Since its formation in the 1870s, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society has claimed that God has chosen the organization from among the churches to fill a special role in the consummation of prophetic history. Charles Taze Russell, a prolific writer and founder of the Bible Student movement, viewed himself as a "mouthpiece" of God and later as the embodiment of the "faithful and wise servant" of the parable of Matthew 24:45-47. The Watch Tower Society is now the legal and administrative arm of Jehovah's Witnesses. Its representatives assert that they have been given insight into the true meaning of the Bible and the unique ability to discern the signs of Christ's second coming.
The group's early ideology centered on the "Divine Plan of Salvation", a biblically derived outline of humanity's history and destiny, which was believed to be open to fuller understanding in the "last days". The creed incorporated Adam's fall and the entry of sin, evil and death into the world. God was believed to be permitting the world's affairs to run their ruinous course before he implemented his plan to free humanity from evil, suffering and death by means of the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ and the later establishment of God's kingdom on earth after his Second Coming.