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|And [Jesus] said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. ~ Matthew 4:19|
People in the message often talk about the Third Pull as something very important. William Branham said it was the mystery of the Seventh Seal. But what is the Third Pull? And why does it include the failed tent vision?
In 1956, in a sermon entitled “What is a Vision”, William Branham relays a vision of an angel instructing him how to fish. This vision became a focus of his ministry in later years, and includes the following scenes:
- The angel told him not to jerk the fishing lure (the first “slow pull” was to be his healing ministry, and the second “little tug” was his ministry of revealing the hearts),
- He began to explain to a group of ministers what he was doing, and jerked the lure too hard.
- He caught a small fish, and got his fishing line tangled.
- The angel rebuked him for trying to explain his ministry, which caused impersonations.
- The fishing line turned into a rope, which he was trying to thread into a baby’s shoe.
- The angel said, “you can’t teach Pentecostal babies supernatural things.”
- The vision changed to William Branham preaching in a large tent.
- The pillar of fire left William Branham and went into a small building behind the tent.
- People were going into the small building and coming out healed.
- The Angel said, "I'll meet you in there, and this is the third pull, but nobody will know nothing about it."
There appear to be only 5 times that William Branham said he experienced the "third pull", and most were before he preached on the Seven Seals in March 1963:
- Squirrels created (first mentioned in 1959)
- Fish coming back to life (first mentioned in 1957)
- Snow storm calmed (first mentioned in 1963)
- His wife's tumor is healed (first mentioned in 1963)
- Salvation of Hattie Wright's sons (first mentioned in 1959)
In December 29, 1963 William Branham said “The third pull is here”. However, since Hattie Mosier’s two children were supposedly converted at her word in 1959, the third pull was in operation long before the Church Ages or the Seven Seals were preached. In addition, Arvel Mosier's version of this event is different that William Branham's version, and includes an unfulfilled promise to participate in the tent ministry.
A big question is why, if the third pull relates to the revealing of the seventh seal or the revealing of the mysteries, was it in operation before the teaching years of 1960 onward?
It is also strange that there were only 5 incidences and none of them were witnessed by more than a few people (and some had no witnesses at all).
Fulfillment under the Seals?
By 1963, William Branham had said that the third pull was
- the opening of the Word,
- revealed mysteries,
- the seventh seal,
- the king’s sword, and
- the vindication of his ministry.
- his own spoken word.
William Branham also said that the 3rd pull could not be mimicked. Read about the fulfillment of the Third Pull under the Seventh Seal.
The Tent Vision Failure
Despite these stories, what is missing is the fulfillment of the Tent Vision - the final scene in the vision of the Third Pull. Until the end of his ministry William Branham was saying that the Tent ministry was coming. But it never did.
Was William Branham Disobedient?
The biggest problem with this vision is that William Branham continued to explain it, and his ministry, well into 1964. In 1962, immediately after retelling the Angel’s instruction not to explain the vision, William Branham said, “I feel duty bound, to my church, to say something. You draw your own conclusion.”Why did he continue to do this in direct contravention to what he said was the instruction of the angel?
- If William Branham was directly on target with his explanation of the 3rd pull, then he was out of line with the Angel's instruction not to explain the vision.
- If William Branham was out of line with the Angel’s instruction, then his fishing line was tangled.
- If the fishing line was tangled, then the purpose of the third pull was frustrated, i.e. he was no longer catching fish as he was with the first and second pulls.
The First Temptation
|And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. ~ Matthew 4:3|
William Branham stated that he spoke squirrels into existence at the command of a voice that spoke to him. In referring to the voice he heard, he described it as "something said". Was this God speaking to him, an angel or something else?
When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, Satan asked him to turn stones into bread. Jesus was hungry and was tempted to do what Satan asked him to. In the case of William Branham, he was hunting for squirrels. So why was this different from Jesus' first temptation?
One common interpretation among message believers is that the Third Pull will manifest among believers as the ability to speak things into existence. This interpretation is primarily based on William Branham's testimony that he created squirrels into existence by his own spoken word, through the instruction of an angelic voice.
The danger with this expectation is that it forgets Jesus' first temptation in the wilderness: when the Devil tempted Jesus to use his supernatural powers to create bread from stones in order to satisfy his own hunger. Sadly, this temptation is exactly what message believers are expecting to yield to in the future. If the tempter came to a message believer with instructions to create bread or squirrels from stones, they would likely give in to the devil instantly - because they would follow William Branham's example and not the example left to them by Jesus Christ, who alone had dominion over the devil's temptations.
Some Message Believers feel that William Branham will resurrect to fulfill the Tent Vision. Others feel this had a spiritual interpretation. But both groups agree that the Tent Ministry did not materialize physically while claiming that the Third Pull was fulfilled.
If you are confused about this, it may be because William Branham got his lines tangled while pulling your leg.
What happened to the "third pull" squirrels?
We have been asked whether the squirrels that William Branham said were created had navels. One would think if they were spoken into existence, they wouldn't have any belly buttons.
So what happened to these "created" squirrels?
- I said, "That same God…" Hallelujah! That Jehovah-jireh, He's just as much Jehovah-jireh today as He was on the mountain with Abraham. He can still produce an animal to His glory. These squirrels was not a vision. I shot them; blood came out of them. I dressed them and eat them. They wasn't visions; they were squirrels.
If they didn't have a belly button, William Branham never noticed it.
Quotes of William Branham
And at that, the Angel of the Lord taken me out then, and He taken me to a real bright stream of water. It was the most beautiful blue water; and great fish were swimming around in it. He said, "I will make you a fisher." And He said, "Now, cast your lure into the water; and when you do, pull it slow, first time; and the next time, just give it a little jerk, not too hard; and the next time, set your hook for the catch." And I started to throw my line in the water. I pulled, and everybody begin rejoicing and saying, "That's wonderful. That's wonderful." I got all excited and jerked it hard on the next one out; I pulled the fish and all out of the water. And what it was, it was a little bitty fish, and it, just about the size of the lure. And I got my line all tangled up. And I was straightening out my line, and the Man which was talking behind me, walked around in front of me, dressed in Palestinian clothes and a turban on His head. He had a white robe. He said, "Brother Branham, that's it."
I said, "I know I didn't do right," I said, "I jerked it when I ought not to."
He said, "Don't get your line tangled up in these kind of times."
And I said, "Well, I'm running it as straight as I can. I'll be very careful."
He said, "Now, the first time I spoke with you, you put your hands on the people and told them what was wrong with them. And the second pull, why, when you did, you would know the secrets of their hearts. And I made you a seer before the people. But you was always trying to explain it. You oughtn't to have done that." He said, "You made a public showing out of it." I said, "I'm very sorry."
Then He taken me from there, and I seen a great huge tent. I never seen such a--a tent. And it was packed and lined everywhere with people. And I walked out to the... Looked like I was standing above the people, looking down, where I'd just made an altar call; and hundreds and hundreds of people were weeping and rejoicing after they had accepted the Lord Jesus as their Saviour.
And I looked, and then heard a man get up and say, "Call the prayer line." And people begin to line up over on this side, the left from where I was looking down towards the platform, and they lined all the way up and down the street for a prayer line. I noticed to my left, which would've been to my right if I was on the platform, a little wooden building. And I seen that Light, that all--they have the picture of, you know, that's always in the meetings; I seen that Light leave me, and go to that building, and go in that building; and a Voice said to me, "I'll meet you in there; that'll be the third pull."
I said, "Why?"
He said, "Well, it won't be a public show like the other." And I came to.
Then when I come to, I was standing by the side of a beautiful lake, something like your lake out here in the summertime, when it's real pretty and green. And there were fishermen all around the lake, and they were fishing, but they were catching small fishes.
And I looked out into the lake and those great beautiful Rainbow trout out there, and I said, "I know this is a vision, but I can't understand those trout." But I said, "You know, I believe right down in my heart, I can catch those." So I picked up the string, but instead of it being a string, it was a fishing pole; and just then, the One behind me said, "Now, I'll teach you to fish, how to catch those."
And so He took... And He said, "Tie on the lure," and I snapped the lure on. He said, "Now, throw way out (Now, listen close.)--way out into the deep." And He said, "When you do, now, let the lure sink down first," and then said, "Pull it slow." Now, that's really fisherman's technique.
So I--I... He said, "Then when you do, now, you'll feel some nibbles at it, but don't tell nobody what you're doing. Keep it to yourself." And said, "Then when you--when you feel it nibble again," said, "pull just a little--a little bit, but not too hard." He said, "And then it'll pull it away from the little fish, and when they scatter, that'll attract the attention of the big fish, and they'll grab it." And said, "That's the way you'll catch it." Said, "Then when they bite on the third time, set your hook for the--the catch.
And I said, "I understand."
Said, "But keep still. Don't tell nobody. Keep still."
And I said, "All right."
And I had the lure in my hand, and all these fishermen turned out to be ministers, and they all come around saying, "Brother Branham, I know you can catch fish." Oh, of course, that made me feel real good; I said, "Oh, yes, I'm a fisherman; I can catch fish." And He said... I said, "Now, here's the way you do it." And I said, "You throw it way out," and I went way out into the--to the deep water, and I said, "Now, those little fish are fine, brethren, but we want the big ones too." And I was--I said, "See, when it sinks down... Now, see, there it is; just about where it should be. Now, see, there's... See, that... There them's little fish." I said, "Now, when it sets again, I give it a great big jerk." And when I did, I pulled the whole lure out of the water. And when I did, I caught a fish, but I wondered how he ever got the lure in his mouth, 'cause looked like the skin was stretched over the lure, about the same size of the lure.
And I thought, "Oh, my."
And just then, this One Who'd been talking behind me, stepped around in front of me. It was Him, the Angel of the Lord. He had His hands folded. He looked at me, said, "Just what I told you not to do."
And I said, "Yes, that's right."
He said, "You see, that first pull was when you used to put your hands on the people and tell them what was their trouble." Said, "The second pull was when you'd know the secrets of the heart like I told you." And said, "Instead of you keeping that to yourself, you tried to explain all about it and tell people, and when you did," said, "you didn't know nothing about it yourself, and how could you explain it? And you caused a big bunch of ca--carnal im--impersonations to rise up, and you see what you've done." And I said, "Lord, I'm sorry." And I--I said, "Oh, I--I'm so sorry. I don't know what to do."
And I was pulling the line like this, and I was trying to straighten my line out; and He looked at me; He said, "Now, don't get your line tangled up in these kind of times."
And I thought, "Maybe He's going give me another try." And I was--I said, "I'll sure be careful," and was winding my line in, and seen it taken up all right; and then when He said that, just then I felt myself go higher, way up. And when I was set down, there I was beneath and standing up above a great tent; I never seen such a tent. And I'd just made a altar call, seeming like, down at the altar; and when I was down there, I looked, and there were hundreds of people standing around the altar weeping because they had accepted the Lord Jesus. And they were just weeping out loud. And I said, "Oh, that's more like it," like that.
And a real kind gentleman walked out to the platform, said, "While Brother Branham's a-resting just a few moments," he said, "we'll call the prayer line." And said, "Everyone with prayer cards beginning with a certain number, stand over on to the right."
Well, I noticed the prayer line, seemed like it went all around the tent and out and down the street, such a prayer line.
And I looked over (which was then to my left, and there it would be to my right if I was standing on the platform, would be that way), there's a piece of canvas stretched there, and in be--be--behind this canvas was a little square building about twelve foot across and twenty foot long, something like that. Well, I stood and looked at that.
And I seen them bringing a lady up on a stretcher, and there was a lady there taking her name and things with a--on a--on a paper. And so, there was a--a someone come and got her and pushed her through. And the next man come through was with crutches. I see them go through that little building, and on the outside the lady come out screaming to the top of her voice, pushing this stretcher. And the--and then there was another lady on the other side, looked like kind of a dark-haired woman, and she said, "What happened?"
She said, "I just don't know." She said, "I couldn't tell you what happened." She said, "I've been paralyzed for twenty years, and looky, I--I feel like I--I--I never was sick."
And just then out come the man, leaping and jumping with his--with his crutches in his hand. And I--I looked at that.
And just then... Now, here's something. Notice close. There's a difference between the Angel of the Lord and that Light, because I heard something a moving, as it does when it comes here at the platform at night, kinda like a--[Brother Branham makes a sound "whew"--Ed.] and like a fire whipping around--licking blaze. And It left me, and it went right down over the top of that audience and went and stood over the top of that little building, and then settled down on top of it. And then when It did, this One that was standing by me, behind me, the same voice, the Angel's voice, He said, "I'll meet you in there, and this is the third pull, but nobody will know nothing about it."
And I said, "Well, I don't understand why in there. Why there?"
He said, "It will not be a public show this time."
And I said, "I don't understand going into that closet, like that."
And He said, "Is not it written by our Lord, 'when thou prayest, be not like the hypocrites who like to be heard before men, but enter into the secret closet and pray to the Father Who seeth in secret, and He Who seeth in secret shall reward thee openly?'" It's perfectly to the Scripture; every time it is.
And I said, "I understand."
Then He took me to this place and set me down in this room where I was at, and then He told me what to do for the third time.
Now, Christian friends, that'll--when I leave this world, that'll still be in my bosom. When I... But you mark my words what's going to take place when that...
Something said, "Say to it. Speak the three squirrels, and you'll have it." I said, "That's happened once."
So I stood by the side of a little tree, late in the afternoon on a side of a ridge. And that Anointing come so great till I could hardly stand on the ground, and said, "Speak! What you say, don't doubt and you can have what you've said."
I said, "I shall get three squirrels." He said, "Where will they come from?"
I said, "One will come from that way, one from that way, and one back this a way." Make it radical. God don't care how radical that it seems. He's God of circumstance.
And while I stood there for about a few minutes, I could hear no shooting around from the rest of the boys around anywhere. I happened to look to my back. Way up in the woods, about ninety yards, I thought something was on a stump. I watched it. After a while, it jumped off; and it was a gray squirrel. So far. All the way across the hollow upon top of the ridge. When it come along by the side of the tree, I shot it. It was about ninety yards, and it killed it. I said, "There's one. I might as well turn and look this other way for the others, 'cause they're coming."
See, God has a way of bringing things to you, making you sure what you're talking about. That anointing I... was off of me then. Well, I waited and watched this a way for about a hour. Nothing happened. I was getting cold. I thought, "Surely, if that is the Holy Spirit that's telling me those things, it will be just exactly; because when the anointing was on me I spoke that word, and it'll have to be that way."
Now, listen real close to this. And this is going to be a tape recording that'll go all over the world. Now, and then to my left, I kept watching. After while, I looked upon a tree. Coming around a beech tree, there come a gray squirrel. I said, "Just exactly that way. That's right, Lord." I turned down, raised up to shoot him, and there come another squirrel. I said, "There's two. Just exactly. Make my three." And I raised down, shot the first squirrel.
The other one run under a log. I could see him cutting on a--a hickory nut or something, under the log. The log was about that high at the end, raised up about a foot. I could see the squirrel. I killed the first one. I said, "Now, I'll get the other one."
And I leveled down, put those cross hairs right over his ear, not over forty, fifty yards away, and shot and hit the log. And the squirrel never even got excited. And I put another bullet in it. And he turned around and went down the log, and went to the other end. Well, I leveled down and took the best aim I could. And I'd only missed five shots all year. So then, I leveled down, right perfect shot, and touched the trigger again, and I hit about four inches above him. I said, "I must have knocked my scope out."
And I said, "Well, oh, all...?..." I said, "I--I don't know." I said, "I've understand fishing." I--I said, "Now, the first thing you do... Here's the way it's done. You see all the fish around; you got to jerk the lure." (Well, that's exactly the tactics of fishing.) So I said, "Jerk the lure." Now, you see when I jerked the lure the first time, now the fish takes out after it, but they were little ones. That's just like they were catching. So then I--I said, "Then you'll--you'll set..." and I jerked it out on the bank and I had a fish, but it looked like a skin over the lure; it just--he was so little. And then I was standing there and something said, "I told you not to do that." And I started crying.
All the line was tangled around me like this, and I had--was standing there crying with my head down like that. I said, "God, oh, I... Forgive me. I'm a stupid person. Lord, don't... Forgive me." And I had this line and that, what I had in my hand, was a little baby's shoe, about that long. And I had... That string was about as big around as my finger, about a half inch, like. And the eyelet in this shoe was just about the size of a--littler than one-sixteenth, probably, of an inch of the eyelet. And I was trying to lace this little shoe up with this great big inch cord. And a voice come, said, "You can't teach Pentecostal babies supernatural things." Said, "Now, let them alone."
And just then He picked me up. And He took me up and set me way up high to where a meeting was going on, looked like a tent or a cathedral of some sort. And I looked, and there was a little box-like, little place over in the side. And I seen that Light was talking to somebody above me, that Light that you see there on the picture. It whirled away from me, like that, and went over to that tent, and said, "I'll meet you there." And said, "This will be the third pull, and you won't tell it to nobody."
And in Sabino Canyon, He said, "This is the third pull." And there's three great things that goes with it, and one unfolded today, or yesterday, the other one unfolded today, and there's one thing that I cannot interpret, because it's in an unknown language. But I was standing right there and looked right straight at it, and this is the third pull coming up. And the Holy Spirit of God... Oh, my. That's the reason all heaven was silent.