By Alan C. Wade

Acts 2 is the first record of the establishment of the church of Jesus Christ. It was on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) about 33 AD. Many changes to the church began in the later years of the church, that is, around 100 AD. With the dying of the last apostle, probably John, church members were not satisfied with the organizational arrangement that God gave the church. These members of the church, especially the elders, began to make changes to the structure of the organization of the church of Jesus Christ. This is the historical beginning of the Apostasy (falling away).

After many years of corruption of the church, at some point in time, the members ceased to be anything like the church of God. What was left of this destruction was a perverted imitation of the church, formally called the Roman and Greek Orthodox Catholic Church.

After hundreds of years of corruption and perversion of the Catholic church, people began to speak out and protest against the Catholic church. The beginning of this Protestant period was the beginning of the Reformation. Though people broke away from the Catholics, the many doctrinal changes were in reforming Catholicism. There was no complete change to restore New Testament Christianity; some tried but failed.

After many years went by and many peoples were put to death because they spoke against the Catholic church and against Protestants, a new era arose called the Restoration. It began at the end of the eighteenth century.

The Restoration was an effort to restore New Testament Christianity. To do this, an attitude to return to primitive teachings regarding the New Testament church was essential. The only standard or guide of faith was the bible or the word of God. Man's creeds, conventions, manuals and confessions of faith are rejected as standards of faith.

The first chart "The Church, Apostasy, Reformation and Restoration" is a timeline from the church in it's infancy to the present day.
The second chart "Boxed Organizational Chart of the Reformation" shows the historical reformed churches from where they came. This is a general view of the more prominent Protestant churches and is not necessarily complete.

Bibliography: The Bible; History Of The Christian Church, by Philip Schaff; Handbook of Denominations In The United States, by Frank S. Mead; The Church, Apostasy, Reformation and Restoration, tract by James M. Tolle; McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia, Electronic Database