Matthew Poole on Revelation (cont.)

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Jesus was crucified for sins, and dead; but now He is alive forevermore. And we know that because He lives, we shall also live!

What a comfort in all our afflictions!

Poole on Revelation 2:8.
All that will live godly in Christ Jesus, and bear a faithful testimony, will suffer privation, loss, and persecution. However, these things are not to be compared to the riches of the reward in Christ...already available to us...and soon to be enjoyed in consummate fullness.

Press on, Christian soldier! Press on!

Poole on Revelation 2:10.
While the Corona Virus and worldwide shutdown brings hardship, let us make use of these difficult circumstances to bear witness to the saving, protecting, preserving power of our Jesus! The testimony shines all the brighter for the difficulty of the circumstances!

See Poole on Revelation 2:13.
Abraham Kuyper once observed, that church discipline was about as common as a white raven. Have you ever seen a white raven?

Although this important ordinance is discussed frequently in the Scripture, and in Revelation 2 and 3 we see Christ assessing the churches based upon their faithfulness (or lack thereof!) in discipline; nevertheless, it is almost completely neglected in the churches.

Let us give our attention to the voice of Christ, admonishing us in the Scriptures.
We meditate much upon the love of Christ (and it is good that it is so); however, we consider almost not at all His hatreds. Here, Christ expresses His hatred for false doctrine (for He is holy, and infinitely opposite to all error and sin), and the duty of the Church to discipline what He hates.

See Dr. Dilday's Sermon, "Failure to Discipline", in the comments.
Discipline has become exceedingly rare in the Church. This is bad for the members (their sins run on unchecked), and this is bad for the officers (they come to share in the moral responsibility of those sins).

May the King and Head of the Church revive the discipline of His house in the midst of His people, for His glory and our good! Amen.

See Poole's comments on Revelation 2:16.
As we face a virus that is certainly not under our control, we are reminded that our Jesus' feet are described as "brass". All His ways are beautiful and excellent, steady, strong, and stable. Indeed, His ways remain so, even in the storm tossed sea.

Poole on Revelation 2:18.
Poole on Revelation 2:21.

How does it seem to you? Is the United States softening or hardening under the Lord's chastisements? As a nation, what have we done with the season of the Lord's mercy?

Thomas Boston's "The Doctrines of the Christian Religion": 'God suffers men to go on in sin and prosper, that he may render them the more inexcusable. This goodness and forbearance should lead them to repentance; and when it does not, it aggravates their sin, and makes them the more inexcusable, when he comes to reckon with them. Hence it is said of Jezebel, "I gave her space to repent of her fornication, and she repented not," Revelation 2:21. God spins out his mercies toward sinners; and if they do not repent and amend, his patience will be a witness against them, and his justice will be more cleared in their condemnation.'
Poole on Revelation 2:22, 23.

Although our nation is feeling the chastening hand of the Most High, it is yet a season of mercy. We feel the sting, but we are not destroyed.

What are we doing with this season of mercy? Let us not waste it, but improve it by repentance.

When the Most High has a quarrel against a people, the only rational actions is to wave the white flag of surrender and repentance.
Sometimes errors and falsehoods can seem deep and profound, when they are really nothing other than "the depths of Satan".

Let us be diligent in our discipleship, proving all things, and holding fast only to that which is good.

Poole on Revelation 2:24, 25.
Poole on Revelation 2:26, 27.

Thomas Boston's Human Nature in Its Fourfold State: 'The saints shall have kingly power and authority given them. Our Lord gives not empty titles to his favourites; he makes them kings indeed. The dominion of the saints will be a dominion far exceeding that of the greatest monarch who ever was on earth. They will be absolute masters over sin, which had the dominion over them. They will have a complete rule over their own spirits; an entire management of all their affections and inclinations, which now create them so much molestation: the turbulent root of corrupt affections shall be for ever expelled out of that kingdom, and never be able any more to give them the least disturbance. They shall have power over the nations, the ungodly of all nations, "and shall rule them with a rod of iron," Revelation 2:26-27. The whole world of the wicked shall be broken before them: "Satan shall be bruised under their feet," Romans 16:20. He shall never be able to fasten a temptation on them any more: but he will be judged by them; and, in their sight, cast with the reprobate crew into the lake of fire and brimstone. So shall they rule over their oppressors. Having fought the good fight, and got the victory, Christ will entertain them as Joshua did his captains, causing them to "come near, and put their feet on the necks of kings," Joshua 10:24.'
Poole on the Morning Star.

Christian, let us be careful not to conceptualize heaven in a pagan way, as if it were simply more earthly pleasures. No.

To be clear, I have no doubt that heaven is a wonderful place. However, no place apart from Christ could be heaven for the Christian heart. Jesus is our heaven, the joy of our heart, our eternal reward.
Our Great High Priest (the Lord Jesus Christ) is still tending the lamps (the churches), trimming the wicks and renewing the oil so that they might give light (commending what is right), and carrying away the waste products (reproving what is evil).

Let us examine ourselves closely, individually and corporately, so that He might not enter into judgment with us (1 Corinthians 11:31). And let us heed His words, lest we hear the rod.

Poole's Outline on Revelation 3.
Poole on Revelation 3:1.

Octavius Winslow's Evening Thoughts: '"I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead."—Revelation 3:1

In a land where the institutions and ordinances of religion are strictly and properly observed—marked by religious training from infancy, the habit of an early connection with the visible Church, and the consequent observance of the Lord's Supper being expected and commanded—would it be overstepping the bounds of tactfulness if we press upon the professing reader the importance of close self-examination and of trial by the Word of God, in regard to the great change? Professors of religion, Church communicants, office-bearers: have you the root of the matter in you? Do you have Christ in you? Are you temples of the Holy Spirit? Are you walking humbly with God? Are you born from above? Do not rest short of the great change—the heavenly, the divine birth. Place no reliance on your external relation to the Church of God. Do not be deceived by a false resemblance of conversion. You may go far in a Christian profession, and may even live to see the Lord come in the air, and yet have not one drop of oil in your vessel with your lamp.

Have you trembled sometimes under the powerful exhibition of the truth? So did Felix, and yet he never truly repented! Have you heard the gospel gladly and, under its momentary influence, done many things? So did Herod, and yet he kept Herodias and beheaded John! Do you show much apparent zeal for the Lord? So did Jehu, but it was zeal for himself! Are you the associate and the companion of good and holy men? So was Demas, and yet he loved this present evil world. Have you been united to the Church upon a profession of faith and by baptism? So was Simon Magus, and yet he was in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity. Do you desire to die the death of the righteous? So did Balaam, and yet he died as the fool dies. Oh, look well to your religion. Take nothing for granted. Think less of polishing your lamp than of having a large supply of oil, so that when the Lord sends or comes, you will not be found in darkness, not knowing where you are going. Without converting grace in your heart, your relationship to the Church is but the union of a dead branch to a living stem, and your partaking of the Lord's Supper, an eating and drinking of the Lord's body and blood (as symbolically represented therein) unworthily. Receive in love these faithful admonitions, penned by one whose only hope, as the chief of sinners, is in the finished work of Immanuel, and let them take you to prayer, to the Word, to Christ.'
There is only one direction for us, Christian. We must hold fast to what we have already attained, and keep moving forward.

Scripture speaks of the backslidden state in the most unflattering terms.

And what is true of us as individuals, is true of us corporately, as particular churches.

Onward, Christian! Onward!

Poole on Revelation 3:3.
In spite of our lethargy, an open door for ministry yet remains before us. Let us labor for the advancement of the kingdom of our Jesus while it is yet day. Night approaches, in which no man can work.

Poole on Revelation 3:8.
This is a war; every true child of God is going to face enemies. Sometimes the opposition comes from the world; but sometimes the greatest hostility comes from within the Church (bringing in its wake pain and confusion).

Oh, rejoice! Oh, be glad, Christian! Our victory over our adversaries is sure! Best of all, many of those adversaries will be overcome by Gospel-grace, and be made friends!

Poole on Revelation 3:9.
In our struggle with the sin, the world, and the devil, we do not have the strength in ourselves to prevail. Happily, we have a promise from our Savior, that He is able to keep us, cause us to stand and to prevail in the contest. We shall have victory, but the victory belongs to our Jesus!

Poole on Revelation 3:10.
Poole on Revelation 3:11.

The longer I gaze upon this world, the more I long to see Jesus. He is the chief among ten thousand, and there is nothing in heaven or on earth that can compare with Him.

"Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus."
The Christian life is a spiritual war, against the world and the Devil (to be sure), but most of all against our own sinful hearts. And what a war indeed are the internal wrestlings of the soul!

Be of good cheer, Christian! God furnishes strength for the battle to His children, and promises glorious things to those that overcome!

Poole on Revelation 3:12, 13.
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