“Faith Without Works Is Dead,” December 1956

[Editor’s note: This is an abridged transcript of a Jim Jones sermon that was published in The Herald of Faith Publication. The transcript of the sermon appears here, and the pdf is here. This site thanks John Collins, the manager of the William Branham website for providing this sermon.)

Rev. James Jones of Indianapolis delivered this challenging message during the Chicago Convention. “Show Me Your Faith By Your Works,” says Bro. Jones. Rev. Jones is the pastor of Peoples Temple, Indianapolis, and host pastor of the Great Fellowship Convention of 1957.

We read from the book of St. John, chapter 1 and verse 8 that He was the Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. I like to think of God as a light in man. Many churches today place people under condemnation and immediately remind them that they are in a terrible untoward estate, but I like to remind people that God’s light is in them, but it has to be brought forth by repentance and regeneration.

I like to realize that all men are made in the image of God, and that man has lost consciousness of what that image is. I believe that God is the Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. The Light shineth in darkness but the darkness comprehendeth it not but the Light is shining everywhere.

GOD IS REALITY

God is the only reality. The powers that be are ordained of God and I like to think that God is very much in control. I do not think that anything is happening outside of God because all things work together for good to those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose.

We realize that this light has to be brought forth and the important thing is to encourage people to see their potentialities. They will then come to the Light quicker than if we put them under condemnation. Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more.”

The whole church age has reminded people of their faults and their weaknesses but I say that it is time that we begin to remind them that within them there is a potentiality for all good, that in them is the seed of Christ and that if they will call upon the Name of the Lord, it will burst unto righteousness and they shall go forth doing exploits in the Name of Jesus.

Although we are untoward, although we are in the Adamic, we have not lost our potentiality. Jesus Christ has not been completely lost in any man. The image is there. The God-head said, “Let us make man in our image.” And God said after making all of creation. “It is good.” Are you to dispute God?

I say that mankind is potentially good, if you can bring him to the realization that through Christ all things are possible. The seed is within. We realize that we must have the stirring from above. Nicodemus was told, when he stole away by night, that ye must be born again, from above.

There is much comparison between the spiritual and the natural. You can always find the truth of God in the natural world around you. If you will just awaken to the realization of natural things, you can find hidden truths of God in the natural.

Every man and every woman has a seed within them, but it needs to be stirred by the rendering power of the Holy Ghost. The birth from above can unfold that seed which is within mankind. Christ in you, the hope of glory.

I like to have a logical theme. Too many people today say, “Bless the Lord, the BLood covers my sins.” They do not realize that they are only reconciled by the blood of Christ, but they are saved by the life of God as it flows through them, giving them an overwhelming and overcoming deliverance in their lives. Some have gone too far in the grace message realm, and say that they can do anything because Jesus has finished it all. They say that you do not need to work any more, but can lay down your burdens. May I remind you that Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow me.”

FAITH AND WORKS

Faith without works is dead. You can license people and liberate them and tell them that it is alright to live like the devil, but I say that you will receive your reward according to your works. “In my house there are many mansions.” There are many degrees.

Some preach that there is just a hot hell and a certain heaven where we will sit around the apple trees and the others will burn in a hot fire. Let me tell you that hell has degrees. Some will be beaten with many stripes, and some with a few. According to your works shall your reward be.

Remember that it is like the business of this earth. Whatever you put into a day, just that much you will get out of it. Of course, without Jesus, nothing would be possible, for He is our redemption.

Some people have gone too far, and think it is alright just to say, “Lord, forgive me. I’ve made a mess of things, but forgive me.” To just do that is hypocrisy, for I say that it is time that we begin to live this life.

Jesus said, “I have overcome the world,” and through Him all things are possible. If we live up to the aspiration of Jesus Christ, the old fashioned holiness will return to this earth again instead of apostacy.

PRACTICAL WORKS

I am determined when it concerns the showing of works. I have seen faith work and have seen people live in the supernatural. Some have so much hypothesis and theory, that it is so wonderful and they can shout and sing heavenly music, but when someone is hungering or athirst or when someone needs counsel or just a little love to reach into them, then you cannot find these people. They are ten miles off.

When it comes to works, others are doing the work. I just declared in my church the other day that I was a Jehovah witness. Hallelujah! I believe in Jehovah God. I believe Jesus Christ the Son of God revealed Jehovah and I am a witness of Jehovah. I am about my Father’s business, witnessing in the earth.

We appreciate the marvelous, miraculous presence of God. We have had the lame to walk in our meetings and as Brother Boze has said, cancers have been spued up, but the conscientious Christians in my congregation have not been won by the loaves and fishes.

You can pray the prayer of faith for some people and see them get rid of their diseases but they can forget it quickly. The people who really do you some good are those who know in whom they have believed and they are persuaded that He is able to keep that which they have committed unto Him against the day. That is the kind of power we need.

We need pioneers and prophets of God that know and love their God, who will fear and love Him, and walk circumspectly with Him, loving Him and confessing Him.

WITNESSING FOR CHRIST

As I went around and saw all the activity which others have and how they advance their programs and I saw that we were not doing so much, so now we have made a requirement in our church that if you want to be a disciple, a member of this circle, it takes two hours a week on the street testifying about Jesus Christ.

I still contend that the only way to reach humanity is to go out to them. It does not matter how many super sensational things you have, or dramatics, but there is only one thing that will cover a multitude of sins and that is the love of God.

If someone really realizes that you love them with all your heart, that you believe in your faith, and are willing to go out into the highways into the field, then they will know that you have Jesus Christ.

Prayer lines and healing movements are wonderful and you can’t refute one to take the other, but the thing is that we need to balance our whole movement.

Now I shall try to conclude my thought lest I talk beyond the capacity of God. A great danger is that we talk “in the flesh.” We have moved so much in this realm, and God will not be able to move until our “flesh” is completely brought down low, and Christ resurrected within us.

We must find the one central theme, and that is God is love. Love covers a multitude of sins. This whole move of God is something bigger than any doctrine. In Hebrews, it speaks of leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, of baptisms, etc. Now if you baptize in Jesus’ Name, or in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, that is your problem. It is not too important how you believe God is going to reward eternal judgments.

Someone came up to me and told me that I had to believe in hell the same way they did, but I answered that I did not. The only thing I have to believe is that whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap. Just believe that God is fair, that God is a just God. We just cannot accept the philosophy of eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.

There is a God who governs the destiny of humanity, but we do not need to philosophize about what hell is. You can realize that will not do. We have brought persons into a realization of condemnation, and have warned them of the pit and the fire, and it has brought a group of fearful people into the church.

You do not win a person by frightening them. You may get them so filled with Shekinah glory that the children could not carefully look into it.

The New Jerusalem, the city four-square, occupied the central position in the New Earth. They saw the celestial city with its Paradise as it is now, but descended upon the New Earth. The whole New Earth was much like the Paradise that is now and will then still be in the city of God, the Bride of the Lamb.

Originally posted on December 19th, 2021.

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