Michael Youssef - Interview on Jewish Voice
Dr. Michael Youssef: Your future and the future of your children and grandchildren is at stake. And I'm trying to wake up the nation and the West to what is really going on.
Jonathan Bernis: Shalom, and welcome to "Jewish Voice," where we help you to discover the Jewish root of your Christian faith. I'm Jonathan Bernis, here with my special co-host for today, Shae Wilbur.
Shae Wilbur: Thank you for having me back.
Jonathan Bernis: Great to have you back, and thank you for joining us.
Shae Wilbur: Yes, and you know, God's Word says, "We don't battle against flesh and blood, but against the principalities of darkness and wickedness". Now, there's a war taking place right now, and it might already be in your own neighborhood.
Jonathan Bernis: The forces of evil appear to have the upper hand, but does that mean we just do nothing? Well, our guest today says he has a surprising answer. Here's more background on Dr. Michael Youssef.
Dr. Michael Youssef was born and raised in Egypt, and surrendered his life to Jesus at age 16. He is fluent in Arabic, and has a cross-cultural understanding of the world and its religions, particularly Islam. Thirty years ago, he founded the Church of the Apostles, which today numbers 3,000 members. Dr. Youssef heads the 29-year-old media ministry "Leading the Way". He and his wife, Elizabeth, have four grown children and live in Atlanta.
Jonathan Bernis: He's here to warn us about Islamic plots happening right here under our noses and give some incredible reports about what God is doing today in the Islamic world. I'm sure many of you have seen him on television. Please welcome Dr. Michael Youssef, great to have you. We're so honored, and God is using you in such powerful ways around the world. I wanna begin on a really positive note. We were talking last night about some of the miracles you've seen through your ministry, Muslims coming to faith, having visions, miraculous encounters with the Lord. Tell us a few.
Dr. Michael Youssef: From Indonesia all the way to Syria, people are seeing Jesus appearing to them in a dream and telling them that he loves them, "Why are you persecuting me and my children"? And so, we've seen this even as long as 12, 13 years ago. There was a Palestinian man who was listening to me at radio at the time. Trans World Radio was broadcasting a dual-language program, where I speak a sentence in English and translate it into Arabic. And there were millions of young people who wanted to learn English so were turning in. Well, he was one of them, and he heard the gospel message. He was a Palestinian, very involved in the militant Islam movement, and thoroughly converted to Christ. Here's something, Jonathan, you would really be interested to know. My son Joshua went over and interviewed him and did a story on him 10 years ago. Then, because of our connections with the Messianic brothers and sisters in Israel, they invited him to speak to them in Cyprus, and when he got up and he said, "You know, a few years ago, I would have wanted to kill every one of you, but now I love you with the love of Christ," amen, amen.
Jonathan Bernis: And you know what? Dr. Youssef, I believe that that is God's peace plan. That is the only peace plan that can work. God's peace plan, the Prince of peace. I've spoken in conferences where there's been incredible love between Arab and Israeli, Jew and Palestinian, and it's an amazing thing to see.
Dr. Michael Youssef: Yeah, and more and more, and I have friends in both ends, which is really a wonderful thing 'cause I'm not an Arab. I'm basically ethnically Coptic, so I was not... so but I have a great relationship with both groups, and...
Jonathan Bernis: You were born in Egypt and then left right after The Six-Day War, you were telling me.
Dr. Michael Youssef: Exactly, and this is part of my story because, basically, when I left, escaped the country, with literally, with a suitcase in my hand, and after the Six-Day War, the '67 war... some of the younger people don't know what the Six-Day War is, '67 war.
Jonathan Bernis: We gotta educate you.
Dr. Michael Youssef: And I literally escaped and did not think I will ever be able to go back 'cause Nasser was in power at the time, that great dictator. He said he was gonna throw Israel into the sea. And so, I left and I thought, "I'll never go back again". And I really did not even have a desire to even think of going back again, but God tricked me. And again, as I said, the Lord had different things in mind, and began to develop a love relationship, that "these people are lost and they need to know my gospel".
Jonathan Bernis: I think God does this, this is the way he works. He did that for me as a Jew. When I became a believer in Jesus, my parents and the rabbi and the whole community was very angry at me, and I said, "Well, you know, enough of you". And God said, "No, I've called you back to your people. I've called you back to your people". And he did that with you. I can see the heart for God.
Dr. Michael Youssef: And so, now, we have a television station 24/7. It's called Kingdom Sat, Al Malakoot Sat. It comes out of Atlanta, and 160 million homes in the Arab world, where the gospel is constantly going there, 24/7. And we have, of course, teams on the ground, every Arabic-speaking country, wonderful teams. They're the people who put their life on the line, I don't. And when many of them would watch me and they would say, "Oh, he's telling us about the very one I saw in my dream". And they contact our on-the-ground team to follow them up. One particular guy, this was only a few weeks ago, and one of my colleagues is here, he was there and interviewed him. And the first time he called our follow-up man, he wanted to kill him. He had a big knife in his pocket. He's a prince of ISIS. He's really one of the leaders in ISIS. And then he went away and had a dream, and so he called the man again, and they went back, eventually led him to Christ. And then he told him, he said, "The first time I came to see you, I wanted to kill you". And now, he's a great evangelist for Christ.
Jonathan Bernis: Wow, that's the power of transformation, and it's the power that's available to every one of you. God creates new creations in him.
Dr. Michael Youssef: God is a powerful and mighty God, and yeah, he can work in ways we cannot imagine.
Jonathan Bernis: I wanna switch gears because you have a ministry to your own people worldwide, an evangelistic ministry, but you're also, God's also called you to wake up the church concerning the dangers that we face. And there's this raging debate around the world about Islam, that it's a religion of peace, a religion of love. Others say that's not the case at all. What's the truth?
Dr. Michael Youssef: The reason I've been writing and warning is to understand fundamental Islam is a danger. And believe it or not, I just came back from the Middle East. I met with high government officials from the highest level, and they agreed with me. And they were saying to me, "We understand Islamic fundamentalists," these are Muslims, "more than your president or former President Obama did". He was giving them off jobs in the White House, and we had declared them, the Muslim Brotherhood particularly, as a terrorist organization. And they're frustrated. They said, "How the West cannot see this"? I said, "I've been writing books, they're not listening to me". And so, you know, you see, even President Sisi and King Abdullah of Jordan, and President Sisi of Egypt, I mean, they are the ones who are warning the West about these Islamists, as if to say, "We are being rebuked by the very people who know what the score is".
Jonathan Bernis: So, why aren't they listening to the expert? It seems to be an issue of political correctness.
Dr. Michael Youssef: That is exactly right, that's it.
Jonathan Bernis: So, talk about how that, the motivation behind the political correctness and ignoring Islamic leaders that are speaking to us.
Dr. Michael Youssef: I wanna give you an example, live example, of this political correctness gone haywire. The day after Trump's inauguration, there was a feminist demonstrations in DC, supposedly 40,000 people. Who was on the platform speaking? A lady by the name of Linda Sarsour wearing a hijab. She's an Islamist, she's not just a Muslim 'cause there are a lot of good Muslims. I have friends who are Muslims. She's an Islamist, and that always makes a distinction. And she was saying that we need to bring the sharia. And all these thousands of women say, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah".
Shae Wilbur: I saw this, I'm like, "Do they know what they're cheering for"? It's like, it blows my mind.
Dr. Michael Youssef: Those who want to dominate the world, and believe it or not, they're not a small number. Most statistics point out at least out of the 1.5 billion Muslims, there are 200 million who would immediately sign up for a sharia and an Islamist world order.
Shae Wilbur: Yeah, that's contrary to what our previous administration would have us think.
Jonathan Bernis: I've gotta stop you for a sec. We have to take a break. There's a lot more ahead with Dr. Michael Youssef. And listen, he is speaking truth. You need to hear it. The truth will set you free.
Jonathan Bernis: Welcome back, we're talking today with Dr. Michael Youssef, and he just wrote a book. Dr. Youssef, this is not very politically correct, "The Barbarians Are Here: Preventing the Collapse of Western Civilization in Times of Terrorism". This is a real, this is a wake-up call, isn't it?
Dr. Michael Youssef: It is, I've written 35 books. But I've written other books, and nobody seemed to take it seriously, so finally, I had to come up with a title...
Shae Wilbur: You came up with a title like this, and people are like, "Okay, we've gotta read this".
Jonathan Bernis: "I'm gonna shake you with this one," right?
Dr. Michael Youssef: They're not at the gate, they are here. And I'm trying to wake up the nation and the West to what is really going on. And everything I've written there, researched, factual, nothing that is provocative for the sake of being provocative.
Jonathan Bernis: Well, the liberal media, or as it's called now, as Donald Trump has coined, "The fake media," is saying, "This is not a threat. This is not a threat". You are saying, "The threat is very real". There's two kinds of barbarians that you talk about in the book. Can you elaborate on that for us?
Dr. Michael Youssef: Yeah, barbarian is anyone who is destroying what I consider to be biblical truth. And a mainline denomination who denies the divinity of Jesus and deny the fact that he's the only way and all religions lead to God, they are equally barbarians. They are destroying biblical morality when they dent that.
Jonathan Bernis: I wanna stop. I want you to hear that again because we believe that here, and that's why we exist as a ministry. Say that again.
Dr. Michael Youssef: Well, the Bible is very clear. "There is no name under heaven by which men can be saved," or women. And when you think about Barna, for example, and many others, not just him, showing us again and again and again, 60% of so-called born-again Christians say, "There are many ways to God," that, "all religions are gonna lead to the same place". And you wanna tear your hair and say, "Why do you even call yourself born-again Christian"? The whole word "evangelical" means that you believe the gospel, that is Jesus as Savior, the only Savior, the only Lord, and the only way to heaven, the only way to the Father. And so, you know, these are equally destructive people as the terrorists. We don't think that way, but I'm telling you, that is really true.
Jonathan Bernis: This is so... the whole idea of the church is really built on the revelation of who Jesus is, the way, the truth, the life.
Dr. Michael Youssef: Exactly, I thought about that.
Jonathan Bernis: That's amazing, what's the first you'd say to a Muslim in sharing your faith, the very first thing?
Dr. Michael Youssef: That Jesus, that "God loves you and that God wants a special relationship with you". "You mean God is knowable"? Because to them, he is transcendent. He is way, way up there. In fact, the Koran said that "he leads and misleads," so he's a tricky kind of a guy. You don't know which way he's gonna turn. One day he might beat you up, and one day he might make your life miserable. So, when you start saying that you can know God on a personal way, and that is the most revealing thing for them, that I can know God.
Jonathan Bernis: Do you see the similarities with Judaism, though, where God... not that he's tricky, but that he's this distant, unreachable God? And when you say this, "He loves you, and he wants to have a personal relationship with you," it cuts right through, and that's true for everyone. You know, Dr. Michael Youssef understands the importance of sharing the gospel, sharing the gospel with Muslims, of loving the Jewish people, and he understands that this is the heart of God, as so many of you watching understand.
Jonathan Bernis: We're talking with Dr. Michael Youssef about the Islamic threat that's right here in America. And Dr. Youssef, talk to a Christian watching. Many Christians are watching, "I'm saved already. I know my own path with God". Why do they need to understand what's in this book? Why do they need this?
Dr. Michael Youssef: Because your future and the future of your children and grandchildren is at stake. I mean, you know, whatever judgment God is gonna send, he's gonna send it as a consequence of our rejection of him. God is not capricious. And so, it is very important because the call of the heart of this book is to call Christians back to the gospel, and to be passionate about the gospel, and to be committed to the gospel, and not just be saved, sanctified, and satisfied.
Jonathan Bernis: It's not about me.
Dr. Michael Youssef: No, stop being a pew warmer. Don't just warm the pew. Get out there and preach the gospel. It's the Great Commission.
Jonathan Bernis: If you care about your children and your grandchildren and your great-grandchildren, get the book, read it, and be a doer of the Word, not a hearer only. Don't just be satisfied with what's in it for you because God so loved them, them. Hey, one last question because we're running out of time. Why is there a blindness to this? And what is it gonna take to lift the blindness?
Dr. Michael Youssef: The power of Jesus, just like the blindness of these ISIS we're talking about who have become Christians, the persecutors of the church becoming evangelists, only the power of Jesus Christ. But that's gonna take believers coming to prayer meetings, and taking the gospel seriously, and beginning to really take their faith seriously and not just... yeah, because that's the only way. God wants to use you to do that.
Jonathan Bernis: Preaching the truth, the message of the gospel is true. The power of God is real and opens the eyes of the blind. I want you to proclaim the gospel to those around you. I want you to proclaim God's true peace plan, the Prince of Peace. Are you ready to embrace that call? Maybe you don't have peace in your own life. You need that peace, and God wants to give it to you. He loves you. He gave his Son for you. And he wants you to begin a whole new life in him. All you have to do is to call upon the name of the Lord. If you have questions, if you have prayer needs, I want you to know that we're here for here at "Jewish Voice". You can log on to our website, it's jvmi.tv. I want you to know that God loves you, and so do we.
Shae Wilbur: Yes, and we wanna thank you so much, Dr. Youssef, for joining us today. This has been eye opening, inspiring, and thank you so much for your courage and passion to sharing the Jewish Messiah, sharing Jesus with the world. It's really incredible, and we know...
Dr. Michael Youssef: I like to be with you too.
Jonathan Bernis: Come back, please.
Dr. Michael Youssef: I'll be looking forward to that. I'll be looking forward to it.
Shae Wilbur: We'll have lots more questions for you.
Jonathan Bernis: I'm Jonathan Bernis with today's special co-host, Shae Wilbur, saying, Shalom, and God bless you.