In today’s (chronological) Bible reading… Revelation 11-13… we read the heart of John’s vision.
Chapter 12 is a picture of the gospel; Christ has already defeated Satan and provided salvation for His people, but Satan still tries to hurt Christ’s people.
The beasts of chapter 13 have their backdrop in Daniel 7. For the churches in John’s time, the best represented the Roman Emperor; the beast from the earth represented his Empire. But, on a larger scale – and a future look – reveals that the beasts represent the political forces of all time that oppose Christ and the Church. The Bible warns us that this opposition will increase in the last days of the latter days before Christ returns.