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Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Roman Legions, Followers of the Christos, The Destruction of the Temple
Hanegraaff, Hank and Sigmund Brouwer. The Last Temple (The Last Disciple Book 3). Carol Stream, Illinois:
Tyndale House, 7/20/2012. (PG13-V)
Gallus Sergius Vitas was a renowned general of the Roman
army; a former member of the inner circle of Nero, the Roman Emperor. Vitas
finds himself in Caesarea posing as his brother Damian’s slave and daily
mourning the death of his wife Sophia. Damian convinces Vitas there is no harm
in carrying the scheme a step further. Vitas
is sold into the household of the fiscal procurator of Judea where he
can spy on the domestic situation in Helva’s home. He should have known better.
Damian leaves for Jerusalem to find his friend and former gladiator, Maglorius.
Vitas, assigned to protect Helva’s wife Dolabella with three
other slaves, is vigilant as they pass through the market place to see the
governor. A trumpet sounds three times. Dolabella stops. Vitas, now Novella, finds
himself drawn into a dispute over dishes, becomes distracted. Suddenly, burning
camels appear lumbering through the marketplace followed by assassins focused
Vitas is once again rescued, this time from crucifixion as
he is dying. He has in his hands a piece of a letter written by the last living
disciple of the Christos. Many of the prophesies John has cryptically written
in Hebrew, have already come to pass. Jerusalem will fall to Rome? Jerusalem totally destroyed by fire? Not one
stone of the Temple left upon another?
Hanegraaff, The Bible Answer Man, and now president of
the Christian Research Institutethe conservative Protestant counter-cult and apologetic
Brouwer, bestselling author of more than forty novels, join together to use the
Disciple John’s Book of Revelation to describe the last days of the Jewish Temple
Although The Last
Temple is the third in The Last
Disciple Trilogy, it can be read as a stand-alone novel.
Brouwer have tied the events of the first two novels like mystery writers salt
their books with clues. There are no long reviews of previous plots. They only provide
enough of a hint of the characters’ positions and past events through short flashbacks or
dialogue that this story makes sense.
The deft use of sights, sounds, and smells places the
readers in Caesarea and Jerusalem between the years A.D. 67 to the fall of the
Temple in August of A.D. 70. They take the time to share the motivations, inner
flaws, and revealing traits of the characters, credibly revealed through
descriptions and dialogues. The authors are careful not to overload the book with the
obstacles and complications of the earlier novels except as they apply to the
tensions, conflicts and development of the plot of this novel.
While Vitas seems to lead a charmed life, his story creates a platform for the historical events to play themselves out. Current
novels and non-fiction similarly focus on the end of the world, the Mayan
apocalypse of December 12, 2012. The end
time prophecies of the Bible seem to support this approaching date.
the authors have chosen to provide the prophecies of the end times to explain
the years leading up to the Roman Army’s crushing defeat of the Jews and the
Roman General’s move into the political theater of Rome. The book is
well-researched and deftly written.