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dualism - the Nicolaitan spirit; Greek thinking vs. Hebrew thinking
Topic Started: May 21 2006, 01:29 PM (2,320 Views)
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I think the Nicolaitan spirit is one of the main princes sent to attack the western church. What is the Nicolaitan spirit? It's the thinking pattern that separates the acts of the body from the acts of the soul and spirit. It is also known as "dualism". Meaning the theology that what happens in the body has nothing to do with the state of one's soul or spirit. The body is evil, the spirit is good. Worship has nothing to do with the body....it's all in the "heart", and so forth.

Revelation 2:6    But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

This is embodied in the complete opposite ways of Greek and Hebrew thinking. Greek thinking is all about logic, reasoning, natural laws, transcendency of the intellect. It in essence, separates man into two beings--the physical and the cerebral. It is the thinking that things you do in your body have nothing to do with the real "you." Hebrew thinking is the model we see in the Bible. It's the way God thinks....man is a three-part, fully integrated being, modeled after the Trinity. The flesh is not evil, the soul is not exalted, and the spirit affects all. I like to refer to it as "Kingdom thinking". Thinking like God thinks....seeing and accepting the whole person.

We don't talk about this much. When was the last time you heard a sermon exposing the strongholds of Greek thinking? Not lately, I'll wager.

As worship artists, we constantly encounter this ancient spirit. I think that the Nicolaitan stronghold comes powerfully against those in arts ministries precisely because we use our bodies as part of our expression of worship and proclamation. We don't try to hide the flesh with esoteric words or ideas....we demonstrate in our bodies the commands and truths of the Kingdom. And so we are in the face of that Nicolaitan spirit, who stirs up all kinds of controversies, criticisms and objections to physical expression in worship.

Romans 12:1  Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

Our critics and detractors don't understand that they are being used by the enemy, so we must always remember that our battle is not against them. They have been soaked in the culture for their whole lives and cannot recognize that there thinking is based on the Nicolaitan delusion. It seems normal and logical to think that way. many in the church operate with dualistic thinking patterns and are not aware of it.

But the Lord enlightens some, and because of the guiding of the Spirit, we recognize the deception. It is our charge to see the battle as it is in the heavenlies, and to respond rightly. To continue to be a fully integrated person and unashamedly pursue excellence in our gifts and full expression of our ministry to the Lord. The Nicolaitan spirit is strong. It is rampant. But it is a defeated enemy, we must always remember. It can do nothing to overcome those who walk in Truth and follow the ways of the Lord. But it certainly can kick up some dust in our lives! So we must be careful to discern the real enemy and correctly assess the battle.
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  • Active appeals to the heart

    Process Orientation[
  • Stresses direct participation
  • Emphasizes age and wisdom
  • Role modeling, mentoring, and discipleship indispensable
  • Leadership by personal example
  • Character of leader essential
  • Personal relationship imperative
    Biblical Application
  • Doers of the Word
  • Bible reality that must be confronted
  • Goal is to develop Christlikeness
    Ministry Activity
  • Small intimate groups
  • Leader as Facilitator
  • Cooperative, participatory planning
  • Spiritual gifts shared
  • Frequent scheduled and unscheduled gatherings
  • Love, acceptance, forgiveness
  • Transparency encouraged
  • Active participation
  • How you serve is vital
  • Each believer trained to serve
  • Produces mature believers

  • Cognitive appeals to the intellect

    Process Orientation
  • Heavy program prominence
  • Emphasizes education
  • Relies on speaking skills, oratory, programmed materials, information conveyance
  • Leader's personal life immaterial
  • Personal relationship optional
    Biblical Application
  • Belief without personal cost
  • Bible data that must be taught
  • Focus on rules and don'ts
  • Emphasizes distinct denominations
    Ministry Activity
  • Large impersonal groups
  • Leader-directed and controlled
  • Organizational roles important
  • Acquisition of knowledge emphasized
  • Reliance on scheduled gatherings
  • Mutual tolerance
  • Transparency discouraged
  • Passivity and lethargy
  • What you know is vital
  • Trained professionals utilized
  • Produces spectators
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