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Jim Jones was a "Message" Cult Pastor

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Multiple destructive religious cults have chosen to name their group "The Message", not realizing they are branches from the same tree. When members of these groups first come in contact with the history of Reverend Jim Jones and Peoples Temple, they are surprised to learn that Jim Jones was also a "Message" cult minister. As "The Message" grew, spread, splintered, and increased in members over time, many of the branches were not aware of the original Pentecostal sect once called "Latter Rain", or that the "Latter Rain" group referred to themselves as "The Message". This group originaed from through 1947 to 1948 series of meetings in Canada held by Rev. William Branham, and was made popular through the work of Reverends A. W. Rasmussen and Joseph Mattsson-Boze.

While popular for a short period of time, the excitement with Latter Rain did not last. Branham's unusual doctrine, combined with Franklin Hall's book, "Atomic Power with God through Fasting and Prayer", were the catalyst for a firm division in multiple branches of the Pentecostal faith. The Assemblies of God issued statements declaring many of their own churches influenced by "Latter Rain" to be "heretical", resulting in the reorganization of the Independent Assemblies of God. Eventually, many of the "Latter Rain" branches of Pentecostalism abandoned the movement. Some of them, including Branham himself, denied their involvement. It is because of this that multiple "The Message" sects exist, and are unaware of their counterparts.

Jones was ordained into the "Latter Rain" movement through the Independent Assemblies of God by Reverend Joseph Mattsson-Boze of Chicago. Through Mattsson-Boze, Jones came in contact with William Branham and Branham's "Manifesed Sons of God" theology. Shortly before being ordained by Mattsson-Boze, Jones announced the upcoming 1956 healing revival meetings that he and Branham would hold in Indianapolis, Indiana. This revival would serve as an official induction into the ministry, with blessings of "divine prophecy." Jones would teach the "Manifested Sons of God" theology until his death, as he claimed to be the result of "God" manifested in his flesh.

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In a series of "Latter Rain" sermons during June of 1956, William Branham lifted Jones into power by "prophetically" launching his ministry. As the sermons progressed throughout the week, Branham pleaded with men and women to leave what he called "cold formal churches," comparing them to less-than-favorable passages from the Christian Bible. He went so far as to compare the Indianapolis churches to "pigs," pleading with the people to separate themselves from their churches.

After his initiation into the "Latter Rain" faith, Jones began his career as a "Message" pastor. He referred to the "Latter Rain" movement as "The Message", as is documented in the historical data made available in the archives of Alternative Considerations of Jonestown & Peoples Temple. In a handwritten note from Rev. Jim Jones to Earl Jackson, believed to be dated between 1957 and 1965, Jones refers the "Latter Rain" movement as "the Message". The note reads: "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."

In many of "The Message" cult churches that exist today, this is a common theme. Continuing Branham's "Latter Rain" doctrine, cult followers are indocrinated to believe that the leader of their sect and/or the leaders's docrine, is the return of "Jesus Christ" to the earth. Branham taught his followers to believe the events described in Acts 2 from the Christian Bible were describing the "Latter Rain", which he claimed to be his own ministry. Specifically, he applied Acts 2:17 to himself and his doctrine, claiming that he and his teaching was the "Holy Spirit" being "poured out" on all people. This was achieved by avoiding the first half of the chapter, which detailed the events the seventeenth verse was describing.

Over time, William Branham's and Jim Jones' ministries became more distanced from both each other and Latter Rain. In his collection of documents, Joseph Mattsson-Boze listed spicific sermons by William Branham as "Latter Rain", recognizing the fact that William Branham did not preach the theology in front of all audiences. According to Mattsson-Boze, the following sermons of William Branham were "Latter Rain":

  • Teaching on Moses, delivered 5/13/56
  • Revelation, Book of Symbols, delivered 6/17/56
  • The Handwriting on the Wall, delivered 1/8/58
  • Palmerworm, Locust, Cankerworm, Caterpillar, delivered 8/23/59
  • Let Us See God, delivered 11/29/59
  • Hearing, Recognizing, Acting on the Word of God, delivered 2/21/60
  • He Careth For You, delivered 3/1/60
  • God's Wrapped Gift, 12/25/60
  • The True Easter Seal, delivered 4/2/61
  • The Ever-Present Water from the Rock, delivered 7/23/61
  • Message of Grace, delivered 8/27/61
  • Respects, delivered 10/15/61
  • You Must be Born Again, delivered 12/31/61
  • The Key to the Door, delivered 10/7/62
  • A Guide, delivered 10/14/62
  • Remembering the Lord, delivered 12/9/62
  • The Falling Apart of the World, delivered 12/16/62
  • Standing in the Gap, delivered 6/23/63
  • We Have Seen His Star and Have Come to Worship Him, delivered 12/16/63
  • Shalom, delivered 1/12/64
  • God is Identified by His Characteristics, 3/11/64
  • Going Beyond the Camp, delivered 7/19/64
  • The Seed of Discrepancy, delivered 1/18/65
  • The Anointed Ones at the End Time, delivered 7/25/65
  • The Rapture, delivered 12/4/65

When you compare the theology of both William Branham and Jim Jones, combined with the understanding of the Manifested Sons of God sect of Latter Rain, it is evident that both "Message" ministers were deeply involved with the "Manifested Sons of God" branch of Latter Rain. Considering the extremist viewpoints on the deification of "prophets", it could be argued that Branham's influence on Jim Jones through this theology resulted in the deaths of over 900 people in the Jonestown Massacre.

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