As a result of persecuting the woman, Satan was, ironically, only helping rather than hindering the divine purpose. Indeed, the church's field ( Matthew 13:38) grew only pure "wheat", the "net" (verse 47) caught only good "fish", because against such a persecution, only the faithful dared take their stand for Truth and to become members of the hated sect. So, seeing the results of his oppression, he quickly changed his tactics.
*The "flood" is not the Sunday blue law, or any persecution in the past. The blue law has a different setting, and is described in Revelation 13, as a persecuting power to enforce the mark of the beast. The "Flood" is the same as "water". (See Revelation 17:15 & Isaiah 17:12) which means people
( in the church—coming from Satan) the unconverted, whom
Satan is using to cause the church to be carried away in a very quiet manner, so that no one would be suspicious of the great deception.
Just as soon as Satan caused his agents to cease oppressing the Christians, and to start fellow shipping with them, he beguiled them into thinking him their friend. Thus being eased of hispersecution, they fell asleep spiritually; and while they slept, he sowed the tares. (Matthew 13:25) Yea, he compelled the heathen to join the church, thereby casting out of his "mouth water as a flood after the woman that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood." (Revelation 12:15).
This highly successful course he has unremittingly pursued ever since, until as a result the church today is almost choked with tares. It is, as it were, infiltrated with a fifth-column. *"To secure converts, the exalted standard of the Christian faith was lowered, and as the result. "A PAGAN FLOOD," flowing into the church, carried with it its customs, practices and idols." The Great Controversy, p. 385. *Further down on the same page she uses the expression "A WORLDLY FLOOD." (See also, Isaiah 59:19).
So long as Satan can successfully carry on this subversive work of
flooding the church, he will never move a finger to persecute any for joining her, lest thereby he thwart his own evil design to honeycomb her ranks with his agents-the flood, the tares. To insure the success of this insidious work, he casts out those who dare live a consistent Christian life there among the tares, while he is going about with his extinguisher turned on, trying to put out every life-spark of light.
Now we can clearly see why the church at large has "turned back from following Christ her leader and is steadily retreating toward Egypt." (Testimonies Vol. 5 p. 217). Why we are following worldly policy. The flood-the unconverted has overrun the church. What is the solution? What will God do to rectify the situation?
"And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth." (Verse 16). Finally, though, as prophecy discloses, the tables are turned, and the long controversy ends with the Lord's casting out and destroying Satan's agents, the "flood" (Revelation 12:16) or (the tares, the bad fish) and then lighting the earth with the glory of His angel (Revelation