Some say that the Beast of Revelation 13 represents godless society, the cultures of men built without reference to God. Throughout history many worship this beast (Rev 13:8), which would mean that the Beast represents earthly power, and the desire of men to possess it, and to use it against one another. It calls to mind what Nietzsche called the “will to power.”
What greater power can one man exert over another than to take his life because he does not conform to a standard?
Babylon, also called the Harlot (Rev 17:5; 18), is said to represent the pleasures of the earth, including materialism, hedonism, and autonomy.
Together the Beast and Babylon attempt to keep men away from God, or to lure them away from Him, by powering them away through intimidation or persecution, or by pleasuring them away by appealing to base desires. They are counterfeit versions of the real thing, in which the Lion (Jesus Christ) reigns in righteous power, and the true Bride (His church) will experience true delights with him forevermore.
Today, the Beast roars, and the Harlot lures.
Soon, the Lion comes.