Can someone PLEASE interpret Revelation 3:16 for me?


Here is the RSV-CE translation:

So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.


The reference to “spitting out” (literally, “vomit” in the Greek) was likely a reference to the water drinking system available to the people of Laodicea, to whom this message from Jesus is sent.

The water was brought into Laodicea by means of an aqueduct that traveled quite a long distance from the hot springs of Hierapolis. By the time the water arrived into Laodicea it was cool and refreshing.

However, Jesus at Revelation 3:16 tells his disciples in Laodicea that they are “lukewarm” and for this reason he is “spitting them out.” Instead of being refreshing cold water that quenches one’s thirst or hot water which can be used to cook or bathe or wash, they are merely “lukewarm.”

The disciples had lost their zeal by means of the seduction of the riches and fine garments they could afford through the city’s famous medically-centered commerce. One of their most precious exports was an eye salve or ointment, and Laodicea profited greatly. This obviously drew more attention from the Christians there then it should have.

Jesus was warning them that if they did not change their ways that he was going to reject them. They might be dressed in finery and gold due to the medicinal eye ointment Laodicea was famous for, but they were spiritually naked, poor, and blind due to their lack in Christian zeal.


…it must be taken with the surrounding text (though some believe that these admonitions were to the historical Church, I believe that they are for the Church in time–there are various states and facets that the Church has engaged/failed/grown out of); Jesus is warning us that self-reliance is empty of values; while we place our faith on wealth, health, power, abilities, it is God Himself that Gives the Grace and abilities that we are able to harness.

Placing our trust in man is a fool’s paradise since life (both health and longevity) is not in our control… we must purchase (gain) that which will transcend:

13 And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Maran atha!



I like the succinct footnote in the NAB: * 3:1516] Halfhearted commitment to the faith is nauseating to Christ; cf. Rom 12:11.

And here’s an interesting earlier thread on Revelation 3:16.





Salutations in Christ,
The church of Laodicia is a reference to our spiritual journey. We think we have arrived at the spot of being the Christian, God wants us to be. We are going through great motions. But where is our Passion? We are to feel that physical joy we feel when first fall in love w the man of our life, who hopefully, married us. As years pass, here on earth, we evolve our feelings w our spouses because of work, children, stresses in our lives. Old bodies just can’t act like 19yo. We are gloriously celebrating our fiftieth anniversary next Aug. If we’re alive. See what I mean. But our spirits are still to be on fire for
Jesus. No half meaning w the Lord. He is the first, the Last and every thing in between. He knows our hearts. Like the High Priest going into the Holy of Holies on Rosh Shashana, his spirit better be right or he gets killed. They had a rope on his ankle to drag his dead body out.
in Christ’s love


First, in general your post was great. You show some great insight.

However this part of your post that I quote above…

I believe you meant to say “Yom Kippur” instead of Rosh Hashanah. Yom Kippur is the Day of Antonement, the day the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year (and it’s “Hashanah,” not “Shashana.”)

Also there is no reference in Scripture, history or Jewish tradition that states that the High Priest wore a rope on his ankle in case of death while in the innermost chamber of the Sanctuary/Temple, nor anything about ‘his spirit better be right or he gets killed,’ not before the 13th century anyway. That story came from a Kabbalah text circa 1250 C.E./A.D. It is not believed to be a literal historical reference.


I thought I might have the name of the Jewish holidsy


I thought I might have the name of the Jewish holiday wrong. It’s been awhile since I was in a situation to use them for awhile.
On the rope ankle that was in a seminar I was going to on “THE CHRISTOPHANY IN THE OLD TESTAMENT” It makes sense. I guess after the first one was killed, a new High Priest would be chosen.
He, then, could go in and get the body? But God only gave permission to go in once a year at YOM KIPPER He’d be decomposed.Unless there were ,more than one High Priest in existence.
I’m sticking w the rope.But we have a temple in town and a Messianic Jewish church I wish to visit.
I’ll be back on the rope thing. I’ll tune up my holidays and they can teach Hebrew in 12 days I think? Short alphabet.
in Christ’s love


In scipture school one of our homework questions was which church in Revelation is your parish most like? Many chose this one.


I’m a Hebrew Catholic, of Jewish ancestry. I have had decades of training in Jewish religion and studies. Plus you own a Bible and can read it for yourself that there was no such “rope.”

And Messianic Jews are not recognized as a Jewish religion. Composed of 60% or more of Gentiles, they are generally Protestant Christians that believe in worshipping as IF they were Jewish. If you want to ask someone in Judaism, why not approach a rabbi of a genuine synagogue or temple?

The “rope” story is popular among proselytizing groups like the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Believe in it if you want, but there is no Biblical reference or historical data to back up this legend. After all, with a Jewish background, I should know the difference between true stories and silly tales.


Rope story?


Well, the rope story does seem to be an urban myth, but it probably isn’t a Christian urban myth. If it is, it’s a lot older than the JW’s, going back to medieval times, and has gotten entangled into Jewish urban myth.

Here’s an interesting Jewish article on the first known appearances of the rope story in the Zohar, where it was listed as either a golden chain or a rope, and how the story is sometimes elaborated with bells too. The article also talks about how the existence of such a custom as a golden chain would actually have broken Jewish laws for the priest on Yom Kippur, and gotten him killed!

If you read the whole article and the footnotes, the author seems to be of the opinion that the source of the rope story was rabbinic disagreement about whether or not Levites could enter the Holy of Holies to do needful work and remove dead bodies. If Levites could do it, you didn’t need anything extra. If you are ruling that Levites couldn’t enter, you have to think of some way to do it, and thus the rope appears.

In real life, it seems that the priest did have to host a feast afterward, to celebrate living through the experience of going inside the Holy of Holies! There are also stories in the article about priests who didn’t survive the experience.



I can surrender rope story. But everything you have in written documents isn’t including every thing that want on. Why did they not write of Jesus’s life as a child. I felt He was normal and at 12 the Holy Spirit enlightened Him in the temple. The Gnostic. Gospels have clay birds turned to life and a friend falling off a roof, dying and being resurrected. Why shouldn’t He have gotten married. Why not write of it. No guessing. So things happen and have vague awareness. Could be same w rope. BUT if the Levites can enter and remove dead bodies which were affirmed, no rope was needed.
Velly interesting study.
A sinner saved by grace


Hi again, cool hyperlink. Poor guys who got killed. Goes to show how are hearts to be clean. Psalm 54. Create a clean heart in me , Oh Lord.
Your traditions and holocosts are an abomination to me, what I want is the circumcision of your hearts.
Tough request. To be Jesus. I have so many sins of omission. Forgive me and send an angel to push me forward.
in Christ’s love


Hi, Alice!
…we must understand that Scriptures are not a biography–we don’t need to know everything that happened to Jesus… we do have enough information to make educated guesses (no, not on the level of the “scholars” who find a need to nit-pick everything–including the missing spaces–to demonstrate their enormous prowess):
***Jesus born of the Virgin Mary by the Power of the Holy Spirit ***-- Jesus, the Word Incarnate, never ceased being God as He came to live amongst us in the likeness of a Servant.
***Jesus is visited by the shepherds, is brought to the Temple, is visited by the Mages ***-- the Lamb of God enters the world under the Law and fulfills every tenet (requirement) of the Law, He also fulfills the prophecies, and His Triple Threat is revealed: King (gold), Priest (frankincense), Servant/Sacrifice (myrrh)–incidentally, His Divinity too is revealed as He is Adored.
***Jesus seeks to engage the Temple and its agents at age 12, then He submits to His earthly parents ***-- Jesus demonstrates that He is aware of His Mission (Malachi 3:1; John 3:16-21; Philippians 2:6-8; Ephesians 1:3-14) and is fully Obedient to the Father’s Plan (remaining subject to St. Joseph and St. Mary till the appropriate time of His Public Life–Mission, Establishment of the Church, Death, Resurrection and Ascension… all of it must remain concealed.
***Jesus is Baptized by John ***-- Jesus’ Ministry Begins (His Mission is unfolded, step by step, with a central Revelation: He is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.
***Jesus turns water to wine ***-- Jesus’ Ministry Reveals His Divinity for the very first time (yeah, no childhood abracadabra or miracle signs).

Jesus’ hidden life would not add to God’s Salvific Plan; hence, it is unnecessary to document anything but the very salient points that directly demonstrates Who He Is and What and When must take place:

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (St. John 20:30-31)

…as for why not more clear? Have you considered the fact that God wants us to depend upon Him and not upon what we think or interpret?:

12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. (St. John 16:12-13)

Maran atha!



I read a private revelation that gave an example of people coming to communion thinking of anything but their moment with Christ - someone who claim to be Christian but does everything half hearted and in the revelation Jesus spits out those who show up and live in that state. You can’t go to the lord with half your heart in it he wants your full heart


Christians who are “hot” stir up those around them to do good.
Christians who are “cold” cool down those around them from doing evil.

Lukewarm Christians take on the same temperature as those around them, meaning that they follow the crowd in believing and doing whatever is popular at the moment. They follow sinful secular society, not Christ.



That would seem to be further borne out by our Blessed Lord’s words to St. Faustina. His words from her diary used as a meditation to the ninth day of the novena to The Divine Mercy read:

Today bring to Me SOULS WHO HAVE BECOME LUKEWARM,* and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: ‘Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.’ For them, the last hope of salvation is to run to My mercy.

They proceed to correlate the asterisk-related text (“Lukewarm”) with several more of His words from the diary:

*To understand who are the souls designated for this day, and who in the Diary are called ‘lukewarm,’ but are also compared to ice and to corpses, we would do well to take note of the definition that the Savior Himself gave to them when speaking to St. Faustina about them on one occasion: There are souls who thwart My efforts (1682). Souls without love or devotion, souls full of egoism and selfishness, proud and arrogant souls full of deceit and hypocrisy, lukewarm souls who have just enough warmth to keep themselves alive: My Heart cannot bear this. All the graces that I pour out upon them flow off them as off the face of a rock. I cannot stand them because they are neither good nor bad (1702).


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