The Teachings of

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

and the extreme teachings of J. D. Faust

Regenerate Bastards?

"But if ye be without chastisement, of which all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons" (Hebrews 12:8).

The Teaching of Zane Hodges

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 is a partaker of God's chastisement (discipline).  These heirs are being prepared by this educational process for millennial reward.

These are Christians who have been disloyal to the faith (apostates) and have lost their inheritance. These illegitimate children are true Christians but they will not partake of God's discipline.  Instead they will receive severe judgment.

It is shocking indeed to see what Hodges does with the Hebrews 12 passage which teaches that God chastises every legitimate son of His and that if you are without chastisement, then you are bastards and not sons (Heb. 12:7-8).

Zane Hodges, writing in The Bible Knowledge Commentary, page 810, says this: "In speaking of those who are not disciplined and are thus illegitimate children, he was probably thinking of Christians whose disloyalty to the faith resulted in their loss of inheritance (i.e. reward) which is acquired by the many sons and daughters. (In the Roman world, an ‘illegitimate child’ had no inheritance rights.) What such Christians undergo, the author had shown, is severe judgment. On the other hand, believers who undergo God’s ‘discipline’ are being prepared by this educational process for millennial reward."

There are at least several serious problems with this view:

1. This view teaches that there is a group of saved people who are not God’s sons. How can a truly regenerate person not be one of God’s sons (see Galatians 3:26-4:7 and Romans 8:14-17)?

2. "For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth" (Heb. 12:6; Rev. 3:19; etc.).  How can Hodges teach that there are some sons, some saints that are not chastened by God?  This passage in Hebrews 12 clearly teaches that God chastises every true son of His.  Those who are not chastised are none of His!  But Hodges teaches that those who are not disciplined are CHRISTIANS who have been disloyal to the faith.

3. If there were indeed a group of saved people who were living wicked lives, would not they need God’s chastening even more than those walking on God’s path? Why would God refuse to chasten those who need it the most? If an earthly Father would be quick to correct a wayward son, would not the heavenly Father do so? If we being evil would do these things how much more our heavenly Father!

For these and other reasons, I totally reject Hodges’ suggestion that the term illegitimate ("bastards"--KJV) is an appropriate term to describe saved people who are truly regenerate. When the writer of Hebrews used the term "bastards" (illegitimate children) he was referring to those who are not part of the true family of God, that is, those who are unsaved. God only disciplines His own, but He disciplines ALL OF HIS OWN. 

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