Question 7 (ABM) - William Branham's visit to Rome

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 credibility. The full text of this question and its answer is below.

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Complete list of questions

Q&A relating to William Branham's Prophetic Ministry

Q&A relating to William Branham's Doctrine

Q&A on the current status of the "message"

Question 7 - William Branham's visit to Rome

Question 8 - The 1933 Ohio River Baptismal experience

Question 10 - Congressman Upshaw

Question 11 - A Faked Discernment?

Question 12 - A Biblical Perspective on William Branham's Lies

Question 16 - The Vision of the Plum and Apple Trees

Question 17 - The Mystery of the Empty Cornerstone

Question 21 - How many people were actually healed in Branham's ministry?

Question 28 - Did William Branham visit the graves of Muhammad, Buddha, and Confucius?

Question 29 - Did William Branham travel around the world seven times?

Question 30 - The man from Windsor

Question 33 - The Prophecy of the Seven Angels

Question 34 - The Cloud over Flagstaff

I want to turn from the issue of William Branham's prophecies and visions to his credibility. It is important that a man of God be blameless. Therefore, if William Branham is a prophet, his credibility is a critical issue. I also want to thank you for the tone of your emails.

Question 7 - William Branham's visit to Rome

In recounting his trip to Rome, William Branham stated on several occasions what he had personally observed:

How did I know Rome set on seven hills? How did I know the pope had VICARIVS FILII DEI? Had to take somebody else’s word for it. How did I know the triple crown was on the pope; the jurisdiction of the vicar of Heaven and earth and hell? How did I know it till I went and seen it? (58-0928M - The Baptism Of The Holy Spirit, para. 143)
I been right there and seen it myself, would know, up over his place (his throne, as it was) like they set the first Boniface up, the III, up at the beginning of the Catholic age here. And up over there it’s Vicarivs Filii Dei, which means “a vicar of the Son of God.” Dei, Dei, “Deity,” see. See, “The vicar of the Son of God.” In other words, “Just like the Son of God sitting here on earth,” see, “all powers to change the Bible,” change anything he wants to. Therefore, “Say ‘Hail Mary’!” What does the pope say? “We’ll have ‘Hail Mary’!” That settles it. Uh-huh, uh-hum. “Well, we’ll do so-and-so.” What the pope says, that’s it, that’s it. “A vicar instead of the Son of God.” (60-1211M - The Ten Virgins, And The Hundred And Forty-Four Thousand Jews, para. 234)
Now, go on over here in Revelations 13, and show you that this man sets on a city…in a city, and the city sets on—on seven hills. And the numbers of the beast is six hundred and sixty-six, wrote out in the—in the Latin…Roman alphabet, is six hundred and sixty-six, is VICARIVS FILII DEI, which is, “Instead of the Son of God,” on a pope’s throne. And his chair, got a triple crown. 'And I’ve looked right at the crown, stood as close as my hand is to my face, like that, and—and seen the decked crown of the pope right there in the Vatican, myself, stood and looked at it, be sure I know what I was talking about. "He opposes, himself above all that’s called God, all the godly men. He’s the holiest of all of them; sets in the temple of God, just showing himself he is God,” forgiving sins on earth, and so forth, you know. (61-0806 - The Seventieth Week Of Daniel, para. 184)

The problem with these statements is that they are not true.

The phrase "VICARIVS FILII DEI" is first mentioned in "The Donation of Constantine", a forged Roman imperial decree by which the emperor Constantine the Great supposedly transferred authority over Rome and the western part of the Roman Empire to the Pope in the 4th century. It was probably composed in the 8th century and was used in the 13th century to support claims of political authority by the papacy.

In 1875, Uriah Smith referred to a report that the phrase "VICARIVS FILII DEI" was on the Pope's miter and it is reasonable to assume that is where William Branham obtained his information.

William Branham admitted that he read the works of Uriah Smith, a Seventh Day Adventist author:

And, here, I’d go in there and pick up the notes. I’d pick up books of Dr. Smith, Uriah Smith, and, oh, all the—the writers and everything, and read in, read down in their books. (63-0324E - The Seventh Seal, para. 339)

Catholics have responded to these claims by noting that "Vicarius Filii Dei" has never been an official Papal title. They also answer the claims that "Vicarius Filii Dei" is written on the Papal Tiara by stating that a simple inspection of the more than 20 papal tiaras still in existence—including those in use in 1866 during the reign of Pope Pius IX when Uriah Smith made his claim—shows that none have this inscription, nor is there any evidence that any of the earlier papal tiaras destroyed by invading French troops in 1798 had it.

William Branham appears to be lying when he states that he saw it himself. How do you respond to the claim that William Branham was not truthful regarding what he said he saw in Rome?

Shalom,

BTS

Response

BTS,

Thank you for your continued dialogue. I am glad to know you appreciate the tone. Being a minister in this part of the message has required us to have answers to these issues, because we are reasonable people. What you, Duyzer, and Collins have discovered is nothing new. You are just a new generation to discover the same issues. Unfortunately, you were all part of a wing of the message that had no answers because the acceptable answers are incompatible with the idolatry of Bro. Branham. I am sorry for that.

That the pope used the title Vicarious Filli Dei, and that this equated to 666 was widely accepted in American protestant circles beginning in the 1800s. The connection of the pope with the anti-christ originates in the teachings of Martin Luther in the 1500s. So at its core, Bro. Branham is merely repeating what had been a widely accepted "fact". So in that regard, if Bro. Branham is being dishonest, than in his company would have to be placed a vast number of Christian ministers who made the same claim.

You are correct of course in saying that the phrase is not written on the papal crown. But a careful review of what Bro Branham says reveals he does directly say that it was wrote on the crown. Like many of Bro. Branhams statements, there is alot of ambiguity in these quotes. Read in succession these quotes may present a picture of dishonestly, but these are different statement across a period of years. Each one needs to be looked at separately. I will comment inline.

How did I know Rome set on seven hills? How did I know the pope had VICARIVS FILII DEI? [ABM: He is linking this title to the pope, not saying it is wrote on the crown.] Had to take somebody else’s word for it. How did I know the triple crown was on the pope; the jurisdiction of the vicar of Heaven and earth and hell? How did I know it till I went and seen it? [ABM: He is saying he saw the triple crown. He never says here the title was on the crown. It is an inference to say he saw the writing on the crown.] (58-0928M - The Baptism Of The Holy Spirit, para. 143)
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I will introduce the preceding sentence for this quote: "It's the hierarchy of Rome, pope."

I been right there and seen it myself, [ABM: Seen what himself? There is no mention of the crown here.] would know, up over his place (his throne, as it was) like they set the first Boniface up, the III, up at the beginning of the Catholic age here. And up over there it’s Vicarivs Filii Dei, [ABM: It would not make sense that he is speaking about a crown, because that would "on there" not "up over there". I assume he means up over the throne, but I am not certain. At the very least, this seems to not be related to crown but to the throne. His inclusion on Boniface III seems to mean he may have a historic event in mind (Bonface III was pope when the Emperor declared the Pope to be highest ranking prelate and the pope took the title "Universal Bishop", which is not vicarius felli dei.) So perhaps Bro Branham means he saw the title "Universal Bishop" above the throne - perhaps he confused these two titles. This is all conjecture, but it seems he is not talking about the crown at all.] which means “a vicar of the Son of God.” Dei, Dei, “Deity,” see. See, “The vicar of the Son of God.” In other words, “Just like the Son of God sitting here on earth,” see, “all powers to change the Bible,” change anything he wants to. Therefore, “Say ‘Hail Mary’!” What does the pope say? “We’ll have ‘Hail Mary’!” That settles it. Uh-huh, uh-hum. “Well, we’ll do so-and-so.” What the pope says, that’s it, that’s it. “A vicar instead of the Son of God.” (60-1211M - The Ten Virgins, And The Hundred And Forty-Four Thousand Jews, para. 234)
---
Now, go on over here in Revelations 13, and show you that this man sets on a city…in a city, and the city sets on—on seven hills. And the numbers of the beast is six hundred and sixty-six, wrote out in the—in the Latin…Roman alphabet, is six hundred and sixty-six, is VICARIVS FILII DEI, which is, “Instead of the Son of God,” on a pope’s throne. [ABM: That would equal 666. This would further advance the idea he is talking about the throne, not the crown.] And his chair, got a triple crown. 'And I’ve looked right at the crown, stood as close as my hand is to my face', like that, and—and seen the decked crown of the pope right there in the Vatican, myself, stood and looked at it, be sure I know what I was talking about. [ABM: He does not say he seen writing on the crown, again it seems more linked to the throne.] "He opposes, himself above all that’s called God, all the godly men. He’s the holiest of all of them; sets in the temple of God, just showing himself he is God,” forgiving sins on earth, and so forth, you know. (61-0806 - The Seventieth Week Of Daniel, para. 184)

Conclusion

Bro. Branham does not explicitly state he saw Vicarius Felli Dei on the papal crown. He does seem to say he saw it above the papal throne. He does not even say that clearly though, and assuming that is the case he likely mistook what he saw above the throne because what is wrote there is not "Vicarious Felli Dei". There is Latin writing above the papal throne which Bro. Branham could have mistakenly thought was Vicarius Felli Dei.

Ultimately I do not accept that he was lying. It is an inference to claim he saw the writing on the crown, there is nothing in these quotes where he directly claims to have seen it on the crown. The most we can say is perhaps he was mistakenly interpreting what he saw above the papal throne.

Regards,

ABM


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