the Spirit Watch
The Trinity Studies:
An Analysis Of Gwen Shamblin's "Essence Of God" Statement
A Prologue To The Studies
by Rafael D. Martinez, Co-Director, Spiritwatch Ministries
The nature of God Himself is the most sacred thing we as His creation can contemplate. It is what has enabled us to become what He has ordained in His Son Jesus Christ for us to become - the Body of Christ over which His Son is our Head. What a precious privilege we have to seek to know this wonderful Lord! But who among us can know and understand who He is in all of His infinite glory? There are those religious cranks among us who historically and stubbornly proclaim their full grasp of His infinitude through some claimed direct revelation. Yet for all of its religiosity and cultural diversity, humanity in and of itself has never truly seen its Creator as He is. apart from His self-revelation we find in Scripture. While we can behold His handiwork in creation and in the faint echoes of His image found in humanity today, we are still totally reliant upon His ability to impart to us understanding of His majesty and glory.
It is the Father who is always ahead of us, always working to reveal himself long before we ever expressed the desire to do so. As the observation A.W. Tozer wrote years ago about God's interactions with humanity would so rightly say: "He is always previous." So that God alone receives the glory when we come to Him, we are given merciful space whenever we become aware of His claims on our lives .. and His love and concern for us. Jesus in Matthew 11:27 (KJV) elaborated on this great truth when he reminded of us of both His Sovereign Lordship over how we come to know God:
"All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him."
Only through His divine power can our minds somehow grasp a self-disclosure of Him He makes it possible for us understand. And the Bible makes clear that it is in Jesus Christ that we come to see God Himself, God Incarnate, God the Son. If we will know who God is, He will be seen in His Son. This is the great theme of the Bible itself, best summarized in the verses of Hebrews 1:1-3:
"God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds, who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High."(NKJV)
The writer of Hebrews reminds us that God's supreme revelation of His person and purposes for us is found only in the life, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. It is in the person and mission of the Lord Jesus Christ that we've received the greatest manifestation of God's glory: "In the beginning was the Word .. and the Word was God .. and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:1, NKJV). In the person of Jesus Christ, we see embodied in human flesh One whose very existence was both an embodiment of His Father's will as well as His own unique and personal Sonship.
In becoming a son of man, the Son of God has become brought divine light to millions across two millennia.
How many of us can testify to knowing this! We've come to most fully understand God though knowing Christ - we've come to love, adore and worship Him most perfectly as we seek to conform our rebellious lives to the cross of His Son, and in so dying to self, living anew. As Michael Card in his wonderful musical trilogy about the life of Christ sang years ago: "His final Word was Jesus: He needed no other one." It is our privilege as disciples of Jesus Christ to gain knowledge of God Himself by beholding and dwelling and abiding in Christ our Savior.
And now God's glorious presence in Jesus is now extended to us so through the divine visitation of the Spirit of God Himself. While much of the work of God the Spirit is revealed in Scripture through the miracles and oracles of ancient Bible times, we've also been long ago reminded of God's desire to overshadow humanity with presence in a far more personal, real-time way. A profoundly transforming encounter of man with God within the depths of the human spirit is what brings us into the deepest and richest relationship possible with Him this side of heaven.
This is the heritage of every Christian believer and the grand object of our Lord's greatest desire .. that humanity might aspire to live in and abide in communion with Him. So to do so, as Jesus Christ prophesied, God's Spirit was sent to the entrances of our hearts so that we might come into a living, wonderful and experiential fellowship with God and His Son. It is through the Spirit that the Son is revealed by the Father and this great unveiling of His glory occurs in the deepest recesses of the human heart, in the context of a personal relationship spoken of in the most intimate way possible.
This is a concise attempt to briefly describe the nature of God as He has revealed Himself to us through the pages of Scripture. The act of attempting to describe His divine nature is nothing to be taken lightly and the Bible is clear on this point as well. In those blessed pages, God is revealed as Father, Son and Spirit in a perfect unity that has forever been seeking, pursuing, enlightening and transforming us. There is not just a unity of purpose and will but a very real unity of their divine essence and being as the One True God, yet all the while existing as three divine personalities equal in power, authority and glory.
The essential difference is their self-revealed distinctions between God the Father and God the Son who we know as Jesus Christ as well as God the Spirit. This is not my theological sleight of hand, but a glimpse into the majesty of God Almighty as He has revealed it to us, long before I was alive and long after I am gone. All I have written here is my feeble attempt to concisely describe what we have come to know of God in His Three Persons. In humility, yet in absolute faith that will not be moved, I declare unto you these truths so that we may be introduced to the doctrine of the Trinity, which teaches precisely what I have shared above.
We are now start a series of studies on the doctrine of the Trinity, the Triune nature of God as He has revealed himself to us, and how it has been twisted and perverted by the cunning fables of Gwen Shamblin's false teaching. I will seek to address the doctrinal and practical issues Shamblin raises in her antitrinitarian discourse entitled "The Essence Of God" found on the Remnant Fellowship website and referenced heavily throughout her Remnant Fellowship handbook. We will tackle brick by brick each of the several sections, depending on their size, in each post and directly respond to the claims and assertions Shamblin makes there. This will take us into and out of all kinds of things other than straightforward Bible study. We will study church history, a bit of philosophy, and the logical fallacies riddled throughout her writing.
I am doing this so that we may recognize Gwen Shamblin's perversion of the Christian Gospel at its worst - and understand that while no heretic is bereft of all truth that what they leave behind are shadowy wisps used to cloak their own false doctrinal claims. It is my prayer that those of you who have found Shamblin's twisting of the doctrine of God deeply affective will begin to see the Biblical and practical reality of our historic understanding of God.
Sola Deo Gloria!
Rev. Rafael D Martinez
1 October 2005
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