Within the apostolic & prophetic movement there has been a reimagining of Jesus from that of a lamb to a roaring lion. This trend is also occurring within the music associated with the apostolic and prophetic movement. For example, the lyrics in one worship song says, “Let the Lion roar, let the Lion roar, split the heavens…”
The modern day apostolic & prophetic movement is obsessed with authority, government, dominion, and Christian nationalism. Thus the image of Jesus as a roaring lion (dominant and powerful) rather than a lamb (meek and humble) is more desirable for their message. It has been said that Jesus came as a lamb the first time, but he will return like a lion when he comes again. The teachings and prophecies of the apostolic/prophetic movement reflect this notion. In fact one meme on a social media platform shows the face of a lion with the words, “I am returning but not as a lamb.”
Is this a correct biblical message that should be preached about Jesus? Is he no longer to be worshipped as the lamb of God? Is he not returning as the lamb of God? Is he not returning as the lamb of God but as a lion? What does the Bible teach us?
The scripture that is cited to portray Jesus as a lion is Revelation 5:5, where Jesus is mentioned as “the lion of the tribe of Judah.” This is the only text in all of the New Testament that uses the description “lion” in reference to Jesus. In context it has to do with Jesus’s physical descendancy, thus the description “lion of the tribe of Judah” and can be traced to Jacob’s prophecy in Genesis 49:8-10. Jesus is the ruler, the King, and priest who came from the tribe of Judah and from the linage of David, and as a lion is strong in prevailing over its enemies. so Jesus prevailed over sin and death in his flesh.
Then one of the elders said to me, “Stop crying. Look! The Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has been victorious so that He may open the scroll and its seven seals. ~ Revelation 5:5
Notice that there is no mention of the second coming of Jesus in Revelation 5:5. It is said, “the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book…” (Rev 5:5 KJV).
The Lord of glory, who descended from the linage of David from the tribe of Judah, prevailed over sin like a lion prevailing over his enemies, and because he conquered sin and death, he alone is/was worthy to open the sealed book which contains the judgments of God. No one else in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth was found worthy? Only Jesus!
In the very next verse after Jesus is referred to as the lion of the tribe of Judah he is referred to as the slain lamb in the midst of the throne, the four living creatures, and the elders.
Then I saw One like a slaughtered lamb standing between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent into all the earth. ~ Revelation 5:6
As mentioned already, only once do we find the word lion used to describe Jesus in the New Testament (Revelation 5:5). In contrast, the word lamb is used more than 20 times in the book of the Revelation alone, to describe Jesus.
In the book of the Revelation, Jesus is worshipped as the lamb (5:12-13). As the lamb, he opens the seals which reveals God’ judgments (6:1). His wrath is referred to as “the wrath of the lamb” (6:16). He is redeemer as the lamb ( 7:9-10,17; 12:11). The book of life is called the “book of life of the lamb” (13:8). The 144,000 witnesses follow the lamb (14:1,4). Those who follow the beast, and reject God will suffer God’s wrath in the presence of the lamb (14:10). Those who are victorious over the beast, sing the song of Moses and the song of the lamb (15:3). The 10 kings who serve the beast make war against the lamb, and the lamb overcomes them because he is Lord of lords and King of Kings (17:14). The righteous are gathered to the marriage of the lamb (19:7,9). The bride (God’s people) is the lamb’s wife (21:9). The city of God (in Heaven) has 12 foundations, and the names of the 12 apostles of the lamb are on the foundations (21:14).
Finally, the Lord God and the lamb are the temple within the heavenly city, And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. (21:21-23).
The overriding message of the book of the Revelation is that Jesus is the lamb of God. The King that would arise from David’s linage is the meek and humble Savior, Jesus. He is Lord of lords and King of kings. He is the one who redeemed us with his precious blood, and the only one worthy to reveal God’s judgment on his enemies. The lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, is the holy lamb of God.
And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! ~ John 1:36