The Teachings of

Zane Hodges, Joseph Dillow, Robert Wilkin
(The Grace Evangelical Society)

and the extreme teachings of J. D. Faust

Can a Good Tree
Bring Forth Bad Fruit?


"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits" (Matt. 7:15-16).

"A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit" (Matt. 7:18).


The Teaching of Zane Hodges and Joseph Dillow
on Matthew 7:15-20

The fruitful believer
The partaker or heir
The believing believer
The overcomer

The barren believer
The carnal one (non-heir)
The saved person who stops believing
The non-overcomer

This saved person produces good fruit. He is saved and shows that he is saved.

This saved person’s life is devoid of good works. He is saved but does not show that he is saved (gives no evidence of saving faith). Even though his WORKS are bad, his WORDS are not bad, and therefore he is not considered a false prophet.

Consider Matthew 7:15-20. Jesus said, "Ye shall know them by their fruits" and "every good tree bringeth forth good fruit." At face value such verses seem to be totally at odds with the teaching of Hodges and Dillow. Hodges and Dillow teach that not every good tree brings forth good fruit. Jesus was saying that if the tree is good then the fruit will be good. Hodges/Dillow teach that if the tree is good (if the person is saved) then the fruit should be good but it may or may not be good. Hodges/Dillow in essence are saying that it is possible for a good tree to bring forth evil fruit. What then did Jesus mean when He said, "By their fruits you shall know them"?

Hodges and Dillow try to get around this by saying that the bad fruit that comes forth is not the saved person’s wicked works, but it is the false teacher’s WICKED WORDS (wicked teaching). That is, you will know a false prophet or false teacher by his false teaching (his words, his doctrine). Thus, Hodges and Dillow insist that a saved person can bear no fruit, can persist in evil works (such as fornication, homosexuality, adultery, drunkenness, etc.) and yet still be saved. Yet this wicked saved person is not an unsaved false teacher because even though the fruit of his life is bad the fruit of his lips is good.

Yet, consider again the illustration given by Hodges of his friend who abandoned the faith. In this illustration we have, according to Hodges, a saved man who totally rejected the Christian faith. His life, since his apostasy, is devoid of good works. But it goes beyond this. This man even mocked and ridiculed the Christian faith in the university classroom. That is he TAUGHT AGAINST Christianity. The fruit of his works was evil but the fruit of HIS WORDS was also evil. He was a false teacher! In light of Hodges’ own teaching on Matthew 7:15-20 this man should be judged as an unsaved false teacher (because of the evil fruit of his WORDS). But Hodges insists that this man was a saved person! This is very inconsistent! Dillow teaches that the unregenerate state of false teachers is proven by their doctrine (see Dillow, p.384, his discussion of Matt. 7:16-19).  Thus according to Dillow's own criteria, the man given in Hodges’ example must be unregenerate.

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