The Essene Nazarean
Church of Mount Carmel
Some Essene Beliefs On Early Christianity
Alternate View Of Early Christian History Rediscovered From Ancient Sources in the Vatican
- Yesua (Jesus) was an Essene associated with the Nazarean, or Mount Carmel, branch of this Philosophy. (This means we can learn more concerning the true way to live our lives from researching the surviving records and writings of these ancient peaceful people. This will tell us more about Yesua and more about how He would have us conduct our affairs here of earth.)
- Yesua was a vegetarian and considered animal sacrifice a corruption of the original Law of Moses. (When we accept this truth we are obliged to change our diet and redefine our views concerning Paul's writings and their relationship to the Law.)
- Yesua studied abroad in India, Tibet and Egypt and was well versed in their teachings. (We learn of this from the rediscovered Tibetan Gospel called the Life of Saint Issa, from the Gospel of the Holy Twelve and in the Cayce readings. This implies the usefulness in studying Buddhism and other spiritual paths which had an ancient link with Christianity's true origins.)
- Early followers of Yesua continued to live the Essene, but not Ezra's, version of the Mosaic Law. (First we must understand the nature of the Essene version of the Law, see how it is radically different from the Old Testament and Jewish law, and then apply the same in our lives. This Law is not based on animal sacrifice, but in walking harmoniously with the angels for the Heavenly Father and Earthly Mother.)
- The writings attributed to Paul were responsible for creating an alternate version of Christianity different from, and eventually more dominant than, the original. They introduced meat eating, non-equality of women, belief instead of holiness, acceptance of slavery and harmony with Roman law. (Once accepted, this truth allows one to separate the wheat from the tares in Christian tradition and New Testament texts. This opens new doors as to just what following Christ implies.)
- Yesua's early followers practiced community of goods and eschewed personal possessions and ownership. (Understanding of the details of this practice can be gleaned from the surviving records of the Qumran branch of Essenism (Damascus Document & Manual of Discipline) and from studying monastic laws which had their origin in the ancient Essene philosophy (Rule Of The Master & The Rule Of Saint Benedict). Once understood, this truth moves us away from consumerism and worldly ambition and toward a life devoted to serving others.)
- Yesua taught their early followers to offer sacrifice consisting of incense (frankincense), and the firstfruits of the garden, orchard, grove and vine. (All true Essenes and followers of Yahowshua ha Mashiakhare under the obligation, if possible, to move away from modern urban life and toward relocation to more rural areas where they can properly grow offerings for the Firstfruits altar and pursue a true Essene lifestyle.)
Ancient Essenes, both married and celibate, lived in cities, villages, communes and isolated hermitages. Modern Essenes are welcome to do the same, choosing the lifestyle best suited to their needs and temperament. The following comments concentrate on the monastic level of Essene life.
Some Nazarean Truths Shared With The Qumranites
Recognized Truths Within The Dead Sea Scroll Literature
(These monastic themes are not necessarily common to all Essenes)
- It is wise to withdraw from mass society and relocate to rural retreats where one may garden and pray in cloistered peace.
- Prospective members must pass through a probationary period under the guidance of a spiritual overseer who tests them as to their true vocation and disposition toward the Essene Way.
- Postulants must be examined and voted in by the entire Yahad (Community). During this one year period postulants cannot share in either the common meal or property of the Order, but can live near and work with its members and manifest their sincerity and integrity.
- Novices must be examined and voted in by the entire Yahad. During this one year period novices cannot share in the common drink but can share the common meal and have all their possessions kept in trust by the Order. They must show zeal for the disciplines of the Order.
- Ebionites must be examined and voted in by the entire Yahad. During this one year period Ebionites cannot share in the common drink but their property does become that of the Order, making them full consecrates.
- Daily miqvah immersions are essential to a proper frame of mind.
- The Spade is an essential tool in an agrarian gardening society, and all able bodied are expected to engage in manual labor (gardening and crafts).
- The Sabbath day should be workless, even in ones thoughts and plans. No nibbling in the garden, unsealing jars, preparing food, etc.
- Firstfruits of Barley, Wheat, Grapes, Oil and other harvests are to be observed with thanksgiving.
- Every fiftieth day is a Jubilee celebration. (These are associated with the seven Firstfruits Harvest Feasts)
- Worship services are to be conducted at sunrise. (Also an early Christian tradition.)
- Simultaneous solar and lunar calendars are observed. (With the limited release of only the first seven scrolls, many Dead Sea Scroll scholars concluded that the Qumranites used only a solar calendar. With other texts becoming available, scholars now recognize at least three calendars carefully kept track of at Qumran - a 354 day lunar, a 364 day solar and a 168 day weekly priestly course calendar.)
Qumran Branch Deviations
A Few Doctrines Found Within The Dead Sea Scrolls Which Are Not In Harmony With Carmelite Essenes
- Carmelite Essenes do not believe in hating or cursing enemies or apostates. (A doctrine found in the Manual of Discipline and denounced by Yahowshua ha Mashiakh in the Sermon on the Mount.)
- Carmelite Essenes do not believe in eating either kosher fish or insects. (An allowed practice found in the Damascus Document and the Temple Scroll.)
- Carmelite Essenes do not believe in future Animal Sacrifices in the Jerusalem Temple.(A doctrine found in the Temple Scroll.)
- Carmelite Essenes do not believe pure sexuality to be ritually defiling. (A doctrine inferred in the Temple Scroll.)
- Carmelite Essenes do not believe in being either militant or politically active. (A doctrine inferred in certain Dead Sea Scroll documents.)
- Carmelite Essenes are not against, but observe fasting on the Sabbath. (A doctrine inferred in certain Dead Sea Scroll documents.)
A Few Doctrines Often Erroneous Attributed To The Ancient Essenes
- Essenes didn't use oil. Carmelite Essenes do not believe all oil is ritually defiling, nor is dry skin considered a virtue. (An idea found in historical references to the Essene Brotherhoods resulting from a misunderstanding. The Temple Scroll mentions the Firstfruits of Oil when Essenes must anoint themselves with oil, but only firstfruits "consecrated oil" which is to be used only for one year. It is natural that Essenes would have avoided other oils when they had access to consecrated holy oil. Body oil is necessary in desert climates among daily bathers.)
- Essenes abhorred bodily functions. Carmelite Essenes do not believethe toilet to be ritually defiling. (An idea found in historical references to the Essene Brotherhoods resulting from a misunderstanding. Northern Essenes, focusing heavily on natural law and cycles, would have accepted the "Spade" as a gardening tool useful in composting human and other wastes in an attempt to recreate the Garden of Eden and to keep the first commandment - To dress and keep the garden!)
- Essenes didn't use wine. Carmelite Essenes do not believe all wine is ritually defiling, but reserve its use for sacraments only. (An idea found in historical references to the Essene Brotherhoods resulting from a misunderstanding. The Temple Scroll mentions the Firstfruits of the Wine when the grapes were harvested and juiced for the following year. After a few minutes fermentation of the naturally occurring yeast and grape sugars, even the New Wine would have an ever so slight alcohol content which would increase over the years storage period. There was no such thing as unfermented juice outside of this small harvest time season. This wine, always watered down, was used in moderation throughout the sacred year and then destroyed in favor of the new Firstfruits harvest. The many references against drinking refer to social drinking, partying and drunkenness and do not prohibit moderate sacramental consumption of watered down wine.
- Some Essenes didn't bathe. Carmelite Essenes do not believebathing is bad. (An idea found in historical references concerning James the Lord's brother as head of the Essenes. Also an idea found in the monastic Rule of Saint Benedict. Bathing referred to use of Roman baths - equivalent to using the pools, saunas and hot tubs of modern health spas where strangers congregate. It has no reference to daily cleansing of the body which is a practice attributed to ancient Essenes. In the 12 Essene Commandments it is written: You will purify yourselves daily)
Some Nazarean-Carmelite Truths Shared With Monasteries
Ancient Essene Truths Preserved In The Monastic Tradition
(These monastic themes are not necessarily common to all Essenes)
- Withdraw from the world into isolated communities. (Only for Essenes called to such.)
- Regulated life under a spiritual father or mother. (Abbot and Abbess. Modern Essene monasteries are coed, as are many "double monasteries" in the western Benedictine tradition)
- All possessions held in common. (An advanced state not required by all modern Essenes.)
- Vegetarian diet of bread, juice, one cooked dish and one raw dish each non fast day. (This diet fluctuates through the liturgical seasons in both modern and ancient Essene Monasteries, with some modern Essenes living 75% or more on raw foods only)
- Food produced in common fields and gardens of the Order.
- Use of herbs and natural healing arts.
- Simple crafts pursued for use of the Order and to trade with the outside world. (Only for Essenes called to such.)
- Simple robes devoid of status. (A form of attire of renunciants and not required by all modern Essenes.)
- Partial separation of novices.
- Vows of silence. (Only for Essenes called to such.)
- Observing of weekly fast periods.
- Use of a liturgical calendar.
- 40 day periods of abstinence and fasting. (Only for Essenes called to such.)
- Heavy focus on prayer and chanting.
- Mystical interpretation of scripture.
- Oratory or chapel as the center of the community.
- Common regulated meals whose time fluctuates with the seasons. (Only for Essenes called to such.)
- Flowing with the rhythms of the seasons.
- Looking forward to the death of the body rather than fearing it.
Recommended Daily Practices Of the Modern Essene Church
Some Suggested Practices For City Dwellers Interested In Moving Toward A Full Essene Lifestyle
- THE MORNING SERVICE. (Communion prologue, morning communion, song, scripture, meditation, blessing)
- THE NOON PEACE CONTEMPLATION. (Recite one of the seven peace contemplation's)
- THE EVENING SERVICE. (Communion prologue, communion with evening angels, song, scripture, meditation, blessing.)
- THE PROGRESSIVE HARMONIZATION WHITH THE TREE OF LIFE AND SEVENFOLD PEACE IN OUR DAILY LIFE. (Daily implementation of communion principles)
- HATHA YOGA. (Stretching exercise)
- THE DAILY WALK. (In nature if possible)
- THE DAILY SALAD. (Raw vegetable meal.)
- ORGANIC GARDENING. (Outdoor or indoor sprout tending.)
- GATEKEEPER PRACTICE. (Keeping negative thoughts out of ones mind.)
- ECSTATIC APPRECIATION FOR THE GIFT OF LIFE. (Gratefulness in all things.)
Recommended Non-daily Disciplines Of the Modern Essene Church
Suggested Practices For City Dwellers Interested In Moving Toward A Full Essene Lifestyle
- THE MONTHLY TITHE. (1% to 10% of monthly income)
- REGULAR CHURCH MEETING ATTENDANCE. (Making most meetings)
- PROMPT COMPLETE READING OF CHURCH NEWSLETTER. (Thorough reading of the newsletter and other mailings of the Essene church.)
- YEARLY ATTENDANCE AT NATIONAL GATHERINGS. (As finances allow.)
- OCCASIONAL FASTING. (Occasional one or two day water or juice fast each week or month.)
- OCCASIONAL HOME-STUDY COURSE. (Enrollment to further one's knowledge.)
- ANNUAL REVEIW OF SEVEN-FOLD VOW. (Yearly review of membership vow.)
The Nazarenes of Mount Carmel
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