The Last Temple, The Last Disciple Series #3
My daughter and I greatly enjoyed this series. While it is a work of fiction, it is also historically and biblically accurate and has an interesting storyline.
January 3, 2013
The Last Temple a look at the fall of Jerusalem
THE LAST TEMPLE
by Hank Hanegraff and Sigmund Brouwer
Before His death the Christos prophesied that the Temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed. But how can this impregnable structure ever fall? But Jewish rebellion continues as the Roman Empire is caught up in the turmoil of Nero's reign.
As the Jews continue in their defiance after Nero's fall, Rome again turns her attention on the chosen nation. Confident that the Temple will never fall before the long awaited Messiah comes, Israel refuses to submit or surrender to Roman authority. But Rome won't be stopped.
Vitas is conflicted - he is Roman and yet his heart belongs to Sophia a Jewish follower of Christos. Could the Nazarene crucified all those years ago truly have come back to life? As events unfold, it appears that that the Letter of The Revelation is being fulfilled before his very eyes. Does this mean that the Temple could indeed fall?
When the imminent destruction of Jerusalem seems certain, Titus son of Emperor Vespasian offers the Jews a compromise that could save the Temple. But Titus's offer of peace and surrender are rejected.
But throughout Vitas is being directed by a secret benefactor who has entrusted him with a token to both identify himself and to identify one to whom he would have to repay a debt if the Temple were to fall.
As time grows short Vitas finally learns of the debt he must repay, a debt that could cost him his very life. Can Vitas fulfill his obligation or will he fall before he comes to know the Christos?
The Last Temple is the concluding novel in the series that includes The Last Disciple and The Last Sacrifice.
I received a copy of this book through the Tyndale Blogger Network for the purpose of this review. A favorable review was not required.
September 16, 2012
This series was one that I had always meant to read books one and two, but just never got around to it. Sigmound Brower is an interesting author and I have read several of his books. I was very interested in the historical part of this storyline. When I found out that book three was not coming out as soon as originally thought I decided to wait and find out what happened to the series before reading the beginning if there was never going to be a conclusion to it.
Tyndale decided to re-release The Last Disciple and the Last Sacrifice to generate interest in the Last Temple which was the conclusion to the series. I have heard several people say they could hardly wait to finish the series as they enjoyed the first two so much.
Being part of Tyndale's blog tour I decided to skip book 1 and 2 and just read the last to see if was necessary to read them in order. I will say I recommend that you do read the first two to get a good basis for the story, but the authors do a good job a revisiting the storylines that happened before. Maybe that is what was my problem is with the book. I really got sick of being reminded that if Nero found out Vitas was alive/in Rome then Vitas would be dead. I was beginning to think two different things about that statement, first - I don't think Vitas could die. In this series he had been a soldier that had survived several wars, crucifixion and being thrown in the arena. Secondly - I wondered if the authors thought we readers couldn't remember that for more than 10 pages.
I have a feeling you can already tell where this review is going. I was not overly impressed with it. I found the storyline to be almost forced and light. I kept thinking that Hank and Sigmund were trying to hard to teach us something instead of just telling us a story. I wanted to like Vitas, but he seemed very shallow and only doing things because he was obligated to. Plus if a character in a book can sound arrogant, Vitas was it. I never really warmed up to him.
There was a lot of repeating of details and skipping ahead in time. It almost felt like the authors started the series too early and needed time to pass quickly so they would have Vitas go home and live with his wife for a while, until they needed him again for something. It was just kind of a strange feel to the story. I didn't enjoy it and it made for a tough read. Nothing seemed to flow.
I hated to say this about this book, but I won't be reading the other two as I am just not that interested.
August 30, 2012
Preterist view of the end times; great story!
If you have ever read an end times novel, you should read this series by Hank Hanegraaf and Sigmund Brouwer. They write from a preterist perspective on the prophesies in the Book of Revelation from the Bible, and have some very different views from other authors. Aside from the theology though, the book series was very good Ã¢ÂÂ and reading only this last book would not detract from the rest of the series, nor is the rest of the series necessary for understanding this tale.
Set in Jerusalem at the fall of the temple during the Roman Empire, the rich geography and detailed historical accuracy intertwined with an intriguing and deep tale that describes the ways in which apocalyptic statements from the Bible are fulfilled in the fall of the temple in AD70. It was a fascinating read, not the least because my own understanding of the Biblical accounts is colored by the leisure suit wearing Beasts I saw depicted in the 70s movies about the end times.
The timing of the book series for me was even more appropriate as my pastor was doing a series on Revelation at the same time I was reading these books. I found that my own position is that some prophecy in the Bible has three contexts Ã¢ÂÂ immediate fulfillment, meaning it happened shortly after the prophecy was written; fulfillment in the incarnation, meaning that the arrival of Jesus fulfilled some portion of the prophecy (even if it was also immediately fulfilled); and future fulfillment, meaning the descriptions of apocalyptic events can still be sometime ahead, even if they were fulfilled in Christ and fulfilled immediately. One thing I know for sure, while I might be able to pick out some things that are clear in the Word, prophecy is complicated and challenging. God asserts that He is mysterious in the Word Ã¢ÂÂ and I believe it. Modern Christians have the benefit of hindsight, but if we were hearing Daniel in the context of the times it was written, we would likely have missed Christ, too. My point is that while we can speculate and identify with the prophetic words in the Bible, our ability to identify what they mean in some respects is limited by our humanity. I believe that God will fulfill His word, He will do it in His timing, and He will probably do it much differently than we expect.
What does all of that have to do with this book? ItÃ¢ÂÂs scriptural interpretation is one that is different, perhaps than those made popular in recent memory. If you cannot divorce yourself from a certain perspective, you are unlikely to find this book enjoyable. If however, you can leave open the possibility that God has given us many ways to look at His Word and recognize its fulfillment, then you will find the book refreshing. My own perspective is this Ã¢ÂÂ every Word of Scripture is meant to remind me who I am, whose I am, and how important it is that the rest of the world hears that Ã¢ÂÂ no matter the cost. ThatÃ¢ÂÂs a simplified view, perhaps, but the key is, if this book helps you see the urgency of giving your life to Jesus, then it is worth the cost, and perhaps the perspective the authors provide is one you can at least respect, even if you donÃ¢ÂÂt agree. They certainly write very well. I highly recommend this book, and if you can, the whole series.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade CommissionÃ¢ÂÂs 16 CFR, Part 255
August 22, 2012