The book of Revelation contains an apocalyptic vision of two beasts emerging from the sea and land to take control of the world. It’s in this vision (Revelation 13) that the image of the beast is first mentioned. Satan attempts to copy God wherever he can. In this regard, John the Baptist came before Jesus to prepare the way for the Lord. Therefore, the false prophet, the first beast comes before antichrist.
“For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.” Matthew 11:10
To answer the specifics of the representation of the beast, Revelation 13:1–9 gives the specifics.
“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy” Revelation 13:1
“And I stood upon the sand of the sea” - Meaning John was at the beach on Patmos Island.
“and saw a beast rise up out of the sea” - This Beast is a Gentile not a Jew. He is the False Prophet who will become the head of the revived Roman Empire, Babylon reborn.
The sea is symbolic of the size of the Gentile nation, which is to say it’s huge. “having seven heads” - The seven heads are seven mountains located in Israel (Revelation 17:9).
“and ten horns” - These “ten horns” represent ten Kings that have no Kingdoms to rule over (Revelation 17:12).
These Kings when given their kingdoms, will rule in one of the seven forms once used in Rome. Kings, Consuls, Dictators, Decemvir or Magistrates, Military Tribunes, Emperors or Czars. They will have one Emperor to rule over all of them, which will be the Anti-Christ.
“and upon His horns ten crowns” - These crowns are called Diadems, which are the ornamental headbands of Kings. These crowns are symbols of the Beast right to rule, which is given to him by Satan himself. The new Roman Empire will be set up in a ten kingdom format. Ten kingdoms in Israel, ruled by one of the seven forms of Kings.
“and upon his heads, the name of blasphemy” - This blasphemy is thought to be the Beast making accusations against God derogatorily. The False Prophet will imply that he is God. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)
“And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority” Revelation 13:2
“And the Beast I saw was like unto a Leopard” - The Leopard symbolizes Greece (Daniel 7:6)
“And his feet were as feet of a Bear” - The Bear symbolizes Persia (Daniel 7:5)
“and his mouth as the mouth of a Lion” - The Lion represents Babylon (Daniel 7:4).
These three cities, Greece, Persia, and Babylon were the world powers before the rise of the Roman Empire.
“And the Dragon gave him his power and his seat and his great authority” - Satan gives the False Prophet his power, as the world is his to wield from the time of Adam, who delivered the power of the world to Satan with his sin (Luke 4:6).
“And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast” Revelation 13:3
“And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death” - The wound symbolizes ancient Rome. Today, Rome by contrast is considered destroyed. Not Rome’s overall physical location, but Rome’s wealth, infrastructure, armies, influence, control and imperial rule is all gone. In this regard, Rome has been wounded to death, but in reality, only the imperial form of Rome’s government is gone. At least it does not appear as it once was.
The laws of western civilization are from Rome. It is spiritually how Rome continues to exist today, in the back drop of society (wounded but not dead). Rome’s imperial rule is hiding in plain sight, and with that Satan will revive Rome. First with the False Prophet and then subsequently with the Anti-Christ out of the systems of modern government. Rome’s imperial systems have been used throughout the world. It will come back into play with an Emperor as its head, the False Prophet.
“And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?”Revelation 13:4
“And they worshipped the Dragon which have power unto the Beast” - The Dragon is Satan, who empowers the Beast (False Prophet), to take over the world system of government and rule it. We must keep in mind that the world belongs to Satan both spiritually and tangibly for the time being (Luke 4:5-7; 2 Corinthians 4:4).
“And they worshipped the Beast” - This is everyone on the planet except the remnant of those who have received Christ through the testimony of the 144K.
“And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months” Revelation 13:5
“And there was given unto him a mouth, speaking great things, and blasphemies” -The False Prophet attracts people with his charisma and eloquent speech (2 Timothy 4:2-4; Titus 1:10-11).
“And power was given to him to continue forty and two months” - The False Prophet will speak against God in every conceivable way for 3.5 years. He begins here at the midpoint of the tribulation, after the plagues of God have ended. He continues to rule, along with the Anti-Christ to the end of the tribulation.
“And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven” Revelation 13:6
“And them that dwell in Heaven”
The False Prophet berates God, the Host of His Angels, all the believers that were raptured in particular and all of mankind who is in Heaven at this point. The reference to God’s Tabernacle is the whole of God’s word and His physical tabernacle that remains on the Earth and His Tabernacle in Heaven. The False Prophet will attack everything of God’s to tear it down before the people.
“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations” “And it was given to him to make war with the Saints, and to overcome them” Revelation 13:7
The False Prophet is empowered to go after and kill all believers who remain on the planet. The False Prophet will make a spectacle of the Christians and all those who refuse to worship him. He gets all the people to turn against the Christians, he puts a target on their back. All those who look to God are not only ridiculed but killed.
God does not protect them anymore, it is necessary for them to die that this prophecy be fulfilled.
“And power was given him over all kindreds and tongues and nations” - This is when Satan delivers the control of the world to the False Prophet.
“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life, of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” Revelation 13:8
Those whose names are not in the Lambs Book of Life are all those who will not be saved and are doomed to the Lake of Fire in God’s final judgment. The majority of the people remaining on the planet will fall into this category. There will be two small contingents of people that will be saved as a result of the deaths of the believers, and the death of the Two Witnesses later on. Outside of this aspect, it is Sodom and Gomorrah on steroids.
“Slain from the foundations of the world” - This reference means that God made provision for the salvation of man, way back when He created free will. This took place after He created Heaven, Earth and the Angels, but before God created the foundations of the Earth itself. The foundations are things like the oxygen levels on the planet, etc.
Keep in mind, Satan had free will along with all the Angels long before man was created and placed in the Garden of Eden.
The Tree of Knowledge was placed in the Garden, but when you read the account in (Genesis 2:9) the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil appears for the first time, but we must consider (Genesis 2) as giving us more details of events offered in Genesis 1, which is to say that God created and planted the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden, before He placed man there.
In (Genesis 1:11-12) God had already created the trees, grass and all that. This was on the third day of creation. In (Genesis 2:1) all of creation was completed. It was the seventh day, and God sanctified the day after he had finished all of His work. The writer of the first five books of the Bible was Moses. Genesis is placed first, chronologically in the books written by Moses, but Moses was going back and providing more detail as it relates to God’s interaction with man.
The Bible is not a history book “per-se” rather it is a chronology of God’s dealings with man. The reference to “the Lamb being slain from the foundation of the world” means that God ordained the salvation of man through Jesus the Christ, “before” He even created mankind. Free will existed “before” man did, therefore God created evil and good, choice and redemption in “advance” of mankind in Heaven (before the foundations of the Earth were laid).