Christ's Essenes Were Teaching the Consummate Path to God.
One might easily wonder why most people today do not know about the Essenes, and we may surmise that their name was deleted by the Mithraites. Because of the Essenes stature, wide-spread fame, and honor accorded them almost universally, even by historians, it would be completely illogical for them to have been forgotten by Yehshua's gospel apostle-writers.
Being the brotherhood from which Yeshua and John the Baptist came would actually have made the Essenes famous. Every scholar today knows about the Essenes, why wouldn't Paul, Peter, John or any other writer? Maybe ... they did not forget about them.
The Apostles, and epistle writers, would have no reason to leave them out. So their name had to be purposely left out. When the Roman Emperor Constantine, took the entire body of literature from the previous thousand years of Jewish history and spirituality, he not only had essentially every scroll needed to compile a book he called 'Biblios' but he had the ability to edit them which we know he did, as Constantine's Old Testament is very different from the originals in Qumran, found in 1947.
ANY Jewish scholar knows today that the Old Testament in the Bible is NOT their original testament. There are massive deletions in so many books it's not funny at all. Yet ... there are also INSERTIONS made by him. Famous books of an erudite and prophetic nature, such as the truly esteemed Isaiah, are altered greatly; among many others, including Genesis.
You see there are no originals of ANY scroll of the New TestamentÂ (the best ones are all from the second century--like Thomas's gospel) and many of these New Testament book-scrolls are from much later--3rd or 4th centuries. We have no original from any book, to point to.
The Gospel According to Thomas is the closest we can get to that status, because # 1, it was never Romanized in editing (it was buried for nearly 2000 years). And # 2, it was as close to a Source Document as anything we have ever seen.
Many Scholars believe it was the "Q" or 'Source scroll' for Matthew, Mark and Luke because of its incredible similarities to their Jeshua Quotes.
However, because of the Essene Library discovery in 1947, we have what is tantamount to a group of amazing "originals" (not truly, but so close to it, it is astounding.) And what do we see there with those Old Testament scroll-books (compared to the Bible 500 to 700 later) that we have all been reading for 1600 years? They edited the Old Testament. Why would they do that?
Well, just as they took over the status as purveyor of Yeshua's truth teachings (not truly) they took over the publication and disbursement of the book(s) of Jewish spiritual literature (where Yeshua came from).
That they persecuted, executed and crucified Christians for 300 years was hushed up. When they took over the entire spiritual movement, making it into a religion to control the masses, they made it appear that it all started with them. I spoke to a woman recently from there, and she told me Christianity began with Rome.
I asked what about the 300 to 400 years prior? She said, "What years?" I said, "Early Christian history," She said. " What history?"
Perhaps it's uniportant, because Essenes are known by another name today, Christianity, after Yeshua the Christ (anointed one). We are each to become anointed ones too. Until Yeshua and John introduced Essene teachings they were unknown by the public.
The Essenes practiced and applied genuine holiness and reverence in their daily relationships and spirituality, with people, places and things. They lifted up the concept and practice of loving God as the source of every breath and every thing in our lives-- every item of food, tools, clothing, furniture, all art, plants, animals, and life itself. Daily worship of our Divine Provider was paramount in their daily life. The Essenes taught that we like Enoch should each talk to God as partner all during the day, every day of our life.
Yeshua and the Essenes showed the way for living in the light avoiding the darkness of self-centredness. It is in Essene literature that we find the first occurrence of phrases like the Sons of ligh and Children of darkness.
Essene books like Jubilees, Psalms of Solomon, Enoch, reveal verses such as ˜turn the other cheek," "Let not the sun go down on your wrath," or "The meek shall inherit the earth," which Yeshua quoted during his sermons.
Phrases like the New Covenant and New Testament also originated in Essene writings. It was the Essenes who came preaching freedom from the ancient, dead, codified regulations, bringing a spirit of aliveness to our spiritual life, and true spirituality to everyday life.
One can trust in the ethics of the Essenes in copying not only the biblical scrolls but their own teachings. They were so preoccupied with accuracy for example, that if a spot of ink dropped on a scroll when working, they would start over.
When one studies the Essene documents that teach living their prescribed lifestyle, one sees that their daily spiritual living principles are enumerated just about everywhere; addressing one every thought, word and activity of one day.
The Essenes even placed placards on their walls and entry ways, with words inscribed, to remind everyone of their obligation to holiness: cleanliness was the thing. This meant cleanliness in spirit, body, emotion, reading, study, speech and action.
It would not surprise if we discovered that the Essenes were the ones who coined the proverb "Cleanliness is next to Godliness" instead of Ben Franklin, because for them it was true; bathing frequently was a daily standard of spiritual behavior, especially before eating.
Why did the people of Yeshua's era find his holiness-teaching so attractive and satisfying?
When compared to the ritualistic, empty, codified, stale, perhaps dead ceremonies, it brings life to our relationship with Divine Being, who as an omnipresent infinite Being. lives within us; in our breath, heartbeat and consciousness. The Essene teachings tell us that God is with us at all times -- omnipresently.
Yet the oneness goes even deeper than that, because God sees through our eyes, breathes in our lungs, tastes our food, smells from inside our cooking. Taste buds are a divine pathway for showing gratitude to God for her marvelous kindness in enjoying life. Imagine a world with no taste buds. Please no. God hears through our ears when a loved one cries.
As the Apostle Paul says: "Know you not you are the Temple of God?"
and he also says in II Corinthians 6, "God walks and talks in you."
Paul learned the Essene principles from Yeshua, Our oneness in God is every where in the New Testament. This was a principle advancing improvement over the fear based teachings of the old covenant.
And with this new awareness from Christ it's more difficult to endure our own selfishness or perform an unrighteous act of violence. Why? Because we know that what we're doing to any other we're doing to God, who also lives within, and walks and talks in them.
See, if we have Essene neighbors in our neighborhood (which we probably still do -- they are called Christian) we feel quite comfortable with them because their honesty, charity, wisdom and assistance in our daily matters bless us.
Yeshua's Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7) reveals many of these beneficial Essene principles of living and neighboring.
Now, More About the Essenes...
Put succinctly, the Essenes prescribed tenets actually worked to produce positive results for all their members. They cast aside the do's and don'ts for which the other sects were famous, like how many numerous and different ways the Sabbath could be broken.
They saw the Sabbath as a Gift. Other sects saw it as a prison full of rules and strictures. The nit-picky and silly regulations that the other sects demanded for centuries were not even part of the Mosaic law (making people follow pointless, mentally exhausting parameters) which also engendered self-righteousness in their adherence. When Jeshua pointed out this religious silliness it angered the Pharisees.
What has been forgotten in religious circles (and is not known by non-Christians) is that Yeshua came promising super men and women. In other words the extraordinary powers we saw in him and others in history can be developed by each of us.
When he started spreading the Essene principles to the outer world, he shared it with almost everyone, even in a private talk with a Samaritan woman at a water well. (John 4) The most powerful secret practices that the fathers of our faith knew, was Jeshua's primary point in his teachings (that when we create a partnership with God, we engage the powerful essence of God's love, making us into powerful divine humans).
Until Yeshua's ministry, this secret had been kept private within the Essene communities. The Pharisees and Sadducees had no interior Divine discipline of oneness with God.
Today the Essenes are finally recognized, and deservedly so, as being the source of valuable inspiration to our world. Not only because they copied the Old Testament for posterity but they inspired the New Testament -- but mainly that Yeshua was instructed by them as he was growing up.
In fact, the Essene teachings actually bridge the gap between today's Judaism and today's Christianity. If we simply saw this truth, that the Essene faith, a Jewish sect, has a form here today called Christianity we could unite these very real philosophic brothers today, in a blessed reunion. The foundational principles of the two religions are almost identical; only the rituals really differ.
Incidentally, the real reason Yeshua was not easily considered the Messiah by the other Jewish sects was that he was an Essene, whose teachings and renown were new to the public who were currently Pharisee or Sadducee.
Essentially, Yeshua delivered an Essene ˜coming out party ."
Essene Baptism is Everywhere Now
The Essenes, teachers of Yeshua and John the Baptist, are the ones who promulgated the Baptismal Ritual (from whom John the Baptist took the Practice, along with the Essene message of repentance and holiness).
It is actually the Essenes baptismal ritual that is practiced today all over the world, as a symbol of dying to an old life style and being brought up again into new life and living.
The Pharisees did not practice baptism, nor did the Sadducees. The Essenes originated this spiritual act.
The baptism signified a complete submersion in heart, mind and body of the member's life to the Essene tenets and ideals. The actual baptism was a submersion in deep water, symbolizing death and the grave; and they were submersed for an extended period of time; it was not a sprinkling of H2O. It was not dipping fingers and spritzing droplets. It was truly impactful.
The baptism not only reflected the concept of cleansing but also drowning. The time one was held under water was so long that people became fearful of death at the hands of their baptizer.
It was stated often that baptism was an echo or harbinger of death and rebirth, into a new life. That one became fearful of drowning during the baptismal process only lent credence to this idea; it communicated a deep awareness of how close one came to death and to a new life on the other side.
There was another significant reason for holding one's breath under water. It has been long known that controlling our breath induces profound alternatives in our consciousness, and makes us more receptive to higher states of spiritual awareness. As Stanislof Grof wrote in his book. The Adventure of Self-Discovery:
"It's been known for centuries that it.s possible to induce profound changes of consciousness by techniques which involve breathing. The basic principle is the recognition of the healing, transformative and evolutionary potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness. Since, in these states, the human psyche seems to show spontaneous healing activity.
"This type of Holotropic Therapy uses techniques to activate the psyche and induce non-ordinary states of consciousness. Thus the original form of baptism as it was practiced by the Essenes involved forced submersion of the initiate under water, which typically brought the individual close to death by suffocation [a withholding of the breath].
"The main objective in the techniques of experiential therapy is to activate the unconscious, to unblock the energy bound in emotional and psychosomatic symptoms and to convert the stationary balance of this energy into a stream of experience. It favors activation of the unconscious, which is so powerful that it results in nonordinary states of consciousness."
This development is at the same time a process of discovery of one's true identity and of the dimensions of one's being, that connect the individual [awareness] with the entire cosmos and are commensurate with all of existence.
When one was finally brought up from the water during an Essene baptism, he or she inhaled a vast and explosive amount of oxygen that fired up the cellular systems of the body, particularly the brain, which imparted an early taste of the spiritual experiences soon to come.
When we consider these facts, we can see that both Yeshua and John the Baptist were in fact bringing forth the Essene values to the people of Israel in all the towns, villages and cities in which they preached.
In other words they were delivering the Essene message of holiness (as opposed to the Pharisee message of do's and don'ts) to all the people to whom they preached.
That Yeshua was so powerful (as Moses was) was all the persuasion that was needed for the people. His lovingness, and his charisma were powerful statements of the Divine presence, of his Father Within, as Yeshua referred to God.
In effect, the Essene sect was thought to be in a competitive endeavor by the two other sects. The Pharisees and Sadducees were sort of upset that these very private Essenes (up till that time) came out and started persuading people to their point of view.
The word Essene was a foreign word so it wouldn't be used in the Bible. They were called a Race of Priests (sons of Zadok--King David's High Priest) as in the book of Hebrews.
The Essene spiritual path was the Supernal Guidance given from the beginning. The Father's of our Faith knew about it, and Yeshua taught it too. It is called the God Experience in our language, and it springs from the ecstatic teaching-principle-disciplines that Jesus taught, and it's from where the promised power would arise in us.
It is interesting that the word Essene and essence are similar, because their teachings go to the ˜heart of things." Of course Yeshua was delivering an added healing message for everyone, which is revealed later in this book. In fact many consider Yeshua to be the inheritor of the ˜mantle and title of the famed original leader of the Essenes known as The Teacher of Righteousness."
What all this means is, in effect the truly pure Christian message today regarding holiness and reverence in living, practicing service for our fellow man, are the continued living breath of the precepts of the Essenes.
We can actually see it in the cultural values of our society life, which are focused in detail transparency and endless reporting (even if it becomes 24/7 sound-bite-drivel), it's hard to find in many parts of our world.
It is also seen in our health consciousness, cleanliness, in our focus on spiritual worship, attitudes toward personal growth and inner development and also in our views on the value and preciousness of life.