Question 35 (ABM) - The Prophet and the Eagle

From BelieveTheSign

The following are a series of questions and answers between one of our editors (referred to as BTS) and an anonymous Branham minister (referred to as ABM). This series of Q&A relates to William Branham's doctrine and teaching. The full text of this question and its answer is below.

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Question 6 - Revelation 10:7

Question 16 - The Vision of the Plum and Apple Trees

Question 24 - Grounds for Divorce according to William Branham

Question 25 - Is it OK for a woman to cut her hair?

Question 26 - Is it OK for a woman to wear pants?

Question 27 - Are the rules for remarriage different for men and women

Question 31 - What is the significance of a Seven-Lettered Name?

Question 35 - The Prophet and the Eagle

Question 36 - Did King Saul Commit Suicide?

Question 35 - The Eagle and The Prophet

Dear ABM,

I am enjoying our dialogue. You indicated that you were not trying to change my mind, and my primary intention is not to get you to renounce William Branham as a prophet. However, I am interesting in engaging in a dialogue that will cause those in the message to have a better understanding as to why many are leaving and will continue to leave. I also think that our case against William Branham is very strong and want to ensure that our conclusions have been vetted by someone who follows William Branham. While many in the message have written off our views as trivial and not being able to withstand scrutiny, what we have found in practice is that message ministers almost as a whole have not examined our concerns in any serious way and this is a significant disservice to those in their congregations. I hope that our dialogue will cause some message ministers to more closely examine our concerns.

I have stated that William Branham was a persistent liar with respect to many experiences that he related over the pulpit, and I will likely get back to additional examples of this later. You prefer to use the word "exaggerate" but you also have stated that you understand why I believe William Branham lied.

You have also stated that you are prepared to overlook William Branham's "lies" because of the doctrinal truth of his teachings and that they can be tied back to the Bible. In your words:

If I were to filter everything concerning Bro. Branham and put it into piles: one pile of exaggerations, one pile of proven truth, one pile of uncertainty, for me the pile of truth is a mountain compared to the other two. While your questions and positions are certainly thought-provoking and many, and maybe some of them cause me to adjust my piles a bit, I still feel like I am looking at a mountain of truth.

I would like to look at one of William Branham's fundamental positions which I believe has no basis in the Bible. This is a doctrine that is especially loved by message followers - the significante of the eagle. This is reflected in some message followers penchant to wear eagle belt buckles.

William Branham stated many times (see the list of quotes below) that the Bible compared God's prophets to eagles. However, he never provided one scriptural example of where this was the case. Here are a few of William Branham's quotes on the subject of eagles and prophets:

“Before God moves to action, like He did in the days of Noah, he sent forth an Eagle. When he brought Israel, and Pharaoh’s army was ready to go, He sent an eagle. Every time, He sends an eagle at the last, end of it. And here He sends an eagle, again.” (63-0322)[1]
A prophet in the Bible is a eagle. He goes higher than other birds, and he can see way off, things coming. (58-0301E)[2]
The Bible likens His prophets to being eagles. Now, a eagle can soar higher than any other bird. If another bird tries to follow an eagle, he'd die, because he--he--the eagle's made special, and he can go so high if the hawk trying to follow him, the hawk would disintegrate in the air. He just couldn't follow him; his feathers would fall out; he'd come apart. But the eagle is a special bird. Now, what good would it do him to go way up there in the air unless he could see way off? He'd be blind himself. But see, nature has provided the eagle with an eye that he can see as high till you can hardly see the eagle yourself: some of them fourteen feet across their wings. You can hardly see the eagle with your eye. But he can see any little moving object on the ground. Now, God likened His prophets, His preachers, to eagles. He calls Himself, "Jehovah Eagle." He's a eagle Himself.(60-0303)[3]
In the Bible His prophets was considered eagles. The eagle, how it would... It could climb higher than any other bird.(60-0722)[4]
You know, Jehovah is an eagle, Himself, and He calls us eaglets. His prophets are eagles, seers. (64-0620B)[5]
Now God always likens His prophets to eagles. (65-0119) [6]
Everyone knows that a prophet is called the eagle, in the Bible. (65*0221E)[7]

What the Bible says

The KJV Bible uses the world "Eagle" 34 times:

  1. Five (5) verses refer to vultures, not eagles (Job 39:27, Prov 30:17, Micah 1:16, Matt 24:28 and Luke 17:37). For a detailed discussion, see our article on Matthew 24:28.
  2. Four (4) verses refer to the 'unclean' animals that were not kosher to eat (Lev 11:13 & 18 and Deut 14:12 & 17).
  3. Eighteen (18) refer to characteristics of eagles and are used as illustrations, descriptions or metaphors. None of these illustrations relate to prophets. (Deut 28:49, 2 Sam 1:23, Job 9:26, Psalms 103:5, Prov 23:5, Prov 30:19, Isaiah 40:31, Jer 4:13, Jeremiah 48:40, Jeremiah 49:16, Jeremiah 49:22, Lam 4:19, Daniel 4:33, Daniel 7:4, Hos 8:1, Obadiah 4, Habakkuk 1:8, Revelation 12:14)
  4. Two (2) verses are metaphors for God (Exodus 19:4, Deut 32:11)
  5. Three (3) verses refer to angels (Ezek. 1:10, 10:14, Revelation 4:7)
  6. Two (2) verses identify people of strength (Ezekiel 17:3, 17:7)

The primary reference to an eagle is as a descriptor or an illustration of such things as fierce swiftness and strength. It is NEVER used as a reference to prophetic wisdom or vision. Other than King Saul (2 Sam 1:23 where Saul and Jonathan are referred to as "swifter than eagles"), there are ZERO prophets or seers that were likened to an eagle.

The word eagle is mentioned 34 times in the KJV:

  1. Exodus 19:4 - Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings...[8]
  2. Leviticus 11:13
  3. Leviticus 11:18
  4. Deuteronomy 14:12
  5. Deuteronomy 14:17
  6. Deuteronomy 28:49
  7. Deuteronomy 32:11
  8. 2 Samuel 1:23 - Saul and Jonathan were lovely and ||pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were zswifter than eagles, they were astronger than lions.[9]
  9. Job 9:26
  10. Job 39:27
  11. Psalm 103:5
  12. Proverbs 23:5
  13. Proverbs 30:17
  14. Proverbs 30:19
  15. Isaiah 40:31
  16. Jeremiah 4:13
  17. Jeremiah 48:40
  18. Jeremiah 49:16
  19. Jeremiah 49:22
  20. Lamentations 4:19
  21. Ezekiel 1:10
  22. Ezekiel 10:14
  23. Ezekiel 17:3
  24. Ezekiel 17:7
  25. Daniel 4:33
  26. Daniel 7:4
  27. Hosea 8:1
  28. Obadiah 4
  29. Micah 1:16
  30. Habakkuk 1:8
  31. Matthew 24:28
  32. Luke 17:37
  33. Revelation 4:7
  34. Revelation 12:14

The eagle is an unclean bird

Leviticus 11:13 says

These are the birds you are to regard as unclean and not eat because they are unclean: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture...[10]

William Branham blows the science... again

We have previously shown that William Branham had a completely erroneous view of many issues related to science. This is another example.

William Branham stated that an eagle could fly higher than any other bird. But is this true?

One of the most impressive altitude records for birds is that of a flock of Whooper Swans which was seen on radar arriving over Northern Ireland on migration and was visually identified by an airline pilot at 29,000 feet.[11]. The Bar-headed Goose is one of the world's highest-flying birds, having been heard flying across Mount Makalu – the fifth highest mountain on earth at 8,481 m (27,825 ft) – and apparently seen over Mount Everest – 8,848 m (29,029 ft).[12]

But the world record for high altitude flying by a bird is a Ruppell’s vulture (gyps rueppellii) which collided with a commercial aircraft over Abidjan, Ivory Coast, at an altitude of 37,900 feet in November 1973. The impact damaged one of the aircraft’s engines, but the plane landed safely. The avian altitude record in North America is held by a mallard, which collided with an airplane on July 9, 1963, at 21,000 feet above Elko, Nevada.[13]

Eagles are not found in any of the records for highest flying birds.

The Question

To reiterate, the eagle is NEVER used as a reference to prophetic wisdom or vision. It is not a type of a prophet in scripture. There are ZERO prophets or seers that are likened to an eagle.

William Branham states the following, all of which are not biblical:

  • "Before God moves to action, like He did in the days of Noah, he sent forth an Eagle. - there is nothing in the Bible to substantiate this.
  • A prophet in the Bible is a eagle. - This is simply not true.
  • The Bible likens His prophets to being eagles. - This is false.
  • Everyone knows that a prophet is called the eagle, in the Bible. - Actually, anyone who does know the Bible is aware that this statement is false.

An old friend of our family, William Booth-Clibborn, once told William Branham, "Brother Branham, you just don’t know your Bible.” (61-0218 - Balm In Gilead) . I personally think his statement was correct. William Branham's understanding of scripture was significantly flawed. He was a fan of proof texts and would take passages of the Bible completely out of context to support his own views. He would read his thoughts into the Bible rather allowing scripture to speak from the plain meaning of the text.

The example of the eagle and the prophet is a clear example of William Branham's teaching being in disagreement with the Bible.

My question is - if William Branham could be so off base in a simple concept like this - what the Bible means when it refers to eagles - why should I trust him in his other scriptural interpretation?



Footnotes

  1. 63-0322, The Fifth Seal
  2. HEAR.YE.HIM_ CHATTANOOGA.TN SATURDAY_ 58-0301E
  3. FORMER.AND.LATTER.RAIN_ PHOENIX.AZ THURSDAY_ 60-0303
  4. WATCHMAN.WHAT.OF.THE.NIGHT_ LAKEPORT.CA FRIDAY_ 60-0722
  5. WHO.IS.JESUS_ TOPEKA.KS V-20 N-4 SATURDAY_ 64-0620B
  6. THE.GOD.WHO.IS.RICH.IN.MERCY_ PHOENIX.AZ V-19 N-2 TUESDAY_ 65-0119
  7. WHO.IS.THIS.MELCHISEDEC_ JEFF.IN V-5 N-10 SUNDAY_ 65-0221E
  8. The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Ex 19:4 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009).
  9. The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., 2 Sa 1:23 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009).
  10. The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Le 11:13–19.
  11. Stanford University
  12. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bar-headed_Goose Wikipedia - Bar-headed Goose
  13. Audubon Magazine, 2000


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