The Names of the Apostles

Revelation 21:14 announces, “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” Verse 12 says that at the gates are inscribed “the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel.” These verses show us that both God’s Old Testament people and His New Testament people are constituents of New Jerusalem.

The apostles represent all the New Testament believers. First Corinthians 12:28 says, “God has placed some in the church: first apostles…” The apostles represent everyone in the universal church, everyone in the Body of Christ through the Spirit’s baptizing (1 Corinthians 12:13).

Ephesians 4:11-12 tells us that our ascended Head “gave some as apostles and some as prophets and some as evangelists and some as shepherds and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints unto the work of the ministry, unto the building up of the Body of Christ.” Both the apostles and the other particular gifts in verse 11 are for the perfecting of all the saints in verse 12, all who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:2). Their perfecting work is so that all the saints (not a few) be brought into the work of the New Testament ministry, which is the ministry of the Spirit who gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6). The result of the universal New Testament ministry is the building up of the Body of Christ. This brings us onward toward New Jerusalem which is the consummation of all God’s building work throughout the ages. Lord, perfect us all for our participation in this building ministry.

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5 Comments

  1. amen… when you dig into all the meanings and implications of all the items of the furnishings of the New Jerusalem, the meaning of this universal structure of treasure is SO RICH! Hallelujah, we have as our foundation the teaching of the apostles, and they bring us in and keep us in the New Jerusalem in its precursor, the church life, today!

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