Q1058-4 Summary

Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.

To read the Tape Transcript, click here.
To read the Annotated Transcript, click here.
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FBI Catalogue: Jones speaking

FBI preliminary tape identification note: Labeled in part “10-11-74 #15”

Date cues on tape: Indianapolis, 1959-1960 (Jones refers to himself as 28 years old)

People named:

People in attendance at Peoples Temple service:

Jack Beam, associate pastor
Archie Ijames, associate pastor
Marceline Jones [by reference]
Brother Kleinman
Russell Winberg, associate pastor

Public figures/National and international names:

Martin Luther, German Protestant

Bible verses cited:

(Editor’s note: The verses below appear in order of biblical reference, not as they appear in Jim Jones’ address. For a complete scriptural index to the sermons of Jim Jones, click here.)

“Where I put my hand, who doesn’t prosper?” [Genesis 39:3, “the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand.”]

“Some awful impressive people missed the kingdom, almost. Moses went out of Egypt, left the spell of Egypt, but he smote the rock. My God, it was just on the border that he smote the rock.” [Numbers 20:10-12]

“I’d like to be in an atmosphere where man didn’t do that, but where the Spirit made it impossible for a sinner to sit in the congregation of the righteous.” [Psalm 1:5, “Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.”]

“Oh, there’s such a famine for the hearing of the word. Not preaching of it, but the hearing of it.” [Amos 8:11, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:”]

“Repent, because the [unintelligible words] is in his hands and is separating the chaff from the wheat.” [Matthew 3:12; Luke 3:17]

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. [Matthew 4:17, “Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”]

“You ought to go back to that television. It was an effort to turn it off tonight. There your heart is, there will your treasure be also.” [Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Also Luke 12:34]

“Because I want to tell you, straight is the way and narrow is the gate that leadeth to life and through that Jesus Christ … Repent, because straight is the way, and narrow is the gate that leadeth to life, and few there be that find it.” [Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”]

“It’s no good. Looking for a reed to be shaken in the wind. That’s not what you need to be looking for.” [Matthew 11:7, “And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?” See also Luke 7:24]

“Looking for a loaf and a fish.” [Matthew 14:15-19, Matthew 15:33-37, Mark 6:33-44, Luke 9:11-17, John 6:5-13]

“The Kingdom is gonna be to those that have faith to face it, for those that’ll be like a little child. It says, except you become as a little child, you will not enter into Kingdom.” [Matthew 18:3, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”]

“Before we can go to the taverns, before we can go to the den of thieves, before we can get the money-changers out of the vice world saved and delivered, the church is gonna have to be delivered.” [Matthew 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-17; Luke 19:44-45]

“I don’t want to have the charge said to me, Woe unto you, scribes and hypocrites.” [Matthew 23:13-14].

“Repent, because the sheep are about to be separated from the goats.” [Matthew 25:31-32, “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats”]

“But God is a God that’s at hand!” [numerous references to the kingdom of God at hand, including Mark 1:15, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”]

[Jesus engaged in foot-washing at Luke 7:36-50, John 13:3-17]

“I about decided to let the dead bury the dead.” [Luke 9:60, “Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.” See also Matthew 8:22]

“Our Father in heaven– Our Father! Which art in heaven.” [Lord’s Prayer, Luke 11:2-4].

“For three years I haven’t taken any money for the gospel, and I’m free from all mammon.” [Luke 16:9-13].

“He’s the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world!” [John 1:9, “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”]

“He said, He that loves me keeps my commandments.” [John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments”; see also John 14:21-24, John 15:10, 1 John 5:2-3]

“If you don’t know any more today than you knew yesterday, you’re not really filled with the Holy Ghost. Because the Holy Ghost will charge you! The Holy Ghost will teach you! The Holy Ghost will lead you and guide you into all truth!” [John 16:13, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”]

“If all you know is Acts 2:4 [“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”] and Acts 2:38 [“ Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”] and a little message about the Atonement and the resurrection and pie in the sky and gold in the sweet by and by, you don’t know nothing of what’s going on! … Acts 2:4 is for today.”

“I said they’re accused of being drunk. Are you drunk tonight? Are you reckless tonight?… you haven’t been drunk for the spirit of God. I hope you get drunk.” [Acts 2:14-17; also Ephesians 5:18, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit”]

“’And with many other words did he testify, and he exhorted, saying save yourself from this untoward generation.’ Who? This terrible generation of religion that had a– actually encompassed the whole earth. Everyone was in the royal order of Sadducees or Pharisees or something. That untoward generation was religioning. There was nothing more mean than religion.” [Acts 2:40]

“Then they gladly received his word and what– they that gladly received his word were baptized. And the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” [Acts 2:41]

“’And they continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrines. And they continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine. And fellowship. And in breaking of bread, and in prayer.’ … He said they were learning, they continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine.” [Acts 2:42]

“’And all that believed were together, and had all things common.’” [Acts 2:44]

“’And they sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need’… God for some time has been putting it upon our hearts to sell what we have and give it to the corporate community of our church… Our aged home – the nicest in the state of Indiana – has been established on a basis from each according to his ability to each according to his need.” [Acts 2:45]

“’And they, continuing daily with one accord in the Temple, and breaking bread from house to house’– Where did they go? Where did Pentecost fall in the first place? In a holy cathedral? In a shrine of Jewish worship? In a synagogue? No, it fell in a house. God meant to sanctify every natural thing. The first church met in a house. I think some of you’d be better off if we went back to meeting in the house, too.” [Acts 2:46]

“’They continued daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house. They did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.’ Said they had joy and they had gladness.” [Acts 2:46-47]

“They went from house to house breaking bread.” [Acts 20]

“And I wanna be in a church where people are not afraid of the altar, not afraid of slobbering a few tears over one another. Not afraid of giving on another a holy kiss.” [Romans 16:16, “Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.” Also 1 Corinthians 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:12, 1 Thessalonians 5:26]

“But brother, sister, you’re not gonna be saved by the signs. You’re gonna be saved by the foolishness of the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” [1 Corinthians 1:17-27, esp. 1:21, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”]

“One said [unintelligible word] to another ‘you have to take her to law. The only way you’re gonna get your money back, take her to law.’ My Bible says ‘Go not to law.’” [1 Corinthians 6:1-7]

“The early church, they used to say ‘Maranatha! The Lord is at hand!’” [1 Corinthians 16]

“You came from your woeful, complaining, gloomy, down-hearted, defeated spirit, saying ‘I’m about to die,’ that you may not have a dime, you may not have nothing – like Jesus said, having nothing, yet possessing all things! You have a faith! A faith. A power. You want to know what it is? God is gonna come in.” [2 Corinthians 6]

“Paul said he spoke with contempt, there wasn’t anything particularly popular about his words. He didn’t have any brilliant passing words of man’s wisdom, he came to them simply in the boldness of the Holy Ghost!” [2 Corinthians 10:8-11]

“When you realize that Jesus Christ, the riches of Jesus Christ are unsearchable and inexhaustible, you’ll keep an active learning phase.” [Ephesians 3, esp. 3:8, “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ”]

“There’s no race in God. There’s neither male nor female, bond nor free, Jew nor Greek, Scythian nor barbarian.” [Colossians 3:10-11, “put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.”]

“My God, people, they’ll not endure sound doctrine.” [2 Timothy 4:3, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears”]

“I know we’ve been ordained for this hour, to get people back to the faith that was once delivered to the saints.” [Jude 1:3, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”]

“Repent, because the wrath of God is about to be poured out upon us.” [Revelation 16:1, “And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.”]


(This tape was transcribed by Kristian Klippenstein. The editors gratefully acknowledge his invaluable assistance.)

“I’ll tell you this, though, I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Christ!” Jim Jones says about halfway through this sermon. This is not the Jim Jones of Jonestown 1978, or Jim Jones of San Francisco 1972, but rather Jim Jones in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1959. He is a fiery Christocentric preacher, speaking passionately of the powers of the Holy Ghost, of the might of the Christian God, of the need for faith, belief, obedience, repentance, and salvation for his followers.

He speaks passionately, not just of the power of prayer, but of the need for prayer, just as the apostles had. “They broke bread and they had prayer. If you don’t begin by speaking to God in the morning, you’d better not speak to men. You’ll get in trouble all day long.” And it should be a public witness: “If you can say ‘Praise the Lord’ in the house of God, then you say ‘Praise the Lord’ down on the street corner!”

There are other pieces of Jones that would become unrecognizable. “Communism has sold itself to the position of the group mind,” he says. But, he adds, the only thing that’s going to counter Communism is an approach that hints at his future: the sharing of all things as the apostles did on the day of Pentecost, as Peoples Temple does every day with its free restaurant and grocery, through its prison ministry. It is communalism – with a lower case “c” – that will defeat capital-C Communism.

Reflecting the tradition from which he has emerged, Jones does speak of his ability to heal – “If you need healing, come up here, I’ll get you healed” – but it is not Jim Jones who does it. “God’s able to take their burdens away tonight,” he immediately adds. He mentions his healing abilities several times throughout – including his recognition that if he didn’t heal, people wouldn’t come – but the tape closes with his prayer, “By the power of the Holy Spirit bring healing to this life. Father, you see the vacancy, we pray that thou would fill here with your presence and your power, in the name of the Son of God.”

He does separate himself from other Pentecostal preachers in several ways. Those preachers and their followers cherry-pick their way through the Bible, designating the “holy kiss” and foot-washing as customs, and not the law. They are also more interested in lining their own nests than he is, another preview of the Jim Jones to come: “If you’re wasting God’s money today by putting it in some church that’s just doing a rat race or feeding some preacher, keeping him plush, … you’re doing a work that is wrong.”

In the main, though, it is a sermon filled with hope, of invitation, of the power of love. “This is the greatest hour in the world to be alive. But wouldn’t you like to have the same spirit as that early church? Wouldn’t you like to have the desperate hunger of that early church? … Do you want what God has for you?”

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 6/21/79

In connection with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation into the assassination of U.S. Congressman LEO J. RYAN at Port Kaituma, Guyana, South America, on November 18, 1978, a tape recording was obtained. This tape recording was located in Jonestown, Guyana, South America, and was turned over to U.S. Officials in Guyana and subsequently transported to the United States.

On June 16, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B108-35. This tape was found to contain the following:

JIM JONES delivering a firey [fiery] sermon on racial fellowship. This recording was made when JONES was 28 years old.

Differences with FBI Summary:

The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.     

Tape originally posted June 2023.