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William Branham preached a series of sermons in March 1963 on the Seven Seals of the book of Revelation. He had told his congregation on December 23, 1962 of a major vision that was coming. In his sermon on the Seventh Seal, he tells the story of how this vision was fulfilled while hunting in Arizona, and how he received an angelic commission to preach about the Seven Seals.
Why Are The Seven Seals Important?
William Branham and his followers say that he brought a brand new, unique, and never before revealed understanding of the seals. Branham explained this in his introductory sermon on the seven seals:
- And now we’re going to see what the Book says about how It become open. And is not made known until the Lamb takes the Book, and breaks the Seals, and opens the Book. See? The Lamb has got to take the Book.
- It’s hid. Now remember, “No man in Heaven, no man in earth,” pope, bishop, cardinal, state presbyter, or whoever he is, “can break them Seals, or reveal the Book, but the Lamb.” And we have probed, and presumed, and stumbled, and wondered, and—and that’s the reason we’re all in such a confusion.
- But with the Divine promise that this Book of Redemption will be perfectly opened by the Lamb, and the Seals thereof will be loosed by the Lamb, in the last days in which we’re living now. And is not made known until the Lamb takes the Book and breaks the Seals.' Because, remember, the Book was being holded in the hands of Him that sat upon the Throne. “And the Lamb comes to Him that sits upon the Throne, and takes the Book out of His right hand.” Takes the Book! Oh, that’s deep. We’ll try to solve it out if we can, by the help of the Holy Spirit. Now we’re depending on Him. And we will see, later, it is at the end time, “When time has run out.” No denominations has a right for interpretation of the Book. No man has a right to interpret It. It is the Lamb Who interprets It. And the Lamb is the One Who speaks It, and the Lamb makes the Word to be known, by vindicating and bringing the Word to Life. See? Exactly! Notice. And is not revealed until… This Book is not revealed until the church ages and denominational ages has run out, “and there is time no more.” See it? It’s only revealed after church ages and denominational ages has run out..
Not just while preaching the seals, but many other times William Branham stated that the revelation and understanding relating to the seals on the book of redemption could only be opened and understood at the end of time, and not within any denominational system:
- He spoke to me, and said, “The Seven Seals will be opened. The seven mysteries, sevenfold mystery of the Bible, that’s been closed up since the foundation of the world, will be revealed.” And we, yet a humble little group, compared with all the world, we’ve enjoyed these blessings, a hearing those mysteries.
Followers of William Branham believe the revelation of the seals was never made known in any other age, and that William Branham’s ability to convey the true understanding of the seals are a key part of his role as an end time prophet and Laodicean Church Age messenger.
How did William Branham say he received the revelation of the seals?
As William Branham preached his sermons on the seals he repeatedly explained that he received the revelation of the seals through visions or angelic visitations that occurred each day before he preached the seals while he studied and prayed in his room:
- If I could just stand here at the platform and reveal It to you, the way It’s revealed to me in the room, my, it would be marvelous.
- And now, tonight, we are studying this Second Seal. And for the first four Seals there is four horse riders. And I tell you, today something happened again. And, I—I, something that I…I go and get the old script that I had, that I talked on, long ago, and just set down there. And I thought, “Well, I—I did the very best I could.” And many writers and things, and I thought, “Well, I’ll read a little while, and look over and see this and that.” And the first thing you know, something just happens, and it’s altogether different. It just comes in different. Then I grab me a pencil right quick, and start writing down just as fast as I can, while He’s there.
- And I want to say this. That, each time, even till this morning, about…Oh, I get up real, real early and go to prayer before things stir, and just keep on praying through the day. But this morning, early, the Holy Spirit came to where I was. And just as plain as anything, I—I seen this other Seal open up now, just exactly. Now—now—now, He hears me, I know. And I’m very grateful.
- Ever since last Sunday, I just sit right in a room, just praying, that’s all, and under the anointing. And I know This is right. If you believe God, I know you do, you just watch at the end of the week.
- Now, here is where I’m going to get some real disagreeings. But you just watch just a minute. And just…See? I thought that, too, but it didn’t come that way. We have… I have always thought that these souls under the altar were the—the—the martyrs of the early Church. And I’m sure that, well, Dr. Uriah Smith, and every one of them, says it is. See? But, I thought so, myself. But when the Holy Spirit showed the vision to it, it wasn’t; it isn’t the souls.
- Something happened today, and I seen something come up. I—I just… I couldn’t get my breath anymore, see. There He was, standing there, that little Light standing right there. And here It was. I know it’s the Truth. I thought, “O God, I couldn’t say that. I—I can’t say that. I can’t.” I just walked out of the room, went out, walked up-and-down. Brother, I thought, “My! What can I do? Oh!” 
- That much, we have an understanding of It, today, because the rest of It is all unfolded; but this is not unfolded. But sitting in my room, and I heard this…or, not heard it, rather, but seen It unfold to this Seven Thunders.
William Branham repeatedly explained that the seals were revealed to him through supernatural experiences.
William Branham claimed the revelation of the seals had never been known before he preached them and that he received the revelation supernaturally during March 1963.
- Now I want to make this real clear. Every time, every time that these Seals has come to the place; everything that I ever believed on Them, and has read of other people, has been contrary to what come to me in the room.
Repeatedly and explicitly, William Branham claimed every aspect of the seals was given to him supernaturally and was contrary to everything that he had ever heard or read before. He claimed that his 1963 revelation of the seals was essentially different from anything that had came before. It logically follows that, if that is true, we should not be able to find anyone who had the same essential interpretation of the seals as William Branham before 1963. If someone else had any correct understanding of even one of the seals before 1963, then William Branham’s claim is false.
William Branham owned copies of the books and teachings which he based his sermons on, and even during his sermons on the seals he explained that he had been studying their books. In truth, there is very little that is new or unique about William Branham’s revelation of the seven seals. The essential elements of his sermons on the seals were copied from The Book of Revelation by Clarence Larkin and The Finished Mystery by Charles Taze Russel.
Upon close examination, it is clear that William Branham’s interpretation of the seals was not new or unique. His “Revelation of the Seven Seals” was entirely an adaptation of the teachings of earlier preachers, and he purposefully misled his audiences to think he was preaching something new.
The Loose Ends
William Branham refers to a few special topics repeatedly during the Seals that he calls “loose ends” that his ministry "tied up" in preparation for the coming rapture:
- Water Baptism
- The Godhead
- The progression of Justification, Sanctification, and the Holy Spirit and the security of the Believer.
- The Serpent's Seed
- The identity of the Catholic Church and the ministry of the antichrist
- Amos 3:3 and separation from Denominations
- The end of mercy.
Other Doctrines Repeated Constantly in the Seven Seals Series
Other topics of continuity between the seals include:
- Amos 3:7, "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."
- Noah and Enoch on the earth at the same time
- Prophets are Eagles
- Romans 11:29, how the gifts and callings of God are without repentance, and mentions that speaking in tongues is as spiritual as witchcraft.
- Branham ends in “HAM” vs Pope’s number of “666”.
- References to the Seven Church Ages and Daniel’s Seventy Weeks.
- The four beasts – the Lion, Ox, Man and Eagle – are angels that give an anointing to each seal-age. William Branham taught that these beasts are just as much a part of the first four seals as the horse riders.
The Elijah Ministry
William Branham spent a significant part of the Seven Seals teaching on his own ministry as Elijah:
- Revelation 10:7
- The Fulfillment of Malachi 4:5
- Revelation 22:9 which says that the angel is a man (KJV only).
- No two prophets on earth at the same time.
- Acts 2 says that Jesus was approved of God by miracles.
- John 6:63 says, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” William Branham taught that God gave certain men (such as Moses and himself) a creative word as a spiritual sign.
- John 10:27 says, “My sheep hear my voice.” A Voice is a spiritual sign.
- How Christ had to be a man (a kinsman redeemer).
- Elijah is the Spirit of Christ (“When the supernatural comes in, that’s the mind of Christ.”)
- The Houston Photograph as proof of his ministry
- The gift of discernment shows who the messiah is. The woman at the well knew this.
- William Branham has no false prophecies
- Elijah’s fifth-time ministry. Malachi 4 & the restoration ministry.
- God opened the seals to Elijah when he told him that 700 had not bowed their knees to Baal.
- People did not recognize John the Baptist.
- If you reject Elijah, you will end up like Jezebel, eaten by the wild beasts.
The Christ Branham Movement
These doctrines culminated in a few radical statements that have created the “Christ Branham” movement.
Fred Sothmann, who hunted with William Branham when he said he received his commission to preach the Seals, also believed that William Branham was greater than Jesus Christ. Fred listened closely to William Branham’s Seventh Seal, and understood that since only God the Father knew 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.
- William Branham, 63-0317E - The Breach Between The Seven Church Ages And The Seven Seals, para. 51
- William Branham, 65-0418M - It Is The Rising Of The Sun, para. 12
- William Branham, 63-0318 - The First Seal, para. 10
- William Branham, 63-0319 - The Second Seal, para. 11
- William Branham, 63-0320 - The Third Seal, para. 20
- William Branham, 63-0321 - The Fourth Seal, para. 220
- William Branham, 63-0322 - The Fifth Seal, para. 215
- William Branham, 63-0323 - The Sixth Seal, para. 418
- William Branham, 63-0324E - The Seventh Seal, para. 395
- William Branham, 63-0324E - The Seventh Seal, para. 29