The Dragon Persecuted the Woman

(Revelation 12:13-16)

In Revelation 12, Christ ascended to God and was made the Lord of Heaven and Earth. Then the Spirit of Christ as the angel Michael cast down Satan and his angels.

John said, “When the dragon saw that he was thrown down to Earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child.”1Rev 12:13 Satan persecuted the saints through the red dragon, the military power of Rome. The persecution of the saints came to a climax in verse 15: “The dragon poured water like a river out of its mouth after the woman, so that it might cause her to be swept away by the flood.” This flood was prophesied by Daniel: “He shall destroy the City and the Sanctuary, and the end of it shall be with a flood.”2Dan 9:26 The meaning of “a flood” was described in Daniel 11:22. Satan was swept away by the flood of forces from Antiochus Epiphanes when he attacked Egypt. Satan will likewise use the armies of Rome to sweep away the saints in the Great Persecution, a ten-year attempt to destroy Christianity.

Eusebius, the bishop of Constantine, was an eyewitness of the Great Persecution. He wrote, “We saw with our own eyes the houses of prayer thrown down to the very foundations, and the Divine and Sacred Scriptures committed to the flames in the midst of the marketplaces…. A great many rulers of the churches eagerly endured terrible sufferings…. The body of one was scourged with rods. Another was punished with insupportable rackings and scrapings.”3Church History, Book VIII, Chapter 1

But John said, “The Earth helped the woman.”4Rev 12:16 In 313, the emperor repented and commanded that the persecution of the Christians be immediately stopped. This ten-year testing of the saints was foreshadowed in Daniel 1. Daniel and his friends were tested for ten days. In Revelation 2, the Spirit of Christ said to the Church of Smyrna, “You will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days.”5Rev 2:10 These ten days were actually ten years.