The Book of Acts in the New Testament contains a record of the origin and early history of the church of Christ. Acts chapter 2 records the sermon of Peter with the 11 apostles when about 3,000 were baptized “for the remission of sins” and were added to the body of believers. This was the beginning of ekklesia, the “called out” body of believers, the church. Inspired writings from the pens of Luke, Paul, Peter, John, James and Jude contain the Holy Spirit’s record of the church’s continuing growth through most of the first century (2 Tim 3:16-17).
During the following years, as the scriptures had forwarned, there would be a “falling away” from the truth and the “man of sin, the son of perdition” would be revealed. He would be the one who “opposes and exalts himself against all that is called God and is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thess 2:3-4). The apostle Paul went on to forewarn that this “mystery of lawlessness is already at work,” the result of believing lies and lawlessness (vs 5-12).
These predictions of Scripture culminated as ‘ecumenical councils’ developed new doctrines and super-organizations unknown to the New Testament, finally approving the office of Pope as the “universal bishop” in 606 AD. In the process of time, men like Martin Luther, John Huss, and many others called for a return to the Bible for authority in religion. Those protesting departures from the Bible came to be known as “protestants.”
In various locations in Europe, and later in America, men who called for returning to the roots of Christianity were called simply disciples or Christians (Acts 11:26). This restoration movement began to spread like fire in dry stubble, as described by religious historians in early America. Thousands rejected denominational names, creeds and affiliations. They were identified simply as Christians or disciples.
Many records of this movement to restore original Christianity have been written. One remarkable summary of these events has been produced by James Vinzant through decades of study and research. He came from many generations of gospel preachers in his family. He travelled and researched their work in a carefully documented history of the past 200 years.
Vinzant’s excellent history is being offered on DVD through his generosity WITHOUT COST whie supply lasts. Contact us early for your free copy.