Revelation 12:11 seems to encapsulate the entire Gospel period of the first century AD, that is, the period between Jesus’ public ministry and 70 AD. It was in 70 AD that the Kingdom of God was established, because, as the Old Covenant was fulfilled at that time, it was also immediately terminated with the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. The word, they, in this verse refers to the woman who brought forth the male child (Jesus) and those who were taught by Jesus for 3 ½ years or during his public ministry. The “they” in the text refers to all the elect or, in other words, the remnant who believed in and trusted the Lord.
The word of God is always interested in the elect, or the righteous remnant. It is not so much interested in the nation, as a whole, but, rather, Scripture is interested in the righteous remnant who possess the promises, and those who inherit the blessings. The only strength “they” possessed was their trust in the blood of Jesus. That is, they trusted that Jesus was their Prophet like unto Moses (Deuteronomy 18:18-19). Even in his death he is their powerful Savior, who was leading them out of spiritual Egypt (cf. Revelation 11:8), which is Jerusalem. Jerusalem typifies the physical nation of Israel in the first century AD, and spiritual Jerusalem (Revelation 21) represents the Promised Land, or Kingdom of God, which is a spiritual, not a physical, kingdom (cp. Luke 17:21)!
The fact that the elect laid down their lives expresses the value “they” placed upon Jesus, as their Savior and Prophet. This was the “they” who mixed their understanding of the Gospel with faith or trust in the idea that Jesus was, in fact, who he claimed to be (cf. Hebrews 4:1-2).
According to Revelation 12:12, the heavens have reason to rejoice at the casting out of the dragon (Revelation 12:7-9; cf. Luke 10:17-20). However, lest misunderstanding should prevail, we need to recognize the fact that the heavens, here, refer to those who dwell inside the House, where the Presence of the Lord dwells, that is, inside the Temple (cf. 1Peter 2:5) that John was measuring (cf. Revelation 11:1). The Holy Place and the Most Holy Place seem to have been combined in the absence of the veil that separated them. Nevertheless the outer courts were given over to unbelievers, whom the text describes as gentiles (Revelation 11:2), and John was not to include them or the outer courts in his measurement.
In other words, those who worship outside the House, but within the Temple courts, were to be considered cast out (Revelation 11:2; cp. 12:9, 12), because their labor, although literally keeping the commandments of God, was not mixed with faith (Hebrews 4:1-2). They rejected Jesus as their Savior and Messiah, because he didn’t fit into the context of their idea of what a messiah had to be like (cf. John 12:32-34). Therefore, although they may be physically descended from Abraham, they were considered gentiles (cp. John 8:39-41). Once this was done, the Lord Jesus was hidden from them, and he couldn’t be seen for who he is (cf. John 12:35-36).
Those who have reason to sorrow, because the dragon had been cast out of heaven and onto the earth, were those who inhabit the earth, meaning the physical descendants of Israel who persecuted the elect (cf. Galatians 4:22-31). These were they who led Israel astray after idols, and they were to bear their iniquity (Ezekiel 44:10). They had the charge of the gates of the House and ministered to the people (Ezekiel 44:11), but they could not come near the Lord (Ezekiel 44:13; cf. Hebrews 4:1-2), because they ministered before their idols (cf. Revelation 9:20-21), and caused Israel to fall into iniquity (Ezekiel 44:12), rejecting their Messiah.
On the other hand, the faithful who kept the charge of their Lord, when Israel went astray, that is, those who were faithful to Jesus when the nation rejected him, they are able to minister to HIM, and stand before HIM, to offer unto HIM the spiritual sacrifices in which he delights (cf. 1Peter 2:5, 9). These are able to enter into HIS sanctuary, and come near unto HIS table and serve HIM, because they had kept HIS charge (Ezekiel 44:15-16).