the Spirit Watch
The Trinity Studies:
An Analysis Of Gwen Shamblin's "Essence Of God" Statement
Part 11: "Equal In Power"
by Rafael D. Martinez, Co-Director, Spiritwatch Ministries
EQUAL IN POWER
God does not give His position away, after testing Christ who is at His right hand. God does not deny Himself. If you claim to be a “Trinitarian”, then you support this “doctrine” which teaches that God and Jesus are one being--equal in power, substance and glory. Again, neither the concept or term of the word “god-head”, nor the concept or term of the word “trinity”, is found in the sacred scriptures. But, most of all, the concept of “equal in power” is a teaching straight from Hades. Jesus and God are one only in purpose: God rules. God made up the purpose and Jesus accepted it. We have been called to be one in purpose with Christ – that does not make us the same being. Jesus is the Son of God and He is Lord, Master and God of mankind. But, Jesus never took over the Father’s position, though tempted by Satan many times. Indeed, He is the Son sitting at God’s right hand while God is on the throne. Satan started early in the church to get rid of the precious authority line that would prove to be a strategic element to salvation by trying to make Jesus equal in power. Philippians Chapter 2, however, clearly lays out the truth which says, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped…“ (Philippians 2:5,6). Scripture cannot be broken. Jesus did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped or comprehended. You know it from this passage. You know it more by His actions, which speak louder than words.
After reading this document, this is perhaps the one paragraph that most concisely captures the heart and soul of Gwen Shamblin’s abusive heresy and her rejection of Biblical truth. It combines all of the elements of her false teaching, antitrinitarianism and authoritarian manipulation in one statement.
“The precious authority line” teaching that Shamblin now unabashedly is now exalted by her as “a strategic element to salvation.” Once more, we see irrefutable evidence that belief in her unbiblical tradition is necessary for salvation. One’s eternal destiny depends upon their acceptance of Shamblin’s view of the Godhead - that it doesn’t exist in Triune glory. To her the great temptation of Christ in the wilderness by Satan was to “take over the Father’s position,” or complete authority from Him. What she refuses to accept is that Jesus, as God the Son, standing in human incarnation had all the fullness of God Almighty within Himself – and still does. There wasn’t a divine Lordship to supposedly steal from His Father. It was already His!
We note here that Gwen Shamblin stresses her misinterpretation heavily here. She’s drawing a proverbial line in the sand and digging in on the hill of conviction that she intends to die upon. The “authority line” is the central truth of her religion, and the Trinity doctrine is clearly a direct threat to “the message” she preaches. And at this point, her twisted logic becomes crystal clear and the tone of her shrill argumentation hardens even further now. For she is certain that it is none other than Satan’s own direct influence in the early church that turned it astray from this truth, and led it into a fearful compromise with Greek philosophy to birth the monstrous 3 headed God of the Trinitarians.
Such a fanciful fable is, as always, put in its place when the light of Scripture is shone upon it. Listen to the words of Jesus’ testimony about Himself, His relationship to the Father and His almighty power He knew He already had:
“The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life -- only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father." John 10:17-18 (NIV)
Jesus explains that his will, acting in perfect and unbroken unity with His Father’s purposes, was plainly manifest in His Almighty authority and personal individuality. He conclusively asserts his divine power and autonomy as part of a perfect unity of will and purpose with His Father. In so doing, we see the glory of His identity as God Incarnate, a glory Shamblin hates with a furious passion. Jesus freely gave His human life up as the innocent Lamb of God to die for our sins and the grave would not hold him. It could not! Within Himself, He had full power and authority to “take it up again,” and as He said would happen, on the third day after His death, Jesus came forth from the grave radiating the glory that was always His since the eternal past, resplendent in His Father’s answer to his prayer of John 17:5 “glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”
It was the express will of God that this must happen for the perfect sacrifice of sin to be accomplished. Jesus simply carried out His Father’s will and He wasn’t just a passive victim to events His Father laid out. He purposefully came to conquer evil through His death on the Cross and declared that death could not hold Him. He would come out of the grave in the Resurrection, asserting His own authority. There can be fewer Biblical passages that so completely explain this than this. Gwen’s “god” called “Jesus” could never voice what the Biblical Jesus so majestically and sovereignly states. No mere human servant of God, no matter how consecrated and submissive they could be, could ever make that kind of statement of ultimate authority.
You couldn’t hear Gwen’s “Jesus” make that clear either, because he isn’t the Biblical Christ of infinite glory. The Bible teaches that Jesus is now forever incarnate in glorified human flesh as the Second Adam as Paul knew Him to be and described in 1 Corinthians 15. Look at the contrasts between the “first man” the created Adam and the “second man” who was God the Son, Jesus Christ, for they establish for us who the Biblical Jesus is.
The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. 1 Corinthians 15:47-49 (NIV)
The contrasts Paul draws out here are truly breathtaking. We see a comparison of Adam, who was “the first man” made of the very elements of the earth itself in the past, and Christ who shared the same nature as “the second man” whose origination was also “from heaven.” His origins were not of this world! This is yet another reference to the Incarnation of Jesus in His birth through his human mother, Mary. Our present human state is now embodied in physical nature the same way Adam and Christ had to endure it, as the “first” and “second” men in whom humanity was represented. One was under God’s judgment but the other was God’s redemptive agent of salvation. This perfectly balanced set of comparisons continues throughout this latter part of 1 Corinthians 15 and is perhaps the clearest Biblical teaching on the nature of our eternal salvation’s ultimate fulfillment.
But Paul further reveals that the glorified nature of Jesus Christ, “the man of heaven” is one shared with all of those “who are of heaven” – the spiritual estate of those who dwell or will dwell in heaven, namely the redeemed remnant of humanity who have given their lives to Him. And this reality is as much a present-state blessing as a future hope for those who have trusted His Son, the “second man” for their salvation. “Just as” they live in their frail human existence while on the earth inherited from “the first man”, they simultaneously are granted a spiritual unity that Paul describes as a “likeness” of the glory of Jesus Christ Himself, a glory that is “from heaven.” The only great difference is that we have not yet fully shared in that promised glorification of our earthly physicality. And the power and reign of the “second man,” our Lord Jesus, has been promised as one that shall soon enough become fully manifest in His soon coming Return in glory.
This is where Shamblin will again protest that “Jesus did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped or comprehended,” and draw this erroneous assumption from her misinterpretation of Philippians 2:5-11. We will now look at what that verse actually teaches. This has been a long time coming, and I’ve been waiting for a clear chance to exegete this Scripture since it is foundational to Shamblin’s heresy. This is by far one of her favorite proof texts that you will find more reiterated and restated again and again throughout the whole body of her teaching. So let’s examine what Philippians 2:5-11 actually means by first reading the text:
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (NIV)
Of all the verses in the Bible that Gwen Shamblin has sadly erred upon, this is probably one of the most critical misinterpretations she makes. Her reading of this passage led her to conclude that Christ’s submissive humility as he complied with the commands of His Father is proof that He was not equal with God. Therefore, when she states that He “did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped or comprehended,” she is banking this argument upon her own interpretation of Paul’s teaching shared in verse 6. She quotes it word for word from the NIV and teaches that this passage asserts the humility of Jesus so powerfully that He didn’t perceive Himself to be equal to His Father. Shamblin then goes on to find in the verses following what she believes is revelation that bolsters her belief in Jesus as simply a human “son of God” whose chief virtue is centered in his obedience and humility. Due to this, then, God’s honor and exaltation of His status is now such that all creation will bow – in heaven and earth – to glorify Him as Lord, and therefore glorify His Father.
So is Gwen Shamblin’s interpretation correct? Let’s examine what the passages of Scripture teach.
Verse 5 begins Paul’s teaching on Jesus, and from the start, it is Shamblin who characteristically misses his point here. “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus,” he says here and his thought continues in verse 6: “who being in very nature God ..” This is what the apostle is wanting us to understand first. He is emphasizing that Jesus’ essential nature as a living being is most certainly that of God Himself. Without trying to get too technical, the Greek construction of this portion of the verse leaves no room for Gwen to make the presumption she does here. The word “nature” in the original language is “morphe” and is stated by Paul as possessing the fullness of God’s essential attributes (“theou” in Greek is drawn from the root “theos” – this was brought out in our discussion of Gwen’s twisting of the word “Godhead” in part 8).
Hence, Paul is saying Jesus’ uttermost being is “in very nature” God!
Paul’s then goes on to explain that He voluntarily would not “grasp” or cling to His divinity in His Incarnation. One of the most beautiful truths of the Bible is now so completely explained. He who was God Almighty went on to make “himself nothing,” or as the Greek more completely explains “emptied” Himself of His glory to the degree that He could then simultaneously take on the “morphe” (or “nature”) of human flesh (“human likeness”) that being of a lowly slave.
Paul makes clear that Jesus, in some wondrous manner completely unknown then and since, embodied both frail humanity in His being at the time of His birth as well as His immortal divinity, albeit veiled and “emptied” in His human form. His humility and complete obedience to the divine mandate that He, the Father, and the Spirit had already determined for His earthly life was then lived so perfectly out before man and culminated in the death of Jesus on the Cross. God’s giving of “the name that is above every name” to Jesus is not an indication of His supremacy over Him, but simply a heralding of God’s glory as embodied in the glory Jesus reassumed after His death, burial and resurrection. That name was always His, but now fully manifest before all mankind as Jesus, the Lord Himself, and no longer veiled in heavenly glory. All creation shall bow at that matchless, marvelous name – including Gwen, Tedd, David and the whole “crew”.
So it’s important to understand that Paul taught that Jesus was not rejecting any identification of who He essentially is as God. The whole point of this revelation is to enable us to draw encouragement and exhortation to the standard of humility He walked in as a lowly carpenter’s son in the Jewish world of first century Palestine. With this context determined, we can see where the rest of the verses Paul, writing to the Philippian church, are meant to lead us: toward an exhortation to endurance as well as honesty and patience. This is what these verses actually mean
While Shamblin is certainly right in that we are indeed ordained as believers to walk in conformity to the purposes of God, she again tries hard to confuse the issue she raises here about unity with Him. Unlike her, Trinitarians don’t claim to be gods or god like beings when they seek to walk as Jesus does. We simply seek to follow His example, just as Paul and the rest of the testimony of Scripture enjoins us, in humility and lowliness of heart and mind.
The difference is that Gwen Shamblin and Remnant Fellowship, in their delusion, seem to imply that they have a divine immunity from weakness and failure simply because they are members of a sect headquartered thousands of miles and years away from the time of Paul and the apostles. We are all so thoroughly aware of the sinful carnality that is hidden in the amen corners of Remnant culture, of their jealously, lust, drunkenness, judgmentalism, hatred and carnal pursuit of earthly pleasures under the belief that because they are so “pure” that “all things” to them “are pure.”
They are still a people in need of a Savior – the great tragedy is that their religion has blinded them with a black light that compels them to save themselves by their starvation, sacrificial giving, and totally slavish attention and deference to Shamblin.
For centuries the scriptures talked of the coming Messiah who was referred to as “The Helper of Israel”. Saying that YHWH was also Jesus would always be the biggest question that outsiders would have for Catholicism for they could see no reference to this in the Word of God.
Why Shamblin insists on identifying the early Christian church as “Catholicism” is never fully explained here or in the rest of this document. She may be trying to use the term interchangeably with her views of “Babylon” or with a massively encroaching apostasy she saw the Church falling into. We’re not here to argue this point. The sense seems to be that she feels that what she characterizes as “Catholicism” is to blame for introducing the distasteful concept that Yahweh could be also conceived as Jesus Christ himself.
Again, the Jews would preach for centuries that God would send a Messiah or Savior for the people of Israel. God would say (through the Prophet Isaiah): “Here is my servant, [not “here is myself”] whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. …So do not fear, for I am with you; [not, “I am with myself”]; do not be dismayed, for I am your God [how clear can this get?]. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you,…declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 42:1; 41:10,13)
This is another tired rephrasal of Shamblin’s antitrinitarian barb against God “talking to Himself.” Yahweh, in these verses in Isaiah 42:1 and 41:10 and 13, is clearly speaking to someone other than Himself. 42:1 is a prophetic glimpse of the Father revealing to the prophet the then foretold ministry of His Son and 41:8 shows us that the ministry was to be first extended to Israel. While the context is indeed Messianic and a heralding witness to rebellious Israel during its apostacy just before the nation’s destruction, it’s not at all clear as to how Shamblin intends on this proving something to us about the Trinity. All she can do is once more play a word game with the pronouns here to emphasize her contempt for the Trinity doctrine, but I fail to see what substantial point she tried to make here. Frankly, after all the dodges we see in this document, I think it’s safe to assume that she doesn’t even knows what it is herself.
Clearly God was the God of Jesus, and God sent Jesus – not Himself - to earth. Jesus did not send God. 1 Corinthians 15:27 teaches: “For he ‘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.” So, Jesus was the firstborn over creation (Colossians 1:15), so He was there before the creation of the earth.
Shamblin, of course, is incorrect to persist in her folly of representing the Father as the God of Jesus: it’s amazing how for someone so bent on the “plain” truth presented she cannot see that the Father of Jesus is just that .. His FATHER!
In relation to man, He is “I Am” [before Abraham, I Am], and in relation to us, He is God, Lord, Messiah (John 1:41), and Father of all the First Born. This does not in any way minimize His relationship to His Father, in whom He claimed, “my food is to do the will of him who sent me [my Father] and to finish His work” (John 4:34). Jesus lived to please the Father; He did not live to please Himself! Jesus did not even begin to imply that He created God, or that God lived to please Him, or that God was equal to Him in position or power. These teachings are heretical and will be judged by God Almighty because they lead the sheep away from the true Jesus.
Arguing the point to the end, Shamblin’s determination to twist truth still is as relentless as ever. Not content with the plain sense of what the words “God”, “Lord,” and “Messiah” actually mean and rejecting the Triune context we know they are to be understood in, Shamblin still keeps standing them on their head and insists they mean something entirely different! Because we are human, she says, in some as yet still unspecified way Jesus is qualitatively on some higher level or plane of existence and is “in relation to us” “God, Lord, Messiah .. and Father of all the First Born.” We’ve already been here and “done that” and been over this ground before. She again waves a perfectly manicured finger at His obedience to the Father’s Will as proof of this. She implies redefinition of these words that completely avoids any identification with the Triune context they are meant to evoke. For lack of a better word, she “dethrones” the divinity implicit in all of them and claims this is how Jesus is “God, Lord, Messiah” in relationship to mankind. This is just plain madness.
I am willing to stake my own eternal soul on my own conviction that if there is any judgment to fall upon anyone, it will be Shamblin’s own formerly bouffanted head for willfully and intentionally rejecting the sound doctrine of God’s Triune self-revelation. This is God’s truth that the Church faithfully preserved even through its darkest hours of confusion, trial and turmoil, a divinely revealed insight she spurns and teaches others to do so. God help her on that day! She will stand before His throne and will be likely be very eternally and painfully surprised. Sadly, hundreds of people stand in dire peril at standing there, in turn, before Him to do so. It is our prayer that they wake up and smell the pizza: Jesus is God and Gwen is a false teacher.
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