Document: Transcript of a sermon given by Jim Jones while the Peoples Temple was still in Indiana. This sermon likely dates to 1957 or 1958.
Title: Q1058-2 Part 2, 3, and 4
Author: James Warren Jones
Date: 1957 or 1958
Source: FBI Files Audiotape Q1058-2
Transcript: Alternative Considerations of Jonestown & Peoples Temple. Transcript prepared by Fielding M. McGhee III.
Annotations: Brad Crowell
Tape off for thirty seconds between Parts 1 and 2. Part 1 was a talk given after Jones returned from a trip to Guyana in 1976.
Organ and singing.
Jones: (Sings) Light of the world, oh Jesus is the light, the light of the world. (unintelligible word) Jesus is the light, the light of my world, (unintelligible phrase), lighting my soul. I said, Jesus is the light. Light of the world, oh, Jesus is the light, the light of the world, oh Jesus is the light, Light of my world, (Unintelligible) my soul. (Speaking) We thank you, Christ, that you are our light tonight. Blessed be your name. Halleluia, halleluia, halleluia, halleluia, halleluia. Praise your name, Lord, praise your name. You may be seated. (tape edit) In my place of (unintelligible word) this week, we were— Brother [Jack] Beam and I were at a meeting, and I was very much enthralled by the message I heard. Since I’ll not duplicate that, but I had my own thoughts in the thirty-seventh chapter of Ezekiel. To continue there for a moment, and let someone else feel the vital link. If they do, just move right on. I don’t uh, don’t feel a tremendous authority, but I’m so glad I know in whom I have believed. And I am to say that he’s able to keep that which I’ve committed under him against that day. We are going to hear those people, who were in a little old mission last night, some place— sometimes that’s where you have to go to find the Lord. Go down to those mission, I, like Brother Price used to say, mission-hunting. And we went mission-hunting last night. (Unintelligible word) Greenfield on a very important matter. I felt the light of God to circle around, and go over, it’s outside, and found Brother Beam there, and Sister [Mary] Stahl and Brother [Richmond] Stahl, and we drank of the things of God, and a couple of people, just ordinary people for use of the Lord. And I said I— certainly out of the mouths of babes that God speaks, it’s so beautiful. It’s wonderful.
Now God doesn’t need a scholarly— He didn’t choose the high or the mighty or the esteemed of this world, but he used the foolish things to confound those ah, who think they have wisdom, who think they are something when they are nothing. And I was so amazed that this man moved in the very power of God, and— and he speaks— he certainly spoke from a knowledge, and I felt— I— I felt led to cancel some of the people that were coming in to speak, some of our outside guests, except those of our other Peoples Temple and our churches— cooperative churches in Ohio. They’re going to let some of them come, but I didn’t feel I could have a great deal of slated outside speakers. It’s very hard to come together from uh, many distances and uh, find the same thing moving, and I wondered how— why is it we can’t get closer together. And I thought, well, maybe the Gospel sent us and dropped down some during our convention and— I didn’t know just exactly what God had in store. The Anderson choir was coming, Sister Anderson from Ka— Chicago, that’s about the only real, uh, particular group that’s coming. Brother Smithley’s [phonetic] coming down, our precious brother who has our little uh, magazine he circulates, he’s coming down from Huntington, and uh, we’re having different ones come in. But I wondered just what God was going to have in store. We’re going to have services beginning tomorrow night at ten o’clock, through the Watch night, and then on Friday afternoon at 2:30, and Friday night and Saturday afternoon and Saturday night, and then Sunday morning and Sunday night. And I— I knew that we got a good treat for Friday, because I believe you’ll be blessed by these— they moved as God directed them, and this brother got up— he doesn’t even look at you. He closed his eyes, and he looked up towards the hills somewhere, and it’s very unusual to— (stumbles over words) that type of preaching, I would like people to look at the eyes. But I shut my eyes too, and I heard what he was talkin’ about.
Congregation: Scattered laughter
Jones: And it was most amazing as he just fired away. He had a knowledge of the Scripture that just overwhelmed me. Just an ordinary uh, might say, probably just an ordinary layman, but God had raised him up with an authority. Then the precious sister got up after him, and she challenged me. And if they challenge you, all right, I’ll leave that up to the Lord, but they challenged Brother Beam, and I know— I don’t know about Sister Stahl. What’d you think about it? Weren’t you blessed by it? It was really wonderful. (Claps once) (Begins ministerial rhythm) And I go, oh Lord God, we try to make ourselves so orthodox, and so acceptable, and here he was back there in a storefront mission— sometimes we let God back there in some of those storefront missions. ‘Course, I don’t believe God puts any premium on ignorance. But that wasn’t ignorant. I thought it might be, when they danced and sang, and I thought, oh God, and uh— sounding brass and the tinkling cymbal, you know, and he just make up a— you can shake, rattle and roll until you think it’s all shook out, and I thought, Lord, can I endure this tonight? Can I endure this? And I start breathing and praying and— and really taking deep sighs, but when those people got up, they spoke as oracles of God. Halleluia, (Claps once) I walk where knowledge of God, from whence it comes it doesn’t matter, if it comes in the Catholic Church or if it comes in a Hebrew synagogue, or if it comes on a back step of a storefront mission, praise the Lord. I want to hear it, a Spirit of Truth. He said, ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set ye free. After he has come, he will lead us and guide us into all truth, and that’s the desire of my heart. I only feel I have an earnest, and all earnest doesn’t do it all, you need the earnest, you need the seal, you need the initial evidence, you— you need to speak in tongues and praise God, and need to have a, a breaking in your heart, but it won’t keep you, brother. You need something more solid. You got to eventually comes out of the myth stage and begin to take a strong leap. And my heart panteth after the — uh, after God as the deer, as the hart panteth after the water brook. I have a desire, an unquenchable thirst, I want to hear it, what doeth sayeth the Lord. (Unintelligible phrase) (Pause) (Unintelligible phrase), we’re gonna have to move into some real place of sacrifice and, and service, which we know a little about.
We’re in the thirty-seventh chapter of Ezekiel, if I might reiterate some of these verses for a few of you. The Hand of the Lord was upon me, and came me out in the Spirit of the Lord, who set me down in the midst of a valley which was full of bones. That’s where he put most of us. And tonight, we need the Hand of the Lord upon us. The Hand of the Lord is dynamite. It’s the dynamics of the Spirit. And you need that personal, intimate relationship with God if you’re to do anything. (Claps once) You’ve got to be touched from Heaven. You haven’t been touched in Heaven. If you haven’t stole away in a secret place of God, there’s nothing, there’s no seminary or cemetery that can graduate you into the realms of understanding. But it takes the Spirit of God to break us into revelation. By the Spirit are we all baptized into one body. You can learn all you want to about homiletics and church history, and ecumenicity, but you need the Spirit of God, and Ezekiel realized he had to have an intimate touch with God.
Oh, we neglect. I thought as Brother (Unintelligible name) was talking about the diamond, I thought of a diamond in the rough. (unintelligible word), I said, that’s the greatest gift in all the world. The Christ, he that lighteth uh— He is the one that lighteth every man that cometh into the world, and he’s shining it on us tonight. Shining it in our eyes, shining in on our Temple, if we can only just stir up that gift that is within us. There’re amazing things that can be held, if we would just utilize our resourcefulness. He said, is a man bigger than his mind, so is it. Ezekiel said, it’s time of stealing away with God. (Claps hands once) He was up against that dry outfit. As I said, uh, (stumbles over words) a few days ago, some of us can preach a pretty dry sermon. This was a dry crowd. We oughta talk about sermons that were as dry, and uh, dry sermons and various sort of things that are dry in the pulpit, but this was an awful dry, big crowd of people, they were preaching a dry sermon. Lot of dry sermons going out today, lotta people preaching dry sermons, lack of faithfulness, gossiping, (unintelligible word), lack of sacrifice, lack of devotion, lack of fulfilling apostolic principles, there’re a lot of dry sermons coming out. Did you hear what I said? In all the churches professing to have love, standing in the synagogue with the loud voices that not be seen of men, parading their works showing all men what they are, but not uh, getting the heart uh, raised, not getting the heart in order, which in my church— (Normal tone) or my church, blessed be the Lord, I’ll not say that anymore. (Ministerial tone) It’s His church. Who shed the blood for us? Who shed his blood for us? Who shed his blood? Who died for us? It’s His church. But we in all these assemblies that called ourselves churches, all these little hills that’re around here, all the mountains that we’ve built, the Bible says God scattered his sheep out into the mountain, or rather the false shepherds have shatter— have scattered them from mountain to mountain. But oh my, throughout the church , the land of the whole, there is a perverseness, a— a dry sermon that’s emanating, and the only hope for us is that the preacher is weak and well and support our hearts and lives, and we (unintelligible phrase) and make a contact with God. It’s gonna take intimacy (pounds pulpit), it’s gonna take a drawing away. I don’t know what it’s gonna be, but I know in my own life, I’m going to have to draw away from some of the things. We’re going to have to get an appointed order of things, where we’re not involved with the material order so much, and get away to the spiritual things. (Voice calms) That’s why we’ll not be able to lead and to guide people. But he had an intimate relationship. And you can have it too. Don’t you believe it? How many believe that God’s no respecter of persons?
Jones: He says a man’s (unintelligible word) than his heart, so is he. Last night, I— some sister, she wouldn’t open the— she reminded me, I didn’t even know it, little window open in that old storefront mission, and she says now, “You better accept that you’ll get cold.” (Pause) Uh-huh. That thought come in. I said, I’m not going to think that thought. But it was in. And I felt that breeze coming on my neck, and I threw it down, (Laughs) I did everything, but I had that thought on my mind. (Claps hands once) And Blessed God, I got the first cold I’ve had in years. I worked myself into a cold, just as sure as your foot. I decided I was gonna get a cold, I got one. It came, just as I expected it to come. But you and I would do as much to expect God. I read in a— it was in an authenticated situation, maybe you’ve heard it, where in one of the mental institutions in the East, where a— where a woman lost her love at about 18 years of age, she lost her— her lover, he disappointed it, and he was always wanting her to be attractive, and in her mind, she thought he would come back sometime, and she set in her mind that she would keep young. (In full throat) And at 88 years of age, when she kicked the bucket, she still looked like she did when she was 18. She had enough powder on her face and had no gray hairs. My God, the power of the mind. (Pounds pulpit) She was looking for her lover, I’m looking for a lover tonight, I’m looking for God Almighty to reign in this Temple, so (unintelligible phrase) faith in my heart, and to give me power to overcome the things of this life. I was to get in contact with God, and at any cost, at any price, whatever the sacrifice, I want to hear the mantle of God, and I want it (Voice calms) to settle upon me. That’s (unintelligible word)
Congregation: Amen. Praise God.
Jones: A man’s (unintelligible word) than his heart, so is he. The day that he constantly— we are sowing many thoughts than are unlike him. (Voice rises) We sow our thought and we reap an idea, we sow an idea, we’ll reap a habit, and we sow a habit and we’re going to reap a character, and we sow a character, we’re going to reap a destiny, and constantly, we’re doing that. As the man says that, we put out sicknesses, we put out death, we put out so many things, we need to get our— we need to let our conversation be “yea” and “nay.” I love the night as we started to pray, we need to be a people that are— change. He said, we are new creatures, we all talk differently, no wonder people don’t get saved, no wonder they don’t have a real experience as a result of us, because our communication is a communication of the world. (Conversational) As we were riding along in the car tonight, I thought, oh God, the nature of our conversation, somebody said, ah, I’m gonna die, or I feel like uh, feel like this or I feel so bad, and one of the kids said something, and somebody else said, that I haven’t got a brain in my head. That’s what it was. Another one said, my brain’s withered up. So I thought, my God, I’ve gotta go to church tonight, and all my brain’s withered up, nobody got any brains and ah— (Cries out) there’re negative vibrations. Talking about our sickness, or talking about our instant pain, (Claps once) let no filthy things proceed out of your mouth, but what would you (unintelligible phrase), we could have a new language, we could give no place to the Devil, we tried it around here, but we dragged down to the realms of iniquity and we bind ourselves with the carnal conversation, but we should be a happy people. He said, those that are in the Kingdom of God, he said, the Kingdom of God is righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Ghost. I believe as a people, (Claps once) that can so visualize the Christ, (Claps once) will help you visualize (unintelligible word) to materialize. I’m so confident that we can visualize the Christ, then (unintelligible word) says, let there be joy in our face, let there be peace in our hearts, let there be overcoming power in our members, and we’ll look like changed creatures.
Jones: (Conversational) But you can’t serve God in Baal. You got to choose whom you shall serve. Ezekiel met God. We’re gonna have to meet God, or with these dry bones you’ll die with them. Poor disjointed creatures. It’s an awful thing to be the pastor of the First Church of Death Valley, and that’s what it look like he had to deal with, but he had (Voice rises to full throat) God on his side. Hallelujah. The one with God is in the (unintelligible word). Hallelujah. (Claps once) Because if the power is on, I’m in the Light. (Intense conversational tone) And if you can get contact with Heaven, and just steal away and study to show yourselves approved, and we’ll get out of the realms of, of vibrations, and vibrations mean something. You set at home and talk about your aches and pains, and complaints and gripes, and how sick you are, and whether we’re gonna make it or not, and how many burdens we’ve got, you can’t serve God. We’re gonna have to get around to people that had changed their communication. Some people think that uh, when it says, Take not the name of the Lord in vain, it means to say— not to say to somebody go to hell. There’s more to it than that. (Voice rises to full throat) I said, there’s more to it than (unintelligible word). God said, he came to give you life, (pounds pulpit repeatedly) and there’s more to (unintelligible word). He said, I am the Life, and I came to give you life, and what’s more, (unintelligible phrase), when you go around and (unintelligible phrase) in imitation, and say you’ve got diseases that don’t belong to you, you’re taking the name of the Lord in vain. Because he came to give you deliverance. He said, by my sight was you healed. (Voice drops to converation) You’re not to be talking about your sicknesses, your complaints, your disorders, you say you can have them, well, you don’t need to talk about them. It’s not God’s will to heal everybody. You will not be profited by thinking that way. Did you hear what I said? You will not be profited by thinking that way, you’d better think on anything that’s pure and anything that’s lovely and anything that’s of good report. But Ezekiel (Pause) he not only did have a contact with God, but he had a fellowship with people. I— I noticed our gingerly distance that we keep at the altar. We’re going to have to swallow that up. We’re going to have to know one another, and really love one another, ’cause until we love and understand the human heart, and draw ourselves close together, and be willing to overcome all oppositions— sometimes, it’s the laity depends so much on the pulpit, if there isn’t an organist here, or there isn’t a minister to lead you, you— you pull. You don’t realize how much you drag. Brother, sister, you’re gonna have to stand on your own feet (Pounds pulpit once) and sing. You’re gonna have to know God and you’re gonna have to have a fellowship with God and a fellowship with one another, that we can always be in spontaneous joy and worship, and inspiration can flow from our heart. Praise God. He had (unintelligible word) and he said, and he caused them— he passed by the roundabout, and behold, there were very many in the open valley, and lo they were very dry. And he said unto me, son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, oh Lord God, thou knoweth. (Pause)
You have that kind of faith tonight? Do you have a real optimism tonight? How many are optimistic? I’ve heard so uh— so many people say today they thought they was dyin’. (Laughs) I’ve heard people thought they were gettin’ sick and gettin’ that and gettin’ the other thing. (Voice starts to rise) Wish you could see Brother Fleetwood out there layin’ in the hospital, I was there this week with him, tied up with the lavium tube and just drainin’ out the awfulest poison in his system, and there he laid, and the doctors were workin’ on him, and he— and his— a-pullin’ at him and this and that and the other, but a peace had come over that man. He said uh— he said to me the words that thrilled me, he said, I’m in the body but, he says, yet I feel like I’m out of the body. And he says I just don’t have any words anymore. I said, are you right with God? He said, Yes. I’m— I feel good. And the workers would come in and pull on him, his old body is nothing but a skeleton, but in his heart there’s a peace, and he had such a kindness and a love for the nurses that came up to him, and I thought, what a wonderful thing it is. We can get so positive with God and such an optimism with God that all things are well, even when we look like we’re just dying or naturally we look like we’re disintegrating. They (unintelligible word) on that bed, and you know what? I saw such a peace and that old lavium, never saw a lavium put down somebody’s nose, that’s the most painful thing, he smiled and sipped on ice while they put it down his thro— uh, nose, I thought, my God, I’d like to get the peace that he’s got there in that bed. (Voice quickens, intensifies) I’d like to change with him for just a moment, because he was getting ready to meet a Maker, and I saw the joy and the light on him. Some people want to call him back, I said, let him go, halleluia, let him go. Let anybody that’s ready to meet God go. And I know he’s ready now. I know he’s ready, because the whole room was filled with the presence of the Lord, and I just was spellbound as I looked at him, and talked with him, and we talked with— about something, the Spirit seemed to touch my heart, and he— he had been touched about it. He said, yes, I’ve thought about that. Giving his eyes. I said, you have such beautiful eyes, I said, why don’t you let them— somebody see out of them. He said, Brother Jones, I think that’s a wonderful thought. You know, we need to get that kind of positive idea. Have any of you ever thought about your eyes? No, you’re so conscious of your old carcass and worrying about ’em, you’ll lose your vision worrying about ’em. But he’s thinking of the terms of not only going on to meet his God, (Claps hands once) but giving his eyes that somebody else can see. Isn’t that a wonderful spirit?
(Quietens after brief pause) You still here? (Ministerial cadence) You gotta have contact with God, you gotta have an optimism with God, you gotta have a fellowship, one with another, you gotta be bound together, we’re gonna have to come together as one people, bear one another’s burdens and support the people’s need, and lift up one another, and be a part of one another. Most of you will trot out of this place not knowing anything about, but we ought to stop and take time to— well, let’s get back to the end of the meeting, and get to know one another and pour out our hearts and love one another, because if we come together, then we’ll find God. He had an optimism. I’m not talkin’ about an optimism of the worldly fashion and as a scientific religion. Some people make me sick. They go so far in scientific Christianity — I won’t call it by name — but they talk about everything’s right and everything’s— and they have such a coldness about it. I’m not talking about that type of a thing. Ignore evil. I’m not talking about ignoring sin or problems. Uh— We can face these things— that’s just a whistle— we can face sin realistically, but we don’t have to dwell in it. He said, overcome evil with good. You need to know evil, you need to recognize it. You don’t need to have any false kind of a concept. Some people say there is no evil. Don’t you kid yourself. You better get that in mind. There is evil, and you’re the evil one. (Short laugh) You’re that fellow— that fellow, you’re that fellow that (unintelligible name; sounds like “Prodologoy”)) overcame, and caused you to come out of the Garden of Eden. And never forget that you’re evil, but remember that He is all-sufficient. Your faith rests in Jesus Christ. I’m not talking about a Pollyanna that closes their eyes and— and says there’s no evil, because they can’t see it, their eyes are shut. I say, you need to have an optimism. He looked at those dry bones, he said, lo they’re dry, and there’re a lot of ’em. He saw how dry they were, but he didn’t take time to dwell on it. God looked at his outfit sometimes with the dead sermons that they preach, when they don’t come to church and you can’t get them to share their car, and you can’t get them to stay for prayer, and somebody is uh, seeking God for the Holy Spirit or come up for baptism, and people go home, or when you need some food for needy people, if you’d dwell on that thing, you’d lose your victory. (Voice rises more) But think on Jesus, think from whence he brought you, think how far he’s called you, from the day to day, think of the hope (Pounds pulpit gently) that’s in your life, (Claps hands once) think of the power that fuels your body, think of the constant (unintelligible phrase), (Claps hands once) and I tell you, those dry bones can come together, joint upon joint and marrow upon marrow, they can come together, (Voice becomes gentle) and fit into a wonderful, wholesome creation. Optimism like that will conquer. Optimism of the blindness of scientific Christianity, turn it off. (unintelligible phrase) (tape distortion, wrong speed for several seconds) —