The 144,000 are not in heaven today with the Lord. The Bible teaches that people don’t go to heaven or hell at death. For more on what the Bible say about the state of the dead, check out The Intermediate State.
The 144,000 will be the spiritual leaders
The ministry of the 144,000 will take place just before the second coming of Jesus. Their work can be understood when we look at the mission of the 12 apostles. At Jesus’ first coming, He selected 12 apostles to spread the gospel to the children of Israel. “These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: ‘Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel’” (Matthew 10:5, 6).
After Jesus’ ascension to heaven and the out- pouring of the former rain on the 12 apostles, they were empowered and preached His truth at the Pentecost revival. “And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:5).
In a similar manner, Just before the second coming of Christ, God will pour His latter rain (the Holy Spirit) on 12 times 12,000 special people or the 144,000. These will preach the gospel to all the world as Jesus predicted in Matthew 24:14. And a great number of people will be converted by their preaching. These will cause a great revival of godliness.
In Joel 2:28, 29, we read “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”
The rest of the believers will join the 144,000 in preaching
It should be noted that the 144,000 are not the only ones that Jesus will use to spread His message at the end of days just as the 12 apostles were not the only ones that spread the truth. For there were 120 believers in the upper room that led out also in the Pentecost revival (Acts 1:15). Also, Jesus didn’t only use the 12 disciples to preach in Israel, but He also sent out another group of 70 faithful individuals to teach the principles of His kingdom (Luke 10:1). The 144,000 are the spiritual leaders in this revival but they are not the only ones preaching the final message.
In His service,
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