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William Branham stated that he had a series of visions in 1933 and that one of those visions related to Revelation 16:13. He said that, by vision, the three unclean spirits were "the unclean spirits that went out of the mouth of the false prophet." But in 1965, he changed his mind. But if his revelation was by vision, how could it change? How does the passage read in context?
What the Bible says
It is always important to read a passage of scripture in context. Revelation 16:12-16 states:
- 12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
- 13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of sthe false prophet.
- 14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
- 15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
- 16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
Based on the passage in context, this appears to be happening right at the end of time.
How could William Branham be correct when he changes his mind to state that the three unclean spirits came out of the Nicene council?
Quotes of William Branham
William Branham said in 1955 that, according to his 1933 vision, the three unclean spirits were three "isms":
- Going to Sunday school one morning, I was caught away in a vision. And I said, “Now…” Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I said, “Now, there’s going to be three great isms. Which is now in existence. One of them is in Rome, which is—is Fascism, and one of them is in Germany which is Nazi—Nazism. And the other one is in Russia, which is communism.” I said, “Those three great isms is the unclean spirits that went out of the mouth of the false prophet, and the dragons, and so forth that will unite themselves together, speaking things that they should not, and they’ll all beat at one another, until they’ll finally wind up in one ism. And I predict that that will be communism. And communism will burn the Vatican city.
He still held this view in 1961:
- Now, we’re going to get that in our study now (You see?), the three unclean spirits is the three isms. Let me type it for you now and you’ll see where it—where it started, where it begin. See? There was communism, fascism, nazism. They were spirits. Communism is a spirit. It gets on you. See? It’s a spirit. And that—it’ll be something like that, only I’d…It—it…That really isn’t it. But it’ll be three spirits just like that, which they was kind of a forerunner of. But, of course, you know where…It’s in Catholicism. You see? But I’d—I—I want to get a few things on that straight before I say it (You see?), to be sure that I know what… But it is three spirits, just like communism, fascism…And we brought that out years ago, you know. Remember, I told you, I said it would be a—it would be a thing would take place, would be—all wind up in communism. And that’s where it’s done. That’s the same way it’ll be at that time. You see? It—it’ll be three unclean spirits that’ll go forth.
But in 1965, he changed his mind:
- He tells the second bride, or the Second Adam’s Bride, the same as he told the first. Such as, “Now, Divine healing, there is no such thing. We can prove that. There’s never been a case proved.” “And this baptism in Jesus’ Name, now don’t you realize that I’m the authority of the church?” he says. “We’ve settled that at Nicaea, Rome,” when them three unclean spirits went out of the dragon, the false prophets, and so forth. “We believe there is a trinity of Gods.” Oh, for goodness’ sakes! That’s as heathen as can be. Don’t you never come before God with such a thing as that, try to stand in His Presence. “Oh, it don’t make any difference if you are baptized in the titles of ‘Father, Son, Holy Ghost.’ What difference does it make?”
- The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Re 16:12–16.
- Branham, William, 55-0501E - The Faith That Was Once Delivered To The Saints, para. 17
- Branham, William, 61-0808 - Thy House, para. 73-74
- Branham, William, 65-0801M - The God Of This Evil Age, para. 102