1 Thessalonians 5 – The Model Walk & How Not to Be a Victim to a False Prophet

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There are many more false prophets then there are true preachers.  The below suggestions are good, but I know of an even better one and it will cover everything, do what Paul told the people of Ephesus to do:

“Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph 6:11).

This is the last chapter of 1 Thessalonians and tomorrow we’ll start with…

1 Thessalonians 5
The Model Walk

1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

“Times and the seasons” – there have always been some Christians who try to fix the date of our Lord’s return.

2 Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King wrote down the essentials of the faith as he saw them in what is known as Luther’s Catechism. There was the small catechism geared toward children and his large catechism geared toward adults. Both Catechisms deal with five things: The Ten Commandments; The Apostles Creed; The Lord’s Prayer; Baptism; and Communion. Luther himself said:

“In the catechism, we have a very exact, direct, and short way to the whole Christian religion. … The catechism is the most complete and best doctrine, and therefore should continually be preached; all public sermons should be grounded and built thereupon. … the catechism, I insist, is the right Bible of the laity, wherein is contained the whole sum of Christian doctrine necessary to be known by every Christian for salvation. … We should esteem and love the catechism, for therein is the ancient, pure, divine doctrine of the Christian Church” (Table Talk — Martin Luther, translated by William Hazlitt, pp. 139-140).

Catechism comes from the Catholic Church and they are very tricky with their wording, as the serpent had been with Eve (Gen 3:1-5). Whenever you hear the word catechism, Catholic, Rosary, or anything connect to them, run.

In my opinion, King believed in a false faith, but he wasn’t really spiritual. After reading many of his preachings I would have to say he was not trying to bring peace between the blacks and whites, he was trying to outwit the white race and then overpower them. Like the sons of Jacob did in Gen 34.

Their sister Dinah was raped by Shechem (from a different tribe) and he wanted to marry Dinah, but she wasn’t interested and her brothers weren’t going to allow that to happen, they wanted revenge.

To make a long story short, they convinced the Shechem, his family and the entire tribe that if they were all circumcised they would let the Shechem marry Dinah. Three days after they were circumcised and the entire tribe was in so much pain they couldn’t do much, Dinah’s brothers killed them all.

I think that was Kings idea.

2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

“Darkness” – believers no longer live in darkness, nor are they of the darkness.

5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

“Sleep” – unbelievers are spiritually insensitive, but this kind of sleep is not for “sons of the light.” 

“Watch” – this is in keeping with the emphasis Paul is placing on Christ’s coming.

7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.

“Breastplate…helmet” – see Eph 6:11-18.

9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

“Appointed” – God’s appointment, not man’s choice, is the significant thing.  For example, Moses didn’t go to God, neither did Paul, He came to them for His purpose.

10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;

13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

“The that are unruly” – or “those who are idle,” they were loafers.

“The feebleminded” – meaning those who are fainthearted or discouraged.

15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

“Render evil” – retaliation is never a Christian option.  Christians are called to forgive.

Forgiving someone that does you wrong is not always easy, and it may even take time for you to do it, I know this from experience.  But it must be done, as Jesus said:

“But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt 6:15). 

16 Rejoice evermore.

3 The Copelands
The Copeland’s are Word of Faith preachers/teachers. Their “name it and claim it” fame have deceived millions around the world. These Word of Faith preachers all pretty much adhere to the same philosophy.
They believe that you can become a little god. That you can proclaim your own health and wealth just by speaking it. That Jesus did not pay for our sins on the cross but went to hell for our atonement.

They also say that its all your fault if you are not healthy and wealthy because you lack in faith.

These preachers teach that you have no reason to be poor because Jesus was not poor therefore if you are a follower of Jesus, you can and should be rich also. They claim that Jesus lived in a rich house by the sea and had so much money that He needed to appoint a treasurer to hold it all.

They never once will say that maybe all the money Jesus and his followers had was a small amount and they kept it all together to keep it safe because they needed it so badly. Their claims are definitely one sided with prosperity being on their side of course.

In my opinion, the Copeland’s teachings are not exactly correct, but none of the above actually take people away from Jesus. Their words are more of a subtle threat to lead people to Christ.

Yet, the “name it and claim it” is extremely close to “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrd and that is all against Jesus. Also, they are extremely wealthy and even though they do a lot for people, they could do more with that money instead of hoarding it.

Jesus doesn’t want us to hoard our money or anything, but trust in Him (Matt 6:25-33).

People are naturally happy on some occasions, but the Christian’s joy is not dependent on circumstances.  It comes from what Christ has done and it is constant.

This does not mean that Christians do not have bad days, it means that they know that everything on earth is temporary and their bad day will not take them away from Jesus, no more than will it take Him away from you.

17 Pray without ceasing.

This does not mean to be repetitive in your prayers or to do it set a time to make your prayers,  it means to talk to God daily whenever you feel like it, not a certain time.

18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

19 Quench not the Spirit.

20 Despise not prophesyings.

21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

Paul’s confidence rests in the nature of God who can be relied on to complete what He begins (see Num 23:19; Phil 1:6).

25 Brethren, pray for us.

26 Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss.

27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.

28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

The first epistle unto the Thessalonians was written from Athens.

How Not to Be a Victim to a False Prophet

The short list below shows false teachers from a site I found, and I will leave my opinion of what I think, but it is you that must decide if they are false or not.

There are some that are more than obvious, but many are very good at hiding the falsity of their words.  You can’t just believe what anyone says, you have to listen to what the accused false teacher/prophet preaches to know for certain.

Remember what Jesus said, “…by their fruites ye shall know them” (Matt 7:20).

False prophets prey on all economic classes, races, and degrees of intellects. Don’t make the mistake thinking that because you are smart, you are immune. Few are invulnerable to their sometimes colossal gravitational spiritual pull.

4 Dr. John MacArthur
Dr. John MacArthur said, “It is not the actual liquid that cleanses us from our sins, but the work of redemption Christ accomplished in pouring it out.”

David J. Stewart says that is blasphemy. I don’t know enough about MacArthur to agree or disagree with Stewart, but the above statement of MacArthur is correct.

Here Stewart is the false teacher. Stewart is stating the blood of Jesus is what saves us, and not Him.

However, there is absolutely no good reason anyone need fall victim to a false prophet. Just a few simple precautions can ensure this won’t happen to you.

Don’t be a tradition-follower

The vast majority of people in the religious world practices and worships the way they do for one simple reason: tradition. This seemingly innocent concept will probably claim more spiritual victims on the Day of Judgment than any other.  Why?

Because people seldom question the faith they are raised in. Apparently they think their parents, grandparents, and other ancestors couldn’t have possibly been wrong.

Additionally, some feel that by following in the path of their ancestors they are somehow honoring their memory.

Furthermore, if they chose to take a different spiritual path than their family has chosen, they may be subject to disassociation. This is a greater sacrifice than most are willing to bear.

Therefore, few ever take the time to honestly locate the truth and then follow it, the only truth is Jesus.  And He and only He can “set us free.”

Because the “tradition trap” is so powerful, false prophets probably enjoy their easiest success at the expense of tradition-oriented Christians. The wide path that leads to destruction is perfectly suitable to them.

Some false prophets may have fallen victim to the same influence, and that is how they became the evil person they are.

Arm Yourself With Knowledge

Religious people who lack knowledge are bright-red, loudly-quacking sitting ducks for false prophets. It is only a matter of time before one of the many false prophets of the world will find his way into the life of a person who is unarmed of spiritual knowledge and truth.

5 Ray Comfort
Ray Comfort answers the question, “Is Repentance Necessary for Salvation?” with “…We are dead in our trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1) and until we forsake them through repentance, we cannot be made alive in Christ…”

David J. Stewart says, “Carefully notice that Mr. Comfort attempts to use Lk 8:13 to support his heresy that believing on Jesus Christ is insuffi
cient by itself to save a person.“

Again I must say that Stewart is the false teacher because even though it takes more than just believing in Jesus to be saved, if you are true to your heart and your repentance honest then you will be saved.

God once said that His people were destroyed due to a lack of knowledge, and the same is certainly true today.

Sadly, far too many Christian religious people are perfectly content to listen to their religious leaders—but never bother to do their own homework, never bother to examine their preacher’s message against the word of God.

They make the tragic assumption that “False Prophets always happen to someone else,” not realizing their own leaders are off track of truth.

So, probably the key action Christians can take to arm themselves against false prophets—is to continually shore up their faith by constantly upgrading their knowledge of God’s word – Read the Bible.

And along with that, we must possess an honest and open mind, and the courage to make any necessary changes to our lives.

You’ll never be able to identify a false prophet if you don’t know how to identify one—as defined by the word of God. Recognizing false prophets therefore requires knowledge. And knowledge requires a study of God’s word.

Don’t Be Complacent

False prophets prey on the complacent, self-satisfied, and unsuspecting.

Complacent individuals do not have a sense of urgency regarding their eternal destiny. They feel saved and secure. They don’t think purity of faith and doctrine is important.

Thus, they make easy prey for false prophets who are perfectly contented with complacent followers, especially since complacent followers provide the much needed financial and support network essential for the success of their ongoing work.

6 Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa was not a Christian, but a self-sacrificing woman who followed a false religion. Consider some quotes from her speech at the 10/84 Worldwide Retreat for Priests:
(a) “At the word of a priest, that little piece of bread becomes the body of Christ, the Bread of Life.”

(b) “Without a priest, without Jesus going with them, our sisters couldn’t go anywhere.”

(c) “When the priest is there, then can we have our altar and our tabernacle and our Jesus. Only the priest put Jesus there for us. … Jesus wants to go there, but we cannot bring him unless you first give him to us. This is why I love priests so much. We could never be what we are and do the things we do without you priests who first bring Jesus to us.”

(d) “Mary … is our patroness and our Mother, and she is always leading us to Jesus.”

No one would deny that Mother Teresa did a marvelous piece of wonderful humanitarian work among the poor and neglected of the world, she definitely did not lead people to the one, true, eternal salvation through the finished sacrifice of Calvary.

Mother Teresa provided the classic example of compassionate and charitable deeds divorced from truth. She said that her purpose was to bring her patients closer to the “God” in whom they already believe; so that a Hindu becomes a better Hindu, a Buddhist a better Buddhist, etc.

This is basically what Billy Graham does, but without the work and effort that Mother Teresa put in.

The Bible clearly speaks of greed as a motivating factor of Christian false prophets:

And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not (2 Pet 2:3).

Take the Time To Do Your Spiritual Homework

False prophets prey on those too busy to “check out the facts.” Many people fall into this category. It’s far easier to rely on a seemingly intelligent, knowledgeable spiritual leader, than it is to take personal responsibility for one’s own salvation—as God commanded Christians to do.

Be Alert For Suspicious or Illogical Messages from your Preacher

Sometimes logic itself makes it obvious your preacher is a false prophet. Certain “red flags” of warning are sometimes raised in their sermons and personal advice to their followers.

For example, if your religious leader tell you they are receiving messages and prophecies directly from God, you should be extremely wary. Why? Because God’s word plainly teaches that all instructions regarding our Christian living were completed long ago.

In the Bible we have the completed will of God, and have had since Christ’s century.

And one more important piece of Biblical advice: Don’t keep listening to the messages of those you know by research are false teachers. Yes, we must “test everything,” and then hold on to what is good and true.

By continually listening to clearly false prophets, you open yourself up to being “re-convinced” of something that is false. The Bible warns against this.

Once a person is established as “firmly convicted” in his Biblical wrongness, we should be wary of that spiritual source.

“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph 4:14).


Most people consider it important to examine all the facts when it comes to buying a car, a home, or making a significant investment.

But nothing is as important as closely checking the facts when it comes to that which will determine your eternal destiny.

As uncomfortable as it may be, you absolutely must take the time to check up (independently) on your religious leaders. Be absolutely sure their message is perfectly accurate with the word of God. As John tells us:

“…believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

7 Van Impe
Jack Van Impe has in recent years come under criticism for his increasingly ecumenical doctrine. He has for example praised the Popes plan for unity among Christians and the establishment of a world church. He has made the false claim that Catholic’s and fundamentalist Christians are in agreement in the basics of doctrine.

I have not heard Van Impe say anything that could lead anyone from Christ, but if he is saying that the Catholics and Christians believe the same than I would have to say, watch out. I think that is what happened to Billy Graham, he got hooked up with the Catholics.

And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God; and this is that spirit of antichrist…” (1 Jn 4:1-2).

Jesus said to His disciples,

“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matt 10:16).

We must be cautious (without being cynical), alert, and never underestimate the value of good old common sense. Make sure 2 + 2 = 4 of your preacher’s spiritual messages.

…the Book of 2 Thessalonians.


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