There was a King who had a Son whom he loved very much. The two had always been together and had always loved each other. The King promised the Son that one day he would give him a Royal people of his own and that he would inherit the whole Kingdom and rule forever.
The King picked out a lowly peasant man and told him that he would be a father of many peoples, and that he was to have a special relationship with the King. The King would always look after him and bless him, and the peasant's descendants would be His Son's Royal nation. The man believed the King and the King was pleased. The King liked it when people took him at his word. It was his favorite character trait, it was the mark of Royalty.
There was one problem, though. All the peasants had an incurable congenital disease which made their presence foul to be near. The King assured the peasant he chose that he would be cured and allowed into His courts, he and his children. As a sign to the man that this cure would come to pass, the King gave the man a ring to remember the promise by, and instructed him to make rings like it for all his sons. This was the First promise.
As time passed, the peasant's family grew to fill a great neighborhood. The King wanted to impress upon the group that they were being groomed for Royal positions. He also wanted to give them a bit of a hint as to what the cure for the family curse was going to be (because that would help them to know what sort of King He was). So he gave them some lessons in governing and he taught them to eat and dress in ways that were different from the rest of the peasants, to set themselves apart as royalty. Lastly, he taught them to drain blood from animals, telling them that the cure he was going to bring for their foul disease would be similar. They didn't really understand, being simple folk, but he told them they'd have to trust him on this one. He promised them that if they trusted him on this, they were Royal. This was the Second promise.
As time went on, the peasant family forgot the meaning of the Royal protocol and the bleeding of animals, and thought that by their dressing funny and killing goats they were somehow magically curing themselves, making themselves fit to become Royalty. They scrupulously did all these things, but the rest of the time, they were wallowing in the mud like the rest of the commoners. They were not doing what was called for in the Second promise. They were not taking the King at his word.
One of the peasants, a Wise Man, tried to warn the family. He told them that if they didn't get their act together, the King would disown them, since they were no longer taking the King at his word but had changed the meaning of the Royal Protocol and the bloodletting. He told them that the ring they wore (as a token of the First promise) was only a symbol, and the thing it pointed to was not a genetic family, but the family of Royal folk who would take the King at his word.
Since they were not taking the King at his word according to the First or Second promise, they did not seem to be the True family the King had in mind. The Wise Man told them that when the King finally got fed up with them and it had become clear for all to see that they were not True descendants of the Royal family which he had in mind at the beginning, he would gather those who were True descendants of the first peasant and renew the Promise with them.
The Wise Man told them the New promise would be different. The Second promise, which had not changed the First, but had built upon it, involved Royal protocol lessons and bloodletting as ways to help them know the King and to take him at His word regarding the future cure. But they had twisted it all around and shown they were not fit to be in the Royal family. The New promise, he said would not be taught in the same way. There would be no need to use the Royal protocol practice and bloodletting to teach about the King and what will be done, because by that time everyone will know clearly, having seen the King in person and witnessed the method of cure for themselves.
Finally, the King sent his Son to show them once again how Royalty should behave, but the peasants got very angry because he did not congratulate them on their Royal table manners or the amazing number of goats they had bled. In fact, since the man did not recognize that they had discovered a cure for themselves, they became sure that he could not be the King's son. "The King's son would be more appreciative of our work", they declared. They thought about this awhile and became very angry. "He's impersonating Royalty!", they cried. We will not stand for this, our King would be very upset. So, considering themselves cured and Royal, they took the man and hung him up and bled him dry like a goat. They were disgusted with the whole mess and went home to practice Royal protocol.
There were some, though, who had heard the King's son talk about the meaning of the Royal protocol, and the coming cure for the disease (that had been promised long ago), they looked at the rings on their fingers and remembered. They believed him when he said the cure was on the way, in fact very near. He even told them that He would be bled dry like a goat. He told them not to worry, though, that he knew something they didn't. He told them to take him at his word. They did (they bore a family resemblance to that first peasant long ago), and it pleased him (he Was his Father's Son).
These folk who believed the man was the King's son and took him at his word watched in pain as their hope of Royalty was slaughtered. But behold, when all the old Royal protocol practitioners had gone, the King's son came back to life! His followers were amazed and delighted.
He told them that by taking him at his word they had transferred their genetic disease to him, and that when he died, the disease died with him. He could not stay dead, though, because he was Truly Royal. Death has no hold on the Truly Royal.
He told them that those who take him at his word are the real descendants of the first peasant, and that they were not to do the things that had been done during the great corruption. They were to act Royal. They were to take him at his word.
They asked if they should still make rings for their children and he told them that would not do, for the sign of the First promise had been misused in the corruption of the Second. Besides, they didn't need a sign to constantly teach them about the King or what would be done in the future, because they had seen the King in person and the cure had already been performed. They replied, "When have we seen the King?"
He answered "I am He."
He also told them to no longer bleed goats, since the thing it was supposed to hint at had been done and they all saw it as well. They didn't need to teach these sorts of rituals anymore and wonder what the thing stood for...
He did want to give them a sign though, to remind them of that First promise and what he had done for them while he was dead (while he was dead, he cured the disease of all who had taken the King at his word but had died, them, and all their children after them who would take the King at his word).
He told them to clip a bit of hair from their heads and burn it. He said this was the replacement for the wearing of rings. They asked why the burning and he told them that while he was dead he carried all their diseases into the fire and destroyed them. He told them that the reason they couldn't have cured themselves was that they would burn up, but He was Royal and fire could not touch him. In fact, the fire did his will, for the Fire that cures disease is of one mind with him. He told them that if they had tried to cure themselves, it would have shown that they were not Royal, because they would not have been taking him at his word, and taking him at his word is the prime indicator of Royalty.
The people were confused. "Are you saying we Are Royal? Already?" they asked. "Yes," he smiled. You were always considered Royal. My Father picked a people from the very beginning, and promised them to me for my own. He told me there was a problem though, that they were diseased and could not enter the Court as they were. I knew that I was the only one who could cure them, and I love my Father very much. We think a lot alike, and I knew He would want me to do this, so I obediently, out of Love for Him, determined to die and take your diseases into the fire. The thing you saw carried out here in the flesh had already been done in the agreement with my Father, not "as good as done", but Really done; for what I determine is Fact, not mere possibility.
"How will we know who is Royal and who is not?", they asked, since there were no more rings or protocols for outward signs.
"Taking the King at his word is the prime character trait of Royalty", He replied. Just as I put the invisible Ring on your ancestors fingers and cured their diseases by agreeing to go through the Fire for them, I invisibly cut your hair and burned it in the same eternal Promise. I did this in the agreement with my Father before the beginning, and I carried out that agreement right before your eyes.
He told them to tell everyone about the cure that had been performed for all the Royalty in the world, and advised them to take the King at his word. He told them to do this until many people from every nation had cut their hair and burned it as a sign that they were in the Royal family and that they knew they were diseased without hope of cure except for the Son having gone through the Fire for them.
Many years later, a controversy arose. Among those in the Royal family some felt they should only clip the hair of people who knew the story and were able to convince the other Royals that they took the King at his word. They pointed to the time of the corruption of the Second promise, and the words of the Wise Man who warned that there would be a New and Better promise, and that no one would have to teach another about the King because they would all know him themselves. They argued that only the big folk didn't need to be taught.
The other group of Royals tried to convince them that if they would read the words of the Wise Man again, in light of the whole history, they would see that what was changed was the Second promise, not the First. In fact, the Wise Man even told them which promise was being modified because he called it the promise which had been given to their "forefathers", and he gave the place and time in which this promise had been given. (The First Promise, which involved the Ring had been given to their original "forefather" and it had been given in a different place and a much earlier time).
The group which clipped their children's hair, after the style of the First promise, which was to Them and Their children, told them the reason no one had to teach protocol anymore as a way of knowing about the King and his promise was because the acts of fulfillment of the promise, which long ago were barely understood, had now been seen by the whole world, and everybody knew the King (it being a historical fact that he had visited the neighborhood) and what the protocol and bloodletting had been hinting at.
But the Royals who clipped adult hair only protested "how do we know the children are in the Royal Family? They haven't demonstrated taking the King at his word!"
The second group replied "they were born to parents who are in the Royal family. The First promise hasn't changed, just the sign of it. The First promise was for us and our children."
The first group said "But how do we know they are Truly Royal?"
The second group replied "all in the Royal family belong to the King. The King alone has the list of who is Truly Royal and has commanded us to trust Him with the matter, it is none of our business, and we take him at his word." "Sometimes one will be set outside the family for behavior unbecoming Royalty, but they may come back later".
If that one is on the King's list, the King himself will bring him back into the family. "Besides", the second group said, the First promise did not require the original peasant to determine who was Truly Royal, he was simply to put the sign of the Royal family on all who were in his house, regard them as the King's property and train them up to be Royalty."
"And how do you do that?" the first group asked.
"Teach them to take the King at his word", they replied.
by R. Griffin