1. How the Lamb Became the Beast

” And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church…” (Matthew, 16:18).

With the above words which Jesus said to Peter, He foretold that His church would be founded by this faithful and risky disciple of him. And in fact on the day of the Pentecost and after Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit just as all the other disciples did, he stood up and with a strong voice he spoke to the crowd of Jerusalem that gathered around him. He preached to them about Jesus crucified by them and resurrected by God. At last he asked them to repent and be baptized in the water for their sins to be forgiven and receive the blessing of the Holy Spirit. Three thousand people accepted Peter’s preaching and were baptized receiving the Holy Spirit on that day. They were the first Christians.

The New Testament tells us that all those who believed in Jesus and became Christians, shared all their belongings and passed much of their everyday hours together, praying and out of their hearts chanting hymns to God. Great miracles were taking place by the apostles and fear of God perched into every soul. The Word of God tells also that: “…praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). Church members became all those that at some specific time of their life accepted Jesus as their personal Savior.

The newly created church remained pure mostly because of the persecution that the church was subjected during the first three centuries of its existence. For somebody to become Christian it was an action that would subject his life into fatal danger. They were numerous the Christians that were subjected martyred death during those full of glory for God days. The church was the lamb that was driven for slaughter like Jesus.

But when the persecutions ceased and with the Edict of Milan (decree for religious tolerance) which was published by Constantine the Great in 313 A.D., Christianity was declared as the official Religion of the State, the Church had lost its original purity. Now everyone could become member of the Church without any danger of his life, whether he was really faithful or not while the Church herself had co-identified herself with the worldly power.

In addition to the permanent adoption of the infant-baptism that is, the mass-production of “Christians” during the 5th century, which in essence deprived somebody’s right to become Christian because he really wanted to be Christian, and with the predominance of external types of worship contrary to the spiritual worship of God, (“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth”, John 4:24) like the worship of the icons during the 8th century, the Church changes completely her shape. She is no longer the lamb driven for slaughter, but a beast that holds a hard grip on its victims within its claws not to let them get away.

Here we must distinguish between the church and the Christian Religion. Jesus Christ came to earth not to create a Religion but to establish His church. The church is God’s creation, while the Christian Religion is like all other Religions man’s creation. In reality there is no relation whatsoever between the one with the other.

The transformation of the first pure church of Christ into Christian Religion was foretold by God to the prophet Hosea with the following words:

“When they had pasture, they were filled; they were filled and their heart was exalted; therefore they forgot Me. So I will be to them like a lion; like a leopard by the road I will lurk; I will meet them like a bear deprived of her cubs; I will tear open their rib cage, and there I will devour them like a lion. The wild beast shall tear them”, (Hosea 13:6-8).

God speaks to Hosea about his spiritual people, the Christians. He says to him clearly that because his spiritual people had neglected the healthy faith, He Himself would be transformed into this dreadful beast. The people would have been deceived, believing that the beast represented God upon the earth, and that the Christians would follow it, while in reality this would be a fabrication by the devil, a fake copy of the first church.

The beast is described to us in detail by John in the 13th Chapter of the Revelation.