But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. Revelation 2:6
So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. Revelation 2:15

This sect took its name after Nicolas one of the seven deacons of Acts (although Nicolas had nothing to do with them). Influenced by the Gnostics, began practicing adultery and eating meet offered to idols in order to prove they had conquered the flesh. - Ken Johnson

Victorinus Commentary on the Apocalypse 2.6
The works of the Nicolaitanes were in that time false and troublesome men, who, as ministers under the name of Nicolaus, had made for themselves a heresy, to the effect that what had been offered to idols might be exorcised and eaten, and that whoever should have committed fornication might receive peace on the eighth day.

Eusebius, Book 3, Chapter 29, Nicolaus and the Sect Named After Him
1 At this time the so-called sect of the Nicolaitans made its appearance and lasted for a very short time. Mention is made of it in the Apocalypse of John. They boasted that the author of their sect was Nicolaus, one of the deacons who, with Stephen, were appointed by the apostles for the purpose of ministering to the poor. Clement of Alexandria, in the third book of his Stromata, relates the following things concerning him.
2 "They say that he had a beautiful wife, and after the ascension of the Saviour, being accused by the apostles of jealousy, he led her into their midst and gave permission to any one that wished to marry her. For they say that this was in accord with that saying of his, that one ought to abuse the flesh. And those that have followed his heresy, imitating blindly and foolishly that which was done and said, commit fornication without shame.
3 But I understand that Nicolaus had to do with no other woman than her to whom he was married, and that, so far as his children are concerned, his daughters continued in a state of virginity until old age, and his son remained uncorrupt. If this is so, when he brought his wife, whom he jealously loved, into the midst of the apostles, he was evidently renouncing his passion; and when he used the expression, `to abuse the flesh,' he was inculcating self-control in the face of those pleasures that are eagerly pursued. For I suppose that, in accordance with the command of the Saviour, he did not wish to serve two masters, pleasure and the Lord.
4 But they say that Matthias also taught in the same manner that we ought to fight against and abuse the flesh, and not give way to it for the sake of pleasure, but strengthen the soul by faith and knowledge." So much concerning those who then attempted to pervert the truth, but in less time than it has taken to tell it became entirely extinct.

Ireneaus, Against All Heresies, Book 1, Chapter 26, Paragraph 3

The Nicolaitanes are the followers of that Nicolas who was one of the seven first ordained to the diaconate by the apostles. They lead lives of unrestrained indulgence. The character of these men is very plainly pointed out in the Apocalypse of John, [when they are represented] as teaching that it is a matter of indifference to practise adultery, and to eat things sacrificed to idols. Wherefore the Word has also spoken of them thus: "But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate."

The name Nicolaitane seems to mean "man made hierarchy." Nico refers to rulership. Laitane refers to laity. Now, there is God's church hierarchy which is based on the five offices of ministry and then there is man's attempt to govern himself by designing for himself a hierarchy of control. We can see man made hierarchies in various denominations in various forms. For example, popes, cardinals, those declared sainthood, presbyteries, ecumenicalism, and democratic church governments.

So God has appointed some in the church [[a]for His own use]: first apostles (special messengers); second prophets (inspired preachers and expounders); third teachers; then wonder-workers; then those with ability to heal the sick; helpers; administrators; [speakers in] different (unknown) tongues.
1 Corinthians 12:28

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, Ephesians 4:11

All classifications of ministry fit into the 5 offices.

Nicolaitanes didn't stop at trying to design their own church governments. They also fell into Gnosticism, attempting to show off their faith, fornication, and adultery.

Jeremy Brown 2005

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