Exposition of Revelation: Revelation 19:5–8

Revelation 19:5–8
Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God all you his servants, and all you who fear him, both the small and the great!”
6 Then I heard what sounded like the voice of a vast throng, like the roar of many waters and like loud crashes of thunder. They were shouting: “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the All-Powerful, reigns! 7 Let us rejoice and exult and give him glory, because the wedding celebration of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8 She was permitted to be dressed in bright, clean, fine linen” (for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints).
(NET Bible)

Christ will take control!

Socrates once spoke sarcastically about democracy as that curious form of government that gives equality to equals and unequals alike. When Jesus the All-Powerful rules, it will not be a democracy!

A voice from the throne summons all God’s people — “both the small and the great” — to praise God (19:5). The reason is soon given.

To expose the subtlety of 19:6, we will consider the Queen of England. She reigns as Queen, but she does not govern the nation; the latter task falls to the Prime Minister and the Parliament of England.

In a similar way, God has always been the King of this world and all else, but the governance of the world has been in the hands of the ruler of this world (John 12:31), namely Satan. Yet Satan’s rule is temporary, and Jesus will soon throw the usurper aside and govern as the rightful ruler of the earth.

Greg Beale explains: “The fact of God’s reign is a direct consequence of his judgment of Babylon [chapter 18]. He has shown himself to be the all-powerful divine king by this great act of deposing the system that arrogated this office to itself.”[1] What a day that will be!

After revealing the change of rulers, the voice from the throne next calls us to rejoice about “the wedding celebration of the Lamb” (19:7). The bride (19:7) is not specifically identified, but Eph. 5:25–27 leads us to consider all who are part of the church, and the OT (Hos. 2:19 and Isa. 54:5–7) encourages us to include believing Israel.

What is made plain is that the righteous acts of the saints constitute the appropriate wedding garment. Grant Osborne explains: “These deeds follow salvation as the necessary proof that regeneration has occurred. Here we have the two sides of the Christian life described in Phil. 2:12–13.” [2] The believers “work out your own salvation” (Phil. 2:12) because “it is God who works in you” (Phil. 2:13). In other words, these righteous acts are enabled by the Holy Spirit within the life of a willing believer.

The All-Powerful reigns!

The beginning of the personal rule of Christ, the All-Powerful, will change everything forever! Our responsibility is to prepare ourselves for that day through perseverance in the righteous deeds which are the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives.

Jesus asked his disciples a question: “Who then is the faithful and wise slave, whom the master has put in charge of his household, to give the other slaves their food at the proper time? 46 Blessed is that slave whom the master finds at work when he comes. 47 I tell you the truth, the master will put him in charge of all his possessions.” (Matt. 24:45–47). Be the wise slave!

Copyright © 2011 by Barry Applewhite. All rights reserved worldwide. Derived from material created for Christ Fellowship, McKinney, Texas. Used by permission.



[1] G.K. Beale, The Book of Revelation, The New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999) 931.

[2] Grant R. Osborne, Revelation, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2002) 674.

Do you have an opinion or a different interpretation? Let me know!