The Coming Last Days Temple
By Randall Price
: Harvest House
Reviewed by Dr. James Rosscup
11.2 (Fall 2000) : 264-265
Price compiles great detail to defend dispensational belief about rebuilding a literal temple during the future Tribulation period and a larger literal temple in the future Millennium. A more accurate title would be plural, The Coming Last Days Temples. This is the most prolific effort to date to amass data on the subject.
The author gained his Th.M. in Old Testament and Semitic Languages at Dallas Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He is President of World of the Bible Ministries.
Among the book’s features are reasons for temple restorations, a history of the temple, main Bible predictions of last-days temples, groups that expect a future temple, and barriers such as Moslem possession of the site believed to be the temple area (Mount Moriah). Lengthy detail explores texts such as Dan 9:27, Matt 24:15, 2 Thess 2:4 and Rev 11:1-2 on a Tribulation temple, and Ezek 40–47 on a millennial ediface. Price argues that sacrifices are sensible and in harmony with other Scripture as the Book of Hebrews.
The work has several illustrations, diagrams, pictures, and charts. Readers see sketches of the temple in Solomon’s day and other times. Price invested years to research, made trips to the Holy Land, and contacted people interested in the concept. Notes on pp. 645-707 document and develop points in chapters. Indexes appear on subjects, Scripture, Jewish texts, and sources for further study.
On views arguing for literal animal sacrifices in the future, Price has copious comment. He does not support the popular dispensational view that OT offerings were a covering (atonement) for sin, which God reckoned effective at the time by His crediting them with value via the efficacy of Christ’s offering that He was yet to provide (Heb 10:4). Such a view has millennial offerings looking back as tangible memorials in retrospection to the expiation of the cross, as it reasons that God saw proper OT sacrifices in anticipation as having the efficacy He would work through the cross. Price, instead, holds that terminology for OT offerings (as in Leviticus) and also the intent of the millennial offerings pertain not to atonement but to ritual purification, i.e., cleansing from ceremonial contamination in the corporate worship group (554-57). Some will feel that he never is very clear or convincing on how such literal sacrifices would fit well under the New Covenant, since N C benefits include full sufficiency for cleansing from all things (cf. Acts 13:38-39). Price sees many millennial things yet needing purification via animal sacrifices. He reasons that Christ’s bodily presence among His people requires literal sacrifices to effect purification, so that people can approach God’s holy presence. He regards this outward, corporate, ceremonial sense of cleansing as distinct from but compatible with inward spiritual salvation and sanctification of individuals through the cross. Once readers grasp his view, they will respond differently as to whether they accept the necessity of his logic and whether it is consistent, or why Christ’s sufficient sacrifice would not already fully cover all, even “ceremonial” details.
Much of the logic to support Ezekiel 40–47 as anticipating a literal future temple and offerings is compacted in C. L. Feinberg’s paper at the Jerusalem Congress on Prophecy (“The Rebuilding of the Temple,” Prophecy in the Making, Carl F. H. Henry, ed. [Carol Stream, Ill.: Creation House, 197l] 89-112).