Sixth Seal

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William Branham preached a series of sermons in March 1963 on the Seven Seals of the book of Revelation, and said that each seal identifies a religious disturbance. This article is one in a series of studies on the Seven Seals - you are currently on the topic that is in bold:

Scriptures

William Branham compared Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:29-30 with the Sixth seal.

Matthew 24:29-30

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Revelation 6:12-17
And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Two Prophets Controlling Nature

William Branham ties the earthquake, and signs in heaven and on earth, to the ministries of Moses and Elijah after the Rapture. Since Moses and Elijah both performed signs in heaven and earth during their ministries, he concluded that they would return to continue their job.

“Israel is God’s son, so he is going to deliver him here in the Tribulation period, just exactly the way He did down in Egypt. …There is your Seal. Who does it? It’s the prophets, the other side of the Rapture. With the Power of God, the Word of God, they just condemn nature. They can send earthquakes, turn the moon into blood, the sun can go down, or anything, at their command.”

One Prophet Controlling Nature

By 1964, William Branham was trying out his own hand at condemning nature, proclaiming judgment on Los Angeles, and claiming that an earthquake in Alaska was fulfillment of his ministry’s judgment on the West Coast.

Plagiarism

William Branham opens the Sixth Seal with a modified retelling of Max Brand’s 1920 story “A Sagebrush Cinderella”.

He also continues taking the bulk of his sermon notes directly from the writings of Clarence Larkin. Here is a comparison:

What William Branham Said [1] What Clarence Larkin Said [2]
Now, I want you to hold your Book like this: Matthew 24 and Revelations 6, like this, and let's compare something here just a little bit. So watch this now, and you can find out just how--how it is. See, what the Lamb here is showing exactly in symbol what He said over here in Word, doing exactly. So that makes it right. Now, that's--that's all there is to it. Here's--here's one; He's talking of it, and here's where it happens. See? It's just a perfect vindication. At this point it will be interesting to compare, as on the next three pages, Christ’s “Olivet Discourse” (Matt. 24:1–30), with the “Six Seals” of Rev. 6:1–17. The similarity between them is most striking, and proves that the author of the “Olivet Discourse” foreknew, in the “Days of His Flesh,” in their exact order, the things that shall come to pass in the “Day of the Lord.” This is indisputable evidence of the Deity of Jesus.
Notice, just exactly like come over there: "And the sun became as black as sackcloth..." See? Same thing, these happenings of nature. What was it? What, when nature happens like this, has been? God calling Israel. (See?) God's calling out Israel. Now, "sun as black as hair..." When the “SIXTH SEAL” was broken John tells us that there was a “GREAT EARTHQUAKE,” and the “SUN BECAME BLACK AS SACKCLOTH OF HAIR,” and the “MOON BECAME AS BLOOD,” and the “STARS OF HEAVEN FELL TO THE EARTH,” and the “HEAVEN DEPARTED AS A SCROLL,” and “EVERY MOUNTAIN AND ISLAND WERE MOVED OUT OF THEIR PLACE.”
In Isaiah, let's take this. Isaiah the prophet seen this Sixth Seal open and spoke of it... Let's just... I like this--this of Isaiah. Let's go back here to Isaiah, the 13th chapter of Isaiah. I like... In Isa. 13:9–10, we read—“Behold the ‘DAY OF THE LORD’ cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate, and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall NOT GIVE THEIR LIGHT, the sun shall be DARKENED in his going forth, and the moon shall not CAUSE HER LIGHT TO SHINE.”
Matthew, 27th chapter of Matthew and the--the 45th verse, I believe it is. Now, from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. Now, notice just exactly what He did back here now in this. See? And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal,... lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon--and the moon became as blood; Blackness, darkness: Egypt--blackness, darkness, God delivering Jesus at the cross, just 'fore He brought Him up from the resurrection... Such physical phenomena and changes have happened before. We must not forget the “GREAT DARKNESS” that for 3 days overspread Egypt in the days before the Exodus (Ex. 10:21–23), nor the “DARKNESS” that settled over Jerusalem and Calvary on the day of the Crucifixion of Christ. Matt. 27:45.

Questions to ask yourself

God Will Judge Big Game Hunters

William Branham went to Africa and shot 34 large game animals in 21 days. What other sins did he preach against, but participated in?

"...you mean that's sportsmanship? That's pure murder in my book… Buffalo Bill and them plainsmen had shot off all them buffaloes, forty, fifty in an afternoon. They know when they ridded that, they got rid of the Indian. Oh, my, a stain on the flag the way they treated them Indians. There you are. But remember, the Bible said, "The hour's come that God will destroy them that destroys the earth."

No Contradictions in the Word

Voice of God Recordings and many Message Believers have tried to justify inconsistencies in William Branham's stories, doctrines and prophecies by saying there are discrepancies in the Bible. As part of the Sixth Seal, William Branham addresses these concerns himself. So if William Branham's Message was the "Word for your day" as he claimed, then shouldn't it be free from contradictions as well?

“I can take one Scripture and say, “Judas went and hung himself,” take another and say, “You go do the same.” See? But, see, it won’t blend in with the rest of It...The Bible does not contradict itself. “And the Bible does not contradict Itself anywhere. I've heard the old critics say that, but I have had an offer for him for a long time to show me where it's at. It isn't in here.”

Is the Vision Biblical?

At the end of the sixth seal sermon, William Branham mentions a vision being present in Heaven with Jesus and the recording angel, when the recording angel calls his name. Meda and Hope then enter heaven with him. Is this story simply to reassure those who listened to sermon on the Fifth Seal, that those waiting under the altar following his ministry would enter heaven with him?

If Joseph Smith's vision was real but not Biblical, shouldn't you also put William Branham's visions to the Biblical test?

Double check whether your faith is in receiving the Holy Spirit, or in William Branham's vision of heaven.

“Joseph Smith…that fine man, and the vision, I don’t doubt at all but what he had the vision. I believe he was a sincere man. But the vision he had was contrary to the Scripture.” (William Branham, The Sixth Seal)


Footnotes

  1. William Branham, March 23, 1963, The Sixth Seal
  2. Clarence Larkin, The Book of Revelation: A Study of the Last Prophetic Book of Holy Scripture, 61 (Philadelphia, PA: Rev. Clarence Larkin Estate, 1919)


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