– No question, Satan continues his activities on earth by pouring his fury against the great object of Christ’s love on earth—the church. However, the church found divine protection in the desolate, wilderness places of the earth during the prophetic period of 1,260 days i.e. years, as a day is a year in Bible prophecy (Num 14:33-34; Ezek 4:4-6).
– The period of Satan’s persecution of the Church is mentioned twice in Revelation 12 in terms of 1,260 days/years (Rev. 12:6) and “a time and times and half a time” (Rev. 12:14, NKJV). A time is a year; therefore this is 3.5 years having 1,260 days which equate to 1,260 years. (NB: the Jewish calendar year had 360 days).
– This time period refers to the duration of the little horn’s persecuting activity mentioned in Daniel 7:23–25. In the Bible, prophetic days symbolize years.
– The time in history that fits this prophetic period is A.D. 538–1798, during which time the Roman Catholic church, as a church-state power, dominated the Western world until 1798, when Napolean’s General Berthier brought Rome’s oppressive power to an end, at least temporarily. Basically the pope was arrested by Berthier in 1798 and died one year later in Valence (this is also the beast wound referred to in Rev 13:3).
– During this long period of persecution, the dragon spews flooding waters out of his mouth in order to destroy the woman. Waters represent peoples and nations (Rev. 17:15). Armies and nations were sent by Rome against God’s faithful people during this time. The Bible was difficult to find and its truths were significantly debased. Millions of people were also killed for their faith.
– Considering how long the Bible and it’s truths were suppressed during this time, the debased Bible practices of the time, started by the mother church, have continued in various degrees till today in many churches. These include idol worship, false sabbath, indulgences etc.
– Near the end of this prophetic period, a friendly earth swallows the waters and saves the woman, providing a safe haven for her. This provision points to the refuge that America, with its religious freedom, supplied (Rev. 12:16). America became a country in 1776, established on principles to differentiate it from Europe, such as no monarchy system, religious freedom etc.
– I still have questions; studying this further here: https://www.amazingfacts.org/media-library/book/e/53/t/the-beast–the-dragon-and-the-woman
Source reference: SDA 1Q19 Quarterly