1 The Seven Deadly Deceptions of Modern Christianity #1

The Seven Deadly Deceptions of Modern Christianity


Author: Harold Kupp



The truth shall set you free”


This information is about the process of salvation and subjects related to that process. If you think there is something wrong with modern Christianity you will find the scriptural answers here.








Modern Christianity has fallen away from God! Most of the organized church system has wandered so far from the truth that it refuses to even listen to the truth. The apostle Paul warned us that this would happen. He said:


"For the time will come when they will not endure sound

doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will

accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own

desires; and will turn away their ears from THE TRUTH..."

2 Timothy 4:3 NAS


The Psalmist defines "the truth":


"…and THY LAW is THE TRUTH."

Psalms 119:142 KJV


In both the business world and the religious world the formula for

success has become: "Give the people whatever they want!" The

people do not want the truth, they want their ears tickled with

"smooth things". Therefore it has been unpopular for the churches to

teach that we must obey God's law and give up our lives on this earth

to the service of Jesus Christ. It may be unpopular, but that is

exactly what Jesus asked for, our life and nothing less. He said:


"...but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the

gospel's, the same shall save it."

Mark 8:35 KJV


He gave us no options; we must surrender this lifetime to Him, no

matter what it may cost! The first act of our surrender is to obey

God's law, just as Jesus said:


"...but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments."

Matthew 19:17 KJV


Sadly, many who have turned to Jesus for salvation have been led

away from obedience to the Ten Commandments by false teachers

who tell them that they may remain a "carnal" Christian (one who

disobeys God's commandments) and yet still receive eternal life.


All who accept that lie will be lost!




Many professing Christians have been persuaded to believe they have

received eternal life despite their ongoing bondage to sin. They are

told they are born again children of God and saved forever the

moment they say: "I believe in Jesus and receive Him as my

Savior." Their teachers offer this verse as proof of the sinner's

instant salvation:


"He who believes in the Son has eternal life;"


However, the rest of that verse is seldom quoted:


"…but he who does not OBEY the Son shall not see life,

but the WRATH OF GOD abides on him."

John 3:36 NAS


They are being told that they do not have to obey, the only

requirement is that they "believe." Yet the apostle Paul said that

the mind that will not subject itself to the law of God is a carnal

(sinful) mind and hostile toward God. He wrote:


"...the CARNAL MIND is enmity [hostile] against God:


Romans 8:7 KJV


Is it possible that a person will inherit eternal life even if that

person is hostile toward God and will not obey His law? All major

denominations now say: "YES!", the carnal person will still be saved

if he "believes." The apostle Paul says "NO!":


"For to be carnally minded is death;"

Romans 8:6 KJV


This devastating doctrine of "The saved (but still carnal) Christian"

has been firmly established in our churches because the meaning of

the word believe is not always clear. The only true definition of what it

means to "believe" is the scriptural one found in John 3:36 (see above).


Examine it carefully and you will see that



THE PROOF! (John 3:36)


IF: One who believes in the Son has eternal life,


AND: One who does not obey shall not see life,


THEN: The one who does not obey, does not believe.


For it is clear that the one who shall not see life, could not

possibly have eternal life. Scripture does not allow any one who will

not obey to be counted a "believer." Thus any church that considers

a willfully disobedient person to have eternal life is teaching a fatal

error. One may be willfully disobedient or a believer, but not both.


Satan's lie ("the carnal Christian") is carefully designed to soothe

the conscience of those who seek the easy way. You may be sure

that all who profess it to be an option are deceived to some degree.

Paul did not teach that we had a third choice; quite to the contrary he



1."For if you live according to the flesh YOU WILL DIE, but


2. if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body


Romans 8:13 RSV


In the New Testament, just as in the Old Testament, there are only

two choices: death or life - sin or righteousness. Paul gave no hope

to the sinful man when he said:


"You are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which

leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness."

Romans 6:16 RSV


In his letter to the Galatians, verse 5:19, Paul described the deeds

of the flesh (our sinful nature) and then went on to make the

requirement for the cleansing of the flesh absolutely clear.


"Now those who belong to Christ Jesus

have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires."

Galatians 5:24 NAS


Please stop and take note of the past tense that Paul used. The

apostle did not say they will crucify the flesh, he did not say that

they had a choice or that it would be done for them. He said they

had already crucified the flesh.


Those who truly belong to Christ Jesus - those who are "His" - have

already crucified their own sinful nature. Therefore, by that verse

those who are seeking God have an infallible measuring stick within

themselves. They have only to look at their own lifestyle to see

where they stand with God. If they have not yet totally committed

themselves to put to death the deeds of the body through obedience

to God's law, they do not yet "belong" to Jesus. No one can deceive

you, nor can you deceive yourself if you measure by the Ten



The strategy of Satan in the modern church has been to make people

believe that they have eternal life the moment they accept Jesus as

their personal Savior. (A very easy path indeed!) The act of

receiving Jesus does bring joy to the heart; however, it reveals that

they now have the right (or power) to become a child of God.

(born-again) They now have the gift of faith from God which enables

them to surrender this life to God. (If they will!) The apostle John

showed us the process of salvation when he wrote this verse:


"But as many as RECEIVED Him, to them He gave the right TO

BECOME children of God..." (born-again)

John 1:12 NAS


Jesus said:


"…the way is narrow that leads to life,

and FEW are those who find it."

Matthew 7:14 NAS


The first step on that narrow path to life is to repent of our sin and accept (receive) Jesus as our Savior. The next step is to accept Jesus as our LORD and surrender all of our heart, our soul, our strength and our mind to serve Him forever. The mark of a servant is that he obeys the commandments of his Master.






How would you answer these four questions concerning your

relationship with God?

Yes No

1. Do I truly love God ____ ____


2. Does God know me? ____ ____


3. Do I abide in God? ____ ____


4. Do I really know God? ____ ____


According to the New Testament these questions can only be

answered "yes" by one who is keeping the commandments of God. I

certainly would not expect the reader to believe this statement

without ample proof. To find that proof, let us examine God's word .


1. Do I truly love God?




As our Lord was teaching in Jerusalem, one of the Pharisees who was

trained in the law of Moses, approached Jesus and attempted to test

Him with this question:


"Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"


Jesus said to him:


"What is written in the Law? How do you read?"


The lawyer responded from the books of Deuteronomy and Leviticus:

"You shall LOVE the Lord your God

with all your heart

and with all your soul

and with all your strength

and with all your mind;

and your neighbor as yourself."


Jesus agreed with him and said:

"DO THIS and you will live."

Luke 10:25 RSV


(Deuteronomy 6:5 - Love God)

(Leviticus 19:18 - Love your neighbor)


In 1st Corinthians 13:4 Paul teaches how we are to love our

neighbor, but how does one love a God whom we cannot even see?

It is just at this point that many are led astray from the truth.




"For this is the LOVE of God,

that we keep His commandments."

1 John 5:3 RSV


"He who has my commandments

and keeps them he it is who LOVES Me."

John 14:21 RSV


"If you LOVE Me,

you will keep My commandments."

John 14:15 RSV


The word of God is clear. There can be no possible

misunderstanding by those who are willing to hear the truth. The

LOVE that God asks of us, is that we KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS!


The practical result of obedience to God's law is that we will finally overcome sin. It is this battle to conquer sin which tests our faith.


James teaches that only those whose faith has been tested and approved will receive the crown of (eternal) life. He wrote:


"Blessed is a man who preserves under trial;

for once he has been approved, he will

receive the crown of life, which the Lord

has promised to those who LOVE Him."

James 1:12 NAS


James is saying that those who are approved and receive the "crown

of life" are those who LOVE the Lord; and Jesus said that those who

LOVE Him are those who KEEP His commandments.






2. Does God know me?




As He was teaching the "Sermon on the Mount", Jesus warned His

disciples that even though someone may say "Jesus is Lord" and

manifests a "spiritual gift", these things are not proof of Salvation.


Rather, it is only the one who does the will of God who will enter the

Kingdom of God.


"Not every one who says to me, "Lord, Lord" shall enter the

Kingdom of Heaven, but he who DOES THE WILL of My

Father who is in heaven.


On that day many will say to Me,


"Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name,

and cast out demons in your name,

and do many mighty works in your name?"


And I will declare to them,


"I never KNEW you depart from Me you EVILDOERS."

Matthew 7:21 RSV





"But if one LOVES God, one is KNOWN by Him."

1 Corinthians 8:3 RSV


"He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who

LOVES me."

John 14:21 RSV


"The Lord KNOWETH them that are HIS."

2 Timothy 2:19 KJV


["And they that ARE CHRIST'S have crucified the flesh

with the affections and lusts." Galatians 5:24]


God knows all men, but only a few are "known" by the Lord in the

Biblical sense, that is, as Adam "knew" Eve. To be "known by God"

represents the spiritual union of Jesus with his people. (The

Bridegroom and His bride.) Those who say "Lord, Lord" yet

continue to willfully sin have never experienced this union. Thus

Jesus will say to the EVILDOERS: "Depart from me..."


Who are the "EVILDOERS"? This word comes from the Greek

"Anomia" which means illegality or violation of the law and generally

wickedness. The apostle John used the same word "Anomia" to give

us a clear definition of what true "sin" is. He said:


"...sin is the transgression of the law." John 3:4 KJV

------ Anomia------------


Therefore, a literal translation of what Jesus is going to declare to

the EVILDOERS who say "Lord, Lord," is this:


"I never KNEW you, depart from Me you that transgress the law




Another revealing use of the word "anomia" is recorded in Matthew's

gospel. During the Olivet discourse, as Jesus was speaking to the men

who were to become His apostles, He foretold of the conditions that

would exist near the end times. He said:


"And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many.


And because lawlessness (Anomia) is increased


most people's LOVE will grow cold."

Matthew 24:11 NAS



As you look about your world, your church, and perhaps even

yourself, do you recognize any of the conditions that Jesus said

would come to pass?


1. Many false teachers will arise (within the church) to lead the

people astray.

2. And lawlessness (transgression of the law) will increase

3. And LOVE (the keeping of the commandments) will grow cold.





NO! Satan, the father of lies, has enticed man to disobey God's

commands from the beginning of creation. The charge of "legalism"

against those who teach obedience to the law of God is just another

one of Satan's deceptions. It is not a "work of the flesh" to obey

the commandments unless you are depending on your obedience to earn

forgiveness (justification). On the other hand, a willing obedience

to God's moral law is the scriptural evidence of a true saving faith.

James challenged the brethren to show him the reality of their faith

without also showing him their works of faith. He asked them:


"What use is it my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but has no

works? Can that faith save him?"

James 2:14 NAS


It is clear that "Faith without works is dead," yet it is also clear

that no man can earn forgiveness by doing good works, for we are

justified (forgiven) through our faith in a living Christ. However,

if a man accepts Jesus as both his personal Savior and LORD, that

man will surely obey Him and keep His commandments, no matter

what it may cost. If we do not obey Him, He is not our Lord.


Through our obedience Jesus cleanses us from the doing of sin

(sanctification). First the law sends us to Jesus Christ for

justification (forgiveness), and then Jesus sends us back to the law

for sanctification (cleansing) by the Holy Spirit. Paul warned that if we

wish to see the Lord, we MUST go through the process of



"Follow after peace with all men, and the sanctification without


Hebrews 12:14 ASV


Without the light of God's law to expose his sins, a man walks in

desperate darkness, for he must depend upon his own heart to decide

what is good or evil. The prophet Jeremiah said: "The heart of man

is deceitful above all things," and the Proverbs teach that: "All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes." Therefore, if we do not have a permanent standard (carved in stone) by which to measure sin, we will always deceive ourselves.


In these "latter days," many teachers who claim to speak for God

have turned away from the law of God. It has become more popular

to obey their "inner voice" than the voice that spoke from Mount

Sinai. However, the true test of a teacher's "spirit" is found in the

book of Jeremiah. God said:


"But if they had stood in my council, then they would have

proclaimed MY WORDS to My people,


And they would have TURNED THEM from their evil way

and from the evil of their doings."

Jeremiah 23:22 RSV


Those who speak by the "Spirit of Christ" will always teach others to

immediately and completely cease from committing sin. They will

always proclaim "HIS WORDS."






When Jesus faced the temptations in the wilderness, he declared to


"It is written,

Man shall not live by bread alone,

but by every WORD that

proceeds from the mouth of God."

Matthew 4:4 RSV


Our Lord was quoting from the book of Deuteronomy (8:3). When

that verse is considered in context you can see that it clearly refers

to the keeping of God's commandments:


(8:1) "All the commandments which I command thee this day

shall ye observe to do, THAT YE MAY LIVE,


(8:2) "And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy

God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to

humble thee, and to prove (test) thee, to know what

was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest KEEP HIS



(8:3) "And He humbled thee...and fed thee with manna...that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only,





(8:6) "Therefore thou shalt KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS

of the Lord thy God, to walk in His ways, and to fear



Both Jesus and the book of Jeremiah are referring to the same

"WORDS," those that proceeded from the mouth of God on Mount

Sinai; the Ten Commandments!


If there is still any doubt in your mind, think about this: The English

word "Commandment" is translated from the Hebrew "dabar" which

means: "a word." Therefore that which was carved in stone forever

were the Ten "dabars" (words) of God.


Legalism? No, I think not, unless Jesus, the prophets and the

apostles were all legalists. Now let us return to the four questions.




3. Do I abide in God?




At the Last Supper, Jesus taught His disciples about our spiritual

relationship with Him. Our Lord used the branch and the vine to

illustrate our complete dependence upon Him. He explained that the

branch can bear no fruit without the constant flow of life from the

vine. Jesus said to them:


"I am the vine, you are the branches.

He who ABIDES in Me, and I in him,

he it is that bears much fruit..."


"If a man does not ABIDE in Me,

he is cast forth as a branch and withers;

and the branches are gathered, thrown into

the fire and BURNED."

John 15:5 RSV


ABIDE is from the Greek "Meno." It means to remain in, to stay, to





"All who keep His commandments ABIDE in Him, and He in


1 John 3:24 RSV


"If you keep My commandments you will ABIDE in My Love."

John 15:10 RSV


The church of today is empty of true spiritual strength and bears

little resemblance to the church of the first century because it

refuses to ABIDE in God. The scriptures plainly teach that the Father

promises to answer only the prayers of those who ABIDE in Him and

obey His law:


"If you ABIDE in Me,

and My WORDS abide in you,

ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you."

John 15:7 RSV


"And we receive from Him whatever we ask,


1 John 3:22 RSV


"If one turns away his ear from hearing THE LAW,

even his prayer is an abomination."

Proverbs 28:9 RSV


A thousand may pray until their knees are bloody, but if they are not

keeping His commandments, God says their prayer is an abomination

to Him. Yet the prayers of only one man who abides in Him can

change the lives and circumstances of many:


"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

James 5:16 KJV


"Little children, let no one deceive you. He who does right, is

righteous." 1 John 3:7 RSV


God's word is painfully clear. If one does not keep His

commandments, one does not ABIDE in Him. If one does not

ABIDE in Him, God does not answer his prayer; and he will become

like the withered branch, cast forth, thrown into the fire and burned.




4. Do I really know God?




After the Last Supper, Jesus was praying to the Father and spoke

these words:


"And this is eternal life,

that they KNOW Thee, the only true God,

and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent."

John 17:3 RSV




"And by this we may be sure



"He who says "I KNOW Him" but disobeys His commandments

is a liar, and the truth is not in him."


"No one who ABIDES in Him sins; no one who sins has either

seen Him or KNOWN Him."

1 John 2:3 - 2:4 - 3:6 RSV


God's word is indeed a piercing sword. The apostle John is saying

that if you are not able to keep His commandments, you do not yet

know God. And Jesus said if you do not know God, you will not

have eternal life.


These are hard words to hear, especially for those who would prefer

to have their "ears tickled." Many thousands of words have been

spent in vain trying to twist these icy clear verses. Many thousands

of hours have been wasted trying to prove that these simple verses do

not mean what they say. Yet their unshakeable truth is our protection,

for we cannot be deceived if we will but listen and accept what they declare:








The New Testament often uses the "wolf" as a symbol of false

teachers. Please take heed for among your own selves there are many

friendly and even affectionate "wolves." The church is their hunting

ground, and there they prey upon the true flock of God. Paul warned

us of these "wolves in sheep's clothing." He said:


"I know that after my departure fierce wolves will

come in among you, not sparing the flock; and

from among your own selves will arise men speaking

perverse things, to draw the disciples after them."

Acts 20:29 RSV


The warning Paul gave to the Ephesian elders is relevant today, for

Satan has not changed his methods or his tools. The sad thing is that

many deceived elders and pastors think they are truly working for

God by teaching against His law. The law of God protects the "little

flock" like a high fence. The Ten commandments keep the false

prophets out and the disciples within. The light from the law exposes

both false doctrines and false teachers. Therefore, the wolves

must try to knock down the fence, so they may lure the sheep out

into the world, where they become easy prey.


Many of these false teachers say: "Jesus is Lord" yet they have

become unsuspecting servants of Satan, the "great deceiver." Here

are some of the distortions they use to undermine the law of God:


"No one ever kept the commandments perfectly."


"Jesus has fulfilled the law for us."


"We are not under the law."


"The law is only for the Jews."


These twistings of scripture are simply excuses for sin; pleasant

words for itching ears.


One very deceptive lie being taught by some is that we are indeed to

"obey the commandments" but not the Ten Commandments. They

say that the New Testament commandments we are to keep are:

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart...and your

neighbor as yourself." (See Matthew 22:37)


Jesus did say that these were the most important commandments

(precepts) in the Old Testament, because they compressed all the

teachings of the Law and the prophets into two thoughts. But was

He really giving us "new" commandments? Let us take a closer



Our Lord was quoting from the book of Deuteronomy:


"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one LORD; and you shall

love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your

soul, and with all your might. And these WORDS which I

command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall

teach them diligently to your children, and you shall talk of them

when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and

when you lie down, and when you rise."

Deuteronomy 6:4 RSV


The whole 6th chapter of Deuteronomy is about obedience to the

TEN WORDS of God, which Moses had just finished reading to the

people of Israel. In both the Old Testament and the New, we are

taught to love God by keeping His commandments.


"For this is the love of God,


1 John 5:3 RSV




When Jesus was asked this direct question:


"What good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?"


Jesus gave the man this direct answer:


"Keep the commandments."


When the man asked: "Which" commandments, Jesus quoted from

the Ten Commandments and added: "love your neighbor as your

self." (see Matthew 19:17)


Our Lord has never revoked the law that He himself gave us. The

scriptures teach that it could only have been through Jesus that those Ten WORDS were written upon the tablets of stone over 3,400 years ago:


"All things were made through Him, and without Him was not

anything made that was made."

John 1:3 RSV


"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and FOREVER."

Hebrews 13:8 KJV


If there is any doubt in your mind which commandments we are to

obey, Jesus Himself pointed specifically to the Fifth commandment

and called it both the COMMANDMENT of God and the WORD of

God (not Moses) when he rebuked the Pharisees and the Scribes for

teaching that it was all right not to provide for one's parents if the money was given to the temple as an offering. Jesus said:


"And why do you transgress the COMMANDMENT OF GOD

for the sake of your tradition?"

Matthew 15:3 RSV


"Thus have ye made the COMMANDMENT OF GOD

of none effect by your tradition."

Matthew 15:6 KJV


"Making the WORD OF GOD

of none effect through your tradition..."

Mark 7:13 KJV



Jesus did not condemn the Pharisees for keeping the law, but for

disregarding it. His contempt for all those who are "teaching for

doctrines the commandments of men" has never changed. In Mark's

version of this incident Jesus added:


"You nicely set aside the COMMANDMENT

OF GOD in order to keep your tradition."

Mark 7:9 NAS


As it was then, so it is now. If we would enter life we must trust

only God's word, and turn away from the "leaven" of the modern

Pharisees; those religious leaders who would teach us to set aside the commandments of God and follow their "new" traditions.


Beware of those who smile and say: "Oh yes, we should try to keep

God's commandments, but if you don't - well, you are still saved by

grace." That is a LIE! If you have grace you are able to do what

God has commanded you to do.





Satan's greatest accomplishment has been to get the "church" to set

aside God's Sabbath day. He has caused many to disobey God by

doing away with the Fourth Commandment. Please, don't listen to

him! The seventh day Sabbath stands forever, just like the stone on

which it was carved by the finger of God. You may search the

scriptures end to end and you will not find one verse that says that

the Sabbath was ever changed from the seventh to the first day of the

week. Nor one verse that says the requirement to keep the Sabbath

has been canceled.


We can clearly see where God commanded us to "Remember the

sabbath day." (Exodus 20:8) Where did God change it? Since there

is no scriptural authority for disregarding the Sabbath then it could

only have been changed by the tradition of man! There were TEN

commandments given by the very mouth of God for all to hear that

day on Mount Sinai. There are still ten. If you are not keeping the

Sabbath then you are breaking God's law.





There has always been confusion sown into the church about Paul's

position on the Ten Commandments. Peter warned us that unlearned and

unstable men would twist the teachings of Paul. (2 Peter 3:15f) The

apostle Paul himself settled the matter for all time. He said:


"Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing,

but what matters is THE KEEPING OF THE


1 Corinthians 7:19 NAS


"Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means!

On the contrary, WE UPHOLD THE LAW."

Romans 3:31 RSV


Therefore, knowing that God's word cannot possibly contradict itself

we can be sure that when Paul said: "we are not under the law," he

did not mean that we are no longer required to keep God's





I know that many of you who are reading this are still saying:

"legalism" or "Phariseeism" or perhaps, "No! Never! Salvation is all

by grace. I am not to do anything." Friends, to you I can only let

God's word speak:


"...he who DOES NOT OBEY the Son shall not see life, but


John 3:36 RSV


Surely all would agree that to obey the Son would require us to "do"

something. That "something" is the total surrender of our self-life

in obedience to God. Through that obedience we "work out our

salvation (from sin) with fear and trembling." When we repent of sin

and surrender our lives to Jesus Christ in faith, God puts His Holy

Spirit into us and by His strength and grace we are enabled to walk

the narrow way that leads to life.


As Jesus spoke to his disciples following the sermon on the Mount,

he warned them of the difficulties they would face along that "narrow

way." He said:


"Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way EASY

that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are MANY.


For the gate is narrow and the way is HARD that leads to [eternal]


Matthew 7:13 RSV


All who are seeking the way that leads to life; please listen to the

words of Jesus as he spoke to the "Rich Young Ruler." Try to

imagine yourself to be the young (and very religious) man who

sought out the Lord on the hot and dusty road to Jerusalem. You

approach the Master and ask him: "Teacher, what must I do to inherit

eternal life?"


Look into the eyes of the Son of God, as He says to you:




Matthew 19:17 RSV


Our Lord Jesus is the same "yesterday, and today, and forever." He

did not have one plan of salvation for that young man and another for

you. Will you listen to the theologians of the world (who don't even

agree with each other) or will you let the simple clear words of Jesus

decide the issue?


If this message bothers you, and you go to your Pastor or counselor

for advice, I suggest you ask him this question: Do you keep the Ten

commandments? (including the Sabbath?) If he says "No," remember

this verse:


"The one who says, "I have come to Know Him,"

and does not keep His commandments, is a liar,

[false] and the truth is not in him."

1 John 2:4 NAS


Let God's word alone guide your way. Do not trust someone

because of their position, or good deeds, or pleasing personality.

Instead test them by the pure and simple teachings of the Bible. The

truth will set you free, but a liar can deceive you!


The Bible teaches that God's message to Man is very simple. It has

never changed. It is this:





Ecclesiastes 12:14 KJV











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