Joel’s Army: The Manifested Sons of God

by John Collins

(John Collins is a regular contributor to the jonestown report. His collections of articles for this site may be found here. More information about Rev. William Branham prepared by John Collins may be found at the informational website, https://william-branham.org. His latest book is Preacher Behind the White Hoods: A Critical Examination of William Branham and His Message.)

When the people of America awakened to newspaper headlines announcing peace after Germany accepted Armistice terms on November 11, 1945, an overwhelming sigh of relief could be heard through cities and towns from Los Angeles to New York. The United States joined in a celebration that could be heard around the world. War and suffering had been exchanged for peace, and all nations could now begin creating plans for a better future. Sadly, this celebration was short-lived as government officials realized that treaties and declarations could never prevent global war in the future, and that the threat of a third world war began the day World War II ended. On July 4, 1948, just three years after the armistice treaty, the Truman Doctrine declared that the Cold War was a recognized threat. Feelings of peace and security were replaced once again with thoughts of war – only this time, it seemed that the threat would be coming to American soil.

Religious leaders within an extremist sect[1] of Christianity began to predict a destruction of Biblical proportions originating from both Communism and U.S. government, alleging that the focus would soon shift to their religious communities and halt their form of worship.[2] According to this school of thought, Communism had infiltrated the Christian faith through what they considered to be “cold formal churches,”[3] and influenced American politics. This was the final stages of an event far more devastating that the first and second World Wars.  According to their predictions, Christians were witnessing the events leading to the End of Days.[4]

The movement began with William Branham,[5] a self-proclaimed Pentecostal[6] faith healer from Jeffersonville, Indiana.  Posing as a Baptist minister[7] interested in the Pentecostal faith,[8] Branham toured through the United States and parts of Canada giving rise to the Post WWII Healing Revival.[9]  For a period of time, multiple groups of Pentecostals united to participate in the revival. The revival formed a new sect which became known as The New Order of the Latter Rain, or simply “Latter Rain”.

Using key passages of text from the Old Testament, leaders of this new sect began to join together in proclaiming that while the forces of evil grew within the cold formal churches, the forces of good would also grow within Christian sects who separated themselves from those churches. This growth, they claimed, was the restoration of the Church as described in the Bible and would include the restoration of all attributes and roles of the ancient biblical Church in greater power, from apostles and prophets to supernatural gifts and prophecy.[10] As the new religious movement began to form, leaders of the movement promoted themselves into the biblical roles, entitling themselves to the same authority over scripture and doctrine that mainstream Christianity gave to the biblical authors. Suddenly, apostles and prophets[11] became commonplace within the movement. With this new authority, religious speeches began to transition from sermons which studied passages of the Bible to prophetic sermons readily accepted as new additions to the Bible Canon. These additions held equal importance: the Word of God (Bible) and the “Spoken Word of God” (their additions to the Bible) were presented as one single Word of God. In some cases, their new additions were viewed as superior to the original Bible text.[12] Leaders of the movement began to claim that their Spoken Word would bring new life[13] to Christians that accepted it as holy. Those who did not accept their teachings were demonized and believed to require deliverance.[14]

Recognized names in the Christian faith began to join into the Latter Rain movement during the early days of its formation.  Oral Roberts, Jack Coe, A. A. Allan,[15] T. L. Osborn,[16] and hundreds of evangelists[17] and ministers[18]joined the Voice of Healing movement spawned by William Branham’s The Voice of Healing publication.  Branham’s occultic doctrine[19] fanned a flame that quickly began to spread throughout the United States and Canada. A number of ministers and evangelists joined the Latter Rain Movement which launched as a result of Branham’s series of healing revivals, and the two groups converged with a unified message.[20] Evangelists in both groups cross-pollinated, making it difficult to distinguish between the two.[21] The movement eventually birthed neo-Pentecostalism, the Charismatic Movement, the Second Wave and Third Wave of Pentecostalism, the Toronto Blessings, New Apostolic Reformation, Kingdom Now/Dominion Theology, Progressive Revelation, Revival/Harvest, Joel’s Army, Replacement Theology, Post-Millennial Eschatology, Signs and Wonders, Territorial Warfare, Ecumenism, Restoration of Apostles and Prophets, Jubilee/Feast of Tabernacles, and the Post-denominational Church[22] along with other, less recognized groups. Ministers in the movement preached the “Gospel of Divine Healing,” claiming that their ministries could reproduce the miracles seen in Biblical times.[23]

This militant stance against cold formal religion became a central theme within the Healing Revival, and eventually the traditional and even less formal denominations of Christian faith were given the disparaging label. Members of mainstream Christianity were viewed as cold and formal by leaders of the movement that used Branham’s doctrine in their sermons.  Even Pentecostals who did not join in the movement were labeled “cold and formal”.[24]  The authoritative view of new religious teachings and predictions as God’s Spoken Word gave rise to the notion that God Himself was being made manifest through these new self-appointed apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. This categorical list became known within Latter Rain as the “Five-Fold ministry.”[25] Leaders in Latter Rain frequently referred to the second chapter of the Old Testament book of Joel as their proof text, redirecting its prophecy from its original context of ancient Israel to that of modern times by alleging that key phrases within the chapter symbolically pointed to the 20th century. The “day of the Lord” (Joel 2:2) was repurposed to mean “End of Days,” the “northern army” (Joel 2:20) and “desolation” (Joel 2:3) referred to the World Wars, and verses 21 through 25 became the proof text used to declare the movement’s authority and position as “spiritually elite” compared to the rest of Christianity. The movement declared itself to be the “latter rain” that would fall near the End of Days, and claimed to be the “restored” church, God’s army of “Christian soldiers” rising against the forces of evil:

Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things. Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength.

Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.

And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.

And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.

Joel 2:22-25

William Branham, who claimed that his ministry fell within the prophet category of the Latter Rain Five-Fold Ministry, made frequent use of the title Spoken Word of God[26] for his sermons, which were eventually recorded, branded, and sold with this title.[27] Branham believed that the Five-Fold office of prophet (his particular gift) had superiority to the other offices, alleging that Jesus Christ would be manifested in the form of a prophet.[28] Combining verse 25 from Joel chapter two with John 10:34 from the New Testament, Branham taught members of his sect that they were gods[29] through the manifestation of God present in his own Spoken Word.[30] This doctrinal position was popularized through George Warnock’s 1951 book, The Feast of Tabernacles, branding the doctrine Manifested Sons of God[31] and eventually giving rise to the New Apostolic Reformation movement. It also spawned a group of militant Christians – claiming to be the army from Joel 2:25 – which would for a period of time be known as Joel’s Army. In the movement’s infancy, however, another sect would emerge: Peoples Temple, the followers of one-time Five-Fold minister[32] and Latter Rain evangelist, James Warren Jones.

Jim Jones joined Branham’s sect of the Latter Rain movement through Latter Rain leader Joseph Mattsson-Boze[33] after being introduced to the sect in a Columbus, Indiana, Latter Rain Pentecostal church convention.[34] Like Branham, Jones presented himself as a prophet, and his followers referred to him as Elijah[35] in the pattern of Branham’s Manifested Sons of God Theology. According to Branham, the Elijah of the 20th century was the return of Jesus Christ:

The Elijah of this day is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is to come according to Matthew the seventeen-…Luke 17:30, is, the Son of man is to reveal Himself among His people. Not a man, God! But it’ll come through a prophet.[36] – Branham, William.

This Manifested Son of God theme would be used throughout Jones’ ministry, both during his time as a minister and evangelist in Branham’s Message[37] cult following and afterward. Using the same passages from the Bible, both the second chapter of the book of Joel and the 10th chapter of the book of John, Jones declared himself to be the manifested Christ:

I swear to you that, this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel. This is that which was and is to come. (Voice strengthens and rises) This is your salvation. You are looking at the Temple of the Holy Ghost. You are looking at the body of Jesus Christ. (Cries) Some are in the room, are sick and asleep because they don’t discern the body of Christ. They don’t understand the Godship degree. Jesus said, we all are gods, and I had to come back to remind you what I told you 2000 years ago. I’m on the scene to tell you, ye are gods. And not take it away. Won’t let you take it away. So don’t be judges of the fact, that my people say I am God. Jesus said, ye are gods. Ye all are gods.[38] – Jim Jones

Though it has been argued by some that Jim Jones may have been an atheist,[39] research into the Manifested Sons of God foundation for Jones’ theological platform suggests that the term “Christian extremist” may be more suitable. Jones claimed that his affiliation with the Latter Rain movement was short-lived after learning that William Branham did not believe the Bible,[40] and Jones himself began introducing religious doctrines most Christian theologians associate with other world religions. While mainstream theologians would consider such extra-biblical doctrines to be incompatible with Christianity, members of the Latter Rain sect were accustomed to their Five-Fold Ministry leaders introducing religious beliefs not based on the Bible Canon.[41] Because followers of their teachings were trained to believe that the voices of these leaders were capable of the literal creation of new Scripture,[42] extra-biblical teachings became biblical simply due to the authority of the speaker who was making the statement. Adherents to the Manifested Sons of God sect believed that as time progressed, the manifestation of God in their specific central figure would increase in power to the extent that the speaker could become a creator simply by speaking life and/or objects into existence. The speaker would become immortal, the manifestation would overcome the human body, and the human would become God. This doctrine originated with William Branham, who claimed to have the supernatural power to speak squirrels[43] into existence:

Did you notice? When He went to make water into wine, He took water, first; an already created substance, and turned it into wine. When He fed five thousand people, He took a fish that once swam in the water, broke it, hand it out, and multiplied creation. He took bread that was once wheat, baked into bread, broke it and hung it out to the…hand it out to the people, and it returned back again. Multiplied creation! But in the last days, where there is no sign of creation, He speaks it into creation, anyhow, shows to be the same God that was in the beginning. He can create squirrels, He can create whatever He wants to, because He is God. “Greater things than this will you do, for I go unto My Father.” The Word is infallible, and It has to be manifested and has to be fulfilled. “Greater than this shall you do,” not multiplying, but speaking out into creation. Notice at the Word now when He promised. Where, where we at, then? What day are we living in? What is the hour? The manifesting of the Word of God, like it is in all hours. You got the Message on The Seven Church Ages. Watch exactly how each one of those beasts that went out, and the Beasts that followed them. Watch exactly if it didn’t hit down through the reformers age, and every age, just exactly the way it was supposed to be, exactly what the Word said. And so will the Holy Spirit manifest today just exactly what the Bible said it would be.[44] – William Branham

This was the premise for Jones’ position of authority over members of Peoples Temple, a doctrinal position that would remain his foundation over two decades after his involvement with William Branham and Latter Rain[45] in Indianapolis, Indiana. Researchers familiar with Jones’ seemingly atheistic statements about the Bible are familiar with his open declaration that he did not believe the Old Testament’s authority or accuracy, and from the surface, atheist would seem to be an accurate label. Some of the statements made by Jones in his sermons sounded as though they were ridiculing the Bible by using examples popular in the atheist community[46] such Judges 1:19 stating that God “could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.”

That’s what the book just got through saying, he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain, but he could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots made of iron. (Ministerial fervor) What kind of a penny-ante little weak-kneed {sounds like} hackneyed God is that? What kind of God is it that cannot drive out a bunch of people, because they got chariots made a iron? You better give him up.[47] – Jim Jones

In the very next statement, however, Jones declared his achievement of reaching unity with God in the Manifested Sons of God doctrine, telling his listeners not to listen to the atheist reasoning because he himself was God incarnate. His intent was not to reject the Bible, but instead to replace the Bible – as was common among leaders in Latter Rain[48], especially within the Manifested Sons of God sect.  Not only was Jones a Manifested Son of God to his followers, he was God incarnate.

No, I’ll tell you the God I serve, the God that I represent here, the God that I am incarnate and manifesting, he can do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that you are able to ask or to think.[49] – Jim Jones

While it may seem atheistic or anti-biblical to mainstream Christianity, this notion of the Spoken Word replacing Scripture was a fundamental part of the Manifested Sons of God sect. As William Branham propagated his version of the Manifested Sons of God doctrine, he claimed that each age had a messenger, each messenger had a message, and the message for a past age was not valid for those living in future ages:

Now, God’s promise to Noah won’t work for us today. God’s promise to—to Moses, we couldn’t have Moses’ Message. Moses couldn’t had Noah’s message. We got the Message of the hour. We couldn’t have had Luther’s message. We couldn’t have had Wesley’s message. This is another time. God allotted His Word to each age.[50] – William Branham

There are many branches that grew from the Voice of Healing and/or Latter Rain revival that began shortly after William Branham’s 1947-1948 campaigns through Canada. Many of these branches were not named until years after the 1978 Jonestown Massacre. Joel’s Army, for example, was not widely used to describe members of the Latter Rain movement until C. Fuller Wagner, John Wimber, and Rick Joyner named their set of doctrinal beliefs in 1990.[51] Yet these branches are based upon Branham’s teaching.[52] When one takes the time to examine Jones’ doctrinal teaching from the time he worked with William Branham and Joseph Mattsson-Boze to the infamous “death tape” of 1978,[53] it is evident that Jones used Branham’s Manifested Sons of God theology as the foundation to his ministry. In fact, Jones himself made this declaration in December of 1966:

The whole of our revelation could be summed in those few words, that we are here to make manifest a spirit of the conscious presence of God, which is the source of all supply and the satisfactor– satisfier of every good desire.[54]– Jim Jones

I have come on the wings of this morning to make God manifest, to dwell in your midst (Psalm 139, esp. Psalm 139:9-10, “If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” Also, reference to Jesus as manifestation of God, esp. at 1 John 3:8, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”). And I know that I have not counted some sort of principle that cannot be recreated or maximized in our midst. Because he said, when it was spoken of Jesus, why are you the– called the son of God? He said, is it not written that ye are Gods and sons of the most high? (John 10:33-34, “The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?”) And did he not declare that he said these things shall you do and greater, because I go to the Father because I have come? (John 14:12, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”)[55] – Jim Jones

As late as the 1970s, Jones admitted that the Manifested Sons of God theology was the only way of escape for members of Peoples Temple. According to Jones, he had received deity status, and in order to escape, his followers must also achieve their ascension to become a Manifested Son of God:

We’re in a mess. There’re all kinds of laws that are taking away our freedoms, while these bunch of jacklegs get up and say, well, it’s all right now, honey, just keep waiting on, wait on, ‘cause Jesus gonna come pretty soon and take us out of this mess. What I’m trying to say to you, nobody gonna take you out of this mess until (cries out) you do something about this mess you’re gonna stay in this mess. That’s why I say shocking things, like saying I’m God manifested. That’s why I shock you, so you’ll be able to shock yourself into seeing that you are what I am, that you have to be exactly what I am, or you’re not going to get out of your mess.[56] – Jim Jones

Maintaining his position of authority, however, required Jones’ level of manifestation be greater than that of Peoples Temple members. Jones alleged that his current level of manifestation was the highest level in the history of the world – more than Branham or Jesus Christ Himself. Like Branham,[57] Jones positioned himself as Messenger of God.

And it’s so often the case, that my people around, even Peoples Temple, who’ve met the highest degree of God that’s ever been in the universe, people in this atmosphere have met the highest manifestation that’s ever walked on earth.[58] – Jim Jones

In the future, as I’ve said, you are privileged now, you’ve known the words social, we’re now translating it to apostolic. Now it’s the highest manifestation of God, or the very strongest messenger of God, or the only voice of God.[59] – Jim Jones

Jones even used the Manifested Sons of God foundation to incorporate themes from other ancient religions into his ministry:

That’s what Jesus came to manifest, Krishna, and all the prophets of the great holy orders came to manifest, that we are temples of the living God. Today we have come desperately in this hour, seeking a manifestation of God. For if God is not manifest in our midst, how are we to believe?[60] – Jim Jones

In some cases, Jones’ reference to the Manifested Sons of God theology was subtle and might have otherwise gone unnoticed. When Jones quoted scriptures such as “He that liveth in me” and “He that believeth in Me,” the casual listener might assume that Jones was referring to Christians accepting the Holy Spirit and believing in Christ. His reference, however, was to the Spoken Word of Jesus, which Jones claimed to be manifesting. It was his Spoken Word that healed the sick in the 20th century, not the words of Christ.

He that liveth in me, and believeth in me, shall never die. We are seeing this demonstration, this unfoldment take place before our very eyes. Each service we see cancers expectorated, we see cripples walk. Last week, there was one that was lame, lame for some 20 years, unable to walk, but the Spoken Word went forth, and the discernment about her condition was given, and with that inspiration of faith, she moved instantly, out into the aisles, and she danced and run as a young hart would prance forth through the water brook.[61] – Jim Jones

The Manifested Sons of God doctrine was the foundation for Jones’ healing ministry. Christian listeners who were unaware of Jones’ usage of the doctrine might assume his reference to the presence of God was similar to that of other Christian pastors who call upon the Holy Spirit to enter the congregation for a healing touch. Jones claimed that he was living in this consciousness, however, alleging that he was not calling the Presence among his congregation, he himself was manifesting the Presence through himself.

Yea, the cripples are walking, the blind both spiritually and materially are seeing, cancerous growths are passed in every service, every form of miracle known to man are being manifested in our Peoples Temple Garden of Eden acreage here in Redwood Valley. This is the source of supply, the actual conscious presence of God, and if we will invoke the spirit of good will and harmony towards all people, that God is no respecter of persons, and live in this consciousness, that he is with us today, as he was in yesterday. Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.[62] – Jim Jones

Manifested Sons of God theology was the foundation for Jones’ prophetic ministry. Jones alleged that the Word was incarnate anew through his prophetic gift, usage of the word reincarnation in Jones’ ministry referred to that of being a Manifested Son:

With his coming in the One Hundred Fold degree of expression, manifesting the will of the Father in the Spirit of Prophecy, the Word becomes incarnate anew. Our bodies are made whole, and our minds are renewed as on that Pentecostal day.[63] – Jim Jones

That’s my desire. I did not come this far by faith to just end this race as being one manifested son. I’m in a school of prophets. This thing is, as I said, as reincarnatable as the breath you breathe. It’s just as reincarnatable as the smile of a child, and we want to learn God’s ways. Live him and personify him. Say, well, why haven’t you sent people out with the gifts before now? You’ve got to have the fruits of the Spirit[64] – Jim Jones

After Jones purchased the Happy Acres ranch in Redwood Valley, he published his first issue of The Living Word,[65] a phrase Branham commonly used for his Manifested Sons of God theology[66] and likely Jones’ claim to be the Spoken Word for Peoples Temple members.[67] The title was not the only reference to Branham’s theology, however. The publication was filled with references to the Manifested Sons of God based on Branham’s teaching. Reading the segments of the publication pertaining to the Manifested Sons of God doctrine, it was evident that Jones was attempting to create Joel’s Army. According to Jones, this age (referring to William Branham’s “church ages”[68]) required Manifested Sons of God to lead the faithful into the new age:

By manifesting His Greatest Infinite Supernatural Presence through our beloved Pastor, Jim Jones

…another sister who was miraculously delivered by the power of Christ working through Pastor Jones. Praise God for this divine manifestation!

What the age needs now is a manifestation of the Sons of God; not servants to God, not slaves of God, but the very Sons of Almighty God!

Today God is preparing a people to lead the world into the New Age. In these last days before the ushering in of this new millenium, the Holy Spirit is quickening within the Sons of God.

The Sons of God are given experiences from which knowledge comes.

Because we have seen The Holy Spirit made manifest in him, we do know and can affirm the Spirit of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Living Word incarnate.

The most chilling example of Jones’ usage of the Manifested Sons of God theology, however, is found on the “Death Tape.” Immediately after Peoples Temple member Lue Ester Lewis referred to Jones as the Savior and before stating that “you must be prepared to die,” Jim Jones referenced the Manifested Sons of God theology. Jones stated that he had “made [his] manifestation,” and that Peoples Temple members must leave this world in order to testify to the other people in the current age:

I’ve saved them. I saved them, but I made my example. I made my expression. I made my manifestation, and the world was ready — not ready for me. Paul said, “I was a man born out of due season.” I’ve been born out of due season, just like all we are, and the best testimony we can make is to leave this goddamn world.[69] – Jim Jones

The tragic loss of life that followed is a reminder to all that there are grave and sometimes deadly consequences to involvement with movements having a foundation that is incompatible their mainstream counterparts. Though intentions may seem justified in the its infancy, critical thinking and examination is required to ensure those intentions remain valid as the movement begins to grow roots. In the case of the Manifested Sons of God doctrine and its modern form, where supreme authority and/or deity status is given to religious leadership, checks and balances do not exist. Without those checks and balances, the tragedy that happened at Jonestown will become history repeated.

Endnotes

[1] 1949, Sept 9-14. Minutes and Constitution with Bylaws: Assemblies of God, the Twenty-third General Council. “That we disapprove of those extreme teachings and practices, which, being unfounded Scripturally, serve only to break fellowship of like precious faith and tend to confusion and division among the members of the Body of Christ, and be it hereby known that this 23rd General Council disapproves of the so-Called ‘New Order of the Latter Rain.’”

[2] Branham, William. 1949, Dec 25. The Deity of Jesus Christ. Accessed 2020, Sept 8 from http://table.branham.org.“I’m looking forward for a great hour. I see it coming. I see there is no hopes nowhere else. I see the age a moving up. I see the great red lights, of communism, swaying around over the earth. I see the formal churches taking their standard against Your Church, trying to condemn them, saying, ‘Divine healing is wrong. It’s a bunch of fanaticism.’ A bill in our own White House, to close It down. Oh, but, God, the other day, setting there and seeing those saintly people, all illuminated with the Power of God, looking upon their faces and seeing the glory of God! They can be like the Hebrew children at the fiery furnace. [Brother Branham knocks on the pulpit several times—Ed.] ‘We’ll never bow down. No. Our God is able to deliver us. You’ll come quickly, Lord Jesus.’ And I see the hour is setting in, when, ‘The form of godliness the people have, but deny the Power thereof; from such turn away,’ You said, the Spirit speaking for the last days. And here we are in that day, today.”

[3] Branham, William. 1949, Dec 25. The Deity of Jesus Christ. Accessed 2020, Sept 8 from http://table.branham.org. “And then, again, I want you to notice another thing, one of the fulfilling. These people who are formal in these formal churches, is rising up against the Move. And the Bible said, ‘They would have a form of godliness, but would deny the Power thereof; from such turn away.’ And they are taking their stand. Communism is taking its stand.”

[4] The World in Prophecy: Sidelights and Incidents of World Events in the Light of Prophecy. Branham, William. 1948, Aug. The Voice of Healing. “’Warn them and tell them that Jesus is coming very soon; that the people are sleeping and slumbering and they must be awakened, for great darkness is already upon the land.’ World events that are now transpiring indicate beyond the shadow of doubt to those who are spiritually minded that the Bible days are here again. For the devoted, prayerful Christian, these are glorious days to be alive. There is little doubt but that this generation shall indeed see the fulfillment of all things pertaining to this age, the catching away of the Bride of Christ, the chaining of Satan, the resurrection of the dead, and above all, the coming of the Lord Jesus Chris in great power and glory.”

[5] Branhamism and the Latter Rain of Today.  Accessed 2020, Sept 13 from http://letusreason.org/Latrain97.htm.  “Some of the largest churches today are what is called Latter Rain churches, or now known as third wave as named by Wimber and Wagner. But many do not know that it was Branham who began this whole movement in the late 40’s.”

[6] Warranty Deed.  1936, Nov 9.  Clark County Courthouse.  “The Billie Branham Pentecostal Tabernacle church and their successors of Jeffersonville, Indiana, of Clark County”

[7] Branham, William.  1951, Apr 15.  Accessed 2020, Sept 13 from https://table.branham.org.  “He said, “Anybody outside know where Reverend William Branham from Jeffersonville.” Said, “Tell him to come up at the platform and come to the service.”

[8] Branham, William.  1952, July 20.  Life Story.  Accessed 2020, Sept 13 from https://table.branham.org.  “So I—I never seen the Pentecost before, so I thought, ‘Well, believe I’ll go and see what it looks like.’”

[9] The Healing Revival 1947-1958 – An Overview.  Accessed 2020, Sept 8 from http://www.voiceofhealing.info/02_1947-1958/overview.html .  “William Branham is the person universally acknowledged as the revival’s “father.” The sudden appearance of his miraculous healing campaigns in 1946, including an astonishing use of authentic spiritual gifts (notably discernment of spirits, the word of knowledge and healing) ignited the dry tinder of American Pentecostalism and fanned its flames into a mighty fire.”

[10] Peterson, John. 2016, Oct 8. Joel’s Army. Accessed 2020, Sept 8 from https://wrldrels.org/2016/10/08/joels-army/. “Many in this tradition accept that we are now in an end-times scenario in which God has restored to the church the roles of apostle and prophet. The belief is that these specially-anointed leaders have direct communication with God, Adam, the apostle Paul, and other Biblical figures and are the recipients of revelations interpreting and extending Biblical content. Since they claim new interpretation and prophecy come directly from God, it is difficult to challenge or even question these pronouncements.”

[11] Poloma, Margaret. New Apostolic Reformation. Accessed 2020, Sept 10 from https://wrldrels.org/2016/10/08/new-apostolic-reformation/. “1947: The New Order of the Latter Rain (Latter Rain) caused controversy within North American Pentecostalism, including its call to restore the offices of prophets and apostles in the church.”

[12] What is the Latter Rain Movement? Accessed 2020, Sept 10 from https://www.gotquestions.org/latter-rain-movement.html. “Latter Rain teaching is characterized by a highly typological hermeneutic. That is, the Bible is interpreted in a symbolic, extremely stylized manner. An emphasis is placed on extra-biblical revelation, such as personal prophecies, experiences, and directives straight from God.”

[13] Branham, William. 63, Dec 29. There Is A Man Here That Can Turn on the Light. Accessed 2020, Sept 8 from http://table.branham.org “There is nothing can give you Life but the spoken Word of God. It’s the only where that Life can come, is through His spoken Word.”

[14] The Occultic Roots of the NAR. Accessed 2020, Sept 10 from https://wideawakechristian.blogspot.com/2016/04/emergent-monday-occultic-roots-of-nar.html. “Christians can be demonized and require deliverance.”

[15] Voice of Healing Revival. 2009, Jun 24. Accessed 2020, Sept 8 from http://injesus.com/message-archives/christian-living/wgcf/what-was-the-voice-of-healing-revival. “Oral Roberts was perhaps the leading figure of the movement, and the one to leave the biggest legacy including the University bearing his name. William Branham is widely regarded as the initiator and the pacesetter of the revival. Referring to Branham’s first series of meetings in St Louis’ in June 1946, Krapohl & Lippy have commented: ‘Historians generally mark this turn in Branham’s ministry as inaugurating the modern healing revival.’ Branham was the source of inspiration for T.L. Osborne’s worldwide crusade ministry, and dozens of other smaller ministries involved in the Healing Revival. Other major figures of the revival were Jack Coe and later A.A. Allen. Many of these ministries shared their healing testimonies in The Voice of Healing, a periodical published by Gordon Lindsay, which created cohesion for the group in its nascent years.”

[16] The Voice of Healing: Thomas Lee (T. L.) Osborn. Accessed 2020, Sept 8 from http://voiceofhealing.info/04_other%20ministries/osborn.html.

[17] Bentley, Todd. The Journey into the Miraculous. “Gordon Lindsay, A. A. Allen, William Branham, Oral Roberts, and Jack Coe … all together and they started the ‘Voice of Healing.’ Five years later when the power hit (William Branham was commissioned in May 1946 but the corporate anointing began to take shape some years later), it hit the “Latter Rain” (movement) in ’50 and ‘51…” Night after night in America tens of thousands would pack the tents of hundreds of evangelists”

[18] Voice of Healing Collection. Accessed 2020, Sept 8 from https://www.revivalhistory.com/store/voice-of-healing/voice-of-healing-collection/. “The Healing Revival of the mid 1940’s to late 1950’s was an incredibly far reaching movement. Incredible amounts of independent evangelists and ministers filled huge auditoriums and massive tents.”

[19] The Occultic Roots of the NAR. Accessed 2020, Sept 10 from https://wideawakechristian.blogspot.com/2016/04/emergent-monday-occultic-roots-of-nar.html. “William Branham, the man whose strange teachings fuel the strange fire of the New Apostolic Reformation. Every Easter, many of Branham’s followers visit his grave in Jeffersonville, IN expecting to see his resurrection. They believe that his rising from the grave will be the sign that Jesus’ Second Coming is at hand. Branham’s grave attracts hundreds of domestic and international visitors who believe, as Branham prophesied, that he was the messenger of the Last Days.”

[20] Branham, William. 1948, Mar 2. Experiences. “Now, Father, I pray if these people, not only here locally in Phoenix, but Thou hast so ordained it, that it’s known world wide now. And may they come through, not because it’s Your poor, humble, illiterate servant standing here, but because it’s Your gift that You have honored. And Father, Thou knowest there’s nothing I could do about it. I never called this message to go over the world like this. It was You, Father. I just obeyed and done what You said, and You brought it to pass. 48-0302 – Experiences Rev. William Marrion Branham http://table.branham.org”

[21] Crowder, John. 2006. Miracle Workers, Reformers and the New Mystics. “Known simply as the healing revival, Voice of Healing Revival, or Latter Rain Revival, this move of God sparked perhaps the greatest evangelistic efforts the world has ever seen.”

[22] Simpson, Sandy. 2002, Oct. Accessed 2020, Sept 10 from . “The movement is based upon William Branham, and therefore his theology formed the basis for the Latter Rain theology. He was seen as the “prophet” (Elijah) of the movement. Latter Rain doctrines caused division in traditional Pentecostal churches. They led to the condemnation of the ‘The New Order of the Latter Rain’ by the Assemblies of God in their general council in 1949. After this action, many Assembly ministers resigned or were excommunicated for their involvement and formed independent Latter Rain churches. Most of these churches were small. Their evolving doctrines became increasingly heretical and, many degenerated into clearly definable cults. (Church of the Living Word, The Body, House of Prayer, etc.) Some of those who kept the Latter Rain teachings alive from that time and are a big influence in the new Latter Rain Third Wave are Bill Hamon and Paul Cain. Latter Rain teachings today have evolved and now also include: Kingdom Now/Dominion Theology, Progressive Revelation, Revival/Harvest, Joel’s Army, Replacement Theology, Post-Millennial Eschatology, Signs and Wonders, Territorial Warfare, Ecumenism, Restoration of Apostles and Prophets, Jubilee/Feast of Tabernacles, and the Post-denominational Church.

[23] Branham, William. 1953, Sept 7. Healing Line. “Now, the only way you can be saved is to accept what He’s already done. And He… By His stripes we were healed at Calvary. See? And you just have to accept what He’s done. Is that right? Now, the ministers, many of them preach the Gospel of Divine healing, you accept it, just the same results.”

[24] Example: Branham, William. 1961, Feb 11. Abraham. “That’s right. The Pentecostal church getting cold and formal, going right back into its great depths of organization.”

[25] Weaver, John. 1980. New Apostolic Reformation. “It is important to note that in addition to promoting the Manifest Sons theology, the Latter Rain movement also linked this idea to the concept of ‘latter rain’. The fivefold ministry of ‘apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher’ became linked in the Latter Rain theology with the ‘latter rain’ prophesied in Joel 2:28 (see Robins 80). This linking of fivefold ministry with the idea of a Latter Rain, would, when coupled to the concept of an elite end time band of missionaries, elite Christians, and/or an army of God, would lead to the most extreme forms of end time apocalypticism in the history of contemporary Charismatic movement, particularly the ‘Joel’s Army’ teaching of the ‘80s and ‘90s that was promoted by Kansas City Fellowship (KCF) and even, for a time, the Vineyard movement (Horton 115-116).”

[26] Example: Branham, William. 1951, Sept 28. At Thy Word. Accessed 2020, Sept 8 from http://table.branham.org “Oh, my, all devils out of hell and all of his forces can’t stop it then. The time’s there; that’s the spoken Word of God ready to come to pass. Nothing can stop it.”

[27] Brief History of Publications. Accessed 2020, Sept 8 from http://www.williambranhamhomepage.org/vog.htm. “In 1981 Bro. Joseph Branham (Bro. Wm. Branham’s youngest son) founded ‘The Voice Of God Recordings, Inc.’ and received from The William Branham Evangelistic Association the franchise rights to duplicate the taped recorded messages of the prophet. In 1986 he also assumed control of Spoken Word Publications. ‘The Voice Of God Recordings, Inc.’ was now responsible for the printing and reproduction and sale of the recorded sermons of the prophet. The printed booklets, then and now are known as ‘The Spoken Word’ – The Word spoken by the Prophet of this age, calling the churches to repentance (Rev. 3:14-22) and finishing the Mystery of God (Rev. 10:1-7).

[28] Branham, William. 1965, Nov 27. Trying To Do God a Service Without It Being God’s Will. Accessed 2020, Sept 8 from http://table.branham.org “the Elijah of this day is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is to come according to Matthew the seventeen-…Luke 17:30, is, the Son of man is to reveal Himself among His people. Not a man, God! But it’ll come through a prophet.”

[29] Branham, William. 1949, Dec 25. The Deity of Jesus Christ. Accessed 2020, Sept 8 from http://table.branham.org. “And He made you a god to the people. That’s right. And you, this morning, are written epistles of God. Your—your lives are of God, and even carries that Holy Ghost.”

[30] Branham, William. An Exposition Of The Seven Church Ages. “As each member came forth it became EXPRESSED and took its place in the body. Thus this bride is the literal SPOKEN WORD SEED BRIDE. And though she is feminine in designation she is also called the “body of Christ.” It is very apparent that she ought to be called that for she was predestinated in Him, came from the same source, was eternal with Him, and is now manifesting God in a many-membered body whereas once God was manifested in ONE MEMBER, even our Lord Jesus Christ.

[31] Peterson, John. Joel’s Army. Accessed 2020, Sept 8 from https://wrldrels.org/2016/10/08/joels-army/. “1951 George Warnock, influenced by connections to Branham and Hall, wrote The Feast of Tabernacles, which spells out the “Manifested Sons of God concept.”

[32] The Jim Jones ‘Judge-Not’ Jingle. 2017, Sept 17. Accessed 2020, Sept 10 from https://churchwatchcentral.com/2017/09/17/the-jim-jones-judge-not-jingle/. “Evidence suggests that the New Order of the Latter Rain (NOLR) Apostle/Prophet William Branham helped create the platform that gave the world Jim Jones. It was the NOLR who created the Voice of Healing Movement in the 1950s, the Charismatic Renewal Movement in the 1960s and the Shepherding Discipleship Movement (SDM) in the 70s. And we observed Jim Jones preaching their healing gospel, preaching the ascension gifts (five fold ministry), end-times church governance, their little gods heresy, etc.”

[33] Collins, John. The “Full Gospel” Origins of Peoples Temple. Accessed 2020, Sept 8 from https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=92702

[34] Hall, John R. Gone from the Promised Land. “About a year later Jones was introduced at a Columbus, Indiana, “Latter Rain” Pentecostal Church convention”

[35] Q1023 Transcript. Accessed 2017, May 30, 2017. “Woman 7: (unintelligible name) is my name, and I have been visiting here ever since the last (unintelligible word). Something happened, I had to stop coming, but revelation help called me Elijah and the revelation have called my daughter Elijah.”

[36] Branham, William. 1965, Nov 27. Trying To Do God a Service Without It Being God’s Will.

[37] Jones, James. Handwritten note to Earl Jackson. RYMUR 89-4286-1099, pp. 6-7. Accessed 2017, May 30. “God sent you to People’s Temple and you must not release yourself. I know there are things about the Message that you may not see but it is God.”

[38] Jones, James. Annotated Transcript Q353. Accessed 2020, May 28 from https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=62922

[39] Example: Reiterman, Tim. Raven, “While Jim expressed atheistic views”

[40] Jones, James. Annotated Transcript Q612. Accessed 2020, Aug 9 from https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=62945. “They won’t tell you the truth, because the black book is the easiest gravy train that they’ve ever been on. Yet Allen [A.A. Allen, Pentecostal evangelist] came to me, Oral Roberts [Pentecostal evangelist] spoke this, Billy Graham came right to us – Ijames [Archie Ijames], Jack [Jack Arnold Beam], and me – in Claypool Hotel, said I don’t believe a thing in that Bible hardly. But he said, it’s the way to make a living. Billy Graham, who I prophesied his death, Billy Branham rather, said his head would be— I said he’d lose his head. His head was cut off in Texas. [Editorial note: The reference is to William Branham, an evangelical preacher and acquaintance of Jim Jones during the Temple’s Indianapolis days. Branham died in an automobile accident on Christmas Eve 1965 in Texas, but was not decapitated.] He said you can’t preach the truth about that Bible, he said (tape cuts out about three seconds) preach reincarnation, you cannot preach the truth about the Bible, you will be in trouble. I said, I choose to treat th— preach the truth. He said, well, I’ll be around, while you will be in trouble. Well, I’m still here, and his head is cut off from his body.”

[41] Example: DeRuvo, Fred. 2018. Deception in the Church Setting the People of God Free from the Lies of Tithing. “something extra-biblical, not based on God’s Word. These, along with his other non-biblical beliefs he stated were given to him by divine revelation, convinced him they were true. Michael Moriarty in his book, The New Charismatics states: Branham’s aberrational teachings not only cultivated cultic fringe movements like the Latter Rain Movement and the Manifested Sons of God, but they also paved a pathway leading to false predictions, revelatory madness, doctrinal heresies, and a cultic following that treated his sermons as oral Scriptures.

[42] Moriarty, Michael. 1992. The New Charismatics. Branham’s aberrational teachings not only cultivated cultic fringe movements like the Latter Rain Movement and the Manifested Sons of God, but they also paved a pathway leading to false predictions, revelatory madness, doctrinal heresies, and a cultic following that treated his sermons as oral Scriptures.

[43] Branham, William. 1964, Jan 12. Shalom. “But in the woods, there was nothing there to make a squirrel. ‘Let there be,’ and there was, without anything to break it from. What is it? The same Jesus Christ! See? ‘Greater things than this will you do, for I go to My Father.’ Not take something that’s been created, break something from it and multiply a creation, but absolutely create.”

[44] Branham, William. 1964, Jan 19. Shalom. Accessed 2020, Sept 9 from http://table.branham.org

[45] Example: Peoples Temple will be host to the great William Branham Brotherhood-Healing Crusade June 11 to 15 Cadle Tabernacle. 1956, Jun 9. The Indianapolis News.

[46] Example: Biblical Contradictions. Accessed 2020, Sept 9 from https://www.atheists.org/activism/resources/biblical-contradictions/

[47] Jones, James. 1972. Accessed 2020, May 28 from https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=85728

[48] Spiritual Gifts – Keys to Ministry.  1997.  Accessed 2020, Sep 13 from https://documents.adventistarchives.org/SSQ/SS19970101-01.pdf .  “One problem with the contemporary charismatic movement is that people’s subjective experiences often replace the Bible as final authority in their lives.”

[49] Jones, James. 1972. Accessed 2020, May 28 from https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=85728

[50] Branham, William. 1965, Feb 6. Doors In Door

[51] Peterson, John. Joel’s Army. Accessed 2020, Sept 9 from https://wrldrels.org/2016/10/08/joels-army/

[52] Simpson, Sandy. 2002, Oct. Accessed 2020, Sept 10 from . “The movement is based upon William Branham, and therefore his theology formed the basis for the Latter Rain theology. He was seen as the “prophet” (Elijah) of the movement. Latter Rain doctrines caused division in traditional Pentecostal churches. They led to the condemnation of the ‘The New Order of the Latter Rain’ by the Assemblies of God in their general council in 1949. After this action, many Assembly ministers resigned or were excommunicated for their involvement and formed independent Latter Rain churches. Most of these churches were small. Their evolving doctrines became increasingly heretical and, many degenerated into clearly definable cults. (Church of the Living Word, The Body, House of Prayer, etc.) Some of those who kept the Latter Rain teachings alive from that time and are a big influence in the new Latter Rain Third Wave are Bill Hamon and Paul Cain. Latter Rain teachings today have evolved and now also include: Kingdom Now/Dominion Theology, Progressive Revelation, Revival/Harvest, Joel’s Army, Replacement Theology, Post-Millennial Eschatology, Signs and Wonders, Territorial Warfare, Ecumenism, Restoration of Apostles and Prophets, Jubilee/Feast of Tabernacles, and the Post-denominational Church.

[53] The Death Tape. Accessed 2020, Sept 9 from https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=29084

[54] Jones, James. 1966, Dec. Accessed 2020, May 28 from https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=29173

[55] Jones, James. 1966, Dec. Accessed 2020, May 28 from https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=29173

[56] Jones, James. Q1054-2 Transcript. Accessed 2020, May 28 from https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=85657

[57] Seven Church Ages. Accessed 2020, Sept 9 from http://vgrwebsites.blob.core.windows.net/youngfoundations/ae50e0bd-16cf-43ce-8d52-1b53c39cff11.pdf. “Last age is Laodicea. Messenger is Brother Branham”

[58] Jones, James. 1973, August 31. Accessed 2020, May 28 from https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=60704

[59] Jones, James. 1973, August 31. Accessed 2020, May 28 from https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=60704

[60] Jones, James. 1974, Dec. Accessed 2020, May 28 from  https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=77990

[61] Jones, James. 1970s, Dec. Accessed 2020, May 28 from https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=27319

[62] Jones, James. 1970s, Dec. Accessed 2020, May 28 from https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=27319

[63] Jones, James. 1972. The Living Word. Accessed 2020, Sept 9 from https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=14091

[64] Jones, James. Accessed 2020, May 28 from https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=29169

[65] Jones, James. The Living Word. 1972. https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=14091

[66] Example: Branham, William. 1955, Jan 13. “You just do it because the Father said so. And it’s the living Word in you, and God’s in you, manifesting Hisself just like He was in Christ. You say, ‘As He was in Christ?’ Yes, sir.”

[67] Examples:

Jones, James. 1972. Accessed 2020, May 28 from https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=28135

“The Spoken Word is here. The Word is made flesh. We don’t pray and beg anymore, we don’t grovel around on our knees anymore, we can talk to God face-to-face, and we can hear God with our own ears, and with our own understanding.”

Jones, James. 1974. Accessed 2020, May 28 from https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=28198. “That’s what I am. The Word. The Spoken Word. The Living Word.”

[68] Church Ages. Accessed 2020, Sept 9 from https://william-branham.org/site/topics/church_ages

[69] Jones, James. The Death Tape. Accessed 2020, Sept 9 from https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=29079

Originally posted on September 14th, 2020.

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