Refining Fire?

A Heretical Group Based on the Spriit of Error, Ignorance, Charlatanism & a Most Absurd Stupidity

By Jacob Prasch

Moriel has warned of various hyper-Messianic type groups with heretical Christologies (including Neo- Ebionism) and legalism placing even non-Jews under a Mosaic law that is fulfilled in Christ and no longer even biblically operative since 70AD. This is not, of course, to negate the freedom in Christ for believing Jews to maintain cultural observances electively nor does it negate the importance of all believers comprehending the Hebraic origins of biblical Christianity and of both Testaments, nor of being aware of the prophetic purposes of God for Israel and the Jews and of the serious error of replacement theology.

Among the more ludicrous of these groups is the “Sacred Name Movement” and the “Two House Movement”. Most biblically grounded people describe these groups as cult-like or merely as cults with crazed megalomaniac leaders driven by schismatic, erroneous beliefs. This is the Greek New Testament definition of a heretic having its Hebrew equivalent in the term kopher.

Perhaps the most hideous of these groups, however, is the so-called “Refining Fire” organization about whom we have been repeatedly contacted, fronted by a rather ridiculous woman who calls herself “an ordained rabbi” going by the name of “Shali Bat Yehudit”. (Some might be curious to know if this is her real original legal name, which is most probably not likely.)

This in itself is, of course, completely absurd as not only is New Testament congregational leadership clearly established as male, but even in Talmudic Judaism the notion of a female rabbi would be scorned by Orthodox Jews. Liberal and Reformed congregations have female rabbis but these, too, would dismiss a supposed believer in Jesus claiming to be a female rabbi as utterly laughable as would any thinking person. In any case, there is no such thing as a rabbi in Torah, and a rabbi in the First Temple Period in the days of Yeshua comprised a very different office and function than it does now. Rabbinic Judaism itself was not even instituted until the Council of Yavne after the events of 70 AD predicted by Daniel and Yeshua when the Levitical Judaism proscribed in Torah could no longer be ritually observed. There is no basis in either Testament for a female rabbi let alone a supposedly Messianic one who claims faith in Yeshua. Yet this is the kind of folly we find in this absurd cult.

The biblical illiteracy of this cult is its defining characteristic:

  • This cult assertively denies “One God in Three Persons” (akin to the Peter Michas cult) and like the Jehovah’s Witness cult denies the personhood of the Holy Spirit. At his martyrdom Stephen saw Jesus at the right hand of the Father, and Jesus plainly spoke of the Holy Spirit as a Person (only a person with personhood and personality can be blasphemed or grieved).
  • This cult also denies the divine possibility of indwelling of the Holy Spirit in flagrant disregard of New Testament doctrine.
  • Disturbingly they employ the Gnostioc term “emanations” in addressing biblical texts that support a pluralitry in the Godhead. They may or may not realize that this Gnostic terminology is, of course, used in Caballah (mystical Judaism) and is found in the Zohar to describe the attributes of Ha Shem as the “En Soph” (the Gnostic concept which is also held by some New Age theosophists).
  • Absurdly this group claims that the Patriarchs and others were Torah-observant before the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai. Obviously they have no rationale, let alone scriptural compass for their crazy cultic beliefs.
  • This group also takes radical exception to any reference to the God of Israel as “God” instead of exclusively as YHWH as being blasphemous. They are obviously too ignorant to know that more than 60 times the Old Testament alone does just that, usually with the term “Elohecha” (e.g., Leviticus 2:13).

All of their claims (which they somehow imagine to be theological arguments) are punctuated by blatant errors (e.g., calling the Hebrew letters “Yod” and “Vav” as “yud” and “stroke”‘). One should either use the Hebrew “Yod” and “vav” or “yod” and “tav” (which they do not appear to know) or just stick to the translational “jot” and “tittle”, not mixing two languages. It leaves one to wonder how well they know the former or how badly the latter.

This group also attempts to make some capital of the fact the term “Jew” came only from the tribe of Judah and that Abraham was not a Jew. They seem unaware of the scriptural fact that in the post-Captivity period Scripture shows that “Jew” became an all-encompassing term (e.g., Ezra 4:23-23). Although from the tribe of Benjamin Esther, Mordechai and Paul the Apostle are all referred to as Jews in scripture and Abraham is called the father of the Jews by Yeshua in John 8.

These people have a “spirit of error”. The heretical beliefs of this group are seriously demonic. The only “fire” they have is not that which refines but is rather the kind which originates from the pit of hell. The ignorance and biblical illiteracy of their female rabbi, however, can only be relegated to the status of a joke. There is no euphemism for pure mirth.

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