Answering the Accusations against Tikkun #4

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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 in bold, 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.

They claim in English abroad that they (Dan and Asher) received a supernatural revelation which changes entirely the way we are to understand key passages in the New Testament (just as the original 12 Apostles—and Paul—received an authoritative revelation for the interpretations of the Tanakh, among other things; John 14:26; 16:13; Eph. 3:3-5). From this one can understand that if the believers in the Land and in the world will not “align” themselves with their interpretation and act in accordance with this ‘supernatural revelation’, the salvation of Israel and the return of Messiah Yeshua will be delayed.

**This is an indirect claim to authority equal to that of the 12 Apostles who received and passed on to us the divine revelation in the New Covenant Scriptures.  Please note in Eph. 3:3-5 that the “revelation” received by the Apostles (including Paul) was not some vague “illumination of the Spirit” as Juster and Intrater claim, but a new revelation of things not revealed in the Tanakh—the Mystery of the Messiah.

Once again, Aaron misinterprets what has been written and takes it to an extreme that has nothing to do with the original intent. It is faulty from the first sentence, when he says, “they claim in English abroad” and his addendum (**) is simply incorrect.

First, Dan has told his story here in Israel. In case you were unaware, he does not preach, teach or write in Hebrew. He was nearly 60 when he moved to Israel. I don’t know of any Americans who became proficient in preaching and teaching in Hebrew, after arriving in Israel at that age. So, the fact that he ministers in English is not so sinister—it is the only language he has!

As for Asher, there is nothing that he teaches in English that he has not taught in Hebrew. You are free to poll people at Revive Israel, where he has taught weekly, in Hebrew, for more than 15 years and you will find no discrepancy!

Secondly, he erroneously writes: Dan and Asher “received a supernatural revelation which changes entirely the way we are to understand key passages in the New Testament.” Nowhere has either of them ever written that their experiences with God through Scripture brought about a “new understanding” to passages.

Throughout his accusations, he has a method. Make an outrageous claim, assume it is true and then shame Tikkun for it. Even though in each claim, he is mistaken.

Dan has already written (and I will quote him again from 1982, around the time that he had this experience): Today’s apostles cannot lay doctrinal foundations with equal authority to that of the first apostles.” That one sentence should end this.

Asher wrote in his response to David’s survey (David, not real name, published a booklet of quotes from Dan and Asher, most of them taken out of context, to build a case against us. Asher explained every quote in Hebrew and English): “And while it was by revelation—we believe that God speaks today—it was connected and backed up by ScriptureIt sounds as if a case is being made that we are claiming special revelation beyond that which is revealed in Scripture—which we absolutely do not.

Aaron ignores this, as if Asher never responded. And instead has invented language that they never used. “Special revelation” that is binding on others. Any of you reading this who know Asher and Dan, know this not how they speak. Having walked with them since 1987, maybe closer than any other disciple, neither of them has ever come to me with a “special binding revelation.” This is silly.

Shocking omission!

They never claimed that these revelations were new to the body, but new to them. Dan tells, in his story, that he came to find other brothers who believed in five-fold ministry (Ephesians 4:11) and the importance of unity in the Body (John. 17, 1 Corinthians 1, 3 and 12 and Ephesians 4), including the late Derek Prince, for whom most on this list have a great deal of respect. Again, the revelations were new to them, not the entire body. Dan writes: “I had never been taught this and never thought of this and it was a totally new idea to me.”

However, David, in his book of quotes, leaves out the most important and defining words “to me” when making his case against Dan. This is what he published for Israeli leaders (and sent abroad to friends of Tikkun) in an effort to condemn Dan.

David: “[Dan Juster] emphasizes that the new understanding which was revealed to him concerning these verses did not exist before the revelation (“I had … never thought of this”), that no one had taught him these things before (“I had never been taught this”), and that “it was a totally new idea.”

  1. How do you get from “I had never thought of this” to Dan saying his new interpretation “did not exist before his revelation?” He never, ever said that the understand did not exist before him. David is literally putting words in his mouth.
  2. There is a HUGE difference between:
    • “It was a totally new idea,” and
    • “it was a totally new idea TO ME.”

At best this is sloppy “investigating”; at worst, it is completely dishonest. I would like to hear from David as to why he left out the words “to me” when making a case that Dan was claiming it was new to the body.

This 100% changes the meaning of what Dan said. We should be a bit more careful that we know what we are talking about before we slander one another. This is a serious issue. It is tragic that the leadership of the Kenes Artzi has no concern about false testimony, though you have spent years now, dealing with Tikkun. We have to be more responsible, brothers, with our words. Misquoting people can cause (and has caused) much damage!

It is interesting to note that in David’s very next sentence, he says, “The teaching of Tikkun combines two known theologies,” referring to Messianic Jewish restoration teaching and the modern restorationist teaching. He contradicts himself by saying first that we teach something completely new, and in the very next section, that what we teach is not new. His second statement is correct.

Thirdly, do you believe that the Holy Spirit works with us when reading Scripture? If not, how could the church have been so blind to the plain meaning of key doctrines such as justification by faith for centuries? Just as God can open our eyes to certain passages, the enemy has sought to blind us of the meaning of Scripture. Then one man’s revelation (Martin Luther) opened the door for many to see. Based on what you have written here, you would have condemned Luther as the Catholics did. “How dare Martin Luther bring a seemingly new interpretation—does he think he is one of the 12 apostles?”

John Wesley was a missionary before he was even born again! He read the Bible faithfully and, yet, was not born from above until someone read from Luther’s preface to Romans and the Holy Spirit gave him revelation:

That evening he reluctantly attended a meeting in Aldersgate. Someone read from Luther’s Preface to the Epistle to Romans. About 8:45 p.m. “while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.”

Just look at Romans 11. The dominating view of the church for nearly 1,900 years has been the exact opposite of Paul’s very clear statements in verses 1 and 11: that God has not rejected Israel. It took revelation from the Holy Spirit who is ALIVE and ACTIVE in the world today, to open people’s eyes to this truth.

Yeshua taught about the work of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” (John 16:13)

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 16:26)

But if the Holy Spirit shows me something new, that I have never understood, something that lines up with Scripture, you say I am suddenly claiming “authority equal to that of the 12 Apostles who received and passed on to us the divine revelation in the New Covenant Scriptures.” If so, a lot of folks are in trouble!

Aaron writes: Please note in Eph. 3:3-5 that the “revelation” received by the Apostles (including Paul) was not some vague “illumination of the Spirit” as Juster and Intrater claim, but a new revelation of things not revealed in the Tanakh—the Mystery of the Messiah.

First, “Juster and Intrater” have never claimed that Paul’s revelations into the mystery of Messiah, the One New Man, His work on the cross, etc. were “vague ‘illuminations of the Spirit.’” This is another straw man argument. You make a false accusation and then seek to rebut it. Here is exactly what Asher wrote in response:

When we say revelation, we are NOT REFERRING to some non-biblical, ecstatic, unfounded, illogical, mystic experience. No. We are talking about the normative experience of every born-again, spirit-filled believer who receives blessed thoughts from God during times of prayer, Bible meditation, and obedience.  We should all be receiving “new things” from the Lord every time we read the Bible.  Of course. God is alive.  We are talking about the biblical prayer for wisdom and revelation in Ephesians 1 and the charismatic gift of revelation in I Corinthians 12.  The insinuation here that this is  “revelatory” in some non-biblical sense is incorrect.  We believe that little children can receive prophetic understandings from the Lord (Acts 2:17-18).

In other words, this is in contrast to the very powerful, clear revelation that the writers of Scripture received. Asher is not making light of the experiences of Peter and Paul, but speaking of the normative daily devotional experience of the believer who “looks through a glass darkly.” (1 Cor. 13:12)

Aaron continues: “From this one can understand that if the believers in [Israel] and in the world will not “align” themselves with their interpretation and act in accordance with this ‘supernatural revelation’, the salvation of Israel and the return of Messiah Yeshua will be delayed.”

Aaron’s style of writing continues to be demeaning and condescending. Instead of seeking to understand, he just mocks. No one in Tikkun has ever claimed that people must embrace “our interpretation and act in accordance with our ‘supernatural revelation’, or else, the salvation of Israel and the return of Messiah Yeshua will be delayed.” It is sad that he choose to communicate with such disdain for us and with such a complete misrepresentation of what we teach and believe.

What we teach is what we believe is in the Scripture. There are certain things that the Bible seems to predict will happen before Yeshua returns. It would be one thing if we were teaching that failure to eat three bowls of rice a day will delay the coming of the Lord. Why? The Bible says nothing about that. Even if an angel came to us with the “three rice doctrine,” it would be silly. The things we are suggesting are hinted at strongly, if not clearly stated, in the word of God.

  • Unity and maturity in the body (John 17, Ephesians 4:11ff, 2:15, 3:6 ) – hint
  • World evangelization (Matthew 24:14) – clear
  • Israel’s restoration (Ezekiel 36:24, Acts 1:6-7) – clear
  • Israel’s salvation (Ezekiel 36:25ff, Romans 11:26) – clear
  • The Bride making herself ready (Revelation 19:6) or being made ready by Yeshua through His word (Ephesians 5:25) – hint
  • The restoration of all things (Acts 3:21) which will culminate in the age to come. – clear

Which of these is heretical? Which of these began with Dan and Asher? Which of these revelations belongs exclusively to Tikkun? Which of these cannot be backed up by Scripture?

Dan’s Revelation

When you hear the “revelation” that Aaron so concerned about, you will be stunned that this is even an issue. No, an angel named Maroni did not appear to Dan and tell him to write the second book of Mormon. How do we judge the subjective voice of God? We judge it with the concrete written Scriptures.

Nearly 40 years ago, after having a conversation with Tom Hess about the theology of restoration from Ephesians 4:11-16, and the importance of prophets and apostles in leading, equipping and bringing unity and maturity to the church, Dan believes he had an experience with the Lord. It was a few days later.

During a normal personal devotional time, he experienced the Spirit in a deep way.  He felt the Lord tell him “I have taken you into many streams of the Church so that in the Messianic Jewish restoration, you would not have arrogance against my churches. It is necessary for your Messianic Jewish calling that you have love and appreciation for all my churches.”

We modeled this at Beth Messiah, even once inviting a black gospel choir into our Shabbat service. Dan taught constantly against the very Jewish arrogance of which Aaron accuses him. He talked about our mutual need for each other in the worldwide church. As long as I have known Dan, he has modeled a love for believers from every ethnic and theological background. This is why this constant false accusation is so bizarre; in which he is accused of promoting a Messianic Judaism that places Gentiles beneath us. Anyone who has watched Dan, as I have, knows how absurd this accusation is. However, Aaron is convinced that this is “Tikkun” and no evidence to the contrary is good enough. In his mind and heart, we are dangerous.

Dan’s Revelation

“Then, God began speaking about the centrality of restoration in the entire Body of Messiah. In a moment, I saw the implications of John 17 and Ephesians 4. I sensed God saying He would indeed restore His Church, and more than restore it. The last prayer of Yeshua in John 17 was that we would all be one and that the World would believe that the Father sent Yeshua. This prayer would eventually be answered, and we are to join ourselves to Yeshua in praying this same prayer … In the book of Ephesians, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers have been called to equip the saints for the work of ministry. These ministry roles must continue until the Messiah returns, for we read that through these gifts, the saints will come to unity and maturity, unto the full stature of the Messiah. The Bride must be ready; God will use these ministries to fully accomplish His purpose before the Messiah’s return.”

Now you can test Dan’s revelation against Scripture, but to claim that this revelation is tantamount to claiming equality with the 12 is just ridiculous. I have never heard of someone being labeled a heretic for wanting Yeshua’s prayer in John 17 for unity to be answered, and the people of God to be “equipped for works of service” by leaders walking in the five-fold ministry gifts. (Ephesians 4:11-12)

He did not give a date for the second coming of the Lord, develop a new theology that denies Yeshua’s sacrificial death or claim that sin brings us closer to God – all of which are actually heretical. His revelation had to do with things that are clearly considered to be good in the Bible. It’s time to move on, people!

So again, let’s be clear:

  • We do not believe that any of our leaders are equal to the original 12 apostles or Scripture writers.
  • We do believe that the Holy Spirit is active in the life of a believer, illuminating Scripture.
  • We believe that the experiences of believers (not just the apostles) with the Lord, in the book of Acts, are an example of what God wants for us today.
  • We believe that God does give revelation through dreams, visions, speaking and even visitations and we are to weigh all these things against the Word of God.
  • We do not claim and never have that we have received special new revelations that change the meaning of Scripture and are binding on all believers. (It is hard not to laugh, writing this…)

This article originally appeared on Tikkun International, March 1, 2020, and reposted with permission.