Jesus Christ the Faithful and True

 •  10 min. read  •  grade level: 11
1. As God’s Witness
Of the many and varied names, titles, offices, and glories of our Lord Jesus Christ, surely none is of so absorbing interest to the believer’s heart as the one which speaks of Him as the “Faithful and True.” And in this character do we have Him brought before us by the Spirit of God on three different occasions in the Book of the Revelation. How gladly do we listen to the words, handed down to us through ages past, which announce the personal and abiding glory of Jesus Christ, as “the Faithful Witness, and the First Begotten from among the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth.” As these precious glories of our beloved Lord and Savior rise up, before our ransomed souls, we may well worship and adore, for in their inspired order they illuminate the past, sustain us in the present, and indicate the future.
Let us, however more particularly dwell upon the first of these titles. When all was gone, morally, as regards man, then in due time God’s Faithful Witness steps into a world made by His own hands, only to bring to light the utter ruin and distance from God into which the creature had fallen. Sin, moral darkness, and death were universal, and Satan, the enemy of God, had become “the god of this world.” But God’s Faithful Witness brought light into the midst of darkness, love into the midst of evil, and life into the midst of death. Moving onwards through such a scene, as the obedient Man, who had come to do the Father’s will, grace and truth marked every step He took, and flowed out to all around. Nothing turned Him aside, and the malice, hatred, and misrepresentation which followed Him only brought out in brighter rays and deeper luster the stupendous fact that He alone was faithful where all else was faithless. In His every motive, thought, word and act a sweet savor went up to God; and it was He alone who could say, “The prince of this world cometh and hath nothing in me.” Faithful as the Apostle and High Priest of our profession; faithful as “a Son over his own house,” He was also God’s faithful Servant, and the only One who could say, “I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” The Father’s voice bore witness to Him, “Behold, my Servant, mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth”; and the proof of it found its, perfect expression in those wonderful words, “I have set the Lord always before me, because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” Faithful alike in life and in death, this humble and dependent Man, yea, “A man approved of God,” was borne testimony to in varied ways, and we have four abundant and distinct evidences of it, not only by John the Baptist, and by Christ’s own works, but also by the Father Himself and the Scriptures (John 5:36, 37, 3936But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. 37And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. (John 5:36‑37)
39Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. (John 5:39)
Under all circumstances, Jesus was ever the “Faithful Witness.” Whether as tempted by Satan in the wilderness, or in answering all the cavilings of the Jews, rebutting the willful misrepresentations of the chief priests, scribes and pharisees, faithfulness and truth marked all His words and ways. Behold Him again, at Sychar’s well, revealing to Jacob’s erring daughter the secrets of her life; or, in the temple, in His gracious dealings with the adulteress; or, shielding His disciples in the garden, when His enemies fell backward to the ground. He is ever the same, “full of grace and truth”; ever the Faithful Witness, for “never man spake like this man.” Then, as we gaze on Him on Calvary’s cross, while the waters of death were fast closing round Him, His one and only object was the glory of His Father; and, though forsaken by all, yet, “that the Scripture might be fulfilled,” He exclaims, “I thirst”; and, commending His spirit to His Father, delivers His last message to a perishing world, “It is finished.” Yes, Jesus is “faithful unto death.”
2. As Head Of The Church
Man put God’s Faithful Witness in a grave, and sealed the stone at the door of the sepulcher, but God “raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come. And put all things under his feet, and gave him to be Head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all.” As on earth, so also in resurrection glory, God’s Holy One does not cease to maintain the same unchanging character of the “Faithful and True Witness,” for it is as such that He reveals Himself to the church of the Laodiceans, “These things saith the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the beginning of the creation of God, I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot. So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Surely what the Lord condemns in Laodicea is rampant everywhere to-day in professing Christendom; and spiritual pride, neutrality, and carnal ease are all around, the sad fruits of unfaithfulness, worldliness, and lack of love to Christ. While exposing all that is so dishonoring to His name, the wretchedness, misery, poverty, blindness and spiritual nakedness that meet His holy eyes, God’s Faithful and True Witness, as Head of the church, addresses words of sweet encouragement to every overcomer, reminding us of His own pathway here, and cheering our fainting spirits in the midst of such general declension. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him, and he with me.” “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with my Father on his throne.”
Just as we listen to His holy voice, so are our hearts consciously drawn away from this faithless scene, and our faith is sustained by the gracious way in which the Lord reveals Himself. All is secure and stable in resurrection, for Christ is not only “the Faithful and True Witness,” but the One in whom all the promises of our God are yea and amen; and though all is ruined that is connected with the old creation, He is “the beginning of the creation of God,” where “old things are passed away, and all things are become new.” Thus would He lead our hearts into the true secret of overcoming, and it is well to note here the divine way and order whereby this can be practically carried out, viz., in hearing, opening, and supping.
His loving invitation goes out to all, yet is it intensely individual, “If any man hear.” We must needs listen when He speaks, for the true mark of Christ’s sheep is that they hear His voice. But then there must also be the willing response of the obedient heart, to open the door and let Him in, for “to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” To the one who thus listens, hears and obeys, communion between the Lord and the overcomer is the immediate result— “I will sup with him, and he with me.” What sweet, precious and holy intercourse with Him may thus be ours in the closing hours of the dispensation, as the fruit of obedience.
3-As Returning Conqueror
Here, after the rapture of the church, the scene changes, and with the opening of the seven-sealed book (chap. vi.), a series of overwhelming judgments, swift, sure, and terrible is poured out upon the world which has consummated its guilt and sin in the rejection and murder of God’s “Faithful and True Witness.” Those eyes which are “as a flame of fire” are no longer seen in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, but are gazing down upon scene of ever-increasing wickedness and sin, and the opening of the seven seals, and subsequent outpouring of the seven vials, alike testify that “when God’s judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.” “And after these things, I heard a great voice of much people in heaven saying, “Alleluia, salvation, and glory, and honor, and power unto the Lord our God. For true and righteous are his judgments, for he hath judged the great whore which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And again they said Alleluia, and her smoke goeth up forever and ever.” This is followed by a burst of worship and praise; and countless hosts, like the voice of many waters and mighty thunderings, fill those heavenly courts, shouting, “Alleluia, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him, for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white, for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of saints.”
This is but the prelude to what follows. “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse, and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire (unsearching judgment), and on his head were many crowns, and he had a name written that no man knew but he himself.” The heavens had already opened at His baptism by John, when He began His public ministry as God’s anointed Servant; they had opened again in order that the dying Stephen might behold the Son of man in the glory of God; and now they were opening for the last time, as the mighty Conqueror, on the white horse, returns to earth, no longer as the lowly Nazarene, but to vindicate His right, and to “smite the nations, and rule them with a rod of iron.”
Besides His unrevealed name, He has also three others, each one being in keeping with His solemn work as He “treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” They are as follows— “Faithful and True,” the “Word of God,” “King of kings and Lord of lords.” He is about to vindicate God’s character as faithful and true, whether in connection with the past, the present, or the future; to maintain God’s word at all cost, and to bring every opposing force into complete subjection to God’s will, as “King of kings and Lord of lords.” Let Scripture tell its own tale as to the issue of that stupendous conflict between the respective armies of heaven and earth. “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth; and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”
How infinite the joy of those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb! but oh! how truly awful the judgment of those who are gathered together unto the supper of the great God. The One who is pre-eminent at both these scenes is none other than Jesus Christ Himself, “the Faithful and True.” Oh! that His precious love might burn so brightly in our hearts that we, in our tiny measure, may be faithful and true to Him while waiting to meet Him in the air!
S. T.