Revelation Chapter 13 is arguably the best known piece of scripture in the Bible. This is the prophecy of the Mark of the Beast. We are going to focus on the last few verses to answer this question, but I encourage you to read the entire chapter for context.
To summarize, there is a dragon (lit. serpent) and a beast which she empowers. These two entities are the Whore and Beast of Revelation 17. Revelation Chapter 13 goes on to say there is ‘another’ beast. This beast is a magnification of the dragon mentioned before. It looks like a Lamb, speaks like a dragon, and causes all to worship the first beast. The first Beast is a governing or secular power, while the dragon-like second beast is a false religion. The false religion has the appearance of righteousness but is actually from Satan. Historically, this dynamic of religion empowering government has always existed, but not on a worldwide scale.
Now we are going to focus on the last few verses to determine how we will know if or when Revelation 13 is being fulfilled.
And he (the first beast) causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive their mark in their right hand, and in their foreheads: And that no one might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, the name (or authority) of the beast, and the number of their name.Revelation 13:16-17