Barbour ; later that year they jointly produced the book Three Worlds , which combined restitutionist views with end time prophecy. The book taught that God's dealings with humanity were divided dispensationally , each ending with a "harvest," that Christ had returned as an invisible spirit being in  inaugurating the "harvest of the Gospel age," and that would mark the end of a year period called "the Gentile Times,"  at which time world society would be replaced by the full establishment of God's kingdom on earth.
Thirty congregations were founded, and during and , Russell visited each to provide the format he recommended for conducting meetings. By the s, Russell's organization maintained nearly a hundred "pilgrims," or traveling preachers. He identified the religious movement as "Bible Students," and more formally as the International Bible Students Association. His election was disputed , and members of the Board of Directors accused him of acting in an autocratic and secretive manner.
The book, published as the posthumous work of Russell, was a compilation of his commentaries on the Bible books of Ezekiel and Revelation , plus numerous additions by Bible Students Clayton Woodworth and George Fisher.
In , he instituted the appointment of a director in each congregation, and a year later all members were instructed to report their weekly preaching activity to the Brooklyn headquarters. Before me no God was formed, And after me there has been none. The name was chosen to distinguish his group of Bible Students from other independent groups that had severed ties with the Society, as well as symbolize the instigation of new outlooks and the promotion of fresh evangelizing methods.
Rutherford explained that in addition to the , "anointed" who would be resurrected—or transferred at death—to live in heaven to rule over earth with Christ, a separate class of members, the "great multitude," would live in a paradise restored on earth; from , new converts to the movement were considered part of that class.
Knorr commissioned a new translation of the Bible, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures , the full version of which was released in He organized large international assemblies, instituted new training programs for members, and expanded missionary activity and branch offices throughout the world.
By , the number of active members exceeded two million. Membership declined during the late s after expectations for were proved wrong. It was announced that, starting in September , appointments would be made by traveling overseers. In a major organizational overhaul in , the power of the Watch Tower Society president was diminished, with authority for doctrinal and organizational decisions passed to the Governing Body.
In , Jehovah's Witnesses abandoned the idea that Armageddon must occur during the lives of the generation that was alive in and in changed their teaching on the "generation". Organizational structure of Jehovah's Witnesses Jehovah's Witnesses are organized hierarchically , in what the leadership calls a "theocratic organization", reflecting their belief that it is God's "visible organization" on earth.
Traveling overseers appoint local elders and ministerial servants, and while branch offices may appoint regional committees for matters such as Kingdom Hall construction or disaster relief. Elders maintain general responsibility for congregational governance, setting meeting times, selecting speakers and conducting meetings, directing the public preaching work, and creating "judicial committees" to investigate and decide disciplinary action for cases involving sexual misconduct or doctrinal breaches.
Ministerial servants—appointed in a similar manner to elders—fulfill clerical and attendant duties, but may also teach and conduct meetings. Jehovah's Witnesses do not practice infant baptism,  and previous baptisms performed by other denominations are not considered valid. Funding Much of their funding is provided by donations , primarily from members. There is no tithing or collection.