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man-god?

“Do people make their own gods? Yes, but they are not gods!” (Jeremiah 16:19-20)”

You have stumbled upon the blog of a former Messianic Jew Gene Shlomovich. I say “former” because there has been a dramatic change. After being a devout, unwavering, “born-again” believer in Jesus/Yeshua for almost 19 years (since my late teens), one who truly sought to love and serve Jesus as my G-d, my master and lord first through Evangelical Christianity (participating in overseas missions in Eastern Europe and South America for many years) then via “Messianic Judaism” (founding a sizable Messianic congregation), I came to a “rug-pulled-from-under-my-feet” realization. I’ve come to realize that I just could longer subscribe to a belief in Jesus/Yeshua as either Messiah, “L-rd”, “Savior”, “G-d in the flesh”, or even “simply” a prophet or a good teacher. As a Jew, I could not continue worshiping and serving another, a deified man Jesus, while remaining faithful to the G-d of Israel. I realize that for a Jew this was the gravest betrayal of the very G-d I so sought to honor most of my adult life. To honor as G-d someone other than the G-d of Israel Himself, a creature that was created by G-d or a “god” born out of human imagination, is idolatry.

I also came to understand that Jesus/Yeshua has no relevance to the Jewish faith or the Jewish people (apart from polemics and our relationship with Christianity). I am now simply just a Jew who seeks to observe G-d’s Torah and be faithful to the G-d of my fathers and the faith of my nation. As you might imagine, I did not come to this decision lightly – not at all. It was a very painful realization. And in case you are wondering how could this have happened, when I came to my understanding I have not read materials of, met with or spoken to anti-missionaries and no-one pressured me in any way. This is something that I came to on my own, by reexamining my faith from the ground up. I came to my decision after thoroughly and honestly comparing the claims of Christianity/Messianic Judaism vs. those of Judaism, their respective views on the nature of G-d, humanity’s sin and salvation against those expressed in the Tanakh. I studied historic origins and development of the Christian faith, the New Testament theology and cannon, Christianity’s use of the Hebrew scripture, Paul’s ideas and his profound influence on the new religion centered on a messianic figure. I compared all that to what is readily found in the Hebrew Bible. I reevaluated Yeshua’s (the “Prince of Peace” and the “Son of Man” of Christianity) claims to and eligibility for messiahship.

Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. (Psalm 146:3)

In the end, I came to my conclusion that to consider Jesus/Yeshua or any man, a mere creature, as divine, a deity, G-d-in-the-flesh, or even an emanation of G-d, and then to worship that creature, no matter how exalted it may be described to us, or even to “just” worship G-d through any creature, amounts to outright idolatry that our scriptures condemn. It’s a betrayal of the G-d of  Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to offer our adoration, devotion, worship and service due to G-d to a mortal man or anything else Hashem has created. This idolatry is not justified even if some groups of Jews in the first century, before that time or since, found worshiping of an exalted “man-god” perfectly acceptable to them or if it originated from within some first century Jewish group. It’s no more “Jewish” or “Judaism” than some ancient Jews worshiping Baal along-side Hashem or participating in any other sort of idolatry ancient Israelites were so prone to engage in.
G-d is not a man, that He should lie, or a son of man, that He should change his mind. (Numbers 23:19)

I also realized that it doesn’t matter if billions of very nice, kind people around the world sincerely honor, worship and serve Jesus as G-d, L-rd and Savior, or G-d through Jesus. It also does not matter if billions of Christians (and Muslims) consider Jesus to be the Messiah while considering Jews as deceived, wrong, blinded by G-d, in rebellion and uncomprehending of their own scriptures for the last two thousand years. Huge numbers of adherents to a particular religion (or world view) do not testify to the veracity of the claims made by that religion nor make its gods, theology or worship true, even if multitudes of people take comfort in that and believe that there’s safety in numbers.

But what does the Bible of the Jews have to say about that? Did the nations actually get it right by directing their worship at Jesus the man-god and did Israel fail by refusing to join them in bowing the knee to him? In the Hebrew Bible we read that the stubborn Jewish allegiance to their G-d and their refusal to worship anything but Him in the face of unceasing pressure and persecution will be exonerated and acknowledged by all:

To you (Hashem) shall the nations come from the ends of the earth and say: “Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies, worthless things in which there is no profit. Do people make their own gods? Yes, but they are not gods!” (Jeremiah 16:19-20)

And what about the end of days, when we are told to expect Jesus to make his comeback, when every knee is to bow to him (Philippians 2:10)? Will the Jewish people be ashamed and mourn their failure to believe in him, as many Christians fully expect, because they refused to worship Jesus as G-d or recognize his messiahship? Will Israel finally repent of her stubborn refusal to worship Christ? Will she acknowledge that the nations of the world had become the Israel of G-d through Jesus, the Son of G-d, G-d in the flesh, the Second Person of the Three-Person G-d of Christianity? Prophets say that the opposite will be true. All nations will stream to the Jewish people because the nations of the world will finally recognize that the true and only G-d, the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has always been with the Jews:

Thus saith the L-RD of hosts: In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold, out of all the languages of the nations, shall even take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying: We will go with you, for we have heard that G-d is with you. (Zechariah 8:23)

Friend, whether you were born a Jew or a Gentile, by worshiping Jesus and giving any human being the glory due to G-d alone you are committing a grave sin of idolatry, which is the worst offense against your Maker. When I finally realized that every time that I prayed to Jesus or in his name, every time that I thanked and praised that man, every time I depended on Jesus the human being for my salvation and forgiveness of my sins, I was committing idolatry, I was heartbroken. In my ignorance, I have been guilty of attributing G-d’s glory to a creature.

I am the L-RD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols. (Isaiah 42:8)

You may be asking yourself – what about all those millions of people who so faithfully follow and serve Jesus, all the multitudes who worship him – how can they all be so wrong?

Crowd Worshiping Jesus

I used to ask myself the same question. But then I realized that G-d was never about numbers. While the whole world degenerated into utter lawlessness, G-d chose Noah and his family because they knew Him. G-d also chose Israel, though it was the least of nations. Don’t be concerned that so much of humanity worships a man-god of their own making, or that the nations honor man Jesus as their deity and Savior, as “G-d incarnate”. Please, don’t let it sway you from returning to your Father in Heaven, from forsaking idolatry. One day the whole earth, all the nations will worship G-d and Him alone, but you don’t have to wait until then. You can make a choice whom you will serve this day.

Before Him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by Him as worthless and less than nothing. To whom, then, will you compare G-d? What image will you compare him to? (Isaiah 40:17-18)

If you have been taught by others to proclaim Jesus as your L-rd and Savior, please do not ignore the clear words of your Father in Heaven:

I, even I, am the L-RD, and apart from me there is no savior. (Isaiah 43:11)

If you have any questions or comments, you can contact me privately at jewishthoughts@gmail.com

Shalom,

Gene Shlomovich

13 Comments leave one →
  1. sarah permalink
    February 16, 2014 6:06 pm

    Hello Gene, I have seen postings by you when you were a Messianic. I see you have divested yourself of the idolatry related to that faith. Baruch HaShem that you have
    returned to Torah Judaism. May the Almighty bless you and yours, and help you
    lead our other lost brothers and sisters back to the one true G-d!

  2. February 16, 2014 8:27 pm

    Thank you, Sarah. May it be as you say and blessings to you as well!

  3. David Barnes permalink
    March 12, 2014 4:18 pm

    Hi Gene.

    I am a former evangelical Christian who, to the best of my ability, studies and practices the sheva mitzvot B’nei Noach.

    Recently I have watched some videos by an individual named Ariel Cohen Alloro. He is an Orthodox Jew with connections, apparently, to at least one very prominent Orthodox Rabbi in Israel. He claims that Jesus is Messiah Ben Joseph and the he discovered this by accident over a thirty year period of studying gematria, specifically as it relates to the Hebrew word “chen”/”grace”.

    I find what he says confusing but also compelling. I say confusing because, after having spent many years trying to overcome what I came to believe are the falsehoods of Christianity, I struggle with the fact that what he says makes a certain amount of sense. The problem of course, is that I simply do not possess the knowledge with which to evaluate much of what he says. He certainly seems humble and sincere as well as very knowledgeable.

    Due to the sensitivity of the issue, I have been reluctant to even bring up the name of Ariel Cohen Alloro, let alone discuss it, with those Rabbi’s I learn with.

    Therefore, because you have studied the issue of Christianity as it relates to Judaism in an obviously comprehensive way and being that you have also been on the journey of truth, which has led you back to Judaism, just as mine has led me to the Noahide understanding, I am seeking to know if you have heard of this individual or would be in any position to comment, now or in the future regarding his ideas.

    Thank you.

    David

  4. March 12, 2014 4:53 pm

    Hi David…. yes, I have looked into Ariel Cohen Alloro before, our of sheer curiosity, since so many Messianics and Christians (especially the Hebrew Roots kind) are promoting him and his teachings to the hilt – a fact that should give you a pause. One thing I know about him is that he started out as a secular Israeli Jew. Secondly, I don’t think that the man has ever been a rabbi (as many messianics claim online, touting his supposed credentials). He is a self-described musician and no scholar. When you listen to his interviews, he’s obsessed with proving Yeshu as Messiah from gematria. Who Alloro studied with it matters not at this point – I know of quite a few Messianic Jews in Israel who studied with mainstream Orthodox rabbis at one time or another. Besides that, from everything I learned about him, reading and listening to some of his teachings, I think that the man is a Christian (even if he doesn’t want to call himself that).

    Alloro wants to reconcile a false prophet whose actions (or that of his followers) led so many people away from the G-d of Israel to worship himself, a mere human being, whose teachings and actions of his followers have destroyed so many lives. He defends Trinity as a “Jewish” concept. He wants Jesus “retried” by a Jewish court and tries to raise $2 million for his project (as if any rabbis in their right mind would participate in such a spectacle). Well, Jesus can’t be retried by a beit din – all the witnesses (required in a Jewish court) are long dead, and whatever evidence we have of his trial (if there ever was one – the gospels give us conflicting accounts) was concocted by the writers of the New Testament to blame Jews for his demise and make Romans look like innocent bystanders (or in case of Pilate, defenders of Jesus). Of course, since Alloro’s star witness, Jesus, is supposed to be “alive”, may be he can drop in on the court in session!

    His tight association with and embrace of various Hebrew Roots groups, “Nazarines”, Two-House and assorted other loony and flaky people (Rico Cortes and Tzahi Shapira) and groups that seek his wisdom tells me that this guy is “out there”.

    Keep overcoming falsehoods!

  5. Torahmind770 permalink
    May 9, 2014 10:08 am

    I hope you know that Ariel Cohen Alorro, is very against christian missions to the Jewish people..So it’s really disrespectful to call him a christian.And just because he had talks and interviews with “various Hebrew Roots groups” does not mean that he supports them or their movements in a subtle way he’s telling him they’re wrong or they misunderstand some things about their own beliefs.

  6. May 9, 2014 10:17 am

    “So it’s really disrespectful to call him a christian.”

    Torahmind770, tell me, does Alorro believe that Jesus is the true Messiah? Does he believe in the veracity of the New Testament? If he does, then I think calling that man a Christian is quite appropriate. In the few videos with him that I watched, he even tried to explain the Trinity from a “Jewish” point of view. If he’s trying to tell the people who are seeking his wisdom (and publishing videos with him) that “they’re wrong”, he has not been doing a very good job.

  7. sarah permalink
    May 9, 2014 10:42 am

    I agree with Gene. The man is a Christian. Why is he so ashamed to call himself that?

  8. May 9, 2014 10:56 am

    From Arollo’s “Retrial” website:

    “both Jews and Christians have suffered beyond the pale of imagination because of the false trial that Yeshua endured. Over the centuries Jews have been slated as “Christ-killers” by millions of Christians because of what they believe was a “Jewish” trial that put Yeshua to the torture stake. Christians have suffered by being marginalized and demoralized by Jews who see Christians as Jew-haters, missionaries and evangelists determined to bring Judaism and the Jewish state of Israel to nothing.

    I think it’s unbelievable that Arollo has equated the suffering of Jews and Christians, in fact blaming Jews who refused to worship Jesus as god for “marginalizing and demoralizing Christians”, when it was Jews who have suffered directly at the hands of Christians, often with their very lives. (Of course, Arollo lays the blame chiefly on Jews for their “false trial” of Jesus). Does Arollo think that Christians didn’t hate the Jews, didn’t send missionaries to undermine Judaism (which they think is a ‘false religion” that’s keeping Jews in Satan’s grip?), that it is only Jewish imagination? I think that Jews would have wished that their treatment at the hands of their enemies ended with mere marginalization and demoralization, and not with the rivers of innocent blood.

    Has it occurred to Arollo that perhaps it wasn’t a “mistrial” at all, but that the NT’s description of how Jesus was tried and executed itself is false, fictionalized by the early Church evangelists who were writing conflicting accounts decades after the events, and doesn’t conform with what we know of history?

  9. Torahmind770 permalink
    May 9, 2014 3:48 pm

    Gene I respect you, but there is some things I don’t think you really understand and you overlooked some things I said. However, he’s very well aware of the christian persecution and missions to the Jewish people( like I said , he is totally against missionaries).

  10. May 9, 2014 3:59 pm

    Torahmind770, you seem to know Arollo better than I (I only know what I’ve learned of him by reading his articles and watching his interviews). Perhaps you can clarify some things for me and I would be quite willing to retract his identification as a “Christian”.

    Does Arollo:

    1. Believe that Jesus is the (or a) Messiah?
    2. Believe that New Testament is inspired by G-d?
    3. Believe that Jesus was born of a virgin?
    4. Believe that Jesus is (in whatever way) divine?
    5. Believe in a Trinity (however he perceives or explains it)?
    6. Believe that Jesus is coming back as the Messiah?
    7. Believe that Jesus’ sacrifice paid for world’s sin?

    Thanks!

    Gene

    BTW: Most Judaism-friendly Messianic Jews I know are also against missionaries (mostly Evangelicals who couldn’t care less about Judaism). At the same time, being a former “Messianic Jew” myself, I’ve since come to realize that I was a Christian of Jewish birth. This is because Judaism and Christianity are two very different worldviews, even if one derived itself from the other.

  11. Torahmind770 permalink
    May 9, 2014 10:14 pm

    How many videos of his did you watch and how many articles have you read?

  12. May 10, 2014 8:42 pm

    Enough. So, what about my questions?

  13. Concerned Reader permalink
    May 15, 2014 8:11 pm

    Gene, in answer to your questions.

    Does Arollo:

    1. Believe that Jesus is the (OR A) Messiah? A (one of many) Moshiach ben Yosef.

    2. Believe that New Testament is inspired by G-d? NO

    3. Believe that Jesus was born of a virgin? No

    4. Believe that Jesus is (in whatever way) divine? He seems to believe that Christianity has misunderstood kabbalistic concepts. He holds Yeshua as a tzaddik, who needs to be redeemed from Christian misunderstanding before he can be kosher.

    5. Believe in a Trinity (however he perceives or explains it)? Not unless you count the ten sefirot as indicative of a trinity, or Maimonides description of the Active intellect, or G-d as thinker, thinking, and thought, which I know you don’t. ;)

    6. Believe that Jesus is coming back as the Messiah? Maybe, he never says so.

    7. Believe that Jesus’ sacrifice paid for world’s sin? He talks about the issue of atonement through gematria, and likens the concept of Jesus “dying for sins” to the death of the righteous which produces repentance. There is no atonement of sins that you don’t repent of, even if you are a Christian. Ask any Catholic or Orthodox Christian if salvation is as easy as believing. So no, he and many many Christians do not treat Jesus’ death as a simple antidote for a sin disease. G-d’s standards of judgement can’t change. G-d judges everyone Christian or not, by how they live, not creed.

    Thanks!

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