Who were the Nicolaitanes? The doctrines of this body of heretics has never ceased to puzzle Church historians. They have always imagined that the Nicolaitanes had to be a small sect which separated from the great worldly body of professing Christians. It has never occurred to the scholars that the Nicolaitanes might be that great body of professing Christians which has departed from the true Church of God!
What does the word "Nicolaitane" mean?
It has nothing to do with the deacon Nicolas (Acts 6:5), as some have assumed. The original Greek word "Nicolaitane" means one who is "a follower of Nicolas." Who was that Nicolas of whom they were followers? God reveals that He hates the doctrine of that man (Rev. 2:15).
But what does the name "Nicolas" come from? It comes from two Greek words — nikos and laos. Nikos means "conqueror" or "destroyer" and laos means "people." The original Nicolas was the conqueror or destroyer of the people! That was merely the Greek word for Nimrod — the original arch-rebel who conquered the people and founded man-made civilization within two centuries after the Flood!
While Nimrod was alive, by his dictatorial rule he put himself in the place of God. And when he died, his admirers CONTINUED TO WORSHIP HIM AS A DIVINE HERO. They CALLED HIM "BAAL," a name found throughout the Old Testament. "Baal" means "master" or "lord." It was only natural that Nimrod should bear that name, for he put himself in place of the true Lord or Master of all the universe.
But "Baal" was not Nimrod's only other NAME! HE HAD MANY others. One of these names was "Santa," commonly used throughout Asia Minor. This name of Nimrod may be found in Lempriere's Classical Dictionary.
Now you might ask, "Is there any connection between Nimrod, who was called "Santa," and 'Santa Claus'?"
"SANTA CLAUS" is but a shortened form of "Santa Nicholas" or "Saint Nicholas." The followers of "St. Nicholas" or Nimrod are termed "NICOLAITANES" IN THE NEW TESTAMENT! So those people — who falsely called themselves "Christians" continued to honor Nimrod in the days of the Apostle John! — just as they do today!
Today, on what date is "St. Nicholas" or Nimrod especially HONORED? Is it December 25? Yes! But why?
The Romans used to celebrate December 25 as the Saturnalia — the birthday of Saturn or Nimrod. And is it any wonder that December 25, Nimrod's purported birthday, is STILL CELEBRATED IN HONOR OF "NICHOLAS" — NIMROD — THE FIRST GREAT DESPOT.
Yes, Santa Claus — just a shortened form of Nicolas, the Greek name for Nimrod — is Nimrod deified. It is he — and not Jesus Christ — whom the professing Christians serve to this day, and whom they honor at Christmas! And there were individuals in the Church of God in those days who tolerated such practices and even indulged in them!