Brother Phiri, what do you say about the following words? The quote shows that William Branham said Seven Thunders were revealed as Seven Seals.
“John knew what the thunders were, but was forbidden to write, because the Bible said, in the days of the VOICE of the seventh ANGEL. The seventh ANGEL is a messenger of the Seventh Church Age. When he begins to sound, that’s when the SEVEN MYSTERIES of the SEVEN THUNDERS would be revealed. These divinely revealed ‘mystery truths’ literally turn the hearts of the children to the Pentecostal fathers. The Malachi 4 prophet precedes the second coming and John the Baptist preceded the first coming. NOTICE that both are MISTOOK for BEING THE MESSIAH.
The quote you have given is a concatenation of sentences taken from two books. The first 53 words in the quote were taken from Conduct Order and Doctrine (Volume II, page 1161), and the rest from An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages, page 327. I am stating the sources because it is important to emphasise here that the Seven Church Ages book is a heavily edited version of what William Branham actually taught on the subject. Brother Branham had sent messages he had taught on the subject to brother Lee Vayle for him to grammarise them. But when you read the original messages of the prophet and compare them with what came out of the edited book it is clear to see that not all the words in the book were of William Branham. However, I will still approach your question taking the words to have been written by William Branham.
Many people have argued over the prophecy of Seven Thunders, about whether or not it was already fulfilled. The arguments and contentions often result into more carnality and ungodliness – schisms, anger, and even breakaway churches (1 Cor.3:3). Often it’s a case of two men looking at a seed, one says it’s of an apple tree and another insists its of a lemon tree. Well, until that seed is sown, grows, and manifests itself, the two may argue forever. But shall we afford leaving the Seventh Seal to the soil? Not so. Its fulfilment holds a promise which is very crucial for the rapture of believers. The question is, Has this promise already fulfilled? Woe to us if the blessing is already here and we cannot see it! But on the converse, What if the revelation, and its resulting power of translating our mortal bodies, is yet to happen? If the latter, then fools are treading with hob-nailed shoes where angels, with awestruck silence (Rev.8:1), fear to tread!
Now, there is so much of what Brother Branham said or what he did not say, what he meant or did not mean. What adds to the confusion is that both the “What he said” and “What he did not say” are often retrievable from his words. Cosnider this: in the Seals book on page 52 and paragraph 384 brother Branham said the following:
“…the angel of the Lord will break them Seals forth to it. Remember, it’s [i.e. the book] sealed with them Seven mysterious Thunders.”
Using this quote and other similar ones many have equated Seven Seals to Seven Thunders. However, in the evening of the same day he had spoken the words above, brother Branham said the following:
“The book is absolutely a sealed book until the Seven Seals is brocken. It is sealed up with Seven Seals. Now, that’s a different from the Seven Thunders. See? This is Seven Seals on the book“.
The one clear thing to notice in the second quote is the emphasis on Seven Seals being not Seven Thunders. The preacher first states “It is sealed up with Seven Seals” and then adds “that’s different from the Seven Thunders” and then emphasises further with “See? This is Seven Seals on the book“! Clearly the preacher seems to be very much aware of a possible misperception of Seven Seals being Seven Thunders!
That is not the only time when brother Branham gave dual-statements on a topic. He made contradictory statements on some other topics. For example on the subject of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel in one message he taught that it is seven years which will remain after the Rapture but elsewhere indicated that it will be three and half years. The question is which teaching do we take of the two? Well, if one has ears to hear what the Spirit speaks through a man (and not what the man is speaking in trying to convey the mind of God) it is easy to sift through such discrepancies. True understanding begins when one realises that words of a man may point to the Truth but yet the Truth is not to be sought in his words. Like the old adage says, the finger pointing to the moon doesn’t make the finger the moon itself. Did not John under inspiration point out to the Lord as he declared, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (Joh.1:29)? Some people heard that, believed and followed the Lord. But at another time the great prophet doubted and questioned, “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” (Mat.11:3). One wonders what confusion the latter words of John may have had on some of his devout followers. Yes, he had a great ministry with the spirit and power of Elijah on him but one thing is sure, his words of doubt were not of God, it was his mind speaking. It is because of this that people ought to be spiritual. One has to know and discern when God is speaking through a man and when a man is merely expressing his opinion. Is it not strange that way after the Lord Jesus had died, resurrected and the Holy Spirit had been poured out, there were still certain followers of John’s ministry who said, “We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost” (Act.19:2)?
This reminds me of one time when brother Branham referred to an incident in the book of Kings when God had said to Elijah, “I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal” (1 Kin. 19:18). During preaching brother Branham had said seven hundred instead of seven thousand and that made someone to ask this: “Brother Branham, did you mean to say seven thousand who had not bowed their knee to Baalim, or seven hundred?” Believe it or not, if that question had not been asked and he never had the chance to clarify, there would have been people today teaching that it was seven hundred prophets and not seven thousand! What would cause such a terrible state of mind in some people? This one simple thing: not knowing how to hear! Didn’t the Lord admonish us saying, “take heed therefore how ye hear” (Luk.8:18)? Here is what brother Branham said in asnwering the question about the seven thousand prophets:
“Forgive me…I knowed that was seven thousand. I just happened to say seven hundred…I just didn’t read it out of the Scripture. It just come to my mind while I was talking…I make them mistakes all the time…I didnt mean to do that” The Revelation of the Seven Seals, Questions and Answers on the Seals (p.441-442).
Dear friend, when I look at these words of brother Branham I wonder: how many other things did he speak which had “just come to [his] mind while [he] was talking” but yet people presumed them to be inspired words? He said, “I make them mistakes all the time“, So how many other mistakes were in his words which he didnt have the chance to clarify? Is that a problem? No, if you understand that spoken words of a servant of God are merely a vehicle for conveying Truth. The vehicle may be faulty and incosistent but not the Truth it carries! Confusion of faces belongs to those who make the vehicle and the truth it carries to be one.
Concerning Seals, the Seven Seals of Revelation Chapter 6 can never be Seven Thunders of Revelation 10:3. One night, in Namibia, a minister told me “Seven Seals are Seven Thunders” and we talked for over 6 hours (from about 9:00 PM to 03:00 AM). The minister was loud, emotional, and so agitated. He did most of the talking and throughout the talk my words were the same, I kept repeating the question – “if Seven Seals are Seven Thunders, tell me the contents of the Seventh Thunder?” He could not give the answer. At last when he realised the meaning of my question he said something to this effect, “It’s a mystery and we may never understand these things”. I was surprised to hear him say those words after trying to defend his position for hours. He talked at great length, dodging and meandering about my question and at the end only to express his ignorance of what the Seven Thunders actually mean.
You may wonder what exactly my question to the minister in Namibia meant, well, here was the question in full:
- If “Seven Seals” = “Seven Thunders” then,
- First Seal = First Thunder = White horse revelation
- Second Seal = Second Thunder = Red horse revelation
- Third Seal = Third Thunder = Black horse revelation
- Fourth Seal = Fourth Thunder = Pale horse revelation
- Fifth Seal = Fifth Thunder = Souls under the altar
- Sixth Seal = Sixth Thunder = revelation of the travail to fall upon the earth
- Seventh Seal = Seventh Thunder = Uttering of the Seven Thunders
Pay attention to the last line, it takes us back to the question: What are the utterances of Seven Thunders? And how can the Seventh Thunder be the one uttering them? That is the question which kept the man iterating in his explanations until I think he saw the confusion of his own words. I further asked this:
If in Revelation Chapter 6 the seals or thunders were already written, why should the angel treat them as a secret and forbid John to write anything about them in chapter 10?
Well, until God opens someone’s eyes no amount of logical arguments can do anything. When one reads the Seals book and other messages the prophet preached in 1963, 1964, and 1965 (the year he died), it is very clear to see that the mystery of Seven Thunders contained in the Seventh Seal was never revealed to brother Branham and he actually was waiting for the revelation even in the year that he died. He rightly explained that even the apostle John was forbidden to write what the Thunders uttered because God has kept it a secret which will only be revealed at the time of the coming of Christ. Here is what he said:
“As certain as I stand in the platform tonight, I had the revelation that revealed…Those Seven Thunders that he heard thunder and was frobidden to write; thats what the mystery is, laying behind those Seven consecutive Thunders rolling out.”
“Now, what this great secret is that lays beneath this Seal, I do not know it. I don’t know it. I couldn’t make it out. I couldn’t tell it, just what it – what it said, but I know that it was them Seven Thunders uttering themselves right close together, just banging seven different times. And it unfolded into something else that I seen. Then, when I seen that, I looked for the interpretation. It flew across there, and I couldnt make it out. That’s exactly right…the thing for you to do is to remember that I speak to you in the Name of the Lord. Be prepared , for you don’t know what time something can happen.”
“Now, we have in the completion here now, by the grace of God, all the mysteries of the six Seals that’s been sealed up, and we understand and know here that the Seventh Seal is not to be known to the public…It is a complete mystery, therefore, we’re this far, and the rest of it will be known right around about the time that Jesus appears on earth again, for His Bride…until that time, let’s just all pray, live good, straight, Christian lives, looking forward for His coming.” (Revelation of the Seven Seals, The Seventh Seal, Paragraphs 248, 323-324, 397-400)
Yes, the prophet admonished us to remember that he spoke in the name of the Lord but how many people have kept the instruction to remember? Many are playing with quotes and have gone into territories that angels wouldnt go.
Now here is a question you may want to consider:
Could William Branham have changed his view on Thunders after 1963?
On August 30 of 1964 somoene asked brother Branham this question (find it in COD Vol.II, Page 1161):
“Have the Seven Thunders which equals seven mysteries already been revealed? Were they revealed in the Seven Seals, but are ye- but are yet not known to us as the Thunders yet?”
And this is what brother Branham answered:
“No, they were revealed in the Seven Seals; that’s what the Thunders was about…The Seven Thunders that had uttered their voices and no one could make out what it was…John knew what it was , but he was forbidden to write it. He said, “But the seventh angel, in the days of his sounding, the seven mysteries of the Seven Thunders would be revealed’. And the seventh angel is a messenger of the Seventh Church Age. See?”
Like I earlier pointed out, brother Branham was a kind of man who would say a word here at one time and at another explain it somewhat different. And what have some men done, they grab what I call a ‘flying’ word or sentence and build upon it a doctrine. In taking a one or two-minutes flying Word, often they can throw away what the man taught for over two to three hours or a whole week! On that unstable flying word they can erect a huge structure of a doctrine. How unsafe! Like I have always said, many times to undersand what brother Branham said or meant one may require to read or hear an entire message or even a combination of sermons he preached during a week or a month. When you do this regarding his words on Seven Thunders it immediately becomes easy to see that the “No” in the above answer of the prophet was in reference to the fact that Seven Thunders are not Seven Seals. Please, in the quotes that follow next observe what he said in the same month of August. The question above was asked on 30th August, 1964. The quotes I show below (under 1964) are taken from sermons preached on 19th July and 16th August. When you check what brother Branham taught in March of 1963 (when Seals were revealed), and what he kept saying about the Seventh Seal and Seven Thunders, through 1964 and also 1965, it is very clear that he still believed that Thunders were yet to be revealed.
- “Jesus, when He was on earth, they wanted to know when He would come. He said, ‘Even the Son Himself don’t know when it’s going to happen.’ See, God has this all to Himself. It’s a secret. And that’s the reason there was silence in heaven for a space of a half hour. And Seven Thunders uttered their voices, and John was even forbidden to write it (See?)—the coming of the Lord. That’s one thing He hasn’t revealed yet, of how He will come, and when He will come. It’s a good thing that He doesn’t. He has showed or revealed it in every type that’s in the Bible” Christ is the Mystery of God Revealed (28th July 1963).
- “The Lamb took His Book when the Seventh Seal, just ready for it to be opened–the Sixth Seal. Remember, He hid the Seventh Seal from us. He wouldn’t do it. When the Angel stood day by day telling it, but then He wouldn’t do it on that one. Said, ‘There’s silence in heaven.’ No one knew. It was the coming of the Lord” Souls that are in Prison Now (11th November 1963).
- “That Seventh Seal hasn’t opened yet, you know that’s His coming” Feast of the Trumpets (19th July, 1964).
- “The seventh angel was to open the six-seal mystery. It’s all to be gathered up in the Son of man, His fullness of time has come to the Fullness of His Word to manifest the fullness of His Body” Proving His Word (16th August, 1964).
- “Now, in doing this, I have come here for the purpose of teaching the last vials, last seven vials, and the last seven trumpets, and the last seven thunders of the Book of Revelations, tying them together in this hour that we’re now living to follow the opening of the Seven Seals, the Seven Church Ages. So we couldn’t get room to do it, so I–I hope that soon as I can, we’ll can get a place sufficient for that either here, or in Louisville, New Albany, or either put up a tent, so we can just stay as long as the Lord leads us to do” The God of this Evil Age (1st August, 1965).
- “And to see this nervous age that we’re living in… And last week’s tapes, I think, will reveal to you the great hideous things that we’re going to speak on one of these days when we can get a place sufficient, of the opening of those last plagues to be poured out upon the earth–those Vials, rather, pouring out of the Vials, and the Seven Thunders… And those hideous sights that’s coming upon the earth…” Christ is Revealed in His own Word (22nd August, 1965).
- “But we’ve got one of the most dreadful times to go through that ever laid before human beings. Now, I’m just waiting for the hour and when we can get–everybody can get a chance where you can get off from work and spend a few days, and we can get set up somewhere where I can speak on those plagues and things that’s to fall in the days, and throw about two or three weeks together, and bring that together, if the Lord let’s me live to do it and will inspire me to do so. See how those things will be dropped in and those thunders, then you’ll find out what that man and them people has been dreaming about and all these things there; it’ll come to pass. See? You’ll notice what them revealed, that great thunder a-coming forth out of the–out of the skies. Now… Of course, the whole bunch of you, you know that I know what that–what that means. You see? And… But let’s just wait till the time comes (You see?) for it to…?… Now… And it’ll be more in season” Christ is Revealed in His own Word (22nd August, 1965).
I hope this reply to your question is of help. If you still cant understand the explanation, lay it before the Lord to grant you the understanding.
A C Phiri