This beast is not the person who has the mortal head wound back in chapter 13. Rather it is the world political system that has existed in the past but has not existed in that same form since the fall of the Roman Empire.
Remember Daniel’s statue. The head was gold, the chest was silver, belly and thighs were bronze, legs of iron and feet mixed with iron and clay, each symbolizing a weaker material, therefore a weaker national power.
There was no one world ruler since then. Many have tried. Napoleon, Hitler, Mussolini, The UN, The world court, the league of nations.
All have failed. But now there is.
The success of the anti-Christ to make a one world government will amaze everyone.
And everyone who is here at this point are those who have taken the mark and have not accepted Christ. And therefore, whose names are not written in the Lamb’s book of Life.
And since they don’t have their names in the book, they will also be condemned.
Skipping ahead to near the end: