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Judas Iscariot Replaced by Matthias

   All that is known of Matthias is that he was in constant attendance upon Christ Jesus almost from the beginning of His Ministry. He is said to have been one of the seventy disciples sent forth by the Master. He and Barnabas were evidently the most highly advanced of the seventy, as they were the two recommended to take Judas' place. The choice eventually fell upon Matthias.

   Eligibility for elevation to the rank of discipleship was determined, Peter states in Acts 1:22, according as one had taken the Initiations taught by John the Baptist, had followed the three years' work given by the Christ and had finally been accounted worthy to be among the Elect who participated in the Resurrection Rites.

   An apocryphal gospel written under the name of Matthias is quoted by Clement of Alexandria in his Traditions. He is said to have met martyrdom circa 61-54 A. D. in Cappadocia. Since so little is known of Matthias, the following legend about him is of interest as at least suggesting the course of his life and work.

   When the Disciples were allotted the countries in which they were to work, it fell to Matthias to go to the land of the man eaters. Every stranger who entered this country was laid hold of and his eyes put out, after which he was made to drink a drug prepared by sorcery whereby the heart was altered and the mind deranged.

   Such was the cruel treatment accorded to Matthias when he came to this people. However, the magical drug had no effect upon him and as he prayed his sight was restored. Jesus then appeared to him in prison and said: "Be of good courage, Matthias, for I shall deliver thee from all danger. Remain here twenty-seven days for the edification of all souls, and after that I shall send Andrew to lead thee forth from prison, and all who hear thee shall be saved." Then Matthias began to sing and to instruct other prisoners in the Mysteries of Christ.

   When the twenty-seven days were fulfilled since Matthias was imprisoned, Jesus appeared in the country where Andrew was teaching and bade him take his disciples and go to the rescue of Matthias. The boat in which Andrew and his disciples sailed, the Angels who were their companions, the Master who was their pilot, and the visions of Paradise granted them, are in part descriptive of the experiences of Invisible Helpers upon the inner planes, in part a lesson on the Divine Immanence.

   As Andrew and his disciples slept, the legend continues, the Master commanded the Angels to carry them to the city where Matthias was confined. Andrew made the sign of the cross upon the prison gates which then opened of their own accord. Entering, Andrew found Matthias singing, and they greeted one another with a holy kiss. Then as Andrew and Matthias prayed, they laid their hands upon the faces of the blind men in prison and their sight was restored and also their human reason. There were two hundred and seventy men and forty-nine women whom Andrew and Matthias released from prison on that day.

   All were rendered invisible as they left the city by the eastern gate, pausing there to partake of nourishment from a great fig tree. Andrew then commanded a great cloud to descend, to take up Matthias and the disciples of Andrew, and to set them down upon a distant mountain where Peter was teaching.

   The beautiful ministry of Invisible Helpers is thus clearly revealed in holy legend as it was known to the earliest Christians through the personal instruction of Christ's own Disciples.

   The Twelve Disciples are of varied types, for they serve as prototypes of humanity in general and indicate thereby that there is room and work for all in the Master's vineyard.

Qualities and Attributes of the Twelve Disciples

   Peter is the man of action; John, the man of prayer; Thomas, the skeptic; James, the aspiring; Nathanael, the dreamer; James, the methodical; Andrew, the humble; Philip, the commonplace; Thaddeus, the courageous; Matthew, the servant of Rome; Simon, the rebel against Rome; and Judas, the betrayer.

   Twelve is the most important number of the New Testament, for twelve is the perfect number of Deity in a cycle of expression. The new Holy City as portrayed in Revelation has twelve gates that are never closed. With the ending of the cycle of twelve a new manifestation of life begins on a higher round. Thus the incidents in the life of every Teacher who brings a cosmic message to humanity parallel the passage of the Sun through the twelve zodiacal signs.

   There always have been twelve physical and twelve spiritual powers manifesting in humanity, corresponding to twelve spiritual centers in the body, which, when awakened, are symbolized by twelve lights, or the "flowers that bloom upon the cross." These centers are to be awakened as man progresses into higher phases of development; they represent the divine consummation of God's great plan for the entire human family at the end of the present Earth Period.

  The following table correlates the Twelve Disciples with attributes of character and with the twelve signs of the Zodiac.

   The twelve cosmic principles manifesting in the universe may be correlated with the Twelve Disciples thus:

 — Corinne Heline

Click on the diagrams below for more information:

Contemporary Mystic Christianity

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