Tares among the wheat

I would however point out that there is a gap between the leaders and the body of the church. Not as one of men lording over the flock. But as one who like the priesthood who carried the ark before the congregation of the Lord went ahead and was a space between them and the congregation and who went before them and stood in the river Jordan till all had past.
But in truth even as the pristhood after the order of Levi was taken out from among |Gods people .So also was Jesus madea high priest after the order of Malchesidech from among the people.
I say this because I know of one congregation that had not had a pastor for over 5 years . They found one who was a true man of God and a faithful minister of God who was willing to be their pastor when they requested it.
But they wanted a pastor after their own hearts and when his 'sermons' went beyond what tradition had stipulated they began to murmer and look at their watches in a deliberate way before his face .
Being a faithful man of God he preached as he was so led by the Holy Spirit. Then some among the congregation began to stack up the chairs even as he was still speaking . After some discusion he resigned after about 4 weeks . One member of the congregation confessed this was not of God. it was not . But as the congregation did not want God or only as God would conform to them. His servant left .
I know of another church where it was the deacons and the accountant that ruled the roost and not the shepherd of the flock.
The (true) apostles prophets, evangelists ,pastors and teachers God has given to the church do have authority that comes from being sent of God or ordained of God . Not as the Nicolaitins who always take the high places unto themselves deeming they are more worthy of them. and keep the sheep ignorant of the truth .
But as true servants of God lead the flock where they have been so led and feed them with the bread of life what they have already partaken of and are no hinderance to the flock or for any who seek Gods face .
Thus even as they are so led they lead the flock. and the same Holy Spirit that leads them ,then leads the flock and each is and both are edified and blessed by God and made one in Him and of the same mind .
The same Holy Spirit bearing witness to the truth in them even as it is spoken and received. Thus the body is perfected by degree and with each measure .
The Nicolatins are in the 'orthodox' churches but it should be also understood are also in protestant churches and the more those denominations conform to and agree with and desire to be one with the orthodox churches the more they will increase and it will come to pass that they who do not will be expelled and cast out of the synagogues .

in Christ
Thank you for your very full answer. It's encouraging to see a true understanding of what Nicolaitanism is: so many - particularly in the national and the so-called orthodox and catholic churches - misconstrue that scripture and make it devoid of meaning. A separate class of persons as priests or clergy is, of course, entirely unscriptural.
There are only two priesthoods that are lawful and acceptable to God .
The first is of the flesh and ministers in the temple made with hands and is of the order of Levi.
The second is after the order of Malchesidech (Hebrews) and ministers in the temple not made with hands .
Even as their was a high priest after the order of Levi so too is their a high priest after the order of Malchesidech.
Paul in his letter to the Hebrews can argue the case far better than I .
The church of England in which I was raised has then a grave problem. Both in its disputes about women priests as also in its whole priesthood.
For as they minister in the temple made with hands they must be of the tribe of Levi . and by that there can be no women priests.
In both cases then they have a grave problem to resolve .
The Roman church has an even greater problem . For where as Paul argued that even as the high priest had need of an offering so too the one of Malchesidech .
If then the high priest of the order of Levi had to continually and every year make an offering fro sin, So too then this Roman priesthood being one after the flesh and in a temple made with hands . this they have conceived and done .Its called the mass.
Not only then do they substitute the truth for a lie . But deny the once and for all sacrifice for sin . and keep the people in bondage while they themselves project the idea they are holy.
There end was long ago foreseen and their judgment just .
True then is it said "come out form among them ,touch not the unclean thing lest ye become paratakers of her judgements.

In Christ