Chapter twelve of Revelation ends with Satan furious about not being able to destroy Israel and standing by the sea. While standing there, he sees something come out of the sea that he can use to
get his revenge.
And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?” (Rev.13:1-4)
The bible will often use beasts as symbols of governments or organizations. In Daniel chapter seven the lion, bear and leopard represent the Babylonian, Persian, and Greek empires. This beast, or government will resemble all of them combined. This will be the final world government, the feet and ten toes of the statue that Daniel described. Satan will give this world government his power and authority. In revelation 17, John gets an explanation of the beast.
This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated; they are also seven kings, five of whom have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come, and when he does come he must remain only a little while. As for the beast that was and is not, it is an eighth but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to destruction. And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast. These are of one mind, and they hand over their power and authority to the beast. They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.” (Rev 17:9-14)
Seven mountains would be the seven hills of Rome, they also are seven kings of Rome. The first five were the five emperors before John. The sixth, the one that is, would be Domitian, the emperor of John’s day. The seventh, the one that is yet to come would be the antichrist, the leader of this next world government which will make war on Christians. The government will get authority from ten world leaders who will come together to form a world government. This head, the antichrist, receives a mortal wound that will seem to be healed. Apparently, someone will kill the antichrist, and when Satan is thrown to earth he will indwell in antichrist’s body making it appear that he rose from the grave. Because of this, people will worship Antichrist as god. In this, he will be aided by another beast.
Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666. (Rev. 13:11-18)
This beast will be a religious organization that will appear to worship the lamb, Jesus, but will actually worship Satan, the dragon. This is how Satan always works, very few people would knowingly worship Satan so he has to trick people into thinking that they are worshiping God instead of worshiping him. The leader of this church will be a false prophet that will support Antichrist and cause people to worship him. Only people who worship Antichrist and receive his mark will be allowed to buy or sell anything. People who have accepted Christ and have His mark will refuse the mark of the beast and will be killed. Revelation 20:4 mentions their fate.
Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
This will not be an easy time for Christians, if they are caught and do not renounce and worship the beast, they will be beheaded. But their reward, like all Christians, will be much greater than any punishment on earth! If you would like this reward and haven’t accepted Christ as your personal savior, go to Him and ask for forgiveness of your sins and follow Him.