Neither Cold Nor Hot Meaning – The Lukewarm Church

What Jesus Meant Series

Jesus in Revelation 3:16 says write to a Lukewarm Church: Because you are Lukewarm neither cold nor hot I will vomit you out of My mouth. This scripture has been misused many times, because the heart behind it is not perceived. Being Lukewarm has a meaning that is explained by Jesus Himself: "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…". Later He adds: "I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be RICH". All these terms are metaphors, explaining the condition of the church, His Body, spoused to Him as a Wife. The analogy is drawn from the Garden of Eden when Eve gave the fruit to Adam, her husband, and he ate it to, instead of vomiting it out of his mouth. Christ, on the other hand, shows how the Word that must be eaten by the Church must come from Him, and not her. When Adam and Eve partook of the same fruit, both became Naked, and Blind to the Truth. Had Jesus eaten from the fruit the Church often eats, He'd have done what Adam did, leaving Eve naked. It is the Love of Christ for the Church that causes Him not to partake of the same fruit (Word, Teaching) but constantly instruct and correct her, just as He says: "As many as I love, I chasten and rebuke…". That's how He lifts up the Church from being beaten by the serpent, to rule over serpent, sitting on His throne.

SUMMARY

Jesus in Revelation 3:16 says: Because you are Lukewarm neither cold nor hot I will vomit you out of My mouth. This scripture has been misused many times, because the heart behind it is not perceived. Being Lukewarm has a meaning that is explained by Jesus Himself: “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…”. Later He adds: “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be RICH”. All these terms are metaphors, explaining the condition of the church, His Body, spoused to Him as a Wife. The analogy is drawn from the Garden of Eden when Eve gave the fruit to Adam, her husband, and he ate it to, instead of vomiting it out of his mouth. Christ, on the other hand, shows how the Word that must be eaten by the Church must come from Him, and not her. When Adam and Eve partook of the same fruit, both became Naked, and Blind to the Truth. Had Jesus eaten from the fruit the Church often eats, He’d have done what Adam did, leaving Eve naked. It is the Love of Christ for the Church that causes Him not to partake of the same fruit (Word, Teaching) but constantly instruct and correct her, just as He says: “As many as I love, I chasten and rebuke…”. That’s how He lifts up the Church from being beaten by the serpent, to rule over serpent, sitting on His throne.

Major points:

  • The symbolism in Rev 3:14-21 is entirely based on Genesis 3:1-24.
  • Adam and Eve of the Garden point at Christ and the Church.
  • Adam listened to the voice of His Wife, and by doing so ‘ate’ her fruit.
  • Christ does not listen to doctrine of the Church, rather He vomits it out.
  • Christ comes ‘in’ and ‘dines’ with us, of the Doctrine of Christ, not the Doctrine of the Church.
  • Listening to the Doctrine of the Church leaves one ‘Poor’.
  • Listening to the Doctrine of Christ makes us ‘Rich’.
  • Following the Church reveals our nakedness.
  • Following Christ clothes us with His covering.
  • Vomiting out of mouth is not a punishment, but an act of Love.
  • Love always corrects because Love doesn’t one His Beloved to taste Death of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

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FULL TRANSCRIPT

[The following is the full transcript of this teaching from our new YouTube series ‘What Jesus Meant‘.  Please note that this video, like all videos, features Rose and Masoud speaking unrehearsed–they are unscripted and unedited, filmed in one take.]

Masoud: Hey guys, thank you for joining us for another session from what Jesus meant series. Today we’re going to look at Revelation chapter three, verse 16, where Jesus says, I will vomit you out of my mouth. I myself have heard many actually take this verse and use it in a condemning way in the church. But today, we want to see what it meant. And what is the depth behind this. Because Jesus Himself definitely said that His words are life. So there is no place that we’re going to find out him condemning, or judging in a negative way, someone. So Rose, what have you seen about this verse?

Rose: Like, as you said, This verse is one of those verses that, there has been a lot of teachings on it and there has also been some misinterpretation about it.  So Jesus said a lot of things throughout the Gospels, or even the book of revelations that we need to understand them in a new way or a better way. So this is one of those verses that so many people were concerned about. So if you go to Revelation 3:14, Jesus is writing this to a church that is called lukewarm. The lukewarm church is only a title that the translation has given to this church. But actually, we can see from the name of the church, what does this church mean. If you look at Revelation 3:14, it says, 

“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write”

The word “Laodiceans” means “Justice for people”. Jesus is writing a letter to a church, that was supposed to bring justice for the people. And the reason is, if we look at the end of His letter to this church, verse 21, after Jesus goes through some verses and talks to the church about the issues that they have. And then finally, he says, 

“To him who overcomes, I will grant to sit with me on my throne, as I also overcame, and sat with my father on his throne.”

Jesus is telling to this church that, if you overcome what I’m about to tell you, then you can sit on my throne. And again, the name of the church is the justice for the people. That means this church, Even though they were the body of Christ, they were in the authority, they were supposed to sit on the throne of the kingdom of their Father and bring justice for the people and do what their Father did. But this church wasn’t doing what they were called to do. And so I’m not sure if the title of “Lukewarm” is a good title for this church. But we want to see what does it mean that Jesus says in verse 16,

because you are lukewarm, that you are neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth.

So we just want to look at the scriptures and let the scripture interprets another scripture. So let’s look at the verse before that and see what Jesus is talking about In that context. 

“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot, I could wish you were cold or hot.”

What Jesus is saying that, you are something in between, you are neither hot, hot, hot, or you’re neither cold, cold, cold. If we take a look at these two words, cold and hot in Greek translation, and look at the roots of these words, we will see that the word cold comes from the word “Psycho”, which is translated in English as “soul”. So the word cold is driven from the word soul. And if you look at the word Hot, and study this word in its original language, we realize that it’s driven from the word Spirit. So here it talks about the church which is not fully in Spirit, neither is fully in Soul. The church that has mixed the two together. They are not hot in the Spirit. And they’re not even cold in soul. What they have done is, they have taken some stuff from the Spirit, and they have mixed it with the soulish understanding. And they have turned to something that is lukewarm. So when we say lukewarm, we mean something that was hot, but over time has lost its heat. Like hot water which over time looses its heat. That’s why it’s lukewarm. So we have “ Hot” which is referring to the fullness of the Spirit, and “Cold” as it refers to the Soul.

Masoud : You’re saying that basically the word cold and hot, are attributes of the soul and the spirit. So when somebody is cold, he’s basically operating out of the soul when he’s hot, it means he’s operating out of Spirit, and when we say lukewarm, it’s something in between, which means even though he’s cold, he seems to be hot, or he’s basically trying to look like someone who is in Spirit.

Rose: Exactly, So now we can look at some verses and see what does it mean that you’re lukewarm, that means you are hot and cold mixed together. Let’s see verse 17, that Jesus continues talking,

because you say, I am rich…

And let’s jump to the middle of the verse:

“ and do not know that you are rich, and you are miserable. You’re poor, you’re blind, and you are naked.”

 So what does it say? It says, you say that you are hot. But what you really are is that you are cold. You think you’re hot, you think you are in the spirit, you think your words are saying what the Spirit is saying, so you say you are in the spirit. But the Truth is, you are Not.

Masoud: So basically He says that you are saying But before that, He said I will vomit you out of my mouth. I mean, it’s not possible that somebody would be in His mouth, right? Nobody can be in somebody else’s mouth. So when Jesus says I will vomit you out of my mouth, He must be speaking in metaphor or figuratively, trying to say there is something that is in my mouth, That is from you. That has two options, either to go in, into my stomach, meaning I will eat it, or I will send it out.  just to vomited out.

Rose : Exactly. So that’s why if we look at verse 20, Jesus says, 

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock if anyone hears my voice and opens the door”

Wait a minute here. So Jesus is standing at the door and knock so he’s standing at the door of the house, of a person. He’s standing at your door, He’s knocking at your door. And then he says, If you open the door, then I will come to him and dine with him. And he with me?  This is what Jesus says: “I come to your house”.  And if I come to your house, then you’re the one who’s going to prepare the table, then you’re the one who is making the food. Then we will sit together and we will eat. So as we see here, Jesus is talking about eating. But a few verses Before that, he says, I will vomit you out of my mouth. So what are we seeing here? we see here is something that this church wants Jesus to eat. And Jesus says, No, I am not going to eat.  Jesus in the beginning of His letter to this church, says: No, no, no, no, what you want me to eat, I am not going to eat. And I’m going to spit that out of my mouth. Because you are not hot. Because you are lukewarm. And we will see shortly what does that mean. But if you remember, a similar story happened in the Garden of Eden in Genesis chapter 3. We see a man and we see a man’s wife. And here we have the church as the bride as the wife. And we have the husband, the Christ, who is our head, who is the husband, and the body, the church is the wife. So what happened in Genesis, chapter 3 is that, the wife offered her husband to eat from the forbidden tree. So those of you who know the story in Genesis chapter 3, you know it was the woman who gave the man to eat, and Adam ate it. And we all know according to Romans, chapter 5, because of the disobedient of Adam, death reigned on us. That was not supposed to happen. So basically, the corruption came to the world, because man listened to his wife, and God told him:

“because you heeded the voice of your wife.”

He didn’t say, Adam, because you ate the fruit. But He said, because you heeded the voice of your wife. So what did Adam really eat? It was the voice or the words of his wife. So Jesus now standing here and saying that what happened in Genesis between husband and wife, between man and woman, is not going to happen here, and I am not going to eat the words that you want to put in my mouth. We saw that the reason that Jesus comes and eats of your fruit, is that, you heeded His voice, this we can see in verse 20,

“because you heard my voice, now we can dine together.”

So basically, what Jesus saying is, you know what, because you have heard my voice, your voice becomes my voice. And now we can eat together, because now we are sharing the same words, we are sharing the same food together.

What He said is similar to His response to pharisees’s question, where they asked Him:

why don’t you wash your hands? The food you’re eating, if you eat it with unclean hands, it makes you unclean. And Jesus said, No, what goes into your mouth doesn’t make you unclean, but what comes out of your mouth, from your own heart, that makes you unclean. So what does it mean? That means what comes out of your mouth, is your words, your words become your food. And if you eat that word, some of them make you unclean. Some of them defile you.

Even Jesus said: A good tree cannot bear bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit, how can you who are evil, speak good. So we can see constantly here, the fruits that we are eating, are the words that we are speaking, or the words that we are hearing. So here in Genesis, Adam heeded the voice of his wife. So that means he believed what his wife said. he ate, what his wife offered him to eat, and he ate the words of the woman, and the corruption came to the world. But here, Jesus says, No, I am not going to eat what you want to give me. Something that is the mixture of the soul and the spirit. But I will eat with you if you heed my voice, because the moment you heed my voice then you speak my words.

Masoud: So you’re saying that the story that we read in Revelation, chapter 3, Jesus speaking, concerning vomiting out of his mouth, is what we read in Genesis 3 about the story of God, the first man, the first woman and the two trees? And God said that there is only one tree you can eat from. But when the woman ate from the forbidden tree, she also gave that to Adam and Adam was supposed to refuse to eat what she gave him. That’s exactly what Jesus does here. He says, Now, church is my Eve, and I refuse to eat what you give me. And the story of the garden, what she gave to Adam was nothing less than her words. So here what the church has given to Jesus and is against His words, which definitely are not the truth, but something that looks like the truth. And we’ve seen that over and over and over how religion or how religiosity or how zeal for God without knowledge produces that kind of word. It’s something that seems to be like the word of God, but it’s not, it just brings forth death. So like, let’s say the words of the law, how they produce death, rather than life. And the story of the garden was about the tree that would bring life, fruit would have life, or a fruit that would bring forth death.

Rose: That’s right. So that’s why it’s interesting, because now Jesus is writing to this church. And this church was supposed to bring justice for people. And the justice that the church was supposed to bring is by sitting on the throne, overcoming temptation and bring that justice, for the judgment, the righteous judgment of God, which we’ve talked about it in the previous sessions. So all of these are referring to the words we are speaking. So let’s look at verse 17, again, it says:

 “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”

What does it mean “I am rich”. Let’s look at verse 18: 

“I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in fire, that you may be rich and white garment that you may be clothed, and the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed, and to anoint eyes, with eye salve that you may see.”

So we don’t have time here to go through every single words that Jesus talks about here, but to briefly explaining, all of His words referring to something that is happening internally, inside of man that brings man into an understanding of believing the Word, and then speaking the Word, and then living the Word. Let’s look at the word “Rich” today and understand that better. Let’s go to James chapter 2 verse 5:

“Listen, my beloved brethren, has God not chosen the poor of this world, to be  rich in faith and heir of the kingdom, which He promised to those who love Him.” 

Heir of the kingdom? What did Jesus say to that church? If you overcome you will sit on the throne? Where is the throne? Throne is in the kingdom. And what do you do when you sit on the throne? You reign.  How do you reign? By the words of your mouth. But how is it going to happen? It says when you are rich. All the kings of every kingdoms, are trying to be rich, everybody is trying to be rich, they want to have power. And here tells us that you know what the richness of a king in His Kingdom is? The Faith. As we talked in the previous session, that the kingdom of God is the kingdom of the Truth. The truth is reigning  and ruling in the kingdom of God. But we must fight for it, because that is our wealth. When we fight, we fight for the riches, and that wealth is the Faith.  So here James talks about it in this manner, God has chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith. So who are the poor of this world? Those who are poor in faith and in Spirit. God has chosen them, and make them rich in what they never had in the world. Which world? The one that was not of above. So we need to be rich in faith. And this is how we can inherit the kingdom of God.

Masoud: So when Jesus says, because you say I am rich, but then He says, You’re not rich. But then He says, but I counsel you to buy from me gold refining fire, that you may be rich. None of those things are a natural representation. They are all spiritual, or there is a spiritual understanding and meaning behind it. Gold is a spiritual term. fire is a spiritual term. Lukewarm is a spiritual term. Being rich is a spiritual term. All those things, have nothing to do with, let’s say somebody that is wealthy or rich in this world in terms of like finances. Everyone of those things have a deeper understanding. Now it says, because you say I am rich in faith, but you’re not. You’re very poor in faith, you haven’t yet arrived, you haven’t yet achieved but you think you have arrived. So what is a lukewarm is someone that actually says, but he’s not. He says I am. But he’s not. Let’s say when you say I’m the son of God, you haven’t fully manifested being a son of God, you haven’t reigned and judged and served like a son of God, you just said it like just a confession that I am a son of God. But there is no action or there is no decision towards what has been claimed, let’s move on toward actually making this a reality. So when He says, because you say, but you’re not, that’s when you understand what the lukewarm is. Not that this is something to condemn. Right after that. He says: “I counseled you.” As He says, Now I can give you something that can really make you rich. I can give you gold refined in fire, that means there is something there is no impurity in it. But gold is the purest form of metal in this world. And he uses that to say, what I give you even is more pure than that even that very small residual of any impurity is gone. From the gold that I gave you, and that makes you rich in the Faith.

Rose: Yes, we can even see that in 1 Pet 1:5:

“who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, If need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire.”

Peter brought this comparison. He brought in natural means and brought a spiritual understanding to it. It says your faith is like a gold that purifies, that is tested on fire. And it’s even better than that, because even gold is perishable, but your faith will never perish. So as Masoud said, what we see here is, that the gold refined in fire is referring to Faith. So Jesus tells to the church, Council and buy from me this gold. So what is He saying? He says, Have my faith, what I am going to give you is my Faith, which is refined through too many fires, refined through many temptations, It’s gone through all the trials. And It has come out refined. So I want to counsel you to buy from me this. by something that I have done it, and not that you think this is “who you are”, but in truth, you are not. So get something from me, look at what I have done, come and receive things from me, rather than thinking you already have it.

Masoud: And when He says come and I counsel you to come and buy from me, gold refined in fire. Now the question is that, there is nothing more valuable than gold, and there is nothing more valuable than gold that is purified. right? So how can I go and buy from Him? He says, If I counsel you! through my counsel, you can buy this from me. Now the question is okay, but what does it mean? let’s go to Isaiah 55 quickly and just look at the amazing words that Isaiah says in chapter 55. And just compare it with what Jesus says. Isaiah 55:1 it says: 

“Everyone who thirst come to the water, and you who have no money, come buy and eat.”

That’s exactly the context of Revelation chapter three. There is something that Jesus says, I’m not gonna eat, but later He says, but I’m gonna come in and dine with you. Now He says, You say that I am rich, but you’re not, you’re poor. And then we realize the richness and the pureness is in the faith. Then He says: if you buy from me, Gold refine in fire, you can be rich. Now here it says, You who have no money, come buy and eat. Yes, come buy wine, and milk. Without money. And without price. What does it mean? By Grace. How can you buy by Grace? How can you have by Grace? What they were trying to do is that They were trying to become rich by their works. What does Jesus say, it’s not according to works. It’s according to faith. And that’s by grace. So when you actually come to me, you can receive if I counsel you. You get my knowledge, you get my understanding, you get a revelation of what it means to actually be clothed with white garment. You get an understanding of what it means to see. Because you use eye salve. Now, every one of those terms are drawn from the story of Adam and Eve. That’s because their eyes were opened, they saw their nakedness. Now, here, it says that there is again the story of eye and nakedness. But then eye that sees and nakedness that is covered, it’s not anymore. So what Jesus is trying to say, is taking us back to the story of Adam and Eve, now in the form of Christ and the church. And through that, show us, that never, ever, the body of Christ should live by their own words and teachings and understanding, but she has to submit to the head, which is Christ. From Christ, from the head comes life to the body, from Him comes nourishment to the body. He is the one that holds all things together. And when the church as the woman gives something to Him to eat, that is not from His tree. It’s not according to the tree of life, He’s not gonna eat it, but He is going to refuse it. Because then once He refused, then He can come and dine with us, and he would give something to us, which is out of Himself. We must eat that one. So there is that change of “I can see”, to what He says, No you’re blind. Now let me open your eyes. You say, I am covered. But no, you’re naked. But let me come and cover you. You say that you’re not any more hungry, but you don’t know that you’re actually hungry. Let me come and give that to you so you can have.

Rose: Exactly, so what we can see in this church is that they lack faith. But the reason they lack faith is because they think they’re good. They think that they have arrived, they have achieved it all. They think they got everything they needed from the head, Christ. But here Jesus says, No. The whole purpose for the church is to bring justice for the people. And the justice that you can bring is by sitting on the throne and reigning with the words of your mouth, and fighting, through faith. So you have sword of truth in your hand or better to says, in your mouth. And then you have the shield of faith, and you are fighting in this battle, because you’re bringing the kingdom of God down. And it’s interesting what Jesus is saying, you as a woman, I’m not going to listen to you. Because as a church, you’re supposed to listen to me. That’s why I am knocking at the door. So if you hear my voice, then I will dine with you. So that reminds me of what Paul the Apostle wrote in His First letter to Timothy chapter two. And I think it’s a good place that we can just talk about this now, and then we can just wrap up this session. So Paul writes to Timothy, as the young leader in the church In verse 11: 

“Let a woman learn in silence, with all submission.”

So what are we seeing here, we are seeing the woman, the church, is supposed to learn in silence, and in submission to the head. Who is the head? Christ. So the woman is supposed to receive, hear the voice, learn in silence, rather than bringing her own opinion. One day, I heard this sentence from the Lord, He said: “The greatest stumbling block in the kingdom of God, is your own opinion”. If you have an opinion on something that becomes a stumbling block, is just because it’s important to you. We need to learn to leave the opinions behind and hear what the Spirit teaches us. In Revelation, chapter three, it looks like this church had some opinion, some beliefs on their own understanding and teachings, and their understanding was a mixture of soulish and spiritual together, it was neither hot as a spirit, nor cold as soul. Basically, that’s why here, Paul writes, and he brings the same understanding in a different way. And so look at verse 12:

“And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man but to be in silence.”

So if you go back to the book of Revelation, and look at the seven letters that Jesus wrote to these churches, especially the last letter to the last church, the seventh church, Jesus is mentioning of a woman who is teaching in that church, which refers to Jezebel, the false prophetess. So what is He referring to? To the soulish understanding of something. Okay, why do I say that the woman is the soul, that requires another long teaching , but if I was to explain briefly, we are the body of Chris, and Christ is our head. But on the other hand, in Ephesians we read that Jesus is the Savior of the body. So the body needs salvation. And in First Peter chapter one, we see that salvation is the salvation of the soul. What we see is that the woman is the symbol of the soul, the soulish way of understanding the natural way, the earthly wisdom, the earthly understanding. Because in Genesis, it was the woman who gave to the husband to eat. And when she ate it, she thought of it as a knowledge which will make her to be wise.

The apostle Paul is talking here that the woman is not supposed to speak. The church, as a soul, in front of the husband, as the spirit is not supposed to teach. She is supposed to learn from the husband, the spirit, and stay in silence, receiving the teaching of the husband or the head, which is the spirit. That’s why right after that, verse 13, Adam comes to the picture:

“for Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived. But the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.” 

So we are seeing the same picture here, that it is the woman, the church, needs salvation. And that’s why Jesus comes to the church of Laodicea to tell them, if I eat, what you are giving me, I would have done what Adam had done. And the end is going to be even worse than what Adam caused, death forever, instead of having eternal life that we would have eternal death! But Jesus says, No, I am not eating. So as a woman, you better listen to me, I vomit out the words that you try to put in my mouth to believe because I know what you’re saying, is not truth. You think you are rich? But you are not.

Masoud: So you’re saying that when Jesus says I will vomit you out of my mouth? That doesn’t mean I will send you to hell?

Rose: haha… No, of course not.

Masoud: Alright, I think that brings us to the end of this session. And, of course, there is much more into this, but we’ll leave it at this point. And please, if you haven’t signed up for our newsletter, go to perfectedbyblood.com/sign up, you’ll get a free ebook. And you can also be notified whenever our upcoming courses are live. So you can go and register, you can take benefit of the teachings. As the last session Rose said that we are working on a course that we are going to teach the book of Revelation very systematically, and it’s going to be, we believe, a few years at least, that means we’re going to be very foundational. And once and for all, we want to lay down something for the body of Christ that can be used, and by the grace of God, it’s going to be all that we need from the book of Revelation. So it will be more depth after that in the coming years. Thanks again for watching. The love of God the Father be with you.

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About the author

Masoud & Rose Ramandi were born in Iran into Muslim families. They encountered Jesus Christ when they were reading the Bible for the first time. They experienced such a life transformation that they never new it was even existed. They realized that Jesus Christ is the Mystery of all ages that needs to be revealed through Spirit and Truth daily until humanity is transformed to the image of His Son. They now have the passion to teach the revelation of the mystery and help everyone to grow into the fullness of the stature of Christ, to the Perfect Man!



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