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I understand that the Jehovah's Witnesses believe that there are few of their members today who are part of the 144,000 mentioned in the book of Revelations. This implies that most of their members are not included in that number.

What, then, is the status of these people? Are they just believers who will go to heaven when Christ returns? Will they live on earth at that time? What are they called, and what will happen to them according to the teaching of the Jehovah's Witnesses?

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Not a duplicate question, but I think this might answer your question: christianity.stackexchange.com/a/9970/214. –  TRiG Dec 7 '12 at 21:40
    
But this might actually be a duplicate, and also provides an answer: christianity.stackexchange.com/a/8605/214. –  TRiG Dec 7 '12 at 21:41
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3 Answers

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Watchtower doctrine says that they are in a state of non-existence until the general resurrection. Here is a link.

After the general resurrection, God judges mankind. Those judged as righteous would there after live on earth in their resurrected bodies, whereas the 144,000 remain in Heaven.

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and then what happens? –  Narnian Dec 5 '12 at 21:04
    
I think after that, they don't deviate entirely with most Christian eschatology. After the general resurrection comes the final judgement. newadvent.org/cathen/12792a.htm –  aceinthehole Dec 5 '12 at 21:08
    
For clarity, those being judged righteously would there after live on earth in their resurrected bodies, whereas the 144,000 remain in Heaven. –  aceinthehole Dec 5 '12 at 21:15
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Q. "If most of the Jehovah's Witnesses today are not a part of the 144,000, then what exactly are they?"

A. While the scriptures show that a limited number of 144,000 have the God given hope of living FOREVER as Kings & Priests RULING in God's Heavenly Kingdom with Christ himself, the overwhelming vast majority of Jehovah's Witnesses have the awesome God given hope of living FOREVER on the Biblically foretold paradisaic New Earth as royal subjects of God's Heavenly Kingdom wherein the Scriptures state that such ones will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace. (Psalm 37:11, 29; Isaiah 65:17, 20-23; Matthew 5:5; 2 Peter 3:13; Rev 21:3-5).

While the vast majority of the Churches of Christendom teach that there is but only one final destination for the faithful of God's chosen people, the Holy Scriptures teach and show that there is in fact not one but TWO final destinations for the faithful of God's chosen people (Ruling in Heaven or The foretold Paradisaic New Earth). Almighty Jehovah God by means of His Holy Spirit through Christ determines who goes where in accordance to His divine will and everlasting purpose.

~ NOTE: I am a dedicated and baptized member of the unified worldwide Christian Congregation of JEHOVAH'S Witnesses.

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While it is true that according to Revelation 14:1-3, the apostle John wrote that the number of those "bought from the earth" to go to heaven is 144,000, Jehovah's Witnesses will point out that the Bible clearly shows that the vast majority of mankind (including most Jehovah's Witnesses) have the prospect of living on into, or of being resurrected in the future to life in Paradise on earth - not in heaven:

"But the meek ones themselves will possess the earth, And they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace." (Ps. 37:11)

"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." (Matthew 5:5 KJV)

Recommended Related Articles from the Official Website of Jehovah's Witnesses:

Eternal Happiness—In Heaven or on Earth? http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2000721#p18

Do All Faithful Christians Go to Heaven? http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2011405

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