THE ESSENE SCRIPTURES
The Third Pillar Of The Saving Halakoth
"The Three Pillars" of the saving Halakoth of Yahshua (Jesus):
- BAPTISM TO REPLACE ANIMAL SACRIFICE;
- THE TABLE OF THE LORD (vegetarian foods) TO REPLACE THE TABLE OF THE DEMONS (flesh foods);
- RECEPTION OF THE AUTHENTIC SCRIPTURES AND REJECTION OF THE FALSE PERICOPES.
Pillar three: RECEPTION OF THE AUTHENTIC SCRIPTURES AND REJECTION OF THE FALSE PERICOPES. The term "pericope" means "section of scripture." Thus a "false pericope" is a section of scripture considered by Jesus and his disciples to be "falsified, untrue, not from God." Jesus taught his disciples that some holy scriptures were from God -- or at least from holy men who were attuned to the will of God -- BUT SOME SECTIONS OF SCRIPTURE WERE INSERTED BY VARIOUS KINGS AND FALSE SCRIBES WHO WERE NOT AT ALL ATTUNED TO THE TRUE WILL OF GOD. As we shall see in upcoming paragraphs of this article, Jesus instructed his disciples in regard to which sections of their scriptures (the existing Jewish scriptures) were true and which were false pericopes. He also gave them a MAGIC KEY by which to test all scriptures. Most importantly, JESUS HIMSELF APPOINTED CERTAIN OF THE DISCIPLES TO WRITE DOWN HIS TEACHINGS AND ACTIONS IN GOSPEL FORMAT TO SERVE AS THE PRIMARY SCRIPTURES OF HIS NEW CHURCH. As we will see in later paragraphs, the authentic scriptures of Jesus are today available -- after a period of suppression by worldly powers -- in such texts as The Essene Gospel of Peace (a four book set) and The Gospel of the Holy Twelve. But before we examine the above, we must set the stage. Before we can understand the relationship of Jesus to the Jewish scriptures -- and Jewish religion -- of his day, we must examine the very origin of the Essene movement. We will consider the opinions of various scholars --both ancient and modern -- on Essene origins. And, perhaps most important, we will consider the account on the origin of the Essenes given in one of their own texts: The Essene Book of Moses.
We will begin with the ancient scholars, then consult the modern. By "ancient" I mean those scholars who were contemporaries of the Essenes, living and writing while the Essenes were still in existence in Israel. Two such first century scholars are the famous Jewish historian, Josephus, and Philo of Alexandria, a noted Jewish philosopher. 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:
- Their origin is lost in pre-history with certain ancient legends linking them with Enoch;
- There was a major remanifestation of the Essenes by Moses at Mount Sinai.
- For the purpose of this article, the above reference linking Moses to a major remanifestation of the Essenes is very important, especially that it occurred at Mount Sinai. Let us now turn to several modern scholars to see if they agree with the ancients. In his excellent book From Enoch to the Dead Sea Scrolls, Edmond Szekely writes:
| "The origin of the brotherhood is said to be unknown.... Some believe it comes from Enoch, and claim him to be their founder.... Others consider the name comes from Esrael, the elect of the people to whom Moses brought forth the Communions at Mount Sinai...." |
Again, like the ancient writers, Dr. Szekely touches both upon the ancient legend linking the original founding of the Essenes with Enoch (Enoch lived hundreds of years before the time of Moses), and also a major remanifestation of the Essenes by Moses at Mount Sinai. The importance of the reference to Mount Sinai will be understood when we consider The Essene Book of Moses. But first let us consider two other modern scholars on Essene origins. In his brilliant book The Prophet of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Upton Ewing writes of the Essenes:
| "They believed themselves to be the last of a remnant which had survived since the time of Moses. Into their keeping was given the true interpretation of the Law as it was first inscribed on the tablets of old." |
Above, we again see that Essenian link with Moses at Mount Sinai; for it was at Mount Sinai that Moses received the tablets of the Law referred to above. The link with Moses is also made by a Jewish scholar, Rabbi Harvey Falk, in his book A New Look at the Jewishness of Jesus: "Moses... trained thousands of disciples as Essenes."
Having established that both ancient and modern scholars have pointed to a major remanifestation of the Essenes by Moses at Mount Sinai, we will consider the specific details of that event as described by the Essenes themselves 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 ALWAYS EXISTED AS AN ESOTERIC MINORITY SECT WITHIN JUDAISM. (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.)
God had warned the people that if they did not embrace the Essene teachings on the first tablet, they would "be visited by disasters for generation upon generation." That was not a threat; it was a simple statement of fact. The Essene teachings are about being in harmony with the physical and spiritual laws of life. To be out of harmony with the laws of life is a sure invitation to disaster. And so the warning of God indeed came to pass: the people of Israel suffered disaster upon disaster. They were involved in almost constant warfare. They came to be ruled by corrupt, violent kings. Their priesthood became progressively more corrupt. Their religion became centered on animal sacrifice. Their temple became a bloody butcher shop. And their corrupt priests united with their corrupt kings to alter their ancient scriptures and compose false pericopes. For example, the animal sacrifice cult that controlled the Jewish temple composed the following "sacred verses" and inserted them into the Bible; you can read these verses today in the Old Testament book of Leviticus:
| "He shall lay his hand on the head of the victim and it will be accepted on his behalf to make expiation for him. He shall slaughter the bull before God, and the Aaronite priests shall present the blood and fling it against the altar all around the entrance.... He shall then flay the victim and cut it up.... The Aaronite priests shall arrange the pieces, including the head and the suet, on the wood on the altar fire, the entrails and shins... and the priest shall burn it all on the altar... a soothing odor to God." |
In The Vegetarianism of Jesus Christ, Charles Vaclavik writes:
| "The altar of the ancient Judaic Temple was a slaughter house, butcher shop, and barbecue pit...." |
Again, from the Old Testament book of Leviticus:
| "This is the law of the guilt-offering: it is most sacred. The guilt-offering shall be slaughtered... and its blood shall be flung against the altar. The priest shall cut out the entrails, the two kidneys, the haunches and the long lobe of the liver. The priest shall burn these pieces on the altar as a offering to God." |
The Essenes believed the above to be an act of demon worship, not worship of God. They considered such scriptures to be false pericopes composed by the fallen priesthood. And the Essenes considered themselves to be the custodians of the authentic scriptures. In The Prophet of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Ewing writes:
| "Into their keeping was given the true interpretation of the Law as it was first inscribed on the tablets of old. They held that the Law, as it was practiced by the Pharisees and Sadducees, had been successively garbled by false scribes and lying priests, and that it was their sacred duty to lift it out of the realms of darkness into which it had been submerged." |
In the Essene Odyssey, Hugh Schonfield points to one of the several historical moments when large scale alterations were made in the Hebrew scriptures:
| "During the persecution under Antiochus Epiphanies there was wholesale destruction of the sacred books.... Much work of restoration must have been necessitated, giving opportunity for the insertion of certain sections...." |
But the largest scale remaking of the Hebrew scriptures -- the Jewish version of the Christian Nicene Council -- was carried out in the year 450 B.C. by Ezra; we read of that incident in Martin Larson's The Story of Christian Origins:
| "It was not until well after the return from the captivity and the rebuilding of the Temple that the Hebrew scriptures assumed their definitive form around 450 B.C. We are told that Ezra was sent from Babylon to be governor of Jerusalem; much of the work of writing, assembling, and editing the sacred writings must be attributed to him.... And something else also happened.... The new priesthood, with their... scrolls, their special costumes, their goodly incomes, their authority and power, their altars and their Temple, made short shrift of independent prophets claiming divine inspiration.... Prophecy was no longer to be tolerated: 'When any shall yet prophesy, then his father and mother shall say unto him: Thou shall not live... and his father and mother shall thrust him through when he prophesy.'" |
In other words, in the same manner that the orthodox Christian Bible was compiled and made "official" at the Nicene Council (the Nicene council decided which books would be part of the New Testament and which would be left out or altered), so the Hebrew Canon ("canon" means "official list of books") was put together under the auspices of Ezra. Having heavily altered the original Hebrew scriptures, the forces of Ezra then not only outlawed prophecy, THEY MADE IT A LAW THAT MOTHERS AND FATHERS MUST KILL ANY OF THEIR OWN CHILDREN WHO ATTEMPTED TO SPEAK A PROPHECY!
The Torah, through Ezra, became a very bloody book. If one doubts the Essene assertion that the Torah (Old Testament) has been altered and "SUBMERGED IN DARKNESS" one has either never read it or is relatively unconscious! ("Unconscious" in the sense that they are not able to differentiate between light and darkness, truth and falsehood, right and wrong.) Thus far we have quoted passages from the Torah advocating bloody animal sacrifice; but the Essenes not only opposed the animal sacrifice of the Torah, they also opposed -- AND LABELED AS FALSE PERICOPES -- the sections of scripture which advocated such things as holy wars, stoning to death children for speaking in a foul manner to their parents, stoning to death various other persons including astrologers and homosexuals, slavery and the smashing to death of the babies of enemies. In regard to that last item about babies, yes, you will find the following words in Psalm 137 verse 9 of the "Holy" Bible on your book shelf: "Happy shall he be who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks."
Sorry folks, I'm with the ancient Essenes: THAT AIN'T GOD TALKING! Pardon my English!
None of the above should be considered anti-Jewish propaganda. Jesus and the Essenes were themselves Jews. The original Jewish religion was wonderful AND WAS PRESERVED BY JESUS AND THE ESSENES. And, as will be made clear in subsequent paragraphs, neither Jesus nor the Essenes nor the first Essene-Ebionite Christians -- nor even Brother Nazariah for that matter -- have advocated throwing out the entire Torah (Old Testament). That would be like throwing out the baby with the bath water! Rather, the ancient and modern Essenes have advocated using the authentic portions of the Torah (along with our other scriptures), discarding only the false pericopes. In fact, besides bringing us new gospels and revealing lost ancient esoteric gospels, JESUS ALSO PROVIDED US WITH A MAGIC KEY BY WHICH TO TEST ALL SCRIPTURES FOR FALSE PERICOPES. That key is explained by Peter in The Clementine Homilies and Recognitions. After pointing out various passages in the Torah that are false pericopes, Peter declares:
| "For the scriptures have had added to them many falsehoods against God. The prophet Moses having by the order of God delivered the true law... it was not long before the written law had added to it certain falsehoods contrary to the law of God.... If, therefore, some of the scriptures are true and some false, for good reason our Master revealed to us the mystery of his saying 'Be ye wise money changers', inasmuch as in the scriptures there are some true sayings and some spurious." |
Peter explains that "Be ye wise money changers" was a KEY ALLEGORICAL MYSTERY SAYING OF JESUS; and with that key, Jesus revealed to his disciples the way to unlock the scriptures: In the same way that the money changer (a person in the ancient marketplace in charge of exchanging one form of currency for another) must recognize the relative worth and authenticity of various types of money -- throwing out the counterfeit -- the student of spirituality must recognize the relative worth and authenticity of various portions of scripture. Jesus pointed out various false pericopes (sections of scripture) but he also left behind a GENERAL RULE by which to test any scripture: ANY SCRIPTURE WHICH ADVOCATES VIOLENCE OR CRUELTY TOWARD ANY FORM OF LIFE IS "COUNTERFEIT," NOT FROM GOD. Peter concludes:
| "Wherefore, Clement, my spiritual son, beware of those scriptures which portray God as... fond of burnt animal fat, bloody animal sacrifice and war.... For if God is portrayed as loving war, what sort of 'God' is that?" |
Besides lifting the Hebrew scriptures out of the darkness in which they had been submerged, JESUS HIMSELF APPOINTED CERTAIN OF THE DISCIPLES TO WRITE DOWN HIS TEACHINGS AND ACTIONS IN GOSPEL FORMAT TO SERVE AS THE PRIMARY SCRIPTURES OF HIS NEW CHURCH. Several references to his intentional selection of certain disciples to act as scribes appear in an important Essene-Gnostic text discovered two centuries ago in Egypt: THE PISTIS SOPHIA. (The original, ancient title of that manuscript was, A PORTION OF THE BOOKS OF THE SAVIOR; the first English translator titled it PISTIS SOPHIA because "Sophia", the "Spirit of Wisdom", is one of the main topics of the text.) In the PISTIS SOPHIA, we read:
|"And when Jesus had finished saying these words, Phillip laid down the book in his hand -- for he was the scribe chosen by Jesus to record the discourse -- and said unto Jesus: 'My Lord, surely then it is not only me that thou hast chosen to take care for the world and write down all the discourses; for I am thus constrained and cannot take my turn to speak the answers to the questions you ask."|
At that point, to take some of the burden from Phillip, -- who wanted a break so that he could join in the conversation -- Jesus assigned Thomas and Matthew to take turns writing down the dialogues as well. We can safely assume that at other times he appointed other disciples to take turns also. The main point here is that THE PISTIS SOPHIA -- which pre-dates the Nicene Council -- provides evidence that Jesus consciously directed the recording of his words and deeds by his disciples, that he INTENTIONALLY BROUGHT INTO BEING THE BOOKS OF HIS NEW COVENANT! While his instruction on how to separate the true from the false pericopes in the Torah is certainly important, Jesus' giving of entire new gospels is far more important. It is in those new gospels -- the Essene Christian gospels -- that we receive the SAVING HALAKATH of Yahshua ha Mashiakh (Jesus the Christ).
The authentic scriptures of Jesus are today available --after a period of suppression by worldly powers -- in several texts, the two most important of which are The Gospel of the Holy Twelve and The Essene Gospel of Peace. In the paragraphs that follow, I will only briefly describe each. But in a forthcoming series of "Essene Path" articles, we will delve deeply into the various elements of the halakoth of Jesus found on the pages of those two manuscripts. Now, we simply set the stage.
Certain persons have been chosen by Christ to bring to light various long-lost manuscripts. Rev. Gideon Jasper Ouseley, a SPIRITUAL SAINT, who happened also to be a GREAT SCHOLAR, was chosen to bring to light THE GOSPEL OF THE HOLY TWELVE (also called The Essene New Testament). I will briefly describe that manuscript, then share a few words about Rev. Ouseley.
When the soldiers of the Roman Emperor "Constantine the Great" were sent to confiscate all copies of the original Essene-Christian New Testament (Constantine had taken control of the meat-eating branches of the Christian Church -- those originally started by his hero Paul -- altered the New Testament in favor of Paul, and created a State-run religion known as "The Catholic Church"), some brave Essene-Christian monks went to India and deposited a copy of the authentic Essene-Christian New Testament in the Mystery School Library of a Buddhist monastery. (Several centuries later that manuscript was moved from the Indian Buddhist Monastery to a Buddhist monastery in Tibet.) It was that manuscript -- THE GOSPEL OF THE HOLY TWELVE -- which was translated by Rev. Ouseley in the 1880's. (Even before Ouseley, several excerpts from this manuscript were known, having been quoted in various books written by early Church Fathers; but no complete "Holy Twelve" manuscript was available prior to the Ouseley translation.
With assistance from a sort of "underground" spiritual fellowship, Ouseley gained access to the manuscript preserved in the Tibetan monastery and translated it from Aramaic into English. He claimed that Christ and holy angels helped him -- in fact, led him -- through the entire process. However, mainline Christianity was not pleased: He was forced to leave the Church of England -- in which he was an ordained Priest -- immediately after releasing his translation of "Holy Twelve." Several attempts were made to assassinate him. His house was twice set on fire. At that point he formed an underground church called the Essene Order of At-Onement. The main purpose of that church was to acquire and preserve ancient Essene books for future publication.
Dr. Edmond Bordeaux Szekely was chosen by Christ to bring to light another ancient Essene manuscript: THE ESSENE GOSPEL OF PEACE. Like Ouseley, Szekely was a dynamic balance of HEAD and HEART: a great scholar who was deeply spiritual. In the early 1920's, while doing research in the secret archives of the Vatican, Dr. Szekely discovered ancient Essene manuscripts. Much to the dismay of the Vatican (the Vatican is the seat of authority of the Catholic Church), Dr. Szekely refused to keep quiet: He published the Essene manuscripts in a four-book set titled, The Essene Gospel of Peace. When Dr. Szekely published the Essene manuscripts he had discovered, HE WAS BANISHED BY THE VATICAN AND ALL OTHER ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN AUTHORITIES. Why? Because they don't want their comfortable boats rocked by the radical waves of the Essene Jesus! Can you imagine the orthodox authorities trying to explain to their congregations that Jesus was a vegetarian and taught reincarnation?
As promised, in a forthcoming series of "Essene Path" articles we will delve deeply into the actual contents of both The Gospel of the Holy Twelve and The Essene Gospel of Peace. For it is on those pages that we discover the various elements -- beyond the first three pillars -- of the SAVING HALAKOTH OF YAHSHUA. Yes, the orthodox authorities in their comfortable boats are right about one thing: the words of Yahshua do indeed produce mighty waves! BUT IT IS WISDOM TO FLOW WITH THE WAVES AND FOLLY TO RESIST THEM; for to resist them, is to resist the very laws of life.
~*~ Bountiful Ambrosial Blessings In Christ Jesus! ~*~
~*~ Reverend Celestial ~*~