Mar 22, 2014
Luke 10:1 says,
1 Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them two and two ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come.
Luke is the only gospel writer who mentions the mission of the seventy. It is clear that this took place “after this,” that is, after the climax of Mount Hermon and Caesarea Philippi. This mission may also be seen as an extension of the previous prophetic sequence, as we may view this as the Millennial Mission of the overcomers which follows the second coming of Christ.
Hence, it is prophesied that the feast of Tabernacles is the time that the overcomers, accompanied by Jesus Christ Himself, will ascend to Mount Sion and the temple in heaven to be glorified (as Jesus was) on the eighth day of Tabernacles. They will then return and bind Satan for a thousand years with the authority given to them as manifested Sons of God. Finally, they will begin their Millennial Mission to extend the Kingdom of God to the whole earth. The Stone Kingdom will thus grow until it fills the whole earth.
Recall that the timing of the trip from Caesarea Philippi to Mount Hermon occurred on the eighth day (Luke 9:28) as well as six days (Matt. 17:1). Both days are mentioned, not to contradict each other, but to encompass a greater revelation of timing. The eighth day speaks of the eighth day of Tabernacles, while the six days speaks of six thousand years of history that must pass before these prophetic events may take place.
The Seventy Elders
The seventy represent the overcomers, even as the three disciples accompanying Jesus to Mount Hermon also pictured the elect, or those “chosen” (handpicked) for that mission. The two groups of disciples, the twelve and the seventy, correlate with the twelve princes and the seventy elders under Moses as well.
The twelve princes of the tribes (holders of each tribal birthright) are those who brought offerings on behalf of their tribes to dedicate the altar when the tabernacle of Moses was first built. We read this in Numbers 7:2,
2 Then the leaders of Israel, the heads of their fathers’ households, made an offering (they were the leaders of the tribes; they were the ones who were over the numbered men).
In the rest of the chapter we read how each prince offered a silver dish weighing 130 shekels, a silver bowl weighing seventy shekels, and a golden spoon weighing 10 shekels (Num. 7:13, 14, 19, 20, 25, 26 etc.). The total weight of each man’s offering was 210 shekels, and when multiplied by twelve was a total of 2,520 shekels.
Obviously, these offerings prophesied of the end of “seven times,” after which the house of God would be completed and dedicated for use. When God destroyed Solomon’s temple and gave the beast nations the Dominion Mandate, it would take 2,520 years of beast rule for the new Temple, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20), to be dedicated.
We are now living in the time of this dedication, as I have explained in other studies. The Dominion Mandate was given to Babylon in 607 B.C., and they have now ruled the nations for 2,520 years as of the year 2014. (Note that from 163-63 B.C. Judea was independent of beast rule, and so that century had to be added at the end from 1914-2014 in order to give the beasts their full measure of allotted time.)
In that the twelve princes dedicated the tabernacle during the first twelve days of the first month leading to the feast of Passover, they prophesied of things to come in the year 2014. The corresponding dates in 2014 fall on April 2-13. (This should be an interesting Passover season.)
The Seventy See Jesus, the God of Israel
The twelve princes of the tribes also had five subordinates from each tribe to assist them in the Council of Elders. With six from each tribe, the total was 72, and these were known simply as “the seventy elders.” These are mentioned in Exodus 24:9, when the seventy elders accompanied Moses part of the way up the Mount. Exodus 24:9-11 says,
9 Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, 10 and they saw the God of Israel; and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself. 11 Yet He did not stretch out His hand against the nobles of the sons of Israel; and they beheld God, and they ate and drank.
These seventy represent the overcomers who “see God” when they accompany Moses on his fifth trip up the Mount. Moses eight trips up the Mount represent the eight days of the feast of Tabernacles, culminating with His transfiguration in Exodus 34:29. I wrote a full account of these eight trips in my book, The Laws of the Second Coming, chapter 9.
These eight trips of Moses correlate with the eight signs in the gospel of John, where again we see that Jesus came to the disciples in the fifth sign (John 6:19). It indicates that the return of Christ should occur on the fifth day of Tabernacles of some year, and that the complete Body of Christ, united with the Head, will be presented to God as the New Creation Man on the eighth day of Tabernacles.
Hence, the seventy were accompanied by Moses (a type of Christ), and the three disciples were accompanied by Jesus Himself up Mount Hermon for transfiguration. Both scenes are prophetic of the fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles. The elders “saw the God of Israel” (Exodus 24:10) in His glory, and the disciples “saw His glory” (Luke 9:32).
The seventy elders under Moses became the pattern later for the Sanhedrin, which was “The Council” (Acts 5:21) composed of 70 elders, plus the high priest. So Jesus, too, appointed 70 of His own disciples to suggest an alternate Sanhedrin with the authority to rule. This prophesied of a future time when the number would be increased.
The Increase in David’s New Order
David was not allowed to build the temple, but he was given all the blueprints (patterns) for its construction. Along with this, he was given special revelation to increase the number of administrators in the new temple. He appointed 24 priestly families to minister in the temple twice a year, each “course” being a week in length.
David, of course, was a type of Christ. The Levites represented all the firstborn of Israel among the tribes, as they had redeemed all the firstborn in the original census (Numbers 3:12). So when David appointed the 24 courses of priests, he was prophesying of an increase in the Sons of God.
The twelve princes were the ultimate “firstborn” of Israel, for each of them had inherited the birthright of their tribe, which had been passed down from the original son of Jacob-Israel. Hence, the twelve princes became twenty-four courses of priests, blending the prophetic elements and callings of the two groups into a unified picture of the Sons of God. These Sons of God are said to be both priests and rulers in the Kingdom. This new Order is called the Melchizedek Order of King-Priests.
In 1 Chronicles 21 we read of a census that David took toward the end of his life, by which God judged Israel. At that time, Joab did not number the Levites (1 Chronicles 21:6). However, afterward, Levi was numbered separately, even as Moses had done earlier. It was not wrong to do a census, as long as one did so in a lawful manner by collecting the half-shekel “atonement money” (Exodus 30:11-13).
The census of Levi and the priests is mentioned in 1 Chronicles 23:24, and the next chapter lists the 24 families of priests who were to minister in their “courses” twice a year. Recall from Luke 1:5 that John’s father, Zacharias, was of the course of Abijah. This was the eighth course (1 Chronicles 24:10) established by King David.
This new order was among the last words of David (1 Chronicles 24:27), that is, it was one of the final revelations that God had given to David. As such, he prophesied of a future time when the 12 would become 24, and the 72 would become 144. These new numbers are then multiplied by a thousand, the number of glory, when the Sons of God are manifested in their glory. Hence, in Revelation 7 we read of 12,000 taken from each tribe, and in Revelation 14:1 we read of 144,000 saints.
The number 144,000 is a multiple of 12, 24, and 72, thus unifying the princely rulers with the priesthood in the Kingdom of God. Even the Greek term for “the elect,” used in Romans 11:5, has a numeric value of 144.
The Final Doubling
The book of Revelation speaks of two groups of 144,000. The first is in Revelation 7, where we see the sealed ones. The second is in Revelation 14, which speaks of the overcomers who sing the new song. The first pictures an army in a military theme, which is male. The second pictures “virgins” who follow the Lamb wherever He goes, which is female. In my view, these are unified as “one,” but they actually represent complete ones, that is, male and female.
In the beginning, when God separated man into male and female (Genesis 2:21-24), each became incomplete without the other. God, who had created man in His Image, had made Adam complete as well at the beginning, but when Eve was taken out of Him, they needed each other to represent the fullness of God’s Image.
Thus, in the end, when men and women regain the full Image of God, they are still incomplete without each other. And so the number 144,000 is actually 288,000 when viewed in this manner. Hence, we see these number patterns in David’s kingdom, which prophesy of Christ’s Kingdom that is to come. In 1 Chronicles 27:1 we see David’s military guard composed of 24,000 from each of the twelve tribes, for a total of 288,000. These correspond to the sealed ones in Revelation 7, that is, those who are divinely protected in time of war.
In 1 Chronicles 25:7 we read of David’s choir singing, as it were, “a new song,”
7 And their number who were trained in singing to the Lord, with their relatives, all who were skillful, was 288.
Thus, the pattern of numbers revealed by the last revelation of David, reveals 288,000 and 288. These prophesy of the two groups of 144,000 in Revelation 7 and 14. For a more complete study of this concept, see:
With this background in mind, we can see why Jesus chose the seventy as well as the twelve disciples. It was a prophetic act in a sequence of revelations that go back to Moses, then to David, to Jesus’ first ministry, and finally to the future Kingdom in its fullness.
This is part 51 of a series titled "Studies in the Book of Luke." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones