Hierarchy in Heaven

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According to WMB, his follower don't get into heaven unless he did.

This message concept comes from a fairly innocuous phrase in the OT.

It is the phrase “and he was gathered to his people.” It occurs in texts like these:

“Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people” (Gen. 25:8);

“Altogether Ishmael lived a hundred and thirty-seven years. He breathed his last and died, and he was gathered to his people” (Gen. 25:17);

“Then he [Isaac] breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, old and full of years. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him” (Gen. 35:29);

“When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people” (Gen. 49:33);

“Aaron will be gathered to his people. He will not enter the land I give the Israelites” (Num. 20:24); and

“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Go up this mountain in the Abarim range and see the land I have given the Israelites. After you have seen it, you too will be gathered to your people, as your brother Aaron was” (Num. 27:12–13).

Many Old Testament scholars regard the phrase “and he was gathered to his people” as being nothing more than a conventional way of saying that he died. It is to be explained, so they say, by the thought that the individual was being placed in the same graveyard as those who had died before him. But this is hardly satisfactory in the case of the Bible stories involved. When Abraham died he was buried in a cave at Machpelah in the land that was to become Israel, but it was not the burial place of his ancestors. They had been buried back in Ur of the Chaldees, and his father had been buried at Haran. Moreover, in reading the account of his death, it is hard to overlook the fact that Abraham is said to have been gathered to his ancestors in verse 8 of Genesis, but to have been buried only in verse 9. Consequently, the phrase “gathered to his people” cannot refer to the burial but must refer to the death itself as a result of which Abraham joined those who had gone before him.[1]

Quotes of WMB

And I set there, and then a voice said, "You've been gathered to your people like Jacob was gathered to his people." I said, "All these my people? Are all these Branhams?" He said, "No, they're your converts to Christ." And I looked around, and there was a real pretty woman run up. She looked real... They was all about the same. She threw her arm around me, and she said, "Oh, my precious brother." She looked at me. I thought, "My, she looked like an angel." And she passed by, and that voice said, "Didn't you recognize her?" I said, "No, I didn't recognize..." Said, "You led her to Christ when she was past ninety." Said, "You know why she thinks so much of you?" I said, "That pretty girl was past ninety?" "Yeah," said, "She can never change no more now." Said, "That's the reason she's saying, "precious brother." I thought, "Oh, my, and I was afraid of this. Why, these people are real." They--they wasn't going anywhere. They wasn't tired being there. And I said, "Well, why can't I see Jesus?" He said, "Well now, He will--He will come someday, and He will come to you first, and then you'll be judged." Said, "These people are your converts that you've led." And I said, "You mean by being a leader, that I--that--that He will judge me?" He said, "Yes." And I said, "Does every leader have to be judged like that?" Said, "Yes." I said, "What about Paul?" He said, "He will have to be judged with his." "Well," I said, "if his group goes in, so will mine, 'cause I've preached exactly the same Word." I said, "Where he baptized in Jesus' Name, I did too. I preached..." And the millions screamed out, all at once, said, "We're resting on that." And I thought, "My, if I only knew this before I come here, I'd make people come here. They can't afford to miss this. Why, looky here..." And then, and he said, "Someday He will come, and then... Now, in here we neither eat, drink, or sleep; we're just all one."[2]


  1. James Montgomery Boice, The Gospel of John: An Expositional Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2005), 1071.


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