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The Alabaster Box
By Ed Christiansen

"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say ‘Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the GOD of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.’" (Isaiah 2:2-3)

ALABASTER: what is it? An onyx marble stone, translucent and clouded or banded like agate, but not as hard as marble. This stone can be put to the lathe into which cups, boxes and vases can be made. Hence the beautiful containers formed can hold various precious household jewelry or liquid of great worth.

For argument sake let us call Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, "God’s Alabaster Box". Most beautiful and precious, made of the finest onyx marble, covered with jewels and having two handles of gold. In it is the most precious ointment for the Holy One (Psalm 2:2b; I Samuel 16:12 etc.) In Luke 7:37-50 we read of a woman anointing Jesus’ feet for He brought good tidings of good things to come – the Gospel of the Kingdom (Romans 10:15, Isaiah 52:7).

All Nations’ Desire

The peoples of the earth have said in the past: "Aha, even the ancient high places are ours in possession" (Ezekiel 36:2). Then in 1967 the Alabaster Box returned to the rightful owner, Israel, and the world went mad with rage. The Word of the Lord started fulfillment, and immediately the world wants to split up and break apart this most beautiful box of Alabaster. "Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen …which have appointed MY LAND into their possession with the joy of all their heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey" (Ezekiel 36:5).

"For the rod of the wicked [wicked rulership] shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity. Do good, O Lord … to them that are upright in their hearts……peace …. upon Israel." (Psalm 125:3-5)

"Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem" (Psalm 51:18).

Temple Tempest

The enemy, once again, schemes to get "the Alabaster Box", for their possession. The God of Israel has put forth a declaration that Israel’s enemies shall not have rule over them (Isaiah 52:1). The land is the LORD’S and he gives it to who ever He wills, for a habitation and growth for His people. "Thus saith the Lord against all mine evil neighbours, that touch the inheritance, [the land of Israel, with Jerusalem and the Temple Mount] which I have caused my people Israel to inherit; Behold, I will pluck them, [the neighbours] out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah from among them, [the neighbours] …..if they [the evil neighbours] will diligently learn the ways of my people, [Israel] to swear by my name, The LORD liveth; as they taught my people [Israel] to swear by Baal; then shall they be built in the midst of my people. But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, saith the LORD" (Jeremiah 12:14-17).

Holiday prayers at the Western Wall

The Temple mount is the place of His Holy Habitation (I Kings 8:10-11). He will not let the Temple site continue to be desecrated and defamed. (There is ‘the straw that breaks the camel’s back’.) From His Holy place He will come and make war on those who try to take what is not theirs: "The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye, [Israel’s evil neighbours], have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem" (Nehemiah 2:20). When the God of fire comes down and take charge of his holy people, nation and Temple, the fireworks will have just begun. The international attempt to break "the Alabaster Box", spoken of in Zechariah 14, will bring the prize of all the earth to set up His kingdom which will have no end. He will set everything aright and the nations of the earth will have to obey His decrees. The perfume of the ‘alabaster box’ will cover the earth.

The following shows how important is the complete fulfillment of prophecy. Remember that every time Israel comes into the land, the Land of Promise, something great happens:

1. Israel out of Egypt: The Sinai experience with God, the Law was given, then the Poetic & Prophetic and History Books of the Hebrew Scriptures.

2. Israel out of Babylon: Jesus was born, the sin question dealt with by the manifested shedding of the blood of the Lamb, which in actuality was shed from the beginning of the world (Revelation 5:12 & 11:15 & 17b; 13:8). Judah then was scattered throughout the world in 70 AD. The purpose of God toward Gentile Nations was: "Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; those also it behoves me to bring, and the voice of me they will hear, and there will become one flock, one Shepherd" (John 10:16, The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament). "..God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name" (Acts 15:14). This stage is drawing to a close and the next stage is being readied.

3. Israel coming back from the world to the land again. God said that they would perform this task, and it would be marvelous in the eyes of the world. Then the greatest event possible, the return of the Messiah and the Kingdom of God on the earth.

Reliable News Source

The Bible, the Word of God, is the most creditable book of the ages. We can rely on its every word and promise to be fulfilled. How many times have we read a book and found that the information given was outdated and needed to be corrected. With the Bible this is not so, for it is always in time, and on time. For the great God of Jacob does not change His mind or His final outcome. HIS WORD CHANGES NOT.

The Scribe, in copying the Torah, (first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch), has to be very careful to follow all the rules for his work. If there is a mistake that comes into the copy he is making, that section of the Torah must be destroyed, and he must start over again. We should take a lesson from Israel from their copying of Scriptures which are accurate. Praise the Lord.

What is the Good News of the Kingdom? Is it not that the mighty God of the Universe will redeem His own, and their sins will be forgiven and forgotten? Total mercy will be granted to His own, for God will set up a Kingdom which shall have no end. It will be governed by a King whom God appoints, and He shall not die. God will install Him on the throne of David. This is a promise to David by God. It will be a Righteous Kingdom, governed by the King of Righteousness.

During this time the Temple will be of a great importance, for the Scripture says: "Because of Thy Temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee" (Psalm 68:29). How long until this becomes a reality? The Jewish sages make this important statement concerning the Temple area: (Rabbi Abraham Stone, New York, "Expounding The Torah") "The Hebrew word shekedim (almonds) can be seen as an anagram of mikdashi, ‘My Holy Temple.’ Alluding to the fact that the heavenly Beit Hamikdash, (Temple) is directly above the Beit Hamikdash, (Temple) in Jerusalem" (see Rashi, Shemot 23:30)".

The Temple site, then, is very important to Israel, and strategically important to the enemies of Israel. They do not want Israel to have this area, for then they would have to come to it and acknowledge that Israel is not only a nation among nations, but even the head of the Nations – thereby, they too will fulfill the Word of God.

Another interesting aspect of the Temple, which Rabbi Stone points out: "R. Bachye explains why the jar of manna was placed in the Beit Hamikdash for future generations. It teaches us that whoever delves in Torah study is provided with a wonderful livelihood by Hashem, similar to the daily manna. The sustenance of Torah scholars in each generation is guarded by Hashem, for He gives the idea to the wealthy people to generously support the Torah scholars and thus enable them to further their Torah study."

1580 map of the world with Jerusalem in the center

Baal Haturim cites a similar verse regarding blossoming, "remembering Aaron’s rod that blossomed, and from then on the people of Israel knew that Aaron was the one divinely called by God" (Tehillim 72:7). "…‘In his days shall the righteous blossom.’ This refers to the King Moshiach. Indeed, in the days of Moshiach – who is coming very soon – the service of the priesthood will be re-instituted and Aaron’s staff will blossom once again. May we see the geulah in the speedy advent of our righteous Moshiach." [Hashem – The Name; Moshiach – The Messiah; Geulah – Diaspora Return]

The Word of the Lord shall be fulfilled, every jot and tittle, "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled" (Matt. 5:18). "The law and the prophets were until John; since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail" (Luke 16:16-17). The Complete Jewish Bible, 1998, says "Up to the time of Yochanan [John] there were the Torah and the Prophets. Since then the Good News of the Kingdom of God has been proclaimed, and everyone is pushing to get in. But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter in the Torah to become void."

The Scriptures say that "man presseth into it" (the kingdom), why? This will be the greatest happening in all the earth, to be where the King of Righteousness is and be a part of His kingdom, with the promise from Him of all sin cleansed. What a blessed Hope for us Gentiles, who were without hope, (Ephesians 2:12). Now with Israel we march to the beat of a different order. We’re children of the King. We are not going to just sit around in heaven and enjoy the beauty, and eat, drink and be merry. No, we are to be doing the King’s business, and do His desire in His way.

Also we will be singing His praises, "Sing praises to the Lord which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings" (Psalms 9:11). Even the heathen shall be singing, "Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old; lo, he doth send out his voice, and that a mighty voice" (Psalm 68:32-33).

"Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last" (Isaiah 48:12).

Control Center

The Temple now plays a significant role in the Kingdom of God for from this place shall the righteous go forth to serve the Lord of Glory. Jesus sent forth his disciples to preach that the Kingdom is coming.

"And he said unto them, ‘These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms concerning me’" (Luke 24:44).

"And in this mountain, [Jerusalem] shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines in the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations" (Isa. 25:6-7). We grope for the tower of truth like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we see, yet the god of this earth blinds us to God’s truth and we stumble at noon day as in the night for we cannot see. The veil is there for we will not follow the ways of the LORD in our lives.

Jordanian forces were entrenched here in East Jerusalem during 
the Six Day War. Hand-to-hand combat was inevitable. Israel's commanders called for volunteers. The Israeli soldiers who 
responded placed a condition: "Promise us Jerusalem will 
always be ours and never be given away."

This blindness to truth stumbles the World concerning the people of Israel. God is dealing with us in this stage of prophetic events, and just how long will we remain blind?

His Temple, the place where He abides, is to be established in Jerusalem for that is where He will dwell. There will be a Building there in Jerusalem. Whether man will have to build it or whether it comes down directly from God, is being debated by many now. The importance is, it will be there, for from this Place He will rule. Moses said concerning Him, Messiah, Deuteronomy 30:3, "and will return" He would have to have been here some time before in order to return to a place mentioned.

Prayer Place For All

"All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord; and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. For the kingdom is the LORD’S: and he is the governor among the nations" (Psalm 22:27-28).

Have you studied these Scriptures lately? They reveal what is to shortly come to pass. God deals with His own Word, not with the words of men. Man’s word will fail but His Word shall never FAIL, or fall short of fulfillment. The Scripture relates that His ways are past finding out, but He does declare: "Surely the Lord God will do nothing but he revealeth his SECRET unto his SERVANTS the PROPHETS" (Amos 3:7).

So study the Word and find the hidden treasure of the Lord, it is worth more than a cache of diamonds or rubies. Why is it that we do not study the Scriptures more, and learn what is there? Do we not have time? Take time. Do we excuse ourselves, saying I am not learned? Become learned by studying therein. That knowledge, which becomes the gold and silver of understanding, will then open to you the resources of all things. All you have to do is ask, and He will give to you "liberally" (James 1:5). When we have access to the One who created, "all things" (John 1:3), how much more do we need?

"My House shall be called, A House of Prayer for All Peoples" (Isaiah 56:7). The first and second Temples fell short of this. In the third Temple there will not be any disgrace and disregard for the Word, for where Messiah is there will be pure worship and HOLY. The priests of Israel will do their work and love it, and Him. "I will give you a new heart" for a change of heart will be for those who worship Him. It will be the order of the day. None will go after his own ways and desires, but we will do His desire and lavish in it.

"ADONAI, my strength, my fortress, my refuge in time of trouble, the nations will come to you from the ends of the earth, saying, Our ancestors inherited nothing but lies, futile idols, completely useless." (Jer. 16:19, Complete Jewish Bible 1998)

"…Those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth" (Psalm 37:9).

Notice again in this Psalm 68, there is a place mentioned: "Ascribe ye strength unto God: His excellency is over Israel, and his strength is in the clouds, [heavens]. O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: [What places ? Could the reference be to the ‘heavenly Beit Hamikdash’ and the ‘earthly Beit Hamikdash’ in Jerusalem?] the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God" (Psalm 68:34-35).

Please look at the book of Amos with me. In the 5th chapter and the 8th and 9th verses we read: "Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: THE LORD is his NAME." We are to seek the Lord, maker of heaven and earth, but notice the ‘strong voice of the Lord’, "that strengtheneth the spoiled [Israel has been spoiled by many nations, and still they want to spoil her some more] against the strong [her evil neighbours] so that the spoiled [Israel] shall come against the fortress [enemy strongholds]."

The clincher is found in verse two. The King James reads thus: "The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise…" But the original Hebrew has the words placed differently and with correct punctuation should read: "Fallen, O virgin of Israel, no more; She Shall Rise." Rabbi Shlomo Riskin states the following: "The inverted nun’ (Hebrew "N") at the beginning and ending of this verse symbolizes the ascent of Israel rather than her fall". How important it is to copy the Word so carefully. Israel is rising for the great end of days when the Messiah will be leading the nations. This is the promise of God to Israel and the mighty God of Israel shall do that which He desires. Read also, Amos 9:11-15; Obadiah 17-21; Joel 3:18-21; Hosea 14:4-9; Micah 7:14-20, etc.

Israel is being restored to her rightful place physically, and spiritually she shall be "A kingdom of priests" (Exodus 19:6) unto her God. The Alabaster Box is being made ready for her Messiah. Are you ready?

Continue to "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem" and let us dig into God’s truth for that precious gold of His Word. Shalom, Shalom.

For thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation" (Revelation 5:9b)