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 Be Characterized as An Evil Doer?


"Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God" (3 John 11).

"And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (John 5:29).

"Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; but glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile" (Rom. 2:6-10).

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 does good and performs good works and perseveres in the faith unto the end.

This unfaithful believer’s life is not characterized by doing good. He does evil persistently and consistently, and yet he is still saved.


In the 3 John 11 passage Hodges, true to his theology, believes that Diotrephes was a saved man. "John was not questioning Diotrephes’ salvation" (Bible Knowledge Commentary, NT,p. 914). Hodges insists that a true believer may do evil and may be described as one who "hath not seen God" (p. 914).

In 3 John 11 John is teaching that those who do good are OF GOD. The implication is that those who do evil are NOT OF GOD. Hodges, in 3 John 11 and 1 John 3:10, teaches that it is possible for a SAVED person to be described as one who is "NOT OF GOD." According to Hodges, the expression "he is not of God" does not mean the person is unsaved but merely that "a person so described does not find the source of his actions in God" (Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 895 and see Dillow, p.173). But how is this expression used in 1 John and in the Gospel of John? Consider the following:

1 John 3:8—the unsaved person is OF THE DEVIL.

1 John 3:9—the saved person is BORN OF GOD.

1 John 3:10—a contrast between the unsaved children OF THE DEVIL and the saved CHILDREN OF GOD.

1 John 3:12—unsaved Cain was OF THE EVIL ONE.

1 John 4:2—the person who confesses Christ is OF GOD.

1 John 4:4—the saved person is OF GOD.

1 John 4:5—the unsaved are OF THE WORLD.

1 John 4:6—a contrast between the saved who are OF GOD and the unsaved who are NOT OF GOD.

1 John 4:7—the saved are BORN OF GOD.

1 John 5:1—the saved are BORN OF GOD.

1 John 5:4—the saved are BORN OF GOD.

1 John 5:18—the saved are BORN OF GOD.

John 1:13—the saved person is BORN OF GOD.

John 8:44—the unsaved are OF THE DEVIL.

John 8:47—a contrast between the saved who are OF GOD and the unsaved who are NOT OF GOD.

In light of the above usage, we may safely conclude that the expression "OF GOD" means that a person has been born of God, is a child of God, belongs to God and to the true family of God and is therefore a saved person. The expression "NOT OF GOD" means that the person has never been born of God, is not a child of God, does not belong to God and does not belong to the true family of God. This person is unsaved and is of the devil (1 John 3:10). Therefore Hodges is incorrect to teach that the expression "NOT OF GOD" may be a description of a saved person.

Hodges’ teaching that a saved person may be characterized as an evil doer is refuted by John 5:29 which clearly teaches that those who do evil will participate in the resurrection of damnation (the second resurrection which is exclusively for the unsaved). This verse mentions only two groups of people: 1) those who do good and who have life; 2) those who do evil and who are damned. Hodges and Dillow require a third group of those who do evil and are saved, but this verse does not mention such.

[Of interest is Faust's interpretation of John 5:29.  In harmony with his idea that unfaithful Christians will be severely punished, he teaches that the "resurrection of damnation" will include unfaithful Christians [The Rod, p. 195]!  Hodges and Dillow would strongly reject such teaching and yet in some ways Faust is more consistent than they are.  If, as Hodges and Dillow teach, unfaithful Christians can be described as "those who do evil"  (3 John 11) then why don't they qualify for the resurrection of damnation (John 5:29)?]

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