Thus, in our modern day setting, since the Spring of 1991, the TWMC Information Center/YORWW Congregation has seen itself as a "rescue mission" for all sincere Jehovah's Witnesses, and a special "outreach ministry" for them, encouraging repentance among the nation. We thus became to Jehovah's Witnesses … a lone "voice” crying out “from the wilderness" urging repentance. Which meant, the overall purpose of the LWF discussion board was to specifically help all who were willing and who became aware of the increasing serious problems affecting the organization (United Nations NGO Scandal) and to show them exactly what they must do to become fully pleasing to Almighty God, at this critical juncture in their lives. -- 1 Peter 4:17, 18
THE YORWW CONGREGATION SPEAKS AS A "VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS" TO ALL CONGREGATIONS OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES WORLDWIDE!
-- Isaiah 40:3
JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES IN APOSTASY! Today God's Name People are faced with a very difficult situation, similar to the one faced by ancient Israel of times past. Yes, Jehovah's Witnesses of our modern times are faced with National Apostasy! And, as we recall in times of National Apostasy of the past in Ancient Israel, Jehovah dutifully would without a doubt, "ABANDON" the House of Israel if they proved to be totally unrepentant about this grave sin when brought to their attention. Special National Atonement was necessary in all such cases. -- See Leviticus 4:1-21; Matthew 23:38.
In fact, in all such cases, God's Word indicates that if the nation of Israel would not repent of its wicked ways, JEHOVAH GOD HIMSELF, WOULD BE MOVED TO GO TO THE WILDERNESS, and distance Himself, far away from His Name People and the land of His people!
Indeed, Deuteronomy 23:14 clearly says,
"For Jehovah your God is walking about WITHIN YOUR CAMP to deliver you and to abandon your enemies to you; and your camp must prove to be holy, that he may see nothing indecent in you and certainly turn away from accompanying you."
Also, Numbers 35:34 says for our benefit,
"And you must not defile the land in which you are dwelling, in the midst of which I am residing; for I Jehovah am residing in the midst of the sons of Israel."
And so for these reasons stated above, Jehovah Himself, John the Baptist, as well as all repentant members of the nation of Israel, would have to LEAVE THE "APOSTATE NATION" OF ISRAEL and humbly be willing to go out into the "wilderness," where appropriately they could receive Divine Instruction from Jehovah, in the wilderness, where God would now reside, far away from His Name People. (John 1:6; Isaiah 10:6) Therefore, anyone from the nation of Israel, who was truly repentant, and who wished to "inquire of Jehovah" from that point on, must be willing to GO TO THE WILDERNESS, since God Himself had left the land, and would no longer agree to be a "resident" or "dweller" in this now "polluted," apostate land of God's Name People. This situation became advisable during the difficult times of the prophet "Elijah" as well as the prophet "John the Baptist," who both took up residence in the "wilderness," away from God's Name People for a specific period of time. -- See 1 Kings 17:2-6; 1 Kings 19:4, 15; Matthew 3:1-6
Indeed, Ezekiel 20:35-38 prophetically speaks of God's future "judgment" or discipline upon His Name People because of gross wickedness, and their future trek to the "wilderness," where Godly "Judgment" would be carried out upon them. The prophet Ezekiel was told in ancient times about our day,
"And I WILL BRING YOU INTO THE WILDERNESS OF THE PEOPLES and put myself on judgment with you there face to face. Just as I put myself on judgment with your forefathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I shall put myself on judgment with you, is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. And I will make you pass under the rod and bring you into the bond of the covenant. And I will clean out from you the revolters and the transgressors against me, for out of the land of their alien residence I shall bring them forth, but onto the soil of Israel they will not come; and you people will have to know that I am Jehovah."
Therefore, simply put, God's Name People of our time, Jehovah's Witnesses, have indeed, "polluted" God's land by wickedly engaging in idolatry, injustice and bloodshed, and thus, are presently in line for the Godly Judgment upon themselves, as shown above. This judgment will manifest itself for the whole world to see, when Jehovah allows his people to be CHASED TO THE WILDERNESS by the political nations and “trampled” upon for forty-two (42) months. -- Jeremiah 7:4, 8-15; Hosea 2:14-16; Revelation 12:6, 14; Revelation 11:2; Revelation 13:5-7.
In this regard, we remember Jesus himself knew Jehovah would inevitably, "abandon" apostate Jerusalem because of its wickedness, and so never personally risked the chance of being considered unfaithful to Jehovah and thus being himself "abandoned" by God. (John 8:29) Thus we can say, Jesus himself, set the example for us today, to "turn away from the ungodly," when he directed his disciples to LEAVE APOSTATE JERUSALEM. -- See Matthew 23:38; Hebrews 13:13, 14; 2 Timothy 3:5; Revelation 3:12
Isaiah 40:3 says:
"Listen! Someone is calling out in the wilderness: Clear up the way of Jehovah, you people! Make the highway for our God through the desert plain straight."
The "voice" we read of above that comes from the "wilderness" is the voice of God's prophet.
1 Kings 17:2-6 and 1 Kings 19:4, 15 shows the prophet Elijah frequented the "wilderness" in carrying out his assignment against rank apostasy on the part of the nation of Israel, when wicked king Ahab and Jezebel ruled.
In similar fashion, the bible tells us John the Baptist also frequented the "wilderness" since his early childhood. (Luke 1:80). Also, the Holy Scriptures reveal "God's declaration" or word actually occurred to John the Baptist, yes, while he was "in the wilderness." (Luke 3:2) Yes, it reveals John the Baptist frequented the "deserts" and primarily conducted his prophetic ministry OUTSIDE the camp of Israel. But someone may ask: "Why was this the case...why did John The Baptist frequent the desert places, OUTSIDE of the nation of Israel?"
Well, this was largely due to the fact that the nation was now on a "renegade" course, and had become an "apostate nation" before Jehovah and in dire need of "repentance" to be saved. (Isaiah 10:6) It was John's mission to make that known to the nation, from the "wilderness" as his base of operation. -- Proverbs 1:32; Luke 1:76-80
In fact, contrary to what most would normally think, strangely the bible informs us that John specifically did his "preaching" of repentance, IN THE WILDERNESS itself. Yes, he "preached" while in the wilderness, a message of repentance for the nation itself. The inspired accounts tells us:
"In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying repent, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near." -- Matthew 3:1, 2
All of this then, tells us that when the nation of Israel was viewed by Jehovah to be in a state of rank apostasy, it was God's Will that John, the prophet become a "voice" that spoke FROM THE "WILDERNESS" PERSPECTIVE. Interesting "food for thought," wouldn't you say? -- Isaiah 40:3
Indeed, Mark 1:4, 5 pointedly speaks of John's prophetic ministry OUTSIDE of Israel by saying,
"John the baptizer turned up in the wilderness, preaching baptism [in symbol] of repentance for forgiveness of sins. Consequently all the territory of Judea and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem MADE THEIR WAY OUT TO HIM, and they were baptized by him in the Jordan River, openly confessing their sins."
So a "voice" that speaks from the "wilderness" point of view, then has to be viewed as coming from a source OUTSIDE of the camp of Israel -- the voice of a prophet of God. Therefore, if God were to raise up a "prophet" then in our day, during times of National Apostasy to warn the people, he would no doubt raise him up from the "wilderness" point of view, thus being seen by the majority of people as being OUTSIDE the camp of Israel or apostate nation. Also, as we might rightly expect, this "voice from the wilderness" would urge "repentance" like John the Baptist did during his day. And yet, we would rightly expect this "prophet" to be seen or perceived by the nation as a whole as a distant "voice", far away from the nation itself. This "voice" would no doubt be generally considered by the religious leaders of that time and general populous, to be an OUTSIDER to the nation of Israel, thereby speaking from a non-acceptable source or point of origin...namely, the "wilderness." Think about it.
We recall Jesus saying at Luke 19:44,
"and they will dash you and your children within you to the ground, and they will not leave a stone upon a stone in you, because you did not discern the time of your being inspected."
In the first century, the apostate nation of Israel underwent an "inspection" period from Jehovah God, yes for some 4 years. This special "inspection" period actually started with the extraordinary 6-month ministry of John the Baptist, who was a special "representative" of Jehovah himself, which was immediately followed by the impressive 3 1/2 year ministry of Jesus Christ, the "messenger of the covenant" who also served as a special "representative" of His Father too. -- John 1:6; John 7:29, John 16:27, John 17:8
To be sure God's Word does promise us a future coming of a prophet called "Elijah," a "voice in the wilderness" for our day and time. In fact, even Jesus spoke of his coming, as being the one that would ultimately "restore all things" before, just before God's Great and Fear-Inspiring Day of Wrath should come upon all mankind. -- See Malachi 4:5, 6; Matthew 17:10, 11