Answering the Accusations against Tikkun #3

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This is the third of five responses to accusations against Tikkun and our theology here in Israel. This one is the most bizarre of all, saying that we want to RULE the ENTIRE Church from Jerusalem, like in Acts 15. We would have preferred not to respond publicly, but the accuser makes the false claim that we preach one thing in English (a radical version) and another thing in Hebrew(Tikkun lite, if you will)…so as not to let people in Israel now of our true intentions of “Global domination”. It seemed the only way to dispel this rumor was to share with you, how we responded to the Israeli National Leaders network.

(They also accuse of being hyper-dominionists, who believe that believers will win everyone to Yeshua before He returns and take over all political institutions, so, I guess we will not just rule the Church, but the whole world!!!)

“They claim in English abroad that the ‘Council of Jewish apostles in Jerusalem’ which will be restored will bear an authority which will require all the congregations in the Land and in the world to “align” themselves with it (that is, to recognize its authority to decide issues relating to theological teaching and practice, just as in Acts 15) – and they are working to realize this goal.

**Please note that the Apostles who participated in the Council of “Apostles and elders” in Jerusalem in Acts 15 were the 12 Apostles themselves and not some group of wannabe ‘apostles’ of some lesser type. This is the original Apostolic council which they want to “restore” – in other words, with the same authority as the original.”

I have to say, this is the most outlandish of the accusations—almost laughable. It is so silly. Our team will govern the worldwide body of Messiah? It is ridiculous!

But Aaron does something very dishonest in most of these accusations. He assumes his first ridiculous accusation is true (thought we have denied them and clarified them for two years)—that we want to have an Acts 15 council of Jewish apostles that will have authority over the entire church. And then based on that “fact” he takes it further, to say that this is proof that we want to have the same authority as the original 12. But the first part is not true, therefore his hypothesis is faulty. This is how a prosecutor acts, not an honest theologian.

So I am clear, we do believe that God is restoring apostolic teams to the body. Asher wrote: “The restoration of apostolic- prophetic teams in Israel represents a partial restoration of the ministry of the original apostles of the first century. That restoration is a key element of right alignment and spiritual government for the greater body of Messiah.”

What does he mean by partial? Very simply, the Ephesians 4:11 apostle is a governmental position in congregations. The part that is not restored is that which was only for the 12 first apostles who are mentioned in Revelation 21—they will not write new scripture. The part that is restored is what we see in the book of Acts, namely apostolic teams working together. Acts 15 is a great example that.

For instance, what do you think is healthier? An independent congregation led by a leader with insecurities, who is not accountable, and shares no authority with anyone else. Or, a team of leaders who are accountable to each other, healed emotionally and submitted. That congregation is part of a network, whereby there are apostolic leaders who together serve, support and strengthen those congregations. If there is an issue of immorality, sin, abuse or false teaching in one of the congregations, the apostolic team can deal with it. In independent congregations without a plurality of leaders, there is often no due process for congregants.

Apostolic leaders from many different networks and locations should walk in unity each. This is good thing. And yes, there is something prophetic about that which went out from Jerusalem returning to Jerusalem. But no, not that one small group of Jewish leaders will have some type of mystical super-authority over the entire body. We do not teach this.

When Asher wrote of a place of leadership in the body of believers, one of the accusers literally changed his words, and then presented it, not only to believers in Israel, but leaders in other countries.

Asher: The time has come for the Messianic remnant of Israel to take a place of leadership in the greater Body of Messiah worldwide.

Accuser paraphrasesWhen the Messianic Jews take the leadership over the Body of Messiah worldwide.

There is a HUGE difference between taking up a place of leadership and taking the leadership over the Body of Messiah! Amazingly, this brother sent this out even after he was corrected, seeking to discredit Tikkun. Friends, we have to be more honest in our dealings with each other. The is outright deceit.

First, The people in Acts 15 were not merely the first 12 apostles (as Aaron points out). Paul and Barnabas were there and gave convincing testimony. Pharisaical believers were there (Acts 15:5). James (Jacob in Hebrew) was not one of the twelve; this James was the brother of the Lord, who only came to faith after Yeshua’s resurrection. (James, the brother of John, had already been martyred. [Acts 12]). Despite not being one of the 12, he penned Scripture and is clearly the senior apostle in Acts 15 and Acts 21 in Jerusalem. So, while the original 12 are unique, it would not be correct to say they were the only apostolic leaders at the time.

“The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. (v.12)…Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church (v. 22).”

While Luke says only that the apostles and elders met to consider these questions, his mention of “the whole assembly” in v.12 and “the whole church” in v.22 shows that other members of the congregation were also present. The discussion was undoubtedly heated, but Luke centers on its Pauline aspect. (Expositor’s Bible Commentary)

“The whole assembly” and “whole church” gives the idea that this was not a small group of just 11 apostles and a few elders. It could possibly have been a hundred people or more.

Second, Once again, there is NOTHING that we teach in English that we do not teach in Hebrew. Aaron doesn’t visit our congregations nor does he attend other ministry events of our in Israel. Like most of you, our media footprint is lighter in Hebrew than in English, but everyone in our congregations knows what we believe. Everything that is in English is on the Internet and is easily accessible to the massive number of English speakers in Israel. We are hiding nothing.

There is nothing sinister about ministering in English. But that is how Aaron presents it, in order to build a case against Tikkun. He wants you to think that we have some plan like Arafat, who spoke against terrorism in English, while he encouraged it in Arabic. This is simply not true on any level! It is actually character assassination, as he is clearly calling us dishonest and misleading. We would have to be extremely fraudulent and corrupt to engage in such behavior. Why would we use trickery to promote the will of God? Does God need our help? Of course not.

Third, Asher Intrater has written in Alignment regarding Acts 15 and said this:

Pg. 111 We look to the Acts 15 council as a biblical example and pattern of how senior leaders can meet and submit one to another. We are not claiming to be “the” Jerusalem Council.We are saying that senior leaders should meet together at least once a year for mutual relational commitment and accountability.

Pg. 112 The testimony that we have at Tikkun Ministries of almost forty years of leaders walking in covenant, cooperation and mutual accountability provides a basis for trust, safety and stability that has been a blessing to many. We are just one of many streams, but we seek to pattern our senior leadership after the model of the Acts 15 council.Right authority and alignment in the New Covenant is that the senior leaders will meet periodically in an atmosphere of mutual submission

(This has been taken out of context. Acts 15 is an example of cooperative team leadership. When we say it is our pattern, it is not because of the location, but the mutual trust between leaders—that is what we copy.)

Acts 15 has given us a beautiful picture of how God expects us, as leaders, to work through difficult issues. They were not building an organization, but were bringing together key international and local Israeli leaders to:

  • Build trust and relationships
  • Pray to hear God together
  • Share encouraging testimonies with each other, though these testimonies were specifically connected something that completely changed the makeup of the ecelssia to include Gentiles.
  • Discuss and debate difficult issues:
    • Jew / Gentile relations
    • Ecclesia and eschatology
    • Law & grace
    • Authority spheres & spiritual influence
    • Publish position paper(s)

Acts 15 is a model for team leadership, but the key difference is that they had authority over the entire body. So, their “position paper” on Gentiles and worship, was binding. This was before the New Testament was written. As stated in the other blogs, we do not see the possibility of an authoritative Acts 15 council being formed in Jerusalem by Tikkun or anyone else, because the global ecclesia is far too diverse. No one has the authority to demand submission on that level except Yeshua.

We have explained this over and over again to members of the subcommittee. I think that some clearly understand that we, despite some unfortunate misstatements (out of thousands of hours of teaching), have clarified THAT WE DO NOT TEACH THIS. Tikkun only has authority where it is given, just like the Southern Baptist Convention has no authority over an Assembly of God church. You can’t just inform a group of people that they are now under your authority. We are absolutely not seeking to reestablish the Acts 15 council. We are absolutely not seeking any type of authority in congregations that do not willfully join with us. Even then, the ultimate authority in each congregation is not the apostolic leadership, but the local eldership.

Crazy Talk!

Let’s take this absurdity a little further. How, Aaron, do you suppose that we “will require all the congregations in the Land and in the world to align themselves with [the Tikkun Acts 15 Council]’”? Who will infirm them that they are now under our authority?

By this, Aaron’s inference is that all congregations would “recognize [Tikkun’s] authority to decide issues relating to theological teaching and practice, just as in Acts 15.” How? There are genuine questions that have come up in the past two years and we have sought to clarify, but this is a “hat of tin foil on your head” type of conspiracy theory. But Aaron is not finished. He warns, “and they are working to realize this goal.”

We are? How are we doing that? Please explain the actions we are taking to “realize this goal” of taking over the entire church, worldwide? Clearly, despite being the CEO of Tikkun, Asher, Dan and Eitan have been holding out on me.

Or, is it just Dan (at age 73), Eitan (at age 71) and Asher (at age 67) who will accomplish this without our knowledge? There is not ONE PERSON in Tikkun Israel who believes this is what Tikkun stands for. I challenge you to poll every pastor and elder, nearly 25 Israelis, who connect with Tikkun in Israel, and ask them if they ever thought this was our goal. Where is the worldwide takeover expressed on our website?

We believe (from our English website):

  • In the divinity of Yeshua and the absolute authority of Scripture (John 1:1-3).
  • The Good News must go forth once again from Israel to the Nations (Isaiah 2:2-4).
  • In the gifts of the Holy Spirit; they are essential for ministry impact (1 Corinthians 12).
  • Jewish believers are still called to live as Jews. This is part of what Paul refers to as “the irrevocable call” (Romans 11:29).
  • God calls leaders to walk together in covenantal relationships of loyalty, morality and integrity (Acts 13:1-3).
  • God calls us to work together in five-fold ministry teams, where all of the ministry gifts are expressed: apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher (Ephesians 4:11-13).
  • Yeshua’s prayer in John 17 for unity among all true believers will come to pass.

Do you see anything in all of that about aspiring to recreate an Acts 15 council? The answer is no. And yet, you claim this is what we tell our English-speaking audiences.

You would think with such an ambitious agenda, people, other than you, Aaron, would know about it. Not only do our leaders around the world not know about it, but our ministry partners from the US, Brazil, Japan, China, South Korea, France, and Africa have no idea concerning the “global agenda” that you ascribe to us. None of our precious partners and supporters think this is our plan.

And despite explaining to you in writing over and over again for two years that this is not our agenda, and seeking clarify our message, you more or less discount our words as lies and still maintain, that “they are working to realize this goal,” of ruling the entire of Body of believers.

ALIGNMENT

Alignment means to:

place or arrange (things) in a straight line.
Similar: line up, arrange in line, put in order
give support to (a person, organization, or cause).
“newspapers usually align themselves with certain political parties”

Alignment has nothing to do with authority.

Alignment: “Global alignment has to do with right relationships for true Christians around the world and for the Messianic remnant of Israel in order to be ready for the 2nd coming of Yeshua (Jesus). Alignment is submitting to God’s orderand prepares us for establishing His Kingdom on earth.”

It has NOTHING to do with Gentiles submitting to the authority of Messianic Jews, but rather with recognizing certain truths that seemed hidden for 1,900 years in regards to God and Israel. Paul warned the Roman church of dire consequences, should they reject Israel. He starts Romans 11 by making it clear that God has not rejected Israel:

I ask then: Did God reject his people (Israel)? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin … Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.” (Romans 11:1, 11)

He then tells them that being arrogant against the broken off Jewish branches could result in them being broken off as well:

You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. (Romans 11:19-22)

He tells them in Romans 11:25 that this whole idea of God’s continued hand on Israel and her end-time awakening is a mystery. Paul used the Greek word musterion, a word that he only used when speaking of great revelations revealed in the New Covenant (though there was a hint of all of them in Hebrew scriptures):

  • the incarnation and ascension (1 Timothy 3:16)
  • the crucifixion (1 Corinthians 2:1-2)
  • the One New Man ecclesia (Ephesians 3:10)
  • the plan of salvation (1 Corinthians 2:7)
  • and the fact that we will receive incorruptible bodies (1 Corinthians 15:51).

In other words, when Paul uses the word ‘mystery,’ he is referring to a very important revelation. Here, he is telling the Romans that the mystery is that God is not finished with Israel, that the Jews have been blinded in part but will come back in the end, and that their (speaking to the Roman believers) job is not to judge “Do not be arrogant, but tremble. ” (v. 20) , but to “provoke to jealousy” (v. 11) the broken-off Jewish branches.

This is alignment: The church coming into this understanding. In some ways, the church being anti-Semitic for so long and the embracement of replacement theology caused a “pause” in the spiritual realm. Only since this has begun to be reversed have we seen key elements of prophecy come to pass: the beginning of the restoration of the global church, Israel becoming a nation, Jerusalem restored, the Russian-speaking Aliyah revival, gifts of the Spirit, passionate gospel preaching, a robust global missions movement and more. The Church aligning with with God’s heart for Israel (Rom. 9:1-5) and with the Messianic remnant is essential for the second coming of our Messiah. Surely Yeshua will not return to a Jew-hating bride, as He Himself is Jewish.

Alignment has nothing to do with coming under authority, other than the entire body of Messiah, Jew and Gentile, coming under God’s authority, purposes and plans. When Aglow wanted to submit to Tikkun, Asher said, “No, align!” At the time, he said that aligning was a much lighter form of submission. Some have seized upon these words to give them the exact opposite meaning. Asher was seeking to move away from any idea of a hierarchal, top/down relationship, and to emphasize mutual submission—the kind that Paul speaks of in Ephesians: Submit to one another out of reverence for Messiah.” (Ephesians 5:21) The proof is that they do not have any type of top/down relationship with us and that we minister for them regularly. However, Asher cleared that up in his letter of clarification to Israeli leaders.

Aaron writes: “This is the original Apostolic council which they want to ‘restore’ – in other words, with the same authority as the original.” 

Throughout this declaration of Tikkun’s “heretical” beliefs, Aaron constantly has to tell you what we really mean. I guess normal folks can’t see through our “trickery” without Aaron’s interpretive skills. He makes claims about what we teach that are false and then tells of a deeper, more sinister meaning. The only conclusion is that Aaron sees us as false brothers or deceivers. If we say blue, Aaron can show how we really mean NAR Red. These things should not be.

For those in the John MacArthur, anti-NAR, anti-Charismatic camp, we are preaching a false gospel and are part of a false church. How can anyone read this declaration and think that he has any respect for us as brothers? The other day I watched this brief video:

This is when an anti-NAR leader named Phil Johnson, who serves alongside John MacArthur, clearly lied to, or at least misled, his audience to make it appear that Dr. Michael Brown was excusing Todd Bentley’s sexual perversion when, in fact, the very article he quotes from states that Dr. Brown has been on record for many years saying that Todd Bentley is disqualified from ministry because of his divorce and remarriage, amongst other statements. In the pulpit, a holy place, Mr. Johnson deliberately misleads his hearers. Perhaps, as has happened here on the ZKN, one of his colleagues gave him the quote without the context and, instead of confirming it, he ran with it publicly. That is the problem when your entire case is built on quotes, apart from the entirety of the text.

This is not unlike M**** N****’s divisive false video that seeks to connect Todd Bentley to Tikkun. The fact is that we have had the same position as Dr. Brown for more than ten years: that Todd Bentley is disqualified from ministry. This summer, I played a role, along with four other ministers, seeking to have a judicial council formed to judge the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against Todd Bentley. The council was formed and, after much investigation and fact-finding, declared Bentley unfit for ministry. (Yet, Nissim says we support him. Believe me, Bentley has no love for me!)

While many leaders in this country have come to see that we do not believe the things we are being accused of, Aaron will not budge. He just repeats the same accusations as if we have not answered them in the past. He simply ignores us, just as he ignored the fact that he was caught being dishonest. He has, once again, disqualified himself from being an objective, unbiased examiner.

To whom is he accountable? To whom does one appeal in a Matthew 18 process? Much energy has been exerted to hold Tikkun accountable, and we have submitted completely (even though this has been a huge time investment)—even when there were missteps by National Conference. But our brother was caught sending misinformation and causing division in other countries and no one in the Kenes Artzi (Notiaional Conference) board seems concerned.

One of the things that I love about being in Tikkun is that there is accountability. If you feel I have sinned against you, and I will not listen, you will know exactly to whom you can appeal. You will be heard and I will be held accountable!

Final Thoughts

Allow me to be clear: We do not seek a restoration of an authoritative Acts 15 council. We are not working towards this. We do not want the global body submit to this council (that does not and will not exist) in Jerusalem. We do want to see the global body of believers come into alignment with Romans 11 and love Israel, seeking to provoke her to jealousy. We want to see the global body understand that God has not rejected Israel and to see them reject replacement theology.

This is what we believe. I have never been ashamed of my doctrine. I have no incentive to not be honest. This our doctrine (though we have no official Tikkun doctrine). I don’t even understand someone lying about their doctrine. I am excited about this—not ashamed! Hallelujah!

This article originally appeared on Tikkun International, February 22, 2020, and reposted with permission.