People in the message often talk about the Third Pull as something very important. But what is the third pull?
In 1956, in a sermon entitled “What is a Vision”, William Branham relays a vision of an angel instructing him how to fish. This vision became a focus of his ministry in later years, and includes the following scenes:
What is the point of fishing? Isn't it to bring fish onto the shore (i.e. to bring the lost to Jesus)?
What was the point of the Third Pull?
The point of the third pull was to bring the hurting, sick and lonely to Jesus Christ. Looking back into history, it should be apparent whether William Branham learned how to handle the healing and revealing gifts in order to set the hook for the "third pull". The evidence should be fish on the shore, in line with the part of the vision in which "there were hundreds of people standing around the altar weeping because they had accepted the Lord Jesus. And they were just weeping out loud. And I said, "Oh, that's more like it,".
How William Branham disobeyed the Angel
Even though the Angel asked William Branham not to explain his ministry, he began to try to explain this vision, starting with the sermon called "What is a Vision". In 1962, immediately after retelling the Angel’s instruction not to explain the vision, William Branham said, “I feel duty bound, to my church, to say something. You draw your own conclusion.”
What did William Branham think the Third Pull was?
By 1963, he had said that the third pull was
In 1964 William Branham taught that the 3rd pull was the spoken word, which in his own ministry had calmed a storm, created squirrels, and caused the conversion of Hattie Mosier’s two sons (which happened in 1959). The last example is the only time the spoken word brought a conversion, and in this instance it was the spoken word of a respectful Christian lady. William Branham also said that the 3rd pull could not be mimicked.
What this means
The biggest problem with this vision is that William Branham continued to explain it, and his ministry, well into 1964. Why did he continue to do this in direct contravention to the instruction of the angel?
As a result of this, we must reach the following conclusions:
Could this be the real reason that the great crowds that originally followed his ministry disappeared in later years?
In December 29, 1963 William Branham said “The third pull is here”. However, since Hattie Mosier’s two children were converted at her word in 1959, the third pull was in operation long before the Church Ages or the Seven Seals were preached. If the third pull relates to the revealing of the seventh seal or the revealing of the mysteries, then why was it in operation before the teaching years of 1960 onward?
At the end of the vision, the pillar of fire left William Branham and moves to a small building from which people were coming out healed. The final voice is an invitation to William Branham to meet the pillar of fire in the small building, in obedience to Matthew 6:6, "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."
This is a very simple close to a very mysterious vision. It seems that we can get the real meaning of this vision simply by reading and applying the scripture.
The First Temptation
One common interpretation among message believers is that the Third Pull will manifest among believers as the ability to speak things into existence. This interpretation is primarily based on William Branham's testimony that he created squirrels into existence by his own spoken word, through the instruction of an angelic voice.
The danger with this expectation is that it forgets Jesus' first temptation in the wilderness: when the Devil tempted Jesus to use his supernatural powers to create bread from stones in order to satisfy his own hunger. Sadly, this temptation is exactly what message believers are expecting to do in the future. If the tempter came to a message believer with instructions to create bread or squirrels from stones, they would likely give in to the devil in a moment's time - because they would follow William Branham's example and not the example left to them by Jesus Christ, who alone had dominion over the devil's temptations.
Physical evidences of the third pull
There appear to be only 5 times that William Branham actually had what he referred to as the "third pull"
It is strange that there were only 5 incidences and none of them were witnessed by more than a few people (and some had no witnesses at all).
Quotes of William Branham
And at that, the Angel of the Lord taken me out then, and He taken me to a real bright stream of water. It was the most beautiful blue water; and great fish were swimming around in it. He said, "I will make you a fisher." And He said, "Now, cast your lure into the water; and when you do, pull it slow, first time; and the next time, just give it a little jerk, not too hard; and the next time, set your hook for the catch." And I started to throw my line in the water. I pulled, and everybody begin rejoicing and saying, "That's wonderful. That's wonderful." I got all excited and jerked it hard on the next one out; I pulled the fish and all out of the water. And what it was, it was a little bitty fish, and it, just about the size of the lure. And I got my line all tangled up. And I was straightening out my line, and the Man which was talking behind me, walked around in front of me, dressed in Palestinian clothes and a turban on His head. He had a white robe. He said, "Brother Branham, that's it."
I said, "I know I didn't do right," I said, "I jerked it when I ought not to."
He said, "Don't get your line tangled up in these kind of times."
And I said, "Well, I'm running it as straight as I can. I'll be very careful."
He said, "Now, the first time I spoke with you, you put your hands on the people and told them what was wrong with them. And the second pull, why, when you did, you would know the secrets of their hearts. And I made you a seer before the people. But you was always trying to explain it. You oughtn't to have done that." He said, "You made a public showing out of it." I said, "I'm very sorry."
Then He taken me from there, and I seen a great huge tent. I never seen such a--a tent. And it was packed and lined everywhere with people. And I walked out to the... Looked like I was standing above the people, looking down, where I'd just made an altar call; and hundreds and hundreds of people were weeping and rejoicing after they had accepted the Lord Jesus as their Saviour.
And I looked, and then heard a man get up and say, "Call the prayer line." And people begin to line up over on this side, the left from where I was looking down towards the platform, and they lined all the way up and down the street for a prayer line. I noticed to my left, which would've been to my right if I was on the platform, a little wooden building. And I seen that Light, that all--they have the picture of, you know, that's always in the meetings; I seen that Light leave me, and go to that building, and go in that building; and a Voice said to me, "I'll meet you in there; that'll be the third pull."
I said, "Why?"
He said, "Well, it won't be a public show like the other." And I came to.
And I looked out into the lake and those great beautiful Rainbow trout out there, and I said, "I know this is a vision, but I can't understand those trout." But I said, "You know, I believe right down in my heart, I can catch those." So I picked up the string, but instead of it being a string, it was a fishing pole; and just then, the One behind me said, "Now, I'll teach you to fish, how to catch those."
And so He took... And He said, "Tie on the lure," and I snapped the lure on. He said, "Now, throw way out (Now, listen close.)--way out into the deep." And He said, "When you do, now, let the lure sink down first," and then said, "Pull it slow." Now, that's really fisherman's technique.
So I--I... He said, "Then when you do, now, you'll feel some nibbles at it, but don't tell nobody what you're doing. Keep it to yourself." And said, "Then when you--when you feel it nibble again," said, "pull just a little--a little bit, but not too hard." He said, "And then it'll pull it away from the little fish, and when they scatter, that'll attract the attention of the big fish, and they'll grab it." And said, "That's the way you'll catch it." Said, "Then when they bite on the third time, set your hook for the--the catch.
And I said, "I understand."
Said, "But keep still. Don't tell nobody. Keep still."
And I said, "All right."
And I had the lure in my hand, and all these fishermen turned out to be ministers, and they all come around saying, "Brother Branham, I know you can catch fish." Oh, of course, that made me feel real good; I said, "Oh, yes, I'm a fisherman; I can catch fish." And He said... I said, "Now, here's the way you do it." And I said, "You throw it way out," and I went way out into the--to the deep water, and I said, "Now, those little fish are fine, brethren, but we want the big ones too." And I was--I said, "See, when it sinks down... Now, see, there it is; just about where it should be. Now, see, there's... See, that... There them's little fish." I said, "Now, when it sets again, I give it a great big jerk." And when I did, I pulled the whole lure out of the water. And when I did, I caught a fish, but I wondered how he ever got the lure in his mouth, 'cause looked like the skin was stretched over the lure, about the same size of the lure.
And I thought, "Oh, my."
And just then, this One Who'd been talking behind me, stepped around in front of me. It was Him, the Angel of the Lord. He had His hands folded. He looked at me, said, "Just what I told you not to do."
And I said, "Yes, that's right."
He said, "You see, that first pull was when you used to put your hands on the people and tell them what was their trouble." Said, "The second pull was when you'd know the secrets of the heart like I told you." And said, "Instead of you keeping that to yourself, you tried to explain all about it and tell people, and when you did," said, "you didn't know nothing about it yourself, and how could you explain it? And you caused a big bunch of ca--carnal im--impersonations to rise up, and you see what you've done." And I said, "Lord, I'm sorry." And I--I said, "Oh, I--I'm so sorry. I don't know what to do."
And I was pulling the line like this, and I was trying to straighten my line out; and He looked at me; He said, "Now, don't get your line tangled up in these kind of times."
And I thought, "Maybe He's going give me another try." And I was--I said, "I'll sure be careful," and was winding my line in, and seen it taken up all right; and then when He said that, just then I felt myself go higher, way up. And when I was set down, there I was beneath and standing up above a great tent; I never seen such a tent. And I'd just made a altar call, seeming like, down at the altar; and when I was down there, I looked, and there were hundreds of people standing around the altar weeping because they had accepted the Lord Jesus. And they were just weeping out loud. And I said, "Oh, that's more like it," like that.
And a real kind gentleman walked out to the platform, said, "While Brother Branham's a-resting just a few moments," he said, "we'll call the prayer line." And said, "Everyone with prayer cards beginning with a certain number, stand over on to the right."
Well, I noticed the prayer line, seemed like it went all around the tent and out and down the street, such a prayer line.
And I looked over (which was then to my left, and there it would be to my right if I was standing on the platform, would be that way), there's a piece of canvas stretched there, and in be--be--behind this canvas was a little square building about twelve foot across and twenty foot long, something like that. Well, I stood and looked at that.
And I seen them bringing a lady up on a stretcher, and there was a lady there taking her name and things with a--on a--on a paper. And so, there was a--a someone come and got her and pushed her through. And the next man come through was with crutches. I see them go through that little building, and on the outside the lady come out screaming to the top of her voice, pushing this stretcher. And the--and then there was another lady on the other side, looked like kind of a dark-haired woman, and she said, "What happened?"
She said, "I just don't know." She said, "I couldn't tell you what happened." She said, "I've been paralyzed for twenty years, and looky, I--I feel like I--I--I never was sick."
And just then out come the man, leaping and jumping with his--with his crutches in his hand. And I--I looked at that.
And just then... Now, here's something. Notice close. There's a difference between the Angel of the Lord and that Light, because I heard something a moving, as it does when it comes here at the platform at night, kinda like a--[Brother Branham makes a sound "whew"--Ed.] and like a fire whipping around--licking blaze. And It left me, and it went right down over the top of that audience and went and stood over the top of that little building, and then settled down on top of it. And then when It did, this One that was standing by me, behind me, the same voice, the Angel's voice, He said, "I'll meet you in there, and this is the third pull, but nobody will know nothing about it."
And I said, "Well, I don't understand why in there. Why there?"
He said, "It will not be a public show this time."
And I said, "I don't understand going into that closet, like that."
And He said, "Is not it written by our Lord, 'when thou prayest, be not like the hypocrites who like to be heard before men, but enter into the secret closet and pray to the Father Who seeth in secret, and He Who seeth in secret shall reward thee openly?'" It's perfectly to the Scripture; every time it is.
And I said, "I understand."
Then He took me to this place and set me down in this room where I was at, and then He told me what to do for the third time.
Now, Christian friends, that'll--when I leave this world, that'll still be in my bosom. When I... But you mark my words what's going to take place when that...
All the line was tangled around me like this, and I had--was standing there crying with my head down like that. I said, "God, oh, I... Forgive me. I'm a stupid person. Lord, don't... Forgive me." And I had this line and that, what I had in my hand, was a little baby's shoe, about that long. And I had... That string was about as big around as my finger, about a half inch, like. And the eyelet in this shoe was just about the size of a--littler than one-sixteenth, probably, of an inch of the eyelet. And I was trying to lace this little shoe up with this great big inch cord. And a voice come, said, "You can't teach Pentecostal babies supernatural things." Said, "Now, let them alone."
And just then He picked me up. And He took me up and set me way up high to where a meeting was going on, looked like a tent or a cathedral of some sort. And I looked, and there was a little box-like, little place over in the side. And I seen that Light was talking to somebody above me, that Light that you see there on the picture. It whirled away from me, like that, and went over to that tent, and said, "I'll meet you there." And said, "This will be the third pull, and you won't tell it to nobody."
And in Sabino Canyon, He said, "This is the third pull." And there's three great things that goes with it, and one unfolded today, or yesterday, the other one unfolded today, and there's one thing that I cannot interpret, because it's in an unknown language. But I was standing right there and looked right straight at it, and this is the third pull coming up. And the Holy Spirit of God... Oh, my. That's the reason all heaven was silent.