What are or who are the Nicolaitans? According to more than one commentary both the names Balaam and Nicolaitans, have the same meaning:
“to conquer or rule the people”. To overrule God and follow our new and easier and better rules
So both teachings were people who professed to be Christians, but lived licentiously.
There was one main difference. The teaching of Balaam involved getting people involved in idol worship. In other words, it’s ok to be a part of the town feast to idols because you want to fit in.
Since immorality was part of their “religion” it’s ok to participate because our gods say it’s ok. You need permission, you have permission.
The Nicolaitans did the same, but without the idol part. Just wanted to live however they wanted.
They didn’t need permission because they though God already gave it because we have freedom in Christ and God forgives sin, and God is love, so that means God is ok with your lifestyle.
So this must have been the prevalent problem. And it seems that there was not just a group of folks doing this on their own, it seems that there was a teaching to this effect.
Not just a few renegades, but a whole contingent that were teaching other believers.
The church was responsible for NOT correcting it.
What does he tell them?