I read an excellent book that I want to recommend. It’s a Lamplighter book, surprise, surprise. One little twist for me is that Lamplighter is usually my fiction reading which gives me a break from studying prophecy. But this book put things in prophetic perspective for me. Let me explain.
I had read two other books by Florence Kingsley titled Titus: Comrade of the Cross and Stephen: Soldier of the Cross. Titus is historical fiction centered around the life and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Stephen is also historical fiction but centered around the apostolic church in Jerusalem. Both books were such a good read for me. They had me contemplating what the time period was really like in both instances. In many cases, she had woven biblical events with characters right out of the pages of scripture. So I knew that she was a good writer, and I knew that this book, The Cross Triumphant, was centered around the events of AD70.
The Cross Triumphant is so intertwined with Jewish history that the narrative has you pondering which aspects she will be focusing on next. She brings out the legends of the babe born in a manger who started the sect of the Nazarenes. But she moves back to the Jewish observance of the law as being the hope of Israel. Here is a quote at the beginning of the book which had me hooked:
“Who is God, my mother?”
Rachel trembled – angels also tremble when they teach a white soul of God. “God is the holy, invisible One who made the whole earth,” she said slowly. “He made all things that thou dost see, child, – thyself also. Thou must love – adore him.”
“Did he make thee?”
“Yes, truly, he made me.”
“Then I will love him, for I love thee.”
To love the maker of his mother, of the stars and the lilies, was not difficult; it was indeed quite as easy and inevitable as breathing. The child breathed and loved, and was happy for a whole year; then his mother told him of the The Law. He quickly learned that The Law was far more difficult to understand than God. The Law had made nothing pleasant or beautiful. The Law did not love him, yet it required of him many things, some of them strange and hard to understand.
There is a certain predictability in that I already knew that Jerusalem and the temple would be ultimately destroyed. It was very riveting to see exactly how she brought the progression of the characters together in bringing it all to a climax though. She had the characters from history so come to life that at one point I put the book down and picked up Josephus. Sure enough, the main character of the book is a page out of history and I did not realize it until three fourths of the way through the book. I love what she did with Gessius Florus, Herod Agrippa, but especially Berenice.
The point of view that is set forth as far as fulfillment of prophecy is definitely a Preterist view. But I still recommend this book as it shows how Jesus spoke the truth when He prophesied of the temple and its destruction. The way of salvation through belief in Jesus as the Messiah is plainly set forth in the book. The prophecies come alive in a new way to see an old Jewish Rabbi, who is a supporting character, come to embrace Jesus as the Messiah later in the story when he had formerly called him a false prophet.
The writing style is different, being originally published in 1898. Back then, readers were expected to be intelligent, so the vocabulary is extensive. Also there are some episodes where you have to read between the lines since she is not graphic with certain types of details.
The Cross Triumphant, historically accurate, biblically sound, it will draw you closer to the Jesus of the first century and the ways of the early, simple, but full-of-faith church. Anyone interested in how the city of Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed should buy this book. Order it at Lamplighter today.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman