The Closing Events
(Revelation - Chapter 12)
As noted earlier in this section, Revelation chapter 12 starts us at the birth of Christ. Then it follows the woman, God’s church, through her time of trouble and persecution. This period lasted 1260 years, from AD 538 to 1798 when the Pope was taken captive.
Because of the persecution that the true church was receiving from the Catholic "christianized paganism" church, it had to flee into the wilderness. At this time the true Christians fled to the farthest reaches of Europe. Using the Roman roads for her swift flight on "eagles wings" she fled to Ireland, Scotland, Africa and Asia. There she was able to continue her practice of the true, Bible-Sabbath keeping, faith.
But verse 15 tells us that the serpent was not pleased with this. He wants to control everyone. He hates the voluntary worship that the true Christians give Jesus. He wants to force everyone to worship him. So he "spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent."