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Definition of False Teacher: One who presumes to teach in the Name of the Lord when God has not sent him.

False Teacher - Joshua Tongol

Making Friends with the World

Another Gospel that Preserves the Flesh

Joshua Tongol is a hip young preacher with sincerity and enthusiasm for “superabounding grace,” which is, in reality, a false gospel that leaves out the crucial elements of faith and obedience through the cross. That’s where one finds the grace of God in Christ, not in our own hearts or ability to love, as Joshua teaches. He is putting his own name in lights, not glorifying the Light of all men.

“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me” (John 12:32 KJV).

Those who lift up themselves draw all men to themselves. So it goes with a baker’s dozen of Tongol’s personal endorsers, who are also false teachers, because they glorify man and the flesh that Christ came to crucify.

“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever desires to be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4 MKJV).

Included in this posting as false teachers are the following Tongol endorsers:

Fidel Arnecillo, Jr.   Willie Beeson   Sammy Bilyeu   David Borum   Joel Brueseke
    Ami Chouravong   Harry Edwards   Dave Geisler   Darin Hufford   Steve Kang
Mike Kapler   Samuel Mathew   J.P. Moreland

Our attention was directed to Joshua Tongol by Natalie Johnson, who was concerned about Joshua’s spiritual influence on her friends, particularly Filipinos. She felt Joshua was preaching a lawless gospel.

We examined the link Natalie gave to Tongol’s site and this is what we have to say. Be it known that what is written here is not of Natalie’s input or influence. It is our judgment in Christ (not opinion).

A Man Greatly Loved by Many

Natalie’s feeling was right. Joshua preaches another gospel, one that forgoes the most essential proof of our salvation, which the Lord emphasized for all to hear:

Matthew 5:18-20 MKJV
(18) For truly I say to you, Till the heaven and the earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle shall in any way pass from the Law until all is fulfilled.
(19) Therefore whoever shall relax one of these commandments, the least, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
(20) For I say to you that unless your righteousness shall exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Joshua is all about relaxing the commandments to meet your standards and how you feel in your heart, causing you to forget about those stringent requirements of the Commandments of God. He teaches that your heart will lead you in the right way, the same heart of which God testified through Jeremiah:

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:9-10 KJV).

It shouldn’t be surprising that false teachers can come as the greatest of friends - sincere, kind, generous, and knowledgeable in the Scriptures. It also shouldn’t be surprising that people love such teachers and respond favorably in human terms, which has nothing to do with faith or taking up the cross and following the Lord.

Jesus warned:

“Woe to you when all men shall speak well of you! For so their fathers did to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26 MKJV).

He also warned that spiritual leaders coming in His Name would dupe many:

“For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders; so much so that, if it were possible, they would deceive even the elect” (Matthew 24:24 MKJV).

“For many will come in My Name, saying, I am Christ [saying Jesus is Christ], and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:5 MKJV).

I marvel at how blatantly self-glorifying some “ministers of Christ” can be, yet succeed in beguiling souls into thinking the Lord is using them as true servants to bring glory to His Name. They may not be able to deceive God’s elect, but unlearned, naïve, and unstable people looking for affection, acceptance, praise, purpose, and spiritual assurance are highly susceptible.

The Cross Costs and Divides

If people can have a quick-fix, easy-to-swallow gospel to satisfy their desires, the more they are attracted. They stand to gain the best of both worlds at no, or very little, cost and certainly without taking up the cross.

The True Gospel doesn’t work that way:

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life shall lose it, and whoever desires to lose his life for My sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:24-25 MKJV).

He also said:

“He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will reveal Myself to him” (John 14:21 MKJV).

Jesus makes it very clear that there is a great price to pay to identify with Him in this world:

Matthew 10:34-39 MKJV
(34) Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I did not come to send peace, but a sword.
(35) For I have come to set a man against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
(36) And a man's foes shall be those of his own household.
(37) He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
(38) And he who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.
(39) He who finds his life shall lose it. And he who loses his life for My sake shall find it.

To follow Jesus Christ is no game; it will cost one his or her life. That is what Jesus was talking about - taking up the cross. But flesh and blood will find any possible way to avoid the cross of Jesus Christ, even pretend to take it up. Enter Joshua, who allows you to have your cake and eat it too, through the crossless gospel – benefits without cost, and life without death.

The Glorification of Man instead of the Son of Man

Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but by Me” (John 14:6 MKJV).

Going to his site, we find that Joshua Tongol replaces Jesus as the “star attraction,” stealing all glory from God.

As Absalom stole the hearts of Israel from David (2 Samuel 15:6), so Joshua steals the hearts of the people from the Son of David.

Is It God’s Will to Change Us?

In another video, “The Grace Revelation Sermon Jam,” Joshua begins by saying God is not here to change us. That contradicts everything I found to be true when God revealed Himself to me in Christ:

One, I definitely needed changing (read my testimony).

Two, unless the Lord Jesus had come to me and revealed Himself and His will, I would not have known how desperately I needed changing.

Three, when I knew I needed changing, I tried to change myself and couldn’t do it. He let me try; in fact, He encouraged me to try, knowing I would fail (that is God’s partial purpose of the Law). When I was brought to the place where I realized it was impossible for me to change myself, He took over and did it.

Four, He delivered me from this world of darkness and from the power of sin, to which I was a slave. I had been destroying myself. I needed to be changed, big time. I needed to be changed in spirit, heart, mind, attitude, perspective, allegiance, desire, motive, direction, and purpose.

Five, the Scriptures declare that we all need a complete revolutionary change:

“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. And I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26 MKJV).

“Cast away from you all your sins by which you have sinned; and make you a new heart and a new spirit; for why will you die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 18:31 MKJV)

You say, “Well, that’s Old Testament, the Law. That’s done away with! Jesus has given us grace. We’re no longer under the Law!”

What so few seem to realize is that the change of heart and nature is that very operation of God’s grace. Jesus came to grace us with a change of nature to bring us back into harmony with Him and with His Law:

2 Corinthians 5:14-17 MKJV
(14) For the love of Christ constrains us, judging this, that if one died for all, then all died;
(15) and He died for all, that the living ones may live no more to themselves, but to Him Who died for them and having been raised.
(16) So as we now know no one according to flesh, but even if we have known Christ according to flesh, yet now we no longer know Him so.
(17) So that if anyone is in Christ, that one is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Didn’t Jesus come to change us? The Bible tells me He did. I know He changed me; I know others He has changed in marvelous ways, and I know that if we had not been changed, we would be lost and in destruction.

Joshua declares that if God loves us, He would not want to change us, even as we, if truly in love with another, would not try to change the other. He misses the point. The Lord didn’t die for us just to show us His love – He died on the cross to give us His Resurrection life so that we could be converted or changed. He said to Peter:

“And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not. And when you are converted, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31-32 MKJV).

Peter needed changing. He denied the Lord three times, though having sworn he would never do such a thing. He was a vacillator, a rash man, a fearful man; Satan found occasion to come through him against his Master. Peter was one who, while he may have meant well, was powerless to do well. But Jesus promised Peter he would be converted, or changed, and when that happened by the Spirit of God, Peter would serve in his new person to strengthen his brothers.

On the day of Pentecost, who stood up to speak boldly to the people but Peter, no more to deny his Master, no more to vacillate? By the Spirit of Christ Who had come to indwell him, Peter was a changed man.

Joshua says God’s main goal is not to change us, but to make us realize how much He loves us. But I had no idea how much He loved me, no idea whatsoever, until He changed me, until He gave me a new heart. When He changed me, only then did I begin to hear from Him and to understand and appreciate how much He loved me.

If you don’t realize you need changing, the Lord has not made Himself known to you. If you don’t believe a change is necessary, or if you don’t want to change, you are not hearing from, or of, the Jesus of the Scriptures. He hasn’t come to you.

If you think you have been acquainted through Joshua Tongol to the Jesus of Scripture, the Lord and Creator of Heaven and earth, the Savior of all mankind, then you have been deceived. I tell you these things with sadness and godly solemnity.

Which Comes First, Change or Knowledge of God’s Love?

Joshua says that once you know how much He loves you, you’ll change. Is this true? Not according to the Bible.

Take Saul of Tarsus... did he change from being a murderous persecutor of the Lord because he suddenly found out how much Jesus loved him, or did the Lord stop him suddenly and change him right then and there? Think of how Saul was dramatically, even traumatically, converted on the road to Damascus. He was instantly blinded, brought to the ground, and confronted on his sin nature and ignorance; his companions were speechless. Talk about shock treatment! Was that a sudden recognition of God’s love?

He was instantly a changed man. In three days, Ananias dared lay hands on him, believing the Lord that Saul was no longer the infamous murderous man to be feared. Saul received his sight back, and he was sealed with the Holy Spirit in newness of life.

I came to know God’s love after He changed me; as described above, it was the same with Saul; and it can only be the same with all men, whose hearts are uncomprehending stone until changed to hearts of flesh, even as Ezekiel prophesied. And I still have much to realize about how God loves me, after nearly 40 years of walking with Him, in spite of having His new nature.

If I had to wait until I realized how much God loved me before I was changed, I would still be waiting, with my old nature that cannot begin to comprehend the love of God any more than a pig can fly.

How Do We Change?

Who will change us? Is Tongol suggesting we change ourselves when, or because, we realize how much God loves us? I’m here to tell you that doesn’t happen. Ironically, if that is what Joshua is suggesting, then he contradicts himself, because he also says we are wrong to live by law (which is true). To then suggest we change ourselves is self-righteousness - acting as a law unto ourselves.

Neither living by the Law nor changing ourselves in order to be acceptable to God is possible. That is why Christ died for us, that He might do His work of grace in us, changing us, and thus restoring man’s fellowship with Him. In that restored fellowship, we learn His love and we learn to love, because we have new natures to be, and to do, His will. Until then, all the intellectual comprehension of how much God loves us goes nowhere.

Note: I would rather preach repentance to a crowd in case there are people in it who ought not to trust their unregenerate hearts (and there are usually many such hearts found in a crowd) than preach grace, encouraging them to trust their hearts, which can’t be trusted. The former promotes and tends to godliness; the latter to iniquity.

What Did Paul Preach?

Joshua asserts that Paul preached not rules and principles (Law), but Jesus Christ. He’s almost right; however, Joshua profoundly deviates from the Gospel Paul preached. Paul did often speak of the Law and its validity, even though he made it clear our salvation or perfection doesn’t come by the Law. For examples:

“Do we then make the Law void through faith? Let it not be! But we establish the Law” (Romans 3:31 MKJV).

Romans 6:11-14 MKJV
(11) Likewise count yourselves also to be truly dead to sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(12) Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.
(13) Do not yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but yield yourselves to God, as one alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
(14) For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under Law, but under grace.

Behold the Goodness and Severity of God

Does Joshua Tongol speak this way concerning laws and principles, and would he do the things Paul mentions in the following passage? (I doubt it very much - Joshua is too nice a guy and, according to his saying, “God is nicer than you think”):

1 Corinthians 5:1-6 MKJV
(1) On the whole it is reported that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not even named among the nations, so as one to have his father's wife.
(2) And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, so that he who has done this deed may be taken from your midst.
(3) For as being absent in body but present in spirit, I indeed have judged already as though I were present concerning him who worked out this thing;
(4) in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, with my spirit; also, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ;
(5) to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
(6) Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?

Joshua greatly errs in that Paul does not preach only Jesus Christ, but Jesus Christ and Him crucified:

“For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2 MKJV).

Tongol has eliminated the primary crucial (of the cross) factor of change in the life of a soul coming to salvation in Christ. Knowing Jesus Christ involves and necessitates change, change by the cross, a death, no less, of the old and resurrection into the new.

Paul said, “And I, brothers, if I yet proclaim circumcision, why am I still persecuted? Then the offense of the cross has ceased” (Galatians 5:11 MKJV).

We don’t preach circumcision (keeping of laws), but we do preach the cross. Joshua doesn’t preach circumcision, either, but he also doesn’t preach the cross. If he preached the cross, Jesus would be glorified on his site, not Joshua Tongol. And Joshua would not be loved like he is.

The Institution Continues Triumphant with Joshua Tongol

One of Joshua’s problems is that he has been trained and conditioned by the institutional church (I was there, too). Though it may appear otherwise and Joshua may deny it, he is very much in the system in body, mind, and spirit (note all the affiliations he has with those in the system and the favor he has with them - connections, credentials, preferential treatment, etc.).

By comparing what he now believes to the ways of the dead institutional church, he seems to have something fabulously favorable, or unique and revolutionary, presumably rediscovered in this day. To some, it may appear godly; but is it? It is another form of confusion, a “free” kind displacing a more slavish one.

New Wineskins Necessary with New Wine

We speak no form of confusion; we speak of the true life in Jesus Christ that nobody knows except those who receive it:

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give to him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knows except he who receives it” (Revelation 2:17 MKJV).

“New name” means “new nature,” which comes only by the change God can accomplish. We can do nothing to make that happen. Even the faith we have as we walk through that change, “working out our salvation with fear and trembling,” comes from Him. The new nature comes only by taking up the cross and overcoming. Joshua will agree that we can’t change ourselves; but will he agree that we must deny ourselves and take up the cross so we may change?

Change does not come by knowing we are loved, but by obedience through the cross, which requires His grace.

Unconditional Love, No Matter What

Joshua almost blasphemes when he says that God loves you unconditionally, and that even after you become a believer, He loves you unconditionally, no matter what you do. It is true that His love is unconditional for both unbeliever and believer. However, the part about “no matter what you do” suggests that one can do as he or she pleases: “God loves you no matter what, so do as you please.”

Perhaps Joshua doesn’t mean that, but it comes across that way. His preaching loses the sense of urgency for, and importance of, obedience, discipline (which brings growth and reward), and holiness, “without which no one shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).

Joshua says he has failed many times and still God blesses him, contrary to the warnings of those who say God removes His blessings when one fails.

There is an explanation for this, however, depending on how one defines “fails.” God doesn’t remove all blessing when one falls, if the fall is not a deliberate turning back to sin, and provided the person gets up from the fall and sets out once more, even if this happens seven times (or seventy times seven):

“Wicked one, do not lie in ambush at the dwelling of the righteous; do not spoil his resting place; for a just one falls seven times, and rises up again; but the wicked shall fall into evil” (Proverbs 24:15-16 MKJV).

But notice that we are speaking of a just one. Righteous people fall, but they have the new nature, the heart to get up and keep going. They are not deliberately in continuous sin. Joshua isn’t making that distinction, which gives the impression that all one needs to do is believe God loves him and he will be fine, whether he deliberately sins or not; eventually God will change him.

Is There a Price for Sin?

When a just one falls, though God still loves and blesses him, there is a price to pay; I know for, as a just one, I have fallen, and the price has been grievous. I did something I should have known, and did know, better than to do. God’s blessing in that department was quite removed from me, and no small blessing it was, although He still blesses me generally and has not removed His salvation from me.

Tongol says that though he has fallen many times, God’s blessing is still with him. If Joshua speaks of falling as in committing sin, he has never known God. Perhaps he is calling sin that which was not sin in attitude and motive, but occasionally failing to live right, in which case, God does not cease to bless and to keep one. But if he speaks of sin, he is wrong; God will not countenance sin, period. Don’t even think He does. Here is what John says about it:

1 John 3:3-9 MKJV
(3) And everyone who has this hope on him purifies himself, even as that One is pure.
(4) Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness, for sin is lawlessness.
(5) And you know that He was revealed that He might take away our sins, and in Him is no sin.
(6) Everyone who abides in Him does not sin. Everyone who sins has not seen Him nor known Him.
(7) Little children, let no one deceive you. He who does righteousness is righteous, even as that One is righteous.
(8) He who practices sin is of the Devil, for the Devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was revealed, that He might undo the works of the Devil.
(9) Everyone who has been born of God does not commit sin, because His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.

Which Love?

Now Joshua may tell me I miss the next and most important verse:

“In this the children of God are revealed, and the children of the Devil: everyone not practicing righteousness is not of God, also he who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:10 MKJV).

If you love your brother, you will demonstrate it by walking in the truth and speaking it. You will not love your brother with your love, but with God’s. Woe to those who substitute their love for God’s love and call it His! Joshua does just that.

He says, “You and I know we’re going to do something stupid in the morning.

If he is talking goof-ups, fine; I can agree because we all often do, feel, think, imagine, or say things we would rather not, but which aren’t necessarily willful sin. However, if Joshua is talking sin, then he either lacks understanding of what is and is not sin, or he hasn’t been born again, experiencing freedom from the bondage of sin that those who know the Lord enjoy by a new nature. I say he has not been born again.

I have to agree with Tongol on some things he says. For example, “The more you try to focus on fixing up your… mistakes, you’re going to keep on doing it more....True change does not happen by you making your commitment and your promises to God. True change is when you focus on God’s promises to you, because when you make promises to God and you fail, your guilt multiples.

This is true. To understand such truth persuades me to believe Joshua may know something of the Lord, but it is likely a psychological principle. Still, people aren’t wise to make commitments and promises to God, and have no business making them. That is what Jesus said:

Matthew 5:34-37 MKJV
(34) But I say to you, Do not swear at all! Not by Heaven, because it is God's throne;
(35) not by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet; not by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King;
(36) nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black.
(37) But let your word be, Yes, yes; No, no. For whatever is more than these comes from evil.

I understand when Joshua says he is not encouraging sin or being light on it. I understand what he says, but I don’t believe him because he doesn’t understand what he is saying.

On Healing

Joshua mentions the “Word of Faith” movement and doctrine. His criticism of it is justified. Teachers like William Branham, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Creflo Dollar, and so many others have poisoned many with their doctrine. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He never healed everyone yesterday, it is not His will to manifestly heal everyone today, and all will not be manifestly healed tomorrow.

Tongol says some true things about healing and some things not true. For instance, there are many reasons for absence of healing, one of those being lack of faith on the part of the one needing healing.

Joshua says, “One of the myths people believe about healing is that it is the sick person’s responsibility to have faith. That is simply not true. It is the person healing who has the responsibility to have faith for the sick person.

Joshua points out that prominent “faith healers” put the onus on those prayed for to be healed. He gives Lazarus as an example. How could dead Lazarus believe? It had to be Jesus’ faith that raised him from the dead. All true. However, we read:

“And He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief” (Matthew 13:58 MKJV).

“But turning and seeing her, Jesus said, Daughter, be comforted; your faith has saved you. And the woman was saved from that hour” (Matthew 9:22 MKJV).

“Then He touched their eyes, saying, According to your faith let it be to you” (Matthew 9:29 MKJV).

There are many such examples. Perhaps Joshua would not disagree and was only speaking certain principles without covering all relevant points, which is understandable.

He says that nowhere in Scripture does one see Jesus and the disciples praying for anybody’s healing; he says that the Bible does not command us to pray, but to heal. Yet we read:

James 5:14-16 MKJV
(14) Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Name of the Lord.
(15) And the prayer of faith will cure the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up. And if he has committed sins, it will be forgiven him.
(16) Confess faults to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous one avails much.

Living the Christian Life

Joshua says, “Don’t try to live the Christian life; let Christ live His life through you.” He may be right – depending on what he means. There are two questions to answer:

One, are you a Christian to begin with? Are you truly born again? If you’re not, you won’t be able to let Christ live His life through you. Without the new birth and the power of His Spirit in you, how can He do that through you?

Two, what does Tongol mean by not trying to live the Christian life? To live the Christian life is to believe and obey God. What’s wrong with that? But if you mean that living the Christian life is to try to be like Christ, it is error.

To trust in Christ requires a work of grace for a starting point. Jesus must come into one’s life and do His work from there. Those who count on being Christians without this foundational conversion get nowhere and will fail no matter what they do.

The danger I see in Joshua’s teaching is that many will be deceived into thinking they are believers when they aren’t. They will be standing on shifting sand instead of the Rock, misled into thinking they stand on the Rock simply because they theoretically know God loves them. But just because we intellectually know that God loves all men and died for all, it does not mean we stand on the Foundation Stone.

Even direct experiences of God’s love through Christ are not enough to change people:

“And answering, Jesus said, Were there not ten [lepers] cleansed? But where are the nine? Were none found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” (Luke 17:17-18 MKJV)

What Was Jesus Like Yesterday, and What Is He Like Today?

Joshua is respectful, patient, considerate, sincere, thoughtful, kind, friendly, affectionate, and unpretentious, all of which Jesus was. As well, Joshua is fun-loving, humorous, lighthearted, clowning, accepting and accommodating of all, “loving”, and apparently easygoing. Perhaps he presumes Jesus was those things as well, but in general, He wasn’t, believe it or not.

If any will carefully, soberly examine the Gospels, they will find a Man Whose life was filled with sobriety, suffering, and sorrow (not talking about putting on a long face here), not only because of the persecution He endured at the hands of the religious, but because He was laying down His life.

Isaiah described Him as He was on earth, contrary to the portraits carnal artists paint of Him, and contrary to the descriptions men who don’t know Him personally give of Him:

Isaiah 53:1-10 MKJV
(1) Who has believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
(2) For He comes up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground; He has no form nor majesty that we should see Him, nor an appearance that we should desire Him.
(3) He is despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as it were a hiding of faces from Him, He being despised, and we esteemed Him not.
(4) Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
(5) But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was on Him; and with His stripes we ourselves are healed.
(6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, each one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
(7) He was oppressed, and He was afflicted; yet He opened not His mouth. He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before its shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth.
(8) He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare His generation? For He was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of my people He was stricken.
(9) And He put His grave with the wicked, and with a rich one in His death; although He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth.
(10) Yet it pleased the LORD to crush Him; to grieve Him; that He should put forth His soul as a guilt-offering. He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the will of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.

Jesus Christ had to forsake all, His wellbeing and benefits in family, social, and religious circles - all those things the world may offer a human being and which Satan promotes. He did it all for us and took His sacrifice to the ultimate, the death on the cross, as a criminal, a blasphemer of God. Truly, He was innocent and suffered the contradiction of sinners, whom we are, or have been. Jesus suffered for righteousness’ sake, for doing good, which the world hates. In its present enmity with Christ, the world finds Him, and those in Him, repulsive – unappealing and unacceptable.

Varying Causes of Suffering Persecution

Is Joshua taking up the cross of Christ? Perhaps he thinks to be suffering for the Lord Jesus’ sake, but if so, he is mistaken. He isn’t suffering for righteousness’ sake; neither does his gospel bring suffering to others (true preachers of God do – see 2 Corinthians 7:8-10). He may be suffering criticism and opposition because he is different and contrary to religious convention, and in itself this is not a problem, though a problem to men who covet convention and convenience.

Joshua suffers misunderstandings, false accusations, and religious envy, but so do many other religious and ethnic groups who don’t even presume to represent Jesus Christ, like the Jews or the Jehovah’s Witnesses. These suffer, and some may even suffer for taking stands on some truths and good principles, but do they suffer specifically for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ? Is it the Lord Himself Who suffers in them? Do people persecute these groups because they represent the Lord, as Saul persecuted Christ in Christians?

“But in going, it happened as [Pharisee Saul of Tarsus] drew near to Damascus, even suddenly a light from the heaven shone around him. And he fell to the earth and heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me? And he said, Who are You, lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus Whom you persecute [in the saints]. It is hard for you to kick against the goads” (Acts 9:3-5 MKJV).

Joshua Tongol may say that while others do not name Jesus Christ as the One they represent, he does, and would argue that such is the important difference between him and others who suffer persecution. That could be a valid difference to point out, but does Joshua truly represent Jesus Christ, or does he only think he does? How can we know? We can only know by the Spirit of God, and there are those with His Spirit who can point out telltale fruits of the false. By God’s grace, we are here to do so.

Sincerity and Acceptance of Others Not Necessarily Virtues

There may be little doubt that Joshua is sincere, but sincerity makes error extra convincing and deceptive. Doesn’t that truth or principle apply in all things? Don’t they say that salesmen sell more successfully if sold on what they sell, even if it isn’t of the quality they think it is?

Joshua was born with a physical handicap. Most people know that children can be very cruel; Joshua found that out firsthand. Could it be that his attitude has been one of seeking acceptance after much ridicule and rejection? I suppose that is better than being bitter, but it becomes a grave matter when he uses the Name of the Lord to be accepted by men. The truth is that when we are accepted of God, we are hated by men.

“And you shall be betrayed also by parents and brothers and kinsmen and friends. And they will cause some of you to be put to death. And you shall be hated by all for My Name's sake” (Luke 21:16-17 MKJV).

Joshua is accepting of others because his ultimate desire is to be accepted himself. He wants to belong and to be somebody, and what better way than to practice a tried and true law of reaping by sowing? “Accept others and you shall be acceptable and accepted.”

But is this necessarily good? The naïve may judge so after the appearance, to their detriment. It is good to do good for goodness’ sake, but to do good to serve oneself is still a selfish thing. If the selfish do-gooder is doing it in the Lord’s Name, which is what Joshua Tongol is doing, it is to be a traitor to Jesus Christ, the Incarnation of Unselfishness. God will judge his heart as to whether he does what he does with guile or with sincerity. Either way, he errs and will pay the price, as will all those who follow him.

Judas an Example of External Good

Didn’t Judas err in these ways? He joined the disciples (Jesus even chose him as an apostle!), preached the Gospel, prayed for people, gave alms to the poor, healed the sick, cleansed lepers, ate with sinners, and cast out devils, relieving many of their sorrows, torments, and ailments. Surely, Judas would have professed to believe and to love God. After all, he was an apostle of Jesus Christ.

Judas did all those things, yet we learn that at the end of the day, he truly had no love for God, no love for his neighbor, and no love for the truth and righteousness. He did it for his own glory. It was all a sham, though for a time he may have sincerely thought he was doing well. And how effective was he in deceiving others? While Jesus knew the truth about him, did His disciples know? It doesn’t seem so:

John 13:21-25 MKJV
(21) When Jesus had said this, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, Truly, truly, I say to you that one of you shall betray Me.
(22) Then the disciples looked upon one another, wondering of whom He spoke.
(23) But there was one of His disciples leaning upon Jesus' bosom, the one whom Jesus loved.
(24) Simon Peter therefore signaled to him to ask whom it might be of whom He spoke.
(25) And lying on Jesus' breast, he said to him, Lord, who is it?

Think of it: Even those who walked closely with both Judas and Jesus couldn’t guess who it was among them that would betray the Lord.

The Teacher’s Own Tongue Tells

“And he said to him, I will judge you out of your own mouth, wicked servant” (Luke 19:22 MKJV).

Those earnestly desirous in knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as He is, not as men portray Him to be out of their own vain imaginations, will heed what is written here.

Notwithstanding his amicable ways, Joshua Tongol is a false Christian leader, and here are some indicators he displays on his site to prove so:

One - Do you think Moses, Paul, John, Peter, John the Immerser, or Jesus Christ would glorify themselves as does Joshua Tongol? If you know anything of the Lord’s character and ways, you will know the answer to that question. Look at how Tongol promotes himself, with his dramatic, heroic pictures. Of and to him is it written:

“He who speaks of himself seeks his own glory, but he who seeks the glory of Him Who sent him is true, and no unrighteousness is in him” (John 7:18 MKJV).

“But when you are invited, go and recline in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes, he may say to you, Friend, go up higher. Then glory shall be to you before those reclining with you. For whoever exalts himself shall be abased, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted” (Luke 14:10-11 MKJV).

Does Joshua post these things and glorify himself, so that others might be saved? Here is the issue:

“For they loved the glory of men more than the glory of God” (John 12:43 MKJV).

Exalting himself, he shall be abased. And isn’t it a shame to him that he must be exposed now, in such manner?

Who is supposed to be impressed by Joshua’s self-promotion? God? People? Shall those seeking the Kingdom of Heaven look for glory of the flesh? If so, they are badly mistaken.

“But they do all their works in order to be seen of men” (Matthew 23:5 MKJV).

Those words were spoken by the Lord regarding the Pharisees. It has been commonly believed that they were nasty people of dark countenances. Perhaps some were, but many were simply beautiful people (white-washed, appearing righteous, as Jesus said), apparently the greatest friends one could ask for - just like Tongol. They didn’t build the greatest denomination of their day by being cold and nasty.

True, the Pharisees were highly legalistic, requiring people to bear heavy burdens, so in that sense they were the opposite of Joshua, who removes any obligation to keep the Law of God. But the righteousness of Joshua and the Pharisees is one and the same, the goal is the same, and the power is the same, just a different approach. Both call for glory to themselves and usurp the glory of the Lord.

Two – What do you think? Do men of God receive endorsements of men and accept their praises? If Jesus had a website, would He seek and post endorsements?

“But I do not receive testimony from man, but these things I say so that you might be saved” (John 5:34 MKJV).

“I do not receive honor from men” (John 5:41 MKJV).

What does Jesus say about those who are His?

“A disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord” (Matthew 10:24 MKJV).

“I have come in My Father's Name, and you do not receive Me. If another shall come in his own name, him you will receive. How can you believe, you who receive honor from one another and do not seek the honor that comes from God only?” (John 5:43-44 MKJV)

Here is the testimony of a faithful servant seeking only God’s glory:

“Do we begin again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, like some, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?” (2 Corinthians 3:1 MKJV)

“For we do not commend ourselves again to you, but are giving you occasion to glory on our behalf, so that you may have it to answer those boasting in appearance, and not in heart” (2 Corinthians 5:12 MKJV).

Those of you who would know the Lord, is it not possible to preach another Jesus, one who is attractive and desirable, contrary to Isaiah’s words spoken by the Spirit of Christ (Isaiah 53:1-10)?

“For if, indeed, the one coming proclaims another Jesus, whom we have not proclaimed, or if you receive another spirit, which you did not receive, or another gospel, which you never accepted, you might well endure these” (2 Corinthians 11:4 MKJV).

Has Jesus changed? Do you know differently than those who wrote the Scriptures by the Spirit of Jesus? Here are their declarations of Him:

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8 MKJV).

“For I am the LORD, I change not” (Malachi 3:6 MKJV).

Are Carnal Commendations Christian Credentials for Credibility?

Should you believe Joshua Tongol is a true man of God when false prophets commend him? Is he true because men praise him?

“Woe to you when all men shall speak well of you! For so their fathers did to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26 MKJV).

“And He said to them, You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15 MKJV).

We have an array of men with impressive titles and positions in this world commending Joshua – CEO’s, executive directors, founders, chairmen, distinguished professors, philosophy instructors, authors, pastors, teachers, even an “apostle.” Here’s what they say and what we have to say about them in this circumstance (there can be much more):

Darin Hufford - Author of The Misunderstood God

I’ve heard preachers from almost every Country in the world and to date my absolute favorite is a young man by the name of Joshua Tongol. He is one of the most passionate and exciting grace preachers I’ve ever encountered. He understands God’s heart in a way that few people do, and his simple and raw delivery of the message is unlike anything I’ve heard.

Is it about favorites? Is it a believing man’s place (not saying he believes) to promote the apostle John over the other apostles, or Paul or Timothy? Is it about passion or the ability to create excitement? Is it about eloquence or any other earthly thing? Hufford gives himself away as another false teacher.

So if Hufford is wrong, what about the one he commends? If he has no understanding of “God’s heart,” how can he know if Joshua does? Servants of darkness will never commend servants of Light who are presently serving God in this life; instead, they will oppose them. And servants of Light will expose servants of darkness who presume to serve the Light.

Hufford is impressed, no doubt, but shall we believe those who don’t know what they’re talking about?

J.P. Moreland - Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology and Author of Kingdom Triangle and Scaling the Secular City

JoshuaTongol is a former student of mine whose ministry effectively combines what I call the Kingdom Triangle: care for the life of the mind, concern for spiritual formation, and interaction with the power of the Kingdom.

My, how wise this Mr. Moreland is! You must be so proud of yourself, J.P. No wonder you’re distinguished! And a philosopher in a “school of theology,” too!

What does Jesus Christ have to say about such things? Here it is:

“At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank You, O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the sophisticated and cunning, and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight” (Matthew 11:25-26 MKJV).

1 Corinthians 1:18-29 MKJV
(18) For the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those being lost, but to us being saved, it is the power of God.
(19) For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will set aside the understanding of the perceiving ones.”
(20) Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the lawyer of this world? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
(21) For since, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom did not know God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe.
(22) For the Jews ask for a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom;
(23) but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness.
(24) But to them, the called-out ones, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.
(25) Because the foolish thing of God is wiser than men, and the weak thing of God is stronger than men.
(26) For you see your calling, brothers, that not many wise men according to the flesh are called, not many mighty, not many noble.
(27) But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
(28) and God has chosen the base things of the world, and things which are despised, and things which are not, in order to bring to nothing things that are;
(29) so that no flesh should glory in His presence.

Ah, surely it can be said of the Scriptures, and the Scriptures say it eloquently:

“For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing apart of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight, but all things are naked and opened to the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:12-13 MKJV).

Willie Beeson - Author of The Impossible Miracle

God is God, man is man. Are we God or made like Him? I have seen the glory of God in Heaven (challenge that) I know His Infiniteness. I also know Josh Tongol. What God asks of all mankind to enter the Kingdom of Heaven is, ‘Who is my Son?’ And next is, ‘Do you believe?’ . . . Josh seems to me to be someone who knows this well. . . . Only God will be the Judge. . . . Go Josh.

Willie, you say, “I have seen the glory of God in Heaven (challenge that) I know His Infiniteness.” I will challenge that. For you to commend Joshua Tongol as a minister of Jesus Christ requires either delusion or deliberate deception. Which is it? In either case, you haven’t a clue of the Lord God of Heaven.

And you say you know Josh Tongol? Do you boast? God is here to judge. And Josh will go, as you urge, but not how or where you expect, and you with him. God will be glorified, not you, not Joshua Tongol, not man.

Harry Edwards - Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Apologetics.com, Inc.

Joshua Tongol has been a true friend and a champion of God’s grace. He is passionate about reaching others for Christ through a keen understanding and presentation of the truth claims of Christianity. I’m thrilled and delighted to see how God’s kingdom will flourish through Josh’s ministry.

“Keen understanding”? Where is the Spirit of revelation? Where is the praise to God rather than to men? Harry, you couldn’t care less about the furtherance of God’s Kingdom. Let your titles and boasting perish with you and your pride. You have no part in God’s work or in His Son.

Joel Brueseke - Grace Roots Ministries

Joshua Tongol has a huge heart for God and for people. He loves sharing the message of God’s love and grace, and living it out in his life with others.

We will see, Joel, if your judgment is true. What will you say when you are found to be praising a false one? Joshua loves with his love and moves many in doing so. The world loves such people. If I didn’t know the Lord, I would wish to be that way, too, but thankfully, I and those with me have been spared and will bring the true message of salvation and hope in Jesus Christ to many. They won’t be disappointed, as those will be who listen to this false but delightful message of corrupt love you not only endorse, but spread to others.

Ami Chouravong - Executive Director of Wise Choices for Youth, Inc.

Josh Tongol’s message has always been the same — pointing people to the Savior’s love on the cross 2,000 years ago and to the love relationship Abba pursues you with today.

The Savior’s love is not relegated to history but is here today, by the cross, which cross everyone will experience when they experience His love. And Abba does not pursue anyone in a love relationship. All things are in His hands, and He calls every man in his order. When He calls, they come, because He gives grace to come, even as He did with the blasphemous murderer of His people, the Pharisee, Saul of Tarsus.

But there is one who pursues men in a love relationship, and her name is Mystery. Read The Lovely Essence of Satan.

Steve Kang - The Well Global Ministries and Christian City Kingdom Advancement Institute Founder

Josh Tongol is a man of faith, love, and grace, who balances sound theology with the supernatural manifestation of God, all centered around the love of Jesus. I recommend his ministry of agape love for both outreach and inreach discipleship!

What do worldly institute founders know about faith, grace, Jesus Christ, or His love? What do they know about His Kingdom? Nothing at all, and they prove so by their works. If they knew Him, they wouldn’t be creating institutes, praising men and seeking praise of men for themselves.

Fidel Arnecillo, Jr. – Philosophy Instructor/Lay Christian Teacher

Josh Tongol is a theologically-trained itinerant Christian teacher, who uniquely combines his cerebral skills with his passion for people and deeply penetrating ways of interacting with his audience. Like Jesus and John the Baptist, he is a God-sent gadfly. He challenges deeply embedded human traditions in churches, in order to open a more radical and challenging way of understanding God’s kingdom.

“Theologically-trained”? “Cerebral skills”?

1 Corinthians 1:18-20 MKJV
(18) For the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those being lost, but to us being saved, it is the power of God.
(19) For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will set aside the understanding of the perceiving ones.”
(20) Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the lawyer of this world? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

Romans 8:5-8 MKJV
(5) For they who are according to the flesh mind the things of flesh, but they who are according to the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
(6) For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace
(7) because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can it be.
(8) So then they who are in the flesh cannot please God.

The Lord Jesus Christ is a “gadfly”? Here’s the WordWeb definition:

A persistently annoying person; any of various large flies that annoy livestock.

I understand what he is trying to say, that righteousness can be a pest to the stuffy. Still, Arnicello Jr. is quite blasphemous, preaching another Jesus without any doubt, certainly not the Almighty God and Savior of all mankind we know Jesus Christ to be. And Joshua eats up Fidel’s commendation, posting it as a badge of honor!

Arnicello and Tongol most definitely do “open a more radical and challenging way of understanding God’s kingdom” - through the minds of devils.

See what God, through true men of God, has to say about “theological training”:

Philippians 3:3-11 MKJV
(3) For we are the circumcision who worship God in the spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh;
(4) though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other thinks that he has reason to trust in the flesh, I more.
(5) I was circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews. As regards the Law, I was a Pharisee;
(6) concerning zeal, persecuting the church; regarding the righteousness in the Law, blameless.
(7) But whatever things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
(8) But no, rather, I also count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for Whose sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them to be dung, so that I may win Christ
(9) and be found in Him; not having my own righteousness, which is of the Law, but through the faith of Christ, the righteousness of God by faith,
(10) that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death;
(11) if by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead.

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 MKJV
(26) For you see your calling, brothers, that not many wise men according to the flesh are called, not many mighty, not many noble.
(27) But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
(28) and God has chosen the base things of the world, and things which are despised, and things which are not, in order to bring to nothing things that are;
(29) so that no flesh should glory in His presence.
(30) But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made to us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption;
(31) so that, according as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”

“But he who glories, let him glory in the Lord. For not he who commends himself is approved, but he whom the Lord commends” (2 Corinthians 10:17-18 KJV).

Mike Kapler - Growing in Grace Broadcast

Gospel means good news and this is what I appreciate most about Joshua Tongol’s ministry…His gifted ability to share a message that puts the focus on Christ instead of ourselves.

If Mike can’t see where the focus is and where he is asked to place it, what can he see? He is another false teacher along with all those at Tongol’s site who do ungodly works, promoting Joshua on behalf of the destroyer:

“Concerning the works of men, by the Words of Your lips, I am kept from the paths of the destroyer” (Psalms 17:4 MKJV).

Dave Geisler - Pastor/Teacher at Promised Grace Ministries

Joshua knows the love of Christ and has a unique way of helping others to see and understand the light and life of Christ. He gives a clear grace message and helps us to move more and more into the reality of who we are in Christ and this new covenant relationship. To say I appreciate what he does would be the understatement of the millennium.

No doubt Joshua is a wonderful guy, and I most certainly would want the best for him and for all those who commend him, but I must say that he only knows a counterfeit love, man’s love, which is so appealing to the world and to the flesh. See False Love - Satan’s Last Stronghold.

I am tempted to say, “If only it were that easy to live in the love of God,” but I can’t and won’t. God didn’t make it easy, as evidenced by the suffering and death of prophets and saints throughout history, as well as by the crucifixion of the Son of God. His way is His way, and while He never promised wine and roses for salvation, He did promise suffering and sorrow, hardships, and hatred by the world.

“I have spoken these things to you so that you should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogue. But an hour is coming that everyone who kills you will think that he bears God service. And they will do these things to you because they have not known the Father nor Me” (John 16:1-3 MKJV).

Joshua, you may be hated by false Christians, but you are not hated by the true. I don’t hate you, and I don’t hate any against whom I speak... but you are in dire need of correction for your error. You preach a gospel of your own making, thinking you have great revelation, but it is deception, and we are here to tell you so. God will grant grace to whom He wills.

Sammy Bilyeu - Apostle of Grace

Joshua Tongol is the leader for this generation. I highly respect him personally and his integrity is evidenced for the love he has for his peers. God is using him in an AWESOME way because he is willing to do what others will not do, go where others will not go, and speak the words of Life in which there is no compromise.

Sammy, you are not an apostle, and you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Silverfilter - Electronic Musician and DJ (Manila, Philippines)

Josh can and will relate to your level wherever you are in your life and that is because of the Grace of God overflowing from his life to touch yours. His passion for the people is born out of the need to share the goodness and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to everyone who can hear his voice, and this is his seed. He is a great planter.

Praise of man more than of God is a betrayal of all that is good, holy, and true. No man should be praised as this, even if he is extraordinarily virtuous. Read the Scriptures and try to find any such holy example or instruction of praise of man. You will fail. However, another example does come to mind:

“And on a certain day, Herod sat on his throne, dressed in royal clothing, and made a speech to them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god and not of a man! And immediately the angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give God the glory. And he was eaten by worms and gave up the spirit. But the Word of God grew and increased” (Acts 12:21-24 MKJV).

When a man is so praised and when he posts the praises he receives of men, one can automatically be assured the man praised is not of God and those praising him are not of God. They are all deceived. Herod’s end was not very nice, and neither will the end be of those who love man’s glory more than God’s.

Samuel Mathew - The Ekklesia of Christ (NJ)

There is a revolution that is sweeping the planet, a grace revolution, which is Christianity in its purest form – Jesus plus nothing. Joshua Tongol is being used mightily by God in this revolution. He is passionate about the pure unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ and the restoration of the the church (ekklesia) from institutionalism to an organic expression of the living, breathing, every-member functioning body of Christ.

This sounds good. I am all for “the pure unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ” and delivery from “institutionalism to an organic expression of the living, breathing, every-member functioning Body of Christ.” But is this the true or the false revolution? Is this not an unauthorized entry (Matthew 22:12), coming up another way (John 10:1)? Is this not the strong delusion sweeping the world? What better way than by something so attractive to the world and to the flesh? Of Joshua and his boosters, it is written:

2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 MKJV
(8) And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the breath of His mouth and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming,
(9) whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
(10) and with all deceit of unrighteousness in those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, so that they might be saved.
(11) And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie,
(12) so that all those who do not believe the truth, but delight in unrighteousness, might be condemned.

David Borum - Grace to the Philippines

Joshua and I share the same passion, which is to see the people of The Philippines set free with the knowledge of God’s goodness and grace towards his children. When I found his ministry online I was encouraged. When I looked into the message further I was absolutely thrilled!

Let it be God’s power and work, not man’s. Let it be God’s understanding of freedom and knowledge of His goodness and grace, not man’s. No man can do these things and shouldn’t presume he can. Put away the fervent, heroic religious passions of the flesh, repent of them, and turn to God Who saves in all reality and judgment and righteousness. The works of men will never further God’s Kingdom.

Without the Father, the Son can do nothing. He said so. Now we witness many standing up, saying, “Without us, God can do nothing. We must help Him. We must succeed where He has failed.” It is self-righteousness; it is delusion. Yet God will see man through to the end, in spite of his corruption. God will be vindicated and glorified.

Pictures Worth a Thousand Words

Joshua’s Facebook photo gallery doesn’t represent the holiness and piety of the Kingdom of Heaven; it represents the silliness and foolishness of Satan’s kingdom. Show stupid faces, saints! That’s how to be representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ! Just be your unregenerate selves! That’s the fruit of the Spirit (isn’t it?), the manifest marks of disciples of Jesus Christ! Show the world you’re normal, lest you should offend them, right? To win them, be like them; that is, do what they do, right?

How godly is that? Did Christ die for you, so that you can act as silly, worldly fools? Isn’t that such a waste of His precious blood?

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2 MKJV).

Tongol’s gallery doesn’t represent grace, but iniquity. It doesn’t reflect the Law of God, which is good, holy, and pure, but man-pleasing lawlessness called “freedom in Christ by His grace.” It doesn’t represent the sober thankfulness and peace of sanctified saints, but the delusion of light and vain persons who have taken the broad way leading to destruction.

And because we aren’t falling for their so-called freedom, we are counted as Pharisees. Many enter the wide gate, refusing to be restrained, refusing to receive the glory that comes from God only. “The reason why you people enter the narrow gate,” the lawless retort, “is because you’re narrow-minded! You’re legalists! Jesus wants us to be free, free, free! He doesn’t want to change us - He wants to love us and He only wants us to love. He doesn’t want us all caught up in dos and don’ts! He wants us to have LIFE! Lighten up! Be human! God is nicer than you think!

Tongol and company, like his endorsers, fail to realize that Christ came to raise us up out of humanity’s fallen state. We aren’t called to live as fallen ones, but to repent and rise up in newness of life. Newness of life isn’t about being the old with new zest and energy, putting new wine in old skins. It’s about being a new creature altogether. As such, we have nothing more to do with the old – all things are new:

“So that if any one is in Christ, that one is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17 MKJV).

In Joshua's audio, “Love, Sex, and Relationships,” he is essentially saying, “Follow the heart, not the Bible.” Yes, it is very true that one ought not to be legalistic and slavish to the letter. What kind of new life in Christ is that? But saying, “Follow the heart,” means one can judge and trust himself and knows where to draw the line.

Even if one has a new heart, can he take fire in his bosom and not be burned? Flirting with opportunities of temptation and sin can easily lead one where he or she should not go. Does Scriptural counsel not warn to flee fornication? Sex hormones can play weird and deceitful tricks on people. I know, because as a believer, I allowed myself to go too far, presuming I could judge myself and love another physically as well as spiritually.

How is it you find a way to deny the counsel of the Scriptures? Better to exercise restraint and caution according to God’s written Word:

1 Corinthians 6:18-7:1 MKJV
(18) Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits fornication sins against his own body.
(19) Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit in you, Whom you have of God? And you are not your own,
(20) for you are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
(1) Now concerning what you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

“All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 MKJV).

Yes, we have been given a new heart, those of us who have been born again, yet the flesh is there, even as Paul said:

“But I buffet my body, and lead it captive, lest proclaiming to others I myself might be rejected” (1 Corinthians 9:27 MKJV).

Do we not find sufficient counsel in God’s Scriptures to refute your doctrine, Joshua? You assume that all those to whom you speak have new hearts. How can you judge them to have new hearts, if you yourself don’t have a new heart by which to judge?

Tongol says the people of the Old Testament had only the Law, so they had to meditate in it day and night. What about Noah? Did he have the Law? Or did he find grace in God’s sight? Did he have to meditate day and night, or did he hear God’s voice and believe?

What about Abel, Seth, Enoch, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph? Did they have the Law? Joshua, you are in great error teaching young people to follow their hearts. Wherever do you find any support in Scripture for such a notion? Is that what Paul told the Corinthians to do?

1 Corinthians 14:34-38 MKJV
(34) Let your women be silent in the churches; for it is not permitted to them to speak, but to be in subjection, as the Law also says.
(35) And if they desire to learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home; for it is a shame for a woman to speak in a church.
(36) Or did the Word of God go out from you? Or did it reach only to you?
(37) If anyone thinks to be a prophet, or a spiritual one, let him recognize the things I write to you, that they are a commandment of the Lord.
(38) But if any is ignorant, let him be ignorant.

I have met many professing believers (not the young only) who have followed their hearts, to their grief and sorrow. I was there with them. Your counsel is not wise, Joshua, much less godly, but oh, how popular and inviting to those who would indeed prefer to follow their hearts!

“In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his eyes” (Judges 17:6 MKJV).

And once again:

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 MKJV)

If we have and walk in His Spirit, we will do well and have life, but if we walk according to our human hearts, we will have death and destruction.

Tongol asks, “Isn’t it strange that you ask Jesus into your heart and then you can’t trust it, though you invite Him there to guide you and to teach you?” He begins on a false premise. Nowhere in the Scriptures will you find a teaching about asking Jesus into one’s heart. On the contrary, they teach that your heart is totally untruthful, unteachable, unreformable, and undependable. How could such a heart seek the Lord or do anything good?

No, the Lord does as He chooses, as He did with Saul of Tarsus, who didn’t ask Jesus into his heart. God bypasses the heart of stone by His Spirit, supplanting it with a heart of flesh, at His initiative:

“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. And I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My judgments and do them” (Ezekiel 36:26-27 MKJV).

You can trust the new heart of His Spirit, which, if He has given it to you, will be manifest by the fact that you are walking in His statutes and keeping His judgments. Your old heart will be crucified with Christ, no longer leading you about in lawlessness, error, and deception.

With Tongol, we see children playing in the streets, having fun in the Name of Jesus Christ. With a true man of God and the Law absent, the children will frolic.

“Nor should we be idolaters, even as some of them, as it is written: ‘The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play’” (1 Corinthians 10:7 MKJV).

This enjoyment is of the flesh, not of the Spirit of the Lord; it is one of self-indulgence and casting off constraints, not in the least pleasing to God. He grieves because of such presumption and foolishness, which serve to destroy people.

I watch the video on water baptism and see lightness, frivolity. It’s fun, it’s friendly fun, it’s clean fun; but where is the death and burial that immersion depicts? Are those a laughing matter, an occasion for celebration? While we rejoice to be identified with Christ, do we understand what it means? You are not teaching them soberly, Joshua; you make light of the things of God and make friends who cherish and admire you.

The Bible says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8 KJV), but Tongol, with what appears to be loving manner and doctrine, teaches his followers to hold hands and dance with the Devil and have a good time. And they call it “grace.”

“Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he who keeps the Law, he is blessed” (Proverbs 29:18 MKJV).

The Lord once said to me, “You will encounter those who cry, Grace! Grace!’ insisting they have My grace, but I will give them the fruits of their iniquity they call ‘grace.’ There will be those who condemn you, crying, ‘Law! Law!’ They hate My Law because they hate Me.”

I see people with Joshua Tongol who have no use for the Law of God. Do they not know that His Law is the love from above, not the love from beneath? Do they not know that believers in Christ are known as bondservants and not free rangers?

As another demonstration of silliness, we see a site full of boastful religious works, glorying in preaching, praying, laying on of hands, lengthening legs by prayer (sometimes real, but often a psychological effect), being on television, posing as the world poses, and demonstrating how people love this man. Granted, these things don’t look silly, but they are an ostentatious presentation of men’s works in the Name of the Lord.

Let me give some perspective on the “credentials” formerly advertised of Josh Tongol. Where I saw Joshua Tongol’s name or a personal pronoun referring to him, I've replace it with Paul the apostle. Let's see if we can begin to grasp the nature of Tongol’s works and ways in light of true godliness (Paul was set forth as an example for believers):

[The apostle Paul] started ministering at the young age of eighteen.

Whatever happened to, “Not a novice, lest being puffed up he may fall into the condemnation of the Devil” (1 Timothy 3:6 MKJV)?

Paul spent almost as many years being prepared by God after being called and before being sent to minister:

Galatians 1:15-18 KJV
(15) But when it pleased God, Who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by His grace,
(16) To reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
(17) Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
(18) Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.

“Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that Gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain” (Galatians 2:1-2 KJV).

[Paul] served as a Youth Coordinator at a Pentecostal church; an Apologetics Teacher at a Presbyterian church; a College Pastor at a Southern Baptist church; an Evangelist at an Assemblies of God church; and is currently a missionary in the Philippines.

Did Paul endorse denominations and sectarianism?

1 Corinthians 1:10-13 MKJV
(10) But I exhort you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
(11) For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brothers, by those of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
(12) But I say this, that every one of you says, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ.
(13) Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you, or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

And what did Paul say about his credentials?

Philippians 3:4-11 KJV
(4) Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinks that he has whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:
(5) Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the Law, a Pharisee;
(6) Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
(7) But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
(8) Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
(9) And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the Law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
(10) That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death;
(11) If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

Joshua prides in not having righteousness in the Law, yet presented credentials according to men’s systems, institutions, and laws, while Paul treated those as dung.

[The apostle Paul] has been featured on the 700 Club Asia and has appeared as a guest on several radio shows including the apologetics.com (99.5 KKLA). [Paul’s] story was also featured in Biola University’s 'The Point' Magazine: Your Faith Has Healed You: Faith and Healing in Today’s Culture.

I can understand the ignorant imagining the apostle Paul being featured and appearing as a guest on the multitudinous evangelical medias, but if we know the Lord and if we know brother Paul, we know he would have some very strong words for those people, and for their doctrines and ways. They would be unpleasantly surprised. Furthermore, if they didn’t know who he was, they would ridicule and throw him out. They could even do it if they knew, just like they did with John in his day – 3 John 1:9-10.

[Paul] has spoken and ministered all throughout the United States and in several parts of Asia at church services, retreats, and conferences.

Paul was wanted, too, but wanted dead, not alive. He was not a popular man. Wherever he went preaching, he was not received by the religious. Instead, he was hated and vilified, even stoned and whipped.

Furthermore, Paul would not use a record of his activities to promote himself, as modern-day preachers seeking fame and popularity do. Tongol promotes himself; Paul did not.

[Paul] has spoken on subjects such as apologetics, divine healing, radical grace, and organic church life.

Paul preached Christ and Him crucified. No doubt, he preached on many topics, but those topics were never a selling feature of his ministry, as though he should be called by to preach because he was a diversified speaker.

“For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2 KJV).

Many know [the apostle Paul] for his sermon jams (audio preaching with background music). He has a raw style of preaching and a big heart for people.

What the true apostle Paul said:

“And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:3-5 KJV).

[Paul] holds a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Biola University and an M.A. in Theology from Talbot School of Theology.

“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11-12 KJV).

[The apostle Paul] currently resides in Metro Manila and is addicted to cracking jokes, making goofy faces, reading books, and breakdancing.

Addicted? Is the ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ accompanied with an addiction to jokes, goofy faces, and break dancing?

[Paul] has a passion to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to see believers walk in true freedom.

The last statement can indeed be said of the apostle Paul, but can there be any doubt that while Paul preached the true Gospel, Joshua Tongol preaches another gospel, with another Jesus?

“I marvel that you so soon are being moved away from Him Who called you into the grace of Christ, to another gospel, which is not another, but some are troubling you, and desiring to pervert the Gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from Heaven preach a gospel to you beside what we preached to you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:6-8 MKJV).

Those who are sober, vigilant, and hungry for God and the Truth will know whereof we speak and will flee from the sheepish wolves to the True Shepherd, the Lion of Judah, where they will be safe from all wonderful harm.

“And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers” (John 10:5 KJV).

Paul the apostle would never post acclamations of himself or allow them to be posted by anyone with him, because he was walking with God. That goes for any true man of God. I say these things to warn you, to give you some instruction:

“And now listen to me, sons, and attend to the words of my mouth. Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not go astray in her paths” (Proverbs 7:24-25 MKJV).

“Ponder the path of your feet, and all your ways will be established” (Proverbs 4:26 MKJV).

Proverbs 8:4-9 MKJV
(4) To you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.
(5) O simple ones, understand wisdom; and, fools, be of an understanding heart.
(6) Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.
(7) For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is hateful to my lips.
(8) All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; nothing twisted or perverse is in them.
(9) They are all plain to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge.

Conclusion

I understand the rebellion against the phony, legalistic, tradition-bound, ceremonialistic, ritualistic, hierarchical institutionalized entities called “churches” and religious organizations. I understand the backlash against the demand of denominations to live by their doctrines, under their umbrellas, which promise life, but don’t deliver. I understand the reaction of people, especially the youth, against form without substance or life. We have left all those things behind ourselves, but…

...we have not thrown out the baby with the bathwater. Joshua would argue that he saved the baby and rejected only the bathwater, or that he received Jesus as He is, not as the churches have presented Him, but Joshua is full of misunderstanding and contradiction. He has rejected the Baby, but saved the bathwater and bathes all those who come to him in works of the flesh. He is beautifully carnal, but spiritually filthy.

He is a product of the system and, to prove it, uses his background with the systems of men to promote himself. This is only partly why Joshua Tongol is a false teacher, one who misleads and who diverts seekers from Jesus Christ. He also represents Jesus in a false way, thus he preaches another Jesus.

Run for your lives, those who love life, from an appealing, loving, friendly wolf who comes in sheep’s clothing. He comes devouring by caressing; he comes in powerfully kind and comfortable ways, the most effective ways available to seduce. Are these not the very tools the prostitute uses to persuade her clients to part with what she is after, whatever that may be?

Joshua, you may show me your love with affection and philosophical and theological persuasion, but I would show you my love by telling you the truth; not to condemn, but to save. Believe me, but know that if you do, you will no longer be popular; you’ll be hated by all men.

Let your mother’s heart be pierced for a good cause and not an evil one.

Victor Hafichuk

 

A Crossless Gospel

One in agreement with Joshua Tongol tries to explain her spiritual philosophy that is in harmony with his, which is basically that we need to focus on “grace” and not on what God requires of us. But we discovered the true grace of God in Christ only when we focused on what He required of us, and how the lawless hate to hear that!

 

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