The Twelve Foundations
“And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” Rev 21:14
The twelve foundations represent the foundation principles that must guide the life of disciples so they can overcome all the obstacles and hurdles on the path of liberation.
These foundation principles are symbolized by the names of the twelve apostles. To understand these foundation principles we must examine their names. First, let us look at the leading apostles: Peter, James and John.
(1) Simon Peter
Simon means “to hear” and Peter means “rock.” The Messiah is also represented by a rock or stone. The symbolism here is obvious. The disciple must first, and above all, listen to hear the voice of the inner Christ. This establishes the most important foundation for the inhabitants of New Jerusalem. He listens to the inner voice, which then creates a sure foundation of rock upon which he immovably stands.
A line from the Affirmation of the Disciple by Djwhal Khul epitomizes this thought:
“I am a point of sacrificial fire, focused within the fiery Will of God. And thus I stand.”
This name comes from the Greek IAKOBOS, which is derived from the Hebrew for Jacob.
The Patriarch Jacob had two names. First, he was known as Jacob, but then, after he wrestled with God, he was renamed Israel.
Jacob signifies the lower nature and comes from the Hebrew YA`AQOB and is derived from AQAB. From this word and its variations the Bible gives these various translations: “heel, take by the heel, supplant, restrain, lie in wait, crooked, deceitful, polluted, and subtlety.”
After Jacob wrestled with God his name was changed to Israel, which means “to prevail as God.”
When the disciple, as symbolized by James (Jacob), meets the Christ (God) he wrestles with his lower nature until he prevails as Israel and then lives a life through the consciousness of Christ or God.
This meaning is represented by this scripture:
“Let this mind BE IN YOU, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” Phil 2:5
John comes from the Hebrew “Yowchanan.” Dictionaries that define the word miss the full meaning. Basically, it implies that a man with this name will attract the attention of God to the extent that God will befriend him as an equal. Some say it means favored of God, but the meaning is more like “friend of God.”
Both James and John were sons of Zebedee. This name means “gift or endowment.”
This tells us that prevailing over the lower nature (James) and becoming the friend of God (John) are the true gifts of salvation.
We have thus identified the three initial characteristics an inhabitant of New Jerusalem must have.
He must hear the inner voice and stand steady in the light (Peter). In doing this he will prevail over his lower nature (James) and become the friend of God (John).
The additional foundations that guide the disciple to the New Jerusalem are found in the other names of the Apostles:
Andrew means “manly”, or implies male strength, energy and courage. Whereas female energy is magnetic and pulls to the center, male energy is active and radiant. The most important application of male energy is in the works of the disciple. In fact, the Book of Revelation itself tells us we shall be judged by our works, which indeed makes it a foundation principle.
“I will give unto every one of you according to your works.” Rev 2:22
“Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” Rev 14:13
“…and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Rev 20:12
Matthew means “gift or reward from God”, and represents the female aspect of the twelve names. Whereas the male energy must achieve reward by works, the female receives it as a gift. By intrinsic value the name magnetically draws reward to itself.
It is interesting that Matthew was a tax collector. Money from taxes is not earned by works, but are drawn to the State because of the value given to it by its citizens.
Gathering taxes for an empire is the lower use of female energy. After Matthew met Christ he quit his job and then used the magnetic power of his wealth to assist the Master and draw people to the Christ. He thus sacrificed the lower use of female energy and dedicated it to the higher. This is the foundation decision that all disciples must make.
This name means “lover of horses.” This seems like a strange foundation principle until one recalls that the symbol of the horse is used throughout the Book of Revelation. We do then see that Philip is indeed a foundation principle. for a horse is a symbol of knowledge. Without the love of knowledge, the disciple can never progress toward the New Jerusalem.
Thomas means the twin. The disciple must duplicate himself. He must reach out to others behind him on the path and pull them up to where he is. This way, when the disciple is gone, the new disciple can continue the work.
This name means “son of Tolmai.” Tolmai means “one who has abundance in the furrows of the earth”, in other words, one who has a lot of plowed earth waiting for the seed to be planted.
Bartholomew thus works for his Father, God, and plows the fields of humanity to make them ready to receive the Word of Truth.
The disciple should be willing to do more than the fun work of reaping; he must be willing to do the nuts and bolts work of preparation for things to come. Perhaps he will receive no direct benefit in the present as he prepares the fields for the future.
(9) James, the son of Alphaeus
We have already given the meaning of James in this framework as one who progresses from the lower to the higher nature. This second James adds meaning to this by adding the “son of Alphaeus.” Alphaeus means “changing.”
James, the son of Alphaeus, brings us to the realization that change does not end with the attainment of higher consciousness, but we use that consciousness to stimulate still greater change and spiritual evolution.
This James comes to the realization behind the great statement: “I am Becoming.”
(10) Simon Zelotes
As previously stated Simon means “to hear.” Zelotes means “one burning with zeal.”
Again, zeal has a lower and higher aspect. Lower zeal has passion for fulfilling the carnal self. The zeal of the disciple who enters the New Jerusalem is much different and gives the disciple the spiritual passion to “become” and to serve his brothers and sisters.
(11) Lebbaeus Thaddaeus, sometimes called Judes or Judas.
The meaning behind Lebbaeus Thaddaeus describes a person with a courageous heart. Courage is indeed an obvious quality necessary for the spiritual pilgrim if he is to reach the gates of the city of God.
(12) Judas Iscariot
Judas comes from “Judah”, the main tribe of Israel, from whence came the Jews, an honorable name that means “he shall be praised.” Iscariot means, “man of the city.”
The man of the city is he who wants to build Zion upon the earth and see the City of God manifest among men.
If Judas had sought this with purity of heart, he would have received justified praise; instead, he sought the praise of men and manifested the lower aspect of this name.
Even so, the name is still one of the foundation stones of the New Jerusalem, and tells us the disciple must seek to cause that which is in heaven to manifest on the earth as stated in the Lord’s Prayer:
“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
To attempt such work requires true humility and sacrifice on the part of the disciple, else he can easily fall into temptation. If he succeeds, the world will praise his name. If he fails, his name will be associated with infamy.
(12A – Replacement) Matthias
This was the apostle named to replace Judas; it comes from MATTHAIOS, the same Greek word from which Matthew is derived. He is essentially a second Matthew and has the same meaning, which is “gift or reward from God”
It is interesting that this name represents the female energy. Could it be that the name Judas Iscariot was dropped because the time was not right to build the physical kingdom of God on the earth? And could it be that the female energy was given a double portion to offset the mindset of people in that age toward male domination? I think so.
When male and female energy achieve the needed balance, disciples will again go forward in power, bring heaven and earth together and manifest the City of God on the earth. These will overcome the lower nature and receive great praise for ages to come.
The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it. William James (1842 – 1910)
Oct 24, 2006
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