End Times and the Secret of the Mahdi: Unlocking the Mystery of Revelation and the Antichrist by Michael Youssef

Michael Youssef is one of my favorite media ministers. I was excited to be given the opportunity to read Rev. Youssef’s view of end times, and its ties with the 12th Madhi of Islam.

Being born and raised in the Middle East (Egypt), I believe Youssef’s views of the happenings surrounding the last days come more from an experiential understanding rather than an academic understanding of Islamic Eschatology. That’s not to say that Youssef’s views are not academic, as they very much are. I simply believe that Michael Youssef’s views of both Christian and Islamic Eschatology have an extra depth that comes from a thorough understanding of End Times.

Without providing spoilers, I can summarize that this book addresses the similarities between the Islamic Mahdi and the Antichrist of Revelation. He furthermore discusses the present state of the world, and how we are in a collision course with the global movement to a one-world government. These things used to be considered to be happenings far into the future. Today, they’re definite possibilities and are happening right under our collective noses. And, of course, the rise of ISIS plays a major role in the End Time drama.

The author spends a great deal of the book solely concentrating on the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and the roles that are played by the Antichrist, the 24 elders, the 7 letters, and so forth. It was presented in a very accessible fashion. I think this book, as opposed to other End Times books I’ve read, is the most understandable version yet to be published. In that regard, the ease of understanding greatly contributes to the success of the book.

So much will take place in the very near future as The Antichrist, the Abomination that leads to Desolation, the Antichrist’s 7 year peace treaty with Israel, the Great Tribulation, and many more events will lead us in to the glorious reign of Jesus Christ, and the ultimate fate of the Antichrist and his False Prophet.

I review lots of books, and generally relegate them to the shelves after the review. This particular book will be placed in with my collection of Bibles, and can/will serve as a valuable reference as I’m able to read it again and again. For this utility alone, I give this book a hearty 4-Star rating, and recommend it for both your enjoyment and the vast spiritual knowledge you will receive.

It’s one that every Christian in these latter days should obtain and start reading now.

I received this book as an Advanced Readers’ Copy (ARC) from Worthy Publishing, in exchange for my commitment to provide and honest and timely review. I have no other professional ties or expectations with the publisher or author. This review appears in Goodreads, Amazon.com, and my blog: jonreviewsbooks1.wordpress.com

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Reaching Your Prodigal by Phil Waldrep

Webster’s online dictionary defines “prodigal” as “1. Rashly or wastefully extravagant” and “2. Giving or given in abundance; lavish or profuse”. This pretty well ties in to the Biblical story of the Prodigal Son, who indeed lived a wastefully extravagant life…. at least until the money ran out. A modern retelling of the thematic elements of this story might be, “spoiled rich kid takes his inheritance and blows it all on wine, women and song, and upon realizing his physical and spiritual condition, comes back home with tail tucked between his legs.”

Christian communicator, Phil Waldrep, delivers a paradigm that causes most of us to see a prodigal in a completely different light. I “Reaching Your Prodigal”, Waldrep shows us other situations in which we could consider a loved one as a prodigal under circumstances that aren’t necessarily the norm.

Much can be said of the Father in the prodigal story. One factor that struck me in this biblical tale is the fact that the father saw his defeated son returning home from a far distance away. It speaks of a father who very much loved his wayward son, regardless of his dumb decisions, and constantly had his eyes focused on the horizon. I think the loving father knew in his heart that his prodigal would one day return home, and he didn’t want to miss that occasion.

Waldrep directs us to look deeper within the psyche of the prodigals in our family. He doesn’t limit the prodigal title to those family members who simply take physical leave of the family and run off and live the high life. His variety of prodigal family members shows us that most all of us have some sort of prodigal living under our roof. Whether they be physically absent, socially or mentally absent, or absent from the family dynamic because of philosophies of life, illness, addictions or other contrasting beliefs. This is where the book gets quite interesting as it guides us through the processes of welcoming and loving the prodigal back into the family fold.

All in all, I found this look at our prodigals to be refreshing, new, and quite challenging. And I commend this book to you for your own edification and reading enjoyment. Many books have been written through the ages about this all too familiar biblical story. But, I think Phil Waldrep does an excellent job in addressing his own view of things, and passing those understandings on to those of us who are either parents of a prodigal, or a one time or another, were prodigals ourselves. A very good read, from a very good author and communicator.