A common tactic of Satan is to imitate or counterfeit the things of God in order  to make himself appear to be like God. What is commonly referred to as the  “unholy trinity,” described vividly in Revelation 12 and 13, is no exception.  The Holy Trinity consists of God the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy  Spirit. Their counterparts in the unholy trinity are Satan, the Antichrist,  and the False Prophet. While the Holy Trinity  is characterized by infinite truth, love, and goodness, the unholy trinity  portrays the diametrically opposite traits of deception, hatred, and  unadulterated evil.

Revelation 12 and 13 contain prophetic passages that  describe some of the main events and the figures involved during the second half  of the seven-year Tribulation period. Although many Bible passages allude to  Satan in various forms, such as a serpent or an angel of light, he is described  in Revelation  12:3 as a “great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven  crowns upon his heads” (Revelation  12:3). The color red indicates his vicious and homicidal personality. The  seven heads symbolize seven evil kingdoms that Satan has empowered and used  throughout history to attempt to prevent God’s ultimate plan from coming to  fruition. Five of the kingdoms had already come and gone—Egypt, Assyria,  Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece.

All these kingdoms severely oppressed  and persecuted the Hebrews, killing many of them. Satan’s intent was to prevent  the birth of Christ (Revelation  12:4). The sixth kingdom, Rome, was still in existence during the writing of  this prophecy. Under Roman rule, King Herod murdered Hebrew babies around the  time of Christ’s birth and Pontius Pilate ultimately authorized the crucifixion  of Jesus. The seventh kingdom, which is more fierce and cruel than the others,  will be the final world kingdom that the Antichrist forms during the end times.  These kingdoms were also prophesied in Daniel, chapters 2 and 7. The seven  crowns represent universal rule, and ten horns represent complete world power or  authority.

Revelation 12 indicates many important facts about Satan.  Satan and one-third of the angels were cast out of heaven during a rebellion  before the world began (Revelation  12:4). The Archangel Michael and the other angels will make war with Satan  and his demons, and Satan will be excluded from heaven forever (Revelation 12:7-9). In  his attempt to prevent God’s fulfillment of His earthly kingdom, Satan will  attempt to annihilate the Jews, but God will supernaturally protect a remnant of  the Jews in a location outside of Israel for the last 42 months of the  Tribulation (Revelation12: 6,13-17; Matthew  24:15-21).

The second member of the unholy trinity is the Beast or  Antichrist described in Revelation 13 and Daniel 7. The beast comes out of the  sea, which typically in the Bible refers to the Gentile nations. He also has  seven heads and ten horns, indicating his connection to and indwelling by Satan.  The ten horns indicate ten seats of world government that will provide power to  the Antichrist, three of which will be totally yielded to or taken over by the  Antichrist (Daniel 7:8).  The number ten also indicates completion or totality, in other words, a  one-world government. The one-world government will be blasphemous, denying the  true God. The final kingdom will possess traits in common with the former “beast  kingdoms” of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and particularly Rome (Revelation13: 2; Daniel 7:7, 23). Revelation  13:3 seems to indicate that the Antichrist will be mortally wounded about  halfway through the Tribulation, but Satan will miraculously heal his wound. (Revelation 13:3, 17:8-14). After this wondrous event, the world will be  totally enthralled by the Antichrist. They will worship Satan and the Antichrist  himself (Revelation  13:4-5). The Antichrist becomes emboldened and, dispensing with all  pretenses of being a peaceful ruler, he openly blasphemes God, breaks his peace  treaty with the Jews, attacks believers and the Jews, and desecrates the rebuilt  Jewish temple, setting himself up as the one to be worshipped (Revelation 13:4-7, Matthew 24:15.) This  particular event has been called the Abomination of Desolation.

The  final personage of the unholy trinity is the False Prophet, described in Revelation 13:11-18. This second beast comes out of the  earth, not the sea, possibly indicating that he will be an apostate Jew coming  from Israel. Although he presents himself as a meek, mild and benevolent person,  the horns indicate that he will have power. Jesus expressly warned believers to  watch out for false prophets that may look innocent but actually can be very  destructive (Matthew  7:15). The False Prophet speaks like a dragon, meaning that he will speak  persuasively and deceptively to turn humans away from God and promote the  worship of the Antichrist and Satan (Revelation 13:11-12). The False Prophet is capable of  producing great signs and wonders, including coming forth fire from heaven (Revelation  13:13). He sets up an image of the Antichrist for worship, gives life to the  image, demands the worship of the image from all people, and executes those who  refuse to worship the image (Revelation 13:14-15). Revelation  20:4 indicates that the executions will occur by the guillotine.

The  False Prophet will also compel each person to receive a permanent mark, tattoo,  or brand, just as slaves did in John’s day, to show total devotion to the  Antichrist and renunciation of God. Only those who receive the mark will be  permitted to engage in commerce. Acceptance of the mark means eternal death (Revelation  14:10). The Bible makes clear that humans will fully understand that by  accepting the mark, they are not only accepting an economic system but also a  worship system that rejects Jesus Christ. Revelation  13:18 reveals the number of the Beast—666. No one knows precisely what this  means. Some believe that the Antichrist’s first, middle, and last names will  have six letters each. Some believe that the designation refers to a computer  chip, since some computer programs start with 666.

Satan is the  anti-God, the Beast is the anti-Christ, and the False Prophet is the  anti-spirit. This unholy trinity will persecute believers and deceive many  others, resulting in their eternal death. But God’s kingdom will prevail. Daniel 7:21-22 states, “I  was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and  prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made  in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to  possess the kingdom.”