the Spirit Watch
The Trinity Studies:
An Analysis Of Gwen Shamblin's "Essence Of God" Statement
Part 15 of 15: "In Conclusion / The Position Of Jesus Christ / A Summarization"
by Rafael D. Martinez, Co-Director, Spiritwatch Ministries
Through the early prophets, God had clearly told the world of the coming of His Son. All of the Apostles had witnessed Jesus praying to the Father and talking to the Father, and in fact, Jesus’s final words were, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34), not “Myself, myself, why have I forsaken myself?” Once again, let me state that God was not killed by man and He did not forsake Himself! As absurd as this teaching was, Satan belly-laughed at the heavens, because he showed that through force and fear, he could bring confusion by turning God into Jesus and Jesus into God; the image of God would be worse than the images of silver and stone; it would be a three-headed transformer that was a mystery to all.<<
The confusion is entirely in the fevered mind of Shamblin. We’ve discussed this point already and won’t revisit it. It’s yet another attempt to drive home by repetition her simplistic and evasive truth claims using word games meant to confuse and conceal, not enlighten or edify.
Again, I point out that not even Jesus knew the hour and the day of the end times, and in Mark 12:32, He stated, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mark 13:32). Therefore, it had to be a very separate Father and a Son. All of this is ridiculous to me to even talk about, for it is so clear that God is God and Jesus is His Son.
And again, I will point out that if the Father reserves knowledge to Himself of the time in which He will send His Son back, how does that make Jesus any less equal in power, authority and deity to His Father? In her mind, because Jesus was sent to do God’s will it must follow that He is inferior to Him. But if they are two distinct Beings with two different wills, as Gwen never fails to remind us, why can One not hold in mind personal determinations from the Other? Didn’t Jesus come to do the will of the Father? Gwen’s half-formed objection doesn’t begin to answer that question. Simply because He did so as a Person distinct from the Father doesn’t automatically mean, as she so quickly assumes, that their essential spiritual union doesn’t exist. Gwen likes to cite her homespun metaphors to make her points, so I will make a couple of my own.
My wife signs our personal checks in her name but this doesn’t make my signature any less authoritative. She may even write checks for transactions I know nothing about but does that mean her authorization and our financial union suspect? Not at all. It means that she, being the Proverbs 31 kind of woman she is, will seek the deals she can for our benefit when they arise.
If Chicago Cub Derrick Lee, batting champion for the National League in 2005, steps up to the plate with a sign from his coach to get a base hit but instead wallops one of his moon-shot game-winning home runs, does that mean he’s not been “submissive” enough to the coach and that he was “rebellious”? No, it means Lee had enough lightning initiative to act decisively and independently of what his coach wanted done in a given situation. The overall objective was to win the ball game and both were working independently to that end (this Cub fan hopes it was the St. Louis Cardinals they defeated).
I could raise a few more of these, but I hope it would make the point here. We have stated again and again that Trinitarians don’t deny the distinctions between the Father and Son. They fully believe in a Father and a Son and assert that even though co-equal in power, authority, and spiritual essence that they also retain to themselves unique distinctions as entirely different Beings. This includes individual wills and a thought-life as vital and individual as that of human beings – only obviously on a transcendent and divine level. Her amazingly stubborn commitment to her own blinding bias against these realities which would help her see the fundamental error of her suppositions is simply unbelievable to behold.
Yahweh’s divine self-revelation of His majestic mindset in Isaiah 55:8-9 has established for us that His thought life and ways utterly transcend our own. How the Trinity thinks and interacts with one another is beyond our capability to fully understand. But one thing seems certain: their apparent ability to withhold information from one another as we see here in Jesus’ words in Mark 13:32 would be consistent with what His Father has said through Isaiah about His ways. There is a divine purpose to this which we do not know and could possibly never understand simply because they are divine and we are not.
Why Shamblin cannot squarely face this exalted level of inscrutable fellowship within the Trinity is a sad testimony to the profound error she labors under. She views any Triune relationship between God, the Son and the Spirit as a insulting impossibility. Shamblin gets as much mileage out of her own confusion that other antitrinitarians do by convincing others that her muddled thinking on God’s self-revealed nature is the same as theirs on it.
It also can be legitimately suggested here that the context behind Jesus’ statement about not knowing the hour of His return could be simply viewed as Jesus’ reference to His human nature which was as limited as our own. If He was a “son of David,” fully human as Scripture asserts, he could rightly observe that in that level of existence, He really wouldn’t be able to know that timeframe. It is entirely possible that this was the perspective He spoke from.
So if ridicule is what is behind Gwen’s dialogue, why should anyone need to take it seriously? How does it follow that deriding someone’s belief system establishes truth? Gwen’s grossly cavalier attitude here is repulsive and demonstrates just how committed she really is to knowing God and making Him known.
In John Chapter 8, Jesus' own authority was questioned, and He said, “In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.” (John 8:17,18) Jesus Himself is once again telling us that there are two separate witnesses here. With so many references listed, why does a man-made teaching want to make the Father and His only Son one being with the same power? The only way that they are one is in purpose. My children and I have the same purpose but no one calls me “Michael”, nor does anyone attempt to call Michael or Michelle Elizabeth “the Mother.”
We’ve been over this Shamblinesque confusion of divine personages enough that we won’t go over it again. However, I do note how curious it is that when Gwen Shamblin reaches into her experiential frame of reference to find some way to describe her views of God’s “unity of purpose,” she uses her relationship with her children and not her own husband David Shamblin. This has enormous implications. How pathetic to behold that the one relationship Gwen should most immediately identify with, that being with her own husband David, is so utterly marginalized and irrelevant to her!
One of RF’s favorite selling points is how it brings families together, but it has long been no secret in Remnant that David Shamblin has little to nothing to do with the group at all. It is no secret that David never actually “came aboard” the organizational Remnant “ark” when it was founded back in 1999 and that Gwen makes much of her troubles with him during her private consultations with Remnant women of the “Beulah” class. And it is also well known that Gwen and David have long been at odds with one another over her consolidation of her WDW business and her RF religion, so much so that reports of sharp contention from credible sources exist. Michael Shamblin, in response to an inquiry, told one source that he felt his father was hell-bound as a result. These are some of the unspoken family secrets that Remnant keeps which, if given the attention it rightly deserves, would show the glaring moral deficiency behind its’ warped belief system.
If this “message” can’t bring peace into the Shamblin family, why should anyone believe it to be “the truth” as Gwen exalts it to be?
One of the clearest arguments is in John 10:31-35 where the Pharisees were about to stone Jesus because they believed that He was claiming exactly what the trinity teaches -- claiming to be God Himself! Read what Jesus says here:
“Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, ‘I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?’ ‘We are not stoning you for any of these,’ replied the Jews, ‘but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Is it not written in your Law, `I have said you are gods'? If he called them ‘gods’, to whom the word of God came-and the Scripture cannot be broken-what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, `I am God's Son?’
So, what happened here? The preachers of the day were going to stone Jesus Christ for claiming that He was God the Father, and Jesus said, “I am God’s Son.” (“I am God’s Son – not the Father!!!”) Are you going to try to argue with the Bible and Jesus Himself who said that He was not the Father but was the Son of God?
Repeating herself yet again, Shamblin tries once more to slip her “clearest argument” past those who would discern her. We have already discussed this, but since Gwen persists in this, I too will take the liberty. Here is a partial repeat of the study we did of this Scripture in the context of her “argument”:
Shamblin would object that Jesus' reference to the authority of the Father in these verses is proof positive He was superior to His Son in power and degree. "The Father is greater than all," she would point out. But this reference to the absolute supremacy of God is in reference to the power of God's ability to sustain and keep those who have responded to His call to receive eternal life through faith in His Son – it's not a statement of Christ's inferiority to His Father in any respect. In fact, Jesus makes a statement easily as startling, stunning and convicting as his declaration that "before Abraham, I am" a few chapters before in 8:58:
30 I and the Father are one."
Many antitrinitarians, when confronted by this plain stated assertion of Jesus try to backpedal and evade the inescapable truth we see here that Jesus is stating that He and His Father are in essence the one and the same Almighty God. "He means they're one in purpose, in will, in mission .." and then begin to bring forth word pictures of comparison between a human father and how others around him will marvel at how aspects of his personality are reflected in the nature of his human son. Shamblin does this again and again throughout this polemic, but never tries to directly deal with this verse. It becomes clear that in just 5 words, the Lord Jesus Christ's self-revelation of His relationship to His Father levels all of her unbiblical religion to the ground.
The words of Jesus here, however, cannot be drawn down to the level of human to human comparison. He plainly says here that He and His Father are one, and the Greek construction of the verse (ego kai ho pater hen esmen) makes no room for such an interpretation as Shamblin and other antitrinitarians make. The neuter numerical word "hen" means what it says – "one." The first person plural verb "esmen" (are) conclusively settles the relationship of God to Christ: they are one and the same person in not just purpose but in power, authority, eternity and essential nature, all the while retaining completely separate and independent identities as distinctive yet divine Persons. He is saying that "we are one" in all of the attributes of deity that are found in the nature of God Himself. Far from the hurried dismissal of Shamblin's rhetoric, Jesus didn't "deny" He was God – He made abundantly clear that He was indeed Almighty in all respects!
How convenient that when Gwen cites John 10:31-35 for her “clearest argument” that she forgets to deal with the far clearer revelation of verse 30!
In the words of the Staples commercial: “That was easy.”
What man-made teaching is higher than the Sacred Word of God? Wake up from the matrix and escape this intoxication of madness taught by the Great Prostitute (Revelation 17 – reference to the counterfeit church). What is it that you keep stumbling on? Is it: “But how could so many be wrong?” Please know that more have believed that Jesus was the Son of God than believe the Trinitarian view.
In the middle of her raving, Gwen once again pushes a false dichotomy, continuing to the end to insist that Trinitarians don’t believe in the Sonship of Jesus Christ. That scandalous charge is one we’ve looked at already, so we won’t belabor the point. The only people in the religious world who could exhibit that kind of single-minded obsession with one truth claim that they would exalt above all others are cult leaders preaching alien visions of spirituality. Shamblin fits the bill to a “T” here.
But, if you feel in the minority right now, please remember the flood, please remember the fall of Jerusalem, and please remember that Jesus started the church over with 120 believers (Acts 1:15) after a three-year ministry that affected thousands. Small is not wrong – it is opposite world. Small and narrow is the road that leads to life (Matthew 7:14). Look for the narrow road, the road less traveled, for the truth of God and for eternal salvation.
Returning back to familiar territory, Gwen deploys her deceptive “Remnant” pitch in an attempt to seduce her readers. She entices those who may be openly questioning or disavowing the Trinity teaching with a romanticizing allure meant to bolster their rejection of it. Observe how she does this: she draws unashamedly bold parallels with the embattled survivors of the Flood aboard Noah’s ark, those who lived through the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC, and the early Christian believers. The vivid word picture of the small and fearless bands of the godly standing firmly while under fire from the wicked and hostile world around them is obviously aimed at being an affective one.
She seeks to inspire a firm identification and attachment to Remnant Fellowship, so she can lead potential recruits to feel that to question the Trinity is to walk in the same footsteps as Noah, Jeremiah and even Jesus Himself. Such countercultural nonconformity is a mark of true and redemptive spirituality since the “truth of God” and “eternal salvation” is always found along “the narrow road, the road less traveled.” Therefore, Gwen would have her readers understand, that those devoted to God will always be in the minority: such is God’s divine wisdom used to confute the larger, greater world by the “small .. opposite world.”
Gwen’s spiritual myopia works against her here: if God’s intent was to focus all of his blessing only upon the “remnant” alone, then how does she account for the Scriptures which prophetically reveal for us the number of the righteous there will be in the day of judgment? In heaven there will be a “great multitude which no one could number of all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9). In Isaiah 60:1-5, we see whole nations turning back to God, and Micah 4:1-5 paints a beautiful picture of God’s redemptive authority extended over the nations:
Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it. Many nations shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
Those who have never heard about the “Zion” of Franklin, Tennessee will never need to – it is the Biblical Zion located in far off geographical Israel that the peoples of the world will some day journey toward as Micah prophecies. Unlike Gwen Shamblin, who is content to bewitch who she can to dwell in the shadows of her Remnant hothouse, Yahweh’s counsel for the future is concerned with the peoples of the world. That is far more than the social club of Remnant can ever say it’s “passion” for serving its own interests as opposed to those of the God they say they know. How terrible to miss the mark like that!
THE POSITION OF JESUS CHRIST
We finally enter the closing paragraphs of Gwen Shamblin’s massive missive. Much of this final section is again, like most of the document, yet another annoying repetition of Gwen’s heretical god-talk. There are a couple of places here though that are unique to our study of her antitrinitarianism which we will further elaborate upon.
It is perversely fitting that she should entitle her closing section “The Position Of Jesus Christ.” It is precisely at this attempt to identify who Jesus is and what He came to do that we see so clearly where Gwen has gone so painfully astray from the Christian faith. It’s a sadly ironic testimony to how seriously she has drifted into error that will potentially cost her dearly for all of eternity.
First, let us consider Gwen’s citation of 1 Corinthians 15:24-28 and how she would have us view it:
“Then the end will come, when he [Jesus] hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he [Jesus] must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For he [God] ‘has put everything under his feet.’ Now when it says that ‘everything’ has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.” (1 Corinthians 15:24-28) God gave Jesus all authority over man, but God did not give Jesus authority over Himself. It has always been clear that God is not under Jesus’ feet. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one in purpose. Yet, where Jesus' will did not line up with the Father's, through sweat drops of blood, Jesus submitted and said: “…yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42) - indicating there are two separate beings, and indicating that the will of the Father reigned.
This is one of the last places of agreement we can find with Shamblin in that it is true that God is “not under Jesus’ feet” as she puts it. Most of this quotation here is a reference to the return of Yahweh’s absolute Lordship over all creation, with Christ as His regent reigning at His right hand, as revealed in Bible prophecy. But Gwen’s spin on that Lordship is where she tries to get whatever traction she can out of her “one in purpose” misunderstanding. She keeps making much of the distinctions between Father and Son so as to show us how a doctrine of “Trinity” can’t possibly be tenable. Since we’ve addressed this ground also, we won’t tarry any longer here either.
There is one God; and God the King has given His Son, Jesus Christ, all authority over heaven and earth. So, if our God says to worship and bow down to His Son as well as Himself, we had best do it! The passages to back up this truth - that God gave His Son all this authority - are too numerous to reference, but here are just a few: John 17:1-2; Revelation 2:26-27; Matthew 28:18.
God has allowed kings and royalty here on earth, and there is no one who cannot understand that the king's son is royalty, no matter what age. Who in today's world does not understand the position of Prince William to Prince Charles? No one has ever argued that Prince William is NOT royalty, entitled to the full respect of his position from those in his kingdom. Just because God, through His inspired Word, called Jesus His Son, it does not negate Jesus' royalty, deity, position, power, and authority, and it does not make Him inferior. Everyone in Jerusalem bowed to both King David and his son, Solomon.
There will be no agreement with Shamblin here, however. There can’t be.
Here’s where Gwen’s slippery evasion of dealing with the deity of Jesus Christ must again be exposed. Let’s take a look at her comment: “ ..if our God says to worship and bow down to His Son as well as Himself, we had best do it!” When Shamblin deals with the issue of worshipping Jesus, she seems to fail to remember the majestic self-revelation of the Yahweh found in Isaiah that has enormous import here. For all of her obsession with the Old Testament prophets, these are verses she apparently doesn’t touch (all taken from the New King James Version):
I am the Lord, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to carved images. Isaiah 42:8
Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord, And besides Me there is no savior. Isaiah 43:10-11
Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: 'I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God. And who can proclaim as I do? .. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one. Isaiah 44:6-8
I am the Lord, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me .. I am the Lord, and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.' ..
And there is no other God besides Me, a just God and a Savior; There is none besides Me. "Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself; The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, And shall not return, That to Me every knee shall bow, Every tongue shall take an oath. Isaiah 45:5-7, 21-23
Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me Isaiah 46:9
It is clear from these verses that there is no other God but God. There is no other Savior than He. There is no other Being in all creation like Him. His glory will not be shared with anyone else. Nothing can be clearer in this. Shamblin has emphatically taught that Jesus is not divine and not God in the flesh. So therefore, how can anyone worship Jesus in light of what Yahweh discloses of His exclusive claims to divinity? There is none like Him! Jesus cannot possibly receive glory and worship that is rightfully and totally meant to be devoted unto His Father alone. If we are to be consistent, such a concession of worship to Christ cannot be made. He is not the Savior. He is not the Rock. Yahweh is. And yet Gwen still stubbornly persists in her warped double standard here in her admonition for everyone to worship Jesus!
Philippians 3:20 is just one of innumerable New Testament verses calling Jesus the Savior we could cite but won’t. How could the Christian Church in the apostolic age get it so horribly wrong if only God Himself by His own self-revelation in the book of Isaiah is to be called that? Colossians 1:15-17 teaches that Jesus Himself created all existence itself, and that even before all existed, He stood supreme outside of time, space and even matter itself as the One who caused all things to come to be. Where did Paul get that? How dare he come up with such a fable if Yahweh himself “form(ed) the light and create(d) darkness”?
And previously in Philippians 2:9-10 - the portion of the chapter that Gwen never ventures into when she regularly rejects the Lordship of Jesus as being inferior to the Father – Paul quotes from the same passage in Isaiah we just quoted and for good reason. Look at the context he places it in:
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (NKJV)
The Yahweh who will have all bow humbly in adoration before Him and who will share His glory with no other will one day be once again adored as the One with “the name which is above every name.” And what is that name? It is Jesus Himself! This same Jesus will one day see every knee of humanity bow before Him and confess plainly that HE is LORD. When it is written that He has a name above every name, I am going to be trusting enough in God’s very Word that it means what it also says – that He is LORD, to the greater and ultimate glory of God the FATHER. In that timeless moment yet to come, all creation, bowing in utter humility before Him, will confess that God the Son is the Lord Almighty, sharing the same divine Lordship of God the Father. Glory, hallelujah, shouts this Pentecostal boy .. what a day that will be!
Now should such a Son be worshipped now as Lord and God Almighty by those of us who abide in the shadows of the last days who claim to know Him? Absolutely! So why then won’t Gwen or Remnant give glory to God through Christ if “it’s all about Him”? If Jesus Christ is the God Gwen Shamblin says we should worship, why does she teach and preach so very little about Him? In listening to webcasts and sermons by Gwen and her cadre of leaders, His glorious life and teaching are often heard to be nothing more than a scaffold for Gwen to stretch her own agenda upon. She quotes Christ as selectively as possible and boils His ministry down to just being an obedient example of submission meant to convict us enough to stay out of the refrigerator on late nights.
The next section of Gwen’s rhetoric is a hollow and wearisome exercise in deceptive double talk:
Jesus Christ is our God and Savior. See the Essence of God illustration. This is obvious.
No, in the fuzzy teaching of Gwen Shamblin, it is anything but obvious.
God is the Father, and Jesus respectfully calls YHWH his “God” over and over (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:35, John 20:17). Jesus has been given all authority over us, and so He has been made our God by God the Father. And what does Jesus command us to do? To obey God the Father and pray that His Kingdom come and that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus was given this position because He handled it correctly (Hebrews 5:7-10). The few references of Jesus as “God” to us do not force one to believe that Jesus is the Heavenly Father because, again, Jesus IS royalty, because ALL authority has been given to Him by the Father and every knee will bow to our God and Savior, Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:1). Therefore, Jesus is my Lord, my Savior, and my God.
We’ve discussed Gwen’s misinterpretation of Christ’s agonized cry upon the Cross as discussed in Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:35. John 20:17, which is a record of one of His post-resurrection appearances to Mary at the garden tomb.
Jesus said, ‘Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' (NIV).
Scripture has conclusively shown that Jesus is God the Son, no less divine and no less God than His Father. So what Shamblin yet again clumsily tries to imply here – that Jesus was made “our God by God” and that He was acknowledging this to Mary – cannot be what He meant.
The verse here should therefore be understood in the light of what we know about the dual nature of Jesus – as both God and man. This is the self-revelation of Christ Gwen completely rejects. An important detail that Gwen predictably overlooks is how specific Jesus was in saying what He did: He is ascending, He says, to “my Father .. my God”, not “our Father .. our God.” This is an important detail! What Jesus is reserving for Himself here is His unique preeminence, His incomparable position as the Son to the Father.
In saying this Jesus makes an intimate identification that all of His disciples can have with Him and His Father by the Spirit, a wonderful fellowship promised to all who will exercise faith in Him alone for salvation. This was what He promised in His final hours with the 12 apostles in John 14:23 "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (NIV).
But all of this is lost totally upon Gwen and Remnant Fellowship, whose fellowship with Jesus depends upon their body fat percentile, their attendance to Remnant functions and the unexpected visits of their “shepherds,” things I am certain were never in Jesus’ mind when ministering here on earth .. and in heaven. In fact, when Gwen claims out that Jesus was “given this position because He handled it correctly” (Hebrews 5:7-10), it is meant for Remnant members to see that Jesus couldn’t even be who He was if He didn’t “obey”, so they’d better “obey” as He did. The humanity of Jesus, which He kept in full submission to His Father, is what the writer of Hebrews speaks of but Shamblin misses this point completely, choosing to make the Bible revelation just another Bible whip to flagellate her flock with.
Gwen’s wearisome firestorm of rhetoric we’ve just examined now finally ends with a final flurry of Bible verses meant to be a slam-dunk of restored truth.
Please do not throw out the many references that say, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). What authority Jesus uses has been given to Him. Jesus Himself taught us how to pray to the Father: “…your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Jesus lived to give it all back to the Father, and His food truly was to do the will of the Father and to finish His work (John 4:34). Jesus lived out a sacrificial life to show us how to seek God the Father and His wishes first, and then everything else would be added to you.
So, what is the problem? Why would someone want to destroy what Jesus lived for – making God Almighty the Lord of All and teaching us to make God Sovereign?
Paul the apostle certainly had in mind the same thought that Jesus had when speaking of His Father as “his God”: it was a doxology of praise and glorification of the Father that both the apostle and His Master shared. Since the Scripture we have received through Paul’s divine revelation and insight is distinctly Trinitarian as we’ve seen, we will not elaborate any further here.
We no longer need to.
We find Gwen Shamblin concluding her long winded diatribe with a final reiteration of her central error, her obsession with telling us why Jesus really came .. not to die for our sins, but to be an example of totally obedient submission, which was so good that His Father decided to give Him the position of “being God” to us! How totally at odds this is with the Scriptures! The distinction between being an example for God and being God the Son is so sharp that it doesn’t merit any further discussion, but this is an important point we must not forget. Gwen’s obsession on “doing,” on “obedience” and on “submission” are the vitriolic verbs that propel her toxic religion. It contemptuously retools faith into works alone, an exercise of jumping through the hoops of Remnant righteousness so as to hope for salvation by application of “the message.”
What a horrible way to pervert Christian faith! God help this woman on that Day when she will stand and give account for herself! The sobering warning of James 3:1 (NIV) seems lost upon her:
Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers,
because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
To provide closure to this refutation, we will summarize what we have learned of Gwen Shamblin’s theology, note her errors and provide a few brief observations.
In spending the past 8 months focusing upon Shamblin’s “Essence Of God” document in an effort to not only refute but respond to it, we’ve learned that she has committed many a heretical error and resists any attempts to admonish her. These are listed as follows:
She denies the Trinity, believing in One God, but denying the deity of Christ without making clear who He is except being “the Son of God” and almost completely sweeping the person and work of the Spirit out of Christian life.
She denies the Incarnation of Christ as a disgusting, loathsome thing
She denies that faith alone in Christ is enough for salvation
She denies by default the Atonement of Christ at the Cross through her “total obedience” and “authority line” teachings.
She denies and even scorns the existence of the Body of Christ as an unclean thing, forsaking the very entity Jesus died for (Eph. 5:25)
What Gwen Shamblin has cunningly done in this document is to selectively spin Biblical truth to suit her theology and teaching. She switches between rounding corners off the truth claims of Scripture that threaten her biases and blur the distinctions between others as necessary. In her torrent of verbosity, aimed at an audience with hearts and minds already predisposed to listen to her due to the success of their weight loss, she has found many an open ear. By commending her slender, zealous, fashionably dressed “fellowship of the bling,” as I would call it, as the answer to the “counterfeit church,” Gwen’s cadence in her march to cultism was set.
And the sheer volume of shrill repetition, emotional argumentation, and blustering attack repeated again and again in all of those target audiences has produced for her just what she prophesied: a “remnant” who will stand fast against the lies of “the enemy.” The “Essence Of God” document was the proverbial line in the sand drawn for the Church. The subsequent mass Exodus Out Of Franklin showed to her that more people then she could imagine were aware of what was at stake. The seeds of Remnant cultism were sown in her rejection of the Trinity and this document makes that crystal clear.
Upon my witness of RF and it’s deceptive wiles in Gwen’s writing here, as a Christian and minister, I could not remain silent and passive as Shamblin pursues this evil enterprise for two main reasons: 1) my calling to help bring healing and wholeness to the abused people being torn apart by this abusive and cultic church and 2) my desire as a disciple of Jesus and a child of God to not only stand for the truth of Christianity but to contend for it – my Father’s name and His dear Son and my Savior are being insulted and lies told of them and my relationship to Them has been made into an exercise of carnal and blind groping. I will not stand for either of these – I cannot but stand and contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints, the Body of Christ (Jude 3).
And now that I have chosen to stand in the gap where precious few others seem to have dared to go and withstand these deceptive heresies, I am certain that to Gwen, I am now certainly twice the child of hell that I was before to her. After all, I am a Christian minister in the “counterfeit church” God was forsaking in 1999, if Gwen’s remnant mythology is to be believed. This fairy tale is one that I certainly reject and while Gwen may freely curse and belabor all who do so, she does so under a self-deception so black as to be seemingly impenetrable. She leads so many into their amen corner in Remnant’s cyberspace-driven universe into the same twisted mindset, refusing even to recognize those outside her group as having anything worthwhile to say to them.
What is worst of all is that the day will come when she and her members will, in some unspeakably dark moment, long to unburden themselves to someone who understands them but they will not know where to go. They will long for and desire help, but having burnt their relational bridges of openness to others by their own carnal rejection of friends and family, and filled with Remnant phobias and terrors against speaking outside their “authority line,” they will find themselves unable to reach out. They will be unable to realize how psychologically, socially and culturally cut off they have made themselves from those they know intuitively could be a source of help. And in not being able to find that, they will be forced to turn back within themselves and/or the Remnant hothouse and once again, submit themselves to further abuse, further warping, further damage – and further social distancing.
Only God’s Spirit and His Word can bring them out of that snare of deceit, and unfortunately, He will have to resort to using some disruptive, disturbing disaster from within and without her cultic circle of control to also speak to them. I believe those moments may be soon at hand. Much is going on in Remnant that cannot be discussed openly about those who are yearning for deliverance from its Judiazing legalism but find their family and economic situations binding them to the group. I do pray that above all of this that their passion for truth and freedom will lead them to do what they know they must – and that is to leave Remnant and turn to Christ while there is still time to truly change and truly know His Father with a wholesome, balanced and Biblical faith.
And where there is life, there is always hope. The prayers of thousands have been going up for the captives behind the “Zion Curtain” of Remnant’s deception and for those they seek to blind. We believe the deliverance is coming and when it comes, it will be a bold stroke of the power of God compelling a real exodus out of Franklin. It is our deepest prayer that those who we are certain will be leaving will not only realize the error of their ways but the truth, love, forgiveness and gracious acceptance of Christ Jesus Himself. If he could use frogs, hailstones and boils to speak to Egypt, He has no shortage of ways to speak to Remnant. We believe that He already is speaking among them already in ways we cannot discuss here. And I stand ready to help whoever I can come out from among them to help them hear again the call of the Savior in Matthew 11:28-30 to a place that has no room or need for anyone else:
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (NIV)
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