We read about the great serpent/dragon/Satan yesterday. Today we see that the dragon is working with another evil beast who rises up from the water. This beast symbolizes Rome, the power that threatened the church at that point. The passage talks about a head that had received a mortal wound but been healed. The Emperor Nero was an especially wicked ruler who killed himself. One of his successors shared many of Nero's qualities and was sometimes seen as Nero reborn. We see in this passage that the beast, Rome, is given power to oppress the church, but that power won't last always. Since then the church has faced other times of oppression, and we can expect that we will again. But God is faithful and one day God will conquer every evil power and all injustice.