Who is the woman in chapter 12?
The woman in chapter 12 refers to God's Church in the midst of the Great Tribulation. Through the woman persecuted by the Dragon, chapter 12 shows us that God's Church would be greatly harmed by Satan when the end times come. However, through the special protection of God, His Church will overcome Satan and the Antichrist with its faith, and receive the glory of being clothed in His great blessings.
Because the saints who remain in God's Church would receive the nourishment of faith even in times of the Tribulation, they will overcome the Antichrist and triumph by embracing their martyrdom with their faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God explains this fact to us through the metaphor of the woman in chapter 12.
Revelation 12:13-17 tells us, "Now when the dragon saw that he
had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth
to the male Child. But the woman was given two wings of a great
eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where
she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the
presence of the serpent. So the serpent spewed water out of his
mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be
carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the
earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon
had spewed out of his mouth. And the dragon was enraged with the
woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who
keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
Satan, who is often described as the Dragon in the Bible, was originally an angel that was driven out of Heaven for seeking to take over God's place. Because the Devil, together with other angels that followed him, was cast out of Heaven as a result, and knowing that he would soon be bound in the bottomless pit, he then came down to this earth and persecuted God's Church and His saints.
Although Satan tried to prevent Jesus Christ from doing what He came to this earth to do-that is, saving the mankind from sin-Christ nevertheless took upon the sins of the mankind Himself with His baptism, bled His blood on the Cross, rose from the dead again, and thereby has indeed saved the mankind from all its sins. Jesus therefore completed the Father's will. In spite of Satan's attempts to interfere with the work of Jesus to carry out God's will to save the mankind from sin, Christ overcame the Devil's disturbance and fulfilled all of the Father's will.
However, by deceiving many people and turning them into his allies, Satan has made them stand against Jesus Christ and the saints. Knowing that his days are numbered, he incites the people of this earth to stand against God and persecutes His saints. By making sure that the world is overrun by sin, Satan has made everyone pursue after sin and hardened their hearts to stand against God with their iniquities.
Satan attacks the beloved saints of God endlessly with sin, for he knows very well that he is running out of time. He has made everyone of this world pursue after sin and hardened their hearts to stand against God and His saints with their sins. As such, when the end times come, the saints must defend their faith and fight against and overcome Satan.
But God has a special blessing in store for His saints, for He loves
the saints who remain inside His Church. This blessing is that He
would nurture the saints with the nourishment of faith in God's
Church during the first three and a half years of the Tribulation,
before the Antichrist makes his appearance in this world, deceives
people and makes them into his servants to stand against and persecute
God and His saints. Why? Because when the time of rampant sin comes
and the Antichrist makes his appearance, the saints must be martyred.
To do so, God would nurture His saints through His Church and enable
them to be martyred with their faith for three and a half years-that
is, "for a time and times and half a time" (Revelation 12:14).