In our reading the two beasts in this chapter are the agents of Satan to persecute the saints. The text draws from the imagery of Daniel of these ruling powers. There would have been no question in the minds of John’s readers in his day who these two beasts represent – the civil and religious powers of Rome who were making war against the Christians. Why do the faithful suffer injustice and opposition? John declares it is because they are at war. Satan has declared war on those who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Revelation thus redefines the world as a battlefield and Christian existence as warfare. One reason why the world does not look as it should is because there is a war going on – and Christians are caught in the middle of it. The imagery of the 42 months portrays the concept that the present persecution they were suffering would only last for a period of time, but even if we are not experiencing the same kind of persecution they were, we are still in a war with the dragon!