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The Last Disciple

(The Last Disciple #1)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,020 ratings  ·  101 reviews
On a hot summer day, deep in the emperors palace, death arrived hidden in a sealed scroll.When Helius discovers whats written in the scroll, he recognizes it as the symbol hell stop at nothing to keep hidden.

First-century Jerusalem begins to experience the turbulence Christ prophesied as the beginning of the last days. What is the meaning of 666? Some want to reveal its m

Published 2012 by Tyndale House Publisher (first published September 10th 2004)
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3.92  · 
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 ·  1,020 ratings  ·  101 reviews

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Natalie Vellacott
There are three books in this series, The Last Disciple is the first. This book was not dissimilar to The Advocate by Randy Singer that I have just read.

It took me a while to understand what was going on in this book. There were numerous characters and the author jumps around a lot amongst the different scenes. It was difficult to keep track of the plot and storylines. I found myself re-reading whole sections to keep on track. I also found that I wasn't gripped by the main story and became indif
Lee Harmon
May 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m unaware of another book out there that presents the preterist view in a fictional story, and that alone earns The Last Disciple recognition. If you need a reminder, preterism is a branch of Christianity that believes most of the prophecies and covenantal promises of the Bible have been fulfilled. Armageddon is over. Much, if not all, of Revelation has occurred.

The setting for the book is the years of Nero Caesar’s reign, just prior to the war of 70 AD, when the Romans overran Jerusalem. Ner
Jan 16, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
I found this book quite disjointed. It was like the authors felt the need to manufacture drama. So, they'd give you a few paragraphs (A few pages, if you're lucky.), then jump to a new scene.

There were times when the authors would jump to a brand new setting/characters but leave out imperative details. It left the reader confused and hanging, as they quickly cut to a new scene.

I found the character development lacking

Honestly, it was pretty grueling to get through. To top it off, almost nothin
Jun 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 16+
This book was an excellent read!! It had me at the edge of my seat the entire time. The courage that these faithful Christians possessed (through the grace of God!) is awe inspiring. And the tortures that they endured for the sake of Christ brought me to my knees!!
I found this book to be very, very moving and encouraging. I strongly recommend this to 16 and up! *goes to read book 2, "The Last Sacrifice"*

Christian Fiction Addiction
Set in first-century Rome, The Last Disciple weaves together the stories of Gallus Sergius Vitas, a man within the inner circle of Emperor Nero, with the lives of Christians who are experiencing ever-greater persecution for their beliefs. Vitas has committed to serve justice equally for all, and is no longer able to stand by as Nero carries out horrific acts against Christian believers, or while other Roman rulers plunder and steal to their own benefit. Vitas sets out to Jerusalem to investigate ...more
Emily Wolfenbarger
Mar 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emily by: Mom
Shelves: for-fun
I practically read this in one sitting. Incredible, biblical, inventive. Amazing and highly recommended!
May 18, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hanegraaff's response to the LEFT BEHIND series is another interesting installment in the author's "What They Should Have Written" series. I made that title up, of course, but it was nicer than "What they Would Have Written if they Were as Smart as I am." **

That's too harsh for Hanegraaff, whose work merits more attention than it gets. His radio show (The Bible Answer Man) is excellent, and the speaker/author certainly does his homework. Sometimes I think he is frustrated that such poor books g
I know the Christian/Fiction Genre Stamp are going to put some people off… DO NOT LET IT!!!

This is a very Intriguing, Interesting, Insightful Beautifully told book!!! The Historical importance of the book is a large factor in getting more people reading it. But it shows the subject in a more “Personable” Light….(We all have heard the stories of Old Testament Christians, How it is Jammed down our throats…. this book does not do that, The opposite really. Its many POVs of many factions of lif
This book is set in 1st century Jerusalem & Rome during the time of Nero's reign. I love reading absorbing stories from this period and, for me, this was that type of book. There was action, intrigue and romance with characters I cared about and a story that kept me turning the pages. However, going into this I knew it was Mr. Hanegraff's response to the Left Behind series so I was prepared but I still had a hard time swallowing his Preterist views that he intertwined throughout the book - v ...more
Ben Chenoweth
OK, I was hoping this would be better than "Apocalypse", but it wasn't. This was way too melodramatic. I really didn't feel the authors dealt with the book of Revelation in the context of the late 60's of the first century. They were more concerned about Mark 13 / Matt. 24. And when they did touch on Revelation towards the end, they didn't explain why the book was written to Christians in Asia Minor when the persecution under Nero was centered on Rome. Disappointing, and I won't go looking for t ...more
Jan 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great read. Fiction but give another viewpoint to compare to the Left Behind series.
there are very minimal parts that keeps my interest in the audio cds.
Maurice Williams
“The Last Disciple” is the first in a series of three books about the demise of The Temple and the Jewish nation that built The Temple. The point of view is how “Revelation” is interpreted. The interpretation in this series is preterist. Some of the visions in “Revelation” are predictions made to the Jewish people who encountered the Messiah warning them what will happen to them, their nation, and The Temple if they should reject God's appointed Messiah and try to defeat his mission. This makes ...more
The Roman Empire is in utter state of corruption. Nero is on the throne and things could hardly be worse, especially for the Christians who faced horrible persecution and unimaginable torture. Betrayal and fear face everyone who lived in that terrible time. A mysterious letter, written by John, has been circulating among the Christians. Their enemies are impatient to learn the meaning of the symbolism mentioned in the letter. Who is the Beast? Who or What does the numbers 666 stand for? When wil ...more
Priscilla King
If you liked "Ben Hur," "Quo Vadis," "The Silver Chalice," "The Robe," "I Claudius," maybe even "The Satyricon" or "The Golden Ass"--well, that's about a half-dozen novels you'll probably rate higher than "The Last Disciple." But you also like historical fiction and may enjoy another visit to first-century Rome. Hanegraaff apparently noted the success of "Left Behind" and felt moved to write a novel dramatizing his own view of how the biblical Apocalypse should be read. Meant to launch a trilogy ...more
Linda Mehus-Barber
Flipping from scene to scene and then back again was confusing for me at first, but once I got to know the characters, I could see why the authors did what they did. It was frustrating at first, but I found myself always wanting to know what was going to happen next, so I kept reading. Years ago, I read the Left Behind series, and several books about the Second Coming, Tribulation, and Rapture. At that time, preaching in churches was often about the coming fulfillment of prophecy. This book gave ...more
I had a hard time getting into this for a while because there are so many characters and the storyline kept switching around, so I found it hard to get interested in the characters at first. About a third of the way through it picked up for me as I finally felt I had a grasp of the characters and how they were related within the plot. I found the ending to be rather abrupt and it didn't provide enough closure for me. But of course that's because it's the first in a trilogy, and so now I guess I' ...more
Patrick Moen
An interesting counterpoint to the Left Behind series. I don't buy the premise but I did enjoy the book. Before I became a believer in Christ I used to read books that were combat focused exclusively. This book harkens back to those days while also teaching a lot about Roman and hebrew history.
I don't agree with the idea here that the antichrist already came, so I can't give this a better rating than 3 stars. However, story-wise this was very intriguing.
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: apocalypse
Interesting take on the book of Revelation.
Justin Nichols
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
4.8 -- This book is refreshing!! Not necessarily the storyline (intense/heavy) but the fact that this historical fiction depicts the years preceding the fall of Jerusalem, 65-66 AD, as what they were for the Christians and Jews living at that time-- the Great Tribulation-- as well as identifies the 666 Beast of Revelation-- Nero.

My journey from dispensationalism into preterism has been almost a decade-long trek full of many prayers, questions, comprehensive research, and Bible studies. About a y
I bought this book for my husband as a sort of manly-Christian type book awhile back, and he liked it so much he wanted me to read it to discuss the view of the book of Revelation in this story. It's a gorier book than I usually read, but any book on the persecution of the Christians under Nero would be gory, if it did the topic any justice. The body count was high. Unsettling, unstable times. No earthly security. It begs the question, "Would we also be willing to die for our faith?"

We had heard
This book is kind of like what the Left Behind Series would be if it had good eschatology and good writing.


The series is based on the premise that, as Christ promised the events He foretold would happen within the generation, the prophecies of Christ, and much of Revelation were fulfilled in the Destruction of Jerusalem. Thus, while being historical fiction, it also uses a lot of apocryphal imagery to accompany these times under Nero's persecution. The result is a fascinating story of the p
Renn Shearin
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First-century Rome is a perilous city as Nero stalks the political circles and huddled groups of believers. To be safe, Christians must remain invisible.

Gallus Sergius Vitas is the only man within Nero’s trusted circle willing to do what it takes to keep the empire together. He struggles to lessen Nero’s monstrosities against the people of Rome—especially the Christians. But as three Greek letters are scrawled as graffiti throughout the city, Nero’s anger grows.

As the early church begins to expe
The authors did a decent job of depicting Rome in the early years after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, but it wasn't as thorough as Francine Rivers' Mark of the Lion trilogy. The terminology and customs aren't as all-encompassing, which helps you focus more on the story but doesn't give you a sense of immersion in the culture. What The Last Disciple did very well was depict the tension between traditional Jews and Christians in that time period, and the Roman Emperors and "the growin ...more
Laura Verret
Hanegraaff and Brouwer had an extremely interesting cast of characters, an intriguing story-line, a wonderful setting, and good theology to apply to the story. But somehow, this book wasn't a gripper. First off, it wasn't very coherent - the authors decided to jump around from story to story (about five of them) dedicating a few pages to one plot, then whisking you off to another before you've got your feet planted on the first one. I think that the authors were trying to increase the drama by t ...more
Lacey Stephens
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting book. It's a look at the idea that the Tribulation may have already started during Nero's time. But whether that idea is actually true or not, it's a great look at life in Rome and Jerusalem a few years after the resurrection of Jesus. A time filled with political corruption and Christian persecution. Where the movie "The Passion of the Christ" gave a detailed visual of the crucifixion of Jesus, this book allows your imagine to "see" what life in Rome and Jerusalem would ...more
Jul 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is the first in a trilogy, which is the a-millennial answer to The Left Behind series. While it is not the best prose I've sampled, the writing is vastly superior to that in any of The Left Behind books (which I swear had to have been written for a 3rd-4th grade reading level in order to have a broader readership. . .the ones for teens were painful to read, being far "cheaper" in every conceivable way than the adult counterparts). It shares with The Left Behind writers the very annoyin ...more
Nora St Laurent
Jul 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story. It was amazing to read about how Christians were treated back then. It was surprising how the Christians died while awaiting to be eaten by the lions. They really helped to bring that period of time to life. The book was a little slow in the beginning but really picked up at the end. I am really looking forward to reading the next one.

Disclosure of Material Connection:
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The
I thoroughly enjoyed this story especially because it gave you a great insight into the political and spiritual atmosphere that was Rome in the first century and how politics affected not only Rome and the foundation of Christianity. I also felt that it moved at a great pace. There is good characterization and action in the story to keep you wanting to read. Givin that most of the names in The book were Latin or Hebrew based kinda made it hard to follow who the characters were but I'm glad that ...more
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Hank Hanegraaff serves as president and chairman of the board of the North Carolina–based Christian Research Institute International. He is also host of "The Bible Answer Man" radio program, which is broadcast daily across the United States and Canada as well as around the world through the Internet at Widely considered to be one of the world's leading Christian apologists, H ...more

Other books in the series

The Last Disciple (3 books)
  • The Last Sacrifice
  • The Last Temple