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William Branham claimed he saw a series of eight or nine prophetic visions in June 1933. In the second prophecy, William Branham witnessed Benito Mussolini brutally invading Ethiopia and then coming to a shameful demise.
The initial telling of the Mussolini prophecy
The first recorded version of this prophecy was on March 26, 1953, when William Branham stated:
- When I said that Mussolini, when he first come in power twenty-some-odd years ago, I said, "If Mussolini ever goes towards Ethiopia, mark this down, there'll never be peace till Jesus Christ comes."
The 1961 version
- The dictator that's now arising in Italy (which is Mussolini), he will come into power, and he will go to Ethiopia; and Ethiopia will fall at his steps." There's people setting here now that knows that there's a group of people come and stood...was going to throw me out of the hall for saying such a thing...when I said that. But did he do it? But I said, "He'll come to a shameful end," and he did. Him and the woman he run with was turned upside down and hung on a rope in the street with their feet up, their clothes hanging down. All right, that come to pass. 
Problems with the Prophecy
There are significant problems with this prophecy as detailed below.
The initial prophecy is not really a prophecy
William Branham initially said:
- IF Mussolini ever goes towards Ethiopia... (emphasis added)
Starting a statement with "if" is hardly prophetic. However, given that Mussolini did invade Ethopia, we now have a clear prophecy:
- "...there'll never be peace till Jesus Christ comes."
According to the New York Times:
- War is defined as an active conflict that has claimed more than 1,000 lives.
- Of the past 3,400 years, humans have been entirely at peace for 268 of them, or just 8 percent of recorded history.
So given that there are normally wars going on somewhere in the world most of the time, how is this a prophecy? Isn't William Branham just couching his "prophecy" in a way that reflects what the Bible has already said?
- And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
- 'And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.
We must conclude therefore, that the original Mussolini prophecy by William Branham was not a prophecy at all.
Incorrect Statements as part of the Prophecy
William Branham often included incorrect statements as part of this prophecy, such as:
1) Ethiopia would be Mussolini’s first invasion, and his last invasion:
- Mussolini shall make his first invasion towards Ethiopia…but that'll be his last. (60-11-13)
- Ethiopia will fall at his feet." It did. It said, "That'll be his last.” (60-11-25)
- …standing up as a dictator; he will make his first invasion to Ethiopia. (61-03-12)
Italy’s first invasion under Mussolini's rule was the Greek island of Corfu in 1923. Italy then invaded Ethiopia in May, 1936. In June 1936, Italian planes were assisting in the Spanish civil war. Italy thereafter invaded Albania (1939), France (1940), British Somaliliand, Sudan and Kenya (1940), Egypt (1940), Belgium (1940), Greece (1940), and the Soviet Union (1941). Mussolini also declared war on the United States on December 11, 1941 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
2) Mussolini would rise to power after 1933:
- I saw it in 1933. …Neither was Mussolini in power, (63-07-24)
- Said how Mussolini would raise up, and how he'd go to Ethiopia, (64-03-21)
- Mussolini, who was then becoming dictator, he would become dictator. And, also, he would make an invasion and go down to Ethiopia, (64-07-26)
However, Mussolini became Prime Minister of Italy in October 1922, and was already a dictator by 1925.
How can a prophecy be true, yet contain multiple incorrect statements? While the truth can sometimes be found in a lie, can a lie be found in the truth?
Progressive Changes In The Prophecy
William Branham said repeatedly that the prophecies he received in 1933 were written down:
- ...it's written on old paper, laying at the house today, dated way back in 1933--'32 or '33.
- I've got it wrote, old yellow paper still waiting in a Bible. I saw the end time coming.
- Yeah, I know that, see, just exactly what's wrote on my book of prophecy in 1933, that would take place.
But if this is the case, then why is it so difficult to ascertain exactly what the prophecy was? The problem is that William Branham slowly changed it over the years.
- 1953: No peace until Jesus comes if Mussolini goes towards Ethiopia 
- 1960: The new dictator of Italy would make his first and last invasion into Ethiopia, and come to his end.
- 1960: The new dictator, Mussolini, would attack Ethiopia in his final advance, and he would come to a disgraceful end. 
- 1960: Mussolini would conquor Ethiopia in his first invasion, but he would die after that. 
- 1960: Mussolini would fail to take Ethiopia 
- 1960: Mussolini would successfully invade Ethiopia, but he would come to a disgraceful end
- 1961: The dictator, Mussolini, would make his first invasion into Ethiopia, and come to a disgraceful end. 
- 1961: He would come to disgraceful end with a woman. 
- 1961: Mussolini would rise to power, Ethiopia would fall at his feet, and he would come to a shameful end. 
- 1962: Mussolini would come to a shameful end after his first invasion, into Ethiopia. No one would help him at the end. 
- 1963: Mussolini would rise, Ethiopia would fall, and he would be turned to shame with a woman. 
- 1964: Mussolini would go to Ethiopia, it would fall, he would come to disgrace and be spit on, and hung upside down with a prostitute. 
- 1964: Mussolini would rise, Ethiopia would fall, and he would die shamefully with people spitting on him. 
- 1964: Mussolini (not yet a dictator) would rise to power, and invade Ethiopia. 
- Church Age Book: Mussolini would invade Ethiopia, and it would fall at his steps, and he would come to a horrible end as his own people would turn on him. 
The problem with all of these changes is that William Branham said on November 17, 1963 that the vision was "perfectly on the dot. And it's never failed, and it won't fail, because it's THUS SAITH THE LORD."
The first recorded mention of this prophecy is in 1953. William Branham also refers to this and other prophecies being contained in his book of prophecies, but no copies of this book appear to be in existence, or were ever released to the public.
It is our understanding that Voice of God Recordings has indicated that the book of prophecies have (conveniently?) been lost.
About Ethiopia and the Italian Invasion
The nation of Ethiopia is mentioned a number of times in the Bible. The Queen of Sheba (possibly Ethiopia) met with Solomon c. 950 B.C. (I Kings 10:1), and the treasurer of Ethiopia (a eunuch serving under Candace, Queen of Ethiopia) was baptized by the disciple Philip (Acts 8:27).
A man named Frumentius, once a slave in Ethiopia, returned as a missionary and baptized King Ezana, who declared Ethiopia a Christian nation in 340 A.D. Ethiopia developed in relative isolation from European Christianity until 1508 A.D., when Portugal and Ethiopia established diplomatic relations. By 1624 the Portugese influence resulted in the conversion of Emperor Susenyos to Roman Catholicism. However all Europeans, Jesuits, and Catholic converts were expelled in 1632 by Susenyos' son, Emperor Fasilides, who had read of the Jesuits' bloody inquisitions in other nations.
By the late 1880's, many European nations were scrambling to claim portions of Africa as colonies. Italy purchased Eritrea from an Afar Sultan (a vassal of the Ethiopian Empire), which led to various battles between Ethiopia and Italy. Italy also claimed part of the bordering nation of Somalia. In 1896, at the Battle of Adowa, Ethiopia shocked the world by defeating Italy, which resulted in a treaty of peace on October 26, 1896.
In September 1934, Italy affirmed its 1928 treaty of friendship with Ethiopia, although the borders between the countries were unclear. At the same time, however, Italian troops began amassing in Italian Somaliland. On October 3, 1935, 100,000 Italian soldiers and a number of Askari attacked Ethiopia from Eritrea and Italian Somaliland without a declaration of war. On October 7, the League of Nations unanimously declared Italy an aggressor but took no effective action.
Mussolini is reported as issueing the following commands to his soldiers:
- The use of gas as an ultima ratio to overwhelm enemy resistance and in case of counterattack is authorized. Mussolini.
- Given the enemy system I have authorized V.E. the use even on a vast scale of any gas and flamethrowers. Mussolini.
- All rebels taken prisoner must be killed. Mussolini.
- I have authorized once again V.E. to begin and systematically conduct a politics of terror and extermination of the rebels and the complicit population. Without the lex talionis one cannot cure the infection in time. Await confirmation. Mussolini.
Besides lacing bombs with mustard gas, the Italians instituted forced labor camps, installed public gallows, killed hostages, and mutilated the corpses of their enemies. Captured guerrillas were thrown out of airplanes in mid-flight, and Italian troops photographed themselves next to cadavers hanging from the gallows, and hanging around chests full of detached heads. The war lasted 7 months, with Ethiopia outmatched by Italy in armaments and brutality. The Italian king, Victor Emmanuel III, was proclaimed the new emperor of Italian East Africa on May 9, 1937 (which merged Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somaliland into a single state).
The Italians showed favoritism to non-Christian ethnicities (i.e. non-Ethiopian Orthodox and non-protestant people) such as the Oromo, Somali, and other Muslims (some of whom had supported the Italian invasion) in an attempt to isolate the Amhara, who had supported Emperor Haile Selassie. With Pope Pius XI silent on Mussolini's unprovoked and terrible conquest of Christian Ethiopia, the bloody Inquisition feared by Emperor Fasilides in 1624 A.D. had finally materialized.
On June 30, deposed Ethiopian Haile Selassie made a moving speech before the League of Nations in Geneva in which he set forth two choices--support for collective security or international lawlessness. He warned that "It is us today. It will be you tomorrow". As a result of the League's condemnation of Italy, Mussolini declared the country's withdrawal from the organization. In June 1940 Italy entered World War II on the side of Germany. As a result, Britain sought to cooperate with Ethiopian and other forces in a attempt to dislodge the Italians from Ethiopia and from British Somaliland. Ethiopia was finally liberated from Italian control in East African Campaign in 1941.
On April 27, 1945, Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were caught by Italian communist partisans near the village of Dongo (Lake Como) while attempting to escape into Switzerland before the Allied armies reached Milan.
On April 28, Mussolini, his mistress, and their fifteen-man train (mostly ministers and officials of the Italian Social Republic) were taken to the small village of Giulino di Mezzegra, and shot.
The next day the bodies of Mussolini and his mistress were found hanging upside down on meat hooks in Piazzale Loreto (Milan). The corpse of the former leader became subject to ridicule and abuse by many.
- ISRAEL.AND.THE.CHURCH.2 JEFF.IN IC 35-64 53-0326
- William Branham, Sermon: Seventy Weeks of Daniel, August 6, 1961
- New York Times, 'What Every Person Should Know About War', Chris Hedges, July 6, 2003
- The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Mt 24:6–8.
- The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Mk 13:7–8.
- THE.FAITH.THAT.WAS.ONCE.DELIVERED.TO.THE.SAINTS_ CHICAGO.IL 55-0501E
- TEACHING.ON.MOSES_ JEFF.IN V-14 N-4 56-0513
- SOULS.THAT.ARE.IN.PRISON.NOW_ JEFF.IN V-2 N-22 SUNDAY_ 63-1110M
- When I said that Mussolini, when he first come in power twenty-some-odd years ago, I said, "If Mussolini ever goes towards Ethiopia, mark this down, there'll never be peace till Jesus Christ comes." (Israel and the Church, March 26, 1953)
- The president which now is, President Franklin D. Roosevelt... (Now remember, this is twenty-eight years ago.) will cause the whole world to go to war; and the new dictator of Italy, Mussolini, shall make his first invasion towards Ethiopia, and he will take Ethiopia; but that'll be his last. He shall come to his end. (Condemnation by Representaion, November 13, 1960)
- Said, "This new dictator, Mussolini, will take his first step toward Ethiopia, and Ethiopia will fall at his feet." It did. It said, "That'll be his last. He will end in disgrace." (Conference, November 25, 1960)
- How that Mussolini would go towards Ethiopia, his first invasion, and would take it; that'd be the end; he'd die off after that. (The Ephesian Church Age, December 5 1960)
- I said, "Ethiopia, Mussolini will go to Ethiopia, but he'll fail." (The Thyatirean Church Age, December 8, 1960)
- How that Mussolini would make his first invasion to Ethiopia, and he would take it, but he'd come to a disgraceful end. (The Laodicean Church Age, December 11, 1960)
- There's a dictator now by the name of Mussolini. And his first invasion will be at Ethiopia, and he will overcome Ethiopia, but he will come to a disgrace. (Turning Northward, January 29, 1961)
- Notice. I said, "Mussolini is standing up as a dictator; he will make his first invasion to Ethiopia. But he will take Ethiopia, but he will come to a disgraceful end, him and that woman both." (Jehovah Jireh, March 12, 1961)
- I said, "The dictator that's now arising in Italy (which is Mussolini), he will come into power, and he will go to Ethiopia; and Ethiopia will fall at his steps." ...But I said, "He'll come to a shameful end," and he did. (The Seventieth Week of Daniel, August 6, 1961)
- I said, "Mussolini will come to a shameful end." I said, "His first invasion, he will go to Ethiopia; and Ethiopia will fall at his step, but he'll come to his end, and nobody will help him; and disgrace will he be buried." There he is. (Absolute, December 30, 1962)
- How Mussolini would rise and go to Ethiopia, and fall at his steps; and he would be turned to the people, in shame, with a woman. Many, many years before it happened perfectly on the dot. And it's never failed, and it won't fail, because it's THUS SAITH THE LORD. And it's not contrary to these Bible. It's got to be. (Once More, November 17,1963)
- It's blasted it from right to left, that, in this hour that's been told since 1933, when the Holy Spirit gave me that visions and showed me the end time, seven things that I spoke of, and five of them has already happened, perfectly, right on... How Mussolini would go to Ethiopia, and Ethiopia would fall at his step, and then how that he'd come to a disgrace, and be spit on by his own people; and disgraced, hung upside down, with that prostitute that he lived with, on the street. (Shalom, January 12, 1964)
- Said how Mussolini would raise up, and how he'd go to Ethiopia, and how Ethiopia would "fall at his steps." And he would die shameful, turned upside down, and his own people would spit on him. (The Voice of the Sign, March 21, 1964)
- And that, one of them, that, "Mussolini," who was then becoming dictator, "he would become dictator. And, also, he would make an invasion and go down to Ethiopia, and would take Ethiopia. And the Spirit, It said, 'He shall fall at his step.'" (Broken Cisterns, July 26, 1964)
- The first vision was that Mussolini would invade Ethiopia and that nation would "fall at his steps". That vision surely did cause some repercussions, and some were very angry when I said it and would not believe it. But it happened that way. He just walked in there with his modern arms and took over. The natives didn't have a chance. But the vision also said that Mussolini would come to a horrible end with his own people turning on him. That came to pass just exactly as it was said... Mussolini invaded Ethiopia successfully, then fell and lost it all. (Church Age Book, Chp. 9)
- Yeah, I know that, see, just exactly what's wrote on my book of prophecy in 1933, that would take place. (Souls That are in Prison Now, November 10, 1963)
- Jones, Terry, "Frumentius of Ethiopia", (May 8 2007) in http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/saintf06.htm