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.
Revelation 12 traces the history of the world through the symbolism of a woman and a dragon. The woman represents God’s people Israel and then the Church of God. The dragon is both the serpent who deceived Eve and Satan the devil “who deceives the whole world” (verse 9).
When Satan is cast out of heaven in the end time, he will come with “great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time” (verse 12). He will seek to take out that wrath on the Church of God. Verses 14 to 16 describe how God will protect some of His people in the wilderness. But some of God’s people will not be protected in this way and will face Satan’s fury.
John describes true Christians as those who “keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Even those who lose their lives in Satan’s persecutions will soon be resurrected to live and reign with Christ for a thousand years and on into eternity (Revelation 20:4).
For more about the true Church of God and how to recognize it, see our section on “The Church.”