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TD Jakes — FlashPoint

The message is called, "Flashpoint". Oh, my God. Get ready to be blessed as we go into the Word of God. Take a look. Since God had brought Paul down to the river and Lydia wants to be baptized, there was water, and Lydia was baptized. The startling thing is what she said when she came up out of the water. She says to the Apostle Paul, she says, "You must stay in my house". Don't overlook that*. "You must stay in my house". Now, although she, in all likelihood, was a woman of substance, don't picture the houses of today because nobody lived in mansions in the Bible days. The fact that she had a house at all is a sign that she was doin' okay. And to have somebody come stay in your house is a sacrifice. But maybe Lydia began to understand that God had blessed her to be able to make a sacrifice.

Sometimes God blesses you so that you can do what other people can't do. And the blessing he gave through you, he didn't intend for it to get stuck to you. Maybe he blessed Lydia to build the house so that when Paul came to the river he would have a place... oh, ya'll don't hear what I'm sayin'... to stay, because her invitation was what turned the city upside down. She asked Paul to come stay in her house. Evidently, he was resistant to her because the Bible says she had to persuade him. It took a little work. It wasn't easy.

And, eventually, he said, "Okay, okay, okay, okay," 'cause you know how you all can be. When ya'll wanna get somethin' done, it ain't gonna be no one request. "Okay, all right, Lydia. I'm comin'. I'm goin' now. All right, come on, Silas". "Where we goin'"? "We're goin' over to Lydia's house". "Where she live"? "I don't know. She just wearying me to death, and she ain't gonna shut up. Let's go to Lydia's house. We'll eat Lydia's food, and sleep in Lydia's bed, and now we got a place to stay".

Because Lydia's heart has opened up, the gospel has a place to stay. Ask your neighbor just for a test, say, "Has your heart opened up"? Because until your heart opens up, the gospel doesn't have a place to stay. That's why you can't see it, and that's why you can't understand it, and that's why you make fun of it because when the gospel passes by, your doors are closed. But if you ever open up your heart, the gospel will come in and stay.

And the Bible says that he left her house and every day made the journey back over through Philippi to go down to the river to pray. And he would go down to the river to pray, and he would pray. And the women would hear him pray. And he would teach, and teach as long as there was daylight. And then he would get up and make his journey back over to Lydia's house to spend the night at Lydia's house. And he was able to stay in Macedonia because Lydia opened up her house. Some anointings will not abide in certain places because you won't open your heart to do what God told you to do.

You know you are flame keepers. You keep the flame burning. You trim the wick and keep the flame burning. I'm talking to the wise, not the foolish. They keep the flame burning. Because you said, "yes," to God, the gospel has a place to stay. Well, anyway, as he was goin' back and forth from Lydia's house down to the river bank a woman, a poor woman, a slave woman came up behind him and started followin' him, and followin' him. And she was saying, "Surely these men are sent by the Most High God to declare unto you the way of salvation". And he didn't say nothin'. He went on down to the river to pray. He prayed. He ministered to the woman. He came back.

And the thing about it is, first of all, this is important, this is important to learn about life. It is never the destination. It is the things that happen along the way. You are so busy prayin' about where you're goin' that you don't understand your mission happens along the way. It is neither at point A nor at point B, but somewhere between here and there that God really wants to use you. So it is neither at the praying place nor at Lydia's house, but somewhere along the way.

Paul says, "This woman is..." And this, when I was a young preacher it confused me because this woman was sayin' the right thing. They were sent by the Most High God to declare the way of salvation. She was sayin' the right thing but for the wrong reason. How many people come into your life talkin' the talk but not walkin' the walk? And you let them hang with you because they know what to say. But until you discern what spirit they are of... I don't know who I'm preaching to. But people know what to say to be able to walk with you. But you got to pray so that you can see what's in them.

So the Bible says that this woman was a witch. She had the spirit of divination. She was a woman of witchcraft. She was an evil woman. She was an evil woman. And I wanted to preach about this little evil woman because I wanted to warn you that evil people can say nice stuff. Wicked people can smile when they need to. Haters can befriend you when they need to. And I got to warn you, you don't have to be abused by an enemy, sometime the person right next...

Now, brothers and sisters, we have a dichotomous predicament, here. We have a polarized circumstance, here. The polarities between these two women represent the length to which God can go. On one hand, you have Lydia who is rich and in trouble. And the other hand you have this nameless, poor woman who is in trouble. But the same blood that delivered Lydia reaches back to this woman who is possessed with the spirit, and Paul rebuked the spirit and said, "Come outta that woman".

And I don't know who I'm talkin' to tonight, but something that's been worrying you, following you, haunting you, hangin' over you, disruptin' your sleep, won't let you rest, won't let you enjoy this season of your life, the reason God brought you here is to... If you don't care what anybody thinks, and you don't care what you look like, tell your neighbor, "I got to get it off of me. Get off my mind. Get outta my spirit. Get outta my life".

I thought Ms. Lydia was significant, but Lydia got baptized and nothin' changed. But when this poor, no-name, ex-witch got saved, something broke in the spirit world and the enemy got mad. If you get ready to change your life and all hell breaks loose, it's a sign that the devil is afraid of you because he knows that if you ever change your life everything around you... See, what I'm tryin' to tell ya... let me check and see if I'm in the right place. Where are my sisters that every time that you get ready to do somethin' right, all hell breaks loose? If you're standin' by a sister who just raised her hand, touch her and say, "Flashpoint".

That's why the enemy doesn't want you to be free, 'cause you're not just a woman, you're a flashpoint. And when you get delivered, you gon' set it off. Who woulda thought that this no-name woman would be a flashpoint? The big-name woman got saved, nothin' happened. But when the poor slave woman got delivered, she was a flashpoint. There is a system attached to her dysfunction.

Now, check this out. There is a system around her that benefits from her dysfunction. The Bible says that her masters were gettin' rich from her dysfunction. There is an economic impact attached to her dysfunction. Somebody needs her to be messed up. But because if she gets well, they can't use her like they used to use her anymore. So watch this. Her masters got mad because they couldn't use her anymore. When a woman gets loosed, I mean loosed in God, every system that was tied to her dysfunction begins to fall apart because she is not the same woman that she used... she may wear the same clothes, she may live in the same house, but she's not the same woman anymore.

So what happens is her masters go after Paul and they snatch him, governor, they snatch the Apostle and bring him from the masters. They bring him to the marketplace. Marketplace. I don't have time to mess with that like I want to. The masters bring him to the marketplace. This woman has now brought him center stage in the city of Philippi though he starts out by the river bank outside the city. When she got delivered, God brings him from the background to the forefront. The masters bring him into the marketplace before the magistrates. They lie on him, and they say that Paul and Silas are teaching customs that are contrary to Roman law. No evidence, just mouth.

The people in the marketplace hear it, and they get angry and start fighting Paul and Silas over what they heard. And a fire has started. Watch out when fires start. People will become engulfed in a flame and hate you and don't even know you. You don't believe it. Let me find somebody who believes. They will hang you, and don't even know you. They will make a assumptions about you, and don't even know you. When it becomes popular to hate you, people just get on board. Sociologists have a term for it when gang rage breaks out. People will get in the rage and they'll start fighting. They don't even know what they're fighting about. And so all of a sudden these men who had never even met Paul started fighting over something that these men, the masters of the witch, said. And they took Paul, and the magistrates turned him over to the people. And the people got together with the magistrates and they stripped him and Silas in the marketplace. And they beat them in the marketplace.

Now, when I read it in the King James they said, "They beat them severely". But when I read it in another translation, it said, "They beat them with rods or with canes". Now, if you are naked and somebody beat you with a cane whooping, lacerates the flesh, beats you to death. It's not just where you're hurting, you are beaten, and bloody, and lacerated, and can die. You gotta mob beating two men, naked, with canes and they don't even know why they're beating them. And they beat them severely.

When a Middle Eastern culture says that a whooping is severe... you understand what I'm sayin'? Because they have a strong stomach for that type of punishment, when they say it's severe, it is severe. Suddenly, I begin to realize that the Paul and Silas who were doin' all the preachin' and the prayin' is not the Paul and Silas that are laying on the floor beaten by a mob, kicked and punched, teeth knocked out of their head, and then cane whooped.

Now I understand. When the magistrates put them in jail... while the jailer had to put their feet in the stocks because they were beaten so badly they couldn't move... lacerated, tattered, and torn, bloody, beaten to a pulp. They couldn't even put their feet in the stocks. The jailer had to put their feet in the stocks. They couldn't move. What kinda pain is that? And all because they were tryin' to help somebody.

Some of you are in trouble not because of you, but because of who you help. When you made up your mind you were gonna help somebody, you got on the hit-list of hell. And the more effective you are, the more attacked you will be because you are loosing somebody that the enemy wants to keep out. Who am I preachin' to in here? You keep sayin', "Why do I keep goin' through what I'm goin' through? Why does things keep goin' crazy in my life? Why do I make two steps forward and get knocked three steps back"? It's not because of you, it's because of what you do.

And there they are laying in the stocks; stocks that they were too weak to get in themselves. Stocks that even if they had opened them, they couldn't have walked out of them... bloody and cane whipped, almost unconscious. Nine o'clock in the evening everything is quiet. No sound in the jail at all. Nine-thirty all the inmates are listening. No sound in the jail at all. Ten-fifteen, a deathly quiet is over it. No sound in the jail at all. Eleven-fifteen, the other prisoners didn't know whether they were dead or alive at all. But at 11:59... Something began to shake, something began to turn, something began to move. I gotta stop a minute and praise God for some noise in the prison. You may not be out yet, but at least you're makin' some noise. You may not be free yet, but at least you let the devil know, "I'm not dead. I'm alive".
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