Q. The beast in Rev 13: 1-3 seems to be referring to the restored Roman empire as a group. Then in verse 3 the beast seems to be referring to just one of the horns but still referred to as the beast. Does the beast begin as all of the horns and then is led by just one? Also in verse 3 is the fatal wound describing one of the horns or of one man only.
Also the beast begins to describe things about God that only one who has been in heaven personally could talk about. Could this be that Satan entered into the body of the beast when the beast was fatally wounded and now it is Satan living as the anti Christ?
A. In reading the passage again, I was struck by all the personal pronouns. The beast is definitely a person. Remember, the 10 horns and 7 heads are symbolic of his complete authority (horns) and supernatural wisdom (heads). References to the leopard, bear, and lion mean he will demonstrate the defining characteristics of Alexander the Great (leopard), Cyrus the Persian (bear) and Nebuchadnezzar (lion). The fact that only one of the 7 heads had suffered a fatal wound means he won’t be killed but will only suffer the loss of some of his faculties. Zechariah 11:17 indicates he’ll no longer have use of his right eye or right arm.
We know that the anti-Christ first comes on the scene as the rider on the white horse in Rev. 6, so Rev. 13 is likely the point at which Satan indwells him, having been cast to Earth in Rev. 12. If so, that would explain his ability to speak of heavenly things. Notice how among other things, the anti-Christ slanders those who live in Heaven. I think this is a reference to the Raptured church because I can’t see any reason for him to slander angels, Heaven’s other residents. The people left on Earth wouldn’t care about angels, but they could still be seeking answers as to why so many people suddenly went missing, even though it will have been over 3 years in their past. It makes sense that he’d fabricate some story to explain our disappearance, if only to put an end to the controversy.