In our study of Revelation chapter thirteen, we look at Satan's efforts to set up a kingdom to replace the kingdom of God. We look at how Satan tries to duplicate everything about God even the trinity.
"And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name." NIV translation
The sea always represents the nations of the world and the dragon stood on the shore and called out the beast from among the nations. This beast is a person that is to be the political head of this kingdom that Satan is trying to set up. We must understand that God is still over all and in control but he is turning the world over to Satan for a period of time which we call the great tribulation. God's purpose in doing this is so that Satan will see that he does not have the power to set up a kingdom to replace God's. The ten horns represent complete control of the earth and the seven heads represent complete knowledge and this beast will be a world dictator.
"The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority." NIV translation
Now, John describes the beast and it is very similar to the beasts that Daniel saw in Daniel 7. The body was like a leopard and was a symbol of the Greco-Macedonian empire and its outward culture. The feet were like that of a bear which was a sign of the Media-Persian empire which was known for its pagan wealth and splendor. The mouth was like a lion which was a symbol of the Babylonian empire which was known for its dictatorial authority. When you put them all together you end up with a man that is refined and cultured, is wealthy and rules with dictatorial authority where any opposition is dealt with quickly. We see that this man is given all of his power and authority by Satan himself.
"One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast." NIV translation
This verse tells us of a huge lie that Satan and the beast get people to believe. People believe that the beast has been raised from the dead by Satan but, in fact, Satan does not have the power to do that. It is crazy that the people won't accept the resurrection of Jesus but they will accept this fake.