The Last Disciple

Hank Hanegraaff, of the “Bible Answer Man” radio show, and author Sigmund Brouwer have teamed up to write The Last Disciple, a novel about first-century Christians, and the people they come in to contact with, undergoing the Great Tribulation under the reign of Nero.
Hanegraaff and Brouwer operate from a different view of biblical translation and interpretation than Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins do in the Left Behind series. As they state in the Afterword, they seek not to divide the Church over this issue, but rather encourage debate and study of the book of Revelation. Simply put, Hanegraaff and Brouwer believe that many of the prophecies the apostle John was witness to, and transcribed in to what we know as Revelation, have already been fulfilled, as they were written to the early Christian church. You can read more on their take at the book’s Web site.
The Last Disciple features several characters, including the wicked Nero, but follows mostly the path of Gallus Sergius Vitas, one of Nero’s inner circle. Vitas, a former military commander and from a Roman founding family, has grown tired of Nero’s persecution of Christians. He doesn’t care for the Christians because they are followers of Christ who refuse to bow to Nero, but rather he is tired of bloodshed in general, having seen too much of it when he was fighting in Britannia, and lost his wife and son, natives of the isle. In the course of his trying to subtly subvert Nero, Vitas discovers an old friend has accepted Christ, and Vitas falls in love with a former slave, also a Christian.
In the mean time, Vitas’s brother Damien, in an attempt to recapture the honor he has cost the family name, becomes a fearsome slave hunter. Damien is hired by another of Nero’s inner circle, this time to find the writer of Revelation, the letter Nero fears and hates. Damien is hired to hunt down John, the last disciple of Christ.
Hanegraaff and Brouwer craft a good read, taking you through the workings and machinations of Nero’s inner circle, the duplicitous politics, the last moments of a Christian on the arena floor, and the feelings of a man who walked and talked with the Creator and Savior of the universe.

One thought on “The Last Disciple

  1. What is the Preterist view of the end times?
    Answer: The preterist view regards Revelation as a symbolic picture of early church conflicts which have already been fulfilled. This view denies the future predictive quality of most of the Book of Revelation. In varying degrees this view combines the allegorical and symbolic interpretation with the concept that Revelation does not deal with specific future events. The preterist movement essentially teaches that all the end times prophecies of the New Testament were fulfilled in A.D. 70 when the Romans attacked and destroyed Jerusalem and Israel.
    I reject this view. While I would say that the letters to the churches in chapters 2 and 3 were written to real churches in the first century, and they have practical applications for churches today, chapters 6-22 are written about events that are yet future. There is no reason to interpret unfulfilled prophecy allegorically. Fulfilled prophecy was fulfilled literally. Take for example all of the Old Testament verses predicting the first coming of Christ. Christ came at the time that He was predicted to come (Daniel 9:25-26). Christ was born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14). Christ suffered and died for our sins (Isaiah 53:5-9). These are but a few examples of the probably hundreds of Old Testament prophecies that the Lord gave to the prophets that are recorded in Scripture, and that were literally fulfilled. It simply does not make sense to try to allegorize unfulfilled prophecy, or understand unfulfilled prophecy in any other way than by a normal reading.
    When you read Revelation chapters 6-18, you read of the most terrible time there will ever be on earth – the time when the beast (antichrist) will rule for seven years (the Great Tribulation), and when the false prophet promotes the beast for the whole world to worship him as god. Then in chapter 19, everything comes to a climax with the literal return of Christ. Christ defeats the beast and false prophet at the battle of Armageddon, and then casts them into the lake of fire. In chapter 20, Christ has Satan bound in the abyss, and then Christ sets up His earthly kingdom for 1,000 years. At the end of the 1,000 years, Satan is let loose and causes a brief rebellion, but then Christ quickly puts down the rebellion and casts Satan into the lake of fire. Then is the final judgment, the resurrection and judgment of all unbelievers (believers were resurrected prior to the Tribulation – the rapture). Chapters 21 and 22 describe the eternal state – the way that all believers will enjoy the presence and fellowship with the Lord for all eternity.
    Recommended Resource: Understanding End Times Prophesy by Paul Benware.

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