Jesus of Galilee
The twelve disciples typify the twelve important centers of spiritual power within man's physiological holy of holies. The ascent of the spinal or Christed fire stimulates all twelve centers, represented by the twelve disciples in sacred anatomy. There is a spiritual essence sent forth from both the cerebrum and cerebellum which unites with the spinal fire in illuminating the pineal and pituitary glands.
Our universe is numerically attuned to twelve and one. The solar system is surrounded by the twelve Zodiacal Hierarchies and its central focus is the Archangelic Christ in the Sun.
The Christian Mystery Temple called the New Jerusalem has twelve gates guarded by twelve Angels, (the twelve Hierarchies.) This new city is also known as a Temple of Initiate Consciousness.
In the heavenly Jerusalem, the twelve foundations of the city wall are inscribed with the names of the twelve apostles, while the twelve gates are given the names of the twelve tribes or Patriarchs of Israel. The twelve apostles are its foundation stones and the Lamb of God its focal center. Beside the twelve entrance gates stand the twelve disciples to receive and instruct those proven "qualified and worthy" to be admitted into the glory of the Christian Mysteries.
Twelve is akin to seven in its sacred importance, seven being the sum of three plus four, and twelve the multiplication of three times four; three representing inner spirituality, and four, outer activity. There is a correlation also with alchemical and astronomical lore -- the heavenly governance of stones and metals; and the twelve astrological mansions of the Sun.
In the book of Joshua, with reference to the Promised Land or New Age, twelve men were chosen to set up twelve stones and they "remain to this day." These twelve stones signify latent power within the human body temple which await spiritualization.
Not only Peter but all twelve apostles hold "keys to heaven and hell" -- the ability to confer powers of Initiation in the Christian Mysteries. Each one bears keys fitting his own particular gate. The symbols generally assigned to each of these revered disciples who followed the Master are:
Matthias was one of the many disciples who was with Jesus from the time of his baptism to his crucifixion (see Acts 1: 21 - 26), but he was not one of the original Twelve Apostles, chosen by Jesus. The number twelve was of such significance that after the departure of Judas, the disciples felt it mandatory to elect another to take his place and retain intact the original number.
In the New Testament, there are four separate lists given of the Twelve Apostles, one in each of the Synoptic Gospels, and one in Acts. These agree fairly well, with certain variations which can be explained. Briefly, the twelve are described in the following paragraphs:
When the transformation occurs, when the terrestrial has been transformed into the celestial, Judas has been exchanged for Matthias, (meaning like Matthew, "gift of the Lord).
All of the disciples were afire with great love and enthusiasm for him, but within their own respective personalities they were much the same as other men, and taken together more or less represented all of humanity. That is why there had to be a traitor among them. In a sense these people of the New Testament represent all people who even now come in touch with Christ:
John, the mystic; Peter, the impulsive; Andrew, the missionary; Philip, the inquirer; Thomas, the cautious; Nathanael, the guileless; James, the "Zealot"; Judas, the obscure; Judas, the traitor; John the Baptist, the austere; Nicodemus, the seeker; Pilate, the worldling; Martha, the anxious; Mary, the worshipper; Mary Magdalene, the devoted; Lazarus, the lowly; Caiaphas, the unscrupulous; Joseph of Arimathaea, the brave; Mary of Clopas, the follower; Annas, the intriguer; Barabbas, the robber; Mary the Virgin, the Blessed; the woman of Samaria, the insensible; the nobleman, the believing; the paralytic, the helpless; "a woman," the fallen; the blind man, the forthright; his parents, the cowards; Jesus' aunt Salome, the ambitious; Simon Iscariot, the unfortunate father; Malchus, the victim; Herod, the carnal. Each of these individuals portrays a vivid portrait in a few words, their life and vigor still shining after 2,000 years.
The twelve disciples were divided into three groupings according to their preparation and development in discipleship. These three were as follows:
The Three Pillars of the Masters Degree were: James, Peter and John. These composed the innermost circle of the disciples, so-called "pillars" because sufficiently advanced to receive the deepest esoteric teaching given by the Christ.
The five Followers of the Fellowship Degree were: Andrew,
Thomas, Matthew, Philip and Nathanael.
The Four Apprentices of the Apprentice Degree were: James, Judas, Thaddeus and Simon.