By Mark Ellis –
During his mother’s pregnancy doctors wanted to abort him due to an infection in his mother’s womb, but as a devout Muslim she refused.
“The doctors compelled my mother to kill the child (me), but she is a very good devotee of Allah, God. So she did not accept their advice,” Mario Joseph explained on HM Television.
At the time of his mother’s pregnancy crisis she prayed: “Allah, life belongs to you so I know you can give life. If you give life to this baby I will surrender this baby to you.”
Joseph was led to believe his birth was miraculous, but his mother’s vow of dedication to Islam carried unwanted consequences. “Because I had been dedicated to God, my parents did not send me to school. My childhood was very bad,” he recounted.
At eight-years-old they sent him to a Muslim-Arabic college so he could prepare to become an imam. Remarkably, after 10 years of study, he completed the goal.
Working as a parish priest, he preached that Jesus Christ is not God. “For me, God was only Allah and I believed that Allah never got married, so no sons for Allah. So I preached that Jesus is not God.”
Then someone asked him one day, “Who is Jesus?”
While he was certain Jesus was not God, he wasn’t quite sure how to answer the question.
He studied the Koran exhaustively for an answer. “When I read it, the name of the Prophet Mohammad I found in the Koran in four places, but the name of Jesus I found in 25 places,” he told HM Television.
He began to wonder, Why does the Koran give more preference to (the name of) Jesus?
Even stranger, the only name of a woman he found in the Koran is Mariam, the mother of Jesus – no other woman’s name.
In other places in the Koran he found Jesus referred to as the “Word of God” and the “Spirit of God.”
Another pointed to his title: “Jesus Christ.”
“The Koran says that Jesus cured a man born blind and a man with leprosy. Curiously, the Koran says that Jesus gave life to dead people, Jesus went to heaven, he is still alive and he will come again.”
He realized that Mohammad never cured any sick people and never raised the dead. “He himself died. And according to Islam he is not alive and he will not come back.”
Joseph discovered many differences between Jesus and Mohammad. As a result of his study, he was not ready to call Jesus God, but it slowly began to dawn on him that Jesus might be a prophet greater than Mohammad.
A return to the college
He went back to his professor at the Arabic college and asked him, “Teacher, how did God create the universe?”
“God created the universe through the word,” the man replied.
“Is the word the creator or the creation?” Joseph inquired. He thought, If my teacher says that the Word is the Creator, then Jesus is the Creator, and Muslims must become Christian. If he says the word is the creation, then how did God create the word?
His instructor began to fume, realizing he was trapped by Joseph’s logic. “He was quite angry. He pushed me out of his room and said, ‘Word is not the Creator nor the creation, you get out of here.”
They met later and the professor told him, “If there is a son of God I must show him the wife of God. Without a wife, there is no chance of having a son.”
Then Joseph showed him a portion from the Koran. “The Koran says God can see without eyes, God can talk without a tongue, God can hear without ears. If that is the case, he can have a child without a wife.”
After arguing with the man, Joseph left, went home and opened the Koran randomly. It fell open to Chapter 10, verse 94, which says: “If you have any doubt in this Koran which I give to you, go and read the Bible or ask those who read the Bible.”
Joseph put the Koran on his chest and said, “Allah, tell me what I should do, because your Koran says Jesus is still alive and Mohammad is dead. Who should I believe?”
Studying the Bible
“I decided to study the Bible and I went to a retreat center called the Divine Retreat Center in India.” He read John chapter one: ‘In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God…’
“So my holy Koran says Jesus is the Word of God, now the Holy Bible also says Jesus is the Word of God.” He vacillated in his thoughts, thinking he was a Muslim one day and the next that he might be a Christian.
John 1:12 had a big impact on him. “It was such a lovely word for me. It says that if anyone receives Jesus, he gives them the power to become children of God.”
He was also struck by Jesus’ teaching about prayer, which begins with the word Abba. “I cannot express my joy whenever I call my God dad and whenever I think that the Creator of the universe is my dad I have a kind of joy which I cannot express…it’s beyond my experience…an experience I cannot explain.”
The power of the Word and the Spirit touched his heart and he exclaimed: “I need Jesus because I want to be a child of God and call my God ‘Daddy.’
He was born again!
“I was gone a long time and I was missing from my home,” Joseph recounted. “My parents thought I was in the moscheet and the moscheet people thought I was in my house. Then they communicated and searched for me everywhere.”
When his father learned he was at the retreat center, he erupted in fury. “My dad came there and beat me very badly. I was bleeding from my nose and I was unconscious. Then he took me home.”
When Joseph regained consciousness, he found himself in a small room without any clothing. “I was completely naked and my hands and legs were chained very tightly and I could not even speak because there was chili powder in my mouth, nose, eyes and wherever the wound was they had placed some chili there also to burn me.”
His father thought he was obeying the law of the Koran, which metes out harsh penalties for those who reject Islam.
“They did not give me food or water. Within a few days I was dried up and my lip broke. I was trying to lick a little blood to wet my throat, then my brother came and passed urine in my mouth. He said that’s the punishment for you to believe in Christ.”
After 20 days confined in the small room Joseph became like a dead man.
“My dad came to the room and removed the chain and I was not awake. He choked my throat very deep to know if there was life in my body. When he choked very deep I couldn’t breathe. So I opened my eyes and I could see a big knife in his hand.”
“It’s your last moment,” he said. “If you need Allah, I will allow you to live. If you need Jesus I will kill you.”
Jospeh knew his father well enough to know he would carry out the threat. Then something strange and unexpected happened.
“Suddenly a light fell on my forehead, like moonlight. Something fell on me and there was a kind of electric shock and something passed through my veins. From somewhere energy flowed through my body. I couldn’t control myself there was so much energy in my bones. I pulled my dad’s hand down and I cried out ‘Jesus!’
When he cried ‘Jesus’ his father fell to the ground – on top of the knife. “There was a big wound on his chest and there was bleeding, and some kind of foam was coming from his mouth and he was screaming.”
His mother, brothers, and sisters didn’t know what was happening. “They thought my dad was already dead so they took him and ran to the hospital. When they ran to the hospital they forgot to lock my room from the outside.”
With a burst of supernatural energy supplied from above, he left the room, put on his father’s clothes, ran outside and hailed a taxi.
The taxi driver who picked him up was a Christian! He bought Joseph some juice and food and took him to another city.
“That day I understood Jesus is alive, even now. I know he is present everywhere,” he told HM Television.
“After my conversion 18 years ago I never thought that the Muslims would allow me to live. I have preached in the Middle East. My Jesus is alive and he is protecting me.”
Later, his parents conducted a mock funeral service for their son. “In my hometown I have my own grave,” he noted.
“If you ask me who made me Christian it’s not any fathers; it’s not any sisters; it’s not any bishops; it’s not any cardinals; it’s not even the Pope; but the holy Koran converted me to Christianity.”
If you want to know more about a personal relationship with God, go here