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Question

What is the significance of the name Faithful and True in Revelation 19:11?

Faithful and True
Answer


The name Faithful and True expresses the total trustworthiness, reliability, and constancy of Jesus Christ. The title reveals His character and makes known His words and works.

In Revelation 19:11, John sees a vision of Jesus as the exalted King of kings leaving heaven to return to earth: “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war.” This picture of Christ’s second coming at the end of the age shows Jesus no longer as the peaceful, humble servant riding on a lowly donkey (John 12:12–15). Now He is the victorious King, charging forth like a conquering war general, leading His troops into battle (Revelation 19:14).

In this vivid portrayal, John identifies Jesus by four different titles, beginning with Faithful and True. It is the first and only time this name of Jesus appears in Scripture. The second title is unknown to us (Revelation 19:12); the third is the Word of God (verse 13); the fourth is King of kings and Lord of lords (verse 16).

The word for “Faithful” in the original language means “characterized by steadfast affection or allegiance,” and the word translated “True” means “truthful or characterized by expressing the truth.” The nature of Jesus Christ—His whole being—exudes faithfulness and truth. Earlier, in Revelation 3:14, Jesus called Himself the “faithful and true witness” in His letter to the church in Laodicea. Faithful and True is who Jesus Christ is.

In His first coming to earth, Jesus proved Himself to be faithful to the mission and will of God His Father: “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do” (John 17:4; see also John 5:30; Hebrews 3:6; Luke 4:43). Never once did the Lord give in to the temptation to sin (Hebrews 4:15–16), from the time Satan tempted Him in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1–11; Mark 1:12–13; Luke 4:1–13) until His death on the cross (Matthew 16:21–23; 26:36–44; Mark 8:31–33; 14:32–42; Luke 22:40–46).

From the day Isaiah foretold His coming, Christ’s faithfulness was known (Isaiah 11:5; 42:3). As a young man (Luke 2:49) and throughout His ministry, Jesus was a faithful and obedient servant to His Father God (John 4:34; 6:38; 8:29; 12:27; 14:31). Jesus is consistently the same “yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Others will wear out, change, or perish, but Jesus Christ remains the same for all eternity (Hebrews 1:11–12).

Jesus, who said, “I am the way and the truth and the life,” is the very embodiment of truth (John 14:6). He came from His Father “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). And His promise of eternal life is true: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life” (John 5:24, ESV; see also John 6:47).

Because of the fidelity inherent in His character, Jesus is faithful toward His followers in every circumstance. “If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself,” declares 2 Timothy 2:13 (see also Matthew 28:20; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; Hebrews 10:23).

Faithful and True is a fitting title for Jesus Christ our King, and He calls His followers to emulate His faithfulness and truth (Revelation 14:12; Hebrews 10:23). The entire book of Revelation conveys a message to the church of Jesus Christ to be faithful and true, just as He is Faithful and True.

In Revelation 19:11, when John sees the gates of heaven open, the One who has been Faithful and True from ages past appears at the end of time to wage His final battle. Jesus Christ comes with justice to judge and wage war, and He will triumph over the enemies of God! The outcome is sure because He is Faithful and True. He will do what He has promised to do. He shall defeat the devil once and for all. He will destroy the power of death, wiping away every sorrow, tear, and pain from the hearts of His devoted followers (Isaiah 25:8; 1 Corinthians 15:54; Hebrews 2:14; Revelation 20:14).

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What is the significance of the name Faithful and True in Revelation 19:11?
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This page last updated: April 29, 2021