THE FRUITLESS GOSPEL
This paper is an answer to the doctrine of Zane Hodges, Joseph Dillow, Robert Wilkin, Steve Anderson concerning their fruitless gospel.
Assurance of Salvation
God does not leave believers with merely a first faith assurance for salvation alone after one confesses faith in the Lord Jesus Christ! The faith exercised on the day of repentance (Acts 17:30) to salvation to be born-again only has to do with a faith an ongoing reality that produces fruit or else conviction of sin that one may produce fruit. Saving faith is in not bound to a single point in time, rather it is an ongoing manifestation of ongoing salvation which has various aspects.
True faith is an ongoing faith as can be seen in 1 John 5:13 which says “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” 1 John 5:10a “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself:…”. In Matthew 7 knowing and having a relationship with Christ as Lord is our assurance that we are saved. If any man is in Christ he is a new creature, old things have passed away and all things have become new.
False faith is manifested where faith does not continue. Titus 1:16 is says “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” Jesus says of His sheep in John 10:5, 27 “ And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. … My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:”. 1 John 2:3, 4 proves: “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 1 John 1:5, 6 says: “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.”
True Faith. Faith from God has God’s works set in us for assurance, whereas the Fruitless Gospel of Anderson does not. This is because it is based on one moment in time based in the work of man, faith being alone by itself, James 2:17. And because all is defined by man, therefore any works in relation to assurance must needs be thrown out! This results in a Gospel without necessary fruit. Yet in truth, faith without fruit can be a way of assurance while on milk while the seed is beginning to grow before showing in time whether be a tare or a wheat. But every time a confession of faith in Christ’s blood for sin becomes the fruit of a tare Predestination wins the debate!
False Faith-Total Depravity. Can God be guilty of sin when man does not repent?, Romans 9:13, 19. The answer is no, all men left to their natural abilities have free will to only conclude that the cross is foolishness, 1 Cor. 1:18.
Predestination and the Gospel. The Gospel is freely offered to all who will only believe, however men are called to a faith that will be ongoing. Our message is the same as Jesus when He said, “Lazarus come forth!” The example set by Scripture in unanimous. Men are called to believe, whom ever they be. And those who believe and follow in faith as did Abraham (James 2:21) will be saved at the judgment. If that seed has no relationship with the farmer unto the harvest, then there is no salvation. For an enemy by night has sewn tares in the field of the farmer.
The Gospel has an unlimited message.
The Gospel is defined as the whole book of Mark 1:1 “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;”. In other words, the Gospel is not a simple sentence, it is more clearly defined by understanding the whole book of Mark, as well as the other Gospels. Romans 1:18 and Galatians 1:7 show that the Gospel is an unlimited message inside and outside the church. And where there is faith (see the examples in the Gospels of how the word faith is used in preaching the Gospel) (Acts 16:31) then there is a perseverance in an unlimited Gospel message to be looked upon, Acts 16:34. In this way one could rightly argue that we are saved and are being saved, Phil. 2:12, 13, 1 Cor. 15:2, Romans 5:9 and especially 1 Cor 1:18. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” KJV verses TR-NKJV-MT-READING “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” These verses are the most troubling to the fruitless gospel preacher. They were troubling to me, and I therefore could not answer them and my reaction to them was that I ignoring them. I could not understand them. But, I understand them now. Salvation is in one sense can be understood to be complete, yet it is also defined as a process that will not reach completion until the Day of the Lord, Judgment Day. The KJV wrongly translates 1 Cor. 1:18 “are saved” as can be understood by looking at both the Majority Text and the Textus Receptus.
Furthermore, “believe” in the NT many times can be translated “believing” as a continuous action. The idea that faith is bound up with trusting God only one time in word is foreign to the Gospel message, it is in fact rather to be understood as an ongoing reality. We are saved and being saved in faith to be saved at the judgment and wrath of God.
Scriptural commentary the narrow Gate of Matthew 7.
The Narrow Gate (Luke 13:22-30) 13Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Here we read that there is not only a narrow gate, but it is hard to find. Likewise, there is a narrow way. Jesus calls us to follow Him, and the same kind of things he asks of His disciples he asks of all those who will believe as we have just witnessed. Anderson denies this, yet there are too many such Scriptures to list. We as Christians are to walk as He walked. John 2:6 says: “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” I do not think it is possible to say a narrow gate followed by a wide way can define true faith as Steven Anderson would have us believe, but rather a faith that can endure trials. See James 1:12 says “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”.
Scriptural commentary a tree and its fruit of Matthew 7.
A Tree and its Fruit (cross reference Matthew 12:33-37; Luke 6:43-45) 15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. 20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Not only do we know a false prophet and his disciples by their confession but also by their fruits. Though they say Lord Lord, they do not what He says, and they do not do as He does, they do not follow the narrow way but rather work iniquity. They turn back and become pillars of salt.
Scriptural commentary on the hypocrites who call Jesus Lord of Matthew 7.
Have We Not? 21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Steve Anderson will say they who do not enter heaven because they point to their own works rather than faith in the finished works of Christ. And this is true that this is the false hope of most Christians as well as unbelievers. They conclude that they are good, something Jesus corrected the Rich Young ruler of. But included here appears to be not only those who have faith foremost in their works, but those who do rightly confess Jesus as the Lord (and Lord of Salvation as well) yet are not willing to do as He says, Jesus asks in Luke’s account: “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”. Faith is not mentioned, rather following a way, bearing fruit, building on a rock, and doing what Christ says to do are emphasized. Here we are not looking at the beginnings of salvation but the end, where in the end Christ says He does not know them because they don’t do what He says, they in fact do not honor Him as Lord, and bear the fruit of the wicked, Matt. 7:16. That seems to be the point in Matthew 7. Here we see not a first faith day of salvation but rather the judgment, where there is a difference with they who do the will of the Father and they that do works of iniquity. The many who entered and traveled by the broad way who would not constrain their walk to imitate Christ are now seen here crying Lord Lord at a judgment similar to the sheep and the goats, Matthew 25:31-46. It is these “many” who entered by the wide way now appear to know Christ yet Christ answers that He knows them not. There was no relationship with Him because they were tares.
Here we see that other things appear to be added to faith which are necessary at the end of ones life at the judgment to prove salvation. 1 John 2:3 proves: “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.” 1 John 1:5, 6 says: “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:“. Following that famous passage in John 3:16 we read in verses 20,21 “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God“ God has a will for us to do, and that will is to imitate Christ’s servanthood. Denying Jesus as Lord so as to not do His will, to imitate His walk and way complete, that this could be an acceptable option in part in the message here is not in keeping with the way the parables are arranged. So, there are works founded on the rock that do show faith salvation, and at the same time Steve Anderson is correct that those who rely on their works alone will go to Hell. Yet, Anderson has oversimplified the Gospel and the judgment.
Scriptural commentary on the builders of Matthew 7.
That Doeth Them Not (Luke 6:46-49) 24Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
After some time in the life of the believer we must conclude there are new requirements that prove salvation 1.) That one be known of God as that He is the Lord and 2.) that one “keep His commandments” which prove the same. Saving faith has to do with a relationship with Jesus as Lord, otherwise He will confess that He does not know us because our relationship is not correct to and with Him. There are not two Lords, this was the lie of the Serpent in the garden of Eden. Abraham was justified by faith, yet we see his works justify his faith because he is willing to offer up his son and obey the Lord. If he had not obeyed we could conclude that he was not ever a believer, God would have never said he was a believer—but Abraham is the kind of believer who God knew because God worked in the heart of Abraham.
Scriptural Commentary Repentance and Baptism in John and the book of Acts.
Anderson and all try to point out that repentance is not in the book of Acts nor in the book of John and has nothing to do either with salvation nor separating the sheep from the goats. Yet, the concept of repentance is there. Jesus said in John 1:11 to the woman caught in sin “go, and sin no more.” And in John 5:14 Jesus says to a man “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” So clearly without question repentance is in the book of John. 2 Corinthians 7:10 says: “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” Also Acts 8:22 says “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.” If at this point Simon did not repent and the sinner in 1 Corinthians did not repent, then they would not be saved, this is how I believe the Bible demonstrates true believers from the false. But because they were true believers they repented. For salvation John the Baptist had men turn from sin and seek God, and the Lord Jesus was baptized as well as our example after which the Holy Spirit rested upon Him.
Dead with Christ in Baptism Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Saved people have crucified the flesh, repent, and keep the law. If they do not keep the law then they were never saved—nevertheless, keeping the law saves no one because no one is good but God.
Scriptural Commentary The Branches of John 15
John 15 says: I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
Here Steve Anderson says the branches are not people but their works. I think that is a very difficult interpretation for John 15 to say the least.
Scriptural Commentary, The Overcomers of Revelation 1-3
Regarding overcoming in Revelation chapters 1-3 Anderson merely points to 1 John 5:4-5 “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”. Anderson believes that they who do not repent are still saved, where here he leaves us with three kinds of peoples, the damned, the saved, and the punished.
In the book of Revelation chapters 1-3 we see that those who will not have their names blotted out of the book of life are they who overcome, that there are only two choices. To those yet to overcome Jesus says: “20Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” These do not yet know Christ and are in need of salvation. Here they are told to repent and follow the way and commandments of Christ or else be blotted out of the book of life at the judgment. Faith is foremost necessary because there is none good but God, but if you cannot invite Christ in, become a new creation in Him, then you do not trust Him, you do not believe, you will not make Jesus Lord of your life, in the end your works will prove it, and you will go to Hell.
Scriptural Commentary The Rich Young Ruler Matthew 19:16-30
Matthew 19:16-24 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?  And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
A Glimmer of Hope: Initially the rich young ruler is challenging Jesus with questions concerning what good thing he or mankind might do to be good and have God admit the same, which is not going to ever happen. As a result, Jesus could answer his question with “There is nothing good you can do, the situation is hopeless”. But He did say that, He said, no one is good but God.
Sabotage?: But then Anderson will argue that thereafter Jesus gives a glimmer of seemingly misdirected hope in the Law to make one good. Is it a contradiction for Jesus to then say at this point, “but if thou wilt enter into life keep the commandments?”——–Is Jesus misleading the man?———-Is He setting the man up for failure contradicting Himself so the man can figure it out for himself because he asks stupid question? The man is damned if he does and damned if he does nothing? Has Jesus sent the man off on the highway to hell? Steve Anderson would say yes, that Jesus is saying to the Rich Young Ruler “Go have at it, learn the hard way—-trying to realize the Law will make you good. And in this realize I tricked you again.”
Stumbling Over The Stone: But note, Jesus did not say: “but if thou wilt be good keep the commandments”. In context Jesus did not necessarily give two conflicting thoughts. He did not say merely “but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments” What He said first was “No one is good.”! So, in context here we see that the commandments were not given by God to make this man stumble, nor to make him good by the law.
Take up your cross and follow me: Jesus is saying something else that would happen while the rich young ruler would continue in the law and follow him, if he would. What was that? It was to prepare him to “enter into life”. In context how was that going to happen? First by ever realizing he was not good enough through the commandments. That was critically vital. I do not think Jesus was contradicting Himself as Steve Anderson would have us to believe, I do not think Jesus was being sarcastic, Jesus was being consistent telling the man to follow Him as Lord to find life, but instead he turned away into damnation.
Jerimiah 29:13 “And ye shall … find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
The Law does have its place in the life of the believer just as does following Jesus. Jesus gave us a pattern of what it means to be a true believer and follower of God. And in these things with the understanding that “there is none good” on the one hand, and on the other that Jesus said “follow thou me” John 21:21. And this is how believers are to enter into eternal life as defined in the NT. But this is a truth that Steven Anderson denies. Steve Anderson would say that Jesus could have said, “Have faith”, where thereafter each man is left to follow his own way (Judges 21:25) and not the one way of the Lord. But this was the lie of the Serpent in the Garden of Eden, to be as gods. No, there is one God and one Lord and no man will enter heaven either by his own righteousness nor without Jesus knowing the man, Matthew 7. And we know that we know Him if we keep His commandments.
 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,  Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?  Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.  But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.  Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.  And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.  When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?  But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Marks account has in 10:24 “How hard it is for them that trust in riches to enter the Kingdom of God.”
Faith Alone? If Steve Anderson is correct, why is it that Jesus never stopped the man and said, “Hold on their partner, all you really need to do is have faith as did Abraham.” Well, Jesus did convey the idea that all these things they are now talking about will not make you good, nevertheless Jesus said you have to go do them anyway. He did not let him off the hook to follow the broad way the way Steven Anderson does. As a result, you have a great mustard tree.
James 2:14, 20, 24 “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? … But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? … Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” “… can that kind of faith save him?”, is what it says in the Greek.
Abraham still had to go offer his son to fellowship with God. Today the Law does not save us, but it never did. What Love does (Jesus said that Love is the fulfillment of the Law.) is it sanctifies us, the Bible says not without which sanctification no one will see the Lord, Hebrews 12:14. If we need to separate ourselves from Christ, His way, His Lordship, His commandments then we identify with Satan that we are gods, that we are not of the flock of the Good Shepard, 1 John 2:19. Christ says His sheep follow Him, John 10:27-28. In short, Jesus is talking about something Steven Anderson does not yet understand.
 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?  And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.  But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
First or Last? Jesus says in all this you shall inherit everlasting life but adds “many that are first shall be last. And to be last in many of the parables of Jesus means that you do not get in at all. It appears that Jesus is answering this way because Peter is asking the wrong questions looking for the wrong answers.