12-19-2005, 03:57 AM
14 "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked-- 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." ' "

I've been thinking over this quite a lot recently. Wondering what it means. I've heard all the:

hot = on fire for God
cold = unbeliever
lukewarm = un-committed

stuff and to be honest I think it's a load of crap. There is nothing in that passage that even remotely suggests this is the meaning. Jesus not once says that cold is bad. In fact he puts the two together as being equal.

Lets have a wee gander at the history of Laodicea.

Laodicea lay two miles south of the river Lycus.

Colossae was to the South-East
Hierapolis was to the North-East
Ephesus was to the West/North-West

Hierapolis had a hot-spring. Which people used for washing clothes and medicinal purposes, relaxation and what-not.

Colossae on the other hand, had a cold spring. People used it for drinking and was very refreshing due to the minerals in it.

For Laodicea to have water, it needed to use an aquaduct, high pressure pipes to pump the hot spring water to them. Due to them being 5 miles away. the water was lukewarm when it arrived. If drunk, you threw up. It was that simple, this water was truly disgusting.

Does the standard interpretation of hot/cold/lukewarm fit with the history? ...Not even remotely.

The hot water was good for healing and caring for wounds.
The cold water was refreshing and good for drinking.
The lukewarm water was utterly useless.

Since Jesus spoke to them about their works "I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot.", this should be taken into account. He was not talking about their Faith, He was talking about their uselessness of their works.

They neither heal anyone (from sin maybe?) nor refreshed the believers when they were spiritually tired. They did neither, thus were lukewarm and useless.

So if Lukewarm was so useless, why did they bother with it?

In the dry seasons, the river Lycus dried up totally.
Maybe this lukewarm water was the best they had? They brought it in, useless as it was and used it anyway. Possibly as a last resort.


"Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked "

'Because you say' means I am about to explain whatever I just said.

Maybe they thought that the Lukewarm water was a great thing? They got so arrogant in what they had that they didn't realise what it could be.
Lukewarm water was junk, the Pure cold or piping hot was much better. Since they didn't live in the areas that had it and were forced to rely upon the Lukewarm, that they thought Lukewarm water was great.

People do that a lot don't they? They get used to one thing, thinking it's great, when it's possible there's a 10x better alternative just next door.

They also seem very self-dependant. They need nothing, they need noone. Maybe they isolated themselves off both from other believers and the un-believers. That would explain why their works sucked.

They made themselves a private club, they thought they needed nothing or noone, that they were highly spiritual in what they did and they refused to see what they were doing was wrong.

Sound familiar?


12-19-2005, 04:11 AM
wow...i never thought much about that before...i always thought it was as u first said
hot = on fire for God
cold = unbeliever
lukewarm = un-committed
thats really interesting i like that answer to it....makes much more sense now :)

12-19-2005, 05:45 AM

12-19-2005, 01:10 PM
Good work :). Unfortunately you were beaten to punch on who told me that version of the meaning first :P, heh, but that's cool.

As far as healing is concerned I'd think it means actively casting out demons infecting people's lives and healing them spiritually (perhaps something not actively done by many churches today, either ;) )

12-19-2005, 04:02 PM
Thats awesome man

12-19-2005, 04:07 PM
Sound familiar?

Yessir :P

[Edit] So I have read that verse before... you came to the same conclusion I did. :P

06-02-2006, 11:13 AM
Wow........who would've thought?!?!?!?!? God is just awesome!!!! ;D