Answering the Accusations against Tikkun #2

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.

“More than this, they claim in English abroad that they are inaugurating a “renewed apostolic era” which will be greater than that of the Apostles of the first century.”

**That is, they are not satisfied with being equal to the Apostles of the first century, but rather they claim that they will surpass them.

Aaron again gives his interpretation to our words, rather than trusting the authors who actually wrote them and those who have studied with Dan and Asher for decades. He is (in essence) stating that he is the expert on what we teach.

The idea that we in Tikkun are inaugurating a “renewed apostolic era” is preposterous. Tikkun cannot inaugurate or dictate anything apart from the will of God and the hand of God. This is not the language we use. If there is a coming restoration of the Church at the level of the book Acts (and I maintain that many nations are experiencing this, such as China and Nigeria), neither Tikkun, nor any other group can dictate its beginning. But Aaron purposely words it that way to make it seem that we think we have such power and authority—I assure you that we do not.

The goal is to make Tikkun look spooky or cultic—this is a tactic and it is dishonest. He puts words our mouths that we never uttered: “they are inaugurating a ‘renewed apostolic era’ which will be greater than that of the Apostles of the first century.” No one in Tikkun has ever claimed that we can bring about only that which God can. Yes, the obedience and prayers of his children play a role, but he words it as if we think it is just up to us.

Secondly, this is based on a video from Asher. He never says that Tikkun will birth a new apostolic age. He says that there are three fulfillments of Joel 2—God pouring out His Spirit. One in the book of Acts, one when any believer is touched by the Holy Spirit and one in the end times. Clearly, the fullness of Joel 2 was not fulfilled on Shavuot 2000 years ago. It culminates in:

the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls
    on the name of the Lord will be saved;
for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
    there will be deliverance,
    as the Lord has said. (Joel 2:31b-32)

You can disagree with our belief that the Scriptures prophesy an end-time outpouring, but do not put words in our mouths. No where in this video, which is cited as the place where Tikkun claims that we will birth a new apostolic age, can you find such language. His point is that the outpouring will not happen unless, “there is a remnant restored in the land of Israel.” In fact, the word “Tikkun” is not even in the video!

Again, nowhere does he say Tikkun leaders will surpass authority of the original 12 apostles. It borders on slander. Watch it! His point is that now that there is a saved remnant in Israel, the situation is right for an outpouring. But again, if we could manufacture the outpouring of God’s Spirit, we would have done it by now. It depends on God!

Asher has a chapter in his book Alignment called: The New Apostolic Age. If you read this chapter, nowhere does he say that we will have equal or greater authority than the original 12 apostles, but rather an era of revival, marked by (amongst other things) the formation of apostolic teams having a greater impact than what we read about in Acts – as Romans 11:12 clearly teaches. However, no one is going to write new Scripture or lay foundational New Testament doctrines that oppose the teaching of the first apostles.

The back cover of Asher’s book, Alignment says: “We are entering into a final transition age similar to the book of Acts. The apostolic and the apocalyptic are converging.”

Here the words, “similar to” should not be interpreted as “equal to or surpassing the authority of the apostles.” It simply means, as you will see below, that we believe that the end-time church will experience a greater outpouring than the early church. You are free to disagree, but these are not issues that should divide us.

Thirdly, his remark, “they are not satisfied with being equal to the Apostles of the first century, but rather they claim that they will surpass them,” is not only sarcastic and condescending; it is misleading. For those if you on the ZKN (Israeli national elders) list who know us, who have relationship with us, who sit on boards with us and hold conferences here in Israel together, have you ever felt that we saw our authority as surpassing the apostles? This is crazy talk!

He seems to think that we long to be as significant as the 12 apostles. We are serious students of theology. This has NOTHING to do with what we can achieve for ourselves. This has to do with seeking God, through the study of Scripture and prayer, as to what His end-time purposes are, and then seeking to align with them.

We can see in Scripture how wrong it is to fight over titles and positions as the disciples did—right up until the crucifixion. If Yeshua rebuked them harshly for seeking position and authority, how wrongful it would be to claim authority beyond the 12 apostles? We fear the Lord and would never claim such status. While we believe in the apostolic gift, it is meant to serve the body, not rule over it. “The greatest among you will be your servant.” (Matt. 23:11). Ministry is not about status but serving broken people and helping them to become whole.

Fourthly, there is nothing that we say or teach in English that we have not taught in our congregations in Israel, in Hebrew. This is a continued false accusation that we teach two doctrines to two audiences. It is 100% unverified. I understand why they may think it—because none of these accusers come to our congregations or the semi-weekly teachings at Revive Israel. How would they know what we teach in Hebrew?

Asher has taught several times a week in Hebrew the exact same thing that is sent out in the weekly Revive Israel newsletter. Most weeks, Asher develops a message or messages. He then teaches it in Hebrew at Revive Israel, and then it is sent out in English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, German, French, Spanish, Czech, Danish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch and Russian and others  … No, we are not hiding our doctrine.  

Five Clarifying Statements

Now, let’s ask the most important questions here: Does the Bible promise an end-times restoration? Does it promise an end-times revival? Is this an issue that we should split over? Now, my guess is that some would say yes, because they think we are claiming ‘super authority’ beyond the apostles for Tikkun leaders and we plan to lead the entire church world from Jerusalem.

So let’s start there. As Tikkun’s CEO, I categorically declare that:

  1. We will never possess authority equal to or surpassing that of the 12 apostles. We do not teach that now, nor have we ever, not in English or Hebrew or any other language.
  2. We do not see Tikkun leaders as having a role above other congregations and ministries here in Israel. In fact, we greatly enjoy partnering with other ministries in Israel with mutual love and respect, much like we are doing right now with the Shelanu cable TV Channel and website. Just yesterday we had strategy meeting with representatives from five different ministries on a joint outreach project.
  3. While we do teach that the “irrevocable call” to Israel, which Paul speaks of in Romans 11:29, is for both believing and unbelieving Israel and does mean that Messianic Jews have a unique calling, we do not see this calling as an issue of authority or hierarchal governmental, whereby Jewish believers are over non-Jewish believers. We are equal in Messiah. Aaron knows that we have cleared this up in numerous documents—but he refuses to believe us. You will not find one leader that we relate to around the world, who thinks that we think, they are under our authority.
  4. There will only be an ecclesiastical government from Jerusalem over the entire global Church when Yeshua establishes it after He returns. We agree with Yeshua’s prayer in John 17 that we will more and more become one, but that doesn’t mean we will all be in one denomination or network. You can have great unity without uniformity.
  5. We believe in the dual restoration of Israel and the church, and believe that both have already begun. However, they will reach their fullness only when Yeshua returns.

End-Times Revival

We base our belief on a last day’s awakening on several Scriptures. Keep in mind, we do believe that the Body of Messiah will be raptured “in a flash” at the coming of Messiah, “at the last trumpet,” (1 Cor. 15:52) not seven years before.

A favorite passage of many of our readers is Romans 11:26a: “and in this way all Israel will be saved.” Most people miss the first part “in this way.” In other words, there is series of events that take place leading up to national revival in Israel.

I wrote about this here.

  1. Israel receives the gospel. (Acts 2, 9:37ff, 21:20ff)
  2. The majority of Jews and the leadership reject the gospel. (by 70 CE)
  3. The gospel then goes to the nations (Acts 1:8, Acts 15) and Paul hopes that the nations will “provoke Israel to jealousy,” bringing many Jewish people back into the olive tree, from which the Jewish branches were broken off.
  4. Breaking from God’s plan, the international church turns against Israel for roughly 1,900 years, embracing replacement theology. (Paul warns of this potential and the judgment that will follow it in verses 17-23. He tells them that their ignorance of God’s plan for Israel in the end-times could lead to pride. “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery [regarding Israel], brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited…” v. 25a)
  5. Getting back on track as the Holy Spirit begins to open the eyes of the believers in the nations, they return to a biblical understanding and then seek to “provoke Israel to jealousy.” (v. 11) We have seen the beginning of this in our day, as more and more believers love and pray for Israel and are rejecting replacement theology.
  6. This leads to Israel’s acceptance of Yeshua (we in the Israeli body are evidence of this and we are seeing more every day) at some level in the end-times, causing what Paul called a “greater riches” revival in the nations: “How much greater riches will [Israel’s] full inclusion bring!” (Romans 11:12). Paul states clearly that if Israel’s rejection of Yeshua led to “riches” (Acts), then Israel’s acceptance would lead to “greater riches” or a revival greater than Acts. (Romans 11:12)
  7. This leads to the great evangelistic thrust that we see in Revelation 14:6, 14-16, that will cause the gospel to go to every nation (Matthew 24:14)
  8. At or just before the coming of Yeshua, an even greater full awakening comes to Israel, so great that people could say: “All Israel has been saved.” Israel will mourn for the Messiah she had rejected (Zechariah 12:10) and Jerusalem will find cleansing from her sin (Zechariah 13:1).
  9. Yeshua returns on a white horse (Revelation 19:11) to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:3-4) and becomes King of all the earth, where we celebrate the wedding supper of the Lamb, perhaps on Sukkot (since the nations are commanded to come at that time. (Zechariah 14:16)

[This is not to say, we have it all figured out. Rather it is more to say, this is our best hypothesis after studying Scripture. Just as many did not understand Yeshua’s first coming (even the prophets), we do not claim to understand everything about His return, though the New Testament gives us much more light on the subject.]

We know that the end-times church will reach (not save) every nation with the gospel (Matthew 24:14). We know that Yeshua will not come back until the orthodox Jews of Jerusalem recognize him (Matthew 23:39). We know that 144,000 Jews will be anointed on Mount Zion and be given a new song to sing (Revelation 14:1-5), and then will reap a great harvest of souls all over the earth (v. 6, 14-16). We see the church, through Great Tribulation and persecution come into deeper purity and holiness culminating in Revelation 19:6-8, where the bride of Yeshua is ready for him to return. For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.”

We also see two witnesses emerge in Jerusalem, so powerful that they drive the antichrist, who has just claimed to be God in the rebuilt temple (2 Thessalonians 2:4), and his forces out of Jerusalem. They prophesy and breath fire. Clearly, they, via technology, will proclaim Yeshua as the Messiah and many will believe. As well, many will scoff.

All these paint a picture of a global awakening. However, at the same time, there will be persecution, martyrdom, plagues, and a great falling away during the Great Tribulation.

So, yes, we believe there will be great revival; but, no, not apostles equal to or surpassing the original 12.

This article originally appeared on Tikkun International, February 18, 2020, and reposted with permission.

READ: Answering Allegations against Tikkun #1