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The organization has received criticism regarding biblical translation, doctrines, and alleged coercion of its members.
The claims are rejected by the group's leaders, and some have been disputed by courts and religious scholars.
Knorr's presidency was also marked by an increasing use of explicit instructions guiding Witnesses in their lifestyle and conduct, and a greater use of congregational judicial procedures to enforce a strict moral code.
The Watch Tower Society has made various unfulfilled predictions about major biblical events such as Christ's Second Coming, the advent of God's Kingdom, and Armageddon.
Their policies for handling cases of child sexual abuse have been the subject of various formal inquiries.
During the course of his ministry, Russell disputed many beliefs of mainstream Christianity including immortality of the soul, hellfire, predestination, the fleshly return of Jesus Christ, the Trinity, and the burning up of the world. 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 1874 From 1879, Watch Tower supporters gathered as autonomous congregations to study the Bible topically.
Rutherford explained that in addition to the 144,000 "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 1935, new converts to the movement were considered part of that class.