Regarding the word "Nicolaitan". Indeed many definitions from lexicons simply say something that doesn't really lend any specific information to what it means. However certain things should be glaringly obvious here from the start.
- It's mentioned twice. Romans Catholics claimed it was just some short-lived sex cult with some guy Nicolas at the helm. But this seems rather absurd, that John's revelation would contain not one but two such short-lived instructions. Given that this group and what it stood for is now quite obscured. And given that there was rampant sin throughout the church, it's hard to imagine wasting the focus on something like this.
- They were 200 miles apart -- the churches of Ephasus and Pergama. Rather amazing that such a group being short-lived and all would have time to become so dominant in two areas so far apart. Especially since one of the mentions congratulates a group for hating this teaching what? A teaching not to fornicate? Like, dudes, fornication is mentioned at every turn as a sin to avoid. This isn't much different than a cult that preaches that God is a munchkin or something. Give me a break. Yeah, we're going to hate that teaching. Well, no brainer. No, I submit it's something more sinister and deceptive and generally applicable that this prophecy is referring to.
What bears complete witness to me is the fact that the word 'Nike' means 'conquer'. The word 'laos' means a group of people. What do we see arising as a common element of pretty much everything called 'church' by the ignorant world through history? Right. It has a religious hierarchy.
Whether it be the pope down to the head pastor, someone functionally does the opposite of what elders are to do and they wind up lording over people. And the people love this because in general, it makes them feel that they don't have to personally seek God and submit their lives to him. Rather this middle man becomes the focus. They pay him to be holy for them. And they raise him up as an idol of sorts. Some people eventually catch on, try to reason about the situation and of course get alienated. Because now they are a threat to the corporation.
Your reasoning is quite poor.
- You don't like the usage of lexicons for determining the meaning of the word, but then you do a word derivation, based on root words defined in lexicons, to draw wild speculations regarding what the word means. It would be equivalent to someone two thousand years in the future deciding that that "followers of Bush" were vegetarians because "Bush" can mean a plant.
- The length of time a problem existed doesn't indicate whether the instructions given were important or not. Based on your criteria, Paul shouldn't have bothered to mention the man committing incest in I Corinthians 5 since that problem was solved before the II Corinthian letter was written (a very short time). Yet, fornication is a problem that continues to plague Christians today, though it is two thousand years later -- but you find this too obvious.
- Similarly, the range of people affected by the problem doesn't indicate whether the instructions given were important or not. The first letter to the Corinthians was filled with local problems, but they were important for everyone to learn. You find it odd that two congregations both faced problems with the teachings of the Nicolaitans, but also state that the New Testament spoke extensively about the problem of fornication. Now either that problem was widespread or it wasn't. And whether it was widespread or not, it doesn't limit the importance of the subject.
- You ignore the fact that Revelation 2 and 3 were written to seven churches regarding problems they currently faced with warnings (for most) to straighten up or be removed. Yet the clergy system didn't begin to develop until 200 years after Revelation was written.
- You ignore the fact that John states what the Nicolaitans taught: "But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate" (Revelation 2:14-15). John states that the doctrine of the Nicolaitans and the doctrine of Balaam were equivalent. John also defines what doctrines of Balaam were under discussion: idolatry and fornication.
As pointed out, the name Balaam in Hebrew and the name Nicolas in Greek are equivalent terms. John is using a common technique of drawing a parallel between an Old Testament false prophet and a New Testament false prophet. Yet you dismiss the obvious because you have an agenda against the Roman Catholic church.
There are plenty of plain, obvious passages that show that the clergy system of the Roman Catholic church is wrong. Twisting passages is completely unnecessary to gain "meaning" unsupported by the context of the verse in which it is used from a word.