The Teachings of

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

and the extreme teachings of J. D. Faust

Can A Saved Person Deny Christ?


"Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 10:32-33).

"If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us: If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself" (2 Tim. 2:12-13).

The Teaching of Zane Hodges and Joseph Dillow

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 faithful believer confesses Christ before men. He does not deny His Lord. His Lord will not deny him.

This unfaithful believer denies Christ. He publicly disowns Christ. Christ will someday deny him, but this unfaithful one will still be saved. He let go of Christ but Christ will not let go of him!


Peter denied his Lord three times. The sin was very serious but it was temporary. About 53 days later, on the day of Pentecost, Peter boldly confessed Christ before thousands. As his life is viewed as a whole, Peter was a disciple who confessed Christ. His denial was an aberration.

Thomas Cranmer was the moving force of the Protestant Reformation in the mid 16th century in England. In 1555 he was excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church in Rome. As pressures mounted Cranmer weakened and he even signed a statement in which he denied Protestantism. Just before he was to be put to death by Queen Mary ("bloody Mary") he renounced his denial, and once more and in the strongest terms declared his Protestant faith. In dramatic fashion he showed how he felt about his denial of the principles of the Reformation. The hand which had signed the denial he held in the flames until it was burned to a crisp. Then the flames scorched his body, and he died the death of a martyr. He had a lapse of faith, but not an ultimate denial of the faith. His denial, though serious, was only temporary. Cranmer, in the final evaluation, would not be considered one who denied his Lord.

Matthew 10:32-33 describes a person who denies Christ. This is the person who says, "I don’t know Him! He is not my Saviour! I do not belong to Him." He denies any kind of saving relationship with Christ. The person who confesses Christ gladly declares the opposite: "I know Him as my personal Saviour and Lord. I am His and He is mine!"

If a person confesses Christ, then Christ will confess Him before the Father (Matt. 10:32) and before the angels (Luke 12:8). That is, Christ will say: "I know Him! He is Mine! That person belongs to Me!" But the one who denies Christ will be denied by Him before the heavenly audience. The Lord Jesus will utter these tragic words: "I do not know Him. He does not belong to Me." Compare Matthew 7:23. The one who publicly disowns Christ will be publicly disowned by Him.

Contrary to the teaching of Hodges and Dillow, the person who denies the Saviour is UNSAVED: "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth (confesses) the Son hath the Father also" (1 John 2:22-23). Even the most carnal believer will not persistently deny Christ and deny having any saving relationship to Him.

In 1 John 4:2-3 we learn that the person who DENIES CHRIST is not saved: "Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not [the person who does not confess is the person who DENIES] that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world" (1 John 4:2-3).

Those who deny Christ are those who are ashamed of Him: "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels" (Mark 8:38). Hodges teaches that this is speaking of true believers who are ashamed of Christ (Grace In Eclipse, p. 58). The Bible, however, clearly teaches that the true believer is not ashamed of Christ (Rom. 10:11 and compare 1:16).

The teaching of Hodges and Dillow insists that a regenerate person can deny Christ, deny the faith, deny the gospel, deny Christianity, deny any saving relationship to Christ, and yet still be saved. The Bible does not teach this.

Who Will Reign With Christ?

"If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him" (2 Tim. 2:12a).  Hodges and Dillow and Wilkin and the Misslers teach that there is a whole class of believers who are saved but because of their unfaithfulness they will not reign with Christ. They teach that only the persevering, suffering saints will reign with Christ. Only those who are "partakers" ("servant/kings") will rule with Christ for a thousand years. Only the "joint-heirs" will reign with Him (Rom. 8:17). All other believers will be lesser citizens of the kingdom and will be in some sense on the outside, in outer darkness, etc. They teach that the non-overcoming believers will lose out on the privilege of reigning with Christ (Rev. 2:26-27).

It is interesting to consider what the book of Revelation teaches about believers ruling with Christ, and to see if this privilege is limited to some elite group of saved persons. "Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood. And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen" (Rev. 1:5-6). This passage teaches that all blood-washed believers have been made kings and priests unto God. And as kings, they must rule. Also, as the church of God we are the bride of Christ. Shall not the queen rule with the King?

"And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth" (Rev. 5:9-10). Notice the added information supplied by this passage. These blood-bought kings and priests had been redeemed out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation. As kings they must rule, and we are here told the location of their reign: "We shall reign on the earth." Nothing is said about a special class of blood-bought believers. These statements apply to all.

"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years" (Rev. 20:6). We have already seen that all blood-washed, blood-bought believers are made kings and priests unto God. Here we are told that they will all reign with Christ a thousand years (this will also include the tribulation saints according to Rev. 20:4). All who are part of the first resurrection ("the resurrection of life"–John 5:29) will share in this reign. It is noteworthy that Joseph Dillow, in his textbook on who shall someday reign with Christ (The Reign of the Servant Kings) says nothing about any of these passages in Revelation (1:5-6; 5:9-10; 20:4-6), apparently because they contradict his theory. Hodges teaches that Revelation 20:6 does not refer to all believers, but only to those faithful believers who are the heirs of the kingdom (Grace In Eclipse, p. 75). This is another example of forcing the text to fit one’s theological view.

The Apostle Paul taught that all saints, including the Corinthian believers (who had serious problems with carnality), would someday "judge the world" and "judge angels" (1 Cor. 6:2-3). It is inconceivable that this could be done apart from reigning with Christ, the One who is the final and ultimate Judge of all men and all angels. "Judging" the world and angels in 1 Corinthians 6 refers, indeed, to "governing," "ruling," or "reigning over," as in Matt. 19:28 (judging the twelve tribes of Israel) and Rev. 20:4a (judgment was given to those seated on the thrones). This is just one more indication that all saints will rule with Christ, not just some special class of "overcomers."

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