Dialogue on "America as Babylon"by Jon Zens
(Editor’s note: This is a dialogue between Jon Zens and David Dyer, author of "Babylon 'will be utterly destroyed with fire,' Part 1" (Grain of Wheat, 2004, 101pp.). Our hope is that you will consider both sides and think for yourselves as to which is the more biblically viable.)
Dear David –
I remember fondly meeting you at the Coffee Connection in Osceola, WI, with Timothy Sheaff some years back. I've seen him several times since then.
I've been doing some research in connection with writing an article on 'last days' issues. I found your 2004 book "Babylon 'will be utterly destroyed with fire'" (hereafter, BF) in a pile, and read it today. If you don't mind, I'd like to ask you some questions and make some comments about what you have written in this book, and on some related issues. I will present my thoughts for the most part in the order they appear in your book.
I certainly agree with your caution regarding "any preconceived notions" (BF, 13). It seems to me that most folks are laden "with interpretations which they received from previous teachings" and "may not have looked into these things for themselves" (BF, 13-14). As I tried to let myself be persuaded by the views you present, I have to say that it seems to me that you may have some notions and assumptions that need re-examining. I hope you are open enough to consider that perhaps you have overlooked some important Biblical perspectives. I know I have a lot more to learn, and it has only been in the last few years that I feel like some clearer light on the Book of Revelation has been opened to me.
This first concern I have is not directly germane to the main points of your book. On pp.8-9 you aver if a nation experiencing stability and tranquility disobeys God and displeases Him with their behavior, "then this blessing will disappear." Then you say that it is irrational to think that "any nation which sins against God and rejects Him...could continue to experience His protection and blessing." It would seem to me that these kind of sentiments need to be more carefully thought through. All nations are under the sway of the evil one (Mt.4:8-9). All nations are comprised for the most part of unregenerate people. So aren't all nations deeply disobedient to the Lord -- especially because they have not believed in His Son whom He sent? How is one nation "more righteous" than another? Are we talking about a works-based righteousness where God blesses or judges nations based on how much unsaved citizens conform to some moral code? Where does the Scripture teach this? Is America really "better" and "more deserving" than Russia? Why is it OK for Americans to sport bumper stickers that say "God bless America," but is implicitly wrong for citizens of other countries to display "God bless --------" on their bumpers or on their donkey carts? (cf. my article, "Diversionary Nationalism: A Threat to Christ's New Covenant," Searching Together, 19:1-2, pp.17-25). I think the idea that God blesses or judges nations based on the performance of a mostly unsaved populace has caused untold confusion, and deflected attention from the real issue -- blessing only comes through the Gospel; only those "in Christ" are said to be "blessed."
In BF you isolate what you see as attributes of "Babylon," and, though you never explicitly say it, identify America as this entity. This is certainly implied strongly by the fact that you have apparently chosen a country as your place to flee, and your "plan is to continue visiting Babylon [America] only so long as the Lord allows," until your family must "say our last goodbyes" (BF, 101). The Lord, you feel, based on Rev.17-18, "has instructed us to 'get out' of the place called Babylon" (BF, 11). Hence, in your opinion, obedient believers in America should get passports, visit places outside the USA as sites of "possible refuge," begin to learn the language of what you sense is a likely place to flee, open a bank account in this country, exchange some of your money for the currency of the place where you would flee, buy some real estate in this country, and consider how you would make a living in this foreign setting (BF, 62-64).
Now I have no trouble with people who feel led to leave the USA and put stakes down in another place, but to base such an exodus on an alleged prophetic link of America to the Babylon in Rev.17-18 seems very suspect, and ultimately dangerous for people who make far-reaching economic decisions based on such speculation. One group in Sacramento, CA, concluded that America was Babylon, and "got out" by moving to Canada, but now they are experiencing serious financial pressures.
I would appeal to you, David, to consider several lines of thought that would call into question the correctness of interpreting Babylon as a nation like America 2000+ years after Revelation was written. Regarding "preconceived notions," in your writings you assume that the bulk of Revelation is destined to happen 2000+ years from John's writing. I think there are strong Biblical reasons for questioning that key assumption.
First, at the beginning and the end of Revelation there are statements that indicate impending fulfillment, not 2000+ years until fulfillment. In the introduction, 1:1-3, we are told that this revelation of Jesus Christ will "show his servants what must soon take place....Blessed are those who read...because the time is near." At the end of this book, 22:6,10, an angel was sent to tell John "the things that must soon take place," and he is told not to "seal the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near."
Now many people make a huge point of the fact that when interpreting the Bible, its language must be taken "literally," unless it is meant to be figurative. My question is, "Why isn't this clear cue from John's book taken at face value for what it says -- 'soon...near'?" By what stretch of linguistic integrity can these words be transformed to mean "2000+ years"? John apparently was writing about things on the horizon, not off the chart chronologically.
In the uses of "quickly" in the NT, immediacy and imminence are always in view (Mt.5:25, 28:7, 28:8, Mk.16:8, Lk.14:21, Lk.16:6, Jn.11:29, 13:27, Acts 12:7, 22:18). "Something will happen quickly" cannot mean "a lengthy, indefinite time," even 2000+ years. Again, I ask: "On what sound basis can John's specific references to 'soon' and 'near' jettisoned in order to suggest that most of Revelation is still yet unfulfilled 2000+ years later?"
Daniel was told to seal up his prophecies, and they were opened up 490 years later. John was told not to seal up his prophecies because the time was near. Wouldn't this underline the fact that it is inconceivable that what John had in view was 2000+ years off in the future? Why would John be told to leave the prophecies unsealed if their fulfillment is still waiting for realization after 2000 years, while Daniel was told to seal prophecies that blossomed 490 years later?
If one takes John's "near" and "soon" seriously, then a number of pieces can perhaps fall together. For example, when you talk about the seven kings in Rev.17:10, "five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come" (BF, 33-37), you readily admit that the first six were in John's time (BF, 34). By some strange "leap" you then go ahead in history to our time and suggest that "we can expect to see in our generation a 'city' which is becoming all that the Roman Empire was and more" (BF, 37). In light of "soon...near," wouldn't it be more natural to see the seventh one fulfilled in the first century. On what Biblical basis can one jump ahead 2000 years and posit that America is the seventh king? Isn't that a bit arbitrary? Isn't that giving in to the propensity you mention, "All of us tend to interpret scripture in the light of our current geopolitical situation" (BF, 46-47, 99-100)?
I would humbly suggest that the fire judgment of Babylon refers to the destruction of the Temple in 70AD. Babylon is called a "great city," and that is exactly what Jerusalem is called in Rev.11:8 (she is here also figuratively designated as "Sodom and Egypt" which meshes well with her being identified as "Babylon"). The fire in connection with this judgment that Jesus prophesied was horrendous, as Josephus noted. I have placed two articles after my comments that enlarge upon this thesis.
In Rev.11:1-2, John is told to measure the Temple, and that the Gentiles will trample it down for 3 1/2 years. This indicates that the Herod's Temple was standing when John wrote Revelation, and between 66-70AD (3 1/2 years) is precisely how long the Gentiles destroyed the Temple and Jerusalem. The Greek verb, "trampled," used in Rev.11:2 is parallel to Luke 21:24, "Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled." In order to get around this first century fulfillment, many since J.N. Darby (ca.1830) have posited that the Temple will be rebuilt 2000+ years later. But in light of trying to take John's "soon...near" seriously, isn't it more in keeping with the author's stated purpose -- taking the language for what it means -- to see a first century fulfillment?
David, I find the following to be a very telling point that reveals the fallacy of projecting Babylon 2000+ years into the future. You admit that Babylon was held responsible for "all who were slain on the earth" (Rev.18:24). You ask, "How could this be? How could this end-times entity be responsible for all the murders since the beginning of the world?...'all who were slain' since the beginning of the world can be put on her account" (BF, 42-43). The only places in Scripture with explicit language about accountability for killing people since the beginning refers to first century Israel, and her capital, Jerusalem (Matt.23:30-37; Mk.12:1-12; Lk.11:47-51, 13:34-35, 19:41-44, 20:9-19, 21:20-24). "Therefore this generation will be held accountable for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah...Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all."
It would appear, then, that the only Babylon accountable for a trail of blood back to the beginning with Abel is not some nation 2000+ years later, but the nation of Israel in Jesus' time. The judgment for at least 6000 years of blood shed from Abel to Zechariah fell on the "great city" Jerusalem.
To suggest that America is the Babylon of Rev.17-18 is speculation indeed; but to suggest that Jerusalem is that entity has Biblical foundation, and fits well with the "soon...near" motif of Revelation.
We need to keep in mind that God sending and Israel killing the prophets is an important theme in the OT and the NT (2 Chron.24:19, 36:16; Jer.7:25, 29:15; Mt.21:33-46; Mk.12:1-12; Lk.11:49, 20:9-19; Acts 7:52; Rom.11:3). God promised to send a Final Prophet like Moses in the person of Jesus Christ (Deut.18:15; Acts 3:22. 7:37; Lk.9:35). Until then, God sent Israel prophet after prophet, but they were all mistreated, beaten and killed. In the fullness of time God sent his Son the Prophet, but they hated Him and finally killed Him too. For this long history of Israel rejecting the Lord by rejecting those He sent, Jesus prophesied that in 70AD ““this generation”” would be held accountable for all this carnage and be dreadfully judged. At this time, God avenged His apostles and prophets (Deut.32:43; Lk.11:49-51; 1 Thess.2:15; Rev.18:20,24, 19:2; cf. “Arthur M. Ogden, The Avenging of the Apostles & Prophets: Commentary on Revelation, Ogden, 1991, 112pp.).
Another piece that fits better by taking "soon" for what it means is the "getting out" of Babylon mentioned in Revelation. You suggest that this means obedient believers should make imminent plans to "get out" of America and "flee" into a foreign place of refuge (BF, 11, 62). But when the Biblical grounds to see Jerusalem as "Babylon" are embraced, then we can see "getting out" and "fleeing" as connected to the believers exiting the Great City and escaping to Pella. "When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written" (Lk.21:20-22). This was fulfilled in 70AD. To exhort people now to literally "get out" of "Babylon" (America) is superfluous and misleading. Babylon has already been judged with fire when the Great City (Jerusalem) and the Temple were destroyed by Gentile armies, and not one stone was left upon another.
You might also consider the parallel between Lk.23:30 and Rev.6:16. In the context in Luke 23 many men and women were bewailing the impending crucifixion of Christ. Amazingly, Jesus responds, not with words about His own agony, but with sobering words about what would happen to Israel in 70AD:
"Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, 'Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!' Then, 'they will say to the mountains: Fall on us; and to the hills: Cover us.'"
In the context of the "great day of their wrath" in Rev. 6, we read, "They called to the mountains and the rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne & from the wrath of the Lamb!'" Again, we have every Biblical reason to believe that this entails some event that is "soon...near" in John's generation, not something 2000+ years away -- and the words of Jesus in Lk.23:30 seems to confirm that.One could also notice in Rev.12:1-6 things that surely are first century-rooted. The "woman" appears to refer to the believing remnant in Israel, like Simeon and Anna. As the Son is being born the evil one tries to kill him. This parallels Herod's attempt to snuff out Jesus' life by killing the male children under two years of age. The child is taken up to God and his throne. The believing remnant in Israel, obeying Jesus' words, flees from Jerusalem into the safety of the desert in Pella for 3 ½ years.
In light of these Biblical perspectives, what is the point of projecting 2000+ years into the future and speculating that a place like America is the Babylon of Rev.17-18? You suggest that Babylon (America) being destroyed by fire in one hour could refer to an atomic attack (BF, 80). In all that you say you are building on what appears to be a very dubious premise -- that the bulk of Revelation encompasses events that have yet (as of June, 2005) to take place. On what Biblical basis can you hold to this position, given the plain meaning of "soon...near" in Revelation?
In BF you even use the word "soon" to mean a relatively short period of time, "a little time," as you call it (BF, 93), "that is within this generation" (BF, 100). You urge your readers to act quickly, believing that "this judgment will not happen today, only that it will be 'soon' from a biblical standpoint" (BF, 61). The way you use "soon" here implies judgment within our generation, or, as you say, it "could take ten to fifteen years or even more" (BF, 93). If you would apply this (correct) usage of "soon" to John's introduction and closing, how could you come up with your notion that the first six nations were in the first century, but the seventh is 2000+ years in appearing? That cannot qualify as "soon" by your own definition of the word in BF! If the Lord was to tarry for 200-300 years (BF, 100), nothing you suggest in this book would have any meaning for your readers. They won't be around! The judgment on America, based on your own remarks, then, would not have happened "soon."
Of almost more concern to me, however, are the pointers for action that you give your readers based on your possibly false assumptions. You don't want to be a date-setter, but you assert that judgment will come on Babylon (America) in this generation. For those who accept your speculations as a Bible teacher, they are going to be thinking seriously about leaving the States. Your disclaimer, "I do not wish to tell you what to do" (BF, 97), will probably be drowned out by the fear and concern generated by your statements that those who don't leave will be "punished" (BF, 66), and "those who refuse to obey the voice of God and come out of Babylon will suffer the judgment of God along with the unbelievers" (BF, 88). Who wants to go through a nuclear explosion?
The tone of your book is that the faithful, obedient believers will heed your advice, and if they don't, they are probably not listening to God. "All of Babylon's Christian residents should begin to act right now....the time to begin preparation is now, today!...the steps suggested here will take several years....The process of searching for and establishing a place to which to flee will take a lot of both time and money. Learning a new language does not take place overnight" (BF, 94)David, I think you are leading people down a false, potentially disastrous trail. There could certainly be circumstances where it would be prudent for some believers to leave America, but not because of an alleged connection of America with the Babylon in Rev.17-18. This would be a very erroneous basis to make such a far-reaching decision.
You admit that Y2K was a fiasco, and that many were hurt and disillusioned because of the actions they took based upon what they heard from Bible teachers (BF, 97-98). But you believe what you are saying is different because "God's warnings about Babylon are very precise and clear" (BF, 98). But what if your understanding about Babylon is wrong, and America is not the nation portrayed in Rev.17-18? You stand to bear a great responsibility for misguiding, possibly scaring people into taking actions that are unnecessary, out of line with what believers really should be doing, and draining valuable time, money and resources for a fruitless purpose.
Further, it appears that you may be superimposing on others a way of pursuing life that has worked out for you, but would be an overwhelming burden for most people. In the providence of God for years your line of business has taken you to foreign soil periodically. Compared to most folks' job/lifestyle circumstances, it has been relatively easy for you to establish a place to "flee." For you to enjoin others to follow what has been a comparatively easier route in your case, seems rather strange on your part.
In order for you to exhort people to "listen to" God and leave America, you would have to be sure beyond reasonable doubt that America was the Babylon God's people were to "get out" of. I don't think the degree of surety exists for you to encourage people to make such a far-reaching decision, and thus you are on very dangerous grounds when you connect "obedience" to the Lord with immediate preparation to exit the States. Your evidence for connecting the USA with Babylon is very questionable. You have to leap 2000 years forward to get to the seventh kingdom, when John was told it would happen "soon." The only other parallel usage of "flee" and "get out" is when Jesus told believers to exit the great city Jerusalem when they saw the armies surrounding the city. There is certainty attached to that understanding, and it conforms to Revelation's stated "soon...near" purpose.
You say, "our only need is to clearly identify where and who she [Babylon] is" (BF, 98). Yes, indeed, that is a critical task, and I believe your identification of America with the Babylon in Revelation is a grave mistake. I have given you a lot of food for thought as to why I think that is the case.
You affirmed your desire to "try to concentrate on those parts of the biblical revelation which are most clear and do not require a lot of 'revelation' or interpretation" (BF, 14). The meaning of "soon...near" is clear, yet your interpretation requires a 2000+ year stretch that mangles these words beyond recognition. Rev.11 is a clear parallel with Lk.21:24, yet you (I assume) have to push this off into some future time when a Temple is re-built. Jerusalem is clearly called a "Great City" -- and is even figuratively referenced to Sodom and Egypt -- and seems to be the Babylon in view in Rev.17-18 who is destroyed by fire, and the believing remnant from Israel "get out" of her and "flee" to Pella for safety.
These are Biblical perspectives that have some clarity, and one can sink his teeth into them. Your view involves questionable speculations. To ask people to take the consequential steps you advise in order to leave America based on such tenuous interpretations is a very dangerous venture.
I certainly do not claim to have all the answers in these admittedly difficult areas of interpretation. However, so far I have to think that the Lord has shown me (and many others) some light from the NT that with textual warrant challenges the core assumptions commonly found in the proliferation of prophecy books. I appeal to you, David, to consider the basic themes I've presented to you. I'm sure there are some areas where my presentation is weak, but please don't miss the forest because of a few misplaced trees. The counsel you are giving people to prepare now to leave America and flee somewhere else is based on a dubious connection you have created, and those who implement your advice may very well be deceived and possibly deeply wounded.
I would encourage anyone interested in the themes I have presented to read Bob Emery’s “Evening in Ephesus: A Dramatic Commentary [on] The Revelation of Jesus Christ," 1998, 125pp. I can send it to you if you would like to look at it.
Thank you for giving these perspectives your time and prayerful consideration.
In His bonds,Jon ZensJune 25, 2005
David -- Thanks for your response. I have placed my comments below in blue. Jon, June 29, 2005
Thank you for your communication and your interest in my writings. I don't like to write so my replies will no doubt be brief. I will try to at least say something concerning your many comments. It is obvious that God bless some nations and judges others. God's judgment's in the Old Testament upon a multitude of nations is evidence of this. I cannot begin to explain how or why God does these things. Perhaps we will understand this later on. However, it is clear to me that when a nations which God has blessed for His own reasons turns their back on Him in many evident ways, they are in danger of His wrath.
The Scripture teaches that the Lord sets up and takes down kings and kingdoms according to His sovereign pleasure. The truth is, all nations are unrighteous before God and filled with iniquity. Thus, any kindness He extends to them cannot be based on the "good" behavior of the citizenry. There is Scriptural precedent for the Lord withholding judgment for the sake of a few righteous people in a place, but that happens in spite of the evil actions of the general populace. The fact that some nation seems to go unjudged even when their population is very wicked does not prove they are "better" than another nation who appears to be judged. The main point is that concern about God's "blessing" on a nation deflects attention from the real issue: "blessing" in the NT is only connected to those "in Christ" nations and people outside of the gospel are "cursed."
I have heard about the group who moved to Canada. Their experience does nothing to prove that the U.S. is not Babylon but only that they did not follow the Holy Spirit in their actions and reactions. I don't believe that we should get off in some corner, duck our heads down and hope for the best.
But it does show that people can make all kind of careful preparations for a move based on an alleged prophetic connection between Babylon and America, and discover that even their best plans can be prove to be fraught with unforeseen problems. The only clear direction Jesus gave in this regard related to believers getting out of Jerusalem and fleeing to the mountains when foreign armies surrounded the Great City (Jerusalem).
In reading your argument for a literal interpretation of "soon" a thought comes to mind. How could Jerusalem have been the source of all the ocean commerce around 70 AD? A careful reading of Rev 17,18 does not harmonize at all with the ancient Jerusalem. (Of course you already know that "quickly" does mean "soon" but rather "suddenly" or "all at once").
David, this is simply not true. In every example where "soon" and "near" is used in the NT the concepts of immediacy and imminence are present. Here is every example of "soon/near" in the NT, and in not one instance would "suddenly," "all at once," or a long period of time like 2000+ years make any sense -- Lk.14:21, 16:6, 18:8; Mt.5:25, 28:7-8; Mk.9:39, 16:8; Jn.11:29,31, 13:27, 20:4; Acts 12:7, 17:15, 22:18, 25:4; Rom.16:20; 1 Cor.4:19; Gal.1:6; Phil.2:19,24; 2 Thess.2:2; 1 Tim.3:14, 5:22; 2 Tim.4:9; Heb.13:19,23; 2 Pet.1:14, 2:1; James 1:19; Rev.1:1, 22:6, 2:5,16; 3:11; 11:14, 22:7,12,20.
Further, your own use of "soon" in your book connects immediacy and imminence to the word. You connect "'soon' from a biblical standpoint" with a "little time," "there is only a little time left," "ten to fifteen years," "within this generation," and "if our Lord should tarry for 200-300 years."
David, both the NT usage and your own usage of the word "soon" point away from your attempt to stretch "soon/near" to an alleged seventh kingdom 2000+ years from John's writing of Revelation. From the way the NT uses "soon/near," and the way you use "soon" in your book, what leg can you stand on to hold up the notion that Babylon represents a country that exists in your geopolitical situation?
As you also know, great leaps of time in Bible prophecy is common. In one paragraph, sentence or even phrase, the Old Testament prophets sometimes spanned millennia. Therefore, I don't think we can be confined to a strict, literal interpretation of the time frames which you cite.
Your concern about how Jerusalem could do a large sea commerce seems to miss the forest because of a few trees. How can you disregard all the specific parallels I pointed out that would point to Jerusalem as the Babylon of Rev.17-18? Doesn't the fact that Jerusalem is called "the Great City" in Rev.11:8 carry any contextual weight in interpreting who "the Great City" is in Rev.17:18? The fact that she is identified spiritually as "Sodom and Egypt" fits well with her I. D. as Babylon. And who was "drunk with the blood of the prophets and martyrs of Jesus" (Rev.17:6) but first century Israel? You admit that Babylon is held accountable for a long history of murders. Doesn't it make sense to connect this responsibility to first century Israel? The only place Jesus held accountable for the blood shed from Abel to Zacharias (at least 6000 years of history) is Jerusalem. These observations, along with others I sent you, are pointers to Jerusalem being the "Babylon" within the "soon/near" parameters of John's stated purpose. To jump ahead 2000 years and speculate that America is Babylon is without Biblical warrant. "The Great City" had already been clearly identified in Rev.11:8 as Jerusalem, so to see it several chapters later as something else 2000 years down the road of history defies sound methods of comparing Scripture with Scripture.
Your concern about my generating fear in believers is interesting. So far, I have not succeeded in generating any that I know of. Of those few hundred who have received and read the book, not one has so far (although that may change) ventured to even take a trip to scout out any place of refuge. You mention my responsibility is misguiding believers. However, I also have another responsibility. That is to warn other believers concerning what I believe that God is showing me. My belief that the U.S. is Babylon is one of long standing. This has been my understanding for over 25 years. Further, it is something which I believe that God has been reaffirming and reinforcing in my heart recently. Therefore, I wrote the book.
Obviously, people have had numerous interpretations of who Babylon is, and that's fine. Folks are entitled to their opinions. But not all interpretations are of equal value. Some have a degree of "soundness" about them and others do not. I have given you reasons why your equation of Babylon with America is very dubious, and how you arrive at this conclusion does not persuade me. I can only ask the Holy Spirit to deal with you if some of the key things I'm setting forth are true.
But, David, you are doing much more than just giving speculation about who Babylon is. You are pretty strongly positing that contemporary America is Babylon, and based on this tenuous opinion, you are asking people to take a specific course of action --prepare immediately to exit this country and purchase land in foreign soil, etc. You believe you have a responsibility to "warn" people based on you think God is showing you, and this warning connects punishment with those (disobedient) Christians who stay in the USA, and to carry out your preparatory suggestions will take several years and a lot of valuable time and resources. If your prophetic views are in error, and there are good reasons to think that this is the case, then you are on thin ice to direct folks to carry out exit plans based on your conceptions of the nuclear attack on "Babylon" that the future may bring. It's one thing to just state your understanding of who Babylon may be; it is quite another enter the realm of giving directives that deeply impact believers' time, money, and energies.
Of course I am sorry that you don't agree with my conclusions. However, it seems inevitable that believers will not agree on all points. I suppose that I must be faithful to God in what I believe He is revealing to me just as you must also be in what you understand He is revealing to you.
Our mutual concern is that we hear the Lord based upon His Word. I believe I have given you some substance from that Word that would invite you to re-visit the opinions you have formed thus far. I believe there are sound, Biblical reasons to affirm that, at a minimum, it is out of line for a Bible teacher to suggest that people to move to a foreign country based on an identification of Babylon with America.
As a last thought, it is interesting to me that virtually everyone who reads this book who does not live in the U.S. has a resounding agreement with my identification of Babylon. On the other hand those who are living the "American Dream" seem to be asleep. Also, don't assume that it has been easy for us to leave and/or establish a residence outside the U.S. You don't have all your facts for such a conclusion.
I think you are missing the important point I made. I said it has been "comparatively easy" for you to find a foreign place to "flee." Your line of work called for you to be in a foreign country some of the time. If it has indeed been difficult for you to make such a transition, think of how many more times burdensome it will be for the average person who hasn't had the benefits of foreign contacts. In this sense, it has been "comparatively easy" for you. I think it is a grave error for you to imply that faithful believers will get out of America, and unfaithful ones will face punishment along with unbelievers, including possibly a nuclear holocaust. If people take the advice you suggest and leave America, it will in many cases, after the dust settles, result in resentment, disillusionment, far-reaching wounds in families, and a fruitless waste of valuable time and resources. You indeed will bear the responsibility for what happens since you issued such unsound directives. I think you have thrown caution to the wind when you let your prophetic views lead you to point folks to opening bank accounts and purchasing land in foreign countries. You are free to set forth such ideas, David, but I do not think that wisdom is attached to them. Again, thanks for giving my thoughts your attention. Jon
I do appreciate you taking your time to write and to try to help out with my understanding. Thank you very much. We no doubt will keep in touch, but please don't expect long emails.
Yours in Christ,David W. Dyer
My comments below in blue, Jon
Thank you for your response. Also, I would like to thank you especially for writing to me and discussing this matter personally and not trying to make it a matter of public debate. I must confess you are winning the battle of typing. I am already growing weary. I don't think I can continue to cross keyboards with you. It seems as if you are well convinced of your position. I also, am quite convinced of mine. I don't believe arguments and debates are God's way of resolving this issue. Therefore, I would like to let thus subject rest.
That's fine to let it rest. And I hope you don't think I'm interested in arguing or debating. I am interested in discussing with believers the Lord's Word. If not by lively discussion, how do you propose for issues to be resolved? Are you open to change based on Scriptural evidence? You said that "soon" can mean other things. But I listed for you every example of the word in the NT, and what you assert is not verified by any example, yet you come back that you are convinced of your position. On what sound basis are you convinced? How can you confidently affirm that a NT word means something when there is no example of it having the definition you give it? Doesn't that concern you?
However, I would like to at least clarify my position regarding believers fleeing the U.S.A. I am recommending that they get passports. This is not an astounding or ridiculous thing. I am encouraging them to visit other countries. This also is not so strange. I am saying that they should learn a few words of another language. This too is not so weird. I am saying that they should visit other Christian meetings and make some friends. Not too far out. I am saying that they COULD buy property and open a bank account. Millions of Americans own property overseas and have bank accounts. Finally, I am saying that if they agree with my understanding of Babylon and see certain events coming together which I detail in my book "Antichrist" (which you can read online) then they should move away from America.
This final step is only for those who have taken the first steps and are convinced in their hearts that this is what God wants them to do. Although you may think that this is risky, I believe that NOT doing so is even more risky.
Your above comments do not really clarify anything because you omit the extremely urgent tone conveyed over and over again in your book in the context where preparation for leaving America is enjoined. You tell people to begin now, today, because there is only a small window of opportunity; that those who really listen to God will prepare to exit America; that those who stay will be punished with unbelievers; that a nuclear attack is a possible scenario. The setting in which you encourage people to get a passport, etc., is you better act soon, for when things get bad you won't be able to accomplish these things. In your book, don't you attach by implication dire consequences to anybody who does not follow your directives? And you are basing your exhortation to leave America on a prophetic interpretation that gives little sensitivity to sound methods of handling God's Word. So it is very risky, even dangerous advice that is based on upon a misunderstanding of Rev.17-18. It's fine if you want to believe America = Babylon as a personal opinion. But once you start asking people to pull up stakes and move to another country based on your connection of the two entities, you have entered into scary territory, for which you will bear heavy accountability.
Anyway, our hearts are open to you and when we are in Eau Claire, we would welcome your visit(s) if care to know us better.
Hopefully, some day we'll be the EC when you are there! Jon
Yours in Christ,David W. Dyer
This article, along with others like it, is available from:
PO Box 377,
Taylor Falls, MN 55084
Phone 651-465-6516 or 651-465-7373 (NCI)
Email: Jon Zens