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Introduction to the Ancient Essenes and the Modern Essene Church of Christ

by Brother Day, D.D.

This article is intended as a basic overview of the ancient Essenes, and an invitation to participate in the modern Essene Church of Christ. Rather than examine one aspect of the Essene teachings in great detail, we will touch briefly on many aspects in order to provide a general introduction to the Essenes. We will begin with a look at ancient Essene origins and history, then consider Essene cosmology and theology. Having established what the ancient Essenes believed about life, we will then consider how they actually lived: We will examine their lifestyle. We will conclude with an invitation to participate in the modern Essene Church of Christ.

Origin and History of the Ancient Essenes

We will consider the opinions of various scholars -- both ancient and modern -- on Essene origins. Most important, we will consider the opinion of the Essenes themselves in regard to their origin. We will begin with two ancient scholars, both of whom were contemporaries of the first century Essenes: Josephus Flavius and Philo of Alexandria. Josephus, born at Jerusalem in 37 A.D., was the greatest historian of the Jews in that period. Philo was the greatest Jewish philosopher of that period. Both men had personal knowledge of the ancient Essenes; thus, what they tell us has a high degree of credibility. In regard to the origin of the Essenes, neither Josephus nor Philo can give a specific date, but both make clear that the Essenian roots are incredibly ancient. Josephus declares that the Essenes have existed "from time immemorial" and "countless generations". Philo agrees, calling the Essenes "the most ancient of all the initiates" with a "teaching perpetuated through an immense space of ages". Josephus and Philo -- as well as several other ancient writers including Pliny the Elder -- are in consensus on two points in regard to the origin of the Essenes:

  1.    Their origin is lost in pre-history with certain ancient legends linking them with Enoch;

  2.    There was a major remanifestation of the Essenes by Moses at Mount Sinai.

Let us first consider the original founding of the Essenes by Enoch, then the later remanifestation by Moses. Enoch lived many centuries before Moses. In the fifth chapter of the Book of Genesis (the first book of the bible), Enoch is described as "the seventh from Adam" -- which means he was born seven generations after Adam. Since seven, in Essene numerology, is the number of perfection, it is no mere coincidence that Enoch represents the seventh generation of humanity: he represents perfected humanity. He lived on earth 365 years (the number of days in the solar year) and was so in harmony with the laws of God that he was taken from Earth to an Angelic realm without having to die first! There, Enoch was given the angelic name "Metatron", and given the duty of guiding other human beings into their angelic destiny. His main work on Earth was the founding of the Essene Church. The Essene Church is considered (by the Essenes) to be a doorway into the angelic realm, as many of the Dead Sea Scrolls make abundantly clear (see The Dead Sea Scriptures, translated by Theodore Gaster, for numerous references to the Essene belief that their order served as a doorway into the angelic realm). While much of the Enochian legend cited above is found only in Essene Kaballah texts, it stems directly from the Bible: Genesis chapter five verse twenty-four: "Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him."

The fact that Enoch was considered the "founder" or "initiator" of the Essenes can even be seen in his name; the word "Enoch" means in Hebrew: "founder", "initiator", "centralizer". A modern scholar, Edmond Bordeaux Szekely, in his excellent book From Enoch to the Dead Sea Scrolls, writes:

"The origin of the [Essene] brotherhood is said to be unknown.... Some believe it comes from Enoch, and claim him to be their founder."

After the original founding of the Essenes by Enoch, many centuries passed in which the Essenes existed as a Mystery School, out of the eyes of the public. Finally, it was time for a major remanifestation of the Essenes, for their numbers had dwindled to the point of near extinction. Moses was the man chosen by God to guide the remanifestation of the Essenes. Both the ancient scholar Philo, and a modern scholar, Rabbi Harvey Falk (in his Another Look at the Jewishness of Jesus), informs us that Moses trained thousands of disciples as Essenes. The Essenes themselves describe that event in one of their most important texts: The Essene Book of Moses. In that text, God, at Mount Sinai, gave Moses the Essene Communions on a stone tablet. It was hoped that all the Jewish people would follow the way of life described on that tablet. But when Moses descended Mount Sinai and met with the people, it was clear that the majority were not ready to follow the esoteric Essene teachings engraved on that tablet. Heavy of heart, Moses again climbed Mount Sinai and asked God for an exoteric, easier set of teachings for the masses who were not ready to receive the esoteric Essene teachings. ("esoteric" means "inner circle"; "exoteric" means "outer circle".) God responded by giving the famous Ten Commandments on a second stone tablet; those commandments would be for the masses. Moses was to keep the esoteric Essene Communions for "the Children of Light," for only they could understand them. We read:

"And the Lord called unto Moses out of the mountain, saying, 'Come unto me, for I would give thee the Law for thy people, which shall be a covenant for the Children of Light'.... And God spake all these words, saying, 'I am the Law, thy God, which hath brought thee out from the depths of the bondage of darkness.... I am the invisible law, without beginning and without end.... If thou forsake me, thou shalt be visited by disasters for generation upon generation. If thou keepest my commandments, thou shalt enter the Infinite Garden where stands the Tree of Life in the midst of the Eternal Sea.'"

At that point, God then gave Moses the Essene Communions on the first tablet. Besides the Communions, that tablet included a synopsis of the main Essene teachings, including vegetarianism: "Thou shalt not take the life of any living thing." Our text then continues:

"And the people knew not what became of Moses, and they gathered themselves... and made a molten calf. And they worshipped unto the idol, and offered to it burnt offerings. And they ate and drank and danced before the golden calf... and they abandoned themselves to corruption and evil before the Lord."

The reference above to "burnt offerings" is a reference to "animal sacrifice". When Moses returned he found the people offering bloody animal sacrifices to their golden idol. Although he knew that these people had not "the ears to hear" the esoteric Essene tablet, -- they were given the exoteric Ten Commandments instead -- Moses preserved the Essene teachings for the Children of Light (the Essenes became known as the "Children of Light"); we read:

"And Moses hid the invisible Law within his breast, and kept it for a sign for the Children of Light."

It was at this time, according to both the ancient scholar Philo and the modern scholar Falk, that Moses trained 2,000 of the spiritual "elect" -- those Jews who had remained vegetarian and refused to participate in animal sacrifice and idol worship -- to be Essenes. AND FROM THIS TIME ON THE ESSENES EXISTED AS AN ESOTERIC MINORITY SECT. (Note: When modern scholars assert that the Essenes of Qumran were founded about 200 years before the time of Jesus, they are correct in regard to that one Essene group at Qumran; but the overall Essene movement is far more ancient.)

Although the Essenes began as an esoteric minority sect within Judaism, they went on to become the very first "Christians," called "Essene-Nazarenes" or "Ebionites". That happened as follows. Several hundred years before the birth of Jesus, the head priest of the Essenes, known as the "Teacher of Righteousness", had a vision: An Angel told him that a great Avatar, the Mashiakh (Christ Messiah), would come to Earth through the Essenes. But for this to occur, according to the Angel, the Essenes must follow certain disciplines in order to create a physical body capable of withstanding the powerful vibrations of the Christ Spirit, as well as a group energy powerful enough to open an "energy vortex" or "doorway" into this space-time dimension through which the Christ would enter. The prescribed disciplines were called the "Essene Halakoth". The group energy for the creation of an "energy vortex" was generated by forming Essene communal villages dedicated to practicing the "Halakoth" in a group context. In the Winter issue of "The Essene Path", Rev. Michael Robinson provided related information:

"Essene prophets who were attuned to the will of the Almighty, by virtue of their Holy meditations and their lifestyle of Righteousness, prepared for generations for the arrival of the Messiah of Peace. Genealogies were consulted and candidates were chosen and raised to a holy life. Pure diet, free of the taint of death and blood, as well as training in the Essene mysteries, brought forth children of a Holy nature, from which new candidates were chosen."

In the book, Edgar Cayce's Story of Jesus, edited by Jeffrey Furst, we read:

"... the Essenes... dedicated their lives, their minds, their bodies to a purpose, to a seeking for that which had been to them a promise of old.... Hence, there was the continued preparation and dedication of those who might be the channels through which this chosen vessel might enter -- through choice -- into this material realm. Thus in Carmel -- where there were the chief priests and leaders of this faith -- there were the maidens chosen who were dedicated to this purpose.... Among them was Mary, the beloved, the chosen one."

Again from Cayce:

"The Essenes were dedicated to their purpose and made holy Mount Carmel their headquarters. This was the original place where the school of prophets was established during Elijah's time....

"Here, the Essenes prepared themselves for several generations to open as it were a door into this realm for the Messiah.... And he became known as Jesus the Nazarene, for he was of the Essenian sect of Nazarenes in the region of Carmel."

In regard to the above references to the Essene headquarters at Mount Carmel and Jesus being affiliated with the Essenian sect of Nazarenes in the region of Carmel, there is much supporting evidence. Indeed, it is quite clear that the headquarters of the entire Essene movement was Mount Carmel in Northern Israel, not Qumran in Southern Israel, and that Jesus was primarily associated with Carmel. Equally clear is the fact that the Northern Essenes in the region of Mount Carmel were called "Nazarenes". The fact that nearly every major event associated with the life of Jesus occurred in Northern Israel, is strong evidence that Jesus lived most of his life in Northern Israel. Only four events of Jesus' life occurred in Southern Israel (his birth in Bethlehem; his visit to the temple when he was 12; his baptism by John; and his final journey to Jerusalem) and each of those events is clearly described as occurring after making a long journey from his home in Northern Israel. Mount Carmel, the Essene-Nazarene headquarters, was in Northern Israel; Qumran, the Essene Monastery where John the Baptist lived (and where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered), was in Southern Israel. THERE IS SOLID CONSENSUS AMONGST SCHOLARS THAT JOHN THE BAPTIST WAS FROM QUMRAN: the location on the Jordan river where tradition tells us John performed his baptisms is exactly where the Jordan river connects with the Dead Sea near Qumran, and everything we know about John matches up perfectly with what is known about the Qumran Essenes. When Jesus came to be baptized by his cousin John, The New Testament and other manuscripts tell us that John did not recognize Jesus; obviously, if Jesus and John lived together at Qumran, they would have recognized each other. This is strong evidence that Jesus was a Northern Essene associated with Mount Carmel, not a Southern Essene from Qumran. In Mystic Christianity, by Yogi Ramacharaka, we read:

"Jesus came unannounced to, and unrecognized by John.... Although the two were cousins, they had not met since childhood, and John did not at first recognize Jesus. The traditions of the Mystic Orders further state that Jesus then gave to John the various signs of the Mystery Schools to which they both belonged, working from the common signs up until Jesus passed on to degrees to which John had not attained, although he was an eminent high-degree Essene. Whereupon John saw that the man before him was no common applicant for Baptism, but was, instead, a highest-degree Mystic Adept, his superior in rank and unfoldment."

While the New Testament does not include all of the esoteric information above, it does declare that John -- the Qumran Baptist -- DID NOT RECOGNIZE HIS COUSIN JESUS.

The fact that Jesus was not from Qumran DOES NOT MEAN HE WAS NOT AN ESSENE. Often, when orthodox Christian scholars are attempting to prove that Jesus was not an Essene, they point out certain differences between the teachings of Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls. (They often point out that Jesus' doctrine is less strict in some matters than the 'Community Rule' of the Qumran Dead Sea Scrolls; by doing so, they think they are proving that Jesus was not an Essene.) But they are missing the point: QUMRAN WAS ONLY ONE OF MANY DIVERSE ESSENE COMMUNITIES. Whereas Qumran was a strict monastic commune for celibate men, some other Essene communities -- such as Mount Carmel and the related Nazarene stronghold of Nazareth -- were for entire families and naturally had more relaxed rules. The teachings of Jesus were more a product of the Northern Essene environment of Mount Carmel than Qumran. I quote from Peter Lemesurier's The Armageddon Script:

"Admittedly, Jesus was often considerably more forthcoming (less secretive) than the typical Qumran Essene, but then it should be remembered that he was not a Qumran Essene. Not only was he a 'Carmelite' or 'Nazarene', a product of the Essene movement's necessarily 'ecumenical' headquarters-group, but he was the intended messianic Priest-King, the ultimate 'Interpreter of the Law'.... As such, his rank was superior by far to the rest of the Essene leadership, even to the original Teacher of Righteousness. Consequently, he was free to interpret the Law and the Prophets in his own way and to whom he pleased, as the spirit guided him."

Thus, the differences between the teachings of Jesus and the Qumran Essenes are due to:

  1.    Jesus was raised at the more ecumenical, family-oriented Essene community at Mount Carmel; and,

  2.    The Dead Sea Scrolls, wonderful as they are, were written by Essenes who were prayerfully preparing for the coming of the Universal Messiah, the Prince of Peace. Obviously, once the Messiah of the Universe came to earth, the words that came out of his mouth were far transcendant of even the best of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

When the holy family returned from Egypt after Herod's death, we are told they settled in Nazareth. Nazareth is very near Mount Carmel, the headquarters of the entire Essene movement. However, in those days, there was no town called "Nazareth"; rather, it was simply a cooperative village of Essene "Nazarenes". We read in The Armageddon Script:

"... historical evidence that it (Nazareth) existed at the time is entirely lacking. The tradition almost certainly goes back to the fact that the family were members of the Nazarene sect of the Essenes. This group seems to have become the dominant one on Carmel, to the point where the word 'Nazarene' came to be applied to the Northern Essenes in general. It is possible, of course, that the Essenes had a camp in the vicinity of the modern Nazareth."

Thus, the term "Jesus of Nazareth" was originally "Jesus the Nazarene", and a "Nazarene" is a "Northern Essene" associated with Mount Carmel. Which is why in the New Testament Book of Acts, the early Christians' are referred to as "the sect of the Nazarenes."

Having accepted Jesus as the Messiah they had been waiting for, the Essene-Nazarenes became the first Christians. These first followers of Jesus were still called "Essene Nazarenes" or simply "Nazarenes". They were not called "Christians" (which means "Messianists" or "followers of the Messiah") until many years later.

We have now concluded our overview of ancient Essene origins and history. As promised in the introductory paragraph, we will next consider Essene cosmology and theology. Since the Essene cosmology and theology reached its pinnacle in the teachings of Jesus -- he being the Messiah they had prepared for -- our focus will be the Essene cosmology and theology articulated by Jesus.

Essene Cosmology and Theology

Does the reader -- YOU -- understand the meaning of the terms "cosmology" and "theology"? The terms are interrelated but have different meanings. COSMOLOGY is the study dealing with the origin and structure of the universe. THEOLOGY is the study of religious beliefs. Thus we will first consider Essene cosmology; for, the theology of any religious group is an outgrowth of their cosmology.

In a future issue of "Essene Path", an entire article will be devoted to the topic of Essene cosmology. But in the article at hand -- a general overview of many topics -- we can only touch on several main aspects of Essene cosmology. We have defined cosmology as "the study of the origin and structure of the universe." According to Essene Kaballah mysticism, the universe originates with God. God creates the universe in a series of four emanations, each of which becomes a particular realm:

  1.   `ATSILUTH: The first emanation from God creates a realm called "`Atsiluth". This is the realm of the Divine Archetypes. It is a spiritual realm, not a physical realm. These archetypal representations are the perfect ideals or models for all things created in the physical world. The Divine Archetypes for humankind are the masculine ADAM KADMON with his feminine counterpart SHEKHINAH. (Jesus is considered to be a messianic incarnation of Adam Kadmon; thus he is called "the first child of God". And since only the realm of Divine Archetypes was created directly by God -- all further steps of creation being accomplished by Adam Kadmon and Shekinah united as "THE WORD" -- Jesus, as Adam Kadmon, is also called "the ONLY BEGOTTEN son of God". Jesus himself stressed that we are all children of God, but only Adam Kadmon and Shekhinah -- by virtue of being Divine Archetypes -- were DIRECTLY BEGOTTEN by God.)

  2.   BERI'AH. Whereas `Atsiluth, the first realm, (described above) is a direct emanation from EN SOPH (the unmanifest God), the second realm, BERI'AH, is a direct emanation from `Atsiluth. Beri'ah is the realm of the HIGHEST RANKING ANGELS OF THE UNIVERSE. This realm contains no ordinary physical matter, only PURE SPIRITUAL ENERGY. Another term for this realm is "THE HIGHEST HEAVENS".

  3.   YETSIRAH. The third realm, Yetsirah, is an angelic realm, but not as high as the above described Beri'ah. The angelic beings of light in this realm are higher in spiritual development than human beings, but lower than those of the Beri'ah Higher Heavens. Within the realm of Yetsirah are seven sub-realms called "The Seven Heavens". Only when a being has progressed through these seven heavens of Yetsirah -- via spiritual evolution over long duration -- is that being able to ascend to the archangelic realm of the Beri'ah Higher Heavens. Yetsirah is not as physical as our realm, nor as subtle as Beri'ah. The lower regions of Yetsirah are more physical than the higher regions of that realm.

  4.   ASIYAH. The fourth realm, Asiyah, is the physical universe that we currently live in. Within Asiyah are countless sub-realms, some extremely dark and dense, some relatively light and subtle. Through our thoughts, words and deeds, we rise to the higher regions of Asiyah, or fall to the hell-pits of Asiyah.

The above cosmology can best be described as a sort of "COSMIC SCHOOL SYSTEM". The origin of this UNIVERSAL SCHOOL SYSTEM FOR THE TRAINING OF SOULS is God. The ultimate GRADUATION DEGREE IS CONSCIOUS UNION WITH GOD. Having "graduated" -- attained the highest heaven -- a being does "graduate studies": goes on missions to the lower realms to perform works of love and mercy. These "graduate students" work under the guidance of TEACHERS and MASTER TEACHERS. The ultimate Master Teacher -- the "Chancellor" of the Cosmic School System -- is THE CHRIST, the Adam Kadmon, known on earth as Jesus the Christ (Yahshua ha Mashiakh).

Before leaving the topic of Essene cosmology, a bit more needs to be said about HEAVEN AND HELL. According to Essene cosmology, both Heaven and Hell are VERY REAL. However, our understanding of the nature of heaven and hell is quite different than the orthodox Christian doctrine you are probably familiar with. In our ancient Essene holy scriptures, Jesus teaches the following main points in regard to Heaven and Hell:

  1.   There is not only one Heaven and one Hell; rather, there are countless Heavenly realms and countless Hellish realms. Jesus said, "In God's house are many mansions" and "various realms". He describes "higher heavens" and "lower heavens"; he also describes "higher hells" and "lower hells". According to Jesus, the universe is a vast cosmic school system for the training and evolution of souls. There are various levels of the cosmic school system and each level consists of many planets, spheres and realms inhabited by sentient beings. SOME OF THOSE REALMS ARE SO VIOLENT, HATEFUL, DARK AND MISERABLE, THEY CERTAINLY DESERVE THE TERM "HELLISH". SOME REALMS ARE SO PEACEFUL, JOYFUL, LIGHT AND LOVE-FILLED, THEY CERTAINLY DESERVE THE TERM "HEAVENLY."

  2.   According to Jesus, each being lives in the realm of the universe they deserve to (including the planet they live on) -- according to the universal law of karmic justice (CAUSE and EFFECT). Jesus said, "And as they have sown in one life, so shall they reap in another." Beings who live in harmony with universal law -- the laws of God -- will progressively ascend to ever-higher, more-heavenly abodes of light and love. Beings who do not live in harmony with the laws of the universe will progressively fall into ever-lower, more hellish realms of darkness and pain.

  3.   Jesus teaches that Heaven and Hell are experienced first inwardly -- as inner states of being -- and then become manifest in our outer circumstances as well. Jesus said, "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you." But he also said, "What is on the inside will become manifest on the outside." In other words, if you create a heavenly consciousness via harmony with universal law -- heaven within -- you will later experience a more heavenly outer-realm -- including the planet you live on -- as well. Again, Jesus said: "And as they have sown in one life so shall they reap in another." (It should be noted that some angelic beings who are entitled -- according to karmic law -- to live in more heavenly realms, CHOOSE to take incarnation in a more hell-like realm in order to perform loving service for the benefit of other beings.)

The orthodox Christian teaching is that, based solely on this one brief incarnation, you will either go to "Heaven" forever or will BURN IN HELL FOR ETERNITY. They teach that the vast majority of humans will BURN IN HELL. We reject that false teaching, as did Jesus himself. The notion that a SUPREME BEING would send the majority of human beings to BURN IN TORTUROUS AGONY FOR ETERNITY based solely on their status in this one brief incarnation is ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS! Such a "God" would actually be a "Devil"!

Speaking of the "Devil", I should inform you in regard to our beliefs about "Satan". Jesus, in our ancient Essene manuscripts, does not teach the existence of ONE EVIL COUNTERPART TO GOD; however, he does teach the existence of various demonic beings including a particular "fallen angel" called "Satan". So, there certainly is a "dark brotherhood"; there are demons and archdemons of various ranks and potencies; BUT NONE OF THESE DEMONS -- INCLUDING THE GRAND DRAGON SATAN -- are powerful enough to be considered a dualistic counterpart to God. They are simply lost souls in need of heavy-duty repentance.

Having concluded our overview of Essene cosmology, we will now examine several main aspects of Essene theology: REINCARNATION, VEGETARIANISM, and FATHER-MOTHER GOD.

In the ancient Essene New Testament, Jesus teaches the following five main points in regard to REINCARNATION:

  1.   Jesus teaches that souls reincarnate in order to gain experience in their quest for perfection. We read in The Gospel of the Holy Twelve:

    "The soul is purified through many births and experiences."

    In another passage of the same manuscript, Jesus states:

    "So through many births will ye be made perfect."

  2.   Jesus teaches that all creatures -- not only humans -- must continue to reincarnate until sufficiently purified. Jesus said:

    "As all creatures come from the unseen into this world, so they return to the unseen, and so will they come again till they be purified."

  3.   A third point made by Jesus on reincarnation is that there is a time of rest and reflection between lives:

    "... and to them will be given space to consider, and amend their lives...."

  4.   Jesus taught that what we do in one life will follow us into our next life:

    "The body that ye lay in the grave, or that is consumed by fire, is not the body that shall be, but they who come again shall receive other bodies, and as they have sown in one life, so shall they reap in another."

  5.   According to Jesus, once we are sufficiently perfected we need not reincarnate anymore:

    "Blessed are they who suffer many experiences, for they shall be made perfect through suffering: they shall be as the angels of God in heaven and die no more, neither shall they be born anymore, for death and birth have no more dominion over them."

Once we reach a certain level of spiritual evolution we will have angelic bodies that never die. At that point, we will have no need to reincarnate anymore. That does not mean we will be done learning and growing -- the universe is infinite and we will always have new lessons to learn. But, at that point, we will have graduated from the level of the cosmic school system in which birth and death have dominion over us: WE WILL HAVE TRANSCENDED THE WHEEL OF REQUIRED DEATH AND REBIRTH. However, in order to be seen, touched, and considered "real" by physically incarnated beings of a lower evolutionary level whom we wish to help, we may sometimes CHOOSE to incarnate physically, even after we have transcended the need to reincarnate. Such a CHOSEN incarnation motivated by divine compassion rather than bondage to flesh is the act of an "AVATAR". This explains why Jesus, the SUPREME AVATAR, takes physical incarnation even though not bound to the wheel of birth and death: DIVINE COMPASSION!

We will now consider another aspect of Essene theology: VEGETARIANISM. The ancient Essene New Testament makes clear that JESUS WAS A VEGETARIAN, and that vegetarianism was a central aspect of his doctrine, an ABSOLUTE REQUIREMENT OF DISCIPLESHIP. Vegetarianism was REQUIRED by Jesus of any person who wanted to become his disciple. In "Holy Twelve" we read:

Jesus 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.

"God giveth the grains and the fruits of the earth for food; and for righteous man truly there is no other lawful sustenance for the body....

"Wherefore I say unto all who desire to be my disciples, keep your hands from bloodshed and let no flesh meat enter your mouths; for God is just and bountiful, who ordaineth that man shall live by the fruits and seeds of the earth alone."

In another verse of the same manuscript, Jesus declares:

"I am come to end the sacrifices and feasts of blood, and if ye cease not offering and eating of flesh and blood, the wrath of God shall not cease from you, even as it came to your fathers in the wilderness, who lusted for flesh, and they ate to their content, and were filled with rottenness, and the plague consumed them.

"And I say unto you, though ye be gathered together in my bosom, if ye keep not my commandments I will cast you forth; for, if ye keep not the lesser mysteries, who shall give you the greater?

"He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much."

So, according to Jesus, vegetarianism is one of the "lesser mysteries" of the spiritual life, an ABSOLUTE REQUIREMENT for becoming a disciple of Jesus, and a prerequisite to being trusted with the "greater mysteries" of the universe.

In another verse from "Holy Twelve", Jesus makes clear that flesh-eathers are to be welcomed into our "outer-circle" church activities, but cannot participate in "inner-circle" activities until they become vegetarian:

"A disciple of Jesus asked him a question, saying 'Master, if there come to us any that eat flesh ... shall we receive them?'

"And Jesus 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.'"

Of course, Jesus practiced what he preached: he was himself a vegetarian:

Jesus said:

"For of the fruits of the trees and the seeds of the herbs alone do I partake, and these are changed by the Spirit into my flesh and my blood. Of these alone and their like shall ye eat who believe in me, and are my disciples, for of these in the Spirit, come life and health and healing unto man."

Those readers familiar with the New Testament story in which Jesus miraculously fed 5,000 persons with but a little bread and a few fish, might ask: "Didn't Jesus eat fish?" The answer is: NOT IN THE ORIGINAL, AUTHENTIC NEW TESTAMENT! In the original, unadulterated version of the New Testament (The Gospel of the Holy Twelve), Jesus fed those 5000 persons with but a little BREAD AND GRAPES! The vegetarian teachings of Jesus were removed by merchants of death -- persons who earned money from the flesh of animals -- after they forcibly took over the early Essene-Christian church and established a State-run religion.

The next aspect of Essene theology we will consider is GOD AS BOTH FATHER AND MOTHER. In the Essene manuscripts used by our church, Jesus teaches that God is both Father and Mother, and that all of nature is created in the divine image and likeness of Father-Mother God. In The Gospel of the Holy Twelve, Jesus states:

"God is the Two in One. He is She and She is He.... Therefore shall the name of the Father and the Mother be equally hallowed, for they are the great aspects of God, and the one is not without the other, in the One God."

In other words, God is a perfect balance of the masculine (Father) and feminine (Mother) aspects. But do not get the wrong idea: When Jesus speaks of the masculine and feminine aspects of God, he is NOT speaking about physical sexual gender: he is not describing God as having both a penis and vagina! Rather, Jesus teaches that the masculine and feminine aspects of God are SPIRITUAL ATTRIBUTES such as the masculine ASSERTIVENESS and its feminine counterpart RECEPTIVITY, or the masculine JUSTICE and the feminine MERCY. Jesus is describing COMPLEMENTARY ASPECTS of God which are in such perfect balance they form a ONENESS. In "Holy Twelve", Jesus makes that point very clear:

"God is both male and female, not divided, but the Two in One.... In God the masculine is not without the feminine, nor is the feminine without the masculine: Love is not without knowledge, Justice is not without Mercy, the Head is not without the Heart. In God, the masculine powers and feminine powers are perfectly united as ONE."

The key thing to remember is that the masculine and feminine aspects of God form a ONENESS, a HARMONIOUS WHOLE. To illustrate that idea, think of a tree. The branches are an aspect of the tree. The roots are another aspect of the tree. So is the trunk an aspect. But the tree itself is a ONENESS made up of many complementary aspects.

Now let us look at how this teaching relates to each of us. In other words, according to Jesus, what is our own relationship to God? Jesus said:

"Verily, God created mankind in the Divine image male and female, and all nature is in the Image of God.... In the beginning, God willed and there came forth the First Beloved Son and the First Beloved Daughter, united as Love and Wisdom, created in the Image and Likeness of the Father-Mother, and of these proceed all the generations of the Spirits of God, the Sons and Daughters of the eternal.... From the will of God comes forth the Divine Sons and Daughters of God, and within each Son is the Daughter and within each Daughter is the Son."

From the above excerpt we learn several important things about our relationship to God. First and foremost is the fact that we are each a Divine Child of God, created in the EMBRYONIC image and likeness of the eternal Father-Mother. I emphasize the word "embryonic" to bring home the point that though we are created in the image and likeness of God, we are neither quantitatively nor qualitatively the equal of God. An acorn is created in the embryonic image and likeness of Father-Mother Oak Tree; but the acorn is not yet quantitatively or qualitatively the equal of Father-Mother Oak Tree. Likewise, a drop of ocean water consists of the same elements as does the ocean itself. But while the ocean can truly claim to contain every drop of ocean water, the individual drop of ocean water cannot truly claim to contain the entire ocean. Such is our relationship to God: we are One with God; we are created in the image and likeness of God; YET GOD IS SENIOR TO US BOTH IN TERMS OF QUANTITY AND QUALITY.

The essential nature of God is a Oneness. And that Oneness has a name: "I AM". The One God chooses to manifest both a masculine and feminine aspect for the purpose of creation. That which is created is a spark of the Creator: You are THAT.

Masculine, causative energy, must be balanced by feminine, receptive energy, if harmony is to be experienced. If you are out of balance in EITHER direction, you will experience PAIN. You must find that place of balance at the very core -- CENTER -- of your being. That center is where you will find your true Self.... It is where you will find God.... It is where you will find Peace and Joy. It is where "I AM".

It is home.

How the Ancient Essenes Lived

Having established what the ancient Essenes believed about life, we will now consider how they actually lived. While some Essenes lived in private homes in towns and cities, most of them lived in communal villages. There were many Essene communal villages in Israel, and several in Egypt. As described previously, Jesus was primarily associated with the Essene Nazarene communal village near Mount Carmel. Many pie-in-the-sky utopian communities have been very short-lived due to their failure to adequately address such basic human needs as food, employment and health care; but the ancient Essenes created communal villages that thrived for centuries. Although they were advanced mystics with profound cosmological and theological beliefs, they obviously must have mastered the practical aspects of daily life, as well as the philosophic. We now ask four very practical questions: How did they organize themselves? How did they feed themselves? How were their members employed? What type of health care did they practice and provide for their members?

HOW DID THEY ORGANIZE AND GOVERN THEMSELVES? We will first examine the Essene community at Qumran. After doing so, we will consider some other ancient Essene models of communal living.

While other Essene communities were for entire families, Qumran was an all male monastic community. The community at Qumran regarded itself as a church and was organized along the lines of an esoteric "Mystery School", with various levels of initiation. Their word for 'church' was the same used by the first Christians: 'edah. And their organizational structure was identical to that used by Jesus and the first Christians. Theodore Gaster, in his The Dead Sea Scriptures, writes:

"Because the Brotherhood at Qumran regarded itself as the true Congregation of Israel... it organized itself into what may fairly be described as a 'church'. Such an organization requires a formal set of principles and a constitution.... No less interesting, and perhaps more exciting... are the many parallels with the organization of the primitive Christian Church. The community calls itself by the same name ('edah) as was used by the early Christians of Palestine to denote the Church.... There are twelve 'men of holiness' who act as general guides of the community -- a remarkable correspondence with the Twelve Apostles. These men have three superiors, answering to the designation of John, Peter and James.... There is a regular system of mebaqqerim or 'overseers' -- an exact equivalent of the Greek episkopoi, or 'bishops'."

In regard to Gaster's mention of the twelve 'men of holiness' and their three superiors, he is referring to the following. Qumran was governed by a system called "One, Three, Twelve and The Many" (patterned on certain principles of Sacred Geometry and Kaballah). The "One" was the chief priest or "Teacher of Righteousness" (in Hebrew: Moreh Zadik). The "Three" were, after the Teacher of Righteousness, the highest-ranking priests of the community. Together, the "One" and the "Three" made up what today would be called "The Board of Directors", with the "One" obviously being the Chairman of the board. There was also a Council of Twelve Overseers; as Gaster pointed out, the Hebrew word for "overseer" is "mebaqqerim" which is the exact equivalent of "Bishop". The Council of Twelve Bishops were advisory to the four person (the "three" and the "one") "Board of Directors". Gaster pointed out the remarkable correspondence between the above Qumran model and that of Jesus' immediate circle: Jesus corresponds to the "One" or "Teacher of Righteousness". James, John and Peter to the "Three High Priests", (In the New Testament, Jesus often takes only James, Peter and John with him for important "inner circle" events; after his crucifixion those three are referred to as "the three pillars of the church.") and "The Twelve Apostles" to the "Council of Twelve". But very important also is the Qumran term "The Many"; for, the One, Three and Twelve permitted "The Many" -- ALL MEMBERS IN GOOD STANDING -- to vote on any issue that was not considered the domain of the "Mystery School". In other words, the basic daily affairs of the community were decided not by the spiritual hierarchy BUT BY THE COUNCIL OF THE MANY. In this way, Qumran was governed by a unique blend of spiritual hierarchy and direct democracy. The spiritual hierarchy protected the esoteric teachings from being watered down by novices and made sure that the overall purpose, plan and constitution were followed. But the daily affairs of ordinary life were decided according to direct democracy via "The Council of the Many." In the words of Theodore Heline, "Theirs was a democratic society functioning under highly disciplined hierarchical order."

If the term "spiritual hierarchy" seems negative to your modern sensitivities, consider the following. The Essenes believed that their Mystery School was a doorway into the ranks of angelic beings. They believed that the angelic realms were divided into ranks or hierarchies of angels: lower angelic beings on up to archangels. And so they patterned their Mystery School on the angelic pattern of ranks and hierarchies. They also made sure that promotion through the ranks was completely fair in that it was based on the progress made by the student within the context of the curriculum of the Mystery School.

Before leaving the topic of organizational structure at Qumran, let us look at how one became a part of the Qumran community, how one joined the organization.

In his excellent book titled, The Dead Sea Scrolls: The Essenian Forerunners of Christ, Theodore Heline writes:

"From the recovered portions of the Manual of Discipline we learn that an applicant for membership was placed on a one year's probation. If his conduct proved worthy, two more years of study and testing followed. Then if favorably passed upon by the priest and the majority of the members he was admitted to full membership.... On attaining full membership, but not until then, individuals surrendered without reservation all personal possessions to the common store."

Like Qumran, most of the other Essene communal villages practiced a 100% communal economy; that practice was continued by Jesus and the first Christian-Essenes. We read in the New Testament "Book of Acts":

"And all that believed were together, and had all things in common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, as any had need."

A few verses later we read:

"And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that any of the things which he possessed was his own; for they had all things in common."

Likewise, we read in The Essene Humane Gospel Of Jesus:

"And they who believed gave up their wealth and possessions and did sell all things and gave the proceeds to the communes, for they held all things in common and abode together in one place, even as Christ had commanded them. For by doing so, they fulfilled the law of love, showing all kindness and goodness of God unto their brothers and sisters and all the creatures born of nature....

"And many were the Essene communes of the followers of the holy way, wherein all lived according to Kingdom Order and in Love. For among the communes, it was just as Jesus had spoken... for there existed no hunger or thirst for spiritual or physical food, and the aged man and the widow were not cast out, and the orphan and the inflicted were welcome.... And the holy ones of God did go forth as healers among mankind, teaching the cures of nature unto the people. And unto the nations they were known by the name of 'Essenes' which, when translated, means 'healers and saviors of the people'; for they healed every physical and spiritual ill of any who wanted to become followers of the Essene way of Life."

In regard to the organizational and governmental structure of other Essene communities, we have new information on the Mount Carmel Community in Northern Israel and the Lake Mareotis Community in Egypt. In a manuscript soon to be published by Essene Church of Christ, we learn that the Carmel and Mareotis Essenes followed the same "One, Three, Twelve and The Many" format as Qumran, BUT WITH A FASCINATING TWIST: they patterned it on the Essene Tree of Life! If the reader is familiar with the drawing of the Essene Tree of Life on page 50 of Edmond Szekely's book From Enoch to the Dead Sea Scrolls, you will recall that there are seven branches and seven roots. The center branch represents God, the center root "Mother Nature". The other six branches represent various spiritual forces, the other six roots various natural forces. And at the very center of the Tree of Life is a human being seated in a meditation posture.

The Carmel and Mareotis Essenes use of the "One, Three, Twelve" was linked to the Tree of Life as follows: the "One" (the "Teacher of Righteousness" or, in Hebrew, "Moreh Zadik") was linked to the human being in the center of the Tree; the "Council of Twelve" were linked to the six branches and six roots (minus the center branch and center root); the "Three Highest-Ranking Priests" were linked to the three branches of the upper left portion of the Tree: Love, Wisdom, and Power. Each New Year, the Teacher of Righteousness announced the names of those Essenes who would serve as "The Council of the Tree of Life". When the Teacher of Righteousness and Council of Twelve held meetings, a specific person represented each of the six branches and six roots; for instance, James may have represented the branch of Wisdom, John the branch of Love, Peter the branch of Power (Power is "manifestation"). Meetings began with beautiful songs, chants and recitations based on the Tree of Life Communions. One such song seems to have been the basis for the Gnostic "Hymn of Jesus": the twelve move in a circle around the Teacher of Righteousness, who is seated in the meditation posture at the center (just like the Tree of Life drawing). We also find a reference to this in The Gospel of the Holy Twelve, in regard to the 'Last Supper':

"And at evening the Master cometh into the house, and there are gathered with him the Twelve....And they were all clad in garments of white linen....

"And when they had sung a hymn, Jesus stood up in the midst of his apostles, and going round him who was their Center, as in a solemn dance, they rejoiced...."

After the Tree of Life songs and rituals, the "business meeting" was held. In prayer, the group asked that the Center Branch -- God -- and the Center Root -- Mother Nature -- be with them and guide all of their decisions at the meeting. In this way, all fourteen of the branches and roots were represented at the meetings: twelve by human beings, two -- God and Mother Nature -- by their own spiritual presence. The Moreh Zadik ("Teacher of Righteousness" or "Chief Priest") represented the human being at the center of the Tree. The Moreh Zadik was a lifelong position; the others served one year terms but could be reinstated at the New Year Naming Ceremony for another year term. Often, they served many years, sometimes until death, as there was no limit to the number of consecutive one year terms they could serve. We are told that the Moreh Zadik would isolate himself for several days at the end of each year and do a fast. He would then invoke the presence of the Center Branch -- God -- and the Center Root -- Mother Nature -- and ask their guidance in the selection of the persons for the Council of Twelve for the upcoming year. Then, using advanced yogic techniques, he went into a deep Communion with God and Mother Nature which culminated in the writing down of twelve names. (Until publication, we are not permitted to give direct quotations from the Alexandria/Carmel manuscript, but one thing is very clear: the manuscripts translated by Edmond Szekely which he supposed were from Qumran were actually from Carmel and Mareotis: not a single mention of the Tree of Life Communions or Sevenfold Peace are found in the Qumran Scrolls BUT THE CARMEL/ALEXANDRIA MANUSCRIPT -- which also describes Mareotis -- IS FULL OF REFERENCES TO THE TREE OF LIFE AND SEVENFOLD PEACE.)

Like the Qumran group, the term "The Many" was also very important at Carmel and Mareotis. Like at Qumran, the spiritual hierarchy at Carmel and Mareotis handled the church matters, BUT PERMITTED "THE MANY" -- all members of the community in good standing -- TO MAKE ALL THE DECISIONS IN REGARD TO DAILY LIFE AT AT THE COMMUNITY.

HOW DID THE ANCIENT ESSENE COMMUNAL VILLAGES FEED THEMSELVES? First, we must remind ourselves that the ancient Essenes were STRICT VEGETARIANS. Many of them ate only raw fruits, vegetables, and sprouted grains, along with raw dairy products, never eating cooked food. Although raw foods were recommended, the only requirement was NO MEAT. But our question now is not WHAT they ate but HOW they got it. It's one thing to invite a thousand people to come live together on your land; it's quite another thing to feed all of them! A study of the various source materials provides us with the answer: THE ESSENES WERE MASTER FARMERS AND ARBORICULTURISTS (an "arboriculturist" is one who "grows trees"; in the case of the Essenes, nut and fruit tree orchards). Edmond Szekely, in From Enoch to the Dead Sea Scrolls, writes:

"The Essenes lived on the shores of lakes and rivers, away from cities and towns, and practiced a communal way of life, sharing equally in everything. They were mainly agriculturists and arboriculturists, having a vast knowledge of crops, soil and climatic conditions which enabled them to grow a great variety of fruits and vegetables in comparatively desert areas and with a minimum of labor."

In regard to the reference above to "a minimum of labor", excavation of the ruins of the Essene community at Qumran has revealed that the Essenes made use of sophisticated drip irrigation systems to water their gardens and orchards. During the short rainy season they channeled the rain water that poured down the surrounding cliffs into huge cisterns to save for watering their gardens the rest of the year. They were masters of mulching and composting, the greatest organic gardeners to ever grace the earth. In another section of the same book, Szekely makes clear that they not only were able to feed all their own members, but often had enough surplus food to feed the poor of neighboring cities:

"They had great agricultural proficiency... producing a large variety of fruits and vegetables of the highest quality and in such abundance they periodically had a surplus to distribute to the needy."

While many of the members of the Essene communal villages worked in the gardens, not all of them did.

And that brings us to the next question: HOW DID THE ANCIENT ESSENE COMMUNAL VILLAGES EMPLOY THEIR MEMBERS? In his excellent book The Mystical Christ, Manly Hall reports:

"There was no idleness among the Essenes.... The group was not... financed by the State; it was supported entirely by its own members, whose gain from lawful enterprise was kept in the common purse. The term 'lawful enterprise' was interpreted as honest and honorable work. No activity was considered superior to another. Each of those who came bestowed his talents and abilities, but practiced them only according to the convictions of conscience. As many who sought refuge in the settlement had no inclination to continue their previous occupations, they had no special skill suitable to their new way of living. These farmed the surrounding area and performed such labor as might be required for the common good. Some apprenticed themselves to craftsmen and learned new trades."

We see above that a new member of an Essene community could keep his old job IF IT WAS IN HARMONY WITH THE ESSENE TEACHINGS. If the old job could not be kept for reasons of conscience, the new member either worked on the communal farm, performed general labor for the community -- laundry, carpentry, kitchen work etc. -- or learned a new trade. Hall goes on to inform us that some Essenes had been quite wealthy before joining the communes:

"It is a mistake to assume that the Essenes were simply agriculturists and craftsmen. Some had been scholars or wealthy merchants or successful tradesmen. Each in his own way had found it impossible to continue practices which offended his soul. He had, therefore, divided his goods, bestowed his properties, terminated his worldly career, and returned to the natural faith of his fathers."

Some of the Essenes worked as teachers. Hall writes:

"That the intellectual level of the community was high can be gathered from the historical accounts of the sect. Essenes were selected as teachers of the young and Roman officials residing in Palestine selected these mystics, preferring them to scholars of other Jewish sects or tutors sent from Rome. Under the gentle guidance of these godly men, children received not only learning, but also enlightenment."

Some Essenes worked as doctors. Hall reports:

"Some of the Essenes practiced medicine and healed the sick.... They were especially mindful of the poor, who could not afford to engage physicians. When the Essenian doctor attended a patient, he would not only prescribe a remedy, but would also clean the house, do the mending and washing and any other task which sickness had interrupted. If some gift was forced upon him by one of the grateful, it was placed in the general storehouse of the sect."

Another author, Robert Chaney, agrees that many Essenes were healers. In his fascinating book, The Essenes and their Ancient Mysteries, he informs us that one Essene community was especially famous for its skilled healers:

"The Therapeutae, consisted of those Essenes who engaged in the healing art. The word "Essenes" in the nearest Aramaic equivalent means 'healers'.... One branch of the Essenes located near famed Lake Mareotis in Egypt, was known far and wide for its accomplishments in the field of healing. The suggestion has been made that the young Jesus received his first instruction in the healing arts from the residents of this Essene healing community."

Having established that the Essene communal villages had many skilled healers living amongst them, now is a perfect time to answer the question promised earlier: WHAT TYPE OF HEALTH CARE WAS PROVIDED FOR THEIR MEMBERS? Hall makes clear that the most important ingredients of the Essene "health-plan" for members were love and commitment:

"Those who were sick or injured were given constant and devoted care and protected from all want to the end of their lives."

But what form of healing was used? Amazingly, the ancient Essenes twenty centuries ago were practicing what we today consider "new" and call "holistic medicine." Daniel Maziarz, in his outstanding book, The Angelic Way to Love, informs us:

"Curiously enough, the health practices of the ancient Essenes are making a huge comeback today under the names of holistic health, naturopathy, preventive medicine, Ayurveda, and others.... Increasing numbers of people today are adopting the following natural means of empowering their health that were also employed by the ancient Essenes:

  • nutrition, especially the powerful effect of specific natural foods to prevent and to heal disease

  • breathing exercises

  • physical culture of all forms

  • herbs

  • fasting

  • massage(massage wiki)

  • suntherapy (heliotherapy)

  • watertherapy (hydrotherapy)

  • gardening

  • the use of precious and semi-precious stones."

Robert Chaney, in his aforementioned book, describes the Essene healing practices:

"Three basic principles were followed by The Essenes in their healing... First, it was believed that Divinity was expressed in the plant kingdom as an antidote for the illnesses of the human kingdom, that for every illness there existed a palliative in a root, leaf or bark of a tree or plant. The Essenes therefore were herbalists in the highest sense of the word.

"A second method of healing was to make use of 'healing stones' -- bits of various kinds of rock or hardened earth.... The power of such stones in influencing magnetic fields under the direction of one who is versed in this type of therapy became common knowledge at a later period. The Essenes also created salves from natural sources. The clay and spittle Jesus prescribed for the blind man may very well have originated from this source.

"The third method of healing in which the Essenes were extremely well versed drew upon the healing powers of the invisible worlds around them. They acquired an unparalleled mastery in manipulating these healing powers of the superior spheres...."

In an ancient Essene scripture published by the Edenite Society, The Essene Humane Gospel of Jesus, we read:

"And Jesus did heal every ailment and disease among the sick, even teaching the people the art of true health reform according to the natural laws of nature. Yea, for he taught the people healing properties of plants, even every herb and grass of the field, and the power hidden in stones, and the cleansing miracle of pure water. And many were amazed and did believe and were healed."

Two more questions must be asked in regard to Essene communal villages. How did they treat children? How did they treat the elderly? The heart -- or lack thereof -- of any community or nation is revealed in the way they treat their children and old folks.


"The Essenes held children in special regard.... They trained these young people and were attentive to natural abilities and inclinations. When these children reached maturity, they were in no way required to accept the teachings of the sect or to become members. They might choose to do so or not, as they pleased."

Even the celibate Essene community loved children and cared for orphans. Hall tells us: "The order adopted orphans and reared them with all tenderness."

HOW ABOUT THE ELDERLY? How were members of the Essene communal villages treated when they were too old to work anymore? After all, there was no such thing as Social Security checks back then! Hall reports:

"The aged were held in the highest esteem, and it was remembered that they had worked faithfully and lovingly as long as their strength had permitted. They were given... devoted care and protected from want to the end of their lives."

The Essene communal life was based on a set of rules of conduct, spiritual disciplines and lifestyle practices called the "ESSENE HALAKOTH". The Essene Halakoth was given by their line of chief priests called TEACHERS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS and reached its zenith with the ULTIMATE MASTER TEACHER, YAHSHUA HA MASHIAKH (Jesus the Christ). The Essene Halakoth was in fact a YOGA SYSTEM; it united seven basic yoga systems in a grand synthesis. ESSENE YOGA included: RAJA YOGA (silent meditation); HATHA YOGA (physical postures and breath work); BHAKTI YOGA (love and devotion to God); GNANA YOGA (spiritual study and discourse); LAYA YOGA (the science of using the chakras to bring about higher states of spiritual realization); KARMA YOGA (creative work for the uplift of all); MANTRA YOGA (verbal prayer, singing and chanting). Central to Essene Yoga was a lifestyle practice called THE SEVENFOLD PEACE which included a meditation practice called COMMUNIONS WITH THE TREE OF LIFE. (Specific details on how to perform the various aspects of Essene Yoga -- including the Sevenfold Peace and Communions -- are provided in books and videos available from our catalogue.)

It is of major importance to realize that the Essene exodus from decadent, "worldly" cities to form Essene communal villages DID NOT MEAN THAT THEY TURNED THEIR BACKS ON THE WORLD or abandoned the people left behind in cities. One of the main purposes of leaving the worldly cities to form Essene communal villages was to become LIVING CELLS OF NONVIOLENT SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION, examples for the rest of the world. Also, part of the Essene practice of "Tikkun Olam" ("to actively participate in the healing and transformation of the world") was to send Essene teachers and healers into the cities. In his excellent book From Enoch to the Dead Sea Scrolls, Edmond Bordeaux Szekely writes:

"The Essenes knew there was no escape from this circle of oppression, hatreds and violence, wars and revolutions, except through changing the ignorance of the individuals in the world....

"The solution which the Essenes offered for economic and social harmony can be applied in every age, the present as well as the past. It contained four factors:

  1. Separating from the chaotic conditions of the mass of mankind which refuses to obey natural and cosmic law.

  2. Demonstrating a practical social system based on natural and cosmic law.

  3. Communicating these ideas to the outside world through teaching, healing and helping others according to their needs.

  4. Attracting to their communities other individuals who are sufficiently evolved to be willing to cooperate with the law."

It is truly said that you can judge a tree by the fruit it bears. Based on the reports of writers who were contemporary to the Essenes, we must conclude that the Essene communal villages were very effective "Trees" for the production of beautiful, wonderful human beings. Consider the praise of contemporaries such as Pliny, Josephus and Philo; these men actually knew the Essenes and said of them:

"... a race by themselves, more remarkable than any other in all the world."
-- Pliny

"... they show more love for each other than do others, and live a more moral life. Rightly do they deserve to be called an example for the life of other people."
-- Josephus

"They live each day in constant and unalterable holiness."
-- Philo

Manly Hall sums up the lifestyle of the ancient Essenes in very moving terms:

"The Essenes resolved to live by the laws of God in a world of men.... By simply permitting consciousness to guide conscience, and conscience to govern conduct, the Essenes unfolded the basic plan for human society. The more devoutly they practiced these principles, the more obvious it became that the program was both possible and practical.... By loving their fellow men and serving them, the Essenes discovered in their own hearts the God of love and service."

Having completed our overview of the ancient Essenes, we will conclude with an INVITATION TO PARTICIPATE IN THE MODERN ESSENE CHURCH OF CHRIST.

Invitation to Participate

In the ancient Essene manuscripts used by our church, Jesus predicted his enemies would alter his teachings after his crucifixion and his church would become corrupt. He was right. After Jesus was crucified, it was not long before his church was taken over by his enemies, and his true followers were executed as "heretics". Christianity then became a State-run religion, run by corrupt kings via their puppet-popes. They altered the New Testament: they removed all references to the Essenes and eliminated Jesus' teachings on vegetarianism, reincarnation, the feminine aspect of God and much more. That was the "Dark Age"; Jesus predicted all of it. But he also predicted an "Age of Light" in which his ESSENE CHURCH OF CHRIST would return and his true teachings would be distributed. AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HAS HAPPENED! (About twenty years after the crucifixion, Paul -- who had never met Jesus -- split off from the vegetarian Essene Nazarene Christianity and started a competing meat-eating branch of Christianity. The old apostles who had actually known and been trained by Jesus, continued to lead the Essene Nazarene Christian movement and refused to participate in the corrupted version of Christianity founded by Paul; the old Apostles -- including James, Peter, John and Thomas -- declared that Paul was altering the true teachings of Jesus. Because Paul threw out Jesus' doctrine on vegetarianism -- and other lifestyle practices which seemed hard to follow -- and replaced them with an easy (and false) system of salvation based on merely believing in the sacrificial death of Jesus, his worldly version of Christianity grew to be much larger than the Essene Nazarene version. Paul's Christianity -- "Paulianity" -- evolved into the Roman Catholic Church. Up until the fourth century both types of Christian churches existed: vegetarian "Essene Christianity" and meat-eating, "Catholic Paulianity." But then, in the fourth century, the Catholic Church -- having grown into a large State-run religion -- sent their army to exterminate (as heretics) the Essene Nazarenes. Nearly all the Essene Nazarenes were killed and most of their books (which contained the true teachings of Jesus) were burned. From that time on, Essene Nazarene Christianity existed only in small numbers as a hidden, underground religion, while Paulianity spread all over the planet. Mainstream, modern Christianity today -- both Catholic and Protestant -- is based more on the teachings of Paul than Jesus and should be referred to as "Paulianity". Fortunately, the original books of Essene Nazarene Christianity were not all burned; some were hidden and are now in our possession. AS JESUS PROPHESIED, HIS ESSENE CHURCH OF CHRIST HAS RETURNED AND HIS TRUE TEACHINGS ARE AGAIN AVAILABLE!)

Essene Church of Christ hereby declares that the blessed day of the restoration of the true church and true teachings of Jesus Christ has NOW COME! We believe we are that true church, and that we are the authorized custodians and chief disseminators of those true teachings.

We DO NOT believe we are the only "good" church or that other churches are "bad"; in fact, we study wisdom wherever we find it -- even in other churches and religions. But we do believe we are the actual REINCARNATED CHURCH OF JESUS THE ESSENE and that we have been chosen by Jesus to distribute his authentic teachings at this precise point in planetary history -- THE CUSP BETWEEN AGES. We believe the leaders of our church are reincarnated Essenes; they worked closely with Jesus 2000 years ago and have now returned to help him with his current work.

We are now entering the cusp between two ages. We are near the end of the Piscean Age (ushered in by Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago), and will soon enter the Aquarian Age. Essene prophecy states that the ancient Essene Masters will reincarnate at this time (and we have!) to prepare the way for Jesus Christ himself to reappear. These are exciting -- and challenging -- times! You can be at the forefront of this BLESSED WORK via affiliation with Essene Church of Christ.

I hereby issue an invitation: I INVITE YOU TO PARTICIPATE IN THE BLESSED WORK OF ESSENE CHURCH OF CHRIST! We are currently planting congregations of our church all over the world. The church operates many activities including a home-study Essene Ministerial Training Program, an Essene Mystery School and a yearly National Essene Gathering. PLANS ARE NOW BEING MADE FOR AN ESSENE COMMUNITY WHICH WILL BE THE INTERNATIONAL HEADQUARTERS OF ESSENE CHURCH OF CHRIST.

If you enjoyed reading the overview of the ancient Essenes in this article and feel moved to participate in the work of the modern Essene Church of Christ,


The time has come.

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