Dear Guests of IDOTG:
Brother Evans’s first installment of this series Out on a Limb to Protest Too Much concluded with,
People reading these things from you (Antonio da Rosa) are beginning to recognize your methods. Those disciples had already been saved prior to the cross and resurrection! When Jesus was prophesying to His disciples things that would later occur, the disciples certainly did not respond with a heart of unbelief! Otherwise, Jesus could not have told them, “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you,” (John 15:3). Instead, they did not fully understand the things Jesus told them due to their dullness of heart, as He pointed out to them while He was with them.
Their sorrow from having literally walked with Jesus, loved Him, and seen Him crucified clouded their minds so that at Mark 16: 9-11 these already saved people refused to believe that Christ had risen from the dead. The faith of these saved people was shaken severely, as was Thomas’, but upon seeing the risen Christ they believed. The lost should heed the words of Jesus: “blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed,” (John 20:29b).
Let’s continue with the second and final installment of Phillip’s series. Do NOT miss the Editor’s Notes at the conclusion.
“After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country. And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either,” (Mark 16:12-13).You said,
“Even after further testimony, they did not believe the resurrection.”
“It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles. And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them,” (Luke 24:10-11).
You said,“The disciples thought the account of the resurrection was like ‘idle tales’.”“For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead,” (John 20:8-9).
You said,“Even though Jesus was with the disciples, told them beforehand many times about His death and resurrection, they did not believe, nor knew the Scripture. But they were saved.”My response to you concerning Mark 16:9-11 should be sufficient to answer your twisting of Mark 16:12-13 and Luke 24:10-11. In all the cases you noted above, Jesus had not yet revealed Himself to them post-resurrection, and they had already been saved.
It is highly ironic of you to quote John 20:8-9, for it goes toward nicely making my point above concerning the dullness of the disciples’ understanding. You need to understand that the dullness of heart of already saved people who were pre-cross/pre-revealed resurrection is not to be compared with direct denial by lost people of the clearly revealed post-cross/post-revealed resurrection truth. This denial will leave a lost person lost, until they repent (change their minds) and believe.
You said,“The Bible speaks for itself.”Yes, it does speak for itself. And it will speak on that Day precisely to how you have mishandled the Word of Truth, unless you repent!
You said,“Let me get this clear here, Phillip. Someone may be saved without adhering to the deity of Christ.”Where do you get the idea that someone could be saved while in conscience denial of the Deity of Christ? Haven’t you read anything of what I wrote above concerning clearly revealed Inspired truth and the COSF in our day? Do you honestly think that a lost person could dishonor God by rejecting the truth of Christ’s Deity, and still become saved in that denial? Do lost people have the right to dictate to God what they must believe in order to be saved?
You said,“But no one is going to believe in Jesus who disregards His death and resurrection.”Hold the phone here! I thought your whole point above was to try and prove that a lost person could reject the clearly revealed truth of the cross and resurrection and become saved while continuing to reject it!Such double-mindedness, as you demonstrate Antonio, is a glaring symptom of those who are in bondage to false doctrine.
Antonio, you wrote,“But then you guys ask, why do we consistent Free Grace people preach the cross and resurrection? It is the greatest of testimonies on why Jesus Christ can be believed to secure one’s eternal destiny. Why would we shun the preaching of the cross which draws all men to God? God forbid that I fail to preach the cross and resurrection to men! It is through the knowlege (sic) that Jesus took the sin barrier away between God and man through His death for sin, and the message of His rising from the dead that a man will come to find Jesus able, authoritative, willing, and desiring to give eternal life! This is the basis for Christ’s offer!”Excuse me again, but while you may tell the lost of the cross and resurrection, by failing to tell them that they must believe it in order to be saved, you certainly do not preach the cross and resurrection! And your claim to the label “Free Grace” is sad, for God’s free grace is found in the truth of the Gospel, which you twist and abuse to prop up the reductionist heresy of the Crossless Gospel!
To you, the Deity of Christ, His death on the cross, and bodily resurrection are merely the basis for the Gospel, and not the heart (1 Cor. 15:1-4) of the Gospel.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Rom. 1:16)
Paul did not preach the basis of the Gospel. He preached the Gospel! If the Gospel itself is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16), then to preach it means you are calling on the unsaved to believe it!
You, and Bob Wilkin of Grace Evangelical Society did not arrive at your doctrine via revelation from God, but instead from near worship of the late Zane Hodges. He was a man who was straight on the Gospel until the latter years of his life when he fell into the perverse reductionism that has ensnared you.
Do you mean to tell people that the content of saving faith has not been thoroughly known and/or understood by the New Testament Church until **Hodges came along and set the world wide body of Christ straight on it? Sounds very much like something the Mormons did in the 19th century when Joseph Smith came along and said everyone else was wrong, but him, and “restored” the Gospel that had supposedly been lost.
Antonio, you are too far out on a limb to protest too much.
To My Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Hold strong to your faith and the truth of the Gospel. There are others in the GES like Wilkin and da Rosa. Names to be familiar with like: Rene Lopez, Bob Bryant and John Niemelä out there propagating their various redefinitions of the Word of Truth. Don’t be beguiled by them, for they themselves have been deceived by Satan. Instead, pray for their recovery, but steer a clear path away from and “avoid them” (Rom. 16:17).
Any attempt to befriend or fellowship with GES theological extremists is unwise. Fellowship and/or cooperation with GES membership will put you in danger of becoming entrapped by their doctrinal errors, potentially causing you to fall into the trap of their reductionist heresy. Tragically, some have.
I have warned you now children of God. Take heed lest you come under the corrupting influence of the GES reductionist assault on the saving message of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Phillip M. Evans
**Editor’s Note: The GES camp does indeed believe that the saving message of the Gospel was not fully known or understood until Zane Hodges was specially endowed of God to clarify it for everyone. This is expressed in an article at the pro-Crossless gospel blog Unashamed of Grace. The article is titled, I am proud to be one of Zane Hodges’ godchildren. The author equates Hodges’s value to that of: Enoch, Moses, Daniel, the apostles Paul and John. He, furthermore, equates Zane Hodges to Wycliffe, Luther, John Wesley and George Whitfield. Then he states, “It should hardly be a surprise that God is using Zane Hodges to bring a right understanding of the nature of saving faith.”
Editor’s Note: As you read the examples above in which Phillip documents then refutes da Rosa’s egregious errors and abuse of Scripture you might wonder whether these extreme views coming from him are an accurate representation of GES doctrine. Consider this: Antonio da Rosa is a featured workshop speaker at the 2009 GES National Conference. He was a speaker at a 2007 GES Regional Conference. If GES Executive Director, Bob Wilkin, had any genuine concerns with the reductionist extremism of da Rosa he would NOT feature him (da Rosa) at the GES National Conference. My point is this: When you read the extremist views coming from da Rosa, you are reading what is the accepted position of the GES.