Sixth Seal

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Seven Seals: IntroductionFirstSecondThirdFourthFifthSixthSeventhVideos

Where did William Branham say he got his revelation from?

William Branham said this about how he received the revelation of the sixth seal:

Something happened today when this Seal was revealed, that I had to walk completely out in the yard, just walk around, out in the yard a little while. That’s right. It just simply almost took my breath right away from me. See? So you talk, a tension? Oh, my! See? Another thing, see, you’re laying right onto what I say. And God is going to hold me responsible for what I tell you. See? And so I—I must absolutely be as sure as all sure can be sure, see, of these things, because this is a—a tremendous time that we’re living in. Yeah.
Now we find out, in last night’s service, also, the great mystery opened with this Seal, which was absolutely contrary to my former understanding. Just presuming that it was right, I always allowed them souls under the altar to be the early Christian martyrs. But we found out, last night, when the Lord God broke that Seal for us, it absolutely is impossible. It wasn’t them.[1]

William Branham's Revelation of the Sixth Seal

The following are excerpts of William Branham's teaching from his series on the seven seals.

When did Matthew 24 take place?

These three verses, it took place, actually, on Tuesday afternoon, April the fourth, a.d. 30. And the first two verses took place on the afternoon of the…of April the fourth, in a.d. 30. And the 3rd verse taken place on Tuesday evening of the same day.[2]

The Three-fold Question

Now I want you to notice, tonight, that in the Sixth Seal, there was a—a threefold purpose of the Sixth Seal.[3]

Now notice, here is—here is three questions are asked by the Jews, His disciple. Three questions are asked. Now watch. “What,” first, first, “What…? When shall these things be, when, ‘There won’t be one stone left upon another’?” “What shall be the sign of Thy Coming?” second question. “And of the end of the world?” See it? There is three questions.[4]

Matthew 24 and Revelation 6 tied together

Now watch. The First Seal is Revelation 6:1 and 2. Now we read 6:1 and 2. ...Who did we find this fellow was? [Congregation says, “Antichrist.”—Ed.] Antichrist. Matthew 24, now, 4 and 5.[5]

Now the Second Seal, Matthew 24:6, Revelation 6:3 and 4.[6]

Now let’s notice the Third Seal. Now, this is famine. Now, Matthew 24:7 and 8. ...Now, Revelation, in the 6th, now we’re going to open the Third Seal. It’s found in Revelation 6:5 and 6.[7]

Fourth Seal, “pestilences” and “death.” Notice, Matthew 24. We’ll read the—the 8th verse, 7th and 8th... the Fourth Seal; and on the 6:7 and 8, on the other one, on the Revelation. Now let’s see the 7th and 8th of Matthew 24. All right, now. ...Now the Fourth Seal, as we read it over here, was the…The Fourth Seal, was begin 7th and 8th, on this other now. And when he had opened the fourth seal, and lo…the fourth beast said, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse... Now wait. I got this wrote down wrong. ...Now let’s see, Matthew 24:7 and 8. ...Now, that would be the Fourth Seal. Let’s see where we get the Fourth Seal. “And when he had opened the Fourth—Fourth Seal…” Yeah, it’s the pale-horse rider, “Death,” see. [8]

Now, the Fifth Seal, Matthew 24:9-13... Now watch here on the 6th, Seal, 6:9 to 11. Now let’s get that one, Revelation 6:9 to 11.[9]

Now, in the Sixth Seal, is the one we’re coming to now, Matthew 24:29 and 30. 24, and let’s get 29 and—and 30. Here we are. Now, now we’re going to get, also, Revelation 6:12 to 17.[10]

Who were the Two Witnesses?

Now let’s stop here, again, and—and get something else, so, ’fore we bring it into home. Now watch here. These two prophets, look what they’re going to do now, just like Moses and them did down there. “And there was given me a reed…” And the 3rd verse of the 11th chapter. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, that they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

...Elijah, he knows how to do it; he’s done it before. Amen! Moses knows how to do it; he’s done it before.

...And now here is these two prophets standing here with the Word of God, to do anything to nature they want to. And they shake the earth. And it shows exactly who does it. It’s Moses and Elijah, ’cause there is their ministry re-impersonated again, it’s both men.

...Boy, that’s interrupting nature! Now, how long did—did this man, Elijah, close the heavens for? [Congregation says, “Three and one-half years.”—Ed.] There you are, exactly. How long is Daniel’s seventieth, last part of the seventy weeks? [“Three and one-half years.”] There you are, exactly.[11]

Comparison to the teachings of Clarence Larkin

We need to compare William Branham's teaching above to Clarence Larkin's teaching. The following is quoted verbatim from Larkin's book, The Book of Revelation: A Study of the Last Prophetic Book of Holy Scripture (Philadelphia, PA: 1919):

When did Matthew 24 take place?

TUESDAY

AFTERNOON
APRIL 4
A.D. 30

AND Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.

2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not he thrown down.

TUESDAY

EVENING

3 ¶ And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

The Three-fold Question

  1. WHEN SHALL THESE THINGS BE?
  2. WHAT SHALL BE THE SIGN OF THY COMING?
  3. AND OF THE END OF THE WORLD (AGE)?[12]

Matthew 24 and Revelation 6 tied together

MATT. 24:4–5

4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

1-SEAL

FALSE CHRIST’S

REV. 6:1–2

AND I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. 2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

MATT. 24:6-7

6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:

2-SEAL

WARS

REV. 6:3–4

3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. 4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

MATT. 24:7

and there shall be famines,

3-SEAL

FAMINES

REV. 6:5–6

5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

MATT. 24:7–8

and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

4-SEAL

PESTILENCE AND DEATH

style="text-align:center;"REV. 6:7–8

7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. 8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

MATT. 24:9–13

9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

5-SEAL

MARTYROOMS

REV. 6:9–11

9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood oh them that dwell on the earth? 11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should he fulfilled.

MATT. 24:29–30

29 ¶ Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

6-SEAL

PHYSICAL CHANGES

12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.[13]

Who were the Two Witnesses?

If we study carefully what shall happen during the period the “TWO WITNESSES” shall testify, which as we have seen will be the last half of the “Week,” or 3½ years, we shall see that the “TWO WITNESSES” can be no other than MOSES and ELIJAH. It is probable that Elijah will shut up the heavens that there shall be no rain, during the 3½ years of their witnessing, for we read that there is to be a “FIRE TEST” such as Elijah appointed on Mt. Carmel in the days of King Ahab (1. Kings 18:17–40), and the contest will be between Elijah and the “FALSE PROPHET,” and that the “FALSE PROPHET” shall have power to do what the Priests of Baal could not do, bring FIRE FROM HEAVEN. Rev. 13:13. The crucial question on Mt. Carmel was, who is GOD, JEHOVAH or BAAL? In the days of Antichrist it will be, who is GOD, JEHOVAH or ANTICHRIST? The test will be the power to bring down FIRE FROM HEAVEN. As the “False Prophet” will imitate the power of Elijah and bring down FIRE FROM HEAVEN, the test will not be decisive. The true Israel of God however will acknowledge the claim of Jehovah, while the followers of “The Beast” will continue to believe in him. But Elijah shall not be as fortunate as he was in the days of Ahab, for then he escaped the vengeance of Jezebel, but he will not be able to escape the vengeance of Antichrist who will see to it that both he and Moses are slain. As the Plagues that are to accompany the pouring out of the “Vials,” are four of them similar to the “Plagues of Egypt,” who more likely to bring them to pass than Moses? The evidence seems conclusive that the “TWO WITNESSES” will be MOSES and ELIJAH.[14]

Conclusion of the Sixth Seal

William Branham gave the same essentials interpretation of the sixth seal as Clarence Larkin. They both explained it to be the judgement of God carried out at the end of the world immediately preceding the return of Christ. Why did William Branham claim that this revelation was given to him through a supernatural experience? Is it just a coincidence that what God supernaturally revealed to him identically matches a book in his library that he made regular references to in other sermons?

Other Plagiarism

William Branham opens the Sixth Seal with a modified retelling of Max Brand’s 1920 story “A Sagebrush Cinderella”.

In addition to plagiarizing the comparison of Matthew 24 to Revelation 6, William Branham also takes a few other things from the writings of Clarence Larkin:

What William Branham Said [15] What Clarence Larkin Said [16]
In Isaiah, let's take this. Isaiah the prophet seen this Sixth Seal open and spoke of it... Let's just... I like this--this of Isaiah. Let's go back here to Isaiah, the 13th chapter of Isaiah. I like... In Isa. 13:9–10, we read—“Behold the ‘DAY OF THE LORD’ cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate, and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall NOT GIVE THEIR LIGHT, the sun shall be DARKENED in his going forth, and the moon shall not CAUSE HER LIGHT TO SHINE.”
Matthew, 27th chapter of Matthew and the--the 45th verse, I believe it is. Now, from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. Now, notice just exactly what He did back here now in this. See? And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal,... lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon--and the moon became as blood; Blackness, darkness: Egypt--blackness, darkness, God delivering Jesus at the cross, just 'fore He brought Him up from the resurrection... Such physical phenomena and changes have happened before. We must not forget the “GREAT DARKNESS” that for 3 days overspread Egypt in the days before the Exodus (Ex. 10:21–23), nor the “DARKNESS” that settled over Jerusalem and Calvary on the day of the Crucifixion of Christ. Matt. 27:45.

Questions to ask yourself

God Will Judge Big Game Hunters

William Branham went to Africa and shot 34 large game animals in 21 days. What other sins did he preach against, but participated in?

"...you mean that's sportsmanship? That's pure murder in my book… Buffalo Bill and them plainsmen had shot off all them buffaloes, forty, fifty in an afternoon. They know when they ridded that, they got rid of the Indian. Oh, my, a stain on the flag the way they treated them Indians. There you are. But remember, the Bible said, "The hour's come that God will destroy them that destroys the earth."[17]

No Contradictions in the Word

Voice of God Recordings and many Message Believers have tried to justify inconsistencies in William Branham's stories, doctrines and prophecies by saying there are discrepancies in the Bible. As part of the Sixth Seal, William Branham addresses these concerns himself. So if William Branham's Message was the "Word for your day" as he claimed, then shouldn't it be free from contradictions as well?

“I can take one Scripture and say, “Judas went and hung himself,” take another and say, “You go do the same.” See? But, see, it won’t blend in with the rest of It...The Bible does not contradict itself. “And the Bible does not contradict Itself anywhere. I've heard the old critics say that, but I have had an offer for him for a long time to show me where it's at. It isn't in here.”[18]

Is the Vision Biblical?

At the end of the sixth seal sermon, William Branham mentions a vision being present in Heaven with Jesus and the recording angel, when the recording angel calls his name. Meda and Hope then enter heaven with him. Is this story simply to reassure those who listened to sermon on the Fifth Seal, that those waiting under the altar following his ministry would enter heaven with him?

If Joseph Smith's vision was real but not Biblical, shouldn't you also put William Branham's visions to the Biblical test?

Double check whether your faith is in receiving the Holy Spirit, or in William Branham's vision of heaven.

“Joseph Smith…that fine man, and the vision, I don’t doubt at all but what he had the vision. I believe he was a sincere man. But the vision he had was contrary to the Scripture.”[19]

Links to other articles in the series

This article is one in a series of studies on the Seven Seals - you are currently on the topic that is in bold:

Video transcript

In our videos on the first five seals, we have seen how William Branham stole his revelation from Charles Taze Russel and Clarence Larkin. It should come as no surprise, then, when we see where William Branham received his revelation of the sixth seal.

William Branham starts his sermon with another clear statement that he received his revelation from God:

Something happened today when this Seal was revealed, that I had to walk completely out in the yard, just walk around, out in the yard a little while. That’s right. It just simply almost took my breath right away from me.[20]

William Branham’s revelation of the sixth seal is fairly complex so it is important to go through this slowly. He starts out by referring to Matthew chapter 24 verses 1 to 3:

These three verses, it took place, actually, on Tuesday afternoon, April the fourth, a.d. 30. And the first two verses took place on the afternoon of the…of April the fourth, in a.d. 30. And the 3rd verse taken place on Tuesday evening of the same day.[21]

William Branham then refers to three questions:

Now notice, here is—here is three questions are asked by the Jews, His disciple. Three questions are asked. Now watch. “What,” first, first, “What…? When shall these things be, when, ‘There won’t be one stone left upon another’?” “What shall be the sign of Thy Coming?” second question. “And of the end of the world?” See it? There is three questions.[22]

Clarence Larkin, beginning on page 62 of his book, The Book of Revelation: A Study of the Last Prophetic Book of Holy Scripture, provides a chart and prefaces it with this remark:

At this point it will be interesting to compare, as on the next three pages, Christ’s “Olivet Discourse”, Matthew 24 verses 1 through 30, with the “Six Seals” of Revelation 6 verses 1 through 17. The similarity between them is most striking

The chart begins with a statement that the first 2 verses of Matt 24 took place TUESDAY AFTERNOON APRIL 4 A.D. 30 and the third verse took place on Tuesday evening.

Larkin then provides what he calls the “Three-fold Question”

1—WHEN SHALL THESE THINGS BE?
2—WHAT SHALL BE THE SIGN OF THY COMING?
3—AND OF THE END OF THE WORLD (AGE)?[23]

William Branham is quoting verbatim what Larkin outlines in his chart and then goes on to again read, almost verbatim, a detailed comparison of each verse of Matthew 24 verses 4 through 30 to each of the Six seals in Revelation 6:1 through 17. This comparison is outlined in detail on our website and I invite you to compare it directly yourself.

What is painfully obvious is that William Branham took his sermon on the sixth seal directly from Larkin’s book. He gave Larkin no credit but rather said that he got his revelation directly from God.

We could go on…

…and between the Sixth and Seventh Seal, the hundred and forty-four thousand is called.[24]

And we see Clarence Larkin say…

Between the breaking of the “Sixth” and “Seventh” Seals there will be a pause or interval, during which 144,000 of the Children of Israel, 12,000 from each of the Twelve Tribes, will be “sealed.”[25]

William Branham says…

...this Church never takes a Tribulation period.[26]

And we read in Larkin…

This introduces us to another class of saved of the “End Time.” They are not the Church, for they come out of the “Great Tribulation.”[27]

Rather than go on, I want to conclude with William Branham’s understanding of the two witnesses of Revelation chapter 11. In the Sixth Seal sermon he concludes with respect to the two witnesses:

It’s Moses and Elijah, ’cause there is their ministry re-impersonated again, it’s both men.[28]

It should come as no surprise that this is also a direct copy from Larkin who stated:

The evidence seems conclusive that the “TWO WITNESSES” will be MOSES and ELIJAH.[29]

The fact that William Branham copied the first six seals directly from Charles Russel and Clarence Larkin would be easily overlooked if not for two important factors. First, William Branham did not mention either man as the source of his revelation. This is what is referred to plagriarism… taking someone else’s idea and passing it off as your own. Secondly, in every instance, he stated that his revelation was supernatural and came directly from God.

Doesn’t this fall squarely into the rebuke in Jeremiah 23:30?

Does not my word burn like fire? asks the Lord. "Is it not like a mighty hammer that smashed the rock to pieces? So I stand against these prophets who get their messages from each other, these smooth tongued prophets who say, "This message is from God!"[30]


Footnotes

  1. William Branham, 63-0323 - The Sixth Seal, para. 22, 104
  2. William Branham, 63-0323 - The Sixth Seal, para.148
  3. William Branham, 63-0324E - The Seventh Seal, para.379
  4. William Branham, 663-0323 - The Sixth Seal, para.151
  5. William Branham, 663-0323 - The Sixth Seal, para.157
  6. William Branham, 663-0323 - The Sixth Seal, para.160
  7. William Branham, 663-0323 - The Sixth Seal, para.163-164
  8. William Branham, 663-0323 - The Sixth Seal, para.166-174
  9. William Branham, 663-0323 - The Sixth Seal, para.175-177
  10. William Branham, 663-0323 - The Sixth Seal, para.180
  11. William Branham, 663-0323 - The Sixth Seal, para.284-305
  12. Clarence Larkin, The Book of Revelation: A Study of the Last Prophetic Book of Holy Scripture (Philadelphia, PA: Rev. Clarence Larkin Estate, 1919), 62.
  13. Clarence Larkin, The Book of Revelation: A Study of the Last Prophetic Book of Holy Scripture (Philadelphia, PA: Rev. Clarence Larkin Estate, 1919), 64.
  14. Clarence Larkin, The Book of Revelation: A Study of the Last Prophetic Book of Holy Scripture (Philadelphia, PA: Rev. Clarence Larkin Estate, 1919), 86.
  15. William Branham, March 23, 1963, The Sixth Seal
  16. Clarence Larkin, The Book of Revelation: A Study of the Last Prophetic Book of Holy Scripture, 61 (Philadelphia, PA: Rev. Clarence Larkin Estate, 1919)
  17. William Branham, 63-0323 - The Sixth Seal, para.341-346
  18. William Branham, 63-0323 - The Sixth Seal, para.137
  19. William Branham, 63-0323 - The Sixth Seal, para.37
  20. 63-0323 - The Sixth Seal, para. 22
  21. 63-0323 - The Sixth Seal, para. 148
  22. 63-0323 - The Sixth Seal, para. 151
  23. Clarence Larkin, The Book of Revelation: A Study of the Last Prophetic Book of Holy Scripture (Philadelphia, PA: Rev. Clarence Larkin Estate, 1919), 62.
  24. 63-0323 - The Sixth Seal, para. 105
  25. Clarence Larkin, Dispensational Truth, or “God’s Plan and Purpose in the Ages“ (Philadelphia, PA: Clarence Larkin, 1918), 136.
  26. 63-0323 - The Sixth Seal, para. 67
  27. Clarence Larkin, Dispensational Truth, or “God’s Plan and Purpose in the Ages“ (Philadelphia, PA: Clarence Larkin, 1918), 136.
  28. 63-0323 - The Sixth Seal, para. 296
  29. Clarence Larkin, The Book of Revelation: A Study of the Last Prophetic Book of Holy Scripture (Philadelphia, PA: Rev. Clarence Larkin Estate, 1919), 86.
  30. Kenneth Nathaniel Taylor, The Living Bible, Paraphrased (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1997), Jer 23:29–31.


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