Phillip M. Evans is a guest contributor and author of The Hollow “Gospel” of the Grace Evangelical Society. Phillip was a participant in the discussions at Rose’s Reasonings in regard to the “Crossless” theology and especially the peculiar statements made there by Antonio da Rosa. On Wednesday morning (2/6) Rose closed down the thread at her blog. Deep in that lengthy thread under her article, A “Crossless” Call an initial comment was posted by Phillip. His follow-up to a response by da Rosa never made it on to Rose’s thread because of its sudden closure.
Partly for continuity purposes I was asked by Phillip if I would be willing to publish his two remarks here at In Defense of the Gospel. I agreed to do so, and his notes follow.
At Rose’s Reasonings Blog in the thread under A “Crossless” Call, I posted the following:
All, the discussion of Mormonism seems very appropriate alongside the discussion of the crossless gospel issue.
Mormonism was started by Joseph Smith when he supposedly looked at the various Christian denominations and wondered which was right, and was supposedly then told by a “personage” or “personages” that none of them were. He then set about to “restore” the true Gospel that was preached by Jesus and the Apostles as if the preaching of the Gospel had been lost for centuries.
Just how long has the Gospel (I Cor. 15:2) been preached now?
Now, within the last few years up pop reductionist teachers which “refine” or “restore” what the true teaching of the Gospel really is, as though its teaching had been lost to us.
Just like Mormonism, this is sheer arrogance and the folly of vain men.
They make the charge against traditional evangelicals of “checklist” evangelism. Then charge the Apostle Paul guilty as well, for he wrote, “By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain,” (I Cor. 15:2).
They offer the empty argument, “Does one have to believe these things too?” They go on to list items that true teachers of the Gospel have never said were part of the Gospel message.
When they label someone’s denial of Christ’s Deity, His death on the cross for our sins, or His resurrection as “misconceptions” or “misunderstandings,” and then hold that a person can still be saved while maintaining these “misconceptions” they are trampling on and profaning Christ’s sacrifice for us!
They have a “form of godliness” but are “denying its power,” (II Timothy 3:5).
When they maintain that the titles “Christ” and “Son of God” do not denote Deity, they trample on His identity as God in the flesh! When one does this he is an antichrist!
By stripping the Gospel of its saving message, they no longer have the Gospel and are preaching a false gospel. Therefore, they are enemies of the Gospel.
“Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)” (Philippians 3:17-19)Paul was weeping, because the enemies of the cross of Christ he is referring to here are Christians! It is a grievous thing for people who have been saved by the power of the preaching of the cross, to then turn around and teach that one can be saved while denying its power!
My brothers and sisters in Christ, do not be ashamed of the cross! Do not be ashamed to boldly proclaim that the message of the cross MUST be believed in order for one to be saved! In the precious name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ I have written this truth. If His Spirit within me confirms that this is the truth (and I do not write this lightly), then what spirit is Hodges, Wilkin, and da Rosa listening to? Would they dare be so bold as to claim the same authority for what they teach? Namely, would they claim that their doctrine is approved by the Holy Spirit in confirmation with their spirit as I do for what I teach is the message of the Gospel?
Here is the true teaching of the Gospel: Believe that the Lord Jesus Christ paid your sin debt by His death on the cross. Believe that He rose from the dead. Trust Him alone as your Savior for the forgiveness of sins and the receiving of the free gift of eternal life.
Hodges, Wilkin, and da Rosa’s position is that those who hold to the doctrine above is adding to the Gospel. In effect they are saying that this teaching is a false gospel, thereby proving from their own mouths that they are ones teaching a false gospel.
They would do well to heed Galatians 1:8: “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.”
Don’t let anyone think that I’m teaching that they can lose their salvation and end up in hell. I personally believe that all three of these men are saved, and expect to see them in Heaven one day, for the Scriptures clearly teach the doctrine of eternal security for all those who are born again. However, even saints are not immune to that immutable law: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap,” (Galatians 6:7).
Antonio da Rosa replied to me as follows:
“Phillip, I am content in articulating the ONE condition for eternal life the same as Jesus did: “Most assuredly I say to you, whoever believes in Me has everlasting life” (John 6:47). Simple faith in Jesus brings everlasting life. Call me a heretic for believing the Savior’s words and preaching them.”The following was to be my reply to him, but Rose shut the thread down the same day I wrote and attempted to post it:
Antonio, I noticed in one of your earlier posts that you used the term “gospel” to refer Christ’s death and resurrection, but I know that you used it only in the general sense of “good news,” not in the technical sense of what is usually understood by Christians as to what the saving message actually is. Whenever I use the term “Gospel” in reference to Christ’s Deity, death and resurrection, I always use it to mean the message that eternally saves. In other words, that one must believe who He claimed to be, and that He died for us and rose from the dead, for this is the essence of believing in Him in order to receive eternal life.
Don’t you understand what’s happening here? Taking a single verse and using it to develop a teaching that flies in the face of a great deal of other Scripture is what the cults do.
Jesus did not speak those words in John 6:47 for the purpose of excluding the necessary content of what we must believe when we believe in Him, namely, His claim to be the Son of God, and His fulfilled prophesies of His death on the cross as our ransom, and resurrection. These things directly relate to His ability to give us the free gift of eternal life. So when Jesus said, “He that hears my word” in John 5:24, the “word” He is referring to must include these words which He spoke that directly relate to His offer of eternal life. To state otherwise would be to impose a reductionist view on His words in John 6:47 that cannot be justified. This reductionist view by definition means that a lost person can be saved while simultaneously calling Jesus a false prophet!
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life,” (John 5:24).Would anyone accuse Jesus of adding to the Gospel in John 5:24 because he gives two conditions there for eternal life that are not specifically mentioned in 6:47, namely, hearing His word and believing on the One who sent Him?
In Luke 16, the rich man in hell asked that Lazarus be raised from the dead in order to warn his brothers so they wouldn’t end up where he was. Abraham answered, “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.” In other words, let them believe the prophets! Jesus said:
“For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” (John 5:46-47)Jesus Christ is the greatest prophet. His testimony concerning who He is, as well as His fulfilled prophesies of His death and resurrection could never be rightfully said to be non-essential beliefs if one is to be saved. Abraham could very well say, “If a lost person wishes to be saved, let him hear the greatest prophet, or let him remain lost.”
If a person denies the Deity of Christ, His sacrificial death on the cross, or His resurrection, it would be doing dishonor to the Son, and therefore would be dishonoring to the Father. How can it be said that a person is believing on the One (the Father) who sent Jesus if they also are dishonoring the Father? Remember, according to Jesus, one must believe on the One who sent Him in order to have eternal life. If you do not honor the Son, then you do not honor the Father.
“That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him,” (John 5:23).To teach that a lost person can dishonor the Son by denying His Deity, sacrificial death, or resurrection, and still be saved while maintaining this denial is to say that a person can honor the Father while dishonoring the Son. God forbid!
It is honoring to the Father to teach that a lost person must believe in the Deity, sacrificial death, and resurrection of His Son in order to be saved. It is dishonoring to Him to teach otherwise. The Grace Evangelical Society’s “gospel” dishonors both the Son and the Father. I’ve written this truth to all of you, and God knows that I lie not.
My brothers and sisters in Christ who are caught up in the error of the so-called “refined” Grace Evangelical Society “Crossless Gospel,” I call on you to soften your hearts now and repent before God. The GES heresy has caused division (Rom. 16:17-18)  and harm to the body of Christ, and is a doctrine that will have lost people believing they are saved when they are not. Those of you who are saved will suffer loss at the Judgment Seat of Christ for promoting their doctrine. How great this loss will be, I don’t know. Perhaps it will be related to how great and precious the Gospel message is. You now have no excuse for ignorance, as the issue has been clearly stated.
For those of you who are on the side of the Gospel, don’t try to ride the fence just because you want to remain friends with those who promote the GES heresy. Be a bold defender of the Gospel that saved you!
Phillip M. Evans
 The analogy is in regard to Zane Hodges, “God has always raised up individuals and used them to reveal the truths necessary for a particular time…God raised up Enoch as a testimony to God's judgment on a wicked world. God raised up Moses to reveal Himself to the Hebrews in captivity. God raised up Daniel to reveal God's plans for the time of Gentile dominance. God raised up the apostle Paul to reveal the distinctive truth of the Church as the Body of Christ. God raised up John to reveal the closure of this dispensation and what should follow it. It should hardly be a surprise that God is using Zane Hodges to bring a right understanding of the nature of saving faith. This is the vital truth for this age. This is needed truth for the last days.” Does the writer equate the “refined” theology of Zane Hodges with the likes of Moses, Daniel and the Apostle Paul’s contributions to our understanding of the Word of God? See- I am Proud to be One of Zane Hodges’ Godchildren
 “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple,” (Rom. 16:17-18).