Who Were the Seventy Apostles

          The Seventy chosen by the Lord Jesus are only recorded in the Gospel of Luke in chapter ten.  Their names are not recorded but they were given a call very similar to that of the twelve.  In Luke 10 these Seventy were never referred to as apostles and Luke refers to the Seventy as “disciples”.  Most likely some or many did not meet the qualifications for apostles, even though they are sent out by Christ.  Catholic scholars have lists of who the Seventy might be and you can Google to see them.

          The Seventy find they are to go to every city that the Lord would go Himself, while the Twelve were only to go to the Nation of Israel.   This means their travels was not limited to just Jews but may have  include Gentiles, as well.  The other significant difference was in the message the two groups were to deliver.  The Twelve were to preach “The Kingdom of Heaven was at hand”, (Matt. 10:7) while the Seventy were to deliver in their message, “The Kingdom of God is at hand”  (Luke 10:11).  This is signifiant because of who they are and who they represent.  The Message of the Twelve was to be given to the Nation of Israel only.  Therefore the “Kingdom of Heaven” was a message for the Nation of Israel, for The Millennial Kingdom is the fulfillment of the covenants of God to them. 

          Yes, there are those who say that both statements can be used interchangeably!  Even though similar things can be said of both, they are very much different in there nature.   The real fact that connect these two Kingdoms together is that King Jesus is the King of both when he is present.  The Kingdom of Heaven is a literal, physical, and political kingdom.  Something your five senses can appreciate.  This literal, physical, and political kingdom was given to Adam when he was created, Gen. 1:27-28 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth”.   To have dominion over something is the work of a king.images

          The Kingdom of Heaven is a literal, physical, and political place noted in Genesis, the firmament (the Universe) is called Heaven.   Gen. 1:8  “And God called the firmament Heaven.”  Adam was made, the king, of this kingdom by the Trinity.  Over the past 6000 years this literal, physical, and political kingdom changed hands from time to time to where Satan is now the god of this world,  the being in charge of what goes on here on this planet, (2 For. 4:4 “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”).  

          However, with that being said, one must understand God is sovereign,  He ultimately controls all things through the covenants He has made.  When Jesus was here during his first advent the phrase “is at hand”, was associated with both “Kingdoms”,  was valid.   The Israelites rejection of Jesus as their King allowed Satan to keep his seat.  When Jesus returns as King of Kings he will take Satan off his throne and through him in the pit, Rev 20:1-3.Covenants

          When Jesus returns as “King of Kings and Lord of Lords to establish His Kingdom on earth.  He will take “The Kingdom of Heaven” from Satan. Sentencing him to thousand year stay in the bottomless pit, Rev. 20:1-11.  The theological term for this thousand year reign of Christ is; “The Millennial Kingdom”.   This is discussed by Christ in the Book of Matthew in “The Sermon on the Mount”,  in chapters 5-7.  This is the fulfillment of the covenants given to the Nation of Israel throughout the Old Testament.

          The Kingdom of God, on the other hand, is the message of the Seventy, is not a literal, physical, and political kingdom, but “The Kingdom God” is of a spiritual nature, John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”   This Kingdom of God is only entered by one being “Born Again”,  John 3:3-7.  “Ye must be born again”.  One who is “Born Again” become a sons of God, John 1:11-13, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” Look for posts on “Eternal Life” for discussions on being “Born Again” and “Sons of God”.

          One can see, in these verses, how through the rejection of Jesus, by the Nation of Israel, how Jesus failed to become king and the Nation of Israel missed having “The Kingdom of Heaven”.  Jesus is returning as the conquering savior, Rev. 19:11-21.  “He will rule the nations with a rod of iron”, Rev. 19:15.  Jesus now the King of ‘The Kingdom of Heaven, throwing the Beast and False Prophet in the “Lake of Fire” and Satan into the “Bottomless Pit”, will establish his “Millennial Reign” on this earth.

When Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father, Acts 1:8, He left as a Priest in The Kingdom of God only.  The kingship of The Kingdom of Heaven was left in Satan’s hands.  Jesus now is head of his body, the church, a priest, until He returns as “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”, Rev. 19:11-21.   His office He fills now is Priest.  He was the “Prophet” in the Old Testament and will be positioned as “King” when he returns.

          The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to the Nation of Israel, and while they are in the land possession takes place when their King arrives.    The Kingdom of God is inhabited by the Church, the “Bride of Christ”.  Through the covenants of God the Nation of Israel was promised a Kingdom.  When Jesus returns as King he will fulfill this promise to them.  A look at Revelation 20, 21, and 22 will give you something to think about when God makes a new heaven and new earth.

Who were the Seventy apostles?  It is hard to say they were apostles, but we do know they were disciples, Luke 10.  The word apostle is not used for their description.  By definition of the word apostle they seem to fit the definition.  However, they may not bare the name apostle because they may have not met the qualifications.  See blog “The Apostles of the Lord?”

 The Apostles of the Lord!

How Many Apostles Were Appointed?

       Christ Jesus in Hebrews 3:1 is referred to as “The Apostle”.   Now the names of the twelve apostles he chose are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him, Matt.10:2-4.   Matthias, who replaced Judas Iscariot, became one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb (Acts 1:26), making him number thirteen.   The Eleven are named in Acts 1:13, “Peter and John, and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. “ Judas Iscariot, one of the original twelve, the one who betrayed Jesus, is not named in that list.   Therefore, the original twelve will include Matthias. “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (Revelation 21:14).  These would be those twelve.

         An investigation of the Scripture reveals several individuals in addition to the original twelve who are explicitly referred to as apostles.    Paul, the apostle, so named in almost every book he wrote will make number fourteen.  

 A complete listing of New Testament apostles follows.

Barnabas–Acts 14:14, Apollos – Corinthians 4:6-9, James, the Lord’s brother, Gal. 1:19, Timothy and Silvanus– I Thessalonians 1:1 and 2:6, Epaphroditus–Philippians 2:25, Andronicus and Junia–Romans 16:7, were of note among the apostles, that is notable Jewish apostles but labeled “my kinsmen, and my fellow prisoners” who were in Christ before Paul, and thus Jewish apostles but not of the original twelve.  These nine now make a total of 22 (13 + 9 = 22).

         The Greek word “apostoloi” is translated apostle, normally, is also translated “messenger(s)” as in the case of Epaphroditus–Philippians 2:25 and Second Corinthians 8:23 noting two unnamed individuals as messengers.  These additional two unnamed messengers bring the total to 24.  Finally, Hebrews 3:1 designates Jesus Christ the “Apostle and High Priest of our profession.” Therefore, making 25 apostles in the New Testament!

         Concerning Titus (#26) of that same passage of Second Corinthians 8:23, should he be considered an apostle by mere association perhaps or not?  Strong’s definition defines “apostoloi” as from 649; a delegate; specially, an ambassador of the Gospel; officially a commissioner of Christ (“apostle”) (with miraculous powers):–apostle, messenger, he that is sent.   However, Paul was the last of the apostles, writing fourteen books of the New Testament, should the book of Hebrews be counted as Paul as the writer. 

The Mission of the Twelve Apostles

             The mission of the twelve apostles is found in;

Matthew 10:5-11, “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.”  

 Mark 6:7-13 “And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse: But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats. And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city. And they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.”

 Luke 9:1-6 “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart. And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them. And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing everywhere.”

 In summation for the three passages of scripture, these apostles were (1) told where to and not to go in delivering their message, (2) told what and what not to take on their journey, (3) told what to preach. However, things are clear but it does not mean there is no problem. The problem lies in the message they are to preach. The phrase in question is “the kingdom of heaven is at hand” in Matthew, “and preached that men should repent” in Mark, and “to preach the kingdom of God” in Luke.   The passage in Mark is not the problem but the other two passages are of conflict statements. There are those who say The Kingdom of God and The Kingdom of Heaven is the same thing.  There are those who say that these are different kingdoms, for God is not heaven and heaven is not God!  

Well, this is a topic for another blog page!

 The Scriptures for the Giving of Apostles

1 Corinthians 12:28 And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.


Ephesians 4:7-8, 11-12 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: