Nearly 400 years had gone by since Malachi spoke, and the Jews had formulated their “Tanakh“, which we now call the Old Testament. The Tanakh was sacrosanct. It was a complete book. Nothing could be added to it or taken from it. There were, of course, many other interesting writings, including such commentaries as the Mishnah and the Talmud, but the Tanakh was supreme above all, and must be preserved and copied with the greatest care. [And of course, we are very thankful to the Scribes, the Sopherim, who preserved their ancient records with such care.]
Into this atmosphere came a quiet, thoughtful, but troublesome artisan known as Yeshua ben Joseph, whom men later referred to as Jesus. As a young man of 30 he began publicly to ADD TO what had been crystallised into the Tanakh, and this could not be tolerated. He had the temerity to give NEW REVELATION, and this was not allowed. God had spoken through Moses, the Prophets, and the Writings and this made a neat package, not to be tampered with. He was a major embarrassment to the Jewish hierarchy, and had to be dealt with severely.
After they had disposed of this troublesome upstart, a new sect arose, saying that this man Yeshua had risen from the dead! They began to preach a new thing, and it caught on like wildfire, so that the process of just three centuries, 27 more writings were added to the Tanakh, and the Jews were scandalised. Their neatly packaged box had been pillaged, broken open, and re-designed into a bigger box. As the new sect grew, it began to worship the larger box, treat it with hushed veneration, and anchor it with heavy ecclesiastical tradition.
Another 1700 years flowed down the stream of time until a new millennium was in view. The world was now flooded with this larger neatly packaged box called The Bible. But God had started to speak to His people once again, and there was turmoil. “No prophecy has the same authority as Holy Writ!” thundered the leaders of this new movement. “And just remember, the Word of God is complete. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing must be taken from it.” Others muscled in, saying, “God has nothing else to say. No prophecy must do other then repeat, re-emphasise, and revive what has already been said.” Those who received “something new” were severely castigated in print, and virtually dis-fellowshipped from what they believed to be “The Body of Christ.”
But suddenly, very strange things began to happen on the earth, in a manner quite unexpected by the many, and a whole new order came about, whereby human beings were seen in changed and undying bodies, taking a wonderful new message to the human race. God had even greater plans than had hitherto been appreciated. It all happened so quickly, and it took the churches by surprise, but when the initial novelty had settled into a newly established and beneficent order, a number of scribes were appointed who wrote “The Annals of the Kingdom” and it was declared that these writings should be added to what were known as the Old Testament and the New Testament. But like the Jews of old, there were many ecclesiastics who vehemently refused to believe that their neatly packaged box could again be pillaged, broken open, and made larger. They were content, safe, and secure in their traditional knowledge of a fossilised God. Any God who was alive, active, and likely to turn their world upside down was clearly too dangerous to handle, and must be relegated to the realms of religious fantasy, new-age mysticism, and heresy. Tradition was as sacrosanct to them as it had been to the Jews.
But the King who reigned over all the earth had spoken clearly when He was on the earth the first time. Correcting the Jewish error He said, “You search the Tanakh because in THAT you think to have life eternal, but it is merely the SIGNPOST that points to Me and you will not come to Me that you might have life.” Their neatly packaged box had become a shrine at which the Jewish world worshipped. 2000 years later the Christian world worshipped at the larger shrine, proving that human nature had not changed. The accoutrements of this shrine, this beautifully engraved and illuminated SIGNPOST, are many and varied, as the accompanying satirical poem seeks to illustrate.
We are selling Signposts!
We’ve bigger ones, and smaller ones,
And shorter ones and taller ones,
And plainer ones and bolder ones;
No matter what your language is,
Nor what your nationality’s,
Nor yet how small your salary’s,
Don’t buy them just as novelties,
They save you from calamities!
You KNOW you must have one of these,
So let us cut formalities
And render God our services,
By swinging on the arms of these Signposts!
We’ll help you with your Signposts!
We’ll teach you how to swing about,
To exercise and turn about,
To somersault and roundabout,
(Even if you’re fairly stout!)
To pirouette upon the pole,
Or hang on with no hands at all,
To lie flat out upon the arm,
And know you’ll never come to harm;
With practice you’re an acrobat,
As cunning as a diplomat,
Try all of these and many more,
Just do your daily “Signpost Hour”,
We’ve one for every size of our Signposts!
Read the words upon your Signposts!
Memorise just what it says to you,
Realise just what it means to you,
Imprint its words upon your mind,
The more you know, the more you’ll find,
The more you find, the more you’ll note,
The more you learn, the more you’ll quote,
The greater your agility,
The finer your ability,
The more will others see your flare
And so in turn will worship their Signposts!
Don’t ever leave your signposts!
Don’t listen to the stranger’s voice,
He’ll try to influence you choice,
For he is full of prejudice,
And jealous of your edifice,
He may quite well encourage you
To leave with all your family too!
Of such a crime you could not boast
If in the war you left your post!
So stand your ground whete’er may come,
Don’t leave your post by bribe or gun,
Let all the world be very sure
Of this, your loyalty to your