Blood of the Lamb
Extracts and comments from Revelation Chps. 12:11 & 7:14
And they (a)overcame him (b)by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their life unto death.
(a) "Overcame"; here again is the great emphasis of this time. These people, Jew and Gentile (Rev. 7:9-17) are the "Overcomers", of earlier reference. Many are already in Heaven, mostly by persecution (Rev. 6:9-11), but may also include the Body of Christ (the True Church as opposed to Christendom), which in the many opinions has at this stage been translated (1 Cor. 15:51- 52). There can be no doubt that the Overcomers are brethren to the Body, but not of it (Rev. 7:15), and therefore their voices possibly included in that "great voice", of V.10, in great joy. An interesting possible implication in Revelation regarding the "Overcomers", is that at their death, they appear to go straight to Heaven, whereas Christians in this Age must await the translation (1Thess. 4:13-17), which certainly is prior to this period (1 Thess. 1:10), all of which is "the harvest", of which our Lord was the "first fruits", (1Cor. 15:20-23).
(b) "By the blood of the Lamb"; (Rev. 7:14).
(a) See comment on V.9 above. There are many teachers (if not most!) that emphatically state that the ones referred to here are all Christians of all Ages (i.e. different Age times). One of the justifications for that view is the reference in Rev. 4:1; "After these things," i.e. taught as after the seven Churches of Rev. 2 and 3, and implying or stating that at that juncture (i.e. between Chp. 3 and 4) the Translation of the Church (the Body of Christ) shall have taken place. This seems to be a majority view. However, the writers at this stage in time (Jan. 2001 and 2014) do not hold to that view. To pivot so emphatically on Rev. 4:1 seems perverse, and stretches or ignores the meanings of Rev. 1:10 (see notes), where "the Day of the Lord (i.e. Jehovah)," to the writers is the most profound pivot point in time, and is repeatedly referred to throughout the Old Testament, as one of the most profound changes on Earth brought about by the Almighty. Also the whole scene is set by Christ before He addresses the 7 Churches, where, predominantly "overcoming" is a repeated exhortation, and specific time is given to "endure" to Smyrna of 10 days! Whereas, specific times are carefully avoided in general in the New Testament, but time given in “days” generally in Scripture refer to troubled times in the context of Israel!
It is of course held by many not impossible that the Body of Christ is still on Earth at that time and that "overcoming" is a later specific to be added to "faith". However, that would fly in the face of earlier teaching, especially by Paul, and would conflict with his writings, which were given veracity by our Lord’s comments “he is a chosen vessel!”
As mentioned above, the writers at this stage hold to the view that "the 7 Churches," are specific to the 7 year period yet to be enacted of Daniel's vision, (see Rev. 11:2), which is in a different Age (Administration) of Jehovah, hence Christ’s new instruction and exhortation to them.
A further view is that the 7 Ekklesia, (called out ones) refer to the history of the Jews at their various stages, which is a view developed by men in an attempt to explain the difference to earlier Old Testament standards, but ignores the fact that Christ never has dealt with Israel direct except in the flesh! (see Matt. 15:24).
It is the failure of men and women to discern the changes in God’s Administrations (Ages,) with their changes of emphasis and rules, that has led, and still leads to wrong understanding and teaching. This leads to good hearted people being locked into wrong understandings and conflicting harmful teaching, with many people despairing. Most teaching groups are now iron-clad, and will not allow anything but their own standard view, even though they do not understand their own teaching, and are themselves confused.
Note; 2012 (also 2014)
The most reasonable view, in context, is that there is more than one "Rapture", or taking away from the Earth. Revelation is clearly a continuation of the Old Testament, Gospels and Acts; with Acts 28:28 as the change point of "Administration," (i.e. Dispensation or Age). The clearest description of that period is “the time or Age of the Jews; Israel.” The time from Acts 28:28 to Revelation's start is clearly as Paul states, "the Mystery Church," or Body of Christ. It therefore follows that when its time is ended and its "number is made up;" it will be removed from the earth in what is called the "Rapture," or Translation, (Phil. 3:14)! The clearest description of this period is “the time or Age of the Gentiles".
The fact that Paul described this event in detail in 1Thess. 4:13-17, and 1Cor. 15:20-23, and that these writings are prior to Acts 28:28 does not detract from the facts of both events; i.e. pre-Acts 28:28 Jews and Gentiles, and post Acts 28:28 Gentiles and Jews in the pre-Revelation event. The change over from Jewish priority to Gentile priority is clearly marked and stated by Paul in Acts 28:25-28!
The grouping here described are clearly extracted from the "Great Tribulation", and are primarily Jews with Gentiles also, who have "washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb", V14. Their kinship and experience is similar to the Acts period Jews and Gentile Christians, and the verses of Scripture pertaining to them are: Matt. 24:40-41, Luke 17:34-36, Jer. 50:4 & Isa. 10:20-24 etc.
To Summarise; the writers take the view that there are at least 2, possibly 3 "Translations", (removals from Earth):
1) Post Acts 28:28 to approx. the beginning of Revelation "Mystery Body of Christ".
2) Pre. Acts 28:28 "Body of Christ", which may or may not be simultaneous with 1), but may well be simultaneous with 3).
3) Overcomers described in Rev. 7, extracted from "the Great Tribulation", as described above; Scripture refs: Rev. 18:4.
Not to be forgotten is the remarkable and miraculous raising and ascending of the special witnesses of God/Christ; Rev. 11:12.
(b) "Washed their robes;" this profound comment, defines the difference between these people, and the people of the Church (Body) of Christ. In the case of the latter, God sees the individual in Christ, through Christ, through faith alone. In the case of the former, "they wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb", so are accepted by the Father for their works and their faith in God and Christ in the Great Tribulation. Both groups have Christ as Saviour, in different Dispensations.