The Evil Trio
There are three evil beings that work together in the days leading up to the return of Christ. They are referred to in scripture as the dragon (the devil or Satan), the beast, and the false prophet. Of these three, only one is a human. He is often referred to as the false prophet, the man of sin, or the antichrist and is the only one of the three that will be seen. The other two are evil spirit beings.
And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. Revelation 16:13
And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Revelation 20:10
The interplay between these three is such that the lines of distinction between them tend to become blurred. Revelation 13 describes how the dragon gives his power, throne, and great authority to the beast, how the false prophet speaks like a dragon, and how the false prophet performs signs and wonders in the presence of the beast. This integration shows that they have a singular purpose, and that worship of one is worship of all. It is an unholy trinity of sorts.
Their goal is to prevent the return of Jesus because His return is their demise. In order to accomplish this goal, they will try to make it impossible to fulfill the prophecies concerning Israel. This is why Satan is so fixated on her destruction.
And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth. So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. Revelation 12:13-17
Satan tries, and tries again to destroy Israel but fails and becomes enraged. After decades of planning, the evil trio fails to accomplish their primary goal and they have no other choice but to continue on with the next phase. By using the mark and the image, they set off to wage war against the saints.