the Spirit Watch
The "Do Scriptures" Twisted By Gwen Shamblin : An 8 Part Bible Study
Romans 2:5-8 Rightly Divided
By Rev. Rafael D Martinez, Spiritwatch Ministries
Righteous Lord and Father, we praise and thank you for the opportunity to once more hear your Holy Word that alone is truth, and is truly a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Dear Lord, send your Spirit to once again be our teacher, our instructor and the One who will enlighten us with this, your truth. It is not mine. It is yours .. enable me to share with my brothers and sisters here thy Word in truth, fidelity to you and in praise and honor and glory to you alone.
This week, we will look into another verse of the Scriptures in the book of Romans that Gwen brings to bear on those who she thinks don't measure up to her works of righteousness. We now turn our attention to Romans 2:5-8, verses that Shamblin chooses to twist into her own warped interpretive framework. These Scriptures deal with the issue of the wilful rebellion of spiritual rebels. Since Gwen misinterprets them completely, we will examine them accordingly.
WHAT GWEN TEACHES ABOUT ROMANS 2:5-8
Lie #1 of Satan is that he will say that obedience and repentance are "works," and a "work" takes away from the grace of God. So, you spend your life attending on Sundays to praise God for His work and just admit to what a great sinner (rebellious child) you are, because you think God likes that. Little does this person know that they are the mocker, and in doing this, they are storing up the wrath of God (Romans 2:5). Many will say that obedience is a "work," taking away from the cross of Christ. Woe to anyone who would lead someone to veer from the path of total surrender! (RF Website)
Yes, there are some who say you need to stop sinning - but they are obviously not making it clear, for their pews are filled with hearts who love their idols - and out of the other side of their mouths they assure the members that they are "once saved always saved," the opposite of what the Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 5:5-7 and Gal. 6:7-9 and Rom. 2:5 and Heb. 10:26. (RF website)
It is difficult to find specific places in the collection of Gwen's writings and teachings in which I have found any kind of systematic Biblical exposition of her doctrine (that's likely because they don't really exist in the true sense of the term due to her pick-and-choose approach to Scripture). These quotations are as close to this from her as we can probably get.
She never actually expounds upon what the verses actually mean in these two references. In keeping with her strident tone, Gwen's "handling" of Romans 2:5-8 is clouded almost entirely by her feral attack on the Christian Church and her self-proclaimed "rescue mission" to it. The text of the Scripture is barely even touched upon in her railings here and as used as a background to the several tangents she takes in these three quotations.
In avoiding the side-tracking rabbit trails here, what Gwen is implying is that Romans 2:5-8 is a warning about how God will remember as "mockery" the rejection of her view as to what "obedience" and "repentance" should be (this is directly tied to her view of laying down "idols" and "dying to self", a whole subject we will discuss later). Obedience is "total surrender" to "doing" the will of God, and this truth is what the church has rejected and in so doing, has become a Satanic firestorm of sin and evil where preachers have put millions to sleep with their own false teaching and who live lives of slumber bent on personal fulfillment of personal lusts.
Such a backslidden church will face the full fury of God's judgment and wrath for reckoning that such "obedience" as she defines it is a "work" that cheapens the cross of Jesus. The doctrinal position of "once saved always saved", rampant in many churches, is the equivalent of carnal religiosity that "coddles sin" and emboldens millions in the churches to enshrine personal idolatry among them. Shamblin's rejection of the Christian Church is supposedly strengthened by her usage of Romans 6:1-2 which we just completed in our previous article.
ROMANS 2 RIGHTLY DIVIDED
As I have said, these citations drawn from Gwen's website teachings that are publicly accessible through the RF website, are shrewd tangles of both truth and error. The set of passages from Romans are little more than a springboard for her exercise in Bible high-diving: her emotionally charged word pictures ("rebellious child .. never mind .. Lie # 1 .. the king of their life ..") are what we've been watching pirouette, spin and twist skillfully after bouncing off of the Scriptures themselves to flawlessly execute her objective.
As with all heretics, truth here is very cunningly and shrewdly twisted around the error in her teaching here. But make no mistake: her twistings, no matter how true they seem, are indeed more than blackened by her fundamental error concerning "doing" the will of God versus faith in His Son for salvation. Let's see what the Word of God itself says here in these verses and if they support what she claims.
5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.
6 God "will give to each person according to what he has done."
7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.
8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
From the very start of the verse, we are being pointed back through the Scriptures for insights from Paul's teaching being used to build upon and expand what he is about to say in Romans 2:5-8. This shows us that the context of the verses is obviously drawn from the verses before them. Once again we see the absolute necessity in any sound exploration of the Bible to close attention to the context of any verse. And Paul's adverb "but" is pointing us back to thoughts previously spoken. You can't ignore the precision of the language here although Gwen does so with impunity. We will not repeat her grave mistake, so we need to turn back to what Paul has said in verses 1-4 for the key to understanding verses 5-8.
And once we do so, we also see even more context to this alluded to in verse 1 by the word "therefore." It's another example of Paul's building of his argument from Romans 1:18-32 which contains his classic teaching on God's just and holy wrath upon mankind for its willful rejection of truth and its descent into depravity. All of these Scriptures provide even greater clarity to what Paul is teaching in Romans 2:5-8, and is another clear example of how God's Word clarifies and interprets itself.
I don't want to make this study longer than it should be, but we must explore - as always - this larger context starting with the climax of Paul's teaching in Romans 1, found in verse 32:
32 Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
Paul's summary is of the dreadful principle behind God's judgment upon the ungodly: "they" (the sinful) will be judged because they knew God's plainly revealed truth on what was right and what was wrong and deliberately rejected it to follow their own unrighteous pursuit of sinful living. God's justice set forth a decree of punishment upon the ungodly who not only persisted in such a lifestyle but who applaud and defend those like them who also have defied His commands.
In Romans 1:18 and 21, we learn that God's wrath is "revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness. .. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened." This is what kindles the wrath of God Paul speaks of in verse 32. Verses 22-31 then go on to unflinchingly describe with the most shockingly vivid word pictures in all of Scripture what the state of fallen man left to himself will be after rejecting God or even knowledge of Him. This is man at his absolute worst, yet wholly natural state of depravity. We then understand just who "they" are in verse 32 Paul is speaking of.
A direct and tough question is now raised that Gwen Shamblin completely ignores through her emotional eisegesis (a 25 cent word that defines the act of reading INTO a Bible text a meaning that isn't there):
Does a Christian's commission of sin in their lives instantly make them a vile God-hater?
All Christians may struggle with sin at some point in their lives, and this is an undeniable fact of life. One cannot underestimate the spiritually corrosive and destructive effect of unconfessed sin in the life of the Christian. It will separate the soul from God and bring eternal death. But because we are tempted and even fail God by yielding to the unique enticements of sin that plague us (James 1:14-15) do we then become completely amoral, godless reprobates who would be in good company among the likes of those described in Romans 22-31? While I and no other Christian in no way would ever condone the willful sin of ANY Christian, is the plain fact that believers do on occasion yield to sinful influence in their life proof that they are automatically to be numbered among those who "change the truth of God for a lie" and "become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity" (vss. 25, 29)?
This is precisely what Gwen Shamblin would have you to believe. Her railings we've reviewed come from the kind of perfectionistic, black and white worldview she lives by and wants everyone else to live by as well. Such a warped view then implies that Gwen has arrived at the point where she now has the ability to determine who is sinful and who is righteous on the basis of what she claims is the proper way to live and think. Paul the apostle would completely differ in Romans 2:1-4
1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.
No one can escape the implications of this exceedingly plain truth. All who call down judgment on another will always face it themselves and be completely without excuse :
2 Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth.
3 So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment?
4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?
I and all other Christians may fall into temptation and sin. That is the sad lot of life itself. We are on a lifelong war against our own passions and failings which we will at times fail. It's what you turn to and what you understand about yourself after the fall into sin that makes the difference. To Gwen Shamblin and Remnant Fellowship, seated in a place they reckon high and secure above the wicked mortals living outside of their cultic hot house, they turn back into their "doing" and try harder, thinking that enough of their "doing" will cover the sinfulness they are just as subject to. To myself and the Christian Church, there's always a better remedy - following God's kindness that leads one to confess and repent of sin and find peace with Him through faith in His son.
I will find Him there in my hours of trial and failure - but the Remnant member only hears the voices of Gwen Shamblin or her cadre of leaders harping on the necessity to eat a certain way, get to a certain weight, or do a certain thing always in the context of what their group does. To them, this is what "kindness" is .. grace = the "chance" to get to comply with Gwen's standards all over again.
In keeping with her past Scripture citations we've previously studied, Gwen Shamblin uses her citation of the powerfully compelling warning of Romans 2:58 as delivered by the apostle Paul as yet another attack on the Christian Church. There isn't much sign of sound Biblical interpretation but an unbiblical interpolation, or insertion of her own meanings and material into the text of Scripture to give it her own meaning quite apart from what it actually says. She takes away just enough of the truth touched upon in Romans 2 here.
Gwen Shamblin has gone on record as stating that she has had no formal training in ministerial or Biblical study and this becomes more and more abundantly clear as we study her writings. Her method of Biblical "interpretation" is an exercise of dogmatism that is pretensively called "Bible study." It is anything but, and this week's study makes that even more clear.
Like other cult leaders, she will hurriedly make a claim and then point to Bible verses that will supposedly support it, rushing off to her next point before any adequate reflection can be made on it (we've already discussed this earlier this week). She then expects to not only be trusted and believed but to be acknowledged as a divine instrument of truth and authority before whom the nations must bow. And when she makes this demand from the context of an unyielding contention she's created between her alien vision and the Christian Church, the lines are drawn and new WDW are forced to make a choice, while for RF members, the decision already has been made for them and they now live accordingly. This is the modus operandi of the deceptive cult of the last days that misuses the Bible, and Gwen's "message" is no different than any of the other false gospels in the world today.
I believe this is what the apostle Peter had in mind when he warned about false teachers who take advantage of Scriptural truths that are "hard to understand" and who through their ignorance and instability "distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction" (2 Peter 3:16). Such people have a cunning way to mingle enough truth into their fantasy that gives it the appearance of divine authenticity. They are also personally engaging, disarmingly dynamic and fluent, audience-savvy orators. Gwen Shamblin is really no different at all from them.
Gwen is RIGHT when recognizing that orthodox Christian churches see her unique emphasis on obedience as "works" that "takes away" (actually nullifies) the grace of God, because that is in effect what her redefinition of the term actually means. She certainly isn't ignorant of this fact and hasn't been.
Gwen is WRONG when she assumes that the Christian church everywhere is in a state of ungodly rebellion against God because of the observed doctrinal and practical distortions of the few who say they are "saved" and live sinful lives.
Gwen is RIGHT when she says that idolatry, disobedience and sin are the fruit of a sinful heart that is tolerated throughout the church world.
But Gwen is WRONG when she insists that Remnant Fellowship has "risen above" this when the moral character in many quarters there is just as flawed as the Christian Church she criticizes - something her hypocrisy won't allow her to admit to publicly.
Next week or so, our next study of Gwen’s “do” list will go down the list found in the WDA study guide, page 6 and tackle both Genesis 4:7 and Genesis 6:22.
Go To Genesis 4:7 and Genesis 6:22 Rightly Divided Back To The Spiritwatch Home Page