Phone Line Transcript
66 Books You Should NOT Read If You
Want To Remain a Jehovah's Witness
No. 6 Numbers: Wandering in the wilderness-- nobody's favourite Bible book.
The first ten chapters catalogs Israel's organizational arrangements for the march to the promised land. The next 10 chapters tell us that Israel, well organized as she now was, wandered in the wilderness 38 years. Then the last section details the seduction of Israel by the false prophet Balaam, more of God's judgments, and more stages in her wanderings in the wilderness. Not exactly upbuilding reading, nor uplifting history. But Numbers has its place in Scripture. 1 Corinthians 10:11 tells us Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. What can we learn from Numbers? What was it that Israel itself was to learn from the wanderings in the wilderness?
Israel had cried out to God in Egypt. But now they were not complaining about the Egyptians. Rather, they were complaining about the food God gave them. They were also complaining about the leaders God appointed for them. Manna wasn't good enough, and neither was Moses. The bread from heaven didn't tickle the palate like
the tasty garlic and onions of Egypt. And this Moses, couldn't some of them lead the people better than he? Well, Moses wasn't perfect. And Yahweh's provision of manna wasn't nearly as titillating as the treats on the Egyptian table. But Moses and manna were the means Jehovah had provided for their journey to the promised land. And now, Numbers tells us, the people rejected them. As Numbers 14:4 tells us, they presumptuously said Let US appoint a leader ... . They rebelled against Moses, but in so doing they rebelled against the Lord.
They were punished by wandering in the wilderness 40 years. And there was yet another reason for that wilderness wandering. The spies sent ahead to spy out the land were excited by the grapes of Canaan. But they still came back with a negative report. Their fear, in the end, was greater than their faith. So they wandered in the wilderness 40 years, till their bodies wore out. They died in the wilderness and were buried in the wilderness.
Jehovah's Witnesses, 120 years ago you rejected the imperfect leaders of the church, and chose leaders to suit your appetite. The Lord's table that sustained the church for 1800 years, and the leaders He had appointed, were no longer enough. The diet provided by your self-appointed prophets, the promises of an early entrance into
paradise, seemed much more tasty than the bitter or bland table of Christendom.
Invisible presence in 1874, the end of the world's kingdoms in 1914, paradise in 1925, the 1000 year reign in 1975 --- all these dishes were far more tantalizing than the stale bread of the church. But in the end what was it that the self-appointed 'faithful and
discreet slave' had fed you and your ancestors? Was this bread from heaven -- or ashes? Jehovah's Witnesses, dangling the grapes of Eshcol in front of Israel did not create true faith. In the end their fear overcame what little faith they had in Jehovah's promises. Don't be like them. Promises of paradise and fear of Armageddon don't
build lasting faith. ONE generation of Israel dropped dead in the Sinai wilderness.
THREE generations of Jehovah's Witnesses have died wandering in the Watchtower wilderness. Don't be the fourth. Millions of feet tramped countless millions of miles but in the end they were no closer to the promised land. Don't die in a false hope. Jehovah vindicated HIS prophet Moses, imperfect as he was, by having Moses foretell that the people's wandering would last one generation, 40 years.
Has Jehovah vindicated YOUR prophet, the 'faithful and discreet slave'? Was it not this same 'slave' that told the last 3 generations of Jehovah's Witnesses that THEIR generation would be the last, that they themselves would survive Armageddon into God's new order?
Israel rejected Moses, and according to Num.14:10, would have stoned Joshua too. But God's gracious and glorious appearance saved them from killing the one who would ultimately bring them into the land. Jehovah's Witnesses, you have rejected your Moses and Joshua, your prophet and leader -- Jesus. It is He, according to Romans 5, who can give us peace with God. No paradise can provide that. And it is this Joshua/Jesus who alone gives hope that does not lead to disappointment -- Rom.5:5.
Check our website for more information on the past promises of the Watchtower. Hit the designated link The Prophetic Powers of the Watchtower. Find out for yourself whether the 'slave' has REALLY been faithful and discreet in feeding the past 3 generations of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Next Message: Deuteronomy: Progressive light -- God's way!