The Pope and the Lunar Eclipse

From BelieveTheSign

In a sermon in 1964, William Branham sought to tie in a lunar eclipse with the Pope's visit to Jerusalem:

The last eclipse of the moon was a total eclipse. It waned to a total darkness in seven stages. In the seventh stage, the total darkness came as the Pope of Rome (Paul the Sixth) went to Palestine to make a holy tour of Jerusalem. He was the first pope to ever go to Jerusalem. The pope is named Paul the Sixth. Paul was the first messenger and this man goes by that name. Notice it is the sixth, or the number of man. This is more than a coincidence. And when he went to Jerusalem, the moon or the church went into total darkness. This is it. This is the end. This generation shall not pass away until all be fulfilled. Even so Lord Jesus, come quickly![1]

But is his connection justified by the facts? Are his facts correct?

What really happened

On December 30, 1963, there was a total lunar eclipse that covered western North America and eastern Asia.

From January 4–6, 1964, Pope Paul VI visited Amman, Jordan, Old Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth. It was the first time a reigning pontiff had flown on an airplane, the first papal pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and the first time a Pope had left Italy in more than a century.

Was the lunar eclipse a sign?

It is interesting that the lunar eclpise could not be seen (it was not even partial) in either Rome or in Israel.[2] One would have thought that if God was showing something supernatural in the heavens that he would have got the eclipse to cover at least Israel.

Was the timing supernatural?

The eclipse happened approximately a week prior to the Pope going to Jerusalem. One would also have thought that if it was truly supernatural that would have occured while the Pope was in Israel. Why couldn't God at least get that right?

Did the eclipse happen in seven stages?

A lunar eclipse does not happen in stages. It is an astromical event whereby the shadow of the earth is cast on the moon, causing the moon to grow dark. The shadow initially starts at one side of the moon and gradually covers the entire moon (in a total eclipse). There are no stages. There is simply a continuum of the shadow moving across the moon.

A more reasonable explanation

Was William Branham simply looking for something to vindicate himself? He even admitted he was looking for something that would do just that - ""There it is, just exactly, see, just what I've been looking for.".[3] Why did he feel it was necessary to invent the "seven stages" of the eclipse? Was it to justify his doctrine of the seven church ages?

Quotes of William Branham

And isn't it strange that just before the pope took his journey to Jerusalem, that the moon in the heavens made a total blackout, just a few days before he took it, his journey. He's coming here also, you know, see. Now that's never been known, see. But what does it show? That, this, he's doing this to win fellowship as he met on the day after he come into Jerusalem, he met the Greek Orthodox hierarchy. And what does that reflect? Fellowship, they're wanting Protestants and Catholicism joining together, which they are doing and will completely do. And God reflected this to us, in the moon, of a total blackout. By His mercy and grace…

Did any of you see the paper where they took the pictures of the moon? I have it here. If it ain't a perfect image, leaving out the seventh age which is not yet, exactly the way I drawed by the Holy Spirit, the Church Ages. There's the six of them, the seventh is not finished yet. The six conditions of the moon, how in its brightness in the first church age; dark in the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth; just the way the Holy Spirit let me draw them on the board, and then identified them with Hisself on the wall of the tabernacle, two years ago. The moon reflects itself, and science again picks up the picture of the, Church Ages, just as they picked up that Light yonder and put it in Life Magazine, of the opening of the Seals, of the revealing in the age of the seventh angel. In the days of his ministry, the seventh messenger, the mysteries of God, which all the mysteries has been along the ages, should be revealed, made manifest, it should be at that time. And He did it! His words don't fail. Isn't that a mysterious thing? God drawing in the heavens the same thing that they hold, same God let me draw on the blackboard, and then by Himself. That's three times He's perfectly identified it, and just before the pope goes into Jerusalem.

Which, that was the church, the moon is the church, represents the church. And before the church, the shadow of the world crosses the moon. And the shadow of worldlyism, the shadow of worldliness, worldly church, has swept across to black out the entire Light of the Bible. The world got in the Light of the reflection. Do you understand? The world crossed in the light of the moon, and blinded out the sun. And the reflection of the moon that's supposed to be giving light to the earth, it was blacked out. And It come in and drawed the pictures just exactly like It did, by inspiration, before it happened.

Now that, I believe, Sister Simpson, was the Tucson paper. I don't know if Sister Simpson knew… She didn't understand it then. She said, "I cut out some pictures for you, and some notes, out of the paper," handed it to me.

And I thought something strange. I went in there and picked it up, and looked at it, I said, "There it is, just exactly, see, just what I've been looking for." And there it was in the paper.

Sister Simpson might tell you what paper it's in, if you want to get a copy of it. [Sister Simpson says, "It's December the 28th."—Ed.] And—and what say? ["It's the evening edition of December the 28th."] Evening edition of December the 28th.

See, before he went to Jerusalem to block out its Light, or what access it does have. What time, position, and what rights It has to shine, now it's cutting It off altogether, for the last age, the seventh church age where she goes into darkness. What a great thing the Lord is telling us. In everything, It's never failed but what God in the heaven has declared it and told it, looked to it, and here has identified it and a-vindicated it, that it is the absolute Truth.[4]


But speaking here, in 1933, of the pope taking his place out of, or coming out, rather, of Rome, and making a visit to the—the holy lands. He'll also come here. And the strange thing, is, a few nights before he left Rome, for the first time it ever was in history, the moon came down and went in total eclipse. Just that, what was it? Shadowing off the reflected Light of the Son. In this, he spoke to the Orthodox father; and they're all in agreement, "The pope does this for fellowship, good neighborly fellowship." Which sounds, to the natural ear, the most wonderful thing could happen. But to the spiritual ear, it's darkness. And how that we churches, we Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, and Pentecostals, could ever join into such a mess as that, and knowing our Bible teaches us different! It's a marvelous thing to me, that how Spirit-filled man can set in places and say, "It feels spiritual to be in such a place." To me, it's horrible.

Now, I guess you got it here in Phoenix. If anyone… How many in here ever seen where I had them pictures drawed of the Church Ages? Raise up your hands. I guess… See how the Lord drawed them in the skies, the other night? Just exactly the way it's drawed up there at the tabernacle. Perfectly, exactly the way that the Holy Spirit gave it by inspiration, three years ago, at the Tabernacle, there it happened in the skies. "In the mouth of two or three witnesses, let every word be established." The Holy Spirit first moved by inspiration; I drawed them on the platform. Then He came down Himself and made His vindication of it, as the moon and the Light going out, going out, and to this Laodicea Age going into total darkness again. And here He comes down and vindicates it on the moon, just at the time that all the churches are going together in a consolidation, of the federation of churches.

Now we find out what made the moon reflecting the light. God showing, first, on the blackboard; next, by His Own Presence; then in the heavens He showed the sign. And then out of Rome went the pope, over into Palestine; which, to the ordinary eye, people screamed and fell on their faces, and worshiped the man. Not any more against him than I would be a minister that would join up with such. It's all the same spirit.[5]


Did you see the moon black out, the other night, before the pope went over to Rome, from Rome to Jerusalem? Jerusalem, the oldest church; the moon is a type of the church, always reflecting the light of the sun, in the absence of the sun, and it blacked out. I drawed that on a blackboard here, three or four years ago, and showed the churches, in hundreds and thousands of homes across the nation. What was it? A shadow. The first time a pope ever left, to come back here, come in—in the name of Paul, and so forth, went down through those places; had to bless the river, to cross it, and so forth. What does the—the river need blessing?[6]


You have astounding picture there, tonight, that's going in that book, of three years, how the Lord has let me draw it out on a blackboard, and show just how the Church Ages would fail, and when and how they would go up-and-down. And as soon as that was finished, that great Angel of the Lord, that Light, before practically as many people sitting here, come right on the side of the wall, standing there. And people fainting. And drawed it right out, with Itself, on the wall. Three years later, the moon darkened and went right out, just exactly, in the day… just before the pope, first pope, went to Rome.[7]


Here is the sign in the sky. The last eclipse of the moon was a total eclipse. It waned to a total darkness in seven stages. In the seventh stage, the total darkness came as the Pope of Rome (Paul the Sixth) went to Palestine to make a holy tour of Jerusalem. He was the first pope to ever go to Jerusalem. The pope is named Paul the Sixth. Paul was the first messenger and this man goes by that name. Notice it is the sixth, or the number of man. This is more than a coincidence. And when he went to Jerusalem, the moon or the church went into total darkness. This is it. This is the end. This generation shall not pass away until all be fulfilled. Even so Lord Jesus, come quickly![8]



Footnotes

  1. William Branham, An Exposition Of The Seven Church Ages - Chapter Nine - The Laodicean Church Age, para. 357-1
  2. www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/lunar/1963-december-30
  3. William Branham, 64-0112 - Shalom
  4. William Branham, 64-0112 - Shalom, para. 79-85
  5. William Branham, 64-0119 - Shalom, para. 33-34, 39
  6. William Branham, 64-0125 - Turn On The Light, para. 113
  7. William Branham, 64-0410 - Scriptural Signs Of The Time, para. 20
  8. William Branham, An Exposition Of The Seven Church Ages - Chapter Nine - The Laodicean Church Age, para. 357-1


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