A Scriptural Refutation of

The Teachings of Zane Hodges,

Joseph Dillow and the

Grace Evangelical Society,

with Respect to

the Future Inheritance,

Glory, and Destiny of the Church

Christ’s Beloved Body & Bride

by James Ventilato


Particular aspects of the nature, reign, inheritance, heavenly glory, and infinite blessing of Christ’s beloved Body & Bride (comprised exclusively of all believers saved from Pentecost to Pre-Trib Rapture) in and with her Head, Life & Bridegroom:


Section 2: The Future Reign of the Heavenly Body & Bride of Christ, His Consort-Queen.



Other Passages Speaking of all the Saints Reigning with Christ



(6) “And I saw thrones; and they sat upon them, and judgment [that is, rule] was given to them.... Blessed and holy he who has part in the first resurrection: over these the second death has no power; but they shall be priests of God and of the Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:4,6)

“…’I saw thrones, and they sat upon them.’ The thrones were already filled. Instead of judgment being executed on them, it was given to them. They themselves were to judge. Who were they? Who are the persons thus invested with judicial authority of so glorious a nature and to reign, as we see later, with Christ? Clearly the same saints whom we have seen first set forth by the elders in heaven,…next, by the bride…at the marriage-supper, and finally by the armies that followed the Lord out of heaven…. We have seen that these follow the Lord out of heaven, and are next seen enthroned. When the Lord takes His own throne, they take theirs by grace.” – William Kelly (Lectures Introductory to the New Testament, Vol. III p. 557, 559)


“What was seen in [Rev.] 11:15 by way of anticipation is here realized [Rev. 20:4-6]. It is understood that Christ will sit on His throne and reign as the legitimate Son of David, and it is clearly stated in the last clauses of this verse. Who are the occupants of the thrones? From the combined testimony of Scripture they will be New Testament saints (cf. I Cor 6:2), who reign as the Queen of the King. Too, there will be Old Testament saints, who will rule as vicegerents of the King and Queen (cf. Deut 28:1, 13; Mt 19:28). The martyred through the Tribulation Period, and those who resisted the idol worship of the beast, will also reign. These will come to life (only a literal, not spiritual resurrection, will meet the demands of the context where individuals have been beheaded) and reign with Christ for the Millennium.” – Charles L. Feinberg (A Commentary on Revelation: The Grand Finale, p. 145)

“The Church will reign with Christ in glorified bodies like His (I Corinthians 6:2,3). The Church, evidently, is the first class of the three mentioned in Revelation 20:4: ‘I saw thrones, and they sat upon them.’ There is no account of resurrection; for they were caught up at the end of chapter 3 of Revelation…. Judgment, and not the mere execution of it, will belong to – be ‘given to’ – the Church.” – William R. Newell (Revelation: A Complete Commentary, p. 324)

“They were now to exercise judgment. Evidently this is an accomplishment of 1 Cor. vi. The apostle there, addressing the saints at Corinth, says, ‘Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?’ And here they are judging the world…. The glory above will be the rest and centre of the heavenly saints; but besides that they will judge the earth. Accordingly it is written here, ‘I saw thrones, and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them.’ They were the destined assessors of the Lord in judging or government.” – William Kelly (Lectures on the Book of the Revelation, p. 414,415)

(7) “And no curse shall be any more; and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him [no exceptions], and they shall see His face [not outer darkness!]; and His name is on their foreheads [again, no exceptions]. And night shall not be any more, and no need of a lamp, and light of the sun; for the Lord God shall shine upon them, and they shall reign to the ages of ages [dare we now make exceptions or inject special conditions of good works?!].” (Rev. 22:4)

“God’s bond-servants will serve Him, an unsullied, gladsome, eternal service without failure or weariness and with fulness of joy and praise. Many question whether saints in heaven will see God’s face. The Scripture here is plain; they assuredly will…. The name of God on the forehead indicates public acknowledgement of belonging to Him, as well as conformity to His blessed nature…. The millennial reign and the eternal reign are united. Saints will never cease to reign, as long as there will be subjects. Cf. Romans 5:17. Why do earthly reigns come to an end? They are terminated either by injustices, fraud, ineptitude, or death. None of these will be present when Christ the King reigns with His Bride. Why, then, should not the millennial phase of His reign merge into the eternal phase? Verily, it will!” – Charles L. Feinberg (A Commentary on Revelation: The Grand Finale, p. 162,163)

“The experience of the marriage results also in an eternal and personal [communion]… with Christ. The church [His Bride] will share His name [the name of her Husband], for “his name shall be in their foreheads” (Rev. 22:4b). The church will also share His glory, for believers will ‘appear with Him in glory’ (Col. 3:4). In addition, the church will enter into the rights of inheritance along with Him, since believers are sons, ‘then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ’ (Rom. 8:17). And to crown it all, to the queen, the church, Christ said that to her ‘will I grant to sit with me in my throne’ (Rev. 3:21), and along with Him believers ‘shall reign for ever and ever’ (Rev. 22:5)…. Rising above everything else, there is that magnificent and ineffable vision of His face. No word so simple and yet more sublime could be spoken of the experience of the bride: ‘And they shall see his face’ (Rev. 22:4). By this John is referring to the Person [of Christ our Life] who shall be the object of adoring wonder throughout eternity.” – Herman A. Hoyt (The End Times, p. 110)

(8) “And they sing a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open its seals; because Thou hast been slain, and hast redeemed to God, by Thy blood, out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation, and made them [the very same unworthy ones redeemed by His precious blood] to our God kings and priests; and they shall reign over the earth.” (Rev. 5:9,10)

Every single believer, during the Dispensation of Grace, who has been redeemed by the precious blood of the alone worthy One, the God-Man, will co-reign with Him, as part of His heavenly Bride-Queen, over Israel and the nations, during the Millennial Kingdom and throughout Eternity – on the sole and necessary ground of the infinite value of His same once-for-all shed blood. “Grace upon grace.” No exceptions noted here or elsewhere; no distinctions made between faithful/worthy/persevering saints as over against unfaithful/unworthy/non-persevering saints. Those redeemed in Christ = Those who will reign with Christ. Our future reign with Christ as His Bride-Queen is based on our redemption in Christ by His blood. The two are inseparable aspects (past-tense and future-tense) of our so-great salvation in the crucified, risen, ascended, glorified, heavenly Christ.

(9) “For this cause I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. The word is faithful; for if we have died together with Him, we shall also live together; if we endure, we shall also reign together; if we deny, He also will deny us; if we are unfaithful, He abides faithful, for he cannot deny himself.” (2 Tim. 2:10-13)

“If we endure [or endure suffering], we shall also reign with Him”: does this passage of Scripture contradict all of the other passages cited above, in supposedly making reigning with Christ a matter of personal worthiness (i.e., not by grace alone—not by His blood alone—not by His worthiness alone) in the spiritually elite amongst the members of His Body & Bride? Impossible!

saints in Christ suffer – by virtue of who and what they are in Christ; thus all saints in Christ will reign with Him. Consider the following:

(A) “And if one member suffer, all the members suffer with it [Gr. sumpascho, occurs only here and in Rom 8:17]; and if one member be glorified, all the members rejoice with it.” (1 Cor. 14:26)

“…the effect is real throughout the church. It is a body – the body of Christ – and as a whole it feels in joy or sorrow: else it were not a real organic unity.” – William Kelly (Notes on the First Epistle to the Corinthians, p. 214)

“Now the Greek word used in Romans 8.17 for ‘suffer with’ (sumpascho) is used just once more in the New Testament: in I Corinthians 12.26: ‘If one member suffer, all the members suffer with it.’ Here Paul is speaking of the Body of Christ into which all believers have been baptized by the Spirit (I Cor. 12.12,13)…. Here note all believers are in this Body. And then, verse 26….Here (and mark again this is the only occurrence of the word besides Rom. 8.17) ‘suffering with’ is not a voluntary matter, but one necessitated by the relationship. If someone should tread upon your foot, your whole body would be exercised. So it is with Christ and His members.” – William R. Newell (Romans Verse by Verse, p. 317)

(B) “Because to you has been given on behalf of Christ, not only the believing on him but also the suffering for Him.” (Phil. 1:29)

“And suffering through which they passed…is viewed as a gift of God, just as much as believing on Christ. It is then a gracious, God-given privilege to suffer for His sake. Murmuring and complaining will be completely silenced when suffering is looked upon as a gift of grace [to every believer].” – Arno C. Gaebelein (Gaebelein’s Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible, p. 1009)

(C) “If the world hate you, know that it has hated Me before [it hated] you. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, on account of this the world hates you. Remember the word which I said unto you, The bondman is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My word, they will keep also yours. But they will do all these things to you on account of My name, because they have not known Him that sent me.” (John 15:18-21)

(D) “These things have I spoken to you that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye have tribulation; but be of good courage: I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

(E) “For what glory is it, if sinning and being buffeted ye shall bear it? but if, doing good and suffering, ye shall bear [endure] it, this is acceptable with God. For to this have ye been called; for Christ also has suffered for you, leaving you a model that ye should follow in his steps.” (1 Pet. 2:20,21)

“ ‘Hereunto’ is literally ‘into this’ namely, the endurance of wrongful sufferings. The divine call of God to a lost sinner is an effectual call into salvation, and an accompaniment of that salvation is suffering for righteousness’ sake, the natural result of the Christian’s contact with the people of the world and their reaction towards the Lord Jesus who is seen in the life of the saint. Paul speaks of the same thing when he says, ‘For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake’ (Phil. 1:29).” – Kenneth S. Wuest (Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, Vol. II, First Peter in the Greek New Testament, p. 66)

(F) “And having announced the glad tidings to that city, and having made many disciples, they [Paul and Barnabas] returned to Lystra, and Iconium, and Antioch, establishing the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to abide in the faith, and that through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:21,22)

This is a statement of fact concerning all believers, not a conditional promise based on our merit or worthiness. It is necessary for us believers, by virtue of who and what we are in Christ, to enter into (equivalent here to “inherit”) the Kingdom of God through many (varying degrees of) tribulations while yet in this wicked world of darkness that hates the Lord Jesus and His own.

(G) “And ye have quite forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when reproved by Him; for whom the Lord loves [obviously all of His born-ones] He chastens, and scourges every son [no exceptions] whom He receives. Ye endure for chastening, God conducts Himself towards you as towards sons; for who is the son that the father chastens not? But if ye are without chastening, of which all [no exceptions] have been made partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” (Heb. 12:5-8)

children or born-ones of God are sons (and consequently heirs) of God (cf. Eph. 1:4,5; Rom. 8:16-18; Gal. 3:26-29; 4:6,7; Heb. 12:23b; 1 Pet. 1:3,4) – thus all believers endure suffering in the form of chastening (for spiritual growth, whether there be specific sin involved or not).

“Contending against sin in an evil world entails suffering, and in the same suffering without chastisement. But they may and do sometimes coalesce; and in every case we wrong Him who watches over us in love, if we either slight His hand or repine under it. How often His action which calls us to suffer is to guard us from what would grieve the Holy Spirit of God, rather than because we have sinned! And it is happy for us when it is so…. So in the Gospel of John our Lord speaks of His Father purging every branch of the Vine that bears fruit, in order that it might bear more fruit. We need to believe His word that we may interpret His dealings aright.” – William Kelly (An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 240)

(H) “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are children of God. And if children, heirs also: heirs of God, and Christ’s joint heirs; if indeed [since] we suffer with Him [Gr. sumpascho, occurs only here and in 1 Cor. 12:26], that we may also be glorified with Him [all saints in Christ suffer with Him; all are glorified with Him]. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the coming glory to be revealed to [in regard to] us [us children of God, all of us, no exceptions or distinctions].” (Rom. 8:16-18)

See Section III (p. 16) below for a more in-depth discussion of this passage. But for now…

“To make one grace, and the other conditional, is not only error but absurdity. And so it is [to] separate heirship of God from being joint-heirs with Christ, though it is expressly a gift of grace (as in Phil. 1:29) to suffer for Him as well as with Him. He who does not suffer with Him now has not His Spirit and is none of His. It is perversion to make such a contrast in Rom. 8: 17, and 2 Tim. 2:11, 12. The contrast, if any such thing were intended, would be with the millennial saints who enjoy entire exemption from such suffering, and therefore do not reign with Christ during the thousand years. But to make this of works is utterly unscriptural….” – William Kelly (W. Kelly’s Writings on Prophecy, p. 177, “The Prize of Our High Calling” by J. Sladen: A Review by W. Kelly)

Let us note in passing, that, true as it may be that, individually speaking, some saints in Christ suffer more than others, nonetheless all believers will have the same future-tense salvation of eternal glory in and with Christ Jesus – a truth in perfect keeping with all that has been presented thus far with respect to Grace/Church Age truth. The mind of man should have no more difficulty with this truth than with the fact that some sinners in Adam sin more than others prior to their salvation, and yet all are saved with exactly the same past-tense salvation! (cf. Matt. 20:14b-15, the principle of which is thus certainly applicable to the Dispensation of Grace). More or less suffering now does not make us more or less worthy or deserving than others of our future-tense salvation (as it all of grace, based solely on the death and resurrection of Christ) – no more than does committing more or less sins make us less or more worthy or deserving than others of past-tense salvation (which is equally all of grace, based solely on the death and resurrection of Christ). Past, present, and future-tense salvation in Christ: sovereign grace! (not worthiness or reward).

Now, when it comes to the individual matter of what Scripture distinctly calls the bestowal of future rewards (which are clearly not strictly part of our future-tense salvation in Christ) some saints may indeed receive more or less rewards than others, according to their varying degrees of faithfulness. And Scripture is equally clear as to what will constitute the future rewards of Grace Age believers (members of the Body of Christ): namely, various “crowns” – not “places of privilege and authority” or “position and responsibility” within the coming earthly kingdom (as we will reign with Christ as His Consort-Queen over the kingdom, by virtue of what we are through salvation in Him as His heavenly Body and Bride). And even these reward-crowns (at least one of which all believers will receive, 1 Cor. 4:5c) will ultimately find their greatest use in being cast at the feet of Christ in an act of worship and adoration (Rev. 4:10), signifying that He alone is the Worthy One and the true Source (John 15) of our good works accomplished by His grace.

That the “crowns” themselves are not, and cannot be, symbolic of “places of privilege and authority” or “position and responsibility” within the coming earthly kingdom is also evident from the following observations in regard to the fact that the Greek word used in all of these references to “crowns” as rewards for the redeemed of this dispensation is stephanos, not diadema! (taken in isolation, your view might have been able to plead some show of reason for itself had diadema been the word used in the context of rewards; but never is it so used):

“There are two types of crowns mentioned in the New Testament, the diadema and the stephanos. The former was the ruler’s diadem and signifies a badge of royalty; the latter has reference to a victor’s garland which, among the Greeks, was presented as a prize to the winner in the Greek games. [According to W.E. Vine, diadema “is never used as stephanos is; it is always the symbol of kingly or imperial dignity.”] The elders, in the vision of Revelation chapter four, are said to be wearing the stephanos. It is noteworthy that the believer’s rewards for faithful service are in several instances said to be crowns, and in each case the very same word stephanos is used [and never diadema] (Cf. 1 Cor. 9:25; 1 Thess. 2:19-20; 2 Tim. 4:8; James 1:12; 1 Peter 5:24; Rev. 2:10). This argues strongly for the elders representing a redeemed company, for their crowns would point to the rewards which they had received at the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10).” – John F. McGahey (Master’s Thesis, Dallas Theological Seminary, May 1954)

Go to the next section of this document

Return to the Index Page for this document



The Middletown Bible Church
349 East Street
Middletown, CT 06457
(860) 346-0907

More Article Regarding Hodges, Dillow, Wilkin and the GES
 More articles under Doctrinal Studies


Home Page