The Seer of Revelation appears to have had his visions in the form of a series of scenes, as in a panorama. Almost at the close (Rev. 149) he saw the beast you refer to. It is evidently identical with the beast described by Daniel (7:7). It is representative of the power which is said to have throughout the world's history opposed God. It appears in John's narrative in a series of forms, and is sometimes identified with a persecuting church, and sometimes is the civil power. At the culmination of its career, John saw it as the great Antichrist, who is yet to arise, who would attain to such power in the world that he would exclude any many from office and from even engaging in trade, who did not acknowledge him. Only those who bear the mark of the beast can buy or sell in that time. This mark may be a badge to be worn on forehead or hand, or as some scholars think, merely the coins to be used in business, which will bear Antichrist's title symbolized by the number 666.