Answering Allegations against Tikkun #1

Over the past two years, there have been a series of allegations against Tikkun leaders and our theology. Some of it we stand by—yes, we believe in the unique calling in Israel and the restoration of the church, but much of it is exaggerated. One of the more troubling accusations was that we say one thing to our audiences abroad and something else in Israel. This is categorically false. 

Thus, in these series of responses to some of the allegations, I wanted to post them both in English on all our platforms and in Hebrew—showing there is no truth to this claim.

Having said that, can I enlist you to pray? The enemy is seeking to rip apart the small body of believers here in Israel. Pray for breakthrough and true understanding! I believe we will see it. Thank you.

What follows are the words of a fellow leader in Israel against Tikkun. Below that is my response. The name Aaron is not the leader’s real name, as we are not seeking to embarrass anyone.

[Tikkun] claims in English that they are renewing or restoring the office of apostles in the fullness of its authority (“restoration” means “to reestablish the original”).

**Please note the authority of the Apostles in the first century was absolute and unchallengeable. (Matthew 18:18-20; 1 Thessalonians 2:6, 4:2)

AccusationUsing the word “restoration” is PROOF that we believe that modern day apostles will have equal or more authority than the 12 Apostles in the New Testament.

First, the word restoration is the word that Peter used to describe a time leading up to the return of Yeshua and the time after He returns. We did not invent it. Our understanding of this is that a season of restoration in the global body will take place. Many believe that it has already begun (maybe as far back as the reformation), but its fullness will only be seen after the Second Coming of the Lord. Others may believe that this is referring to only the time after He returns. It should not be a divisive issue.

Heaven must receive [Yeshua] until the time comes for God to restore everything, as He promised long ago through His holy prophets. (Acts 3:21)

The Apostles used this word from their understanding of Old Testament prophecy, when they asked about the restoration of Israel.

“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6)

The restoration of Israel has already begun (1948, 1967) but will only come into its fullness after Yeshua returns. It is the same with the restoration of the church.

However, if Aaron is going to claim that we believe we will possess equal or greater authority than the 12, he will need a little more evidence besides the fact that we use the same word Peter used: restore. Particularly when we’ve said PUBLICLY, not just on the ZKN (Israel Elders Email Network), that we do not believe apostles today are equal to the 12. As I said the other day, there are apostles of the Messiah/the Lamb (Revelation 21:14) and apostles in the congregations. We do not believe that God is restoring the apostolic gift at the level of the 12, but as a normative function in the congregation according to Ephesians 4:11-16.

This is Dan Juster in 1982 (in English):

“The eyewitness apostles were the foundational leaders and teachers who gave us the Scriptures.  They cannot be superseded.  Therefore, all later teaching and ministry must be judged and tested by the Scriptures, which are the product of the first apostles.  Today’s apostles cannot lay doctrinal foundations with equal authority to that of the first apostles.”

Asher Intrater, in a public video, says:

“It says in Revelation 21 that there are 12 apostles of the Lamb, so we don’t think anyone else is going to be one of the 12 apostles of the LambWe are not claiming that someone else can be on the level of those 12. No one else is going to be in that group, certainly not one of us.”

Second, we do not claim that we are renewing anythingGod is doing it according to His word. We are not “inaugurating a renewed apostolic era which will be greater than that of the Apostles of the first century” (those are Aaron’s words, not a quote from Tikkun leaders). Rather, we are trusting that God will fulfill His word to pour out His Spirit on all flesh and bring forth the “greater riches” revival that Paul speaks of in Romans 11:12. We believe that God will send evangelists and apostles to spread the gospel to every nation, just as Yeshua said in Matthew 24:14: “This Good News of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

So, Yeshua says that before He returns the gospel will be preached in every nation. For some reason, our critics think we are focused on human effort. Aaron constantly uses exaggerated language that we do not use, “Tikkun is going to inaugurate…” or “Tikkun is going to restore…” to make claims that we somehow think we have power in and of ourselves to birth a new era. We have no power to do such things. If God doesn’t do it, no one else can or will! This does not depend upon Tikkun or anyone else; it depends on God. We are simply seeking to obey God.

But, who do you think is going to fulfill the great commission? Who is going to preach the gospel in all nations? People will.

“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?” (Romans 10:14-15a)

So, yes, we (all) do have a role to play and there are actions that we can take that will speed up the coming of Yeshua, as Peter said, “You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed (speudontas: hasten, speed upits coming.” (2 Peter 3:11-12) And, yes, there are actions of obedience that we can all take. But, no, Tikkun has no power to “inaugurate a renewed apostolic era.” Only God, through His Holy Spirit, can do such things through His global congregation.

Third, NO ONE in Tikkun ever written that we will surpass the original 12 Apostles. NO ONE!! This is Aaron, acting as if he were a lawyer, building a case by piecing words to together like a skilled prosecutor. “They use the word ‘restore’, and that means to its originality, so ‘clearly’ they are claiming to be the new 12…or even beyond.” (my paraphrase.) This is called making a straw-man argument: Claim that Tikkun believes something outrageous and then disprove it, and you win an easy victory.

No friends, we should be looking for truth; not using straw-man arguments and building legal cases against each other by assuming meanings that were never intended. In truth, we have actually said just the opposite very clearly to all audiences, as evidenced above.

Final Statement

So to be clear, to all audiences, let me say that we believe in all five Ephesians 4:11 gifts, including apostles in the congregations, but we do not see that as equal to, and certainly not surpassing, the original 12 disciples or Paul. We see it as a normative overseeing position in the church. Apostles are submitted to the team they lead and do not possess some “super” authority that makes them unquestionable. We see a difference between the 12 apostles who wrote Scripture and established the key foundational New Testament doctrines and the apostolic gift that works with the other four gifts (prophets, evangelist, pastor and teacher) to “equip the saints for works of ministry.” We believe that the New Testament emphasizes the importance of team ministry, versus, the lone ranger, superstar model.

This article originally appeared on Tikkun International, February 12, 2020, and reposted with permission.

READ: Answering the Accusations against Tikkun #2