The Teachings of

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

and the extreme teachings of J. D. Faust

Surprises in Heaven?

In an article in the Grace Evangelical Society News (July-August 1994), Zane Hodges insists that King Saul was a saved regenerate man: "One of the best examples of God’s grace in the OT salvation is found in the story of Saul. Saul’s regeneration is recorded in 1 Samuel 10:1-10." This is consistent with the doctrine espoused by Hodges/Dillow which insists that a saved person can persist in the works of the flesh and be dominated by them throughout his life, as was certainly true with the case of Saul.

They also teach that Simon the sorcerer was a saved man (Acts 8), in spite of Peter’s strong words: "But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity" (Acts 8:20-23). See Dillow, p.327. If these were Peter’s words to a saved man, what would he say to a wicked unbeliever?

Hodges also teaches that wicked, self-centered Diotrephes was a saved man (3 John 9-11). See his commentary on 3 John in the Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 914. Thus a true believer may do evil and may be described as one who "hath not seen God"! Also to be found among the saints in heaven are Hymenaeus and Philetus (Dillow, p.336) and Demas (Dillow, p.339). The apostates described in 2 Peter 2:20-22 will also be in heaven (Dillow, p.467)!

Hodges seems also to imply that Esau was a saved man (Heb. 12:16-17), and that his life is a warning to true believers lest they forfeit their inheritance (Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 807).

Dillow makes the amazing statement that the majority of the Israelites [in the wilderness] were born again (p.213)! "The majority of the exodus generation was regenerate" (Dillow, p. 448). He also believes that all of the sons of Jacob were born again (p.318).

A shocking article was published in Grace in Focus (published by G.E.S.) In the Sept/Oct 1007 issue. The lead article was written by Bob Wilkin and entitled, "Are Esau and Cain in Heaven or Hell?" Wilkins argues that these men are probably in heaven, along with King Saul, Simon Magus (Acts 8) and King Agrippa. The conclusion regarding Cain is both puzzling and troubling. In the context of distinguishing between the children of God and the children of the devil (1 John 3:10), John tells us that Cain "was of that wicked one." If Cain was of the devil, then by what kind of eisegesis do we have him among the redeemed in heaven? Wilkin’s weak argument is as follows: "Surely Adam and Eve, who met with the pre-incarnate Jesus in the garden, would have evangelized both Cain and Abel. If Abel believed, would it not be likely that his brother Cain would as well?" Evangelism is one thing; believing the message of good news is another matter. His argument for Esau being saved is just as weak: "Would not Isaac and Rebecca have evangelized both of their sons? If Jacob believe in the coming Messiah for eternal life, wouldn’t it be likely that his brother, Esau, would have as well?" And on what basis do we include King Agrippa among the redeemed? Agrippa was almost persuaded to be a Christian (Acts 26:27-29). By what reasoning can we make "almost persuaded" to be equivalent to becoming a Christian? And what signs of eternal life are found in the life of murderous King Saul who consistently manifested the works of the flesh? Similar things could be said of Esau. Wilkin’s conclusions are unbiblical, but they are consistent with his antinomian theology.

God only knows the hearts of men, and some of the above examples could be debated by students of God's Word, but these examples illustrate the main thrust of the teaching of Hodges, Dillow, and others, namely that a truly saved person can live a life that is undistinguishable from that of the unregenerate, and he will end up being in the kingdom, though not an heir of it.  Because of this doctrine there is a tendency among these teachers to look at certain wicked people in the Scripture and say, "I don't see any reason why this person could not have been a saved person."  It matches their template.  God's template is as follows:  "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity" (2 Tim. 2:19).

Were All of the Israelites in the Wilderness Saved?  The Misslers say "Yes"!

One statement the Misslers' book [The Kingdom, Power, & Glory--The Overcomer's Handbook, by Chuck and Nancy Missler] was somewhat shocking:

Finally, there were the two million Israelite believers who were supposed to inherit the blessings of the promised land, but they failed to do so because of their disobedience and lack of faith. They were saved (they had put the blood on the doorposts of their homes), but they were unable to receive their inheritance and go into the promised land (a foreshadow of the Millennial Kingdom) because of doubt, disobedience, and unfaithfulness.  Only Caleb and Joshua of that generation inherited the land and the blessings from God (p. 60).

To say that the entire congregation of Israel in the wilderness was saved goes against two Biblical principles:  1)  The Old Testament teaches consistently that within the congregation of Israel there existed only a small fraction or remnant of people who were faithful to God (Isaiah 1:9; 10:20; Rom. 11:27).  Remember, "they are not all Israel, who are of Israel" (Rom. 9:6). In other words, not all Israelites are saved Israelites;  2)  The Lord Jesus taught that compared to the "many" on the road to destruction, those on the road to life are comparatively only a "few" (Matthew 7:13-14). A general principle in any age is that the saved are greatly outnumbered by the unsaved.  There is only one time in the history of the world when every Israelite will be saved, and that will be at the beginning of the millennial kingdom (for the simple reason that the unsaved will not be allowed to enter--Matthew 13:41-43.  But even in the kingdom, under ideal conditions, the unsaved will eventually flourish and rebel (Rev. 20:7-9). 

Does it really make good Biblical sense to say that these stiffnecked, murmuring, unbelieving Israelites were all saved? And what of Korah and those who rebelled with him, whom the earth swallowed up into Sheol?  According to the Misslers they were saved also.

The logic the Misslers are using is faulty.  The Israelites were all saved, but in what sense?  They were all saved from the destroying angel on the Passover night.  This does not mean that they were all saved from eternal judgment.  This national deliverance at Passover foreshadowed our spiritual deliverance when we by personal faith apply the blood of Christ.  The Misslers reason backwards:  All believers who believe on Christ and apply His blood are saved, so it follows that the Israelites who applied the blood at the Passover must have been saved also.  This is not true.  By using the same logic, one could argue that every Israelite who gazed at the brazen serpent was eternally saved:  Every one who believes on Christ lifted up on Calvary's cross is saved (John 3:14-16), so it follows that every Israelite who gazed at the brazen serpent was saved also.  But the Bible does not teach this.  The Bible teaches that the Israelites who gazed were saved from physical death, and saved from the venom of the snakes.   They were not saved from eternal damnation.  And yet the brazen serpent incident is a wonderful picture of our eternal, spiritual salvation (John 3:14-16).

Not only that, but would not this same logic indicate that not one of the Jews was spiritually/eternally saved until the Passover??? That is, there were no saved Jews till they applied the blood on their doorposts?  And would this also mean that the Jews who were spiritually saved at the Passover, and still alive at the brazen serpent event, were “re-saved” spiritually/eternally [!!] when they looked upon the brazen serpent!!!   None of this makes good Biblical sense.

Nowhere does the Bible teach that the two million people in the wilderness were saved and justified.  [Note:  Joseph Dillow's view is that most of the Israelites in the wilderness were saved and going to heaven but he acknowledges that "some may not have been saved."  See The Reign of the Servant Kings, p. 58.]


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