“Hear, O Israel! You are crossing over the Jordan today to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than you, great cities fortified to heaven, a people great and tall, the sons of the Anakim, whom you know and of whom you have heard it said, ‘Who can stand before the sons of Anak?’ Know therefore today that it is the Lord your God who is crossing over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and He will subdue them before you, so that you may drive them out and destroy them quickly, just as the Lord has spoken to you.” Deuteronomy 9:1-3 When the Israelites first entered Canaan, they attacked and destroyed the Amorites in Heshbon, north of Moab, and then proceeded farther north to Bashan. This area includes the Mount Hermon region where the sons of God who produced the Nephilim were said to have first appeared, so it is Nephilim “ground zero.” Concerning Bashan, it is called the land of Rephaim. Deuteronomy 3:13 This region, located in southern Lebanon, western Syria, and part of the Golan Heights, is approximately 500 square miles. In the days of Moses, there were many towns in Bashan ruled over by Og, the king of Bashan who was himself of the Rephaim/Nephilim, and a very large man. The size of his bed was reported as thirteen feet by six feet. For only Og king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaim. Behold, his bedstead was an iron bedstead; it is in Rabbah of the sons of Ammon. Its length was nine cubits and its width four cubits by ordinary cubit. Deuteronomy 3:11 Archaeological investigation of Bashan has revealed that most of the construction was done in stone using huge slabs of basalt, and the doors and rooms seemed to be designed by and for giants. Ancient Bashan comprises a vast field of basalt, elevated some 30 feet above the plain. Here stood the giant towns and surrounding then was the fertile plain of Bashan. Nineteenth century explorer, Josiah Porter, counted some 30 towns and villages dotting the surface of the plain. The walls of houses were up to eight feet thick, built of large, squared blocks of basalt, without cement. The roofs are made of basalt slabs, cut like planks and reaching from wall to wall. Heavy slabs form the ceilings. Even the doors and window-shutters are of stone. The massive doors hang upon pivots, working in sockets, as do the window-shutters. The black basalt used is almost as hard as iron. Porter measured doors 9 feet high by 4½ feet wide and 10 inches thick. Rooms inside private houses measure up to 20 feet high.25 It is impossible to know how many Nephilim there were, or what percentage of the population they represented, but they were apparently scattered among the Canaanite regions. They are also variously referred to as the Emim (“the dreaded ones” from Moab), the 25 John Jensen, “Giant Humans in the Historical Record”, https://www.academia.edu/8369522/Giant_Humans_in_the_Historical_Record
Zamzummim (“schemers” also from Moab) the Anakim (sons of Anak who lived throughout the land), and the Rephaim, discussed above. One of the main cites of Bashan was named Ashtaroth after the Canaanite goddess of sex and fertility, as discussed above, and an Ugaritic text places the god Rpu, the patron deity of the Rephaim in Ashtoreth. Other Ugaritic literature indicates that the Bashan cites of Ashtaroth and Edrei were gateways to the underworld, and the city of Ashtoreth was associated with Molech.26 The Emim and the Zamzummin were annihilated before the Israelites arrived,27 but the Anakim were widely spread throughout the land. Anak was a son of Arba, the man who founded or more likely conquered and/or reoccupied the city of Hebron.28 There is a valley to the east of Jerusalem called the “Valley of the Rephaim” which was populated by Anakim, and that area also connects with the Valley of Hinnom mentioned above where children were sacrificed. This raises the question of how tall the Israelite spies were vs. the Nephilim. It is generally acknowledged that men of that era were around five feet in height.29 The giant Goliath30 who later opposed David was “6 cubits and a span.”31 This would place him at 9½ feet tall, although some versions of the Old Testament state his height at “4 cubits and a span” or 6½ feet.32 There is at least one documentary piece of evidence outside the Bible of very tall people in ancient Canaan. A text from Egypt dated to the time of Rameses II, several hundred years after Moses, indicated that there were Canaanites approximately 7 feet tall: 26 Michael S. Heiser, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible, pp.228-230 27 Deuteronomy 2:10-12, 20-22 28 Hebron was also known as “Kiriath Arba” (the city of Arba), and that name is still in use. Joshua 14:6-15 describes how Caleb, one of the original Israelite spies, took Hebron. The Anakim apparently moved into that region after Abraham’s time, around 500 years before Moses. Genesis chapter 23 tells the story of the death of Sarah, Abraham’s wife, and his purchase of the caves of Machpelah from the Hethites who lived there at the time. 29 Victor Matthews, Manners and Customs in the Bible, Peabody, MA, Hendrickson, 1991, p. 477 30 Goliath’s heritage is not given but he may well have been from the Anakim. Joshua 11:21-22 states: “Then Joshua came at that time and cut off the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab and from all the hill country of Judah and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua utterly destroyed them with their cities. There were no Anakim left in the land of the sons of Israel; only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod some remained.” Goliath was from Gath. 31 1 Samuel 17:4 – The length of a cubit is typically eighteen inches (the distance from a man’s fingertip to his elbow), and a span is six inches (the length of a man’s palm). 32 The Septuagint and the Dead Sea Scroll versions of the Old Testament both give Goliath’s height as 4 cubits and a span. Grave areas in Palestine dating to this period have been dug up. As is the case with archaeology in general, they represent a very small fraction of the thousands who lived during that era (the fact that Mesopotamian people did not embalm the dead as in Egypt means that few remains exist). However, no skeletons of giants have ever been found.
The narrow valley is dangerous with Bedouin hidden under the bushes. Some of them are four or five cubits from their noses to their heel, and fierce of face. Their hearts are not mild, and they do not listen to wheedling.33 In any case, both the textual and archaeological evidence shows that the Nephilim were substantially taller than other men, undoubtedly with a physique to match.34 During the campaigns of Joshua, the cities in central Palestine where the Anakim lived were all attacked and the population wiped out, but as stated in Joshua 11:22, some of the Anakim remained in the coastal regions of Ashdod, Gaza, and Gath. These areas were later taken over by the Philistines35 who absorbed the Canaanite population in those areas. The surviving Anakim may well have been employed as warriors and/or bodyguards. A number of these were killed in later generations by the forces of King David of Israel, and it seems that their numbers had dwindled. But we have no way of knowing how many were left, and the extent to which they interbred with the civilization around them. Following is an account of the conflict in David’s era: Now when the Philistines were at war again with Israel, David went down and his servants with him, and as they fought against the Philistines David became weary. Then Ishbi-benob, who was among the descendants of the giant, the weight of whose spear was three hundred shekels of bronze in weight, was girded with a new sword, and he intended to kill David. But Abishai the son of Zeruiah helped him, and struck the Philistine and killed him. Then the men of David swore to him, saying, “You shall not go out again with us to battle, so that you do not extinguish the lamp of Israel.” Now it came about after this that there was war again with the Philistines at Gob; then Sibbecai the Hushathite struck down Saph, who was among the descendants of the giant. There was war with the Philistines again at Gob, and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite (the brother of Goliath), the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. There was war at Gath again, where there was a man of great stature who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; he also had been born to the giant. When he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimei, David’s brother, struck him down. These four were born to the giant in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants. 2 Samuel 21:15-21 and 1 Chronicles 20:4-8 33 James B. Pritchard, The Ancient Near East: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures, Princeton University Press, 1969, as quoted by Michael S. Heiser, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible, Lexham Press, Bellingham, WA, p 213. 34 According to 1 Samuel 17, Goliath was an experienced warrior and the total weight of his armor including helmet was around 140 pounds, so he must have been very strong to move easily. Goliath must therefore have had a lot of upper-body strength to throw such a spear, which was described as being like “a weaver’s beam,” and tipped with a large and heavy spear head. The latter weighed around 15 pounds which is slightly less than the weight of the ball used in men’s shot-put competition. 35 The Philistines were invaders from Crete, Cyprus, or Greece.
David and his men had thus done battle with descendants of the Nephilim from Bashan, and one of David’s poems (Psalm 22) was perhaps a memorial to the desperation of that conflict. This psalm was partially quoted by Jesus when he was hanging on the cross: Be not far from me, for trouble is near and there is none to help. Many bulls have surrounded me, strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me. They open wide their mouth at me, as a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax; it is melted within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws. You lay me in the dust of death. For dogs have surrounded me, a band of evildoers has encompassed me. They pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me and they divide my garments among them. For my clothing they cast lots. Psalm 22:11-18 E. The survivors of the Nephilim Many have been dismayed by the fact that God commanded Moses and Joshua to conduct a war of extermination against the Canaanites, where not only the men were killed, but also the women and children. How could a loving God have commanded such a thing? But this policy was only ordered and carried out against Nephilim/Anakim/Rephaim areas, which were the source of the evil described above. If the descendants of the Nephilim were also psychopathic, it is even more understandable why God would command this. Sentencing a psychopathic killer to death is done for the benefit of society and is an act of mercy, rather than cruelty. Given the fact that Nephilic characteristics of height, musculature, and psychopathology are heritable, it seems likely that they were passed via genetics. The fact that they appeared especially in the person of Canaan, one of Ham’s sons, would point to either Ham – or more likely to his wife – as the source. Genetics is complex, and the genes controlling both extreme height and psychopathology may be recessive; like other recessive characteristics, it not certain which children of a couple will receive the genes for a given set of traits, and to what extent those traits will ultimately be exhibited by the descendants. Cush was Ham’s oldest son, and the genealogies of Genesis chapter 10 state that Cush was the father (or perhaps the ancestor) of Nimrod. Now Cush became the father of Nimrod and he became a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore, it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the Lord.” The beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went forth into Assyria, and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city. Genesis 10:8-12 Note that the above text indicates that Nimrod “became” a mighty one. In other words, his genetic bent eventually manifested itself.
Historians have never been able to place Nimrod into the history of Mesopotamia, but many believe that the name “Nimrod” (meaning “rebellious one”) was a description of his character, and that his real name was, or later became, Gilgamesh.36 Sumer was the first civilization of the ancient world, and Gilgamesh is mentioned as an early king of Sumer in the Sumerian king list.37 The Epic of Gilgamesh describes him as very large, aggressive, and sexually obsessed; therefore, may well have had Nephilim genes from his ancestors: When the gods created Gilgamesh they gave him a perfect body. Shamash the glorious sun endowed him with beauty, Adad the god of the storm endowed him with courage, the great gods made his beauty perfect, surpassing all others, terrifying like a great wild bull. Two thirds they made him god and one third man. Gilgamesh went abroad in the world, but he met with none who could withstand his arms till be came to Uruk. But the men of Uruk muttered in their houses, “Gilgamesh sounds the tocsin for his amusement, his arrogance has no bounds by day or night. No son is left with his father, for Gilgamesh takes them all, even the children; yet the king should be a shepherd to his people. His lust leaves no virgin to her lover, neither the warrior’s daughter nor the wife of the noble.” The gods heard their lament, the gods of heaven cried to the Lord of Uruk, to Anu the god of Uruk: “A goddess made him, strong as a savage bull, none can withstand his arms. No son is left with his father, for Gilgamesh takes them all; and is this the king, the shepherd of his people? His lust leaves no virgin to her lover, neither the warrior’s daughter nor the wife of the noble.”38 The Nephilim were not completely destroyed, so perhaps the presence of psychopathology is wholly or partially due to them. Let it be noted that this conjecture is hypothetical and would require genetic research to establish or refute. 36 See, for example: https://mediamonarchy.com/gilgamesh-is-nimrod/, http://www.davelivingston.com/nimrod.htm 37 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumerian_King_List 38 http://www.aina.org/books/eog/eog.pdf
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Richard B. Sorensen
A novel series that explores a possible relationship between Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus Christ, and Mary Magdalene, one of Christ’s followers. It is based on the stories in Matthew 26 … [more]
Richard B. Sorensen
Research related to ancient Biblical and Mesopotamian history especially regarding the Nephilim
Were the Nephilim Genetically Psychopathic?
Richard B. Sorensen
The Nephilim were said to be a race or a group that had distinct physical characteristics of large size and great strength. They are first mentioned in Genesis chapter 6 as the progeny of the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men.” Although the psychological characteristics of the Nephilim are not specifically described in the Bible, they are generally pictured as being very proud, belligerent, … [Show full abstract]View full-text
Accuracy of the Bible and Questioning God
Richard B. Sorensen
For a long time, it has been fashionable to question God and trash the Bible, treating it as nothing more than a collection of folk tales that have no basis in history or reality. Is the Bible accurate, and is there an answer to fundamental questions about God?
My Spiritual Journey
Richard B. Sorensen
The story of my personal search for meaning and for God
Economics and the Bible
Richard B. Sorensen
Who are the Nicolaitans by J. H. Allen
Disclaimer: Regrettably J.H. Allen is a Sabbath keeper and casts evil on holidays who ironically uses his outstanding research of Nicolaitans to try and persuade the reader to become legalistic and disregard the age of grace, specifically Colossians 2: 16 KJV I firmly rebuke this teaching but ask the reader to glean a deep understanding of the Nicolaitan.
he word “Nicolaitans,” in Greek, means “followers of Nicolas.” The name “Nicolas” means “victor of the people.” Peloubet’s Bible Dictionary says of them, “They seem to have held that it was lawful to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit the immoral excesses of the heathen, in opposition to the decree of the Church rendered in Acts 15:20, 29. Mingling themselves in the orgies of idolatrous feasts, they brought the impurities of those feasts into the meetings of the Christian Church. And all this was done, it must be remembered, not simply as an indulgence of appetite, but as a part of a SYSTEM, supported by a “doctrine,” accompanied by the boasts of a prophetic illumination” (p.449). Early Church Syncretism The Nicolaitans, therefore, were the early Christian-pagan syncretists, the false teachers that crept into the church, who disguised themselves as followers of Christ – who professed to be His ministers and servants – but who led the people astray. Peter wrote of them, saying, “But there were also false prophets among the people [such as Balaam], even as there will be FALSE TEACHERS among you, who will secretly bring in DESTRUCTIVE HERESIES, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed” – by the world around, which will paint all true Christians with the same brushstroke, as being corrupt, immoral, and evil, because of the shenanigans and wicked works of these “Nicolaitans” or false Christians, false teachers who claim to represent Messiah and His truth (II Pet.2:1-2). Peter goes on, “By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words” (v.2). He says of them, that they “despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed,” and like brutish beasts “speak evil of the things they do not understand” (verse10, 12). “They are spots and blemishes [in the churches], carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you . . . They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, FOLLOWING THE WAY OF BALAAM the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness” (verses 13-15). These are the ‘Nicolaitans.” Halley’s Bible Handbook tells us of them, “Sexual vice was actually a part of heathen worship, and recognized as a proper thing in heathen festivals. Priestesses of Diana and kindred deities were public prostitutes. The thing had been a troublesome question for Gentile churches from the start. . . Meantime great multitudes of heathen had become Christians, and had carried some of their old ideas into their new religion. . . Naturally there were all sorts of attempts to harmonize these heathen practices with the Christian religion. Many professing Christian teachers, claiming inspiration from God, were advocating the right to free participation in heathen immoralities. In Ephesus, the Christian pastors, as a body, excluded such teachers. But in Pergamum and Thyatira, while we are not to think that the main body of pastors held such teachings, yet they tolerated within their ranks those who did” (p.694). Ancient Pergamos was a city where the worship of Zeus and Asclepios were endemic, whose symbol was a serpent entwined around a rod or staff. It was a city where paganism and politics were closely entwined and allied. Nicolaitan pressures were very strong in this city where pressures to “compromise” would have been very heavy. “Sacrificed to Idols” The Nicolaitans seduced God’s people to “eat things sacrificed to idols” – that is, participate in heathen, pagan festivals, including sexual immorality – in other words, to commit spiritual fornication and adultery – which is IDOLATRY! This convergence of Christianity with pagan beliefs and practices was sheer APOSTASY in the eyes of God! The Interpreter’s Bible Dictionary tells us, “Since the same practice and teaching of immorality and of idolatry appear in the church of Thyatira, the Nicolaitans, though not named, were probably present also in this church (Rev.2:20-25)” (p.547). By the time of the Thyatira church age, the problem had grown into a much greater state or condition, for at that time a woman, “Jezebel,” represented the group of apostate heretics and their heresy – a powerful church in conflict with the true Church, masquerading as the true Church. John wrote, to Thyatira, “Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because YOU ALLOW THAT WOMAN JEZEBEL, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce my servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat things sacrificed to idols”(Rev.2:20). God says of that heathen “church,” which inculcated massive pagan practices and festivals into its church calendar, “Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit ADULTERY [idolatry!] with her into GREAT TRIBULATION, unless they repent of their deeds” (v.22). Down through Church history It is clear from the evidence that this heresy, which began as a small group, in the first century, mushroomed and became a strong, dominant CHURCH by the third and fourth centuries, and became the foundation of the Church of Rome and the papacy. It is described in Revelation 17 as a “woman sitting on a scarlet beast” with the name: “Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and of the Abominations of the Earth” (Rev.17:3-5). By the Middle Ages this church became the great persecuting church and was guilty of spilling massive amounts of the blood of the true saints and servants of God (Rev.17:6). What was the main crime of this church? Spiritual fornication – or spiritual adultery! Combining pagan practices and doctrines with the Word of God, or replacing the teachings of God’s Word with corrupt, pagan deceptions and lies, straight from the bowels of Satan the devil! Says The Interpreter’s Bible Dictionary, “Pagan feasts might thus foster immorality, which is understood literally as licentiousness, or possibly in an allegorical way as unfaithfulness to God. . . . At Thyatira followers of Jezebel claim to know the deep things of Satan. . . . This claim to special knowledge of deep mysteries marks the incipient Gnosticism which flourished a century later (Iren.Her.II.2.2). The Nicolaitans may be taken to be a heretical sect, who retained pagan practices like idolatry [such as image worship, observing pagan holidays like Christmas, Easter, Halloween, etc.] and immorality contrary to the thought and the conduct required in Christian churches” (p.548). The early church fathers also spoke of the Nicolaitans. “Tertullian reports the lust and luxury of the Nicolaitans, cites evidence from Revelation, and adds that there was another sort of Nicolaitans, a satanic sect, called the Gaian heresy [worship of Mother Earth, which has reared its ugly head today] . . . Clement of Alexandria knows of followers of Nicolaus, ‘lascivious goats,’ who perverted his saying that it was necessary to abuse the flesh . . . Clement undertakes to show that Nicolaus [the deacon mentioned in Acts 6:1-6, a faithful servant of God] was a true ascetic and that the later, immoral Nicolaitans were not his followers, though they claimed him as their teacher . . . Later their name flourished as a designation for heretics.” The “Synagogue of Satan” When the Nicolaitans become powerful and the apostasy becomes full blown, and matures, then it changes into a whole Church – but no longer in any degree or sense a part of God’s true Church but an entirely apostate Church body! When Satan the devil takes over the church body, it becomes literally a “synagogue of Satan”! This was prophesied to happen during the course of history, and a vast parallel church would be formed of people who think they are Christian, but they are far removed from the original true teachings of the apostles during the first century. John, in the book of Revelation, spoke of it in the message to the Philadelphia church. He wrote, to this faithful and true body of believers, who held fast to the truth, and did not deny His Name, “You have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Indeed [for this reason] I will make those of the SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN, who say they are Jews [spiritual Jews or true Christians] and are NOT but LIE [they are deceived frauds, impostors, phoney as a $6 dollar bill] – indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth” (Rev.3:8-10). Christ warns this church body, the genuine “Philadelphia” church, called that because God names things according to their dominant characteristics, and this church is characterized by “brotherly love,” for the Greek word philadelphos literally means “brother love.” He warns it, “Behold, I am coming quickly! HOLD FAST what you have, that no one may take your CROWN” (verse 11). This church does not slip into the apostasy of the Nicolaitans. In fact, it has conquered them and their full-blown image – the “synagogue of Satan” by remaining faithful to God’s Word and doctrine! But many, not knowing or understanding, fall victim to the “conquerors” – the “victors over the people.” Speaking of such religious leaders, Paul declared, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works” (II Cor.11:13-15). Church history has been replete with such splinter groups, heresies, sects, denominations, cults of all bizarre types and sizes and beliefs. They are all part and parcel of the “great apostasy” that developed over the centuries from the original church of God. Paul warned the brethren in Ephesus, “For I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves” (Acts 20:29-30). He was especially concerned about the church in Galatia, and wrote to them, exclaiming, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to PERVERT the gospel of Christ” (Gal.1:6-7). This was already beginning to occur during the very FIRST generation and Age of the church! The apostasy and heresy has developed and grown massively since that era, with thousands of Octopus-like tentacles reaching throughout the world. How did it all begin? When did the real apostasy really start? The Real Nicolas Identified: Who was the original founder of this apostasy? There is no evidence to support the idea that an early deacon in the church named Nicolas was the one who began this heretical movement. The New Testament nowhere says that he later went astray. Rather, he was a man who was chosen for a special task, along with Stephen, one of “seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom” (Acts 6:5). However, God calls things what they are – He names people according to their major characteristic. A look at the name “Nicholas” will be helpful. It literally means “victor of the people.” A synonym of “victor” would be “one who vanquishes an enemy; a conqueror” (The Winston Dictionary). Who was the great conqueror, who first led the world into APOSTASY? “Cush began Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a might hunter before [or, Hebrew, “against”] the LORD” (Gen.10:8-10). He was the first world despot or tyrant upon the earth after the Flood. Alexander Hislop, in The Two Babylons, tells us, “He [Ninus] was the first who carried on war against his neighbours, and he conquered all nations from Assyria to Libya, as they were yet unacquainted with the arts of war” (p.23, Hislop quoting Justin’s “Trogus Popeius”). Ninus was Nimrod, the most ancient king of the Assyrians and Babylonians. Nimrod “began to be mighty upon the earth.” He was a great dictator, autocrat, and ruled with an iron hand. He was very contentious and brooked no insult or disobedience to his iron-fisted rule. He was also the religious leader of the world, leading mankind away from the worship of the true God and into incredible idolatry. He was the founder of the “Babylonian Mysteries” (compare Rev.17:1-5). Cush and religious “chaos” Says Hislop, “Cush [Nimrod’s father] is generally represented as having been a ringleader in the great apostasy” (p.25). Cush was also known as Hermes [“son of Ham”], or Mercury, and was “the great original prophet of idolatry; for he was recognized by the pagans as the author of their religious rites, and the interpreter of the gods” (ibid., p.25-26). Cush was also known as Bel, “The Confounder,” who confounded the truth with his replacement lies and deceptions. He was also called Janus, “the god of gods,” who said of himself, “The ancients . . . called me Chaos.” He was the one who brought ‘Chaos’ into the world after the Deluge. Nimrod: the original “Nicolas” and arch apostate Cush’s son Nimrod (or “Ninus”) “inherited his father’s titles, and was the first king over the Babylonian Empire, which he created by conquest. Nimrod also led the great rebellion against God by building the tower of Babel, in an attempt to unite all mankind under his rulership and in defiance of the ordinances of heaven. Hislop goes on to say that when the deification of mortals began, “the ‘mighty son’ of Cush was deified, the father, especially considering the part which he seems to have had in concocting the whole idolatrous system, would have to be deified too, and of course, in his character as the Father of the ‘Mighty one,’ and of all the immortals that succeeded him. But, in point of fact, we shall find, in the course of our inquiry, that Nimrod was the actual Father of the gods, as being the first of deified mortals” (p.32). Josephus, in Antiquities of the Jews, tells us, “Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God. He was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah – a bold man, and of great strength of hand. He persuaded them not to ascribe it to God, as if it was through his means they were happy, but to believe that it was their own courage that procured their happiness. He also gradually changed the government into a tyranny, — seeing no other way to turn men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence upon his power” (Bk.I, iv, 2). Nimrod was the first great “victor of [or over] the people.” He was the first “Nicolaus.” He is the one for whom the WHOLE SYSTEM is named! His name is stamped on the forehead of this “Mystery, Babylon,” religious system which seeks to bring the whole world into one unified religious system of belief, doctrines, and religious globalization. To compromise with that entire system or any part of it, God says He HATES – He is passionately against it – it is utterly idolatrous, the horrendous religious system inspired and created by Satan the arch-enemy of God – the devil who deceives the WHOLE WORLD by masking truth of God and replacing it with his nefarious, devious, enticing doctrines (see Rev.12:9)! Where Are the Nicolaitans Today? The Nicolaitans today comprise all those people who DEPART from the truth of God, and jettison the true teachings and doctrines of the Bible, for the substitute “mush” from the churches of “nominal, mainstream” Christianity, which has over the centuries, plunged back into a religious system originating in ancient Babylon, and from there to Rome, and from there to Protestantism, and the wide-ranging cults, sects, and denominations of our current generation. The world is full of them! They are everywhere – like dandelion seeds, wafting on the winds, blown about and scattered all around us. “You will know them by their fruits,” Jesus declared (Matt.7:20). The vast, overwhelming number of churches in the world today would fall into the category of the infamous “Nicolaitans”! The deception is global. And it is getting much, much worse, and stronger! The apostle Paul wrote, about the last days, before the coming of Christ, “Let no man deceive you by any means for that Day will not come unless the FALLING AWAY comes first, and the man of SIN [lawlessness] be revealed, the son of perdition [destruction], who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped [such as Nimrod himself!], so that he sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. . . . For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until He [or “he”] is taken out of the way. And then that lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming” (II Thess..2:3-8). An end-time “Nicolas” – victor or tyrant over the people – is soon to appear on the scene! The end-time resurrection of this evil apostasy and deception is fast falling into place and coming together before our very eyes, at this moment in history! False Doctrine – a Mark of the Nicolaitans What are the identifying “marks” of this vast, deluded apostasy? How do you know that you personally have not to some extent fallen into some form of this adulterated subspecies which broke off from true Christianity? First, look at their teachings and doctrine. Compare them with the Scriptures very carefully, taking nothing for granted. Believe nobody, but check up on everybody, and then believe your Bible! The apostle Paul wrote, “PROVE ALL THINGS; HOLD FAST THAT WHICH IS GOOD” (I Thess.5:21). Isaiah the prophet wrote, “To the law and to the testimony [the Old Testament and the New Testament – the Word of God]! If they do not speak according to THIS WORD, it is because there is NO LIGHT in them” (Isa.8:20). Paul praised the Bereans because “they received the word in all readiness, and SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES DAILY to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). Paul wrote to Timothy, exhorting him (and all of us), “Be diligent to present yourself to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, RIGHTLY DIVIDING the word of truth” (II Tim.2:15). Nicolaitans are those who have departed from the faith, in some degree or completely. They have been led astray by false teachings and doctrines. Most have rejected the true Sabbath. Most have rejected the TRUE holy days of God, the annual festivals of His Word (Lev.23), and some THINK they observe them, but have been misled, and keep a false “Passover,” a false “Pentecost,” and even the wrong days for the other holy days, and reject specific commandments of God when they do so! Most reject the TRUE calendar of God, the New Moons, and the proper calculation of the Hebrew months, and therefore the holy days. Many accept a false, “fixed’ Jewish calendar when replaced the true calendar in 357-58 A.D. in the time of Hillel II. And these are only SOME of the false teachings of modern day, end-time “Nicolaitan” influenced churches which claim to be the true remnants of the Church of God and assure the people that they have the bona fide “TRUTH”! But Jesus declared, “Thy Word is truth,” (John 17:17), and “The Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35), and asserted also, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt.4:4; Luke 4:40. The Second Fatal Identifying Mark – False Form of Church Government The Nicolaitans are also like their original founder, Nimrod the apostate, guilty of not only compromising the truth of God, and adulterating it, and mixing it with PAGAN beliefs and doctrines and practices, but they possess a wicked, deceptive, deceitful form of CHURCH GOVERNMENT. They are often in the form of religious tyrannies, authoritarian, totalitarian, abusive ministers, and very quick to discipline and disfellowship recalcitrant or slow-to-conform members of their churches. They are very intolerant and autocratic – and rule their congregations like a “god” or a Hitler with a Gestapo-like ministry. Jeremiah the prophet prophesied of them: “WOE to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!’ says the LORD. Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: ‘You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings,’ says the Lord” (Jer.23:1-2). Speaking of the churches of God, and the religious leaders of His people, God says, “For both prophet and priest are profane; Yes, in My house I have found their wickedness,’ says the LORD. ‘Therefore their way to them shall be like slippery ways; in the darkness they shall be driven on and fall in them; for I will bring disaster on them, the year of their punishment,’ says the LORD. And I have seen folly in the prophets [ministers, pastors, preachers] of Samaria [the modern United States, Britain and house of “Israel”]; the prophesied by Baal and caused My people Israel to ERR” (Jer.23:11-13). God is very angry at these end-time preachers, ministers, and their lack of true conversion, humility, fear of God, and arrogance! He thunders, “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; they speak a vision [or doctrine, teaching] of their own heart, not from the mouth of the LORD” (v.16). God is going to punish. He declares, “The anger of the LORD will not turn back until He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart. In the latter days you will understand it perfectly” (v.20). Do you understand? Do you fear and tremble before the Word of God? (see Isaiah 66:1-2). Do you humble yourself before His Word? God goes on in His severe warning: “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied [preached]. But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings” (vs.21-22). God would even forgive them, for their preaching in His name, if only they would preach the TRUTH! But they don’t, and they won’t. So God declares, “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy LIES in My name, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed, they are prophets of the DECEIT [deception, false teaching, false doctrines] of their OWN heart” (vs.25-26). God thunders, “ ‘The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream; and he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?’ says the LORD. ‘Is not My word like a fire?’ says the LORD, ‘And like a hammer the rock in pieces? Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,’ says the LORD, ‘who STEAL MY WORDS everyone from his neighbor” (vs.28-30). The warnings of Yahweh God are very explicit. He declares, “Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams [false ideas, teachings of their own heart – see verse 26],’ says the LORD, ‘and tell them, and CAUSE MY PEOPLE TO ERR by their LIES and by their RECKLESSNESS. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all,’ says the LORD” (Jer.23:32). And in verse 36 God warns, “For every man’s word will be his oracle [“burden”], for you have PERVERTED the words of the living God, the LORD of hosts, our God” ! Very serious charges, these are! Don’t you agree? The LORD Yahweh says He is going to forsake utterly those who pervert His Word, and preach the deceit of their own hearts, make His people to err and go astray by their LIES, and their “RECKLESSNESS” regarding His divine Word, His TRUTH! Modern-day “Nicolaitans” and their followers should get a real “HEADS UP” and WARNING from Jeremiah’s message in chapter 23. He is speaking to THEM! The Final Mark – Abuse and Cruelty Ezekiel the prophet was inspired to continue this awesome, power-packed indictment against the shepherds of Israel during the end-time. He wrote, “And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered” (Ezek.34:1-5). Notice! These churches, regardless of their posturing and posing, and dubious claims, persecute the flock under them. They mistreat God’s people, cause them to grovel in the dirt before their imagined authority, rule them with CRUELTY and hardness, harshness, and overbearing authority. They do not love the flock; they are not loving or good shepherds, who would even give their lives for the sheep (see John 10:11). Rather, they are mere ‘hirelings,” who have their own agenda, their own motives, for being ministers, teachers, and pastors! Jesus said, “But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.” (John 10:12-13). These “hirelings” rule the flock with “force” and “cruelty.” The Hebrew word for “force” is #2394, chosqah, meaning “vehemence (usually is a bad sense), force, mightily, repair, sharply.” Gesenius says, “might, violence, very, mightily.” The Hebrew word for “cruelty” is #6531, perek, and means “from an unused root meaning ‘to break apart,’ fracture – i.e. severity – cruelty, rigor” (Strong’s Concordance). Gesenius states: “oppression, tyranny, from the signification of crushing.” Do we get the picture? Do you know ANY ministers or churches like that? How does your minister or church handle it when or if members DARE to ask questions concerning doctrines, teachings, beliefs, or Scriptures which seem to conflict with the church’s teachings and doctrines? True Ministers A true minister of God will handle questions in a gentle, loving, patient manner. As Timothy was told by the apostle Paul, ”Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren.” (I Tim.5:1) Paul declared, “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” (2 Tim 3:24-26) Peter tells the true servants of God, the true ministry, “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being EXAMPLES to the flock” (I Pet 5:1-3). And to the church members, God says, “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and for ever. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.” (Hebrews 13:7-9). Paul adds, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” (Hebrews 13:17) And to the Thessalonians, Paul wrote, “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.” (I Thess.5:12-13). Warning for the End Time The problems with false teachings, false doctrines, and the spirit of Nicolaitan ministers and teachers, was foretold to become very serious and extreme in the “end of days.” The apostle Paul warned, “Now the Spirit expressly [explicitly] says that in the LATTER TIMES some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron”(I Tim.4:1-2). In his second letter to Timothy, Paul issued the same warning, only more explicit He wrote, “But know this, that in the LAST DAYS perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a FORM of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the TRUTH. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth” (II Tim.3:1-8). The Nicolaitan condition is like a spiritual cancer, that spreads and poisons cells and creates tumours and metastasises until it spreads its lethal cargo throughout the whole body. If it is not purged, it leads ultimately to death. Therefore, God tells His true ministers, and servants, to be on their guard. “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (II Tim.4:2-4). Each one of us is responsible for our own salvation. We dare not trust any man to do our work, study, prayer, or research for us – we must work out our own salvation, “with fear and trembling” (Phil.2:12-13). Paul also declared, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” (Eph.4:14) Salvation is serious business! The spirit of Nicolaus/Nimrod and religious deception is alive and well, and thriving in this end-time generation. Now that you know what the “Nicolaitans” are, what are you going to do about it? by William F. Dankenbring [For more information on this and related subjects, write for our articles: “The End-Time Apostasy,” “The Great Apostasy,” “Crisis in the Church of God,” “Where Did the Church Go Wrong?”, “Back to Babylon,” “How Have the Mighty Fallen!”, “The Son of Perdition,” “How Should God’s Ministers Be Ordained?”, “The Plain Truth about Church Government,” “Church Authority – The Truth about Totalitarianism,” “How To Study the Bible,” “What Is Moses’ Seat?”, “Anointing and the Laying on of Hands,” Prophetic Errors of Herbert Armstrong,” “Which Church Is God’s True Church?”, “40 Differences – a Statement of Beliefs”.] Triumph Prophetic Ministries What is the difference between a believer and a disciple? Or the teaching of the Nicolaitans which Jesus hates? Nicolaitan literally means “conquest of the laity” in Greek. Translated into terms we see in the Church today, it refers in the author’s opinion to a system in which professional clergy hold unquestioned authority over the laity—that is, the common people who are non-clergy. In much of the Church today, although certainly not all of it, there is a wall of separation between the professional clergy with their ecclesiastical titles and theological degrees and the ordinary people who lack expertise and training in the area of theology. Professionals like doctors and lawyers and accountants must understandably meet a host of specific requirements to be allowed to enter the brotherhood and practice their profession. And so it is with those who aspire to the title of “Reverend”: those who are worthy of reverence. Traditionally, only those who have seminary training and then ordination, and so forth are allowed entrance into this elite group. In such a way, they appear to be set apart from the people. Certainly the clergy are worthy of respect, but should there be a wall of separation between them and the people? Should we not respect all believers in the family of God? (Perhaps reverence should be reserved for deity alone.) Although humanly speaking this separation may sound quite reasonable and desirable as it is for human professions, I believe that Jesus hates it when applied to servants of God. Let’s seek to understand why this might be so. Pastors (not to mention apostles, evangelists, prophets and teachers) have for the most part failed to “equip God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-13) Due to the structure of the church today and man’s nature, most (but not all) pastors prefer their church members to remain in their church until they go home to the Lord, if at all possible. They want no one to leave by the back door, thus insuring a church which continues to grow numerically. There are different kinds of earthly benefits—financial benefits, power, respect from one’s peers, self-esteem and satisfaction to name a few—to be gained by having a large church. However, I’m sure that most pastors do not see these as the primary motivation for church growth. Rather, they see them if anything as only fringe benefits to the accomplishment of reaching many lost souls and gathering them into their church in obedience to the Great Commission. Having a large church might even be a reward for years of hard work and skillful leadership. It’s clear that most pastors therefore want their church to grow, and to grow as large as possible. One unspoken and perhaps unintended way of keeping the people from leaving the church is to keep them from maturing and attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. We keep them as spiritual children (or at most adolescents) and thus dependent upon us so that they don’t leave the nest to start their own fruitful ministries—which is actually what we expect our own children to do after they grow up. Few of our people will attain to our professional status by doing what is necessary to gain ecclesiastical titles and enter our exclusive club. The great majority will not reach mature adulthood and not be equipped for fruitful ministry. They will not be sent out. They will remain in our church and serve under our authority as laymen. (We are here making no distinction between “full-time” servants of God and “tentmakers”. In the eyes of God they are equivalent.) Of course, few pastors deliberately keep their people from maturing; it is rather an unwitting course of action predetermined by the Nicolaitan system. Most pastors fear God. But because of the church system and structure in which they grew up and to which they were exposed, they know of no other way. The system which also limits the feeding of the word of God to believers to only once or twice a week in formal meetings in church of course stunts their growth and prevents many believers from reaching adulthood in Christ. Most pastors will say that they desire their members to mature to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. But at the same time for the most part they don’t want people to leave their church because of the various pressures on them for church growth. So there can be conflict for a pastor. It’s not difficult to see which side usually wins the conflict. But will children become responsible and productive if their parents force them to remain at home as dependents, and never allow them to launch out on their own? Pastors might not mind if a few of their people mature and become missionaries or evangelists, and may even support them financially. But clearly there is a definite limit to such a scenario. Not only will they be losing the people who tithe* to them, they will be an outflow of funds as well to support them. That’s no way to run a church under the Nicolaitan system. Perhaps there is something wrong with this system. In the author’s opinion this is the system which Jesus hated. The Roman Catholic Church of course excelled in it. The Protestant Reformation which was in part meant to abolish the Nicolaitan system and restore the priesthood of believers has fallen far short of Martin Luther’s goals. In some cases today around the world the Protestant Church has backslidden to make even the Catholic Church blush. Look at the following instances. In some Third World countries, the teaching of the Nicolaitans has resulted in extreme perversions and abominations. “Anointed” pastors put their church assets into their own name and run them like profit-making businesses. One retired pastor in Indonesia owned a luxury estate which has an actual Rolls Royce Phantom (price tag on a new 2012 model: from US$447,000 to $528,000) perched right over the front of his big swimming pool like some kind of trophy. Since he is too old to drive it, he simply comes out to polish it every day. Every Sunday following the two church services, bank officials would come to pick up the offering to count it. Only by Wednesday later that week would they finally complete counting the large offering consisting of barrels of small Indonesian currency. Where would it be deposited? Although that is not known, it would not be unusual for it to go directly into the current pastor’s personal bank account. Such a system is not at all rare in Third World countries among charismatic churches. Another well-known Indonesian pastor urges the faithful during offering time to give whatever they can. If they give a chicken, God will bless them with a goat. If they give a goat, God will give them a bull. If they give a bull, God will give them a….tractor? An “anointed” superstar pastor in Malaysia is stirring up controversy by alleging turning his megachurch into a private family enterprise. I have heard of some pastors in other countries as well doing similar things, bringing disrepute onto the gospel in the eyes of the lost. Once we taught The Elijah Challenge for a church in Germany. The pastor’s wife was very concerned that we were teaching their believers how to heal the sick and cast out demons as Jesus did. Her fear was that their people would no longer depend on them or need them after they were trained. The practices of the Nicolaitans, along with contemporary teaching on “touch not the Lord’s anointed” and the extreme prosperity gospel—none other than the teaching of Balaam and Jezebel both of which Jesus also detests—have combined to give rise to such perversions in the Church of Jesus Christ. “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” “Touch not the Lord’s anointed.” Could there be a parallel here? Why do most believers not mature into disciples? It’s obvious why Jesus hates the practices and teaching of the Nicolaitans which can and will evolve into abominations given man’s fallen nature. And the Nicolaitan teaching is also one reason why most believers do not mature into disciples. Let’s see why this is so. Like the Israelites in 1 Samuel 8, many believers desire an “anointed” king to lead them and to go out before them and fight their battles for them—essentially rejecting God by doing this (v. 7). This is the fruit of the Nicolaitan teaching which holds that believers constantly need a specially “anointed” servant of God to lead and teach them, thus relieving them of the responsibility to study the Scriptures for themselves and mature in their personal relationship with the Lord. But it was an “evil thing in the eyes of the Lord” as Samuel warned the Israelites in 1 Samuel 12:17 when they asked for a king. Samuel moreover warned them what their king would demand of them in return. 1 Samuel 8:15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. …17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. …19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.” This is so reminiscent of what “anointed” pastors will demand from their flock in terms of offerings in return for leading them and fighting their battles for them. And the people do not mind “paying” their professional clergy for their valuable services. This is the inevitable consequence of the institutionalization of the Church of Jesus Christ by man through the teaching of the Nicolaitans. In this way, some pastors are professionally-speaking no different from doctors, lawyers, and accountants. It is not wrong for members of these latter professions to keep an eye on the bottom line and to want to maximize their income since they are essentially businessmen. But as “professionals” some pastors and servants of God have now learned to operate in quite the same way. Just follow the money trail and you will understand why some do what they do—including inviting well-known guest speakers who will draw crowds and their offerings. The ‘anointing’ as found in the Church today: scriptural or not? Again, certainly not all pastors have adopted the teaching of the Nicolaitans; many serve the Lord in fear and trembling. Moreover, there is a wide spectrum of accommodation to this teaching into which pastors can be classified. I have ministered in the churches of some very godly pastors. But many well-meaning servants of God, not having been exposed to any other system in the Church, have innocently to some degree or another adopted the model which Jesus hates. Let us remember that Jesus had only twelve disciples in whom he invested most of his time and efforts. He distrusted the crowds, knowing what was in their hearts. It was his disciples who ultimately impacted the world for the gospel. It was because of their labors that we can hear the gospel today 2,000 years later, and receive eternal hope. Recall what Jesus said to his disciples: “If is for your good that I am going away” (John 16:7). Only by his going away could his disciples mature as they were taught directly by the promised Holy Spirit. In the same way, disciples must at some point in their development be released to walk with the Lord and to serve him, and no longer dependent on their human mentor who is usually a pastor. Indeed what is presented in this article is radical and offensive to some in view of the current structure of the Church. A tiny minority of pastors might even see it as a threat to their job security, as did the pastor’s wife in Germany mentioned above. But I believe we can agree that the Church as a whole is making believers—and not disciples. In the Great Commission as recorded in Matthew 28:19, Jesus commands us not to make believers, but to make disciples of all nations. Clearly the Church as it is today is not what the Lord had in mind. He commands us to repent. “Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore!” (Revelation 2:14) Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. Therefore what should disciples of Jesus be doing? John 14:7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” 8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” 9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. Perhaps there is no greater threat to the Nicolaitan establishment of a professional clergy and its specially “anointed” ministers lodged in certain circles of the Church than these cryptic words spoken by our Lord Jesus regarding what “ordinary” disciples should be doing. Why does God HATE them? When our Lord Jesus Christ walked among men, He taught His disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, whom He denounced as hypocrites. With them He classed the chief priests and officials of the temple, together with the recognized teachers in the synagogues. He declared they had so corrupted the truth of God, which they were supposed to preach, with the doctrines and ordinances of men, that the truth, as originally given, was no longer with them. That which these blind leaders of the blind were giving forth as truth of God was making their converts twofold more the children of hell than they were before accepting the schism by these corrupt teachers. False teachings enter the Church In the book of Revelation it is both their “deeds” and “doctrine” that the Lord addresses: “Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; . . . But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. ” (Revelation 2:1, 6) “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, ‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: . . . Thus you also have those who hold THE DOCTRINE of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.” (Revelation 2:12, 15) The Lord demands repentance on the part of those who hold and practice these things and He threatens drastic punishment if they do not obey Him: “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.” (Revelation 2:5) “Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.” (Revelation 2:16) Composition of the word The word Nicolaitans (or Nikolaitës, Strong’s Concordance Number #G3531) found in Revelation is a compound word which is composed of THREE Greek words. Because of it being a proper noun, the word is TRANSFERRED instead of being translated into English. Thus, it is subject to the laws of Greek construction in regard to ellipsis, contraction and phonetics. The three Greek words used in this word’s construction are: NIKOS, of which we use the English equivalents instead of the Greek letters, as we shall also of the other two. Nikos is defined as “a conquest; victory; triumph; the conquered; and by implication, dominancy over the defeated.” Another transferred name in which this term is used is “Nicopolis,” which is composed of Niko, which means conquest and polis, which means city. Hence, the city of conquest, or city of victory. LAOS, which means people. Another use of this word is found in NICOLAS, which is transferred and is composed of Nikos-laos and means one who is “victorious over the people,” the letter “s” being in both words the nominative case ending, which is retained only at the end of the word to denote the case, while “a” short and “o” short are contracted into “a” long. A still further transferred use of LAOS is found in the name Lao(s)diceans (or Laodikeus, Strong’s Concordance Number #G2994), compounded with DIKE or DICE as the Greek “k” is the equivalent English “c.” Thus, in the name Laodiceans, we have LAOS, meaning the people, and DICE, meaning judgment or vengeance, i.e., the people of my judgment, or of my vengeance. Also the Greek word la(ic)os, which means “laymen,” of which LA-OS is the root and stem, which selfsame word, with the “o” short contracted to “i”, to which root and stem the plural definite article TON is joined to form LAITON, which is a Greek phrase meaning “the laity.” TON is the third and last word entering into the construction of the proper name Nicolaitan. TON, in which Omega, the long “o”, is contracted into long “a”, thus making the word TAN which is the genitive case plural in all the genders of the definite article ‘the.’ We therefore have, without the legal Greek construction, the English hyphenated word NIKOS-LAOS-TON, but which, with its lawful contractions, becomes the English translation found in Revelation. What is the real-world meaning of the word? The full meaning of the word “Nicolaitans” in its native tongue and in its ecclesiastical setting, is that the bishops and prelates of the Church have gained a triumphal victory or conquest over the LAITON, the laity, until they have been compeled to submit to the arbitrary dominion of men who have become that thing which God hates – ‘Lords over God’s heritage’: “The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; NOR AS BEING LORDS OVER THOSE ENTRUSTED TO YOU (‘lords over [God’s] heritage’ in the KJV Bible), but being examples to the flock;”(1Peter 5:1-3). The evidence of this full meaning is found in all our common school dictionaries, among which we find the following definition of the term “hierarchy: the power of dominion, government by ecclesiastical rulers,” to which the following is introduced in evidence: “If anyone shall say that there is not in the Catholic Church a hierarchy established by the divine ordination, consisting of bishops, presbyters and ministers, let him be anathema, Council of Trent (translation) XXIII 6.” (Century Dictionary) In other words, let anyone who has the audacity to say there is not a hierarchy, not a collection of human beings who have been given the power by other men of dominion, as ecclesiastical rulers over churchmen who are declared God’s heritage, let that man be ACCURSED — let death and hell and the devil get him. Surely, the thing in which that ecclesiastical company is glorying is their shame! Webster’s dictionary defines the word “episcopal” as “the power of government, belonging to, or invested in, bishops or prelates. Government of the church by bishops.” Also, “in episcopacy, the order of bishops is superior to the other clergy, and has exclusive power to confer orders”. In this definition it is affirmed that a certain portion of presbyters (elders) were even “in apostolic times superior in authority to ordinary presbyters,” and also mentions the fact that episcopacy recognizes “episcopal rank” which is created by the institution thus governed; all of which affirms that any church in which episcopal government obtains is practicing the very carnal and fleshly iniquity of creating “Superiors” in what should be a holy brotherhood. The use of this appellation makes INFERIORS out of brethren who are in the selfsame clergy. How can RANK and HIERARCHY destroy a church? The approbation of “ordinary elders” demands a set of elders who are extra special, thus creating “rank” (caste) in the otherwise Divine brotherhood, all of which DESTROYS holy fellowship, creates division and strife, and fosters envy. No marvel that our Lord should hate a thing like that, condemn it, and demand that those who are guilty repent. But will they? Yes, some will when the tribulation is on. Others, however, will stick to their ecclesiastical crowd, vainly imagining that their boasted “superiority” will carry them through that time of the greatest trouble the world has ever known, or will know. They must go down with the rest of the hosts of Antichrist. And yet, one of the most unfortunate features of all this is that there are those in the Christian Church who do not hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, but who practice “their deeds” of dominating the laity by lording it over the Church of Jesus Christ, which should be subject only to one Divine Master! By J. H. Allen T