THE ESSENE COMMUNITY
Mention of the Essenes hopes of a New Age of glory leads us naturally to some comments on the special theological views of the Essenes that informed their understanding of history and gave to their community its peculiar institutions. The Essenes belong in the center of that movement (known as) apocalypticism. The late visionaries of the Old Testament, notably the author of Daniel, as well as later Baptist and Christian communities, discovered themselves to be living in the last days of the old age, or rather in the days when the old age was passing away and the Kingdom of God was dawning. According to apocalypticism the upsurge of evil powers in the world reflected the last defiant outbreak of cosmic Satanic powers. Their communal life WAS A REENACTMENT OF THE EVENTS OF THE LAST TIMES, both the final days of the Old Age AND THE ERA OF ARMAGEDDON.