During the last month of my residence in Oklahoma City, I video-taped four shows with Gary Stearman at Prophecy Watchers. The first was devoted to THE FINAL BABYLON, which was written and published back in 2013, with my co-authors, Douglas Krieger and Dene McGriff. The book sold several thousand copies during that year and settled into a nice steady, but not very large sales pattern for the next 7 years. Faith Happens Books, my publishing house, sold around 200 copies in most years. For an independent publisher with next to zero marketing dollars (relying solely on word-of-mouth marketing and references to the book in interviews on occasion), it wasn’t bad. And it remained a mainstay of those who argued that America plays an important part in the Babylon of the last days.
But after airing the show on THE FINAL BABYLON with Gary, the sales of the book jumped dramatically. The sales are a far cry from what they were in 2013, but still, the TV show caused book sales to spike, both printed and eBook copies. Nice. MOVING IS EXPENSIVE! This will help.
Many of you know that for almost six years, for various reasons, I have not been a guest on Prophecy Watchers or SkyWatch TV. This had something to do with an association I maintained with Prophecy in the News, a ministry that is now defunct. This led to some hurt feelings and misunderstandings. Thankfully, we are past all that now, at least with PW. Bob, Gary and I are very much “in fellowship” once again, and I am so very pleased that that is the case.
I don’t appear on SkyWatch, I believe mostly, because we just haven’t opened up the issue again, or perhaps my diminished sales make me a “B list” resource. So be it. I certainly still communicate with Tom Horn, Derrick Gilbert, and Josh Peck. Perhaps some day I will be invited again to present at one of their conferences. I do hope so. It would be an honor.
Throughout this period, my ability to market and sell my books fell off to less than 10% what it had been. To say that it led to lean years is an understatement. I made no profits in writing books. My writing was truly a labor of love, and one of duty to the Lord and those who enjoy my books. For the detractors that have chided me for earning a living through writing, they should be happy that for all these years, I went without making money.
Added to this, is for the last three years, I decided to write three books that angered the “King James Only” crowd: Rebooting the Bible (Volumes 1 and 2), and A Biography of the Christian Bible. These books are probably the most important theological works I’ve created. But they are not best sellers as they tend toward being more for the “students” of theology, even qualifying as academic treatises. I felt strongly led by the Lord to write them and I am truly proud of creating what I believe are very important books… even if they do not sell a great many copies. And needless to say, because these books challenge a popular, fundamentalist belief in the verbal inspiration in the King’s English of the Word of God (i.e., the King James 1611 Version), I could not market these books through most evangelical ministries – these ministries rely too heavily on the “KJ Only” patrons to sell their books (which is how they pay their bills). KJ Only believers are strongly opinionated and will “write off” ministries that publish books that don’t toe the line on supporting the Masoretic Text’s Old Testament’s status as the only ancient text from which Protestant (and Catholic) Bible’s should be derived. Instead, I argue that we Christians (and those that translate Bibles) should opt for the ancient Hebrew that was used for the Greek Septuagint (translated from what I judge to have been the authentic Hebrew created almost 400 years before the ‘manufacture’ of the Masoretic Text, circa 100 A.D.) The implication is that the KJV used an inferior Hebrew text (which was also tampered with by the rabbis in the first-century to obscure Messianic prophecies). I have built iron-clad support for my thesis (which no academically reputed scholar has challenged), but it still ruffles the feathers of the typical fundamentalist. For them, the KJV is perfect, without flaws. It is an article of faith that it was inerrant in its English translation and no argument may be put forth to refute this tenet of their orthodoxy.
Consequently, S Douglas Woodward has been off the radar for 6-7 years for most of the prophecy ministries. But I am grateful that Prophecy Watchers have invited back to do the four programs. Gary and I had an outstanding time talking before, during, and after the programs. It was great to renew the friendship. There are still some matters that we differ on (like how to interpret the 7 seals in Revelation, that still leave some of my books off limits), but I remain ‘dispensational’ for the most part, avowedly ‘pre-millennial’, and strongly ‘pre-trib’ in my view of the Rapture.
Unfortunately, two of my most vital books that contribute to the Bible prophecy dialogue on what is set to happen in the Middle East in the wars that lie ahead (THE NEXT GREAT WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST, and the latest book, AMERICAN REQUIEM), rely upon an interpretation of the first six seals (chapter 6 of Revelation) which asserts that the huge earthquake associated with the Sixth seal is the same great earthquake of Ezekiel 38:19-20. “19 In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. 20 The fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground.”
Note carefully: The quake isn’t just in Israel as all the people on the fact of the earth will tremble too… mountains are overturned, cliffs crumble, and every wall will fall flat. But if this earthquake is the same as in Revelation 6, which I hold that it is, it raises a question about when the War of Gog and Magog happens. Doesn’t it happen no later than the start of the Day of the Lord? And isn’t it therefore a puzzle with whether the first five seals happen before the “Great Tribulation” given that Revelation 6:12-17, appears to describe the Day of the Lord… which begins, as the verse seems to state, at the Sixth Seal? Which is it? This becomes a conundrum.
Recall the words of John, “12 I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind.14 The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. 15 Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us[f] from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of their[g] wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”
My view of the Rapture and its timing connects with this great earthquake. If the earthquake and Rapture happen when the Day of the Lord begins (the beginning of the Great Tribulation – Rev. 6:17), which would be consistent with a pre-tribulation rapture, then the previous seals are opened before the GT. This isn’t acceptable to those who espouse “pure dispensational theology” as one of the classic tenets is that the first six seals are all opened at the beginning of the GT (so said Hal Lindsey, John Walvoord, Dwight J. Pentecost, etc., and today’s highly respected “strict” dispensational teachers). Does the GT happen with Seal One? Or Seal Six? Many other arguments also exist which we won’t consider now. But in my view , sincere scholars and steadfast believers can have differing opinions on this matter and still be dispensationalists in good standing.
Indeed, I believe this subject should be one for enthusiastic debate. But unfortunately, it too is an issue that can keep certain books off the ‘accepted’ list. I respect that decision and I do not wish to be dogmatic in the least nor to plead my case here. I see the problematic nature of this issue. Still, I will continue to hold to my point of view, but maintain what I regard to be the “macro-points” of dispensationalism as I enumerated above.
However, I’d like those who are enthusiastic about THE FINAL BABYLON to also read THE NEXT GREAT WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST, and especially my most recent book, AMERICAN REQUIEM. Both of these books deepen my arguments (and clarify some things) concerning questions that THE FINAL BABYLON raises. In particular, AMERICAN REQUIEM offers an important revision to my interpretation of the meaning of Babylon. In short, I argue that the United States is ‘the Daughter of Babylon’ but should be excluded from being equated with ‘Mystery Babylon’ or ‘Babylon the Great’ which THE FINAL BABYLON doesn’t carefully delineate. I argue this because these three ‘Babylons’ have different attributes, are destroyed at different times during the Day of the Lord, and each have unique ‘destructors’. In other words, these distinctions suggest that there are THREE Babylons in the last days. This is, from my perspective, vital to plumb the greatest mystery in the Bible, ‘Mystery Babylon.’
Consequently, I hope those who follow me (if you read this you must be one of those persons!) have wondered why my ministry has moved the direction it has, with its ups and downs. I don’t offer this explanation to criticize the ministries that have been gracious to me in the past and today, allowing me to have a platform to share my research and ideas. Nevertheless, I feel that my followers are owed this clarification at this point in time.
And by the way, I do hope you pick up AMERICAN REQUIEM and that you begin watching my internet videos, notably my show, THE HOT SEAT. Coming up next are some shows devoted to the CIA and its impact as the Shadow Government, that has had an enormous impact on our country, its foreign policy, and how the US is so often hated in this world of ours. I think you will enjoy the programs upcoming.
And, by the way, the other three shows I did with Gary will be aired at different times during the summer. One is on the case against the Islamic Antichrist, another is on the two 2012 POWER QUEST books (which led me to write The Final Babylon with Krieger and McGriff), and the third, deals with the material in the book REVISING REALITY, co-written with Anthony Patch, Gonz Shimura, and Josh Peck. That book too is having an ascending trajectory thanks to a show I did at Southwest Radio Church with Larry Spargimino. It was great to see Larry once again.
Lastly, one final time, I’M SO GRATEFUL TO BOB ULRICH AND GARY STEARMAN for having me back on their TV show. It is a privilege! TV marketing is the best… if you are fortunate enough to benefit from it.
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