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The Poisoned Chalice: A Contemporary Parable
Steven Long 9/08/12




The Story:
The king glanced out over the lands. It was a beautiful land, full of green fields and flourishing trees. He had been given stewardship of this land, Ekklessia, several years earlier when the High King Himself called upon him to guard and protect the people. His tenure thus far had not seemed long at all, and though hardships surfaced from time to time he gladly kept the charge deemed to him by the High King.

But now it seemed that the people were growing restless. Some had come to him and wondered what new Word the High King had for them. The king had consulted his chalice; the Chalice of Didache which flowed with the Word. When the king spoke the Words of the Chalice he spoke truth. These Words taught the people what the Great King expected as His subjects. He never spoke anything but the Words of the Chalice.

Today, many had come to him asking if there were new words. They insisted their had to be something other than what they had always heard. It was just too simple and there had to be another word.

"The Great King longs to speak to us," one had said.

"Yes," another agreed, "What does He say to us now? "

The people began coming to the palace in masses. Shouts came from the crowd for the king to bring forth the Chalice. But they cried not for the Chalice of Didache. They cried for a new chalice with new words for the old Chalice, they had said, was worn with age. For many centuries they had used the old Chalice and these new times called for a new word; for a chalice with words they wished to hear.

The king turned to his trusted advisor, Pseudos, and looked at him with questioning eyes. Pseudos held out his hand, revealing a small vile with a red liquid nearly brimming over the top.

"It's best if you do, my lord," he stated. "The people will be pleased and we can progress from here. You'll see."

The king took the vile from Pseudos' hand and poured the contents into the Chalice. He wondered what had caused the people to become so restless.

One Year Earlier...


Undercover of night Pseudos snuck his way out of the palace. He needed help from outside sources. After seven long months of continual prodding the king would not budge. He had hoped he would sway, even just a little, for if he did then it would not take long for him to give up his land. He at first thought the groans of the people would sway the the king so he had begun to whisper discords in their ears and let the people do the rest. Despite his efforts, the king seemed resolved to speak only from the Chalice of Didache. But the only way for Pseudos' master to win this city was if the king strayed from the Chalice. A little would do, but he must stray! If Pseudos could not sway the king himself he knew someone that could.

Since he held a high position the guards at the gate would not likely question him. He approached, and just as he had suspected, they let him through without incident. He made his way quickly on the main road to the small cottage not too far from the palace enclosure. This was all the more better as his journey would be quick and he would not be too suspect for being gone a long period of time during the night.

He approached the residence and was glad to see that a lamp still shown through the window. Drachon would probably not be too happy to see him but the matter was urgent and Pseudos was sure he would understand.

He rapped lightly on he door. The door swung open and Drachon was sitting by the hearth, warming himself with a small fire. He was holding something in his hand but his back was turned away from Pseudos so he could not quite tell what it was.

"I expected this visit," he stated, coldly. "I suppose you need my help?"

Pseudos looked worried. He hated when Drachon did things like that. It was eerie and though he himself was no stranger to magic, this kind of magic was not something to be taken lightly.

"Yes, my lord," Pseudos agreed, bowing slightly before Drachon. "The king is much more resistant than originally thought."

Drachon turned slowly and the fire cast a glow on the object he had been holding in his hand. Pseudos could see that it was a small vile, though he could not see what was inside. Drachon motioned to him.

"Come and sit. I will need your help if we are to succeed in our task."

Pseudos treaded carefully and found a chair waiting for him. He sat down beside the sorcerer and watched closely. Drachon picked up a book and chanted some arcane language Pseudos had never heard. He watched, amazed, as the very words of the book seemed to liquify and find their way into the vile. He next picked up a long, wicked looking needle made of wood and handed it to Pseudos. Pseudos knew what he had to do and took the needle, piercing his palm. Blood flowed freely and this seemed to please Drachon. He took the needle from Pseudos and repeated the strange part of the ceremony. He next took hold of Pseudos' hand and clasped their palms tightly, mingling the blood together. He wiped the mixed blood onto the top of the vile and let it drip into the liquid base. He then held the vile up and began chanting. This time, Pseudos understood what he said:

A little of this, a little of that
a little poison in the glass
Sweetly tasting upon first swallow
death, decay, the soul to follow

Drachon smiled as he finished, swirling the vile to mix the ingredients. He handed it Pseudos.

"Be gone now, before your absence becomes known to the king."

"Are you sure this will be potent enough? His resistance has been strong thus far."

"It will be sufficient. It will take time but it will work its way into the king's Chalice. Then, it will replace the Words with my own words. And every time the king drinks of it will become more potent, swaying him to give up his guard."

Pseudos still had doubts. He feared this man and swallowed hard when expressing more doubt. "My lord, do you really expect the king to just let you walk in and take the city?"

Drachon didn't even glance at his servant. "Of course not. The change will be so gradual that he will not even notice–until it's too late!"

Pseudos was pleased with this answer and turned to leave. He scurried out of the cottage and hurriedly made his way back to the palace gates. The entire event took scarcely more than hour. He slipped back into the palace unquestioned and retired to his chambers. The only thing left now was to wait for an opportune time to introduce the poison to the king.

Present Day

The king poured the contents of the vile and drunk from the Chalice. The concoction tasted sweet and he thought to himself that maybe he should have done this sooner. As he spoke the people cheered him on. The king was very pleased by this. Pseudos had been right. Now the people could progress.

As the days slipped away the king found himself craving this new chalice more and more. He drank from it every day, several times a day, even more than he had drunk from the Chalice of Didache. Yes, perhaps this new chalice would work out, after all.



One Year Later

The king sat almost lifeless on his throne as the chaos ensued outside. His eyes appeared dim and though he was alive, reacted almost like a puppet. The poison had done its job and Pseudos was pleased. Even as the people screamed and and ran chaotically about the king could hear it. In his soul he wanted to help but had no more power of his own. The chalice of Drachon had completely seeped into his soul and caused him to obey the dark lord.

Drachon entered into the court and approached the throne where the king sat. Pseudos smiled as his master approached. He could tell Drachon was well pleased and he knew he would probably be rewarded handsomely for his work.

"Pseudos, it will not be much longer until we are done here. Begin to gather the soldiers and have then form ranks."

Pseudos bowed and responded with a, "Yes lord," before turning on his heels to obey his master.

Drachon smiled menacingly and added, "Hurry quickly. Tomorrow we begin to take the next city!"

The Meaning of the Story
The King: The pastor that God has given a solemn charge to be a watchmen for the people of His flock. (Ezek 3:17). The context is of Ezekiel and Israel but is relevant for pastors as they are to be a watchman against false teaching.

The High King: He is Christ Himself. His charge is that pastors remain faithful to the preaching of His Word. (1Pe 5:2)

The Chalice of Didache: This represents God's Word, the Bible. It is pure and must remain untainted. The word 'didache' is the Greek word for teaching or doctrine. (Titus 2:1)

Drachon: He is that wicked being, Satan. He desires to pollute the Word of God with his own message to lead people astray. Drachon is the Greek word for Dragon, as Satan is called 'dragon' among many other things. His words are damnable. Beware! (Re 12:9)

Pseudos: This is a false messenger of Satan. He stirs up controversy among the body and secretly introduces destructive heresies. (2Pe 2:1)

The Crowds: These are the people that live under the protection of the king in Ekklessia (church). They are anxious for a new word and are willing to listen to whatever anyone tells them (2Tim 4:3)

The Poison: This is the destructive heresies that find its way into the church. As "little" as it may seem it leads to a path of total damnation. Note, that the poison became quite addictive to the king. As the poison took its effects he continued to teach the false words of the new chalice. The people were quite pleased with his words and this fueled the king's addiction as he began to crave the approval of men rather than God. (Gal 1:6)


The Plot
The story is symbolic of what is fast happening in our churches today. We are seeing a complete paradigm shift from sound doctrine of the Pure Gospel to a watered-down, sugary sounding message.

In the story, it begins with a simple request of the people to hear a "new word" because what they have been hearing all along seemed to simple. They were convinced that God had another word for them and their itching ears desired to cast out the old and bring in the new.

The king remained faithful for a time but began to be upset by the people's whining. He consulted in his trusted advisor, who had been the false teacher that began whispering new teachings in the people's ears in order to stir their emotions. He realizes that this is not good enough and consults Satan to supply him with something that would work. He is given a vile of sweet tasting liquid that pleased but soon rotted the very soul away.

This poison represents how a small heresy can ultimately lead to, not only the pastor's downfall, but the entire congregation as well. Before long, the congregation becomes a synagogue of Satan.

This destruction took place with a small compromise. The king thought he was simply appeasing his people and in the end found out too late that he had destroyed himself and the people by consuming the poison.

Conclusion
Pastors, God has called you to a high and holy calling. Our charge is not to be taken lightly for God Himself does not take it lightly. The people will itch for something new, and though they flee the congregation to run after false prophets, remain steadfast and teach the Pure, un-poisoned Word of the Living God. May God grant us courage to stand strong in the face of all adversity.


In Christ's service,
Steven

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