YAHSHUA


YAHSHUA AS GURU

HOW TO ENTER THE GURU-DISCIPLE RELATIONSHIP WITH YAHSHUA












AND HOW TO CULTIVATE THAT RELATIONSHIP VIA
WORSHIP, SERVICE, STUDY, AND
ESSENE CHRISTIAN MANTRA MEDITATION

By Rev. Brother Day, D.D.

This article is a joy to write. For some of you, it will be a joy to read. For some, though, it will be troublesome. Troublesome, because this article is an INVITATION TO TURN YOUR WORLD UPSIDE DOWN! Troublesome, because you will be invited to discard your present belief -- or unbelief -- system and replace it with a radical new one. Troublesome, because you will be invited to let go of your ego defense-mechanisms AND GET NAKED WITH GOD. Most troublesome of all, YOU WILL BE INVITED TO DIE!

This article will describe exactly how to become a disciple of Yahshua ha Mashiakh (Jesus the Christ). Many of you believe you already know. Most of you are mistaken in that belief. In the course of this article, all of you will be invited to enter the Guru-disciple relationship with Yahshua. A few of you will accept. For those few, this article was written.

Not only will this article describe how to become a disciple of Yahshua, but also how to cultivate that relationship and grow in it. Instructions will be given on how to cultivate that relationship via specific disciplines, including worship, service, study, and Essene Christian mantra meditation.

But before I describe how to become a disciple of Yahshua, a key question must be answered: WHO IS HE? Certainly, before we become a disciple of Yahshua, we must carefully consider whether or not he is worthy of being our Guru. We need to understand exactly who he is. We will begin this article by doing exactly that. We will ask: Who is Yahshua? And who better to ask than Yahshua himself? Who does Yahshua claim to be? Never mind the opinion of Paul in regard to who Yahshua is. Never mind the opinion of your Priest in regard to who Yahshua is. Never mind the opinion of the Pope! WE WANT TO KNOW THE OPINION OF YAHSHUA IN REGARD TO WHO HE IS! And then we will consider whether or not there is any evidence to support his claims.

Not only will we consult Yahshua's words about himself found in the common New Testament, but also in various less common ancient Essene-Christian manuscripts, including The Essene New Testament. While our primary concern is with Yahshua's own words about himself, we will also treat with respect the opinions of THOSE WHO ACTUALLY KNEW AND WALKED WITH HIM. Of those who knew and walked with Yahshua, the opinions of John, James, and Peter deserve special attention; these three formed Yahshua's inner circle of highest ranking Priests and were privy to his most esoteric utterances.

According to Yahshua, who is Yahshua? Not only in the post-Nicene New Testament used by mainstream Christianity today, but even in the original, pre-Nicene Essene New Testament used by the first Christians (and used today by our church), Yahshua makes a number of truly amazing claims in regard to himself. I will first list those claims, then examine each in depth. In The Essene New Testament, Yahshua boldly claims the following:

  1. Yahshua claims that he is the Christ-Messiah;

  2. Yahshua claims that he has come to our physical realm from a higher, spiritual realm called "heaven".

  3. Yahshua claims that he was sent here by God;

  4. Yahshua claims that his authority is greater than that of Moses;

  5. Yahshua claims that he is the "Only Begotten Son of God" (i.e. the "Adam Kadmon" or "Word" or "Alpha and Omega");

  6. Yahshua claims that he is the "Light of the World";

  7. Yahshua claims that he is "the Door";

  8. Yahshua claims that he is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life."

Again, every one of the above eight claims are made BY YAHSHUA in regard to himself, AND APPEAR ON THE PAGES OF THE MOST ANCIENT VERSION OF THE ORIGINAL, ESSENE NEW TESTAMENT. We are not dealing with the ideas of Paul or the Pope about Yahshua; these eight claims are Yahshua's own claims about himself. I will now describe each of the eight claims in depth. Although the claims themselves are all the words of Yahshua in The Essene New Testament, to help illuminate their meaning I will also cite related information found in various ancient manuscripts. We will also consider the opinions of those who actually knew and were trained by Yahshua, especially, his inner circle of John, James and Peter.

  1. YAHSHUA CLAIMS THAT HE IS THE CHRIST- MESSIAH.

On the pages of not only the common New Testament used by orthodox Christianity but also the more ancient Essene New Testament used by our church, Yahshua asserts that he is the Christ-Messiah. First, let us confirm that Yahshua does in fact claim to be the Christ-Messiah; having done so, we will then examine what is meant by the term "Christ-Messiah". In The Essene New Testament, we read:

"Then came Yahshua to a city of Samaria.... Jacob's well was there.... Yahshua sat alone on the edge of the well. And there came a woman of Samaria to draw water from the well. Yahshua said to her, 'Give me some water to drink'. The woman responded, 'How is it that you, a Jew, asks me a Samarian woman, for a drink? For the Jews have no dealings with Samarians.'

"Yahshua answered 'If you knew... the identity of the one who has just asked you for a drink, you would now ask God to give you Living Water; for the gift of God is at hand.'

"The woman said to Yahshua, 'I know that the Messiah will come, who is called the Christ; when he comes, he will teach us all things.' Yahshua replied, 'I am he.'"

In the above excerpt from The Essene New Testament, Yahshua does in fact claim to be the Christ-Messiah. The same excerpt also appears in the common, orthodox New Testament, almost word-for-word. In another passage from The Essene New Testament, we read:

"Again Yahshua sat near the sea, in a circle of twelve palm trees, where he often resorted, and the Twelve and their fellows came unto him, and they sat under the shade of the trees, and the holy one taught them.

"And Yahshua said unto them, 'Ye have heard what men in the world say concerning me, but whom do ye say that I am?' Peter rose up with Andrew and said, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, who descendeth from heaven and dwelleth in the hearts of them who believe and obey unto righteousness.' And the rest rose up and said, each after his own manner, 'These words are true, so we believe.'

"And Yahshua answered them saying, 'Blessed are ye my twelve who believe, for flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto you, but the Spirit of God ....'"

We see above that those who knew Yahshua best -- his disciples -- believed that he was indeed the Christ-Messiah. A similar passage appears in the orthodox New Testament. Having established that Yahshua did claim to be the Christ-Messiah and was recognized as such by his disciples, let us now examine the meaning of the term. What is meant by the term "Christ-Messiah"?

The word "Christ" is the English version of the Greek word "Christos". "Christos" is the Greek version of the Hebrew word "Mashiakh". The Hebrew word "Mashiakh" appears in English as "Messiah." Thus, both "Christ" and "Messiah" are translations of the Hebrew word "Mashiakh". The word "Mashiakh" means "anointed". In ancient Israel, when a king sent a person on a special mission, he anointed the head of that person with oil. So, in mundane terms, anyone sent on a special mission by the King of Israel was "anointed", was a "mashiakh". However, the prophets of Israel spoke about a special, one-of-a-kind Mashiakh, one who would be sent to earth on a special mission not by the King of Israel, BUT BY THE KING OF THE UNIVERSE. All of the prophets agreed that this special Mashiakh, anointed by God in heaven, would come to earth on a mission of salvation; this Mashiakh would be the Saviour of the world, saving the world from sin.

While all the prophets of ancient Israel were in basic agreement that God would send a Mashiakh to save the world, there was a disagreement between the Essene Jews and orthodox Jews in regard to HOW the Mashiakh would save the world. The violent, flesh-eating form of Judaism based on animal sacrifice -- MAINSTREAM, ORTHODOX JUDAISM -- expected the Mashiakh to be a WARRIOR KING. These orthodox Jews expected their warrior Mashiakh to conquer the world militarily and make Israel the capital of the world. Their warrior Mashiakh would "save" the world by killing all the sinners. He would then become the King of Israel and rule the world from Jerusalem. ON THE OTHER HAND, THE NONVIOLENT, VEGETARIAN ESSENE NAZARENES -- who had for centuries been persecuted by the animal sacrifice cult of mainstream Judaism -- EXPECTED A MASHIAKH OF PEACE, A SPIRITUAL KING. Whereas mainstream Judaism expected a quick military conquest by the Mashiakh to "save" the world, the Essenes expected a much slower process of salvation: THE MASHIAKH WOULD TEACH THE WAY OF PEACE, scattering seeds of peace which would eventually sprout and spread across the planet; salvation would come now to those individuals who follow the SAVING TEACHINGS, but would spread slowly amongst the group consciousness; yet in time, even the group consciousness of the planet would embrace the saving teachings of the Mashiakh of Peace and experience SALVATION.

Regardless of the different viewpoints on how he would save the world, all of the people of Israel were eagerly awaiting the coming of the Mashiakh. In fact, due to the military occupation of Israel by Rome, "eagerly awaiting" is too mild a term: the people of Israel were experiencing MESSIANIC FEVER! They wanted the Mashiakh and they wanted him NOW! They prayed fervently, begging God to send the Mashiakh, to send their Saviour.

And so it was that Yahshua entered the world. Consider just how bold his claim was: "I AM THE MASHIAKH." Obviously, he was not the sort of Christ-Messiah most of Israel expected; he was no warrior king. Rather, he was a barefoot vegetarian dressed in a white robe preaching the way of peace. He certainly was not the Christ-Messiah expected by the animal sacrifice cult! BUT HE WAS EXACTLY WHAT WAS EXPECTED BY THE ESSENE NAZARENES; they embraced him and thereby became the first "Christians."

Consider the word "Christians". We have already seen that "Christos" is Greek for "Mashiakh". "Christians" means "Messianists" or "followers of the Mashiakh". Thus, the Essene Nazarenes were the first "Christians" because they were the first to accept Yahshua as the Mashiakh. They believed he was "anointed" by God and sent to earth on a mission of salvation. The belief that Yahshua was "anointed" by God is explained by the Apostle Peter in an ancient Essene Christian manuscript titled, The Clementine Homilies and Recognitions:

"Although indeed He was the Son of God, and the beginning of all things, he became man: Him first God anointed with oil which was taken from the Tree of Life: from that anointing therefore He is called "Christ", which means, literally, "anointed". Thence, moreover, He Himself also, according to the instruction of His Father, anoints with similar oil every one of the pious when they come to His kingdom...."

We see above that the Essene Christians believed Yahshua to be the "Son of God" and "the beginning of all things." Later in our examination of the eight claims of Yahshua (listed previously in this article) we will consider what is meant by those terms. But for now we are focused on the term "Christ-Messiah" and the Essene Christian belief that Yahshua was "anointed by God". Above, Peter not only defines the word "Christ" as "anointed" BUT ALSO PROVIDES US WITH TWO EXTREMELY IMPORTANT PIECES OF INFORMATION:

  1. He describes Christ as having been ANOINTED BY GOD WITH OIL FROM THE TREE OF LIFE; and,

  2. He declares that although Christ was the FIRST Spirit ever anointed, -- and the ONLY spirit anointed directly by God -- Christ himself, according to instructions from God, "ANOINTS WITH SIMILAR OIL EVERY ONE OF THE PIOUS WHEN THEY COME TO HIS KINGDOM". (The word "pious" means "devout" and "sincere reverence for deity".) In other words, Yahshua ha Mashiakh is not the only Christ, but he was the FIRST CHRIST. And, importantly, Yahshua ha Mashiakh is in charge of the process whereby other pious souls may be "Christed" via a similar "anointing". Due to his status as FIRST CHRIST and, especially, the fact that he was placed in charge of the process of training other spirits for Christhood, YAHSHUA IS THE SUPREME CHRIST.

  1. YAHSHUA CLAIMS THAT HE HAS COME TO OUR PHYSICAL REALM FROM A HIGHER, SPIRITUAL REALM CALLED "HEAVEN".

This, the second in our list of eight claims made by Yahshua, was touched on in our treatment of his first claim and will again be touched on when we treat numbers three, four, and five. Thus, we will deal very briefly with it here, mostly seeking to establish that Yahshua did in fact make this claim.

In The Essene New Testament, Yahshua declares:

"For I came down from heaven.... I am not from this world, but from above.... I came down from heaven to this world, and to heaven I shall return."

John the Baptist agrees; in The Essene New Testament, the Baptist says of Yahshua:

"He has come down from heaven and is above all."

The fact that Yahshua claims to have come down to our world from a higher realm called "heaven", leads directly to his third claim in our list of eight:

  1. YAHSHUA CLAIMS THAT HE WAS SENT HERE BY GOD.

In The Essene New Testament, Yahshua asserts:

"I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of God who sent me."

Clearly, Yahshua did claim to have come to our world from a higher realm (claim #2) and, just as clearly, claimed to have been commissioned to come here by God (claim #3). In regard to his commission from God, he even claims that God instructed him in what he was to do and say here. Obviously, if Yahshua's above claims are true, his teachings would be of profound authority, transcending the authority of other prophets and teachers who, while relatively advanced for human beings, were nevertheless from the genetic stream of humanity. And that is exactly the point Yahshua makes in claim four from our list of eight:

  1. YAHSHUA CLAIMS THAT HIS AUTHORITY IS GREATER THAN THAT OF MOSES.

In the time and place that Yahshua made the above claim, it was considered blasphemous! Yahshua was speaking to a primarily Jewish audience. Moses, the Jewish Lawgiver, the author of the Torah (the Jewish Bible), was considered the chief authority on Jewish law, religion and social life. (Moses lived many centuries before Yahshua but his writings were still considered authoritative in Yahshua's day.) AND YET YAHSHUA CLAIMED TO HAVE GREATER AUTHORITY THAN MOSES! In The Essene New Testament (Sermon on the Mount), we read:

"Yahshua said, 'But behold: one greater than Moses is here, and he will give you the higher law, even the perfect law, and this law shall ye obey.'"

After making the above statement, Yahshua went on to quote from the Torah (the five books of Moses in the Old Testament, the Jewish Bible) a series of teachings attributed to Moses. After each of those excerpts from the Torah, Yahshua said "But I say unto you...." and then gave a very different teaching than that of Moses. Yahshua considered himself to have greater authority than Moses and did not hesitate to replace the Mosaic law with his own "higher law". (In fairness to Moses, two things need to be pointed out: 1) Moses was a great man, but he was from earth not heaven; he could not be expected to be at Yahshua's level. 2) The ORIGINAL TEACHINGS given to Moses on Mount Sinai were acknowledged by Yahshua to be from God; however, Yahshua claimed that the original teachings of Moses had been tampered with; in "Holy Twelve" Yahshua says: "Against Moses I do not speak, but against them who corrupted his law.")

Thus far, having examined the first four claims of Yahshua, we have established that he considered himself to be the Christ-Messiah, sent by God from heaven to our world with an authority exceeding even the greatest of human prophets. Yahshua's claim to ontological priority and superiority will be better understood in the light of our examination of his fifth -- and perhaps most profound -- claim:

  1. YAHSHUA CLAIMS THAT HE IS THE "ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD" (i.e. the "Adam Kadmon" or "Word" or "Alpha and Omega").

In The Essene New Testament, Yahshua declares:

"God so loveth the world, that the only begotten Son is given, and cometh into the world, that whosoever believeth in him may not perish, but have everlasting life. God sendeth not the Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him may be saved.

"They who believe in me are not condemned: but they that believe not are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil....

"Verily, they who believe and obey shall save their souls, and they who obey not shall lose them."

To understand what Yahshua means when he claims to be the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD, it is necessary to be well versed in ESSENE KABALLAH MYSTICISM. According to the cosmology of Essene Kaballah Mysticism, the Unmanifest God -- YAH -- sent forth an emanation and created the first realm of the manifest universe, a spiritual realm called: ATSILUTH. Atsiluth is a purely spiritual realm; there are no physical objects. It is the most rarefied, subtle -- YET POTENT -- spiritual realm of the universe. In terms of both QUALITATIVE SUPERIORITY and ONTOLOGICAL PRIORITY it is the HIGHEST HEAVENLY REALM OF THE UNIVERSE. It is the realm of DIVINE ARCHETYPES. A "Divine Archetype" is the perfect ideal or model of a thing as it exists in the Mind of God, the spiritual pattern of a thing. But a Divine Archetype is not just a dead model or lifeless pattern; rather, the Archetype is the MOST REAL, MOST ALIVE version of a thing or entity. According to Essene Kaballah, the Divine Archetypes for humankind are the masculine ADAM KADMON and his feminine counterpart SHEKINAH. Yahshua ha Mashiakh claimed -- and his followers accepted the claim -- that he was ADAM KADMON, come down from the highest heaven of Atsiluth to earth on a messianic mission from God. Yahshua, as Adam Kadmon, is also "THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD" for the following reason: ONLY THE REALM OF ATSILUTH WAS DIRECTLY CREATED BY GOD; all further steps of creation were accomplished by ADAM KADMON with assistance from SHEKINAH (Shekinah is the feminine counterpart of Yahshua, she is the Only Begotten Daughter of God) and various CREATIVE SPIRITS from the realm of Atsiluth. Yahshua himself stressed that WE ARE ALL CHILDREN OF GOD; but only Adam Kadmon (Yahshua) and Shekinah -- by virtue of being Divine Archetypes -- were DIRECTLY BEGOTTEN by God. Thus, according to Essene Kaballah Mysticism, Yahshua is truly the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD, though all of us are children of God in that God emanated the Archetype that emanated us.

To understand the above explanation, it is helpful to consider the Johanine doctrine of the "LOGOS" or "WORD". In the first verses of the Gospel of John, we read:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was of the same essence as God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made."

Above, we see that the Word ("Adam Kadmon" or "Christ") existed prior to the creation of anything else AND WAS THE AGENCY USED BY GOD TO CREATE EVERYTHING ELSE. But that does not mean that the Word itself was never created by God; for, in The Clementine Homilies and Recognitions we read:

"God first made the Christ; he was the beginning of all things. And though he was the Son of God and the beginning of all things, he became man."

The Gospel of John agrees that though the Word was the agent via which the entire world was created, he, as Yahshua ha Mashiakh, later chose to come into physical incarnation as a man:

"He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him.... In him was life, and the life was the light within men.... The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not.... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son begotten by the Father...."

Obviously, the Johanine doctrine on the Word correlates perfectly with the Essene Kaballah doctrine on Adam Kadmon. And both those terms -- the Word and Adam Kadmon -- correlate perfectly with the idea of THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD.

Another term which helps illuminate the fullness of the meaning of the above terms -- especially adding meaning to the idea of Adam Kadmon as PATTERN -- is THE ALPHA AND OMEGA. Without an understanding of Yahshua as Alpha and Omega, his claim to be the ONLY begotten Son of God could be misinterpreted as a desire for exclusivity on his part. But an understanding of Yahshua as Alpha AND OMEGA, illuminates Yahshua's desire to INCLUDE us in his relationship with God, not exclude us. I will explain.

The term Alpha and Omega appears in both The Essene Book of Revelation (published as part of The Essene Gospel of Peace, Book Two) and the Revelation found in the common New Testament. The term is used in connection to Yahshua ha Mashiakh in his post-resurrection role of Adam Kadmon, the only begotten Son of God. Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet. Thus, in the Revelation, the resurrected Christ as Adam Kadmon declares:

"I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End."

The key to unlocking the meaning of the above mystical saying was given in our previous discussion of Adam Kadmon as ARCHETYPE. Recall that we described an Archetype as not only the FIRST manifestation of a thing in the spiritual realm of Atsiluth, but also the PATTERN for all that will follow. Adam Kadmon as Yahshua ha Mashiakh is the perfect Archetype for the human being; he is what we will become. Although it will take much spiritual evolution, our destiny as human beings is to become like Yahshua ha Mashiakh, our perfect human Archetype. It is in that sense that Adam Kadmon is both first AND LAST, both Alpha AND OMEGA. This is the ultimate act of cosmic INCLUSIVITY! In this light we are disabused of the false notion that Yahshua's claim to be the ONLY begotten Son of God is a claim to an exclusive relationship with God. In this light we realize that the very purpose of the direct creation of the Word by God WAS THE CREATION OF US BY THE WORD. In this light we are all children of God through Christ, our Archetype. In this light we are blessed. (It should be noted that the term "Son of Man" used by Yahshua to describe himself refers to the fact that as our Archetype he is in fact "the future man", the son that the present humanity will give birth to. He is the Son of Man because he is our evolutionary destiny. This is his Omega aspect.)

  1. YAHSHUA CLAIMS THAT HE IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.

Again, Yahshua has made a claim that appears to be more than a little grandiose; in fact, it appears to be hugely boastful! But in the case of Yahshua, we shall see that it is no empty boast; rather, it is a simple statement of truth. But first let us establish that Yahshua did in fact make this claim. In The Essene New Testament, Yahshua declares:

"'I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of Life.' The Pharisees therefore said unto him, 'Thou bearest record of thyself; self testimony may not be true.' Yahshua answered, 'Though I bear record of myself, yet my testimony is true: for I know whence I came, and where I shall return.... I am come from the Father-Mother God who sent me.'"

In the above passage, Yahshua makes clear that his claim is simply a declaration of truth. He came from God to perform a messianic mission, and to God he will return. In The Gospel of Thomas, Yahshua uses even stronger language, linking his status of Light of the World to his role as Word and Archetype:

"I am the light that is above them all. I am the All. The All came from me, and the All shall return to me."

In regard to the above, we learned previously that the Word gave birth to "all that was made" -- the All -- and that, via spiritual evolution, all that was made is progressing toward the likeness of the original Archetype. IT IS IMPORTANT TO REALIZE THAT WHEN YAHSHUA USES THE TERM LIGHT OF THE WORLD IN REGARD TO HIMSELF, HE IS SPEAKING QUITE LITERALLY, not figuratively; recall our previous passage from the Gospel of John:

"In the beginning was the Word.... all things were made through him.... In him was life, and the life was the light of men.... The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world."

The Word, in the process of creating the world, implanted a bit of himself -- the Light of Life -- into the innermost heart of all things! Christ is indeed the Light of the World; but once again, not in a selfish, exclusive way, but rather an inclusive, giving way: HE IS THE LIGHT WITHIN YOUR OWN HEART AND MIND -- within your very soul! Of course, depending on your present level of spiritual evolution, YOU MAY OR MAY NOT REALIZE IT! For, we also read in John:

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not comprehend it."

  1. YAHSHUA CLAIMS THAT HE IS THE DOOR.

First let us establish that Yahshua made this claim; then we will seek out its meaning. In The Essene New Testament, Yahshua claims:

"I am the Door: by me all who enter shall be safe, and shall go in and out and find peace. I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. But the evil one cometh only to steal and to kill and destroy."

In the above, Yahshua not only claims that he is the Door, but also that all who enter through him shall find peace and safety from the "evil one", some sort of "negative entity" that has invaded this realm of the universe, an obvious reference to the Luciferian Rebellion. For now, let us focus on the idea of Yahshua as THE DOOR; shortly, that will be linked with his effort to purify this realm from demonic influence.

After the crucifixion of Yahshua, his brother, James, was the head of the Essene Christian movement. James himself was executed by the mainstream Jewish religious authorities for PROCLAIMING YAHSHUA AS THE DOOR. In The History of the Church by Eusebius, written in the fourth century, he quotes the following passage from Hegesippus, a Christian who lived around the year 100 A.D., which describes the murder of James:

"Control of the Church passed to... the Lord's brother James, whom everyone... called the Righteous... for he was holy from his birth; he drank no wine or intoxicating liquor and ate no animal flesh; no razor came near his head....

"Representatives of the popular sects of Judaism asked James what was meant by 'the Door of Yahshua', and he replied that Yahshua was the Saviour....

"So the Scribes and Pharisees made James stand on the Sanctuary parapet [a high balcony with a low railing near the top of the tall building] and shouted up to him, 'Righteous One, the people are going astray by following Yahshua who was crucified; so tell us what is meant by the term, 'The Door of Yahshua'. James replied as loudly as he could (for there was a large crowd of people gathered below), 'Why do you question me about the Son of Man? I tell you, he is sitting in Heaven at the right hand of the Great Power, and he will come on the clouds of Heaven.'

"Then the Scribes and Pharisees said... 'We had better go up and throw him down, so that the people will be frightened and not believe him.' So they went up and threw down the Righteous One. Then they said to each other, 'Let us stone James the Righteous' and began to stone him...."

While they stoned him, James prayed that God would forgive them. One of the men clubbed him over the head; he died with the prayer on his lips. HE DIED FOR PROCLAIMING YAHSHUA AS THE DOOR. And he made clear that "the Door" refers to Yahshua being "the Saviour".

We must ask, "Saviour" from what? What does "The Door of Yahshua" save us from? We previously quoted Yahshua as claiming to be the Door that can save us from "the evil one", Lucifer and his demonic soldiers. Let us examine this idea more fully. In The Clementine Homilies and Recognitions, Peter declares that this world had become so corrupt that it needed Christ to come counter the work of the demons:

"The true will of God has been kept in obscurity and hidden in darkness. Demons have deliberately altered the sacred scriptures; human servants of these disembodied demons have made a confusion of the true religion and brought misery to earth. There is evil instruction, wicked association, terrible society, misuse of the power of language, wrongful prejudice, fornication, covetousness and vain glory. Ten thousand other such evils, filling the world in the manner that smoke quickly fills a burning house, have obscured the sight of the men inhabiting this world: thus they have not been able to look up and become acquainted with the transcendent God from the delineation of himself which he has given -- the Heavenly Christ -- for our instruction. For this reason it was necessary for that Heavenly First Child of God to come to earth and teach us the true will of God. He has now stepped into the burning house filled with dense smoke -- this world -- and from within the house has pushed open the door so that the light of the Sun may enter and the smoke be driven out. The Christ from Heaven became on earth the True Prophet; and he alone is able to enlighten the souls of men, so that with our own eyes we may be able to see the way of eternal salvation....

"The whole world of religion, which due to demonic deception and human ignorance had become a confusing mixture of truth and error, needed a True Prophet from God, one capable of separating the lies from the truth. And the only being capable of piercing the deadly demonic smoke choking this world was the Heavenly Christ, First Child of God, who came to earth in humility as "True Prophet." I speak of Yahshua ha Mashiakh (Jesus the Christ)."

Although Yahshua came into this group-consciousness hell-realm (which is exactly what the group-consciousness of this planet is: a hell realm!) and declared himself to be the Door that leads to the heavenly realms, IT IS IMPORTANT TO REALIZE THAT THE DOOR OF CHRIST IS FOUND WITHIN YOU, not outside of you. Peter, in the same Clementine manuscript quoted above, explains:

"For He is within the mind of every one of us, but in those who have no desire of the knowledge of God and His righteousness, He is inoperative; but He works in those who seek after that which is profitable to their souls, and kindles in them the light of knowledge. Wherefore seek Him first of all; and if you do not find Him expect not that you shall learn anything from any other. But He is soon found by those who diligently seek Him through love of the truth, and whose souls are not taken possession of by wickedness. For He is present with those who desire Him in the innocency of their spirits, who bear patiently, and draw sighs from the bottom of their hearts through love of the truth; but He deserts malevolent minds, because as a prophet He knows the thoughts of every one. And therefore let no one think that he can find Him by his own wisdom, unless, as we have said, he empty his mind of all wickedness, and conceive a pure and faithful desire to know Him. For when anyone has so prepared himself, the True Prophet, seeing a mind prepared for Him, of his own free will chooses to appear to that disciple, or at least give internal counsel."

The same teaching is given in even more precise language -- more precise for our purpose in that the actual term "Door" is used -- by an early Christian teacher named Silvanus; in his Teachings of Silvanus we read:

"My Son, listen to my teaching which is good and useful, and end the sleep which weighs heavy upon you. Depart from the forgetfulness that fills you with darkness.... For Christ is the Tree of Life ... he is also the Word, the Life and the Light. And he is the Door.

"Yes, he is the Door. Knock within yourself as upon a door, and walk within yourself as on a straight road.... And if you knock with wisdom, you knock on the Door that leads to hidden treasures.... It is he, the Word, the Christ, the Master, the First-Born, the Prototype [Archetype], the First Light."

We have seen above that Jesus is the Door, the Door is found WITHIN, and, significantly, WE MUST KNOCK. Yahshua himself makes clear that we must "seek" or "knock" if we are to find; in The New Testament, we read in Matthew:

"... seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."

Opened to what? INNER TREASURES! The kingdom of Light! This Door is within but leads us beyond this world into the realms of light! In The Books of the Saviour, Yahshua says to Mary:

"I have brought the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven, otherwise nobody in this world would have been saved.... For this cause, therefore, have I brought the keys of the mysteries into this world, so that I may save the sinners who will repent and believe in me and hearken unto me. And now, as I have come, I have opened the Door to the realms of Light. I have opened the Way that leads into the Light. And now, therefore, he who will do what is worthy of the mysteries, let him receive the mysteries and walk through the Door into the Light."

We end this section with a fragment from an early Christian liturgical book:

"O thou true Door, open to the lost, and call us to enter thy Treasury of Light."
Amen!

  1. YAHSHUA CLAIMS THAT HE IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.

This claim is made by Yahshua in several manuscripts, including the common New Testament. The following excerpt is from The Essene New Testament:

"As Yahshua sat with his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane he said unto them: 'Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Parent's house are many mansions [realms]; I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And where I go ye know, and the way ye know.'

"Thomas said unto Yahshua, 'Lord, we know not where thou goest; and how can we know the way?' Yahshua saith unto him, 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: No man cometh unto the All-Parent but by me.'"

The above excerpt should be placed in context. Yahshua is informing his disciples that the worldly political and religious authorities are going to kill his body. But he tells them not to feel bad or be troubled by that; for, he promises: "I go to prepare a place for you." He informs them that the universe has countless realms where a Spirit may go when it drops its body AND THAT HE WILL PREPARE A HEAVENLY REALM WHEREIN HIS DISCIPLES MAY BE WITH HIM WHEN THE TIME COMES FOR THEIR SOJOURN ON EARTH TO END. And then he tells them that they know how to get there. Thomas denies knowing how to get there, to which Yahshua replies: I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE: NO MAN COMETH TO THE ALL-PARENT BUT BY ME." The above claim is better understood in the light of another excerpt from the same manuscript; Yahshua said:

"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: the doctrine that I teach, is that which I am; I am it, and it is me."

In other words, Yahshua is telling his disciples that the only way to get to the heavenly realm IS BY FOLLOWING HIS TEACHINGS. His doctrine is THE TRUTH; to follow that doctrine is THE WAY; and by following that Way we experience within ourselves THE LIFE, which is the LIVING WORD, the LIGHT OF MEN (and women!).

When Yahshua says, "No man cometh to the All-Parent but by me", he is not saying that no other spiritual teacher can help you find God. Rather, the following is the situation: Yahshua, as the Word, the original Archetype, is the light. If Buddha teaches you about the light, he is teaching you about Christ, whether he uses that word or not. If Lao Tzu points you in the direction of the light, he is pointing you in the direction of Christ. And if Pastor Joe says something in his sermon that brings you closer to Love, Truth and Light, he has just brought you closer to Christ: for Christ is Love, Truth and Light.

Although other spiritual teachers can be helpful by pointing you in the direction of Christ -- whether or not they use the word "Christ" -- they (none of them) are the equal of Christ. The wise men and women of this planet are mere children when compared to THE WORD. Certainly, they are good, loving, SWEET CHILDREN; but they are less developed than Christ in terms of spiritual evolution; thus, their understanding of the universe and its various laws and realms is far less than Christ, the LIVING WORD THROUGH WHICH ALL THINGS -- including you, me and Buddha -- WERE CREATED.

This brings us to the end of our examination of eight profound claims made by Yahshua ha Mashiakh. We began this section by asking the question: WHO IS HE? We said we would consider Yahshua's own opinion in regard to who he is AND THEN SEE IF THERE IS ANY EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT HIS CLAIMS.

Yahshua himself declared that there are two types of evidence to support his claims; in The Essene New Testament, we read:

"Believe me because of the words I speak; or else, believe me on account of the works."

Yahshua says that our first option is to simply believe his claims because we believe he speaks the truth. If his words -- his teachings -- resonate in our hearts and minds with the unmistakable RING OF TRUTH, that is reason enough to accept his claims in regard to his identity. This is the INNER WAY of validation; for some, it is enough. However, some individuals do not yet have a well developed INNER KNOWINGNESS or INTUITION; for them, Yahshua provides a second option for believing his claims: THE WORKS. By "works" he means his "miracles"; among the miraculous works performed by Yahshua in front of many witnesses were:

So, take your pick: Believe Yahshua's eight claims because his words ring true in your heart; or believe him because of his works. I pray you are able to do the former.

Is Yahshua worthy to be our Guru? HEAVEN, YES! Having determined that, let us proceed according to our stated plan: LET US NOW DISCOVER HOW TO ENTER INTO THE GURU-DISCIPLE RELATIONSHIP WITH YAHSHUA HA MASHIAKH; then let us discover how to cultivate and grow in that relationship.

What is a guru-disciple relationship? Let us define our terms. In a spiritual context, a Guru is a Master Teacher who acts as personal spiritual guide and preceptor in relationship to a disciple. A disciple is a devoted student of a particular Guru. In order to become a disciple, the candidate must agree to accept the conditions of discipleship required by the Guru. The conditions of discipleship are all the conditions required to enter the guru-disciple relationship and remain in it; those conditions differ from one Guru to another, but usually include some sort of rite of initiation which must be met and a list of precepts which the candidate must pledge to obey. (A precept is a command or principle intended as a general rule of action or conduct.) The Guru will only accept -- and keep -- as disciples those candidates who accept the conditions of discipleship; those who do accept the conditions are permitted to enter the guru-disciple relationship WHEREIN THE GURU SERVES AS PERSONAL SPIRITUAL GUIDE AND PRECEPTOR TO THE DEVOTED DISCIPLE.

While all beings have an ontological relationship with Yahshua as THE WORD, only those beings who choose to become his disciples enjoy the guru-disciple relationship with him. Yahshua is a LIVING GURU, and is available as PERSONAL GUIDE AND PRECEPTOR to all who will ACCEPT HIS CONDITIONS OF DISCIPLESHIP. Yahshua refers to those conditions as "THE YOKE". He invites all who desire peace to accept that yoke; in The Essene New Testament we read:

"Come unto me all ye that suffer heavy burdens and I will give you peace. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me...."

The YOKE OF YAHSHUA begins with an initiation ritual called BAPTISM. But before the baptism can be performed, the candidate must be prepared for the ritual by meeting four prerequisites:

  1. The candidate must study the basic Essene Christian doctrines of Yahshua under the guidance of an Essene Christian Priest or Priestess (an ordained minister of an authentic Essene Christian Church);

  2. The candidate must understand the meaning of Essene Christian baptism and the responsibilities of discipleship that come with it;

  3. The candidate must feel true contrition for previous sins and sincerely desire to repent via baptism and discipleship;

  4. The candidate must perform a minimum one-day water fast immediately prior to the baptism (the fast is ended with a Eucharistic meal of bread and grape juice immediately after the baptism).

In regard to the first prerequisite, it makes sense that a candidate should first become aware of the basic doctrines ("doctrines" means "teachings") of Yahshua before pledging discipleship via baptism. This does not mean that the candidate is expected to become an expert on the teachings of Yahshua before baptism -- that sort of exhaustive study will take many years and is part of the lifelong guru-disciple relationship -- BUT THE CANDIDATE IS EXPECTED TO STUDY AND BECOME FAMILIAR WITH THE BASIC DOCTRINES PRIOR TO BAPTISM. For instance, the candidate should be aware of Yahshua's doctrines on vegetarianism, reincarnation, and Father-Mother God.

In regard to the second prerequisite to baptism, it is the responsibility of the Essene Christian Priest or Priestess to make certain that the candidate understands the meaning of baptism and the responsibilities of discipleship that come with it. What is the meaning of baptism? In the Clementine manuscript, the Apostle Peter describes the meaning of baptism as follows:

"The people, choosing to submit to the rule of demon-worshipping tyrant kings rather than God, erected a demonic temple for animal sacrifice in the very place which had been appointed to them for prayer; and thus, through a succession of wicked kings and perverted religion, the people fell away to greater and still greater impiety, all the while believing that their bloody sacrifices absolved them of their sins.... But the appointed time for the coming of the True Prophet finally came, whom Moses had foretold would warn the people by the mercy of God to cease from sacrificing; and lest the people suppose that on the cessation of animal sacrifice there was no remission of sins for them, the True Prophet instituted baptism by water amongst them, in which they might be absolved from all their past sins on the invocation of His Name, not by the blood of beasts, but by the purifications of the Wisdom of God: and that they, forsaking their old way of life -- the way of darkness and death -- might take initiation into the new way of life -- the way of Light -- and upon being perfected by that new way through their remaining years, might abide in immortality."

We see above that Baptism is an initiation into a completely new way of life -- the way of Light taught by Christ -- and a ritual in which we are absolved from all past sins. In regard to the NEW WAY OF LIFE, this implies, as Peter said, FORSAKING THE OLD WAY OF LIFE, the way of darkness and death. In other words, baptism means DEATH TO THE WAY OF DEATH, and NEW BIRTH INTO THE WAY OF LIFE. We must die -- to darkness --- and BE BORN AGAIN. Yahshua said, "You must lose your life, to find it." We must DIE to LIVE, and that has nothing to do with physical death: Our limited ego must die -- by us letting it go -- so that our UNLIMITED SPIRIT MAY TAKE WING. When we are dunked beneath the surface of the water at the baptism ceremony, this symbolizes DEATH TO THE WAY OF DARKNESS. And when we are raised up out of the water, the NEW BIRTH INTO THE WAY OF CHRIST is symbolized. Yahshua calls the waters of baptism, "the waters of separation", and bids us to "come die, that ye might truly live."

Peter, in the excerpt above from the Clementine manuscript, said that baptism absolves us from all past sins. The word "absolve" means to "set free" or "forgive" or "pardon." Thus, when Yahshua accepts us into the guru-disciple relationship via baptism, HE FORGIVES US OUR PAST MISDEEDS so that we begin our NEW LIFE with a CLEAN SLATE. However, this forgiveness is linked with contrition and repentance; and that brings us face-to-face with the third in our list of four prerequisites to baptism.

The third prerequisite to baptism is: THE CANDIDATE MUST FEEL TRUE CONTRITION FOR PREVIOUS SINS AND SINCERELY DESIRE TO REPENT VIA BAPTISM AND DISCIPLESHIP. Let us consider the meaning of the two key terms, contrition and repent. Contrition means sincere regret for past misdeeds. Repent literally means to turn around and implies leaving behind our sins and turning toward Christ. It is necessary that contrition and repentance be SINCERE. Too often in mainstream Christian churches people go through the motions of being BORN AGAIN -- they say all the correct words -- without ever actually feeling true contrition or really repenting. The process should be as follows.

The candidate for baptism should spend several hours in silent contemplation of his or her previous misdeeds. This can be done mentally, while sitting quietly, or paper and pen can be used to create a list of MAJOR PAST MISDEEDS. After contemplating his/her major past misdeeds -- sexual sins, crimes, acts of violence, lying, cheating, etc. -- the candidate should contemplate the chronic sins that seem less severe but nevertheless are not in harmony with the teachings of Christ; such things as: greed, laziness, gluttony, lust, materialism, rudeness, and all types of ego-centric behavior. Not only our sins of commission (things we have done), but also our sins of omission (things we should have done but neglected to do) should be confronted. THIS PROCESS IS CALLED "GOING THROUGH THE WALL OF FIRE". If done sincerely it BURNS! It is also called: LOOKING INTO THE MIRROR. To truly see ourselves clearly in this mirror, WE MUST LET GO OF OUR EGO-DEFENSE-MECHANISMS; otherwise, the reflection in the mirror is but an illusion. As the candidate for baptism honestly contemplates all of the above, he or she should feel sincere regret for all past misdeeds and a strong desire to reject that type of behavior in the future. This is CONTRITION. The next step is REPENTANCE: the candidate affirms his/her rejection of the misdeeds by TAKING A POSITIVE STEP IN THE OTHER DIRECTION, the direction of Christ. This positive step is BAPTISM AS A DISCIPLE OF YAHSHUA HA MASHIAKH (JESUS THE CHRIST). If all the above is done sincerely, Yahshua responds by wiping your slate clean, absolving you of all previous sins. You are BORN AGAIN.

On the first page of this article, I asserted that most readers are not aware of the early Christian formula for becoming a disciple of Yahshua. While some of you may have been aware of the first three prerequisites to baptism, FEW WILL BE AWARE OF THE FOURTH AND FINAL PREREQUISITE TO BAPTISM AS A DISCIPLE OF YAHSHUA: the candidate must perform a minimum one-day water fast IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE BAPTISM (the fast is ended with a Eucharistic meal of bread and grape juice immediately after the baptism). The baptismal fast is described in The Clementine Homilies and Recognitions. So that the reader will realize how important this required baptismal fast was to the Apostles trained by Yahshua, I will provide an account from the Clementine manuscript wherein Peter requires the fast of an elderly woman. That account -- with several fascinating quotations -- follows.

In the midst of a preaching mission, Peter meets a middle-aged beggar woman. She is sitting in front of the gates of a temple, begging alms. Rather than hand over some coins as we might have expected the holy Apostle to do, Peter boldly asks her:

"Tell me, O woman, what member of your body is wanting, that you subject yourself to the indignity of asking alms, and do not rather gain your bread by labouring with your hands which God has given you."

The woman informs Peter that her hands are completely lifeless, a condition caused by her own constant chewing of them, due to nervousness. Her nervousness, she attributes to the fact that she wants to commit suicide but has not the courage. Peter informs her that no soul finds peace via suicide, but he will provide her with a drug that brings peace in life and death. (The allegorical "drug" is baptism into the name and way of Yahshua ha Mashiakh, though at this point the woman thinks he means a literal drug.) Peter says that before he provides the drug, the woman must do several things, the first of which is to tell him the entire story of her life, especially those happenings which have brought her to the brink of suicide. She then tells an amazing story of how having left her husband while a young woman, she was separated from her three little boys, a set of twins and a baby named Clement, in a shipwreck. The children were never found and presumed dead. Overcome with grief, the woman had gone down a dwindling spiral, now living in a hut with another crippled beggar woman.

In amazement, Peter realizes that this woman is the long lost mother of his own chief disciple, Clement! (Unbeknownst to the woman, her three small boys had survived the shipwreck, having been rescued by pirates who sold them to a kind woman who raised them.) Through the agency of Peter, Clement and his twin brothers are reunited with their mother. After a joyous reunion, Peter then administers the promised "drug of peace": an all day sermon (preparatory to baptism) on the way of life taught by Yahshua the True Prophet! Upon hearing the sermon, the woman requests baptism, saying: "And what hinders me to be baptized today?" Peter then makes clear that though the woman is prepared for baptism in that she has been instructed in, and accepted, the doctrine of Yahshua, she still must do one more thing prior to receiving baptism; she must fast. Peter declares:

"But she must fast at least one day first, and so be baptized; and this because I have heard from her a certain declaration, by which her faith has been made manifest to me, and which has given evidence of her belief; otherwise she must have been instructed and taught many days before she could have been baptized."

The woman then states that since seeing her sons alive the day before, from shock she has not eaten a thing; thus, can't that count as her one day fast? Her sons are willing to let it count; but Peter is firm:

"But that was not the fast of baptism, for it was not done for the purpose of baptism."

The sons continue to try and sway Peter to count the day their mother has already fasted and not require another day. PETER'S STRONG RESPONSE INDICATES THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE BAPTISMAL FAST AS AN ABSOLUTE REQUIREMENT OF THE PRECEPTS OF TRUTH GIVEN BY YAHSHUA:

"Let not the wicked one prevail against us, taking occasion from a mother's love; but let you, and me with you, fast this day along with her, and tomorrow shall she be baptized: for it is not right that the precepts of truth be relaxed and weakened in favour of any person or friendship.... For it is a sin to transgress any commandment."

If the Apostle Peter would require the baptismal fast of a frail old woman who already had not eaten in a day, HE CERTAINLY WOULD REQUIRE IT OF US! In fact, the day of fasting prior to the baptism is the perfect time to contemplate our previous misdeeds in the spirit of contrition and repentance, as described in the section on prerequisite number three. Which is why Peter said the frail old woman's first fast -- from the shock of seeing her sons alive -- "was not the fast of baptism"; it may have been a day without food, but it was not accompanied by contrition and repentance for the purpose of baptism.

The four prerequisites to baptism listed above were established by Yahshua and were diligently implemented by his apostles. Yahshua personally baptized his first twelve disciples and then trained them to become Essene Priests. He then sent them out to find others to train and baptize as disciples of Christ. In The Essene New Testament, we read:

"The disciples stood around the Master, clad in white linen raiment, called to be a holy priesthood unto God for the service of the twelve tribes whereunto they should be sent.... And Yahshua did commission them, saying, 'Go ye into the cities of Israel.... And as ye go, preach, saying the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. As I have baptized you in water, so baptize them that believe.'"

In another section of the same manuscript, a disciple asked Yahshua: "When shall they receive baptism?" Yahshua responded:

"... when they know the doctrine.... Then let them ask for initiation, and let the Bishop or Priest examine them and see if they are worthy, and... bury them in the waters of separation, that they may rise to newness of life, confessing God as their Father and Mother, vowing to obey the Holy Law, and keep themselves separate from the evil in the world."

Above, it is made clear that part of the ritual of baptism is the VOW TO OBEY THE HOLY LAW. The term "Holy Law" refers to the HALAKOTH of Yahshua; this is his LIST OF PRECEPTS, his RULES FOR DISCIPLES. All new disciples are expected to study and obey these precepts, as a condition of discipleship. The entire list of precepts includes EVERY COMMAND given by Yahshua in The Essene New Testament. BUT THE TWO PRIMARY PRECEPTS FOR NEW DISCIPLES -- the two that are especially linked to the baptism vow -- are: 1) THE VOW OF VEGETARIANISM; and 2) THE VOW OF OBEDIENCE TO THE TEACHINGS OF YAHSHUA.

In regard to the baptismal vow of vegetarianism, we read in The Essene New Testament:

"Yahshua said, 'Verily I say unto you, they who partake of benefits which are gotten by wronging one of God's creatures, cannot be righteous; nor can they understand holy things, or teach the mysteries of the kingdom, whose hands are stained with blood, or whose mouths are defiled with flesh....

"Wherefore I say unto all who desire to be my disciples, keep your hands from bloodshed and let no flesh meat enter your mouths....'"

Yahshua repeatedly made clear that the vow of vegetarianism is an ABSOLUTE REQUIREMENT for discipleship. Again, from The Essene New Testament:

"A disciple asked Yahshua, 'Master, if there come to us any that eat flesh... shall we receive them?'

"And Yahshua said unto him, 'Let such abide in the outer court till they cleanse themselves from these grosser evils; for till they perceive, and repent of these, they are not fit to receive the higher mysteries.'"

The second of the two primary precepts linked to the rite of baptism is THE VOW OF OBEDIENCE TO THE TEACHINGS OF YAHSHUA. According to Yahshua, it is obedience to his teachings that makes you a disciple. If you do not obey his teachings, you are not his disciple. In The Essene New Testament, we read:

"Though ye be gathered together in my bosom, if you keep not my commandments I will cast you forth."

In another section, we read:

"If you continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."

Likewise, in the common New Testament, we read in the Book of John:

"If you love me, you will obey my commandments.... He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him."

"Judas, (not Iscariot) said to him, 'Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to your disciples, and not to the world?' Yahshua answered him, 'If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the words which you hear are not mine but the Father's who sent me.'"

Before continuing to demonstrate the centrality of obedience to discipleship, let us consider the significance of the above excerpt. Yahshua made clear above that even after the crucifixion of his body, he would remain a LIVING MASTER, capable of communicating directly with his devoted disciples. According to Yahshua, even prior to his second coming -- when he will again be seen by the entire world -- he will MANIFEST HIMSELF (on a regular basis) TO HIS DEVOTED DISCIPLES. In other words, it is still possible today, 2,000 years after his crucifixion, to have a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LIVING LORD YAHSHUA! The price of admission? OBEDIENCE!

While the term obedience is repugnant to many modern readers, it is a fact that Yahshua's call for obedience is AN ACT OF COMPASSION. Yahshua knows that our planet is a group-consciousness hell-realm due to our disobedience to the laws of the universe (only in hell-realms do beings kill and eat each other!). Yahshua knows we are suffering. And he feels our pain. And so he articulates the laws of the universe, the laws of well-being, and demands compliance from his disciples. In The Essene New Testament, Yahshua declares:

"Because of the sick, I am sick; because of the hungry, I am hungry; because of the thirsty, I am athirst."

One of the shortest -- yet most profound -- sentences in The New Testament is: "Jesus wept." Only two words, yet that brief sentence profoundly illustrates the motivational context of the mission of Yahshua ha Mashiakh on earth: DIVINE COMPASSION! Consider the context in which we are told that "Jesus wept": He was standing on the summit of a mountain gazing down upon A VALLEY OF DEEP DARKNESS POPULATED BY THOUSANDS OF SOULS CRYING OUT IN MISERY AND DESPAIR. Yahshua sees it all; even what happens behind closed doors or in spider webs: Wives being beaten by husbands; daughters being molested by dads; animals being butchered for human food; humans killing humans in the name of God in "holy wars"; frogs swallowing flies; owls eating frogs; big fish eating little fish; -- even the gnats wrapped in the sure death of the spider web are encompassed by the COMPASSIONATE GAZE OF THE CHRIST. In The Essene New Testament, Yahshua affirms:

"In all their joys I rejoice, in all their afflictions I am afflicted."

And so the Christ has come into our world to save us from pain and destruction. Only by obeying his instructions can we avoid disaster. Yahshua declares in The Essene New Testament:

"Verily, they who believe and obey shall save their souls, and they who obey not shall lose them."

Notice above that belief in Yahshua is not enough; we must believe and obey. In the common New Testament Sermon on the Mount, Yahshua drives home this point:

"Not every one who says to me 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven....

"Every one who hears these instructions of mine and obeys, they will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew upon that house but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.

"And every one who hears these instructions of mine and does not obey them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it."

The situation is as follows. The group consciousness of this planet is like a line of sheep marching blindly in the direction of a cliff. Beneath the cliff is the sure death of jagged rocks. It is a very long fall. Each sheep has its face right up against the butt of the sheep in front of it, following the trail that leads to pain and death. Just before each sheep reaches the point of no return and steps over the cliff, YAHSHUA SHOUTS A COMMAND: "turn and take my hand! NOW!" Yahshua is not demanding obedience because he is on a power-trip; rather, he is on a compassion-trip: one more step and that sheep is dead meat!

Why do you need Yahshua's help? Here is why. The group consciousness of this planet is like a raging river heading for a waterfall -- a fall leading to certain death. The current of the river is strong, VERY STRONG; it is heading for the fall -- with you in it -- and, try as you might, you can't swim upstream against the current. You are being pulled downstream -- with the rest of the group consciousness -- toward the waterfall when, in a flash of clarity, you realize you are going to drown. AND THEN A HAND APPEARS FROM THE HEAVENS! And Yahshua commands: TAKE MY HAND! ("Take my yoke!") Yes, you do need Yahshua's help! And the only help he can give is to provide the instructions that, if OBEYED, can lift you from sure death to NEW LIFE. Obey or drown!

Most readers of this article were indoctrinated as children by parents, priests, pastors and Popes in the doctrines of Pauline Christianity. Thus, the idea that salvation is dependent on your belief in Yahshua's sacrificial death is firmly embedded in many of your minds. But the original Essene Christian doctrine of salvation was centered on the idea of OBEDIENCE. They believed that SALVATION IS DEPENDENT UPON FOLLOWING THE SAVING TEACHINGS OF YAHSHUA (Jesus). In a profound contrast with the theology of Paul -- which became orthodox Christianity ("Paulianity") -- the literature of the Essene Nazarene Ebionites NEVER TAUGHT SALVATION VIA BELIEF IN THE SACRIFICIAL DEATH OF YAHSHUA ON THE CROSS. The Pauline doctrine which asserts that you can only be saved by believing that Yahshua died for your sins, is called ATONEMENT. The Essene Nazarene Ebionites had a very different doctrine of Atonement; it was AT-ONE-MENT. They believed that to be AT-ONE with God (the goal of religion) one must follow THE SAVING TEACHINGS OF YAHSHUA, not simply believe in his sacrificial death. The Essene Nazarene Ebionites based their doctrine of salvation on the actual instructions they personally received from Yahshua before his crucifixion. Unlike Paul, who NEVER EVEN MET YAHSHUA, the leaders of the Essene Nazarene Ebionites were PERSONALLY TRAINED AND INITIATED BY THEIR GURU, YAHSHUA. In The Essene New Testament, Yahshua tells his disciples that blood sacrifice cannot bring salvation:

"Yahshua was teaching his disciples in the outer court of the Temple and one of them said unto him. 'Master, it is said by the priests that without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. Can blood offerings take away sin?' Yahshua answered, 'No blood offering of beast or bird, or man, can take away sin, for how can the conscience be purged from sin by the shedding of innocent blood? Nay, it will increase the condemnation.... For sins against the Law of God there can be no remission except by repentance and amendment.'"

So, Yahshua made quite clear that no blood sacrifice -- not even his own -- can provide salvation for your sins; rather, you must quit sinning (repent) and follow his SAVING TEACHINGS. And that was the doctrine of salvation of the Essene Nazarene Ebionites.

It should be noted that while the Essene Nazarene Christians did not believe in the remission of sins via Yahshua' sacrificial death, THEY DID BELIEVE YAHSHUA PERFORMED A POWERFUL WORK ON THE CROSS. Fallen angels who had become disembodied demons were tampering with the subtle, etheric atmospheres of Planet Earth; especially: 1) the energy vortex involved with the process of exiting the body at death; 2) the purgatorial realm of past life review between incarnations; and, 3) the energy vortex involved with the process of taking new birth. For Yahshua to purify and reorganize those subtle, etheric atmospheres of our planet, IT WAS NECESSARY FOR HIM TO DIE AS A HUMAN BEING AND ENTER THOSE SUBTLE REGIONS THROUGH THE ENERGY VORTEX WHICH WAS INFESTED WITH PARASITIC DEMONS.

He did so, freeing many souls who were being held captive in the subtle planes (being sucked of life-force by vampire-like disembodied entities) and purified the entire between-lives region and energy vortexes. This took place during the three days after his crucifixion and prior to his reappearance to the disciples at the tomb. Thus, the Essene Christians believed that salvation was dependent on following the savings teachings of Yahshua -- not belief in his sacrificial death -- BUT DID BELIEVE HE PERFORMED A MIGHTY WORK BY DYING AS A MAN AND PURIFYING THE BETWEEN-LIVES REGION. But no matter how vital and necessary that deed was, if we simply believe in it and neglect to follow his teachings, we will not experience AT-ONE-MENT with God. AT-ONE-MENT WITH GOD IS ACHIEVED VIA HARMONY WITH THE LAWS OF GOD -- the laws of the universe -- AND THOSE LAWS (and how to be in harmony with them) ARE THE SUBJECT OF THE TEACHINGS OF YAHSHUA.

Although we have seen that Yahshua most certainly emphasized OBEDIENCE as a condition of discipleship, it is important to note that he does not expect us to INSTANTANEOUSLY KNOW AND PERFECTLY FOLLOW all of his doctrines and precepts. Rather, what he demands as a condition of entering the guru-disciple relationship is OUR PLEDGE TO SINCERELY STUDY AND PROGRESSIVELY IMPLEMENT HIS SAVING TEACHINGS. Vegetarianism is a requirement from day one; other than that, the pledge to study and OBEY is understood to be an ongoing process, not a demand for instantaneous perfection. We pledge at baptism to sincerely enter that PROCESS OF OBEDIENCE. The key word is "SINCERELY". If we are sincerely trying to LEARN AND OBEY the doctrines and precepts of Yahshua, he will know that and will forgive our mistakes and be tolerant of our shortcomings. But if we are not sincerely attempting to learn and obey, he will know that -- for he knows our innermost thoughts -- and will sever the Guru-disciple relationship with us. He said so.

We have now concluded our examination of how to become a disciple of Yahshua. We learned that to enter the guru-disciple relationship with Yahshua, one must accept the conditions of discipleship. We learned that the first condition is the initiation rite called BAPTISM, and that there are four prerequisites to be eligible for that. We examined those prerequisites. We learned that the other condition of discipleship is to systematically learn, and sincerely attempt to obey, the doctrines and precepts of Yahshua. While that is an ongoing process, the pledge to enter that process is required at the time of baptism, as is the pledge of vegetarianism. Having discovered how to become a disciple of Yahshua, we will now turn our attention to: HOW TO CULTIVATE OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YAHSHUA.

Having been initiated via baptism as disciples of Yahshua, we have entered the guru-disciple relationship. Like any relationship, this one needs to be cultivated if we are to grow in it. How can we cultivate this relationship? The Essene Christian tradition recommends the following disciplines as most effective for cultivating our relationship with Yahshua: Worship, Service, Study and Essene Christian Mantra Meditation. Let us examine each.

Disciples of Yahshua, worship Yahshua. If the above sentence made you uncomfortable, you are not yet a disciple of Yahshua. The word worship means: "reverence for, and devotion to, a diving being; also the expression of this reverence." So, worship is both a feeling, and the expression of that feeling via various activities. Let us first consider the feeling. The feeling is a mixture of love and awe. First and foremost, is LOVE. A disciple of Yahshua, LOVES YAHSHUA. To feel love for Yahshua, is to FEEL YAHSHUA: for, Yahshua IS LOVE. In truth, Yahshua is the COSMIC LOVER sent by God to LOVE US. As such, he is profoundly attractive; the love within us flows toward him like a bee to a flower. But mixed with our love is the feeling of AWE. Not an awe tinged with fear, but an awe flowing from the awareness of HIS TRANSCENDENTAL MAJESTY! He is the WORD; he is the MASHIAKH; he is a PROFOUNDLY DIVINE BEING. And yet he loves us! And we love him, even as we tremble with AWE in awareness of his GRANDEUR.

Worship begins as a feeling but then is expressed via various activities. Those activities, taken together as a whole, are called DEVOTIONAL PRACTICES. Although devotional practices can -- and should -- take place anywhere and everywhere, IT IS EXTREMELY HELPFUL TO HAVE BOTH A HOME ALTAR AND A CHURCH ALTAR AT WHICH TO PERFORM INDIVIDUAL AND COMMUNAL ACTS OF WORSHIP.

A Home Altar is a table or shelf -- an Altar -- in an area of your home set aside for worship and devotional practices. To create a Home Altar, first find a place in your home that seems like a good spot for devotional practices such as prayer and meditation. Then, place in that area, perhaps against the wall, a small table or shelf. Upon the table or shelf, place various items of spiritual significance, such as: holy books, incense, candles, a drawing of the Essene Tree of Life, paintings or statuettes of great saints, certainly a painting of your Supreme Guru, Yahshua ha Mashiakh (Jesus the Christ). The items listed above create an aura of holiness, a spiritual mood conducive to worship and devotional practices. The use of such items -- including statuettes of saints or paintings of Yahshua -- IS NOT IDOL WORSHIP. Idol worship only occurs if you believe the item on your altar IS GOD. We do not believe that our altar items ARE GOD; rather, we use them to put us in a spiritual mood and help TURN OUR HEARTS AND MINDS TOWARD GOD. For instance, when I gaze upon the statuette of Saint Francis with birds on his arms, I am reminded of God's love for all creatures and his desire for us to respect all of creation. Similarly, when I gaze upon a painting of Yahshua, I am reminded of the life and teachings of Yahshua. It makes no difference whether or not Yahshua actually looked in real life like he does in the painting; all that matters is that the painting evokes thoughts about Yahshua. In the same way that gazing at images of violence or explicit sex causes the beholder to think about violence or sex, GAZING AT SPIRITUAL IMAGES CAUSES THE BEHOLDER TO THINK SPIRITUAL THOUGHTS.

In the light of the above, it can be seen that the Home Altar is primarily a FOCUSING AGENT. With our attention focused on spiritual items, we are in the mood to focus on GURU AND GOD. We then worship Guru and God by performing our various devotional practices. Such practices include, but are not limited to, prayer, invocation, bhakti and other forms of yoga, communions, rituals, and meditation. Because Christ is our Guru, all the above devotional practices are connected to him and help us to cultivate the guru-disciple relationship. For this cultivation to occur, our Home Altar devotional practices must be performed on a regular basis, preferably daily. The Essene Christian tradition advocates that BOTH A MORNING AND EVENING HOME ALTAR DEVOTIONAL SERVICE BE PERFORMED EACH DAY.

We previously stated that although devotional practices can -- and should -- take place anywhere and everywhere, it is extremely helpful to have both a Home Altar and a Church Altar at which to perform individual and communal acts of worship. We have explained the Home Altar. We now explain the Church Altar.

The Church Altar is the altar at which we gather with other disciples of Yahshua ha Mashiakh to perform communal worship and receive religious instruction from an Essene Priest or Priestess. Some people think that there is no need to gather together with other disciples of Yahshua; they are wrong. Yahshua, whom we are pledged to obey, expects us to gather together in his name; in The Essene New Testament we read:

"When my disciples are come together on the Sabbath... or in the morning of the first day of the week, let them each bring a tithe or a tithe of a tithe of their increase, as God doth prosper them, and put it in the treasury, for the maintenance of the church and the ministry, and the works thereof."

While the instructions above on tithing are important and should be followed, our focus now is the portion of the above excerpt in which Yahshua makes clear that HIS DISCIPLES ARE TO GATHER TOGETHER FOR COMMUNAL WORSHIP. Obviously, Essene Christians should gather together with other Essene Christians in an Essene Christian Church. If there is no Essene Christian church in your vicinity, then try to get one started! (If interested in helping to start a branch of Essene Church of Christ in your vicinity, write to our headquarters.) It is a profound joy to worship God and Guru in the company of other devoted disciples! Together, we are THE BODY OF CHRIST.

Because we worship Yahshua, we want to SERVE YAHSHUA. To serve Yahshua, is to HELP YAHSHUA PERFORM HIS MISSION ON EARTH. His mission on Earth is epitomized in the following declaration from "The Lord's Prayer":

"Our Father-Mother in heaven, hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come; thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven."

Yahshua's mission is to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth. And this is done by teaching the souls on earth to obey the will of God -- the laws of the universe. Only through harmony with the laws of the universe -- God's Will -- can heaven manifest on earth.

Obviously, Yahshua's mission on earth will not be easy! Earth is far from being a heavenly realm, at least in regard to the group-consciousness. Yahshua, in The Essene New Testament, describes the very un-heavenly status of earth:

"This earth... made for joy and gladness, ye have made into the lowest hell with your deeds of violence and cruelty."

Because our earth is in such terrible condition, Yahshua needs helpers to spread his true teachings all over the planet. In both the common New Testament and The Essene New Testament, Yahshua acknowledged his need for more helpers:

"And Yahshua went about all the cities and villages, teaching ... and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes of people in need of help, he had compassion and desired to have more helpers, that all the people could be helped. He said to his disciples, 'The harvest truly is plentiful, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore that God, the Lord of the harvest, will send forth more labourers to the harvest.'"

Above, "the harvest" refers to the multitudes who need help. The "labourers" are Yahshua's helpers. Yahshua needs more helpers; YAHSHUA NEEDS YOU! And if you love him -- worship him -- you want to serve him. This type of service -- taking his true teachings into the world -- is not easy. In fact, IT IS DOWNRIGHT DANGEROUS! Those who enjoy playing in the dark, hate the light. And those who profit financially from the darkness, WILL ATTEMPT TO KILL THE LIGHT. They crucified Yahshua 2,000 years ago, and today they will find a modern "cross" on which to crucify those who SERVE HIM. Yahshua warned us of this; in The Essene New Testament:

"These things I command you, that ye love one another and all the creatures of God. If the world hates you, know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own: but because ye are not of the world, in that I have called you out of the world, therefore, the world hateth you. Remember that I warned you: the servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my sayings, they will keep yours as well...."

"These things have I spoken unto you that ye should be forewarned... yea, the time cometh that whosoever killeth you will think they do God's work. And those things will they do unto you, because they have not known the All-Parent, nor me."

No, it is not easy to serve Yahshua in the midst of a hell-realm! But faithful service to the Lord of Light and King of Heaven does have its reward; Yahshua says in the Sermon on the Mount that your reward will be great in heaven:

"Yea, blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for my sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven; for in like manner did their fathers unto the prophets."

It is a fact that if Yahshua ha Mashiakh returned today -- barefoot, bearded, shoulder-length hair, white-robed and vegetarian -- and walked the streets of modern America preaching the same things he preached 2,000 years ago, HE WOULD BE CONDEMNED BY CHRISTIAN CHURCHES AS A DANGEROUS CULT LEADER! The very congregations that pray for the second coming of Christ, would condemn him if he actually came! And if they would treat our Guru that way, THEY WILL TREAT US THAT WAY -- if we actually serve him, rather than merely pay him lip service.

Although it may be dangerous, there is no time when you will more fully feel the presence of Christ than when SERVING HIM BY SPREADING HIS TEACHINGS. It is when the disciple serves Christ in this manner, that Christ manifests himself to the disciple. Peter in the Clementine manuscript, declares:

"For when anyone has so prepared himself, the True Prophet [Christ], seeing a mind prepared for Him, of his own free will chooses to appear to that disciple, or at least give internal counsel."

Oh, what a great day it is when our Lord Guru, Yahshua, ACTUALLY MANIFESTS HIMSELF TO US! It is the greatest of gifts; thus, the price is expensive: SERVICE ON HIS BEHALF IN THIS GROUP CONSCIOUSNESS HELL-REALM! The gift is bestowed only after the price is paid.

Although the mission of Christ and his co-workers -- to bring the kingdom of Heaven to Earth -- is long, hard, dangerous work (dangerous to your physical body and worldly reputation but not to your soul), IT IS DESTINED FOR SUCCESS! In The Essene New Testament, Yahshua made clear that his mission -- our mission -- will be victorious:

"Peace be unto you, as Abba-Amma [Father-Mother God] hath sent me, even so I send you." And when he had said this he breathed on them and said unto them, "Receive ye the Holy Spirit, preach the Gospel, and announce ye unto all nations the resurrection of the Son of Man. Teach ye the holy law of love which I have delivered unto you.... Baptize them who believe and repent, bless and anoint them.... As I send you, so send ye others also, to do these things in my Name, and he laid his hands upon them ....

"Rejoice therefore and be ye glad, for ye are more blessed than all who are on earth, for it is ye, my twelve thousand, who shall save the whole world."

When Yahshua spoke the above words, he was speaking to his twelve apostles. But he told them that the world would be saved by his twelve thousand disciples, a clear reference to ALL HIS TRUE DISCIPLES to come, including US! Victory will eventually be ours! But the way it will be won is by SERVICE: we must SERVE CHRIST IN THE MIDST OF HELL!

But not alone. We unite with fellow Essene Christian disciples of Yahshua not only for communal worship, but also for COMMUNAL SERVICE. In the excerpt given above in which Yahshua commanded his disciples to gather together and tithe ("tithe" means to donate a portion of your income -- usually 10% -- to your church), he described the money as: "for the maintenance of the church and the ministry, and the works thereof". While none of us can "save the world" alone, TOGETHER WE CAN! Can, and will! We pool not only our financial energy to support the work of the Essene Christian church, BUT ALSO OUR TIME AND TALENT! Together, we are strong! Together, we SERVE CHRIST IN THE MIDST OF HELL!

Christ did not want us to work alone. So that we can, together, save the world via COMMUNAL SERVICE, Yahshua formed a church. Some people -- especially "New Agers" -- do not believe Yahshua meant to form a "church". They are very wrong. The ancient Essene Christian manuscripts are full of direct quotations from Yahshua in regard to his church. He describes in detail exactly why, and how, he will form an Essene Christian church. He prophesies that his Essene Christian church will be forced "underground" for many centuries by the worldly powers -- while the phony, Pauline church preaches lies in his name -- BUT THAT HIS TRUE CHURCH WILL EVENTUALLY REMANIFEST AND BRING LIGHT TO THE WORLD!

All of us have different talents. Some are excellent preachers. Others are gifted artists. And some are able to sing like angels. No matter what your particular skill is, YOU CAN SERVE CHRIST WITH IT. A mechanic can repair the church van so that it can be driven on a preaching mission. The unskilled, unemployed church member can volunteer to drive that van. The stay-at-home mother can volunteer to teach children in an Essene Sunday School Class. The radical vegetarian can teach a vegetarian cooking class. And all of us can tithe ten percent of our income to help spread the teachings of the Essene Christ all over this planet! All of us can SERVE CHRIST.

Because we worship Christ, we want to serve him. And because we want to serve him well, we STUDY HIS TEACHINGS. In fact, we study ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING that will enable us to better serve Christ, but chiefly his own teachings. And that brings us face-to-face with another effective method by which to cultivate the guru-disciple relationship with Yahshua: STUDY.

When we first become disciples of Yahshua, we feel called to serve him by helping to spread his teachings all over the planet. But we realize that it is hard to communicate the teachings to others, if we do not fully understand them ourselves. Also, when we first became disciples, we pledged to study and obey the teachings of Yahshua. So, in response to both the above motivations -- our calling to serve and our pledge to obey -- WE BEGIN A LIFELONG PROCESS OF SYSTEMATIC STUDY. The materials we study are divided into two main categories: 1) The teachings of Yahshua; and, 2) Anything and everything that will enable us to better serve Yahshua. In subsequent paragraphs, I will briefly describe both categories. Then I will describe the context in which much of our study is undertaken: THE ESSENE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY SCHOOL.

First and foremost, is our study of the teachings of Yahshua. Some of his authentic teachings have survived on the pages of the common New Testament, as well as various other manuscripts such The Gospel of Thomas, The Hymn of Jesus, The Clementine Homilies and Recognitions, and The Pistis Sophia. We study all the above, weeding out the corruptions of later hands from the original, authentic sayings. BUT BY FAR THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT MANUSCRIPTS WE STUDY ARE: 1) The Essene New Testament; and, 2) The Essene Gospel of Peace. Those two texts are more important than any others because THEY SURVIVED THROUGH THE CENTURIES WITHOUT BEING ALTERED. No "weeding" needs to be done with these two texts; the words of Yahshua found on these pages are exactly as he spoke them. Of course, even these two texts have been translated from the original Aramaic into English and, therefore, we must carefully consider the Hebrew-Aramaic background of these texts while we study them. But, thank God, these two texts were translated from Aramaic into English by persons loyal to Christ (Ouseley and Szekely), and simply need to be studied with an understanding of their origin in the Aramaic language; no deliberate alterations of meaning were made in the process of translation.

To study the teachings of Yahshua found on the pages of The Essene New Testament and The Essene Gospel of Peace, does not simply mean to read the books once or twice. A disciple of Yahshua will study those books systematically, reading them dozens of times, taking notes, underlining key passages, and memorizing important quotations. A disciple of Yahshua will come to know those books backwards and forwards, being able to find immediately any key passage that pertains to a topic being discussed. If a disciple of Yahshua is asked to explain Yahshua's position on vegetarianism or reincarnation or the feminine aspect of God, he or she is able to quickly turn to the appropriate page and provide the requested information. And if no book is within reach, he or she can quote verbatim from memory Yahshua's key quotations on those topics. This sort of study of Yahshua's teachings is a lifelong practice.

But disciples of Yahshua do not only study the teachings of Yahshua. We study anything and everything that will enable us to better serve Yahshua. For instance, in our study of Yahshua's teachings, we learn that he wants us to eat fresh vegetables. So, we may study a book on organic vegetable gardening to enable us to better respond to Yahshua's teachings. Likewise, when we study The Essene Gospel of Peace, we learn that Yahshua wants us to be radical environmentalists, caring for the air, water, and soil. Thus, we may enroll in a college course on ecology or study a book on protecting the ozone layer. And since we are called to help spread Yahshua's teachings, we may take a college course on English Composition so that we can better serve Yahshua with the written word. And since Yahshua teaches us to respect the various religions of the world, we study the sacred scriptures of the Buddhists, Hindus, Taoists, and other world religions, seeking an understanding which makes real our respect. We study anything and everything that enables us to better serve Yahshua.

Not everyone wants to study. But Yahshua makes clear that study is an important aspect of our spiritual evolution. In The Essene Gospel of Peace, Book Two, Yahshua declares:

"Blessed is the Child of Light who doth study the Book of the Law, for he shall be as a candle in the dark of night, and an island of truth in a sea of falsehood. For know ye, that the written word which cometh from God is a reflection of the Heavenly Sea, even as bright stars reflect the face of heaven. As the words of the ancient ones are etched with the hand of God on the Holy Scrolls, so is the Law engraved on the hearts of the faithful who do study them....

"Know ye, too, that only through the written word shalt thou find that Law which is unwritten, as the spring which floweth from the ground hath a hidden source in the secret depths beneath the earth. The written Law is the instrument by which the unwritten Law is understood, as the mute branch of a tree becomes a singing flute in the hands of the shepherd.

"Many there are who would stay in the tranquil valley of ignorance, where children play and butterflies dance in the sun for their short hour of life. But none can tarry there long, and ahead rise the somber mountains of learning. Many there are who fear to cross, and many there are who have fallen bruised and bleeding from their steep and rugged slopes. But faith is the guide over the gaping chasm, and perseverance the foothold in the jagged rocks. Beyond the icy peaks of struggle lies the peace and beauty of the Infinite Garden of knowledge, where the meaning of the Law is made known to the Children of Light."

Much of our study, as disciples of the Essene Christ, takes place within the context of THE ESSENE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY SCHOOL. The modern-era Mystery School operated by our Essene Church of Christ, has its roots in the ancient Essene Mystery Schools of Mount Carmel in Israel, and Lake Mareotis in Alexandria, Egypt. Our Mystery School is the context in which the members of Essene Church of Yahshua ha Mashiakh study the teachings of our church. We are accurately termed a "Mystery School" in that our teachings address the esoteric "mysteries" of life in school-like fashion: on a gradient scale which is ladder-like, the completion of one level being prerequisite to the beginning of the next level. We begin with the basic, foundational Essene teachings on the first several levels of our Mystery School, and progress up to very mystical, esoteric teachings on the higher levels. Yahshua, in setting the example (as "Pattern") that he wants his disciples to follow, enrolled in the Essene Mystery Schools of Mount Carmel and Alexandria; his curriculum in the Essene Mystery School at Alexandria, Egypt, is described in The Essene New Testament:

"... he learned the language of birds and of beasts, and the healing powers of trees, and of herbs, and of flowers, and the hidden secrets of precious stones, and he learned the motions of the Sun and the Moon and the stars, and the powers of the letters, and mysteries of the Square and the Circle and the Transmutation of things, and of forms, and of numbers, and of signs."

The items listed above are also studied in our modern-era Essene Mystery School, on upper division courses. But don't let the esoteric curriculum or the term "Mystery School" scare you away: There is nothing less scary than LOVE, and LOVE is the GOLDEN THREAD that runs through EVERY LEVEL of our Mystery School. We study so that we can better serve Christ, and CHRIST IS LOVE.

Along with worship, service, and study, another excellent way to cultivate the guru-disciple relationship with Yahshua is the practice of ESSENE CHRISTIAN MANTRA MEDITATION. This is a vast topic; so vast, that an entire article in an upcoming issue of The Essene Path will be devoted to a thorough examination of Essene Christian Mantra Meditation. For now, we will confine ourselves to a brief introduction to one type of Essene Christian Mantra Meditation: REPETITION OF THE SAVING NAME. It is this type that pertains most to this article; for, it is this type of meditation that most enhances our guru-disciple relationship with Yahshua.

All early Christian writings -- including the common New Testament -- are full of references to a practice called "CALLING ON THE NAME OF THE LORD". What most modern readers do not realize is that these references pertain to a particular type of mantra meditation known as "REPETITION OF THE SAVING NAME." To use familiar Sanskrit terminology, this is a type of JAPA MANTRA MEDITATION. Before going any further, I must define those terms. "Japa" means "Repetition". A "Mantra" is a "word, sound, or phrase that has transcendental spiritual power". "Meditation" is "focused concentration on something of spiritual significance leading to a profound sense of union with the object of concentration." Thus, JAPA MANTRA MEDITATION is FOCUSED CONCENTRATION ON A MANTRA WHICH IS REPEATED VERBALLY OR MENTALLY. The goal of Japa Mantra Meditation is the experience of UNION or ONENESS with that which the Mantra represents. The Essene Christian Japa Mantra Meditation known as "CALLING ON THE NAME OF THE LORD" or "REPETITION OF THE SAVING NAME", is based on the repetition of the name of our Guru: Yahshua ha Mashiakh (Jesus the Christ). The goal of this practice is an enhanced experience of union with Yahshua, SO THAT WE CAN BETTER SERVE HIM. And, as will be described, our enhanced sense of union LEADS DIRECTLY TO AN ENHANCED ABILITY TO OBEY HIS TEACHINGS. But before describing the fruit of this practice, let us learn the method. How exactly does one perform this meditation?

Although there are a number of subtle variations, the essence of this practice is given in its name: "REPETITION OF THE SAVING NAME". In simplest terms, one performs this meditation by verbally and/or mentally reciting repeatedly the name of Yahshua (or Jesus). The name YAHSHUA is "the saving name" for this reason: "Yah" means "I AM" and "shua" means "SALVATION"; thus, the name YAHSHUA literally means "I AM SALVATION". Our Guru was never called "Jesus" during his lifetime; his name was Yahshua. When the New Testament was translated from Aramaic into Greek, the name "Yahshua" was translated as "Iesus." Many centuries later, "Iesus" became in English "Jesus". Although "Yahshua" is the original, authentic name of our Guru, if you say "Jesus" both you and he know who you mean! Either version of his name may be used. Whichever version of his name you choose, the repeated recitation of that name is the core element of this meditation practice. Simply recite, repeatedly and with reverence, "Yahshua ha Mashiakh" or "Lord Jesus Christ", or some other version of his name, verbally and/or mentally.

Although the core element of this meditation practice is the repeated recitation of the Saving Name, it is common to link that name to a string of other words, forming a phrase or sentence featuring the Saving Name. For instance, many early Christians chanted this version: "Lord Yahshua ha Mashiakh, Son of God, have mercy on me." They recited that sentence repeatedly, as a mantra. Another example of a version commonly used by early Christians is: "Yahshua ha Mashiakh, Prince of Peace." Still another example: "Yahshua ha Mashiakh, Lord of Light". Whichever version was chosen, it was recited repeatedly, with great reverence, as a sacred mantra.

One early Christian, Brother Philemon, gave the following instructions to those who came to learn the Yahshua Mantra from him; in the Philokalia we read:

  1. "Sit or stand in a dimly lit and quiet place.

  2. Recollect yourself.

  3. Find the core of your being and stay there with attention.

  4. Bring your mind to the core of your being and say, 'Lord Yahshua ha Mashiakh, have mercy on me,' quietly with the lips or mentally, whichever is more convenient; say the mantra slowly and reverently.

  5. As much as possible guard the attention of your mind and do not allow any other thoughts to enter in."

Personally, I have practiced various forms of the Yahshua Mantra for over twenty years. My favorite version is as follows. Inhale deeply, then, on the exhale, say: "Yahshua ha Mashiakh, the Way, the Truth, the Life." Then inhale deeply, and exhale the words: "The Way of the Loving Heart, the Truth of the Enlightened Mind, the Life which is One with God." Repeat the process, starting again with, "Yahshua ha Mashiakh...." Actually, when I do this mantra, it is accompanied by a series of hand motions too complex to describe in writing. But it can be practiced as described above, without the motions.

Whichever version of the Yahshua Mantra you practice, it should be repeated for at least a half hour per day. But those of you who are called to it may wish to do much more. In fact, you may wish to follow the ancient Essene Christian discipline of 'PERPETUALLY CALLING ON THE LORD'. That practice is as follows. Each morning, as part of your Morning Devotions, you verbally recite your Yahshua Mantra for a period of time. THEN, AS YOU GO ABOUT YOUR DAILY TASKS, YOU RECITE THE MANTRA MENTALLY ALL DAY LONG! At night, before bed, you again enjoy a period of verbal recitation of the Yahshua Mantra.

It should be obvious that the perpetual chanting of the Yahshua Mantra, as described above, leads to a profound sense of the PRESENCE OF CHRIST. After all, YAHSHUA IS ALWAYS ON YOUR MIND! Less obvious, but just as true, is the fact that the perpetual practice of the Yahshua Mantra LEADS TO GREATER OBEDIENCE OF HIS TEACHINGS. I will explain.

When I practice the PERPETUAL YAHSHUA MANTRA, I do the following. I practice the Yahshua Mantra verbally for at least thirty minutes in the morning. Then, as I go about my daily tasks, I practice the mantra silently, within my mind. I breathe in the name Yahshua (or "Jesus"), and exhale the name Yahshua. I inhale a silent, mental Yahshua, then exhale a silent, mental Yahshua. I do this all day long, attempting to have all of my actions during the day be in harmony with the name I am breathing, with the teachings of Yahshua. Because I am PERPETUALLY thinking of Yahshua, I am constantly reminded to conform my every thought, word, and deed to his teachings. Every temptation is met by the SAVING NAME. Every interaction is undertaken in THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST.

Because obedience to Christ results in the expansion of consciousness and the experience of HEAVEN WITHIN, the above discipline is neither dull nor dreary. Rather, it results in INTERNAL BLISS that far transcends the pleasures of the carnal mind. Due to the expansion of consciousness that comes with obedience to the teachings of Christ, the perpetual practice of the Yahshua Mantra LEADS TO ACTUAL COMMUNION WITH THE BEING WE CALL CHRIST VIA THE EXPERIENCE OF CHRIST CONSCIOUSNESS. Christ Consciousness comes only from obedience to the teachings of Christ.

Clearly, along with worship, service, and study, Essene Christian Mantra Meditation -- whether perpetual or periodic -- is an effective method by which to cultivate the guru-disciple relationship with Yahshua. I encourage the reader to embrace all of these practices.

Of course, the first step is to BECOME a disciple of Yahshua! In the course of this article, we learned that Yahshua is VERY WORTHY to be our Guru; we then learned exactly how to enter that relationship. But reading the words is far easier than ACTUALLY DOING IT!

I hereby invite you to actually do it! I hereby invite you to actually enter the Guru-disciple relationship with Yahshua. Make no mistake about it, THIS IS AN INVITATION TO TURN YOUR WORLD UPSIDE DOWN! This is an invitation to discard your worldly belief system and replace it with Yahshua's spiritual belief system. This is an invitation to let go of your ego-defense-mechanisms AND GET NAKED WITH GURU AND GOD! And there is only one way to accept this invitation: You must DIE! Not physically, but you must DIE TO YOUR OLD WAY OF LIFE and be BORN AGAIN IN CHRIST. There is no other way. For, to find your true life, you must die to your false life. No, this is not an easy invitation to accept. But make no mistake about it: THIS IS THE BEST INVITATION YOU WILL EVER RECEIVE! I pray you accept.

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