“He will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations” (Isaiah 25:7).
Here are two marvelous prophecies, the first of which involves the Jews. The veil Isaiah refers to here is the spiritual blindness that had covered Jews’ hearts since Moses’ time. The apostle Paul speaks at length of this blindness:
“When [they] shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away” (2 Corinthians 3:16). “Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. . . . There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (Romans 11:25-26).
Paul believed what Isaiah prophesied about Israel: that the Deliverer would cast off their veil of blindness. A Jewish remnant was going to turn to the Lord and obtain His mercy (see 11:30). Beloved, this prophecy is being fulfilled right now. Around the world, Jews’ eyes are being opened to Christ. One secular magazine reports that Jews are now taking a new look at Jesus. That’s all it takes—just one look.
But Isaiah’s prophecy also has another meaning, which has to do with your immediate family. It applies to every spouse, every child, every family member who has had a veil of spiritual blindness cast over them by Satan. I receive many letters from parents who write of their children being blinded by the enemy. They raised their young ones in a Christian environment but now the parents are confused and bewildered, saying, “I don’t understand what happened. They just don’t believe. Nothing I say gets through.”
Paul says the god of this world has blinded these young ones. They’ve lost faith because the enemy has shut out the light of the gospel to them. Therefore, it doesn’t do any good for a parent to try to look deeper for a reason behind it. It’s all the work of Satan. He wants to keep that child bound, confused and in sin. The problem goes way beyond counseling, preaching or parenting strategies. It’s going to take a miracle, plain and simple.
Our battle must take place in the Spirit. After all, we’re up against a spirit from the god of this world. And that wicked spirit is affected only by our feast on the mountain. It’s going to require the presence of Christ in our lives such as we’ve never known it. Only Jesus’ manifest reality will melt Satan’s bondage like wax, rendering it powerless against our loved one.
Do visitors sense the presence of Jesus in your household? Does the aroma of His holiness permeate your family, your marriage, your relationships? Are there tears of intercession by family members, cries of brokenness, a sincere desire to make all wrongs right? Or, does the flesh rule?
Every Christian household ought to be an elevated place, a mountain of separation from the world and the flesh, a holy banqueting hall with Christ. Yet this doesn’t happen in many Christian homes because they’ve been defiled by filth. Lewd, vile wickedness is allowed in through TV and the Internet.
How amazed the angels must be as they witness such evil in households that ought to be cultivating Jesus’ presence. Multitudes of Christians now spend their time dabbling in Internet porn, renting sensual videos, drinking in corruption on TV and actually paying to attend movies that blaspheme Christ’s name. And then they wonder why the pall of spiritual death hovers over their home.
It is the Holy Spirit’s work to bring and maintain the presence and power of Christ in our homes, our churches, our hearts. But multitudes continue to grieve the Spirit with idolatry. What sense does it make for us to pray for unsaved loved ones when our own homes are defiled?
God intends to work an amazing array of miracles that will overwhelm our minds and hearts. And He’s had all this planned since before the world existed. If He has devised such a covenant plan, then it must and will happen. Yet some aren’t going to make it to the banquet table. Those who have grown lukewarm, lovers of ease, people who’ve given themselves to the world’s pleasure-madness—none of these will be at the feast.
The prophet Isaiah describes those who are present at the banquet table this way: “In this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined” (Isaiah 25:6). This speaks of a people who aren’t satisfied with just the milk of God’s Word. These servants love their Lord’s reproof. They hunger for meaty truth; a godly word from tested, tried shepherds; a message set on fire by the Holy Ghost. And they seek God’s Word daily for themselves, thirsty to taste His refined, aged wine.
Several years ago a group of friends and I took a road trip to San Antonio, Texas, to see the Alamo. One of the guys on our team offered to navigate for us. “That’s my hometown and I’d love to be your guide,” he said. But once we arrived in San Antonio, things got a little confusing when a few of us noticed we had passed the same store three times.
“Hey, aren’t we going in circles?” someone asked. “No, no, we’re getting close,” my friend assured us.
We found ourselves in a rough part of town—then in a massive traffic jam—then going in circles again. Finally, someone said to my friend, “Hey, I thought you knew your way around. You said this was your hometown.” “It is,” he answered, “but we moved away when I was two.”
Obviously, Michael wasn’t our ideal guide. He had good intentions but no idea where to lead us. He represents the kind of guide we may think we want in life, but one that ends up leading us in circles instead of into the rich and satisfying life Jesus designed for us.
Another kind of guide may have the right information but may be missing other essentials. My wife, Kelly, and I went on a mission trip to the Philippines. On our day off, we took a guided canoe tour. The crew consisted of several small but athletic Filipinos. At one point we came to a place in the river too shallow to float through. “Uh-oh,” I thought, “this must be the end of the line.” To my surprise, our strong young guides lifted up our canoe—with Kelly and me still in it!—and carried it to deeper waters. “Wow,” I thought, “talk about reliable guides!”
Later, we came to a beautiful spot where the river widened, and the leader signaled for us to stop rowing. “Oh, good,” I thought, “now we’re going to hear some rich history. Maybe this is where the country’s democratic leaders planned their revolution.” Visibly excited, our guide pointed and exclaimed, “Here on this spot is where the movie Rambo was made!”
That was a little disappointing. But soon we came to another beautiful spot where the river opened up to a lush, green field. It looked like the kind of place where an historic battle might have taken place. “On this spot,” said the guide, clearing his throat, “Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie had a picnic!”
There are some guides in life who have the knowledge to get us through some troubling dilemmas. But do they also have the knowledge to carry us to the abundant life Jesus promises?
“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10, ESV).
After having denied Jesus three times—just as the Lord had said he would—Peter must have realized the impossibility of obeying the Lord’s commandment in his own strength. Jesus had said to the disciples, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:34-35).
It was not until the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon the 120 disciples in the Upper Room that Peter finally stepped into the place where he had been able to follow. Suddenly he burst forth into the marketplace and began speaking boldly to a blood-thirsty crowd. He was now enabled by the Spirit of God to be given for others—even those who were resisting their own salvation. It was truly an amazing moment.
As we do things God’s way, God will be our supply and will meet our needs. The Bible tells us that “they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need” (Acts 2:41-45).
The believers held all things in common! There was such a fervency, such a baptism of the love of God, that people even began to sell lands and houses and lay the money at the apostles’ feet for distribution to those in need among the body of believers. Wherever God pours out His Spirit, a benevolence comes into the hearts of the people. It is a generous and compassionate love that causes them to look away from their own needs and instead see the needs of others—which is what this new commandment entails.
Carter Conlon joined the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in 1994 at the invitation of the founding pastor, David Wilkerson, and was appointed Senior Pastor in 2001. A strong, compassionate leader, he is a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout the world.
In Isaiah 25 God shows the prophet a lavish, supernatural banquet taking place on a mountain: “In this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined” (Isaiah 25:6).
Do you get what Isaiah is saying here? This marvelous feast will take place just prior to Jesus’ return. At that time, God’s people won’t be mourning, wallowing in fear, stressed out and defeated. They won’t appear as frail, skeletal figures of spiritual leanness. No, Christ is going to return to find His people feasting on “fat things full of marrow.”
God Himself has prepared this feast. And right now, in this final hour, the banquet is already in progress. The Lord is telling us, in essence, “I’ve saved the best wine for last. And now I’m pouring it forth for My people. They are feasting on wonderful things in My presence.”
I see this incredible feast taking place as I travel all over the world. Young men and women of God are hungry for a gospel that touches them deep in their spirits. They have rejected the gospels of hype, crowds and professionalism. They seek only to be shut in with Jesus, to receive revelation from Him. And they are coming forth from prayer with a fire that stirs everyone around them.
Now, the mountain where this feast takes place is very significant. It represents a holy place, a house where the presence of Christ is manifest. It’s a place where God’s people commune and sup with Him, worshiping Him in spirit and in truth. This mountain of God’s presence is an important concept for His people. Everything the Lord is doing in these last days is closely tied to His presence. And His feast of fat and wine can only take place where Jesus’ presence is manifest.
Now, when I speak of Christ’s manifest presence, I’m not talking about something mystical and otherworldly. Whenever Jesus makes Himself known, everyone present senses it. The Psalmist says the hills melt like wax in the Lord’s presence (see Psalm 97:5). Simply put, every spiritual wall and fleshly blockade evaporates when Jesus makes Himself known. Christ’s presence is so real when it is manifested that you can almost touch it.