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:
William Branham compared Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:7 with the Third seal.
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Paying for Heaven
The third seal is rider on a black horse, with balances in his hand. A voice speaks telling the rider not to hurt the oil and the wine. William Branham said the beast in this seal is the man-angel and represents intelligence.
During this sermon, William Branham identifies the Black horse rider as vicar over the trinity of earth, purgatory, and heaven. He says that this rider makes other people pay to enter heaven, pay for prayers, pray for “novenas” and “hail Mary’s”.
No Forced Conversions
William Branham calls the oil and wine the Holy Spirit, and the stimulation of Revelation. The rider is instructed not to touch these things. In other words, there will be no forced conversions or attempted conversions of true believers during this time.
- "Like this: "If you catch some of My little flock that's filled with My oil and wine (See?) wine and oil of the pure Word (See?) and you're going to kill them, 'cause you--you're doing that, that's what you're doing, don't you force them to say any "hail Marys," or do anything like that or some of your creeds. You keep your hands off them, they know where they're going."
But does this explanation match history, which is full of inquisitions and forced conversions by most religions? Even the 20th Century has seen significant persecution of Christians, especially those who convert from a Muslim background. But why does William Branham's explanation of the Third Seal ignore this?
Avoid other Christians
During this sermon William Branham also encourages his congregation to dis-fellowship from other Christians, saying “The Message going out right here is to “Stay away from that poison thing!” See? See? 'How can two walk together lest they be agreed’”?
|What William Branham Said ||What Clarence Larkin Said |
|Now, we're going to open the Third Seal. It's found in Revelations 6:5 and 6.
And when he had opened the third seal, I--I beheld the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that set on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts saying, A measure of... penny--a measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and... wine. Famine, see? Exactly the same Seal, same thing Jesus said. All right.
When the “THIRD SEAL” was broken John heard the third or “Man-like Living Creature” say—“Come,” and a “BLACK HORSE” appeared... The “BLACK HORSE” signifies famine...
Questions you should ask yourself
If William Branham discovered the errors of Denominations during the Third Seal, why did he preach “Why are we not a denomination” (also titled “The Great Harlot”) on September 27, 1958 and identify “the mark of the beast, which is Romanism; and the image of the beast, which is Protestantism” in a sermon on March 18, 1962?
- “That denominational System, now I see it right here. I never knowed it till now.”
- William Branham, March 23 1963, The Sixth Seal
- Clarence Larkin, The Book of Revelation: A Study of the Last Prophetic Book of Holy Scripture, 56 (Philadelphia, PA: Rev. Clarence Larkin Estate, 1919)