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The Essenes (Greek Εσσηνοι, Εσσαιοι, or Οσσαιοι) were a Jewish religious group

that flourished from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE that some scholars
claim seceded from the Zadokite priests. Due to the various spellings of "Essene"
the word could also mean "pious one," or "doers," or "doers of the Torah" All of
these meanings seem to have been derived from the word. Being much fewer in number
than the Pharisees and the Sadducees (the other two major sects at the time) the
Essenes lived in various cities but congregated in communal life dedicated to
asceticism, voluntary poverty, and abstinence from worldly pleasures, including
marriage and daily baptisms. The Essenes possessed a hierarchy. The chief priest
was known as Christos (Anointed One), "head of the whole Congregation of Israel."
The ordinary priests were called "sons of Aaron," and there was another
functionary known as the Messiah of Israel. He also was known as the Teacher of
Righteousness and was to undergo and suffer physical abuse in atonement for the
sins of the whole community, enduring "vindictive sentences of scourging and the
terrors of painful sicknesses, and vengeance on his fleshly body."
The Essenic view of the world seemed to be one of predeterminism. Their eternal
and omnipotent God not only knew everything that would occur in the world but also
arranged for it to happen. Within this predestined arrangement there were two ways
that involve a macrocosm and a microcosm. In God's plan the two ways are the ways
of light and darkness, or the ways of good and evilness. Quantities of light and
darkness exist in the entire universe, angels and men. The opposite quantities are
in constant battle. This battle between the two is macrocosmic, universal, as well
as microcosmic, in men. God holds the duality in constant control and knows the
eventual outcome.

It was believed that after the final battle in this war of light against darkness
that each angel and man would be judged according to his actions to these elements
of light and darkness. Descriptions of Essenic life come from ancient writers such
as Josephus, Pliny and others.

The New Testament tells us that many of the early church's daily activities were
centered around the Temple. Historically, we know that there were also many ritual
immersion baths (The term mikveh in Hebrew literally means any gathering of
waters, but is specifically used in Jewish law for the waters or bath for the
ritual immersion. Ancient sages teach that the word mikveh has the same letters as
Ko(v)Meh, the Hebrew word for "rising" or "standing tall," therefore we see the
idea of being baptized "straightway." Jesus himself was immersed by John the
baptizer, and straightway came out of the water.) on the Bloody Temple Mount
including one in the Chamber of Lepers situated in the northwest corner of the
Court of Women (Mid. 2:5). Josephus tells us that even during the years of war
(66-73 A.D.) the laws of ritual immersion were strictly adhered to (Jos. Wars,
4:205). Herod's Temple itself contained immersion baths in various places for the
priests to use, even in the vaults beneath the court (Commentary to Tam. 26b; Tam.
1:1). The High Priest had special immersion pools in the Temple, two of which are
mentioned in the Mishnah. We are told one of these was in the Water Gate in the
south of the court and another was on the roof of the Parva Chamber (Mid. 1:4;
Mid. 5:3). There was an additional place for immersion on the Mount of Olives
which was connected with the burning of the red heifer (Par. 3:7). A special ramp
led to the mikveh on the Mount of Olives from the Temple Mount, which was built as
an arched way over another arched way to avoid uncleanness from the graves in the
valley below. Recent archaeological excavations have found 48 different mikvaot
(Pools) near the Monumental Staircase leading into the Temple Complex. The Essenes
were anciently known as regular practicioners of daily immersion. In the Talmud
these daily Mikveh practicioners are called tovelei shaharit or "dawn bathers."Not
only Nasarenes, but several other Jewish groups observed ritual immersion every
day to assure readiness for the coming of the Messiah. Qumran is certainly filled
with ritual bathing pools and one quite large community Miqvah has been uncovered
outside of the Synagogue / Temple site in the Essene quarter of Jerusalem.

According to non-Essene Jewish law there are three basic areas where immersion in
the mikveh is required.

Immersion is required for both men and women when converting to Judaism. There
were three prerequisites for a proselyte coming into Judaism: Circumcision,
baptism, and sacrifice (Maimonides, Hilkh. Iss. Biah xiii. 5). Essene Law also
included conversion immersion, but not circumcision or animal sacrifice.
Immersion is required after a woman has her monthly period (Lev. 15:28). Essene
Law also included immersion for some forms of sexual pollution, but not all
sexuallity was considered defiling.
Immersion is required for pots and eating utensils manufactured by a non-Jew
(Encyclopedia of Jewish Religion p-263). Essene Law also included utensil
It is customary to be immersed in the mikveh before Yom Kippur as a sign of purity
and repentance and before the Sabbath in order to sensitize oneself to the
holiness of the day. The Jerusalem Talmud states, "nothing can stand before
repentance" (Yebamos 47b).
Passage from Acts 2:[38] Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every
one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall
receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
[39] For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar
off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
[40] And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves
from this untoward generation.
[41] Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there
were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Acts 8:[35] Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and
preached unto him Jesus.
[36] And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch
said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
[37] And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he
answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
[38] And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the
water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
[39] And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught
away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
Acts 10:[34] Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God
is no respecter of persons:
[35] But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is
accepted with him.
[36] The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus
Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
[37] That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and
began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
[38] How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who
went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God
was with him.
[39] And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews,
and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
[40] Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;
[41] Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us,
who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.
[42] And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he
which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
[43] To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever
believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
[44] While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which
heard the word.
[45] And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came
with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy
[46] For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
[47] Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have
received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
[48] And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed
they him to tarry certain days.

After reading here, how that everyone who heard the Gospel both repented of their
ways and by faith were baptized in the name of Jesus, for their sins to be washed
away. (Acts 22:16) Now water baptism alone means nothing without the coupling of
faith and obedience to it is applied. (1 Peter 3:20-21) Circumcision or
uncircumcision means nothing, rather the obeying of word of God is what counts. 1
Corinthians 7:[19] Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the
keeping of the commandments of God. Baptism was commanded by the Lord Jesus
himself to be completed in his name. (Mark 16:16, John 3:5, and Luke 24:45-47) We
are baptized into the death, burial, and rising of Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:1-6,
Galatians 3:27, and Colossians 2:120 Paul speaking of Christians foundation which
is of Christ Jesus alone. There is no other way to be one. (John 14:6) 1
Corinthinas 3:[11] For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is
Jesus Christ. Some say Paul did not baptize anyone. Acts 22:16 states Paul himself
was baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. He baptized both Lydia and the Jailer
in Acts 16:15/33 in Jesus name. Also the Corinthians in Acts 18:8. And finally,
John's former disciples in the name of the Lord Jesus in Acts 19:1-5. This is not
properly reading the texts of 1 Corithians 1:11-24. Paul tells that he was called
to preach, and not simply baptize others. To say otherwise is a contradiction and
a lie. One clearly see by this study that baptism was always by immersion under
the law. It was a daily ritual and forerunner of both the John's and the Apostle's
baptism. As was the daily sacrifice of the animals and lambs in the temple. Now
has Christ once and for all completed the process. (Hebrews 9:28) And the
signifigance of baptism was always meant to cleanse or make one clean. (2 Kings
5:1-15) Jesus came to fulfill and not destroy the law and the prophets. Matthew
5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come
to destroy, but to fulfil. He was the lamb of God, sent to take away the sins of
the world. (John 1:29 and Hebrews 9:15-22) It is by the grace of God (Mainly shown
at Calvary) and our active faith (First shown in baptism) that saves us today.
(Ephesians 2:8-10) Many dispute it's significance and meaning; but the scriptures
clearly show all who heard and received the word were baptized in Jesus name, for
the forgiveness of their sins. John came and showed the way and Jesus completed
the sacrifice. The Apostles and the early church all agreeing to their words, as
shown by their faithful actions in the Acts of the Apostles. This is the faith
that was once delivered to the ealy church and saints.