Dillon Burroughs discusses the importance of teaching Bible prophecy to inform the masses about what is going on in the world today.
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Todd: Welcome to the Prophecy Pros podcast. We are thrilled today to interview another person. Jeff, why don’t you tell us who we’re interviewing today?
Jeff: You know, Todd, there’s a verse in Isaiah chapter 62 verse six that says, on your walls, oh Jerusalem, I have set watchmen. The purpose of a watchman is to help the people that are inside the walls know what’s coming. That’s what our guest today is going to help us do. His name is Dillon Burroughs and he’s with an organization called I am a Watchman. This organization is committed to Bible prophecy, to get the message about prophecy out there. He has interviewed a ton of guests on his program there, so he has an incredible amount of expertise and influence in this area. Dillon is a Master of Theology graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, and he also has a PhD, and is also working on another PhD. This is not a slacker here, Todd. This is a bonafide guy. He knows what he’s talking about, so we’re glad to welcome Dillon to the show. He’s very passionate about Bible prophecy. Let’s get started.
Jeff: We’re talking today with Dillon Burroughs and Dillon, it’s great to have you on the Prophecy Pros podcast. Thanks for taking the time out here at National Religious Broadcasters convention to be a part of this.
Dillon: Yes, Jeff, it’s great to be with you today.
Jeff: Awesome. Tell us a little bit about your background, how you got into Bible prophecy and what sparked your interest in the whole area.
Dillon: In college, I felt this strong calling to serve in ministry. I was at a state university, didn’t have a lot of resources, but I did find a Ryrie study Bible, and when I began reading the Ryrie study Bible, I saw these notes about Bible prophecy that I hadn’t seen anywhere else. As I studied them more, it led me to other resources. A lot of these were from Dallas Seminary professors who were really big on Bible prophecy. When I graduated from college and was looking at what seminary to go to, there was only one choice. We moved to Dallas, Texas, my wife and I, we were newly married, right out of college, spent time with people like Dr. John Walvoord, some of the other top prophecy scholars that they had there during those years. During that time it was so formative to me, that when I would go to colleges and churches and conferences and talk about Bible prophecy, I realized I had all this information that most people have never accessed. Now I had this deep responsibility and privilege to communicate Bible prophecy to a new generation based on what I’ve been blessed with.
Jeff: It sounds so similar to my story. We got married, moved to Dallas and started seminary at about the same time. I’m taking pictures of parking spaces. Oh, that’s Dr. Walvoord’s space.
Dillon: Your heroes, yeah.
Jeff: I was such a newbie. I was a fan, to put it the least. The point is, when we talk about Bible prophecy, there’s so much white noise out there and so many people are talking about speculative things and stuff. How did you decide that you would be a part of a ministry, and tell us a bit about your ministry, but how’d you decide to be part of a ministry that that’s sole purpose would.
Dillon: Well, I’ve been involved in apologetics for many years and one of the things I found that has been most effective in apologetics is to look at the fulfilled prophecies of scripture. The Jews did that in the early church. They used the prophecies of the Old Testament about Jesus as the Messiah to show people the way to Christ. I started doing that myself, and I thought prophecy is so unutilized in communicating the gospel. Why don’t I try to do that some more? So did that, but it also led to this fascination of people wanting to know about the end times.
Dillon: Every time there’s a headline that happens in the Middle East or even here in America, what does the Bible say about that? Well, most people have no clue, so if you can give a basic answer for that, suddenly they’re interested in more. You can take them to Ezekiel 38 and talk about the nations that will align against Israel and how that’s shaping up today. You can take them to Revelation and talk about this revived Roman empire that will arise in the last days and a global leader called the antichrist during the tribulation, and show that all these things are coming very close to fulfillment in our time. As a result, we should be living a life that’s pleasing to the Lord and communicating the gospel.
Todd: Amen. Man, I’m so glad we have you on the show because you have the same heartbeat we do. We’re trying to package and present Bible prophecy to a whole new generation that has never heard it before or has heard just enough that they’re inoculated to it, that they know they don’t want to understand it, but they’re missing out on what I call the central nervous system of the Bible. I actually have a similar background. I was unchurched, but I came to the Lord primarily because of fulfilled Bible prophecy as an apologetic proved to me that the Bible was from God. That got my attention. Then I started studying the rest of it. What you guys have been doing, you guys have some amazing ministry tools that you’ve been rolling out and some doing interviews nonstop, yourselves and stuff like that. What are some ways that you’ve been able to communicate to that next generation? What are some tools that you’ve used or some approaches that you’ve used that seem to be effective in conveying that information to a new generation?
Dillon: Well, I think some of the most important things that we’ve done has been able to connect what’s going on in culture with aspects of the Bible. Not just going into these fringe things about predicting the dates and the color of the antichrist’s shoes and some of these things nobody is going to know, but just the essentials that are shaping up in terms of globalism, in terms of the church becoming hardened to the things of God. You look at this and say this isn’t stuff that just accidentally happened. This is stuff Jesus said in Matthew 24 is coming. These are all signs of the last days.
Dillon: When people see that it gives them this urgency, I guess, that they’ve lacked before. I think that’s the biggest thing that I try to communicate is that there’s this urgency that’s lacking in the church. Nobody is talking about Jesus can come back at any moment. Are we living like it? We talk a lot of times about making an impact with our lives, but we don’t do it from the perspective that Jesus might be the reason that life ends today, not just you might go out and get hit by a bus or something like that. There’s a spiritual motivation that is lacking among many Christians. If I can just communicate that one thing. The apostles lived like Jesus could come back any moment, and he wants us to do the same. I’ve made some good progress right there. We do that in different ways through social media. At I a Watchman ministries, we focus first on Facebook because that was the largest platform.
Dillon: One thing that’s grown a lot is this area of podcasting because everybody’s wanting to listen to content. We started a podcast, my friend Joe and I, we’re the cohosts of it, and at iamawatchman.com, you can see our episodes. You guys have been on some of them. What you see is that people are eager to hear the perspectives of others who’ve researched some of the end times topics. Whether it’s the content you’ve produced over the years or whether some of the things we’ve brought in from people like Ron Rhodes or Mark Hitchcock, or even political leaders who are talking about things related to Israel and the Middle East, people are fascinated by it. If you can talk about it in a way that’s not too weird, that connects with real life, they’re coming back for more. That’s what we’re seeing again and again.
Todd: That is so exciting. You talk about the church and where we are today. You read the book of Revelation and in the first couple of of chapters, Jesus talks to the seven churches, and he says to one of those churches, wake up, Revelation 3:2. It seems that the church in many ways has not changed in that sense. We have a tendency to fall asleep, to be lethargic. We’re just two generations away from the crucifixion of Christ, and already the churches have wandered way off course. As you guys look at the state of the church today and have your finger on that pulse, what do you think are some of the reasons why the church has really lulled herself to sleep today regarding Bible prophecy?
Dillon: That’s such a good question. I think the number one thing I see is that the American church focuses on the here and now. You think about how can I lose 10 pounds by next month, or how can I get a better position in my career? How can I get a degree or this relationship? It’s all about the here and now. Ed Hindson does a good job of joking about that. He says that when students come into the University of Liberty, where he teaches, and he talks about the rapture, all the students say, oOh, I hope Jesus doesn’t come back yet. I want to get married, have some kids. Then a few years later he sees them and they are married and they have kids and they say, I hope Jesus comes back today. That’s the reality that we’re missing, that when life is difficult, you look New Testament. When they were persecuted, they said, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Because we lack that persecution in American culture in so many ways, we have it so easy, all these service times we can go to, all these resources and websites, that we don’t take seriously the commands of scripture to live for him fully today because this could be the last day before his coming.
Todd: That’s a great point. You mentioned II Thessalonians chapter two where these false teachers had come into the church and they were basically telling the church, hey, you’re in the day of the Lord right now. Of course, they bought that because they were being persecuted, they were being marginalized in a culture that was very hostile against Christianity. Today, as you said, we don’t have that right now, so there is a sense in which we tend to have more of a comfortable approach to Christianity, more casual type thing. There’s not that sense of purposeful urgency about preparing for the return of the Lord, being the bride that has clothed in that fine white linen ready for our bridegroom to come back.
Todd: I think part of what that does is that, like you said earlier, we’re preoccupied with the here and now and meeting our own needs. I think that’s something that Todd and I’ve experienced as well, where people are, it’s almost like you walk into a room, someone’s asleep and you turn the light on. They’re like, whoa, this truth, it’s really blinding me. Could you just dim the lights up gradually on me? The church today, I feel like is in that sleeping mode by and large, although there are some Christians that are getting it. You guys have had a ton of guests on your show and there’s so many issues that you’ve covered. Is there maybe one or two issues that you see as more of a refrain or a reoccurring theme that are coming up with some of the authors and speakers and people that you’ve had on your show?
Dillon: Well, two things that come to mind initially. One is that when things are going bad in our world, people say, does the Bible say anything about this? That’s your open door, whether it’s a Christian or a non-Christian. Yes, I’ve studied the Bible. There’s a lot in the Bible about this. Wouldn’t it be great if there is some information we could share?
Dillon: Then that second aspect that we see increasingly, at least right now in our culture, is this focus on Israel. I love that because you have a president right now who has built very strong relationships with governing leaders in Israel. You see changes taking place that are phenomenal, that you could say are almost miraculous. The example of the embassy of America being moved to Jerusalem on the exact day and in the exact hour of the 70th anniversary of modern Israel. That’s a pretty big deal. It doesn’t make the headline news like some of the other things we see, but that is so significant because Bible prophecy says that in the last days Israel will be in its land, and it’s there. That the people from the nations would come back and millions have. That they would speak the same language again.
Dillon: When we look at the end times in the tribulation, there’s going to be a temple in Jerusalem again. People look at that and say, well, how is that going to work? Well, if you look into it, there’s a Temple Institute that has all of the resources and all the plans ready. They could build this thing about as quickly as we could put together a house if they were just given the green light. We have some very volatile real estate involved, but if things were to change there politically in some way, that could very quickly shape up and very much fulfill what we see in the tribulation.
Todd: Yeah. You bring up a lot of really interesting points. As you’re talking, I’m thinking from the perspective of the people that we’re trying to reach, millennials and gen Z. I mean really everybody, but we really are trying to package this for a new generation that is really confused by it. Even when you look in cultural Christianity, some people don’t even know, are we supposed to be for Israel or against Israel? There’s so much confusion there, where those of us who study Bible prophecy know clearly no, we are … bless those who bless you and you’ll curse those who curse you. We’re to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, we’re to support Israel at every turn, not because of who they are, but because of God’s purposes and God’s promises and everything that happens in the end times.
Todd: All that to say, what would you say to a millennial who’s being bombarded by all these different voices that we need to be against Israel or for Israel, or that there are so many different versions of the end time events that how do I know pre-trip is the one? I mean we know from studying scripture, it’s crystal clear and that’s our, that’s our hope. That’s our blessed assurance, our blessed hope, that we’re going to be raptured before the tribulation and we’re not appointed to wrath and all these beautiful things.
Todd: It just seems like that the culture at large, especially the younger generations, have heard so much infighting and so much confusion and so many different voices that they don’t even know who to listen to. We’re actually trying to gain credibility with them as a trusted voice. We want to share our beliefs, but we’re very careful not to say, not to be adamant about in the bushes or the sensational things. There are concrete things, whether it’s Israel or pre-trib rapture, those kinds of things. I’m rambling a little bit, but what could you say to that audience that would kind of convince them to at least take a look at the fact that Bible prophecy sheds light on all these things, not in a debatable way, but really in a crystal clear way that we should understand?
Dillon: Right. Well, you touched on a lot of things there. I’ll address a couple of them. First, when it comes to Israel, we are in a culture today where everybody wants to fight racism, but when you talk about Israel, there’s some kind of exception clause there. If we talk about the Jewish people, if we talk about Israel in the sense that this is a racial group in addition to a spiritual group, and we want to show compassion, kindness, and honesty and not discriminate against the Jewish people, and put it in the same terms as human rights activists would for other groups, then I think we’ve made a good case right there without even going to the Bible.
Dillon: The second thing you talk about is this idea of the pre-trib rapture and how do you get people to even consider that when they either don’t know what it is or they oppose it? For me, the biggest eye opening case for that was when you look at scripture regarding the end times, there are all these passages that talk about Jesus coming back. Some of them talk about the day of the Lord, and some of them talk about events like he’s coming back and we’re all going up to heaven with him. When you start looking at the differences between the rapture passages and the second coming passages, you put them on a list and you go, this can’t be the same event. There are so many things that are different between one and the other. It’s almost like some kind of weird aerobics class where you go up, come down and do all kinds of different activities all in one act. That doesn’t seem to be consistent with what the Bible teaches.
Dillon: The way to make the most sense out of it is to say there’s going to be a rapture at any moment where all the believers, the dead in Christ shall rise first, and then all who are living will go to be with the Lord forever, for eternity to escape the tribulation period. Then there’s a time at the end of the tribulation where Jesus comes back with all of us and we get to be part of this final coming of Jesus, where he comes and it’s not just for a moment, but he stays and he reigns for a thousand years in Jerusalem, which is another reason why we should support Israel.
Dillon: Then at the end of that, there’s a final judgment and come back at Satan, and there’s a new heaven and a new earth and a new heavenly city called Jerusalem. Even though it’s going to be rebuilt and redesigned much better than, it’s still talking about, Israel is still talking about the Jewish people, it’s still talking about the things that we’re sharing now that are important as being important now and through all eternity future. It’s not just a limited time offer, but you’re talking about God has promised to Abraham something that’s going to be now and in the future for all eternity.
Jeff: Amen. You know, it’s interesting. Todd and I were just at a Christian school of over 500 high school students. We spoke for three days there and there were two questions, one that Todd asked, one that I asked, that really almost, it was really an eye opening thing, very emotional moment, I think for both of us. I asked the students, I said, how many of you guys have ever been taught through Revelation at your church and your youth group or through even Bible prophecy as a whole? Over 500 students, only a handful raised their hands. Then Todd asked a very pointed question. He said, how many of you guys in the past week have heard something about global crisis into the world, climate change, all this stuff that predicting an existential threat to humanity, every single hand went up. It’s on their mind, it’s on their consciousness.
Jeff: It really illustrates two areas of the body of Christ. There’s ignorance on one hand, but there’s interest on the other hand. On the idea of interest, Dillon, tell us, in wrapping this thing up here, tell us what would be maybe a first step or two that a person who’s maybe someone’s a college student right now, is listening to this, or maybe someone is a young professional, they’re listening to this on their way to work or whatever. What would be one or two things that they could do in the beginning to start engaging in Bible prophecy? Just simple baby steps here.
Dillon: Right. I think for me the most important Biblical passage on rapture and the end times is I Thessalonians four. If you look at the last part of that chapter, it gives a clear description of the rapture, that it’s any moment. The dead in Christ rise first. We go up to be with the Lord forever. This is an incredible prophecy that’s not talked about very much. Paul gets to the end of that and he says, therefore encourage one another with these words. For me, when it comes to talking about Bible prophecy, you see all the book covers with the bombs and the planes and the doom and the gloom. I say, no, that’s not what scripture presents for believers.
Dillon: Prophecy is an encouragement. We’ve gotten the story framed wrong from the start, that Christians look at prophecy and we get excited because of what’s to come. We don’t look at it and go, oh no, look what’s going to happen in the future. That’s for the unbeliever. It gives us a comfort as believers, especially when you talk to believers who are coming toward the end of their lives and they’re thinking, what’s going to happen after this life is over? Well, look at the promises of the Bible. Jesus could come back before you’re gone, but if he doesn’t, look at what lies ahead for you in eternity future.
Dillon: This should be a blessing. For me, I lost my dad at the age of 24. I had just gone to seminary. He had finally given way to cancer. He knew the Lord and I knew he was going to heaven. When it was all said and done, I was sad. I mourned, I grieved just like anybody would, but I realized I would see him again. That’s something that the believer has that is a hope in this world that people are lacking, that people need. If they can find it through a conversation with you and through the scriptures, it will change their life in a radical way.
Jeff: Yeah, so engaging the scriptures, Todd.
Todd: Yeah, absolutely. To me, that’s foundational. You can’t believe Bible prophecy or study it properly unless you first start with the baseline that the Bible is the word of God. Every word in it is intentional. God doesn’t contradict himself, and we can trust it and study it systematically. I think those waters have been so muddied that people don’t know. They think there’s truth in the Bible, but they don’t realize that you can systematically study it and come to logical conclusions that God wanted us to understand. That’s the cerebral part of it. The emotional and spiritual part is what you said, Dillon. When your loved ones die, when you get hit with a job loss or sickness or whatever, where are you going to turn? God’s hand is on the steering wheel of the world and his hand is on the steering wheel of our lives and there’s nothing that could give us more hope than that.
Jeff: The last verse, that passage he was quoting, verse 18 he says, therefore comfort one another. Nothing more comforting than knowing that Jesus has got this, and he’s got us, and he’s going to rescue us from the coming wrath.
Todd: Dillon, thank you so much for being here, man. We want to highlight your ministry. We want people to know where to find you, what really cool things you’re working on right now. Feel free to share any cool projects or any cool initiatives, and also how people can get in contact with your ministry.
Dillon: Sure. To find out more, go to iamawatchman.com. iamawatchman.com is where you can find all of our radio episodes, everybody from Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to you guys have been on there, but we also have tons of articles, devotionals that you can pick up, social media tools that you could share with your friends and family. We want to give you lots of opportunities to be a resource, but also to have a community and to know you’re not the only one out there who is dealing with these issues. There are many people out there who consider themselves watchmen on the wall, who want to make an impact in these last days.
Todd: Amen. Thank you so much. Hey, thank you so much for listening. We’re really excited you found us. Make sure to subscribe if you have not done so already. If you liked what you heard, please let us know by leaving a review. That does us a huge favor and helps us out a lot. For more resources or to ask questions or find more about our ministries, go to prophecyprospodcast.com, and a major thank you, major shout out to Harvest House publishers for helping us with this podcast.