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We are being taught that there is a heavenly class of 144,000 going to heaven, and all the others will be on earth. Is this what the Bible teaches?

There are three classes of people in the Bible. The Jews, Gentiles, and the Church of God. (1 Corinthians 10:32). The Jews are those people of the Old Testament that are offsprings of Abraham, through Isaac and Jacob. All others were Gentiles. In the New Testament the Church of God was born. It consists of Jews and Gentiles who have accepted Christ and they lost their racial distinction in the Church. The Jewish people have earthly promises only. God promised Abraham and his seed (Israel) the land of Palestine for an everlasting possession. (Genesis 17:8). He promised them a kingdom and a King to reign over them forever. (Luke 1:32-33). These are the earthly people, and they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5).

The Church, on the other hand, has heavenly blessings. (Ephesians 1:3 and John 14:2-3). They are to be raptured to heaven and will dwell in the heavenly Jerusalem as the bride of Christ. (Revelation 21:2 and Revelation 21:9-10). The 144,000 mentioned in Revelation 7:4 and Revelation 14:1. They are said to be Israelites. (Revelation 7:5-9). They are said to be the first fruits (first ones) of Israel, to the Lamb. Revelation 14:4. The apostles were the first fruits of the Church. (James 1:18). The fact of them being before the throne in Revelation 14:1-3, isn't anything to build a doctrine of a "heavenly class on." John was also caught up to the throne in Revelation 4:1-2.

The most important thing is to make sure you are saved. This only comes when you repent of your sins and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as your sin-bearing Saviour. (Acts 17:30 and Acts 16:31).

All comments and questions to: Harold Smith

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Updated July 2009, by Shelly Allen