Summation: As I was reading and putting this together I couldn’t understand, given the long history of the various religions involvement in mysticism, astrology, dream interpretation, etc., including many, many recorded events in our versions of the Old and New Testaments,
why the churches of today preach hell fire and damnation against any involvement in such things.
Conclusion: The only conclusion I can come to is that not the true spirit of a religion, but the political power behind the organization simply does not want its local, ordinary and everyday members to become aware of these things and begin to understand the abilities that the Lord Himself has created for humankind.
When these things were created and set up the Lord didn’t say that only the priest, the pope or some other religious or government figure could or would have access to them for use for the greater good.
Essenes in the Beginning
In 164BC Jerusalem was recaptured after a Greek lead effort to exterminate the Jewish religion. A family of priests known as the Maccabees and the Hasidim led the revolt, achieving almost complete independence from the Greeks.
Around 142BC was the beginning of the Essene community. Some think it was founded by a person called the Teacher of Righteousness who was likely a Zadokite priest. He led a splinter of the Hasidim out of Jerusalem into the desert sometime between 152 and 143BC. An ascetic monastic community was set up with rigorous rule, the intent being to “restore a true Torah-based life” free from alien “Hellenistic influences,” and from “corrupt Maccabean power politics.”
Sounds much like today’s churches to me; the corrupt power and politics within the church(es), the struggle for authoritarian rule and dominion over the people; instead of being a servant to the people and providing for their needs. Yeshua was all about that and he didn’t need a four walled structure to share Truth with anyone who would hear; he fed those who were hungry; he met the needs of the person, never first judging, demanding and saying, “you must do this or do that,” or “give this $ to that $,” and you’ll get a miracle $ in the mail.
Some described the Essenes as a bunch of rabid, fanatical, separatist and schematic ascetics. Despite this, however, they were open to certain new developments and Hellenistic influences. The following is a list of seven ‘foreign’ influences that the Essenes embraced. All of these could easily fall under the umbrella of Pyhthagoreanism.
- Salvation: Theirs was a gnostic concept of saving knowledge for the individual and the community. It was similar to Hellenistic wisdom through revelation. Knowledge is illumination … In its form, the Essenes influenced the development of
later Jewish-Christian gnosticism.
- Dualism & Double Predestination: The 2 spirits; one of light and one of darkness moving inexorably towards end-time as in Zoroastrianism.
- YHWH’s Predetermined Order: of the world along Platonic lines. Essene theology, in trying to find a more rational version of the creation event, adopts notions having contact with ideas of Greek philosophy (like late wisdom of Palestine and Alexandria).
- Angelology: They definitely were angelologists, swearing to “preserve the names of Gabriel, Michael, etc., taken from Hasidim (Daniel and 1 Enoch). Theirs was a belief in good and fallen angels and the workings of nature were explained by various angels;
- the lowest class representing little more than personified natural forces
- stars or heavenly watchers
- stars thought of as living beings
- angels thought of as foreign gods stripped of their power
- they became intermediaries for a ‘distant god’ and were most influential
- Stars and Sun: as said above stars thought of as living beings, angels foreign gods. Stars and sun it is said that their precise movements symbolized god’s perfection. These regulated everything including:
- epochs in history as in jubilees and weeks of years
- adopted a solar calendar (Jewish was lunisolar)
- festivals same day every year by use of this calendar
- it was an Egyptian-Hellenistic model, but not directly Pythagorean, although it is found in Pythagoras, Plato, Eudoxus of Cnidus and Aristotle
- perfect ordering of stars held to be a kind of “proof of the existence of God.”
- this god of heaven was later associated with Helios
- Sun symbolism was central for the Essenes
- Astrology: became more and more the spiritually dominant force among the educated after the end of the 3rd century, likely brought on by collapse of Greek religion in 5th and 4th centuries BC. Essenes adopted this astrological knowledge from their foundation. Parts of a horoscope for a messianic personality were found in Cave IV. Other texts such as Enoch I and II confirmed the significance of zodiacal knowledge. Astrological secret doctrines of this kind, alien to the Old Testament, were traced back to Moses. The move was one away from the skepticism of Alexander towards new religious feeling.
- Manticism and Magic: An Essene document indicates Daniel was the overseer of all the magicians of Babylon. Josephus reports Essenes having fortune-tellers who had astrological-mantic writings similar to Hellenistic manticism and dream interpretations. There was a prohibition against giving away ‘the books of the community and the names of the angels’ which was meant to prevent a ‘magical misuse of their own secret knowledge.’
If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, it is quite clear how everything about the Essenes and their communities was not only intertwined with, but built upon the workings of the Angels. Check out the Communes for each of the days of the week. They are listed under the day’s name. This is the Essene Communion for Monday.