Larry Phillips’ Heresy That Man Can Be Saved By Dead Faith

This author recently published a book titled The Damnable Heresy Of Salvation by Dead Faith. The premise of the book summarized on the back cover is as follows:

Good works follow salvation; they do not earn salvation. Good works do not save us. The works of faith are those works ordained and performed by God through the believer. They are the result of faith. It is that perfect faith that justifies the believer.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10.

In Romans, chapters 6 and 8, Paul explains faith without good works cannot save. Paul says that God’s elect “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1. He states that those who do not walk in the Spirit but instead walk in the flesh “shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:15-25.

John explains: “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:6-7.

James asks a rhetorical question: “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?” James 2:14. James succinctly explains that “faith without works is dead.” James 2:20. The pronouncement in James that true faith bears the fruit of good works is a theme found in the gospel. But some perniciously preach that God saves a person by faith that has no good works. That is one of the “damnable heresies” about which Peter warned. See 2 Peter 2:1-22.

Many favorably received the book, The Damnable Heresy Of Salvation by Dead Faith, but the praise was not universal. False prophets have issued loud and raucous howls of opposition. For example, Larry Phillips, of Phillips v. State of Missouri fame, stridently condemned this author. Phillips emailed this author his condemnation and posted the following similar comment below a laudatory YouTube video review of this author’s book.

We are JUSTIFIED through the merits of God’s dear Son’s death on the cross for His People. Edward Hendrie is preaching justification by works in this book which is Roman Catholicism. He has not come out of Babylon, but is still in the Beast System. I am not against good works; but good works can never justify men before a perfect and Holy God. Shame on you Edward Hendrie. (emphasis in original)

Phillips did not write that comment without knowing what this author’s book said. He watched the video review of this author’s book, during which the reviewer read the book’s back cover and introduction, and the reviewer read through the table of contents. Phillips also has a copy of this author’s book. His statement that the book is “preaching justification by works” is a bald-faced lie. The first paragraph on the back page of this book proves Phillips is lying. It states:

Good works follow salvation; they do not earn salvation. Good works do not save us. The works of faith are those works ordained and performed by God through the believer. They are the result of faith. It is that perfect faith that justifies the believer.

Phillips knows the information in that paragraph because the reviewer read it aloud in the video to which Phillips posted his comment in which he alleged that this author preaches justification by works.

If that is not enough, the reviewer read out loud the introduction to the book. Read the introduction and see if you can discern any hint of salvation by works. The introduction is as follows:

This book was born out of a controversy over what James means where he says that “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?” (James 2:21) Taking that sentence out of context suggests that James is saying that Abraham was justified by works. But James explains his point in the next sentence where he says: “Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?” (James 2:22)

James was speaking of his works perfecting his faith. Abraham was justified by faith. Indeed, in the next verse, James explains that very fact: “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.” (James 2:23)

James reiterates that Abraham was justified by faith according to the scriptures. “Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness.” But then, what does James do after clarifying his point, he goes right back to saying: “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” (James 2:24) Again, James drives home the interplay of faith and works. He concludes with his main point: “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:26)

James is every bit part of the gospel as any other book in the Bible. The teaching of James is that faith without works is dead faith. That means that such dead faith is not saving faith. James explains: “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?” (James 2:14) The answer is no. Faith without works cannot save a person.

James explains that faith that has no fruit is dead faith. James calls such dead faith, the faith of devils.

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? (James 2:19-20)

James is not saying that salvation is by works. He confirmed the gospel message that true faith comes with good works. As Paul explained:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

We are saved by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ to bear fruit. The fruit does not save us. No works can save us. We are saved by faith. But saving faith will bear fruit. God has ordained that his elect bear fruit. If you are saved, you will bear fruit because God has willed it. “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” (John 15:16)

Jesus states that by bearing the fruit of salvation, God is glorified. Furthermore, bearing fruit is what his elect will do. Jesus said that by bearing the fruit of salvation, “so shall ye be my disciples.”

Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. (John 15:8)

Fruit is God’s stamp of approval. Thus, the contrary is true. Just as James pointed out, if one is NOT bearing fruit that means that person is NOT a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Despite the clear theme in the Bible that true faith bears fruit, there are heretical preachers promoting a false gospel of salvation by dead faith.

Phillips goes a step further. He not only lied about what this author’s book said, but he also revealed his heretical belief that a dead faith can save. Phillips thinks that one can be saved by a faith that bears no fruit. The reviewer in the video where Phillips posted his comment read out loud the introduction and back cover of this book. Read the book, its introduction, and back cover yourself and see if you can discern any hint of justification by works. But after Phillips listened to the back cover summary and the introduction being read in their entirety, and after reading the book himself, he concluded that the book represents the doctrine of “justification by works.” Let us look at this book’s introduction and back cover and see what they say about works. Phillips thinks that what they say represents “justification by works.” First, let us examine what the introduction says about works.

The introduction states that “by works was [Abraham’s] faith made perfect.” James 2:22.

The introduction states that “faith without works is dead.” James 2:26.

The introduction states that “faith without works cannot save a person.”

The introduction states that God’s elect “are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10.

The introduction states that Jesus Christ “ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit.” John 15:16.

The introduction states that God’s elect will always “bear much fruit.” John 15:8.

Phillips thinks that one or all of those statements constitute a gospel of “justification by works.”

Let us now examine the back cover of this book and look at each instance where works are discussed.

The back cover states that “[g]ood works follow salvation.”

The back cover states that “the works of faith are those works ordained and performed by God through the believer.”

The back cover states that good works “are the result of faith.”

The back cover states that “faith without good works cannot save.”

The back cover states that “faith bears the fruit of good works.”

Phillips thinks that one or all of those statements constitute a gospel of “justification by works.”

The back cover asks: “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?” James 2:14. Phillips would answer yes.

Phillips posted his review of the book below a video where the narrator read out loud the introduction and the back cover of the book. He has a copy of the book and presumably has read the entire thing. He has a thorough understanding of what the book says.

The book presents the gospel. Phillips disagrees with the gospel. He characterizes the gospel as presented in the book as representing “justification by works.” But the book summarizes the gospel found in the Bible. Phillips thinks that the gospel in the Bible constitutes “justification by works.” Why does he think that? He thinks that because he believes that a person can be saved with a faith that does not bear any fruit. He feels that a person can be saved by a faith that shows no love for another. Phillips is a heretic. He is an enemy of the true gospel.

The only logical conclusion one can draw from Phillips’ statement that The Damnable Heresy Of Salvation by Dead Faith teaches justification by faith is that Phillips believes that one can be saved by dead faith, by faith that does not bear fruit, by faith that has no good works, by faith that comes without love, by the faith of devils. Phillips characterizes the gospel doctrine that saving faith will always come with good works as constituting salvation by works.

Phillips is wrong. The gospel is clear. Saving faith will always bear the fruit of love. Saving faith will always come with good works. But that does not mean that the gospel message is that salvation is by works. There is a big difference between trying to work your way to heaven and God saving you by the gift of faith that bears the fruit of good works. Phillips seems not to understand that difference. Phillips claims that faith can be fruitless and loveless and still be effectual. That doctrine is nowhere supported in the gospel. Phillips preaches a false gospel whereby it is immaterial whether good works flow from faith. But Jesus Christ said unequivocally that he “ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit.” John 15:16.

Phillips was not finished with his dissembling. He then posted his own video where he alleged that this author is “attributing faith to man and not to God.” That is easy to prove false. The very theme of the book in question is that saving faith is a gift from God and is not from the will of man. The following are just a few sample quotes from the book that impeach Phillips’ lie:

Whatever faith Abraham possessed was supplied by God, who was the “author and finisher” of Abraham’s faith. See Hebrews 12:12.

“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:” (Romans 3:22) Notice is says the faith “of” Jesus Christ. It is Jesus Christ who supplies the faith unto salvation.

It is the faith of Jesus Christ, given as a gift from God, by his grace, that justifies us.

The good works of Jesus Christ done through the believer authenticate the faith of Jesus Christ imparted to the believer.

God baptizes the elect person with the Holy Spirit, and God imbues him with the faith OF Jesus Christ through that baptism. See Galatians 2:16, Philippians 3:9

Oops! It seems that Larry Phillips has been caught in another lie. This author emailed him quotes from The Damnable Heresy Of Salvation by Dead Faith that prove Phillips’ deception. This author also emailed him a question about why he was lying. This author also asked him: “Do you contend, as does Roberts, that faith does not save?” He responded in an email, where he quoted from Ephesians 2:8-10, which he purported to be an answer to this author’s question whether he agreed with Roberts that faith does not save. His email was a dodge; he did not answer this author’s question. Neither did he answer this author’s question about why he was lying, nor did he address the book quotes this author presented that proved his deception. In pertinent part, Phillips stated in his email:

I will not continue to discuss this with you any further because you are totally turning the simple gospel into a “works based salvation” even though you say you are not.

Larry Phillips is an unrepentant prevaricator. The fact that Jesus Christ is the source of saving faith is the very theme of the book he panned. Phillips misrepresents what the book says.

Furthermore, Phillips’s argument that The Damnable Heresy Of Salvation by Dead Faith teaches justification by works exposes his heresy. He thinks that a person can be saved by dead faith. He thinks that the doctrine that saving faith will bear the fruit of good works constitutes a doctrine of “justification by works.” He contests the gospel message that faith without good works is dead, ineffectual faith.  He is arguing against the gospel.

Phillips has read the book. The book sets forth the gospel message that saving faith will bear the fruit of good works. Phillips disagrees with that gospel message. He thinks that saving faith can be fruitless and yet still save a sinner.

Carl Roberts, with whom Phillips often communicates and who runs a YouTube channel, also weighed in with a harsh condemnation of this author’s person and book. He, like Phillips, also falsely claimed that this author was teaching salvation by works. Incidentally, it was the dispute with Roberts that prompted this author to write The Damnable Heresy Of Salvation by Dead Faith. This author wrote the book to address the dead faith heresy that Roberts and others were promoting. Roberts wrote the following comment below the laudatory YouTube video review of this author’s book:

Your [sic] a Papist Ed Hendrie who teaches men are justified in the sight of God by a combination of grace and works. This is Roman Catholic doctrine and this war for truth infact [sic] is the reason the reformation got started in the 1st place. The line in the proverbial sand has been drawn and you are on the side of Rome! Hear me well Jesuit, I will continue to expose you. Make no mistake about it heretic your folly is being manifested for all to see!

In his own video, Roberts panned this book and stated that the book reveals “the evil heart and intent of one Edward Hendrie. The man is wicked. He is a Jesuit wolf in sheep’s clothing. And I am absolutely embarrassed that I ever associated with him.” Roberts further states that this author’s book, which he perfidiously alleges teaches salvation by grace plus works “is highly satanic. This is evil. This is of the devil, as he’s attempting to turn men from looking to Christ, in Christ alone, and urges them to look to themselves.”

Jesus explains that his elect can expect such attacks:

It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? Matthew 10:25.

Paul explains how he and the disciples were defamed and reviled.

Being reviled, we bless, being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. (1 Corinthians 4:13)

This author’s purpose in revealing the defamation is to warn others about the doctrinal errors that are the foundation of the slander. People should know the subtle ways the devil keeps people from the truth of the gospel. There are many other doctrinal errors of Carl Roberts are discussed in detail in this author’s blog article titled: Carl Roberts’ Heresy of Salvation by Dead Faith.

This author is not surprised by condemnation coming from heretics. This author gladly suffers it and takes comfort in the promise of Jesus Christ.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12)

The gospel is clear that “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12. The persecution often comes from false brethren who have snuck in unawares. See Galatians 2:4. Roberts and Phillips are examples of false brothers who are natural men that do not have the unction of the Holy Spirit. That is why they do not accept the gospel truth that love is a necessary fruit of saving faith.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14)

Paul called out Hymenaeus, Alexander, and Philetus by name for their heresy. See 1 Timothy 1:19-20, 2 Timothy 2:16-18. I will follow Paul’s example in exposing the heresy of Phillips and Roberts. Like Paul’s, this author’s principal concern is that people will believe Roberts and Phillips, and their false propaganda will cause others to misunderstand the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Indeed, there seems to be an example of that very thing happening. The person who posted the laudatory review of this author’s book responded to Phillips’ deceptive comment alleging that the book represents a false gospel of salvation by works with the following comment: “Thanks for the clarification Larry! Much love bro.” That response brings to mind the parable of the sower, where “some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up.” Matthew 13:4. Jesus explained the meaning:

When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. (Matthew 13:19)

It seems that the wicked one has caught away that which was sown in the reviewer’s heart because on or before May 22, 2021, the reviewer removed his laudatory review of the book from YouTube. The review was posted on April 23, 2021, and removed by the reviewer on May 22, 2021.

Both Larry Phillips and Carl Roberts allege that this author teaches salvation by works. If you have read The Damnable Heresy Of Salvation by Dead Faith you know that is not true.

Salvation by works is nowhere taught in The Damnable Heresy Of Salvation by Dead Faith. Roberts and Phillips disagree with what the book says. The book presents the gospel that faith without good works is dead and cannot save. See James 2:14. They characterize that gospel truth as constituting salvation by works. They believe that a dead faith can save. They argue against the gospel of Jesus Christ. Under the true gospel, God saves us to bear fruit. Under the true gospel, it is impossible for a person born again with the faith of Jesus Christ to be barren of good works. Under their false gospel, a person can be saved and barren at the same time.

Roberts and Phillips believe that a dead faith can save. Roberts and Phillips must falsely portray the book as saying something it does not say. They falsely claim that this book teaches salvation by works. They know what the book actually says. The book accurately portrays the gospel doctrine that saving faith will bear fruit. But they disagree with that doctrine. They disagree with the gospel. They think that one can be saved by a dead faith that bears no fruit. They characterize the gospel doctrine that saving faith will bear fruit as the doctrine of salvation by works. It is not. They are heretics arguing against the gospel.

They have each said that they are not against good works. But that says nothing about their theology. Who would be against good works? Even a heathen would say that. They are not exactly going out on a limb with that revelation. That statement reveals just how tepid their faith is.

One thing is clear. Both Roberts and Phillips think that good works are irrelevant to salvation. It seems that they believe good works are like an option that is not required. In their mind, good works are kind of like heated seats in a car. They are nice, they are not against them, but heated seats are not necessary. Roberts and Phillips think good works are optional because they desire to walk after their ungodly lusts.

How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. (Jude 1:18-19)

Jude explains how nefarious teachers had crept into the church and turned God’s grace into lasciviousness. Lascivious is from the Latin Lascivus, which means to relax or loosen. Thus, lasciviousness is loose and wanton behavior. How is it possible to turn God’s grace into lasciviousness? The false teachers accomplish that by promoting faith without love, faith without good works. The false doctrine that God’s grace renders good works irrelevant, as taught by Roberts and Phillips, leads to lasciviousness because implicit in the idea that good works are irrelevant is that there are no consequences for sin. Failing to do good is a sin. See James 4:17. To teach that good works are irrelevant is to give people a license to sin. To teach that good works are irrelevant promotes lasciviousness among the nominal Christians who do not have the unction of the Holy Spirit to perceive that false doctrine for what it is.

For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:4)

Roberts and Phillips have repeatedly said that good works cannot justify a man. They imply by that statement that this author claims in  The Damnable Heresy Of Salvation by Dead Faith that good works justify a man. That is not what the book says. But they use that shibboleth to cleverly avoid addressing the issue this author confronts in this book. This author agrees that God justifies man by faith. The issue this author tackles in the book is whether saving faith will always bear fruit. The answer is yes. Can faith without good works justify a man? The answer is no. The theme of the Bible is that faith without good works (i.e., without love) is the phony faith of devils. See James 2:19.

Roberts and Phillips think that a person can have faith without love. That is a false gospel; that is a gospel of fruitless, dead faith. They feel that a man’s faith that bears no fruit can save him. But they conceal that heresy beneath a smokescreen of the allegation that this author preaches salvation by works.

Carl Roberts and Larry Phillips preach “another Jesus.” 1 Corinthians 11:4. They preach a Jesus who does not imbue his elect with efficacious faith. They preach a fruitless faith. They preach faith without the love of Christ. Their Jesus is a fictional Jesus that is found nowhere in the gospel. Paul warned about such false preachers, who are minions of Satan. They subtly seduce the unwary with fine-sounding words of doctrines that do not appear in the Bible. They are spiritually blind leaders who are leading their blind followers into the ditch. See Matthew 14:14. Sadly for them, their “end shall be according to their works.” 1 Corinthians 11:15.

For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. … For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. 2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15.

This author has repeatedly confronted Roberts and Phillips with Jesus’ statement that those who do not obey his command to love one another will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Neither of them has addressed that passage. Every time this author has quoted that passage, the response from both Roberts and Phillips has been—silence. Neither of them has addressed that gospel truth from Jesus. Jesus proclaimed:

Not 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. Matthew 7:21.

Indeed, it is the very theme of the gospel that love flows from saving faith. Jesus gave the above quote to introduce the parable of the wise builder and the foolish builder, with the principle that those who claim to love the Lord but do not obey his command to love one another are like the foolish builder who built his house on sand. Such a foolish builder building his house on sand is “one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not.” Matthew 7:26. In the end, “the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 4:49. See also Matthew 7:27. Jesus reiterates his warning prior to his rendition of the wise builder and foolish builder in Luke:

And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Luke 6:46.

The Lord said that the builder who built his house on sand in Matthew 7:26-27 is the very one whom he will tell “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Mathew 7:23. The principle is straightforward. Faith without the fruit of love is not saving faith.

God has a warning for those, like Roberts and Phillips, who eschew what Jesus said. Roberts and Phillips are advising people to be foolish builders. Roberts and Phillips urge their listeners to eschew the vital element of the gospel that obedience to God’s command to love one another is a fruit of the saving faith from God. Roberts and Phillips maintain that the loving fruit of saving faith is irrelevant. Roberts and Phillips falsely claim that such a requirement to love constitutes salvation by works. They do not understand that it is God who performs the works of love through the believer. See Philippians 2:13, Hebrews 13:20-21. Jesus said love is necessary. Roberts and Phillips contradict God. They are ashamed of God’s words requiring love as the fruit of saving faith. Jesus said that anyone ashamed of his words would be damned.

For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. (Luke 9:26)

In an email, this author posed the questions James asked in James 2:14 to Larry Phillips.

Please answer the following question[s], Larry:  “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?” (James 2:14)

Larry Phillips tried to dodge the questions. He only addressed false confessions of faith generally and not the specific issue being addressed by the questions in James 2:14, which is whether saving faith necessarily has good works. Indeed, Phillips made no mention of works at all in his response. He completely ignored the elephant in the room.

But in the process of trying to dodge the questions in James 2:14, Larry Phillips unwittingly agreed that faith without works cannot save. In Phillips’ email response he quoted 2 Timothy 2:19 and gave the following answer to the questions this author presented him in James 2:14:

The answer to your question Edward is this. Men say a great deal of things that just are not so including making false confessions of faith. It’s called lying. Lying and making false confessions of the Faith of Christ is done by millions of people on a daily basis this in not [sic] way negates the claims of Christ that His sheep hear his voice and they will follow Him. This is my final word on the matter Edward and your long diatribes and will not change that fact.

Phillips agreed that the reference in James 2:14 to faith without works references false confessions of faith. Phillips is incognizant that his statement is an implicit agreement that faith without works cannot save. James 2:14 identifies that false confession of faith as a man who says he has faith but has “not works.” The rhetorical questions indicate that such faith without works cannot save the man. Phillips identifies workless faith as “false confessions of faith.” Phillips tried to avoid addressing good works by saying the passage in James 2:14 is addressing “false confessions of faith.” He did that because he believes that one can be saved by faith without works. But his characterization of the passage as addressing salvation implicitly acknowledged that James 2:14 contains the doctrinal truth that faith without works cannot save.

Phillips completely eschews that works authenticate saving faith. He believes that the doctrine that works authenticate faith constitutes a false gospel of salvation by works. But when this author asked him to answer the rhetorical questions in James 2:14, he recognized that James 2:14 addresses salvation. Oddly, he is not cognizant that his position that James 2;14 addresses salvation means that he unwittingly accepts that James 2:14 teaches that works authenticate saving faith.

The two-barreled attack from Phillips and Roberts was not by happenstance. They are working in concert against the gospel truth that faith without works is dead. See James 2:26. A strange phenomenon took place when this author pointed out to Carl Roberts his erroneous theology. At that point, he lashed out at this author and began falsely accusing this author of teaching salvation by works. Suddenly, the same books I had previously authored that he once promoted as the epitome of instruction on the sovereign grace of God, in the blink of an eye, he now alleges are books that teach salvation by works. This all happened prior to this author writing the book, The Damnable Heresy Of Salvation by Dead Faith. Indeed, that book was written in response to the dispute with Roberts over his heresy that works are irrelevant.

During our dispute over Roberts’ heresy, Roberts then did something quite revealing. Up until that time, there had been several years of hostility between Larry Phillips and Carl Roberts. Roberts had posted several videos pointing out the erroneous beliefs of Phillips. Suddenly, on March 10, 2021, Roberts posted a video apology to Larry Phillips and emailed the link to it to Larry Phillips. In that video, Roberts apologized to Phillips for his previous attacks on Phillips. Roberts assured Phillips that he had removed his videos where he attacked Phillips. Phillips responded in kind in his own video and apologized to Roberts.

Roberts knew that Larry Phillips and this author were at odds. Our dispute involves many things, but one important matter is that this author believes that God endows man with the rights to life, liberty, and property. Larry Phillips disagrees.

The Ten Commandments are (in part) commands by God against infringement of the rights of one man by another man. There can be no infringement of a right if the right does not exist. God commands: “Thou shalt not kill.” (Exodus 20:13) The command not to kill is based on the God-given right each man has to live. Larry Phillips rebuts that truth by claiming instead that “we are commanded not to kill. But we don’t have a right to life.” Phillips does not understand that the command not to kill is based on the God-given right to life. God commands against one man killing another assumes that the victim has a God-given right to life.

Phillips argued that “God is the one who grants us life, and God is the one who takes our lives. And he’s the only one that has the right to take our life and to give us life.” That true statement by Phillips does not support his argument that man does not have the right to life against being killed by other men. Phillips does not understand the fundamental truth that the commandments from God are rules that apply to men. They are inapplicable to God. God has given man the right to life against being killed by other men. God is sovereign. “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?” (Romans 9:21) For example, God reveals that he has the power and right to kill.

See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. Deuteronomy 32:39.

God commands against stealing (Exodus 20:15) or coveting another’s goods (Exodus 20:17). Those commands assume that the person who owns the goods has a right to them. God’s command against killing and stealing means that man has the right to life and property. God commands against taking another’s life and property because man has a right to those things. Larry Phillips disagrees with those truths.

In the same October 27, 2019, video in which he argued that men do not have the God-given rights to life, liberty, and property, Phillips falsely accused this author of sending him an email in which this author justified abortion. When this author and others demanded that he produce the email, he lamely claimed he had lost the email. But when this author revealed the only email this author had ever sent him about abortion, that email showed the opposite of what Phillips alleged. This author condemned abortion in the email. Indeed, this author has a long-established record in this author ’s books and other writings of denouncing abortion. In the face of proof that he lied, Phillips refused to admit he lied and repent of his defamation. The only thing he did was delete the defamatory video to cover his tracks.

Our dispute over Phillips’ defamation of this author and Phillips’ claim God does not give man the rights to life, liberty, and property was partly why Roberts was also at odds with Phillips. Roberts was convinced that Phillips had defamed this author and he was seemingly disgusted with Phillips because of it. But once this author confronted Roberts about his erroneous theology, and he realized that this author would not yield on the gospel truth, he saw it as advantageous to quickly ally with Phillips, a man he knows is dishonest. Roberts lives by the ethic that his enemy’s enemy is his friend. He realized that Phillips was a kindred spirit of perfidy. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3. It is thus no surprise to find that Roberts has hopped on the defamation bandwagon and slanderously accused this author of being a Freemason and a Jesuit.

There is indeed no new thing under the sun. “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9. The strange timing of the reconciliation between Roberts and Phillips brings to mind the reconciliation of Herod and Pontius Pilate over the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Herod and Pilate had been at enmity, but their hostility was mended when they joined in the persecution and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Satan’s kingdom is one where evil alliances are made to persecute Christians and come against the gospel and the kingdom of God.

And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time. And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him. Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing. And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate. And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves. (Luke 23:7-12)

This author hopes that Roberts and Phillips repent of their heresy. That repentance can only come by the intervention of the Holy Spirit. But they have demonstrated that they are the very kind of persons God described in James.

Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. (James 3:10-12)

James states the truth that there are two kinds of fountains, bitter fountains spewing forth cursed saltwater and blessed fountains yielding freshwater. Out of the abundance of the heart, a man speaks and reveals his true character. Evil men will reveal their character by the corrupt fruit that they produce from their evil hearts. By their fruits, you will know them. Roberts and Phillips have revealed the evil treasure in their hearts by their words. It is, therefore, not surprising that they will preach a false gospel where one can be saved by a dead faith that does not bear good fruit.

For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (Luke 6:43-46)

A Christian can be saved and not know all of the particulars of the gospel. But every saved Christian has the unction of the Holy Spirit, which reveals to the believer the truth of the gospel. No believer will resist the gospel.

But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. (1 John 2:20-21)

But when a person resists the truth and comes out against the gospel that is a sure sign that he does not have the Holy Spirit in him. Such people are prophesied to come and will “resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.” 2 Timothy 3:8.

Carl Roberts and Larry Phillips’ dishonesty, craftiness, and deceitful handling of God’s word have marked them as among those from whom the gospel is hidden. See 2 Corinthians 4:2-4.


Carl Roberts’ Heresy of Salvation by Dead Faith

7 thoughts on “Larry Phillips’ Heresy That Man Can Be Saved By Dead Faith

  1. Carl and Larry,

    If either of you are reading this, please repent of being “hateful and hating one another.” (Titus 3:3)

    Your charges against Ed are not consistent with truth.

    “Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.” (James 5:9-KJV)

  2. Edward,

    I will get your book about Dead Faith. My wife and I, and our 6 children, fully support your FE work and have often been very disgusted at the “Evangelical” disdain for good works. Yes, they actually quasi teach and believe that Good Works are almost bad… As if those who do good works are “only trying to earn their salvation,” it’s maddening to us. Keep fighting the good fight!

  3. Incorrect. James, in James 2, is not talking about the biblical doctrine of justification. Nowhere in James 2 is there any mention of man’s guilt for his sins, the sacrificial blood of Christ shed for man’s sins, or God’s wrath toward man because of his sins. In Romans 3->4, we find Paul addressing the biblical doctrine of justification as all these are referred to in that context. James 2, as such, is teaching on loving our neighbor, which is the central command of the NT. James’ points out that claiming to love our neighbour (“faith”) without actually loving our neighbour (“works”) means we don’t actually believe the command to love our neighbour. A man is not vindicated (“justified”) in his claim (“faith”) of loving his neighbour without “works”, evidence of love for neighbor. James 2 is addressing sanctification (1 Thessalonians 4:3), not justification (Romans 3:28; 5:1).

    The rest of your post can be categorized as advocating righteousness by works/law which is what Paul spills a lot of ink condemning. See Romans 10:4, Galatians 2:16, 3:10-12.

    Justification is salvation from the penalty of sin (Romans 5:9; John 5:24)
    Sanctification is salvation from the power of sin (1 Thess 4:3, Romans 6:14).

    In multiple cases, Christ was asked what people must do to inherit eternal life. In those cases, he gave them the law as the basis for obtaining eternal life because the Jews were under the law. Paul then shows (Galatians 3:24) that the law was man’s school master, pointing him to Christ. So, the point of Jesus in giving the law as the basis for obtaining eternal life was to show them (i.e. rich young ruler, teacher of the law) the impossibility of obtaining eternal life on the basis of works, which was the purpose of the law as Paul indicated.

    So, your position is advocating righteousness by works which, again, Paul condemns and which Christ used as a tool to show men the impossibility of obtaining righteousness on the basis of their own works. Romans 3:23 establishes this is impossible.

    Lastly, your dilemma with Matthew 7:21-23 is easily resolved.

    Matthew 7:21-23
    21 Not 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.

    22 Many 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?

    23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

    Doing the will of the Father means to believe the gospel. See John 6:29, 40 God’s will is that men would believe the gospel.

    vv. 22-23 deal with people that will appeal to Christ on the basis of their works on judgment day and be condemned because no man, on the basis of works, will be found to be without sin [Rom 3:10, 23]. Incidentally, there were unbelievers doing miraculous works in Jesus’ time [Luke 9:49].

    • You claim that “James, in James 2, is not talking about the biblical doctrine of justification.”

      That is not true. You should pay more attention to what you read in the Bible. Go to James 2:14. You will read the following: “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?” (James 2:14)

      James 2:14 is clearly addressing salvation. That is not even debatable. Yet, you claim that James 2 is not addressing justification. You’re mistaken. I will ask you to please answer the rhetorical questions in James 2:14.

      Jesus said, “Not 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.” Matthew 7:21. Jesus explained what he meant in the following verses. But you very slyly stop your explanation at verse 23. Why did you not quote verses 24-27? I will tell you why. Those verses impeach your theology.

      In verse 24, Jesus presented a parable of the wise man who built his house on rock. He illustrated by that parable that only he who both “heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them” (Matthew 7:24) is firm in his salvation and enters into the kingdom of heaven. The fate of him who built his house on sand “heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not” (Matthew 7:26) was never known by Jesus and ended up in hell.

      It seems you went out of your way to conceal that truth. You have an agenda to mislead the unwary.

      • Edward, What works have you done that will justify you in the sight of God??

        Unsaved people and Shriner’s do moral and good things too

        • Brian:

          The theme of the gospel is that God imbues those who are born again of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3) with the faith “of” Jesus Christ (Romans 3:22; Galatians 3:22; Revelation 14:12). That faith will bear fruit, which is good works of love (John 15:8) that Jesus Christ performs through the believer (Philippians 2:13, Hebrews 13:20-21). The loving fruit is not optional; it is a necessary component of saving faith; God commands us to love one another (John 15:8-12), and the only way we can obey that command is if Jesus works through us. Indeed, that doctrine is made explicitly clear in Hebrews 5:9.

          “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” (Hebrews 5:9)

          Notice in Hebrews 5:9 that God explicitly states that Jesus Christ is the author of salvation for those who “obey” him. That is very similar to what Peter said in Acts 10:34-35, when he told the Gentiles that God is no respecter of persons, “in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” (Acts 10:35) Obeying God is to work righteousness. But the gospel states that we are saved by faith. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” (Acts 16:31) Works do not justify us.

          “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Galatians 2:16.

          So why is God talking about salvation for those who obey him and do works of righteousness when the gospel is clear that salvation is NOT by works? What God is saying in Hebrews 5:9 and Acts 10:35 is that once God justifies us, good works will be the fruit of that faith. Thus, when God speaks in Hebrews 5:9 about Jesus Christ saving all those who obey him, he refers to saving those who have been imbued with the faith “of” Jesus Christ. He is referring to those who bear the fruit of obedience to his command to love one another. Saving faith is obedient faith. Saving faith comes with love. Faith without good works is a dead faith that cannot save. “What [doth it] profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?” (James 2:14) God puts it in more stark terms in Matthew 7:21.

          “Not 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.” Matthew 7:21.

          The principle is straightforward. Faith without the fruit of love is not saving faith. That doctrine is repeated over and over again throughout the gospel.

  4. Right on , thanks for this article. I was starting to think I was the only person who thought like this.
    It can be frustrating to witness, but its 100% obvious that what you say is true.

    Matthew 7:22 – Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
    Can it be any more clear?

    Isaiah 5:20 – Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil

    It’s hard for me to know if people are willfully clinging to half truths out of convenience or intentional deception, or whether they just lack the intellectual muscle to comprehend.
    I suppose the second group can be excused and forgiven.
    Maliciousness or a feeble mind? I guess I would generously attribute the latter unless there was evidence of the former. If it is malicious, then you compound the sin by trying to lead people astray.

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