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"Go and teach all nations to observe whatsoever things I have taught you..."  Matthew 28:19-20

Radical Christianity Series

MAURICE BARRATT

This series is based upon books written by Maurice Barratt Click here to view them.

Amidst all the talk of revival, a few lone voices in Christianity are being raised - those who are willing to swim against the tide, those who decline to jump on the bandwagon, those who dare to cut through the hype, bravado and sales talk, and declare that “the emperor has no clothes”.

Despite nearly a century of spiritual gifts, the Church is statistically in a severe decline, and society is rushing headlong into a dark night of godlessness, chaos and catastrophe. What is lacking? Maurice Barratt presents a fresh perspective because he is not critical of spiritual gifts; on the contrary, he believes that the gifts of the Spirit are valid and necessary today. His conviction is that the Church lacks not gifts or power, but the character of Christ in the lives of those who claim to be his followers.

Laying the axe to the root of our comfortable Christianity, Maurice Barratt suggests that we need to face up to the radical teaching of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, with its devastating practical implications for our lives.

DVDs: £7.00 (+ £1 postage) CDs: £3.50 (+ £1 postage) mp3s: £1.50 mp4s: £3.00

Talk 1: Pierce My Ear

According to God’s law, when a slave had served his master 6 years, he had a choice of whether he wanted to go free or remain serving under the same master. Having once made the decision to continue serving that master, his ear would be pierced with an awl as a sign to everyone that he was no longer his own ... forever. Since we are slaves to God, and not our own, we must count the cost diligently, for once we have been marked, there is no turning back.

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Talk 2: Peter: Fisherman to Shepherd

In this study, Maurice examines the life of Peter and focuses on his trials, his exposure, his mistakes, his lessons, and the transformation Jesus brought to his life. By learning from Peter’s example, we can better understand the keys to a transformed and purpose-filled life.

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Talk 3: God's Purpose, God's Process

If directly asked what God’s plan was for their lives, most people would be clueless as to the answer. In order to fulfil God’s purpose for our lives, we must go through his process of refining us, burning away the dross in our lives, and developing the goodness he’s put in us. Though life is filled with its fair amount of pain and sorrow, nothing compares to the exciting journey we take as we travel step by step down the path of his will.

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Talk 4: Deny Yourself

The Cost of Discipleship: 1

Taking a look Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 18, to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him, Maurice zooms into the first step - deny yourself. To be pleasing to God, we need to kill the flesh and release the spirit, and Maurice practically illustrates ways for us to do so. Though painful in its execution, it is a necessary step on the road to perfection.

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Talk 5: Take Up Your Cross

The Cost of Discipleship: 2

Honing in on the second step of Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 18, we learn that to be like Jesus, we must do what Jesus did - take up our cross. As we suffer the humiliation of carrying the lifestyle that will be the death of our flesh, we are carrying the instrument of release to our spirits into the life Jesus came to bring us – a life lived to its full potential.

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Talk 6: Follow Me

The Cost of Discipleship: 3

On the third step of the instructions presented by Jesus in Matthew 18, Maurice shows us how that by the first two steps - denying ourselves, and taking up our cross - we follow Jesus simply as a consequence. The call of God beckons us to give up all and live freely without limitations, faithfully marching wherever the captain of our faith leads us.

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Talk 7: The Two Natures

Holiness: 1

Condemnation is an issue many honest Christians have, because, try as they may, no one can stop sinning. The only other option would be to justify oneself and become a hypocrite, but of course this isn’t the way. Maurice uses the simplest logic, explaining that we have this constant battle inside simply because there are two opposing natures - the flesh and the spirit. By following after the spirit, we can be free in the knowledge that it is not we that sin, but sin that dwells in us.

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Talk 8: All in the Mind

Holiness: 2

They say the mind is the devil’s playground. How true that statement is. Actions are nothing but the manifestation of thoughts placed in our mind, and these thoughts can come from either God or the Devil. If we are to serve God wholeheartedly, we must learn to take captive the evil seeds planted in our minds and nourish only the truth God has given us to eventually blossom, bringing forth the fruits of righteousness.

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Talk 9: Cause & Effect

Holiness: 3

Cause and effect - a scientific principal based upon sound logic, stating that every effect happens as a consequence of a cause. Not only does this apply to physics, but also to the spiritual. If we are wanting to live holy lives, we must not run towards the effect at the expense of missing the cause, for this is nothing but counter-productive.

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Talk 10: Sermon on the Mount

An Overview

Moving on to the Sermon on the Mount, Maurice gives an overview of Jesus’ greatest sermon. We see how that, by living the lifestyle Jesus taught us, we will be changed into the glorious bride he came for, and above all, glorify God through the testimony of ordinary, sinful people having been transformed into his holy ones.

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Talk 11: The Beatitudes

Principles

Looking generally at the first 12 verses of Matthew chapter 5, Maurice shows us that being blessed isn’t necessarily about feeling happy, but being in the right place according to God’s viewpoint. Being poor in spirit and mourning, for example, are not very “happy” qualities, but these are necessary obstacles we must complete on the assault course of God’s training grounds.

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Talk 12: The Poor in Spirit

Beatitudes: 1

The first of the beatitudes, becoming poor in spirit is the entrance into being blessed, or in the right place, with God. He does not hear the proud, and to gain access to his ears, we must humble ourselves, abasing ourselves in our own eyes, and allowing God’s fingers to mold us into his image. We will only be broken if we will not bend, and humbling ourselves will save us a great deal of trouble in our Christian walk.

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Talk 13: They that Mourn

Beatitudes: 2

Mourning is an extremely unpleasant thing to go through, considered by psychiatrists to be the single most painful of human emotions. To follow the captain of our faith, who was a man of sorrows acquainted with grief, we must learn to mourn, feeling the sorrow of God himself. As trials and circumstances (spelled G-O-D) break us, we draw nearer to God in our hearts, and our mourning will eventually lead us into the joy of the Lord.

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Talk 14: The Meek

Beatitudes: 3

Meekness is a quality many people would consider to be a weakness, but true meekness is a very strong quality. Meekness isn’t being easy to push around. Meekness is having the attitude of being irresistant to pressure, which doesn’t always come easily, especially for those of strong personality. A decision must be made to quit standing up for ourselves, but relying on God’s strength, throwing our independence away.

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Talk 15: They That Hunger& Thirst

After Righteousness

Beatitudes: 4

When one is hungry or thirsty, it is because they are unsatisfied. They need something more than what they have. If we, in our spirits, are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, it is because we are unsatisfied with the state we are in and long to be fed with the grace of God. Again, this is not a ‘happy’ quality, but it means we are God-favoured, and when he sees that our desire is for righteousness, will he not take us through the process to make us such?

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Talk 16: The Merciful

Beatitudes: 5

A challenging study is made of the beatitude, “Blessed are the merciful”. Maurice explores the true meaning of what mercy really is, and shows us that, if we are merciful, we are not only executing the orders God has placed before us, but we reap the consequences of being judged without mercy ourselves should we choose not to administer it.

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Talk 17: The Pure in Heart

Beatitudes: 6

Purity is a very absolute word in its very definition. Purity demands separation from all else, void of any contamination. To be pure in heart is a very hard task indeed. Not only are we required to keep our spirits from defilement, but we are required to look upon the world through innocent eyes. Maurice teaches that the way we look upon others reflects the impurities in our own hearts.

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Talk 18: The Peacemakers

Beatitudes: 7

As Christians, we do not always have peaceful circumstances, but we are required to make peace with those around us. God is fair and sends his rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Therefore if we live peacefully with not only with our brethren, but with the unrighteous (as much as is possible), we reap the reward of being called the children of God, for we do as he does.

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Talk 19: Persecuted for Righteousness' Sake

Beatitudes: 8

If we live right according to God’s standards, we will be persecuted, for we are a threat to those who would wish to remain luke-warm. Again, this is not a pleasant, “happy” beatitude, but a necessary one. At the end of the progression of character that Jesus takes us through, we know by this whether we are on the right track or are living normal, easy, “Christian” lives.

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Talk 20: Persecuted for My Name's Sake

Beatitudes: 9

No servant is above his master, and if Christ was persecuted, so we will be. If we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, the persecution will come because of the name we bear by our lifestyle - the name of Jesus. We are called to be a light, as Jesus was the light, but the world can’t stand that light, and so it must snuff us out - or at least try. What else would make us more God-favoured than having the credentials of having been persecuted for the name of his son?

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Talk 21: Salt of the Earth

What does salt do? It cleanses, it preserves, but it cannot turn back the rottenness. Our earth has been defiled by all the wickedness and bloodshed man has spread upon it, but as long as we are here, God sees us, and our habitation is preserved. But like Lot in Sodom, we must be taken out before the judgment can come.

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Talk 22: Light of the World

The world is in darkness, and we are the light. The two can’t co-exist together. Darkness cannot resist light, and we are not called to compromise, to infiltrate the world subtly, but to be different, and shine the glory of our God by the holiness of our lives.

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Talk 23: The Law is Perfect

Jesus stated that he came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it. In fact, Jesus shed the true light on the law, bringing its meaning back to how God originally intended. Though not legalistic, the strength of the commandments becomes all the more potent as Maurice hovers over Jesus’ teachings in the second part of Matthew 5.

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Talk 24: Love Fulfills the Law

When asked what was the greatest of commandments, Jesus replied that the greatest is to love the Lord with all one’s heart, soul, mind and strength; and that the second is to love one’s neighbour as oneself. Paul adds to this, stating that the whole law hinges on these two commandments. As Maurice sheds the light of practicality on this subject, we see not only that love fulfills the law, but that without love, it is impossible for us to fulfill all God’s requirements.

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Talk 25: Motives of Love

Motives are a key element to the law, and especially to the law of love. What seems an act of goodness could easily be an act of pride, selfishness, insecurity or hypocrisy with the wrong motives. Our job is simply to get our motives right, bringing them back to those of love. If this is done, the actions are sure to follow.

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Talk 26: You Shall Not Kill

Jesus is as radical as ever in his interpretation of the commandment “thou shall not kill”. Reading between the lines and bringing life to the dead letter, Jesus exposed the hypocrisy of what the law had become. Maurice squeezes the juice out of Jesus’ words, showing that killing is nothing but the consequence of something already in our hearts - anger, which we all guilty of and this should what we are dealing with. Only when it has been allowed to fester will it manifest in murder.

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Talk 27: You Shall Not Commit Adultery

Again, Maurice explains practically the words of Jesus, this time on the subject of adultery, showing again that the action is nothing but the consequence of the heart, and that adultery itself is nothing more but the final progression of one’s lust. We must deal with these thoughts quickly before they are allowed to fester.

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Talk 28: Divorce

Slicing into the delicate subject of divorce, Maurice brings our attention not only to the set rules for the matter, but to what God originally intended for man and woman. A divorced man himself, Maurice is not without blame in the matter, and because of this has the authority, and the scars, necessary to deliver this message.

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Talk 29: Swearing on Oath

In the Bible an oath was a very serious thing. Breaking it would be unthinkable. Delving into Jesus’ statement that whatever is more than simply “yes” and “no” comes from evil, Maurice explains the reasons why anyone would ever want to swear in the first place and delivers a warning against such oaths, as various stories in the Bible illustrate its pitfalls.

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Talk 30: An Eye for an Eye

What a just statement! - “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” Yet so callously can this law be executed. Though in the law, Jesus’ teachings contradict the dead letter of this commandment, and say that we are not to resist evil, but to “turn the other cheek” and “go the extra mile”. All the beatitudes come into play to meet the requirements of these instructions.

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Talk 31: Love Your Enemies

Possibly one of the hardest of Jesus’ instructions, to love one’s enemies is no walk in the park. Maurice explores the verses in this context, showing us that they are a progression, and that there can be reconciliation between ourselves and our enemies if we will only stoop to meet the requirements of this commandment.

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Talk 32: Almsgiving

Now on to the part of his series entitled “The Secret Life”, Maurice leads us through the practical points of living the Christian lifestyle as Jesus taught, beginning at almsgiving. One of the three requirements for this secret life, it is vitally important, and Maurice delivers practical ways for this to be done.

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Talk 33: Principles of Prayer

Possibly the hardest part of the Christian lifestyle - as opposed to actions - prayer is a subject of extreme necessity. In this sermon, Maurice teaches what prayer is, what it is for, and why we should do it, aligning everything to the teaching of the Bible as he delivers the principles.

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Talk 34: Practical Prayer

In this study, Maurice teaches us practical ways to pray - not in public as the Pharisees - but in private, in our closet, anywhere where we can be alone with God in order to have true fellowship with him. Discipline is a necessary part of this lifestyle, and Maurice exhorts us not to go beyond what we’re capable of, but to work our way up in order to get to that place of true intimacy with God.

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Talk 35: The Lord's Prayer

Although it is the most popular prayer in the Bible, the Lord’s Prayer is often recited verbatim with little emotion and on automatic pilot. God has enabled Maurice to discover the true meaning of this prayer and to shed light on the subject as he reveals step by step that the Lord’s Prayer is the sacred prayer of the bride of Christ, exposing the keys in its lyrics and exploring the depths of its phrases.

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Talk 36: Hallowed be thy Name

After the introduction, the first statement in the Lord’s Prayer is “hallowed be thy name”. Often recited with no real understanding, the church has no idea just what this statement is. Maurice reveals that ”taking the Lord’s name in vain” is much different and a whole lot deeper than we think, as it is how we live, not just what we say.

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Talk 37: Unforgiveness

One of the biggest hindrances to our prayer life is unforgiveness. Unless our hearts are right, God will not turn his ear to us, for it is not our words alone that he listens to, but our broken hearts and contrite spirits. Maurice illustrates, practically as always, how we can make right our unforgiving hearts and come back to that place where we may speak to God without hindrances.

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Talk 38: Principles of Fasting

Not many Christians fast, as it is rarely taught, often understood as “Old Testament”. Maurice teaches us how fasting is a necessary part of the Christian lifestyle, for by it we humble ourselves, kill the flesh, and bring ourselves nearer to God. Explaining the principles in a logical fashion, he lays out the principles of New Testament  teaching on the subject in a very easy manner.

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Talk 39: Practical Fasting

Fasting can be a hard thing for many people. Not everyone is strong-willed enough to pull off what they see as a decent amount of time without food. However, Maurice indicates that fasting is not just, say, a week with nothing but water. Fasting can be as simple as missing a meal every week. As long as we are doing it in ways that we can, God will reward us openly for what we do in secret.

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Talk 40: Treasures on Earth

Christians are often misled by the faith preachers of today to seek treasures on earth. Even the law of Moses, with its rewards for righteousness, has taught us not to covet, and Jesus goes beyond this by instructing us not to lay up for ourselves treasures on earth, where any day they could be taken away from us, never to be seen again, but to store treasures in heaven that will be revealed at Christ’s second coming.

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Talk 41: Treasures in Heaven

Among the many wonderful things in the kingdom of God, it is revealed to us that for doing God’s will on this earth, we will receive treasures in heaven, where moth and rust cannot corrupt. Wealth, possessions and a life of comfort are rendered meaningless compared to the splendour of our reward when Jesus returns to find his faithful servants who are doing his father’s will.

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Talk 42: The Light of the Body

Honing in, once again, on our motives, Maurice looks at Jesus’ teaching on “the light of the body”, showing us that if we are looking through the eyes of covetousness, then this will be our motivation for everything we do. If our eyes are evil (covetous), our whole body will be full of darkness.

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Talk 43: Take No Thought - Life

Jesus exhorted us not to worry about worldly possessions, for our eyes should be upon the kingdom, and not on this world. In this sermon Maurice brings to life Jesus’ words by once again giving practical illustrations and using keen logic to convey the principles we need to learn in order to be able to “take no thought” for our lives.

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Talk 44: Take No Thought - Food & Clothes

Magnifying the details on the terrain of this subject, Maurice looks at Jesus’ exhortation to “take no thought” for food and clothes. Using scriptures from all over the Bible, he exhorts us to put our trust in God completely because, as a father, he will always provide us what we need.

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Talk 45: Take No Thought - Tomorrow

Unfortunately, most of us who profess to trust in God actually do take thought for the problems of tomorrow. We cannot change the future; we can only live today, and Maurice exhorts us to seize every day God has given us and not worry about our future, near or distant, because everything is in his hands.

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Talk 46: Judge Not

Now onto chapter 7 of the Sermon on the Mount, Maurice opens up the first few verses about judging, giving us clear insight into what we must not judge, for as we judge, we will be judged in the same way. We can judge a man’s actions, but are never allowed to judge his heart.

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Talk 47: Things We Must Judge

Now on the flip side of the last sermon, Maurice shows us that there are things that we are not only allowed to judge, but commanded to. Reference after reference proves that we must judge men by their fruits - but we must not judge the heart. It is something the church has very sadly missed out of practicing.

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Talk 48: Holy Things to Dogs

Many would ponder the meaning of this statement, but using interpretations found in the Bible itself, Maurice reveals the symbolism of the dog, also shedding light on what holy things really are, and how not to profane them by “giving them to the dogs”.

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Talk 49: Pearls Before Swine

Again, this isn’t a saying that many Christians will understand. Maurice unveils the simplicity of this otherwise mysterious statement in Matthew 7: “Do not cast your pearls before swine.” Encouraged to keep precious the pearls God has given us and challenged to be discreet, we learn that there are consequences if we do not, for the swine will trample the pearls under their feet and turn on us.

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Talk 50: Ask - You Shall Receive

Many faith preachers jump on this scripture as a means to stir the crowds into believing that anything at all that anyone asks for will be given to them. Maurice looks plainly at the scripture, in context, and reveals that it is not every single thing we ask for that will be received, but every good gift. Maurice also gives scriptural examples of good things we are promised to receive if we ask for them.

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Talk 51: Seek - You Shall Find

One of the most popular verses in the Bible, “seek and ye shall find” is more than just an encouragement. Maurice explains that it is a completely different level to simply asking, and that it is something active into which we put effort to acquire our answer. He also suggests things for which we should seek as Christians, such as spiritual gifts, and shares practical ways in which to do so.

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Talk 52: Knock - It Shall Be Opened

From starting at simply asking and receiving, to putting effort into seeking for what we lack, we now approach the third stage - knocking. If we are knocking, it means that God has shut the door and he needs to be persuaded to open it. Maurice guides us through examples such as Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, how in the end he changed God’s mind and the children of Israel were saved from his wrath after their grievous sin in constructing the golden calf.

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Talk 53: Do Unto Others

All over the Bible we find God’s fantastic rule - “do unto others as you would have them do to you”. Maurice jumps around from Old Testament to New Testament, and even dips into sales techniques, showing the amazing effectiveness of this rule, and how it pleases God. This is a vital attitude for us to take on if we want to live as God intended, “for this is the law and the prophets”.

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Talk 54: The Narrow Way

Nearing the end of his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus begins to bring things to a head as he explains our choices and their consequences, should we choose to be his disciples. Now up to verse 13 of chapter 7, Maurice explains that living as a disciple of Christ is a very restricted lifestyle which requires much effort and absolute focus. It is a thin line to walk, an uncompromising stance to take, a tight squeeze through the birth canal of humanity until we are birthed at the resurrection.

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Talk 55: The Broad Way

Having explained the principles of the lifestyle on the narrow way, Maurice now examines the broad way. He teaches that the broad way is not unbelief, but salvation itself is the broad way. Many find it, and many Christians have entered through this wide gate and are guaranteed eternal life, but they are not following the restricted path of the narrow way Jesus spoke of.

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Talk 56: Known by Their Fruits

Having looked at the narrow way and the broad way, Maurice reaches the section in the latter part of the Sermon on the Mount dealing with false prophets. Maurice teaches in this message that false prophets are not to be judged by whether or not what they say comes to pass. They are to be judged by their lifestyles character. With scriptures from all over the New Testament addressing this matter, it is obvious that it is a very relevant subject for these end times.

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Talk 57: The Way of Cain

With the main scripture reference taken from Jude this time, Maurice surges deeper into the subject of false prophets. Now looking at types of false prophets, Maurice brings Cain as his first example. Though he was not a prophet, Jude tells about false prophets who have gone in the way of Cain. Maurice shows us how it is a way of rebelliousness, of independence, and of choosing one’s own preference instead of doing things God’s way.

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Talk 58: The Greedy Way of Balaam

On the second example of the three brought from James, Maurice looks into the way of Balaam, examining the intricate details of the story missed by many, and expounding the principles brought by observation of God’s reactions to our fleshly desires and actions, and especially Balaam’s greed.

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Talk 59: The Rebellion of Korah

Korah is a character often missed out in our Bible stories, but there are many valuable lessons to be learned from his folly. It is about power seeking and thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to. Again it is very challenging in the light of our modern Christianity.

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Talk 60: The Two Trees

In this sermon, Maurice examines “the two trees”. A bad tree cannot bear good fruit and a good tree cannot bear bad fruit. Not only do we recognise false prophets by their bad fruit, but we signify which tree we are branched onto by the fruits which we bear.

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Talk 61: Burning or Pruning

Gardeners don’t have compassion on their roses. When the roses have bloomed, showing much beauty and bringing forth beautiful fragrances, they are clipped back in order to produce more the next year. The same applies to us as branches attached to the true vine. After we have borne our fruit, we are pruned. If we bear no fruit at all, we are good for nothing but to be chopped off and cast into the fire  - a fearful thought!

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Talk 62: God's Work or God's Will

As Christians we are meant to work for God, but so many times those who work for God stray away from him by working without his direction. More important than God’s work is God’s will, and we must “abide in the vine”, as it were, spending time with God, to secure the knowledge that we are doing exactly what he wants.

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Talk 63: Wise & Foolish Christians

Now explaining practically the parable of the wise and foolish house-builders, Maurice teaches us to build our houses with gold, silver and precious stones, rather than the wood, hay and stubble spoken of by Paul. In the end, we must have material that will stand the fire of God.

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Talk 64: A Different Authority

At the end of Matthew 7, it states that the people marveled because Jesus spoke with authority, but a different one than the scribes and Pharisees. He had the authority of actually being one who practiced what he preached, of living according to the standards he was putting forth for others to follow. If we are to lead people to the truth, we must have this kind of authority - not of words, not of position, but of lifestyle.

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