Order Dr. Youssef's Newest Books

End Times and the Secret of the Mahdi

End Times and the Secret of the Mahdi


Jesus, Jihad and Peace

Jesus, Jihad and Peace 

Leadership

Sign up to have posts delivered directly to your inbox







Blindsided

Friday
Jun102016

The Relevant Revelation

In my recent book, End Times and the Secret of the Mahdi: Unlocking the Mystery of Revelation and the Antichrist, I offer an action plan for living confidently in today’s turbulent times. 

During the next several posts, I will draw from this book to examine current events in light of end-times prophecies. Today’s post follows Part I of the book, The Revelation of Jesus Christ.

God has used the Book of Revelation as the capstone of the entire Bible. It reveals the ultimate fulfillment of prophecies going back to the beginning of Genesis. And through that, we can discover how to apply those insights to our lives today.

Atheist philosophers tell us that human life is meaningless. But Revelation assures us that God cares greatly about our individual lives — and about the future of Planet Earth. Although things seem to be spinning out of control, God has a triumphant conclusion planned.

But are we ready? Are we ready today for that conclusion?

Though Jesus could return at any time, the signs seem to be aligning for His return sooner rather than later. 

Every day, there is more terrible news from the Middle East — the very region where history began and where it will all end. 

Today, the nation of Israel, the Holy Land, seems all but isolated, including from its old ally, the United States.

Today, more Christians are martyred than ever before.

Today, the rapid and ruthless rise of ISIS has resulted in an actual state that controls large regions of Iraq and Syria, plus parts of Nigeria, Libya, and Southeast Asia.

The ISIS reign of terror crosses national borders, enforcing its rule with beheadings and mass slaughter. But although it is brutal, ISIS provides stability, and many who live under ISIS control welcome the stability of oppression.

I’m not saying that ISIS is the precursor to the Antichrist. But as we look at the horror coming out of the Middle East, it is impossible not to compare those scenes with the Antichrist’s reign of terror, as described in Daniel, Revelation, and other prophetic passages of Scripture.

Daniel tells us that during the time of the Antichrist “there will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then” (Daniel 12:1).

But the signs go far beyond Middle East conflict and much closer to home.

Today, the United States federal debt stands at $18.6 trillion, 74 percent of the GDP. And entitlement spending will soon explode the debt sky-high. Those who pay attention to the global debt crisis can easily envision the global economic collapse described in Revelation 18.   

Also today, we see US government officials trampling our First Amendment rights in ways unthinkable a few years ago.  

Today, religious liberty is endangered as it takes a backseat to political correctness.

Today, fundamental truths about gender and sexual behavior are cast aside, by secular and religious authorities alike. 

Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 that in the church there would be a great “falling away” from the faith before the Day of the Lord. We already see a great “falling away” in the evangelical church. Many churches that once preached the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ have defected. 

Why is all this happening now? The Bible doesn’t tell us, but here’s my opinion:

I believe Satan is intensifying his actions against Christians because he senses that time is growing short. He is desperate to do as much damage as he can, to cause as much suffering as he can, to take as many souls with him as he can.  

Although the headlines are filled with evidence that society is on a collision course with the Book of Revelation, don’t be alarmed.  

God did not give us the Book of Revelation to frighten us, or certainly to let us predict the future. God alone knows the future. But He did give us the Book of Revelation to motivate and encourage us. 

Between the bookends of Genesis and Revelation, the Bible spans the history of the human race. Genesis tells the story of humanity’s creation and fall. Revelation describes the redemption and eternal destiny of all believers.

The Book of Revelation is indispensable. If we did not have Revelation, we would have an incomplete picture of Jesus Christ and the Christian faith. 

The Old Testament presents a picture of Jesus, the promised Messiah. The Gospels present a picture of Jesus, the Teacher, Leader, Servant, the Crucified and Risen One. The Book of Acts gives us Jesus as the Ascended One. In the epistles, we see Jesus as Savior and Lord. 

But only in Revelation do we see Jesus fully glorified, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and Judge of all.

In Revelation 1:8, the Lord says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” But the Alpha-Omega statement also appears at the end of Revelation. In Revelation 22:13, the Lord says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” 

Jesus is saying: “I was here at the beginning, I am here now, and I will be here at the end. I was here at Creation, and I will be here when Heaven and Earth are made new.” Jesus is the King of Glory, worthy of honor and praise — the Lord of the Beginning and the End.

John, who was probably closest to Jesus of the Twelve, looked at the glorified Jesus and didn’t say, “I saw my good friend Jesus.” He said, “I saw someone like a son of man.” 

Then he proceeded to describe the Lord’s appearance. The Lord was:

…dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance (Revelation 1:13b-16).

The sight of the glorified Jesus was so awesome that John “fell at his feet as though dead.” 

Certainly we must long for the day when we will see Jesus fully magnified and ruling over all. But as readers of Revelation know, there will be a Great Tribulation, too. But when will that happen? And will the Lord take His church out of the world before the Great Tribulation begins? Only God knows the answers. 

But let’s not get sidetracked by minor details, because then we might miss the big picture. The “big picture” themes of the Book of Revelation are:

First, all who welcome Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will be welcomed into Heaven when He returns. 

Second, Jesus will return as He promised. 

Third, Jesus will sit in righteous judgment over all who have refused to accept Him as Lord and Savior during their earthly lives.

Fourth, when Jesus appears, all who love Him will be with Him forever.

Christians of good will may debate the details of this prophecy, but those four principles are beyond debate. 

So we must be ready. As Jesus tells us:   

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him (Matthew 24:42-44).

If we study the Book of Revelation, it will not merely increase our knowledge. It will change our lives. Because of its life-changing truths, you and I can live each day with eternity in our hearts.

Are we ready for the Lord’s return? 

Thursday
Jan282016

End Times Secret

I have taken a hiatus from writing my blog in the last several months for a number of reasons; one of which was to write my new book, “End Times and the Secret of the Mahdi.” www.endtimessecret.com

This book is born out of studying the Scriptures regarding the End Times while simultaneously examining the widespread rise of Islamic thoughts on the subject. Perhaps the most amazing fact I uncovered is the shocking similarity between the biblical “antichrist” and the Muslim “Mahdi.”

Most Christians recognize that the rise and the fall of the biblical antichrist will lead to the return of the resurrected and ascended Jesus Christ. Yet while we anticipate the return of the true Messiah, many modern Islamic writers (both Shiites and Sunnis) have a heightened sense of expectation regarding the appearance of their “messiah,” the Mahdi. To be sure, Sunni and Shiites do not agree on many of the details, but both anticipate the rise of such a person.

 

  •  Sunni Muslims believe that the Mahdi is none other than Jesus himself, whom they do not believe died on Calvary but rather ascended into heaven at the age of 33. They believe He will come back to earth and live for seven years at the end of which He will visit Mecca and declare himself a Muslim. Allegedly He will then turn against the Christians and the Jews and judge the world by establishing the Islamic Sharia.
  •  Shiite Islam has a different view of the Mahdi. Since they follow a different line of succession to Mohammed, their Mahdi (messiah) is identified as the “Twelfth Imam.” He was born in the 9th century, became Imam at the age of five, and supposedly vanished in an event called the “occultation.” Shiites believe that this Mahdi is alive now but hidden until Allah reveals him at a time when the earth is in political and economical turmoil.

 

Now consider the biblical depiction of the antichrist. Paul refers to him as “the man of lawlessness,” “the man doomed to destruction,” and “the lawless one.” Second Thessalonians describes him as one “who will exalt himself over everything that is called god or is worshiped so that he sets himself up in God’s temple proclaiming himself to be God.” (2:3-4, 8). (See also Revelation 13). In Mathew 24 Jesus affirms Daniel’s prophecy regarding the rise of the antichrist, noting that his arrival will spell out the End of the Age. (See Daniel 9:27)

The similarities between the Mahdi and the antichrist are chilling:

1)  Both are associated with the End Times and the Day of Judgment.

2)  They both possess political, military, and religious power.

3)  Both will endeavor to bring the world under one religion.

4)  The Mahdi will force all people to convert to Islam, and the antichrist will make himself the object of worship.

5)  Both will establish Jerusalem as the capital from which they will rule the world.

Whether you are a person who sees value in this or not, I write as a committed Bible- believing Christian who has spent many years in biblical study. My conclusion is simple but not simplistic.

Christ and Christ alone is the hope of the world. He spiritually rules in the hearts of His followers, but the day is coming when He will return to destroy ALL of the antichrists, regardless of their names. Jesus of Nazareth alone will reign and rule forever! 

In this charged political season, we do well to remember that we are not voting for a savior but a servant—one who needs to demonstrate that if he/she has served God faithfully, it is a clear indication that he/she will serve the nation similarly.

If you are looking to someone with a messianic complex, then he/she will simply pave the way for the biblical antichrist, Satan’s sinister representative, who will lead many away from the truth.

Choose wisely and prayerfully! 

Friday
Sep042015

Is God’s Judgment Against Us Inevitable?

America, and the West, seem to be sinking into the abyss, and it’s time to ask: Is God’s judgement now inevitable?

In contemplating the answer, we should consider some of the obvious reasons why judgment could come soon:

 

  1.  The blood of millions of innocent lives is shed and body parts are sold for profit in this country, while our government supports and funds such monstrous activity.
  2. God’s purpose in Creation, and His declared purpose for marriage, has been ignored and ruled against by the highest court in the land.
  3. Police authority is devalued by a great many people and undermined by political leaders.
  4. God-fearing, Bible-believing Christians are forbidden by the U.S. administration from saying the name of their God in the military.
  5. European businessmen and government officials cannot wait to do business with Iran—a leading state sponsor of the persecution and murder of innocent people.
  6. Persecuted Christians from the Middle East and elsewhere are forbidden entry visas into the United States and Europe. And yet illegal aliens—terrorists among them—get in and are given support.
  7. News programs report nearly every day on the rape and murder of Christian women and children by ISIS, while our government leaders cannot be bothered to condemn it, let alone do something about it.
  8. A sex change operation can get you a call from the highest office holder in the land to commend you for your “courage,” while families of fallen soldiers receive nothing.
  9. Those who announce their choice to reject God’s created order become heroes, while those who have taken a vow of poverty and serve the least among us are discriminated against.

 

With those, and many other government decisions made to marginalize righteousness and the righteous, can God’s judgment be far behind?

We can already see the signs of the lifting of God’s hand upon America through the cowardice of today’s politicians. Lying by public officials is rampant (and is even considered a virtue by many). Politicians refer to their political opponents as terrorists, while at the same time, they refuse to label the real terrorists as such.Elected government officials, out of fear of criticism, hide behind parliamentary maneuvers to avoid obeying the Constitution and allowing religious liberty.

We are already reaping the leaders that we deserve.

Twenty-six hundred years ago, a similar situation took place among a people who had once believed in and worshipped the one true God. The rulers and the people of the day had abandoned God.

But God sent them spokesmen to deliver the truth—among them a man named Jeremiah.

Jeremiah warned and warned and warned them that God’s judgment could not be stayed forever. God’s principle of sowing and reaping will be carried out unless there is a perceptible change.

But no one would listen. They mocked God, and Jeremiah was vilified—just as today’s spokesmen are, such as myself.

Sadly, the inevitable judgment came. Terrorists from Babylon entered the “Promised Land” and maimed and killed many and took others hostage. Of course, the same people who had mocked God, then cried out, “Where is God?”

The very God they had insulted, the very God they had rejected, then ironically became the object of their ire for not answering their pleas and giving them the prosperity they wanted.

What form of judgment will God take this time? Only He knows the answer to that. But our country can still turn to Him now, before it is too late. If we don’t, however, God’s judgment will be inevitable.

Thursday
Aug132015

The Power of Propaganda

Recently I tweeted a statement that was attributed to Stalin and used by Joseph Goebbels (Hitler’s propaganda minister). Goebbel said: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

Click to read more ...