Welcome to the “What's New” section of the REV website.
Below you will see a list of some of the most recent edits and updates to the REV commentary. If you click the “Read More” link at the end of each update, it will open the commentary page in a new browser window or tab.
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Date added or revised: 3/27/2020 8:00 AM EST Commentary for Genesis 3:22[Humans know good from evil]
“knowing good and evil.” The fact that humans have an inherent knowledge of good and evil is very important in understanding the responsibility that humans have towards God. God holds people responsible for finding Him and then showing love and honor to Him by serving Him.
The knowledge of good and evil can move from the inherent to the intellectual via some very basic things: for example, we know that it hurts if people steal from us so we know not to steal from others. We know that it hurts when people lie about us, so we know not to lie to others. The basic understanding of good and evil is why law codes from all ages and all cultures have a deep similarity—although it happens that people and leaders can become so hard and selfish that their conscience becomes cauterized and they follow a path of hurt and pain (1 Tim. 4:2). The inherent knowledge of good and evil is why even children know quickly if a person is good and kind or selfish and hurtful. The inherent and internal basic knowledge of good and evil is why God says that people can do “by nature” the things in the Law that He gave from heaven: “indeed when Gentiles who do not have the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are a law to...Read More
Date added or revised: 3/23/2020 8:13 PM EST Commentary for Genesis 22:1[“God tested Abraham”]
“God tested Abraham.” The Hebrew word translated “tested” in Genesis 22:1 is nasah (#05254 נָסַה), and its meanings include “to test” and “to tempt.” It is helpful in biblical study to know that in both Hebrew and Greek, the same word can be either “test” or “tempt,” depending on the motivation of the one doing the testing or tempting. In a “test,” the most common idea is that the test would help the person in some way and result in success. In contrast, in a temptation, the motivation is that the person will fail. When it comes to nasah referring to a “test,” there are different uses of “test” in the Bible: people test God (Judg. 6:39); people test other people (1 Kings 10:1; Dan. 1:12, 14); people test things (1 Sam. 17:39), and God tests people (Gen. 22:1; Ps. 26:2). Understanding temptations is a little more challenging because people “tempt” God on their part (cp. Exod. 17:7; Num. 14:22), but God is not tempted by what they do, nor does God tempt anyone (James 1:13).
God’s “tests” are meant to strengthen the person in their walk with Him, and also accomplish His purposes. That is certainly the case here with Abraham. But it is important to understand that God testing Abraham is not unique because there are many times in...Read More
Date added or revised: 3/17/2020 6:16 AM EST Commentary for Deuteronomy 30:16[Initial commentary. Choose life; now and forever]
“in that I command you this day.” This phrase and the verse show how God has set before each person life, good, death, and evil. God sets life and death before us by giving us commandments and showing us how to live a godly life, and we choose what happens by either walking in God’s ways and obeying His commands or rejecting God’s ways and being rebellious against Him. Deuteronomy 30:15-16 are integrally connected, although many English versions break them into two sentences. God does not just say that He sets before us life and good and death and evil. He tells us He has done that by commanding us to love Him, walk in His ways, and follow His commands. Then the way we choose to live is the choice we make either to live or die. In a few verses (Deut. 30:19), God makes it explicit that we choose life or death (“I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse; therefore choose life”). On the Day of Judgment no one will be able to say, “I never made a choice,” because the way a person lives is their choice. In essence, Deuteronomy 30:15, 16, and 30:19 say, “Today I have set before you life and death in that I command you to love God, walk in his ways and keep His commandments—so choose life.”
Date added or revised: 3/9/2020 7:54 AM EST Commentary for 2 Corinthians 4:16[Initial comment. Outward self, inner self.]
“our outward self is wasting away, yet our inner self is renewed day by day.” The “outward self” is the body of flesh, which is getting older and weaker with each passing year. The “inner self” is the real “you.” Philosophers have long debated the question, “What is the real ‘you’?” The “real you” is not the physical body, because that can and does change dramatically over time and can change radically and instantly if there is an accident such as a car wreck, shooting, etc. The “inner self” is the “you” that can talk to yourself. It is the invisible self that thinks and plans, and that has desires and aspirations, and that has deep emotions and feels great joy in some circumstances but great pain in other circumstances, and that makes decisions about what to do. Paul also speaks of the inner self in Romans 7:22-23 and Ephesians 3:16. In Romans 7:22-23, which is one sentence, what he calls his “inner self” in the first part of the sentence he refers to in short as “my mind” in the last part of the sentence.
It is very difficult to define or quantify the inner self, the “real you.” It does not reside in any single part of the body, but is intrinsically connected to the whole body. It is not the holy spirit in the person, or the...Read More
Through the centuries of the Christian era there has been debate about whether Christians can lose their salvation. The position of Spirit and Truth Fellowship is that Scripture teaches when people are born again of God’s gift of holy spirit, their salvation is guaranteed and they are not in danger of the “Second Death” (Rev. 20:12-15). Salvation is of ultimate importance to every human being, since those who are saved will live forever and those who are not will die in the Lake of Fire. Therefore, God has spent considerable time on the issue of the permanence of salvation in the New Testament Epistles and approaches it from many different angles to emphasize it. It behooves students of the Bible to study this issue carefully and meticulously. The purpose of this appendix is to provide a resource for this task by expounding on the permanence of Christian salvation.
This appendix focuses on the verses that show the permanence of Christian salvation. It does not explain verses used to argue that Christians can lose their salvation. Those explanations are found in the REV commentary on those individual verses. A list of some of these verses can be found at the end of this...Read More
Date added or revised: 2/11/2020 6:47 AM EST Commentary for Joshua 9:9[Add to commentary. Questions and answers]
“have come from a very far country.” Joshua asked, “Who are you and where do you come from,” and the Gibeonites did not answer Joshua’s question. They lied—they had come less than 20 miles—but even their lie was an “unclear answer.” Joshua and the elders unwisely did not press the point. The fairly large amount of trading that went on in the ancient Middle East meant that lots of “distant” countries would have been familiar to Joshua and the leaders of Israel; there were trading caravans mentioned in Genesis and Job (Gen. 37:25; Job 6:18-19). We can learn a good lesson from this record. A direct and clear question should get a direct and clear answer. If the answer is not direct or clear, the wise believer should be cautious because something dishonest or disadvantageous is likely going on. Politicians are usually masters at not giving clear simple answers to direct questions, and there is usually something dishonest and/or disadvantageous going on.
“we have heard of his fame, all that he did.” People are affected when they hear what God does. This emphasizes the importance of believers talking about the good things that God does in their life. Romans says, “And how are they to believe in him of whom they have not heard? And...Read More
Date added or revised: 2/10/2020 11:49 AM EST Commentary for Genesis 12:6[Initial commentary. “And the Canaanite was already in the land”]
“And the Canaanite was already in the land.” This is much more than just a statement telling us that the children of Ham via Canaan settled in the Promised Land. In this case, the word “Canaanite” was being used as it will be later in Joshua when the Canaanites were known to be a race that had been genetically marred by demons and had to be destroyed completely (cp. Deut. 7:1; 20:16-18). Genesis 6:4, along with evidence from many other verses, shows that Satan, in order to destroy the human race that could produce the Savior who would destroy him, created a humanoid race of evil people called the Nephilim, the “fallen ones,” who made the earth so corrupt that God had to save it via a worldwide flood. But by the time of Abraham, Satan understood that God had his eye on the land of Israel and Satan wanted to claim that land for himself and destroy God’s people. So Satan made a second attempt at creating the fallen race, and that is why there were Nephilim in the Promised Land when Moses got to the edge of it (Num. 13:33).
E. W. Bullinger writes: “It is evident that from Terah’s and Abraham’s call, Satan knew the line by which ‘the seed of the woman’ (Gen. 3:15) was coming into the world. In [Gen.] chapter 6 he aimed at the whole...Read More
Date added or revised: 2/4/2020 6:39 AM EST Commentary for Isaiah 9:1[Add to commentary. Zebulun and Naphtali will see great light]
“he treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt.” The “land of Zebulun” and the “land of Naphtali” are the historic areas of the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali that were assigned by Joshua (Josh. 19:10-16; 32-39). The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali are said to be “treated…with contempt” because of what happened to those tribes. Because of Israel’s disobedience to God, it was afflicted by outside armies. The northern tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali (and Dan) bore a lot of the burden of those attacks because those tribes were attacked first when armies from the north invaded Israel. Before the time Isaiah wrote in the 700s BC, the Syrians had invaded Israel, and by the time Isaiah wrote Isaiah 9, perhaps even the Assyrians had started invasions. In fact, by the end of 722 BC, the Assyrians had conquered Israel and then they carried all Israel away captive back to Assyria (2 Kings 17:6, 23).
But Isaiah 9:1 foretells “there will be no more gloom” for the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and they will be glorious. In fact, the whole Galilee and even land east of the Jordan River will see a great light, and light will shine on them (Isa. 9:2). We should notice that God specifically mentioned...Read More
Date added or revised: 1/27/2020 5:38 PM EST Commentary for Joshua 17:14[Initial commentary. The children of Joseph complain.]
“Why have you given me just one lot.” Joseph got only one lot (Josh. 16:1), but it was huge and included territory on both sides of the Jordan River. Furthermore, it was divided into two parts, one for Ephraim (Josh. 16:5-10), and one for Manasseh (Josh. 17:1-13). It was called one lot only to emphasize that “Joseph” was the original child of Jacob, while Ephraim and Manasseh, Joseph’s sons, were Jacob’s grandchildren. The huge area given by Yahweh to Ephraim and Manasseh was bigger than many of the other tribal inheritances put together. In fact, if the inheritances of Dan, Benjamin, Asher, Zebulun, Issachar and Reuben were put together, they would not be quite as big as what “Joseph” got. This puts what the people of Ephraim and Manasseh said to Joshua in perspective. They did not need more land., they needed to trust God and conquer the inheritance God had given them. The complaint of Ephraim and Manasseh is even more grievous when we pay attention to the land areas that they inherited. Almost all of Ephraim was only a day’s travel to Jerusalem, making it easy for the Ephraimites to get to the feasts that were held close to their territory at the time of Joshua and would still be close when David conquered Jerusalem. For...Read More
Date added or revised: 1/24/2020 4:31 PM EST Commentary for Exodus 3:14[Add to commentary. I am who I am.]
“I am who I am.” The Hebrew can be translated “I am who I am” [or: I am that I am], or “I will be what I will be” [or: I will become what I will become]. All of these are good translations of the Hebrew, and all of them apply. “I am” is true both now and in the future: God is an ever-present reality now and in the future; both now and then He is the “I am.” God was, and is, and is to come. This “name,” is clearly related to the proper name of God, Yahweh, (actually YHVH) because it is derived from the trilateral root (H-V-H), which is from an earlier root (H-Y-H) “to be.” Even that does “double duty,” because it can both refer to God, who is Eternal and who “is,” and it can refer to what He will become and do.
God “is” in that He is an ever-present reality. God is also “I will become what I will become” in several different senses. One of those is that God will become what His people need Him to become for them: the provider, the deliverer, the comforter, etc. On the other hand, God will become what He Himself “will become,” apart from human condition or desire. He is God and Creator, and He is not subject to the will and whims of humans. He will become what He will become according to His plan, wisdom and desire.