The following are a series of questions and answers between one of our editors (referred to as BTS) and an anonymous Branham minister (referred to as ABM). This series of Q&A relates to William Branham's doctrine and teaching. The full text of this question and its answer is below.
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Question 16 - The Vision of the Plum and Apple Trees
In a sermon entitled "Present Stage of My Ministry” (September 8, 1962), William Branham states:
- But I have come to this place that I want to explain what stage of time we're living in according to the ministry that the Lord give me. And I wanted to record it from the Tabernacle. It came on my heart last spring, but I waited till got back here so I could get a--a recording of it to send it to you peoples of the world.
- It's been about thirty-two years ago, that when the Lord Jesus, within a hundred and fifty yards of where I'm present, standing now, here in Jeffersonville at Eighth and Penn Street, the morning when I laid the cornerstone on this Tabernacle, just being then merely a swamp. And I lived just across the way to my left here. It was before I was married. I was living with my father and mother. That the Lord Jesus woke me up the morning that the cornerstone was to be laid, about, early about six o'clock. And I had been lying in bed for some time, with my heart full of joy, thinking of this great time that the Lord God was going to give me a tabernacle to preach in. I was merely a young boy then. And that day I... The girl that I was going with, which was soon to be my wife the following year was to be with us the day we was to lay the cornerstone.
- And I remember that morning when I'd wakened up, and laying in the room, the upstairs right here on Seventh Street, Something said, "Rise up to your feet." And I got up. And I saw, as it was, a great place, and it was like a--a big--a place where there was a river run in--in the valley. And I got down there to the river and I understood it was a place where John the Baptist had been baptizing the people, and they had turned it into a hog lot. And I was very critical of it, just saying that this should not be done.
- And while I was there, there was a--a Voice spoke to me and took me up, and I noticed the Tabernacle in just about the state it's in right now, but there were so many people till they were just packed all in the Tabernacle in this condition, about the state it's at now. And I--I was happy, standing behind the pulpit, saying, "God, how good You are to give me a Tabernacle."
- And at that time, the Angel of the Lord spake to me, and said, "But this is not your Tabernacle."
- And I said, "Then, Lord, where is my Tabernacle?" And He taken me up in the Spirit again, and set me down in a grove. And way down the grove was just rows of trees setting just level, about twenty feet tall or thirty. And they looked like fruit trees, and they were in great big green buckets. And then I noticed to my right hand and to my left hand, there was a empty bucket on either side, and I said, "What about these?"
- And He said, 'You're to plant in them." So I pulled a limb from the tree to my right and placed it in a bucket on the right side, and a limb from the left hand and placed it in a bucket on the left side. Quickly they growed all the way into the skies.
- And He said, "Hold out your hands and gather the fruit thereof." And in one hand fell a great yellow apple, mellow and ripe. And in the other hand fell a great yellow plum, mellow and ripe. And said, "Eat the fruit thereof because it's pleasant." And I ate from one and from the other: very delicious. You know the vision, it it's wrote in one of the books, I think, "Life Story," or "Prophet Visits Africa."
- And just then I held up my hands, and was shouting the glory of God. And all of a sudden that Pillar of Fire came down over the top of those trees, and the roar and the lightnings flashed, and the winds blew real hard, and the leaves begin to blowing from the trees. And I looked way down, it was in the shape of this Tabernacle, the way it sets now. And at the end where the pulpit would be, there were three trees, and those three trees taken shape of three crosses. And I noticed that both plums and apples were gathered in a clusters around the middle cross. And I ran real fast, screaming to the top of my voice, and fell down upon this cross, or by the cross, and threw my arms around it. And the winds begin to shake, and the--the fruit from the cross, and it fell all over me. And I was so happy, just rejoicing. And It said, "Eat the fruit thereof, because it's pleasant."
- And then this circling of Fire called out, said, "The harvest is ripe, and the laborers are few." And He said, "Now, when you come to yourself again, or come out of this, read II Timothy 4: II Timothy 4." And then I came to myself. And I stood there rubbing my face in my hand. And just then, in the corner of the room, sun shining high, then I must've been under the vision for some hour or more, and It said, "II Timothy 4." And I reached quickly for my Bible and read II Timothy 4.
- And if you notice in the vision that I had of the--my ministry, it was... I've never crossed those trees. I have never proselyted. I've never said, "All you trinitarians be oneness" or "all you oneness be trinitarians." I have planted in their own vessels. Just exactly. I went to the trinitarian; I went to the oneness; I went to everybody and stayed between and never joined any of them, but stayed between, being a brother, just exactly what that vision said do. And I've eat the fruit from both sides, salvation on both sides.
- And now, did you notice, there's many trinitarian people setting here; there's many oneness, and there's many different ones. But how little you would be to fuss about it, because if that part of the vision was true, the other part's true too. Both fruits was found in the cross. See? Both of them was in the cross, all clustered together, and both plums and pear--or peach, plums and apples rained down on me there: both of them. All found in the cross, because they all believed in God and are filled with the Holy Ghost, and have the Christian works and signs following.
- Now, the denomination won't have nothing to do with it. It'll be the borned again that'll have anything to do with it. It'll be your experience with God that'll have to do with it. Now, we see so much of that.
In a sermon spoken on July 25, 1965, William Branham states:
- “Jesus said, "Except you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." He is the revelation of God, the Spirit of God revealed in human form. If you can't believe that, you're lost. You put Him a third person, second person, or any other person besides God, you're lost.“ (July 25, 1965)
If William Branham was correct in condemning Trinitarians in 1965, then the vision of the plum and apple trees from 1933 was wrong. If the vision from 1933 is wrong, then William Branham is a person who had a false vision and should be ignored.
Do you think that William Branham was wrong in his teaching in 1965, or that the 1933 vision was false?
Thank you for your continued dialogue.
I can appreciate your question. There are within Bro. Branham's teachings many statements which seem to be or actually are contradictory. This is a case that only seems to be contradictory.
You ask: "Do you think that William Branham was wrong in his teaching in 1965, or that the 1933 vision was false?". Neither. There is a third option.
I think perhaps the basis of this questions is a misunderstanding of Bro. Branham's teachings.
Bro. Branham clearly stated multiple times in multiple sermons that believers of Trinity could still be saved. You quote as much in the 1933 vision. He chose as church age messenger men who were Trinitarian. So in interpreting what he says in the 1965 sermon, we must also consider his full teachings on the subject. It states in Acts 2:38 "Repent and be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and ye shall receive the gift of the holy spirit." God puts no greater requirement on a person to receive salvation. But salvation and justification by faith alone does not equal brideship according to the bible. So ultimately we can rest this interpretation in the scripture, which Bro. Branham pointed people to in detail in other sermons.
Eddie Byskal and other idolaters try to elevate Bro. Branham's words above the bible, when instead they should been trying to understand the scriptures in the bible which inspired his teachings. As I have stated in various responses, not all of us have done that. You must find the way to interpret his teachings in a manner that is consistent with the bible. And that is possible here.
I want to bring in the full quote, because that is necessary to better understand the meaning:
- I was talking to a--a gentleman not long ago, a Christian scholar and gentleman. He said, "Mr. Branham, we refuse all revelations." I said, "Then you have to refuse Jesus Christ, for He is the revelation of God, God revealed in human flesh." Unless you see it, you're lost. Jesus said, "Except you believe that I am He, you'll die in your sins." He is the revelation of God, the Spirit of God revealed in human form. If you can't believe that, you're lost. If you put Him a third person, second person, or any other person besides God, you're lost. [ABM: This is the problematic sentence] "Except you believe that I'm He, you'll die in your sins." A revelation.
Bro. Branham is not setting a doctrine for the church, he is speaking of his conversation with an individual man who came to challenge his teachings. This statement is specific to the man he was speaking to. Doesn't that make more sense? Why not accept the answer that reconciles his beliefs?