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GES’ Bob Wilkin: A Heretic’s Vagaries and Intrigue. - Comments (11)

Printer Friendly Category: Articles,Doctrine,GES: Hodges, Wilkin,
Author: John Malone
Date: 2nd August, 2007 @ 12:27:34 AM

Friday night, as promised, I attended the “Regional Conference” of the Grace Evangelical Society (GES) hosted by Community Bible Church (CBC) in Omaha, a church my family and I formerly attended in Omaha. I was among the 100 or less in attendance, and so were a half dozen of my friends. Perhaps 20% of the attendees were from the host church.

I went to this conference to expose Bob Wilkin. It’s one thing to teach what he does. It’s a whole different thing to disguise it, slip it in, and be guileful about it. And it’s even another thing to do it here where I live, among people I know.

As George, the former temporary head coach in Hoosiers told Head Coach Norman Dale, “Look, mister, there’s two kinds of dumb. A guy that gets naked and runs out in the snow and barks at the moon, and, a guy who does the same thing in my living room. First one don’t matter. The second one you’re kinda forced to deal with.”

The speakers I heard were Bob Wilkin and John Niemela.

I listened to two messages, one by Bob Wilkin, another by John Niemela. Wilkin gave a message entitled, “Gospel means good news.” In that message, he painstakingly pointed out the word “gospel” is not in the Gospel of John. The GES position these days – Zane Hodge’s position, that is – is that the Gospel of John is the only book in the Bible written specifically to introduce the lost to Christ.

They actually don’t put it that way. Once you get into the swing of things, you will realize that “putting it that way” is a slippery slope with these GES guys as they continue their downhill slide. So, before I deal further with the particular doctrinal error in which they are now trapped, let me detail here the behavioral errors which attend to this particular schism.

The {Scriptures are not silent|Tit 3:10-11} concerning problems like the one presented by Hodges, Wilkin, Niemela, Bob Bryant, and perhaps others. What we are seeing is classic heresy, and that is not merely a matter of doctrine, albeit usually doctrinal errors are found in these schisms. This is why Titus 3 gives us knowledge we would not otherwise have concerning the character of the heretic.

Schisms are fomented by schismatic men. You might think that is so obvious, it doesn’t need to be said, but once one is in the maelstrom of the schism, it actually needs to be said very often.

A heretic – a schismatic, or factious man – is “self condemned,” according to the Scriptures. This means he judges himself to be wrong in his own mind. That doesn’t mean he admits it to you, but it especially means he will not confess it to God, so that his conscience will be renewed. “Heresy” is based on a word meaning “to choose,” and therefore some have rightly called “heresy” a division or gathering of a faction based on a self-willed opinion. self-willed opionions now abound in the teaching of the GES.

It’s so bad, in fact, that these GES fellows teach that {“they which are approved” in 1st Corinthians 11:19|1cor 11:19} are, in fact, they which are disapporved by God. That is a self-willed opinion!

The result of such internal knowledge is a bad conscience before God and men. This is quite the opposite of God’s man, {who is to look to himself first, and then to doctrine|1Ti 4:16}, and who is to hold {truth with a good conscience.|1Ti 1:19}

Therefore, the only way to deal with a heretic is to take leave of him; have nothing to do with him. This is what needs to be done with Wilkin. He’s a guy to be avoided. He’s been admonished more than once. I have admonished him twice myself: once in 2005, and once last Friday. I know he has wandered from the path of faith, and I know that he is sinning, and I know he is self-condemned. I know this from the Scriptures, and therefore so should others.

Men of weight in the Christian circles in which Wilkin moves need to make their opinions known. I fear that too much teaching without shepherding has made many men fearful. A shepherd under the Great Shepherd needs to face his fears, includng the fear of losing face, or popularity, and allow {the spirit of glory and of God|1Pe 4:14} do what it is intended to do.

As for Wilkin’s factious behavior, it went as follows.

Wilkin’s topic was “‘Gospel’ Means Good News.” In his message he set forth, generally, that the word “gospel” has a context, and may not mean the good news concerning the reception of eternal life, but may refer to – my words here – even more good news than that. This is true, by the way. The word “gospel” may be referring to the good news that Christ’s kingdom is at hand or coming. The word “gospel” may refer to the good news that Jesus Christ will be glorified among all men one day as he already has been among all angels. The word “gospel” may also refer to the additional good news revealed to the apostle Paul that was a bundle of secrets up to that time.

But the first, and most well-known and understood meaning of “gospel” is the good news concerning Jesus Christ is that God became a man, died on the cross as our Substitute, and was later declared to be the Son of God with power by His resurrection out from the dead.

Wilkins and the GES are actually effacing the first, most basic, and widespread meaning of the word “gospel,” that the apostle uses in 1st Corinthians 15 to describe the basic message bringing eternal life. There are certainly other {contexts in the Bible|Acts 14:7;Acts 15:7;Rom 1:16} whereby the unmodified word “gospel” represents this truth. It’s interesting to me that Wilkins will easily use other vernaculars, and verbal algebrae, that are common among believers, and yet somehow he takes some umbrage at the use of the word “gospel.” For instance, Wilkin will talk about “going to heaven” when that is not a Bible phrase at all.

Wilkins “new, improved” definition of “the gospel” stems from his self-willed opinion.

The point of departure I took up with Wilkin was something I had heard him say in 2005, and he repeated Friday night. When Wilkin finished speaking, he opened the floor for questions. First, I corrected Wilkins declaration that {1 Cor 15:3-4|1cor 15:3-4} did not contain the gospel of eternal life, and that the subject matter contained in those verses was solely for the progressive sanctification of the believer.

The passage does reference present tense “salvation” – but not soley – which we can understand as “sanctification” providing we have sufficient background to understand what that means. Even that is a use of a vernacular (actually, present tense salvation it is about the salvation of the life of the Christian).

But it is most certainly – yea, PRIMARILY – about the content of the gospel message which {Paul preached to them, which they received, and wherein they stood.|1cor 15:1} Receiving that message is {receiving Christ|jo 1:12}, as did Abraham in Genesis 15, and the saving work of Jesus Christ was imputed to him for righteousness on the condition of his faith.

It has lately – perhaps no more than 2 years – become the studied intent of the GES fellows to defeat each passage of Scripture from which Christians have historically evangelized, if it’s not in John’s gospel. It started with Wilkin attempting to defeat 1st Cor 15: 3-4. His argument was actually far weaker than I imagined, and he simply asked: “Why stop at verse 4? What about the next verses down to {verse 11?|1cor 15:5-11} Why aren’t these essential to the gospel for eternal life.”

So, before I phrased my question, I referenced the {first three verses of 1 cor 15|1cor 15:1-3}, pointing out the obvious, that the “gospel” referenced by Paul comprehended the past, present, and future tense salvation of the Corinthians, especially as it pertains to what the “gospel” is, in the context of bringing people initially to Jesus Christ – or, as the new GES term for the marvelous new birth is now called – “the saving proposition.”

You see, to Wilkin and others in his company, the preaching of the gospel need not – indeed, should not – include the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ found in verse 3. Neither need it and should it include the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ found in verse 4. Wilkins claims if these truths are key elements of what Paul preached to the Corinthians, so are the next several verses which describes the eyewitnesses to the Lord’s resurrection. And so – but this now is all inference, mind you, and not plain declaration – if someone need not believe the details of who and when were those eyewitnesses , they also need not believe the 3rd and 4th verses to have eternal life.

Wilkins “new, improved” view of 1 Cor 15:3-4 stems from his self-willed opinion.

Second, I asked him if he thought that someone could have eternal life, and yet not believe in the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, if he were approaching honestly, his answer to that question is, “Yes, I believe that some one can have eternal life, and not believe in either Christ’s death or resurrection.” Because that IS what he believes.

The fact that he won’t come right out and admit it or say it directly, but slips it in on some of his hearers in churches while those looking on, or in oversight, need to pry it out of him with remonstrations and prosecutorial inquiry, is what makes him a heretic, and what demonstrates his bad conscience: the evidence that he is “perverted (twisted)” as Titus 3:11 declares.

Of course, as I was questioning, the allotted time was up. Having a time-scheduled agenda, and sticking religiously to it, is often what allows manipulators like Wilkin to get away with what they do. Personally, as a boxing fan, I agree with the three-knockdown rule, and I also approve the rule that no one can be saved by the bell, includingin the last round. Wilkins is not a man on the ropes in this matter, he’s on the canvas.

The GES travelling circus is all set up for slipping this heresy in on the unsuspecting believers who attend. They surround this attempt with side teaching that destroys the opportunities that experienced brethren must fulfill in order to properly address the heresy.

So, for instance, one of the conference topics is “Dealing Graciously With An Erring Brother,” wherein two key passages of Scripture are entirely defeated. One is the example Paul showed in Galatia where he confronts Peter to his face and publicly, because “he is to be blamed.” The other is the direct instructions to Timothy that, even though he is a young man, he is to {rebuke sinning elders publicly.|1Ti 5:19-20}

When an error in doctine is public, it does not fulfill any useful purpose to deal with it privately. As a heretic, Wilkin will not be reached in private, either. Such a man needs to be pointed out, then avoided.

Wilkins view that public ministry should be discussed privately is based on a self-willed opinion, formed to disallow public confrontation fo his heretical behavior.

Wilkin carried on some more. After the “time had ended,” Wilkin came down from the platform, and began to argue with me. He asked me what passage from the Bible did I think contained the “saving message.” I refused to answer that question, except to say Gen 1 through Revelation 22.

I informed him that he is ommitting the fact that God the Father discloses to the believer, as He did to Peter, Who Jesus Christ is. I had previously told this to Zane Hodges, who failed to comment on it. Wilkin then said he did not think the Father did regenerating, but that was the work of the Holy Spirit. He wasn’t listening, and one reason he wasn’t listening is that he is a heretic.

(Later in the conference, according to one report, Wilkins said he spoke to a “pastor” that believed that God the Father regenerated.)

We continued a little while, but as one brother who has listened to Wilkin more than I have told me, “You were putting him on the spot like he does to others in his debates with them. I’ll bet he really didn’t like it.” Well, no matter, and that figures. But he didn’t like it at all.

After Wilkin spoke, and the break was taken up largely with my attempts to admonish Wilkin about his errors in a small company, John Niemela followed on the platform. Niemela is not an accomplished platform speaker, by any means. Wilkin introduced him as distinguished for his doctrinal dissertation at Dallas Theolgical Seminay, which, said Wilkin, focused on John’s gospel, and was printed in several colors. I guess I wasn’t impressed much.

Niemela passed out his message in print. In due time, I’ll publish that document here, and critique it more completely. But for the purposes of this discussion I will summarize that Niemela’s talk, entitled “God’s Word Does Not Return Void When Used Properly,” could have been titled “Why evangelism should be conducted using only John’s Gospel.” He suggested that the name of the that book would be better said to be “John’s Testimony.”

That actually made my ears perk up a bit, because the word “gospel,” in my opinion, had already suffered enough damage for one night. Niemela used as {his main text John 20:31.|jo 20:31}

Niemela also said that the {Acts 16:31|Acts 16:31} had to do with the Philippian jailor wanting to know what to do to save his physical life. Because, as Zane Hodges and Bob Wilkin frequently state, Jesus never disappoints those who come to Him, apparently anyone who is in danger of physical death can ask Jesus for salvation from it, and they will receive it! This isogesis, of course, was used by Niemela to sustain his (Hodges) argument that one must not simply believe in the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved, but must believe that “Jesus is the guarantor of eternal llife” whether they believe Him to be Lord or Christ or not!

Niemela’s view that Acts 16:31 pertains to salvation from impending physical death is based upon his self-willed opinion – only – in order to sustain a faulty argument against its use in bringing someone to Christ.

After Niemela was done speaking, he asked for questions. One young man asked one. Then there was only one hand in the air: mine. Niemela looked and looked for someone else to call upon, but, as the Lord arranged, there was no one else. Finally, after calling for “any one else” and looking past me three times, he called on me. Because his theme verse was {John 20:31,|Jo 20:31}, I asked him if he believed that, if someone did not believe that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,” could they still have “life in his name.” Now, that calls for a simple “yes” or “no” answer.

But Niemela would not answer “yes” or “no.” Instead, he went on a very long dissertation about conducting a class, and having students that scored well or poorly, apprently meaning in many words that John 20:31 didn’t actually mean that people who had eternal life would necessarily come to the conclusion that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” It was almost laughable. Niemela should never occupy a speaking platform. His evasion was made obvious to all.

He and Wilkin portrayed themselves more like Sancho Panza and Don Quixote than Paul and Silas.

I could not be surprised by what Wilkin and Niemela believed concerning Zane Hodges’ stubborn error. They are, after all and above all, disciples of Zane Hodges. I do not write this happily. I have regarded Zane Hodges as an enormous help to me in the Scriptures, especially in the Book of James. His treatment of Abraham’s second justification is itself second to none.

But Wilkin’s behavior DID surprise me a little. We are exhorted in the Scripture to {“Hold faith and a good conscience.”|1Ti 1:18-20} I came away assured that, as pertaining to conscience, neither of these two have good ones. No preacher should ever consider himself beyond answering questions as honestly and clearly as they can, especially in the assembly of believers. Wilkin and Niemela certainly did.

Let me say that I speak from a platform at least twice a week. I used to speak on the radio every single weekday for an hour, with a different message each time. I am answerable and accountable to any sincere inquiry about my life and ministry. In fact, my wife and I lose a lot of privacy due to this accountability.

I confronted Wilkin after the meetings of the evening were over. I simply told him in unequivocal fashion that he was a man who no one could reach. I found a man who lives a life of no accountability, who considers he does not have to answer even the most direct questions. Whenever the questions began to flow, Wilkin sought a private area so he could not be heard.

Bob Wilkin is not a man whom the Lord has put into the ministry. He does not shepherd the sheep. He has allowed Zane Hodges worst moment to become the center of the GES program, and now, having been admonished by many, many credible men, has hunkered down with a small group – Hodges, Bryant, and Niemela – to sustain this heresy in churches they visit.

Wilkin surprised me a little when he asked me how I knew that he was saved. “Good question,” I said.

The I asked him, “Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God?”

Incredibly, he refused to answer! Instead, he said, “I don’t believe what you believe.”

That’s for sure.

We will yet see if CBC remains a church hosting a GES “regional conference.” I left their building pretty discouraged about them. No one from CBC stood with me in opposition to the nefarious, sneaky hacking away at the gospel message. I pray this will not be held to their charge.

The “senior pastor” of CBC is Chuck Tschetter. I met him for the first time Friday night, as far as I can recall. CBC is still an elder led church. Three of the elders present were men I have known for 20 years or more. They served as elders at the time I left that church, with their blessing, to answer a call from the church I now attend, Millard Community Church (MCC) in Omaha.

Tschetter told me I was disruptive. He asked me to not come back the next day if I was going to ask pointed questions of the speakers as I did. I warned him to not say such a thing, because God will not hold him guiltless in the matter. I probably should have told him he was a coward. Maybe I’ll do that at another time. It’s peculiar that a guy in his position would say such a thing when I went out of my way, exposing myself to scorn, in order to make evident that which he said he knew nothing about.

Sunday morning Bob Wilkin occupied the pulpit at Community Bible Church (CBC). It was a shame he was invited to speak.

Heretics need to be avoided.

Comment by Kevin Reid » 6th August, 2007 @ 12:44:56 PM

John’s response in green.
From what I’ve been reading here Bob Wilkins, Bryant, and Zane Hodges are presenting a ‘minimum’ on what a person may believe to receive eternal life.

That is true. And their minimum does NOT include that Jesus “is the Christ, the Son of God,” NOR does it include that Jesus died and was buried, or that He arose. In fact, God’s declaration that Jesus is the Son of God, which He made by Jesus Christ’s resurrection out from the dead is, in the view of HWB (Hodges-Wilkin & Bryan), irrelevant to “the saving proposition.”

What I keep reading from you is whether or not you should accept a brother who has believed this minimum. Is it really enough? Is that the main issue?

Of COURSE that is the main issue. We are not discussing how I know I am saved.

This seems to be the same issue GES has been addressing for years: the difference between coming to faith and being a disciple.

When it comes to the history of this “difference,” as you call it, the GES are late-comers to that game. For example, I have been teaching this difference as a main thrust of my ministry well before the GES existed, or Zane Hodges wrote any of his books.

So have others.

I do not claim this was new with me by any means. In fact, a great many of brothers who understood this truth were very concerned at the founding of the GES that it was not going to take this matter up much, but was going to focus on debating the Calvinists.

You can discover in reading my correspondence with Hodges that he does not correctly see Philippians 3:11, for instance, which is central in my view, to understanding the consequences of the “higher calling.”

Realistically, how often will a newborn Christian already know various scriptural points that mature believers come to take for granted?

So, you are claiming that knowing that Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead, which has been in every single credal formulation of every group of even nominal Christians for millenia is somehow now reserved for mature believers? HOGWASH. That Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, is what Peter answered the Lord in {Matthew 16:7.|Mat 16:7} I realize HWB don’t care to answer anything about that. Are you in the same boat Kevin?

I don’t see/hear Bob or Zane touting:

“Withhold scripture (meat) from newborns so they may remain ignorant and keep feeding them milk. This is the only acceptable evangelism technique.”

Here’s what the GES web site has for their description of how to have eternal life:

NOTICE WELL that Jesus is not referenced either as “Lord,” “Christ,” or “Son of God” in that “gospel.” For all we know, they are talking about Jesus Alou, who, although hittting .306 in 1970, didn’t have enough power to consistently hit the long ball, let alone power to save from sin. At Community Bible Church on the following Sunday morning, Wilken was confronted further, and agreed that the object of faith needed to be the “Jesus of the Bible.” Well, now, someone needs to believe there is a Bible to be saved, and that there is a single “Jesus” in there. Of course, that opened a whole of worms for Bob, because he was so inconsistent. Heretics are always inconsistent.

Do I believe a newborn could receive eternal life without knowing Jesus died on a cross? Yes.

I’m going to assume when you say “newborn,” you are talking about one recently coming to faith. I do not care for your term whatsover, because that one is as much of a brother in Christ at that moment as he ever will be, and probably will not care for your patronizing term.

Just like disciples and many others in the NT received eternal life before knowing/understanding how the Son of Man would be crucified.

While limit yourself to the NT? After all, Abel received eternal life before there ever was anyone named “Jesus.” In Whom did he believe? Do you think Abel went on to tell Cain that “Jesus is the guarantor of eternal life?” Nonsense.

This is one of the side effects – and an egregious one, by the way – of Wilkin’s heresy. He willfully refuses to take into accoun the progress of doctrine in he Scriptures which is a cornerstone of Dispensational treatment: the right division of the Scriptures.

And I will go you one further. What makes you and HWB think you can deliver less conent in your message than the apostle Paul did in his? And what makes you think that people today are in the same position doctrinally – saved or lost – as “many others in the NT?”

God Almighty Himself saw to it that you and I were born after He declared the Lord Jesus Christ to be {the Son of God with power by the resurrection out from the dead|rom 1:4} and that is what we have to deal with. {God winked at times of ignorance|Acts 17:30} among the Gentiles once, but He now has both eyes upon all.

Do I want to keep that truth from a new believer? No.

No, you don’t want to keep it from a new believer. You want to keep it from the lost guy so that he will not become a new believer! And you and HWB want to keep the believers from declaring Who the Lord Jesus Christ is to people. I’ll tell you one thing, no Christian in his right senses would baptize anyone on the basis of the confession “I believe Jesus is the guarantor of eternal life,” and that statement wouldn’t get a Moslem convert to Christ beheaded in South Sudan either.

Would I want to educate/edify a new believer of these truths? Absolutely.

I’ll rephrase that to be clear: My new brother has not been exposed to other valid truths in scripture – I now have the opportunity/obligation to help him grow.

Will he accept all truth presented to him? Maybe, maybe not – and if not, does that mean he never had eternal life to begin with? If I say he did not have life – then, potentially, I’ve embraced a degree of Calvinism.

Exactly, “if not,” then you have to accept as a brother someone who demises that Jesus is the Christ, denies that He is the Son of God, denies that He died for sins, denies that He rose again. Otherwise, you have what i have already called the “doctrine of doctrinal persistence.” Of course, the whiole proposition is preposterous!

This is the challenge of any theology: What is the natural extreme of your views?

For what Bob and Zane present (and as a whole GES), the natural extreme (minimum) is: trust Jesus for eternal life.

As a whole GES? Hardly! The GES is falling apart faster than anything you have lately seen. where’s Charlie Bing? Where’s Elliot Johnson? Where, by the way, is John Malone? Not in the GES. Gonzo, baby.

Faster than you can say “guarantor.”

The extreme (or maybe the minimum) of your view, you have already stated: Believe Gen 1:1 to Rev 22. So, until someone believes/understands every piece of scripture they do not have eternal life? C’mon John – you know you don’t believe that! You and I both know there are multitudes of people who know/understand little of rewards or have even contemplated “What is dead faith?” But does that mean they don’t have eternal life? These are all discipleship issues.

You are misrepresenting my view, and that is for sure. I suggest you simply listen to my series on this web site, “The Gift & The Prize,” and you will discover what my position is on eternal life. The Lord Jesus Christ IS eternal life my friend, and no one believes on Him Who doesn’t realize that He is the Son of God, because God the Father REVEALS that truth. Knowing Jesus Christ IS eternal life!

If someone comes to me and tells me: I believe Jesus has given me eternal life! Sure, I’m going to engage them in a conversation – Tell me about this Jesus.

The impression your written words here have given me is that Bob and Zane are trying to tell everyone: Stop presenting Christ’s deity and His death on the cross. I have not seen that or read that from them – from you yes, but not from them. Have they made statements that do not refer to His deity or crucifixion in receiving eternal life? Yes, I’ve already addressed the crucifixion issue.

Absolutely they made such statements, and you have presented a link above to EXACTLY that statement!

Here are Zane’s own words regarding the former:

(from Grace In Eclipse page 16 3rd edition)

“Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world. (John 11:27)

This tells us much about John’s thought. For John, the “Christ” was the One who could make the claim of John 11:25-26 in which He guarantees the eternal destiny of the individual who believes in Him. To ‘believe that’ He was the “Christ” was, in fact, to believe Him to be such a Person as that. It was to believe in Him as the Guarantor of one’s eternal felicity and well-being. It was the “Christ” who guaranteed resurrection and unending life to the believer.

There is no room here for the subtle reshapings which some theologians have commonly given to the simple word “believe.” I either believe that Jesus is the Christ in the Johannine sense of the term, or I do not. But by John’s own statements, when such belief occurs, eternal life is thereby possessed. What could be simpler than,

Whoever believes that Jesus is that Christ is born of God (1 John 5:1)?” (end quote)

Kevin, there is no doubt that Zane once believed what is quoted in Grace in Eclipse. But no more. I used to pass out Zane’s books. Zane recommended I marry my wife. Ihave a lot of heart-break about where Zane has gotten himself.

Just read his remarks in his correspondence with me. He has held a different view “for some time.” I have accurately presented his “different view.”

Now it’s Zane in Eclipse.

From what I’ve been exposed to at their regional and national confereneces over the past 10 years, GES has provided a focus for evangelism – not a rigid technique that keeps new believers on milk.

I am interested what is your answer to the question: What must I believe to have eternal life?

The GES is not who it once was. MANY have abandoned ship. There will be many more to follow. Happily, {there will be no loss of life, but of the ship.|acts 27:22}

We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Hodges-Wilkin errors. Still and all, seeing the tip, the rest of the berg is surely there, and the ship is just as surely going to sink. I just hope Hodges and Wilkin have the good sense to jump ship (repent) before taking on too much more water.

What must you believe? Not the question. In Whom you must believe: that’s the question. And He is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in Whom IS life. He is eternal life. Get that down. The gift of God is eternal life. The gift of God is His Son. That’s not too hard for you to believe, is it Kevin?

As for your comments on Bob’s and John’s messages on Friday night, I walked away with a very different impression than you.

If you are somehow claiming I have misrepresented what was being taught by Wilkin and Niemela, I think you are obliged to make that clear. You remind me of what Wilkin said when I asked him if he believed “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” He said, “I don’t believe what you believe.”

That’s what a “different impression” is.

Comment by Dan Backens » 6th August, 2007 @ 05:46:29 PM

I was at this conference and witnessed all that John has written about here, except I wasn’t present during his last conversation with Wilkin where he asked Bob if he believed Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. John’s account is both fair and accurate.

I was especially shocked at the attempt by John Niemela to keep John Malone from asking a question at the end of his speach. How can a man be sincere about what he is preaching and, at the same time, refuse to allow a question to be asked. And then, to not answer that direct question, but to go on and on as if he was – what a disgrace.

Comment by Dan Backens » 6th August, 2007 @ 06:57:12 PM


To answer your question: “The impression your written words here have given me is that Bob and Zane are trying to tell everyone: Stop presenting Christ’s deity and His death on the cross. I have not seen that or read that from them – from you yes, but not from them.”

I have your answer. On Saturday morning, Bob Wilkins gave a message on tweaking your testimony. Basically, he proposed that you get your message across quickly, like less than a minute. But after the message, he again asked for questions (probably since John Malone was not there).

A woman asked something like, “A lot of people try to put emphasis on the redemptive work of the cross. What do you say about that.” (I have to paraphrase the question, but that was certainly the meaning) Bob’s answer (again paraphrasing) was, “No, don’t even mention the cross. It is not necessary for salvation so don’t bring it up.” Then he ended the meeting, and I left.

Comment by James Gomez » 27th September, 2007 @ 10:37:50 AM

I really think these guys are lost.

Comment by Stephen » 12th January, 2009 @ 02:14:54 PM

Greetings John, you nailed it! I know your article isn’t new but I want to thank you for what you’ve written.

Wilkin was at our church over a year ago and attempted to slip in his teaching during a single session on how to evangelize. I wasn’t familiar with him until then but my wife and I (and several others) could sense equivocation in his presentation, peculiar phraseology, and a sense that he was avoiding direct answers during the Q&A at the end. We, our teacher, and several other concerned members, began to research Wilkin/Hodges/GES after that session and 3 months later made a formal presentation to our pastors and deacons to insist that we, as a church, publicly acknowledge our disagreement with Wilkin’s view of the content of saving faith, to distance ourself from him, and to never have him back lest he repent. It took some persuading, they couldn’t believe that Wilkin indeed taught a gutted content of saving faith. Finally, after presenting quote after quote from Wilkin’s own mouth and hand, our leadership realized the truth and issued a public statement distancing ourselves from BW/ZH/GES.

I’m thankful for those like yourself who are not afraid to speak the truth to protect the church from this error. As you pointed out, their deliberate dodges and skirting of the issues is what makes this so bad. They borrow “normal” Christianese but pour different meaning into, or strip the meaning out of, the terms so as to sound more orthodox than they are. The Christ, Son of God, The Gospel, have all come to mean different things to GES than would be normally taken.

I’m not bitter toward BW, but I am alert should he be in our neck of the woods again.

Anyway, thank you.

[WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘610588601 which is not a hashcash value.

Comment by Frank Tyler » 13th September, 2011 @ 10:23:36 AM

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:1-5) I will pray for you.



Comment by Dmac » 25th September, 2012 @ 11:02:30 PM

Greetings from the Desk of Dr. Niemelä:

The need for clarity in proclaiming God’s grace is great. Jesus guarantees life everlasting to all who simply believe His promise of everlasting life to them. John’s Gospel is the only New Testament book that addresses unbelieving readers. It tells them that, based upon Christ’s death and resurrection, Jesus gives life everlasting to whoever believes His promise of life. And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:30-31). Therefore, Message of Life Ministries places great emphasis upon John’s Gospel.

Indeed, we seek to assist the body of Christ by proclaiming the Scriptures in such a way that the Bible speaks on its own terms in its own context. May God receive the glory.

By His Grace,
John Niemelä, Researcher
Message of Life Ministries

Comment by John Malone » 2nd December, 2012 @ 08:42:48 PM

The writer above is a heretic, having split up a church to get a job.

Such a one is twisted (perverse) and is sinning as We learn in Titus 3:10.

You see above that he twists the Scriptures to say that whoever receives Gods promise of eternal life gets it, when the Scriptures teach that Jesus Christ is eternal life, and whosoever receivers Him gets it.

Big difference.

Niemala and his chums leave God out of the new birth, and deny the principle truth of the gospel of John.

Comment by Greg Jenkins » 22nd November, 2015 @ 04:36:03 PM

Are you All not carnal ? I would like to read John Malones salvation testimony in less than 25 words or less would be more desirable, preferably with scripture.

Comment by bill baird » 11th July, 2016 @ 10:45:42 PM

I agree w/god “professing to be wise ,you are fools!’if the bema is a time when you will account for your foolishness,then I hope i’m not in line behind you guys,because it’s gonna be a long day-bring a sack lunch w/you(I think your lunch will be CROW.)
serving Christ since 1971,

Comment by Brent » 5th February, 2019 @ 09:49:46 AM

Sorry to bump this thread but I am deeply troubled by what I heard from Bob Wilken last night.

I was listening to Bob Wilken last night and he said if a person has faith in Jesus but also believes they need works they are going to the lake of fire?

At about the 4:10 mark.

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