William Branham preached a series of sermons in March 1963 on the Seven Seals of the book of Revelation. His followers are nearly unified in their belief that William Branham’s sermons on the seven seals are the most important messages of his entire ministry. He and his followers believe the revelation and true understanding of the seals were hidden from the church prior to his ministry, and that the true understanding of the seals only be revealed through his ministry as God’s special endtime prophet.
This article is one in a series of studies on the Seven Seals - you are currently on the topic that is in bold:
|And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.|
Silence! The Seventh Seal is the Third Pull
The seventh seal in the Bible is a half-hour of silence. In contrast, William Branham talked for two hours about it, yet tried to avoid saying what it actually was.
- “This seventh seal is the end of time, of all things…if Satan should get a hold of it, he might do great damage.”
- "It’s the Third Pull. …you remember, when he took me up there, and said, “This is the Third Pull, and no one will know It. …Visions never fail. They are perfectly the Truth.”
Cut the Tape. With scissors.
William Branham actually felt that he had said too much during the sermon, so he went back and edited the sermon. To do this, he cut the tape, recorded a new ending, and taped that new ending in.
Thankfully, Voice of God Recordings released both endings after his death, so we know that the revised version omitted the story of "The Kings Sword" in Sabino Canyon, and a statement that the pillar of fire whirled toward a tent ministry.
- “And just then a Voice shook down through there, that rocked the rocks. Said, “it’s the Sword of the King! …Something hit, and said, “Don’t fear. This is that Third Pull. …And I seen that Light…and it whirled away from me, like that, and went over that tent. And said, “I’ll meet you in there.” And said, “This will be the Third Pull, and you won’t tell It to nobody. …that’s the reason all heaven was silent. …I just feel checked, not to say no more about it. …We’re at the end time, the opening of the Seventh Seal. ”
The Sword that William Branham said he received was “The King’s Sword”. It was not the sword of a prince, but a word of judgment.
The pillar of light that went to the tent referred to the coming fulfillment of the Tent Vision, which was the final scene in his vision of the Third Pull. William Branham talked about having a tent meeting near the end of his life, but this never happened.
William Branham does what Jesus would not do...
William Branham compared Jesus’ words in Matthew 24 with the revelation of the seal, and noted that Jesus did not talk about the seventh seal. Not to be outdone by Jesus, William Branham went on to talk about the seventh seal.
- “Jesus never mentioned it…John couldn’t write of it …I’m going to tell you my revelation of it…Jesus said…He didn’t know it, Himself. Said, ‘Only God’ would know it.”
During this sermon, William Branham also paralleled himself to an Angel, and possibly even God.
- “Remember, the seventh Messenger was…the noted One to me, the seventh Angel. It seemed more to me than any.”
- “When the supernatural comes in, that’s the mind of Christ.”
- “There is only one person could fulfill that, only one Spirit that’s ever been on the earth, that I know of. Would either be…it would have to be Elijah, in his time. And it was predicted that it would be, which is nothing but the Spirit of Christ.”
...And gets a Cult Following
William Branham’s statements from this and following sermons have been used by the “Christ Branham” movement and Fred Sothmann to say that William Branham was greater than Jesus Christ. Using the logic that since only God the Father knows the contents of this Seal (remember that even Jesus did not know the hour or day) then William Branham must be God the Father because he alone knew the contents of the Seventh Seal, even though he didn't say what it was. You would think that theses doctrines would have ended with William Branham's death in December 1965, or his burial in April 1966...but they did not.
Fred Sothmann was one of the two men who hunted with William Branham on Rattlesnake Mesa (Sunset Mountain) when he said he received his commission to preach the Seals. Fred was called upon during the Seventh Seal to “Amen” as a witness.
The "Christ Branham movement" also ignores the closing statements by William Branham that he did not know what the seventh seal actually was. So he closed this sermon without revealing the seventh seal. Still, like a great storyteller, he left the congregation anticipating a sequel:
- “Now what this great secret is that lays beneath this Seal, I do not know. I don’t know it. I couldn’t make it out…but I know it was them Seven Thunders.”
- “This Seventh Seal, It is still a notable thing…we don’t know what It is, as yet, because It’s not permitted to be broken. …according to the Word of God, and the vision, and the revelation, the interpretation thereof is THUS SAITH THE LORD.”
In the online version of the Message search program, the word “it” is not capitalized. However, in the printed version distributed in 1993 by Voice of God Recordings, every “It” is capitalized. Voice of God Recordings obviously felt at some point that the “It” referred to a person.
It was during this time that Anna Schrader and Kenneth Hagin prophesied William Branham’s impending death by the end of 1965, for “Walking in the way of Dowie.”
William Branham’s secret source of information for this sermon was the writings of Clarence Larkin. Here is a comparison:
|What William Branham Said ||What Clarence Larkin Said |
|Now, oh, my. Now, the forfeited title deed is now in the hands of the original Owner, Almighty God. The title deed to the earth…||What was this “LITTLE BOOK”? Some claim that it was the “SEVEN SEALED BOOK,” now open, and therefore the “TITLE DEED” to the Earth... |
|Notice, it's the end of the church age. It's the--the end of the Seven Seals. It's the end of the trumpets. It's the end of the vials, and even ends the ushering in of the millennium; that's on the Seventh Seal.||We must not forget that the “SEVENTH SEAL” includes all that happens during the sounding of the “Trumpets,” and the pouring out of the “Vials,” and so extends down to the ushering in of the Millennium.|
|It's just like firing a rocket into the air, and that rocket explodes here, and it goes up, then it explodes again. It puts out five stars. One of those stars explodes and blows out five stars from it; and then one of them stars explodes, blows out five stars from it (See?); it fades on out. That's what the Seventh Seal; it just ends the time for the world. It ends the time for this. It means the time for that. It ends the time for this. It ends the time... Everything just ended up on that Seventh Seal.||To illustrate, a rocket fired into the air may burst into “seven stars,” and one of these stars into “seven other stars,” and one of the second group of stars into a third group of “seven stars.” So the “Seventh” Seal includes the “Seven Trumpets,” and the “Seventh” Trumpet includes the “Seven Vials.”|
|And the four and twenty elders that stood before God there harping with their harps, they quit playing their harps. The Angels hushed their singing in heaven. Think, the holy Cherubims and Seraphims, that Isaiah saw it in the temple with six sets... or three sets of wings, three on--two over his face and two over his feet, and flying. And he's day and night they're before God, saying, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty." And even when they walked in, or come into the temple, the posts of the temple moved with their--their presence. And these holy Seraphims hushed up. Angels quit singing. (Whew.) Flying in the Presence of God, singing, "Holy, holy, holy..." they shut up.
They were awed by it...
|The “SILENCE” that followed the breaking of the “Seventh Seal” was preparatory to what was to follow during the sounding of the “Trumpets,” and the pouring out of the “Vials.” This “SILENCE” was something remarkable. The Four and Twenty Elders ceased their harp-playing; the angels hushed their voices, and the Cherubim and Seraphim and all the host of Heaven were silent, and so great was the silence that all Heaven was awed by it;|
|Now, a half hour might not be long if you're having a good time, but in the suspense of between death and life, it seemed like a millennium.||Now a “half an hour” is not long when engaged in some pleasant employment, but it causes a nerve breaking tension when we do not know what is going to happen, and when a life is at stake a minute, or even a few seconds, seem to be hours. The suspense of the half hour of SILENCE in Heaven was intense.|
Was the Seventh Seal Ever Revealed?
William Branham taught that The Seventh Angel is on the Earth at Christ's Coming. This means that if his ministry is true, the Seventh Seal would have had to have been opened before his death, and that time should currently be no more (check your clock to see if time has ended).
On July 28, 1963 in a sermon called “Christ is the Mystery of God Revealed”, William Branham stated that the Seventh-Seal-Coming of the Lord had not been revealed yet:
- ’’ And that's the reason there was silence in Heaven for a space of a half hour, and seven thunders utter their voices, and John was even forbidden to write it, see, the Coming of the Lord. That's one thing He hasn't revealed yet, of how He will come, and when He will come. It's a good thing that He doesn't. No.”
A question was then asked of William Branham on August 30, 1964 as to whether the Thunders were revealed in the Seals. Reversing his position that the Thunders were not revealed in the Seals, William Branham said,
- No, they were revealed in the Seven Seals; that's what the thunders was about. …"But the seventh angel, in the days of his sounding, the seven mysteries of the seven thunders would be revealed." And the seventh angel is a messenger of the seventh church age. See?”
William Branham confirmed this when he released the Church Ages Book in 1965.
- ”He will reveal the mysteries of the seven thuders in Revelation 10 which are the revelations contained in the seven seals. It will be these Divinely revealed 'mystery-truths' that literally turn the hearts of the children to the Pentecostal fathers. Exactly so.”
So his ministry ended in circular statements that:
- the Seventh Seal would open with the Seven Thunders,
- the Seventh Seal was not revealed prior to July 1963, and
- The Seven Thunders were revealed in the Seven Seals.
If the Seventh Seal is the Third Pull, what is the Third Pull?
William Braham said the Third Pull was many things, most of which relate to stories or events that occurred before he preached the Seals (like Hattie Wright and the squirrels).
After the Seals, he said the following about the Third Pull:
- "He, the Voice, come back, said, "Not a king's sword, but, 'The King's Sword,' the Word of the Lord." Said, "Fear not. It's only the Third Pull. It's the vindication of your ministry." (July 25, 1965)
What did William Branham say was the vindication of his ministry? It was his own private interpretation of scripture.
- "People let man put their own interpretation to It by theology, and will not believe God's Divine vindication of It (that's, God's interpretation);" (December 6, 1965)
- "The First Pull, healing; Second Pull, prophesying; Third Pull, the opening of the Word, the mysteries revealed. …the Third Pull was the opening of them Seven Seals… What's happened upon Mount Sunset? God confirming His Word…And there shall rise false prophets.” (July 25, 1965)
The Islamic Prophet Muhammed's vindication was the writing of the Koran and his angelic visitation in Jerusalem. So too, William Branham's vindication was the Angelic Revelation of the Seven Seals on Sunset Mountain. Too bad the third pull was mimicked 1,400 years before William Branham's passing.
- William Branham, March 24, 1963, The Seventh Seal
- Clarence Larkin, The Book of Revelation: A Study of the Last Prophetic Book of Holy Scripture, 68 (Philadelphia, PA: Rev. Clarence Larkin Estate, 1919)
- William Branham, March 17, 1963, The Breach Between the Seals and the Church Ages
- Clarence Larkin, The Book of Revelation: A Study of the Last Prophetic Book of Holy Scripture, 81 (Philadelphia, PA: Rev. Clarence Larkin Estate, 1919)