How The Lion-Warrior Proved His Courage
Tract #2 in the Treasures For The Fighters And Survivors Of Africa series
Version 1a, Dec. 14, 2005. Copyright 2005 by Roddy Kenneth Street, Jr.
The Disney movie studios have in recent years made at least 2 very popular movies about talking lions. One of the two was the cartoon movie The Lion King, an animated musical which was later transformed into a very successful stage show with live human performers. The hero of that story is an African lion cub, who must follow in the footsteps of his father to become a Lion King.
Another movie produced by the Disney studios is making its debut even now, in December 2005, as I create this teaching tract. Their new movie is about some British children and a talking lion named Aslan, who is the Lion King of Narnia. It is a $150,000,000 live-action spectacle that contains a lot of computer-generated special effects and digitally-animated creatures. The large lion Aslan stands out in the movie, and makes quite a strong impression on the audience as they behold this new story of a talking lion.
This latter movie is an adaptation of C. S. Lewis’ famous children’s book, and it’s called The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe. The book and movie are both designed to work as an allegory, in which the noble Aslan (a talking lion who is the rightful ruler of Narnia) is a character of great importance.
Aslan’s role in Narnia and his destiny there are portrayed as being quite similar to the role of Jesus Christ in humanity’s real-life history. In the fantasy world of C. S. Lewis, the character called Aslan even dies for the sins of a child. The other children are vastly grieved by his death. He is soon after resurrected by a mysterious power, and he ultimately leads the children to victory against the wicked persons who battle for control of Narnia. All this is made to parallel the life-story of Jesus Christ, Who first walked among humans about 2,000 years ago.
C. S. Lewis, at some point before his death, is reported to have declared that he first conceived Narnia when he asked himself this question: What if Jesus had been born into another world than ours? What if He had been born there as a great lion, but still had to bring salvation to the population of that other world?
I am sure that he was very well aware of the fact that the Bible does indeed call Jesus the Lion of God. The lion is a very appropriate symbol for Jesus, the Son of God Who is also God The Son. C. S. Lewis was an Oxford professor of literature, and he was certainly aware of this fact when he wrote the first of several fantasy novels about Narnia. Yet he somehow chose to populate his fantasy world with a great many talking animals, as well as human beings! Aslan is one of the many English-speaking animals in the story of Narnia.
We can imagine a talking Lion King rather easily in a cartoon, and even a singing one such as that in Disney’s cartoon musical. But to imagine a photo-realistic talking lion takes a bit more effort. It requires some elaborate digital effects and the human voice of Liam Neeson. Like the other animals in Narnia, the Great Lion called Aslan appears in the movie as a curious mixture of lion and human. He impresses us as half lion and half human. His voice is surprisingly wise and intelligent, even though it is coming out of a lion!
Jesus Christ is also a surprising fount of wisdom and intelligence, because His voice is the voice of God, reflecting accurately the Mind of God. He reveals to us secrets that were not made known to humanity in all the millennia since the Beginning of God’s Creation.
Similarly, Jesus Christ was not at all a normal human being, but a God-Man sent to us from Heaven. He was born into the human body of a small infant Who would grow up as Jesus of Nazareth, and in accordance with His Father’s will, He was destined to die upon a wooden cross— in a state of agonizing torture— for the sins of humanity. He suffered this torment with dignity and limitless courage, and in so doing He proved Himself a Lion-Warrior. He proved Himself to be the Holy One Who would defeat Satan, the great Adversary of God, and all the demons who serve Satan.
In His crucifixion and resurrection, a route of salvation was opened up for humankind. This could only be accomplished by Jesus Christ, the God-Man of human history. He was fully Divine, fully God, and yet He was, at the same time, fully human. This is a thing that is difficult to conceive but perfectly true.
It is much easier to think of Jesus as “the Lion of Judah,” a Lion-Warrior Who fought for God The Father and won a great victory for Him. The Lion-Warrior of God is a great hero Who has been elevated to a high position as God’s Lion King.
When He passed successfully through His Father’s rite of passage, Jesus was given a glorified Resurrection Body and gained His new authority as the Lion King of the Earth. He now sits on a throne at the right side of His Father in Heaven. The Lion-Warrior of God was always destined by His Father to become the King of All Kings, the Lion King of the Earth.
Did you ever see A Man Called Horse, the film about Native American culture that was made back in 1970? It’s a movie with a rather unusual storyline, one that attempted the historically-accurate portrayal of a tribe of Sioux Indians. In the film’s story, a British aristocrat who is briefly visiting America, in the year 1825, suddenly becomes the prisoner of a tribe of Sioux… and at first they treat him as if he is just a horse, a dumb animal that doesn’t deserve any respect.
The Sioux warriors at first try to humiliate him just as much as they can. But when he eventually kills a couple of invading warriors from an enemy tribe and seizes their horses as trophies, he gains a bit more stature in their eyes. Because of his victory, they start to realize that he might have the potential to be more than just a dumb animal. He might be able to become a warrior of the tribe.
The Englishman finds himself in a rather hellish situation and does not wish to remain their prisoner, so he has concocted a very elaborate and well-constructed plan for his escape. He offers the two horses he has just acquired to the chief as payment toward his purchase of the chief’s sister, “Running Deer,” who seems to like him. He figures that if he can marry the chief’s sister, he’ll be treated like any other warrior… so maybe some day he would be able to join them on horseback for a raiding party. Such an event, he reasoned, would finally give him a chance to escape.
But the chief is not yet willing to regard the Englishman as a real warrior of his tribe. Every adult-male member of his tribe, including the chief himself, had already gone through an experience of suffering and endurance known as “the Sun Vow,” so each one of them bore on his chest the scars of that torture. The chief tells the Englishman that to be regarded as fully human and a real warrior, he must go through the same rite of passage which they have all experienced, the same endurance of torture which all the other tribesmen have known. He must do this before he can be allowed to marry the chief’s sister.
Is he willing to go through the rite of torture that the rest of them have gone through, in order that he may graduate from the status of mere beast to the higher level of a warrior?
He says that he is. He is then forced to undergo a torturous ceremony known as the Sun Vow, which will prove to the tribe his courage and his ability to silently endure great pain.
Four hooks fastened to long cords are then made to pierce the flesh and muscle of his upper chest, while he bears the pain of the piercing in silence. Next, some tribesmen pull on the ends of the cords, which go up through a hole in the top of the ceremonial building… and his entire body is lifted off the ground, so that he is left hanging by the hooks that are implanted in the flesh of his chest. He is forced to hang there for several minutes in silence despite the excruciating agony. By doing this Sun Vow ceremony, by enduring this torture, he will prove his courage and his manhood. He must endure great agony in silence to prove that he is more than just a dumb animal. To become a man and a warrior, he must first go through this rite of passage that is required of him.
In Africa, there are similar tests of courage which serve as rites of passage for young males who are approaching manhood. Many tribesmen, all across the African continent, have gone through the tests of courage, the many ceremonial rites of this sort. Jesus likewise was forced by His Father to go through a ceremonial rite of passage, in order that He might reach a higher level and become the Savior of humanity.
His Father in Heaven required of Him that He be crucified on a wooden cross for the sins of the human race. Jesus willingly and obediently followed His Father’s will in this matter, despite all the terrible pain that He had to endure.
By this process, the Lamb of God was transformed into the Lion of God. He was nailed to that wooden cross as the Lion-Warrior of God, and He died as a hero, laying down His life for all those persons whom He would call “friends.” Jesus told us Himself that “Greater love has no man than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.” He sacrificed Himself for us, that we might be spared the tortures of Hell.
He was nailed to that cross as the Lion-Warrior, died, and His corpse was laid in a tomb. But just 3 days later, He was resurrected from the grave by His Father in Heaven, and He was then given a glorious new Resurrection Body. This was a sign that He had graduated to a new status as the Lion King of Heaven.
But His power and authority will be fully revealed to humanity only at the time of His Sudden Return, when He will descend from the sky with a vast army of angels to claim His rightful throne on Earth.
The power and glory of the Earth’s Lion King will then be made clear and obvious to the amazed eyes of every human being on this planet!
In the Song of Courage, we sing praise to the greatest warrior of all, the God-Man Who is called Lion. He is the great Lion-Warrior of God and the Lion King of Heaven. He is rightly called the Lion of World History, the powerful Lion of Judah. His courage is actually far greater than that of any African lion. He is eternally set apart from other warriors because of His Divinity and His unique birth.
He once lived in Israel as an individual who was both human and God. His Father was God, and His mother was a pure and holy woman, a virgin of His tribe. Yet even for His own Son, God required of Him that He must pass a ritual of courage and endurance, a rite of passage by which He would prove Himself to be more than just a man.
By this divinely-ordained test, the Lion-Warrior would prove Himself to be more than just a human being. By this test of courage, He would prove Himself to be Divine, the Savior of Humanity.
His ceremony was not to be a Sun Vow ritual or some African rite of passage, but rather a torturous crucifixion upon a wooden cross. By this divinely-ordained test of courage, He would prove Himself to be more than just a man. He had already led a holy and righteous life for all His years on Earth, but now He must prove His total devotion and His determination to accomplish the will of the Father in Heaven.
Whatever the Father Above required of Him, He would willingly endure. Even if it were torture that He must endure, He would follow the will of His Father and endure that torture. He would endure the torture and He would rise above it, becoming the Savior of Humanity.
In this way, the Lion-Warrior would prove Himself to be the Lion King, the Sun of Righteousness, the Savior of Humanity. By His courage in this test, He could defeat the plans of Satan, and would forever frustrate the wicked intentions of the Evil One, the Adversary… that monstrous creature who is the Eternal Enemy of His Father.
His torture would be far more severe than the mild torture of the Sun Vow ceremony, but He endured it successfully. God’s Son was also lifted off the ground for His time of torture, and 4 long nails, rather than 4 small hooks, kept Him suspended in the air. He was forced to hang there for many hours, not just a few minutes (as in the case of the Sun Vow ceremony), while the process of crucifixion slowly suffocated Him.
He did not scream for release, nor did He curse His torturers. At the end of it, He said, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken (left) me?” He said this because, during the long hours of His torture, there came a time when all the sins of the world were put upon Him, and for that short interval of time He felt like a sinner who is cut off from God. For that moment when He cried aloud, He felt that God the Father in Heaven had actually let go of His hand. But even in this question, as in all things, He had never sinned.
At the end of His torture, the Lion-Warrior said, “Father, forgive them, because they don’t understand what they are doing…” and “Into Your hands, I commit My spirit.” Then He actually died on that wooden cross, the instrument of His torture. But by His courage and His dedication to His Father, He had proven Himself to be more than just a man. He was more than just a human being. Only the Divine Son of God could have passed this test successfully. No one else could have done so.
By courage He showed to the world during His torturous crucifixion, the man who was to be called “the Lamb of God” was transformed and progressed to a new level. He thus became “the Lion of Judah”—the strong and courageous Lion of God.
He had completed the test which God the Father had required of Him as a rite of passage. He then briefly descended into Hell, where the Great Warrior rescued many of those who had long been trapped there, offering them a new route to Heaven. Then, when His body had been lying in a tomb for three days, His Father resurrected Him from the grave. He came to life again, but this time, He had been promoted to a higher level, and so He came back in a superior physical body… the Glorified Body of His Resurrection.
He was more than just a man, more courageous than any warrior of our Earth… He proved Himself to be the Divine Son of God.
He next ascended into Heaven, where He is seated at the right side of God the Father Almighty. He had qualified to be the Savior of Humanity, and He had passed His Father’s test.
He was the Savior of Humanity and the Hope of Tomorrow. And that is exactly what He is today, as He awaits the time when His Father will send Him back to take possession of the whole Earth. At that time, the Man Called Lion will be revealed as truly the Great Lion-Warrior of God… not merely the quiet and spotless Lamb. His Father had required of Him that He be both Lamb and Lion for the sacrifice in Jerusalem. From the day of His resurrection onward, He has been more correctly seen as the Lion of Judah, the Great Lion of God.
Some have tried to apply a similar name to the apostle Paul, calling him also a “Great Lion of God.” While it is true that Paul was a brave warrior for God—one of the bravest the world has ever seen—even his own perseverance does not equal the limitless courage of Jesus Christ, Who is properly called the Lion of Judah and the Great Lion of God.
When He comes again, He will come on horseback and He will not come alone, because there will come with Him a vast army of angels and angelic horsemen, the loyal warriors of God. The angel-riders will come with Him as He returns to claim the world, taking possession of His rightful kingdom. Then He will rule the entire Earth for a thousand years, and this is only the beginning of an Eternal Kingdom that He will establish. Next come a new heavens and the New Earth, but the Word of God endures forever.
This is the story behind the Song of Courage. It is a history-lesson that is also the source for many thousands of hymns and modern church-songs—songs which are now being sung all over the world, in countless languages.
All these many songs have been created in honor of the greatest warrior of them all—to celebrate the courage of the Man Called Lion. This magnificent figure of ancient Israel is Jesus Christ, the God-Man of human history. Although He was more powerful than any African lion, more powerful than any creature on Earth, He allowed Himself to be sacrificed on a wooden cross for the sins of humanity.
The noble lion called Aslan in the Narnia story of C. S. Lewis is a mere fantasy that pales beside the reality of Jesus Christ, the great Lion of Judah.
You may have heard of the Colleen McCullough novel called The Thorn Birds, which speaks about a legend concerning a rare breed of bird that would die by hurling itself on a large thorn, being pierced through the heart, and yet it made a beautiful song as it was dying on that thorn.
Now here is an idea that is far more amazing: Jesus Christ was pierced when humans shoved that crown of thorns on His head, and again when His body was pierced by the four nails driven into His hands and feet, yet He died so courageously that He was transformed, progressing upward. They had driven those 4 spikes into the Lamb of God, but by His suffering He became the Lion of God—the Holy One Who wins salvation for all the Earth—and so inspired the millions of songs that recognize His courage and applaud His victory.
This is the greatest warrior the Earth has ever known.
Today, there are nearly two billion people on this Earth who honor Him as the Divine Son of God, the greatest warrior ever to live during all of the Earth’s long history. He fought bravely in the time of battle, and by His courageous life, He has rescued innumerable millions of people from the prospect of Hell.
He suffered torture on a cross so that YOU would never have to experience the torture of Hell. If you are grateful to Him for His courage and His sacrifice, then you will have the love of both this warrior and His Father. But if you reject this warrior, then you reject His Father also.
There is a war raging on our Earth, and in all the Universe, between the Tribe of God and the Tribe of Satan. Every adult on Earth has been enlisted by one side or the other, so everyone participates— whether they wish it or don’t.
The Lord God Almighty is looking for a few good soldiers (both men and women) to help Him in His battle against the forces of Darkness. If you repent of your evil ways and turn back to the Light (Jesus Christ, the Light of the World), He can use your service in the Great War which is currently underway on Earth. He needs more warriors, and He need new allies who have a courageous spirit like that of Joshua and Caleb!
God’s Remnant is a tribe of loyal warriors that survives all the supernatural warfare of our Earth, and this group of humans will comprise a Special Harvest, a winning team that is the apple of God's eye. These warriors get an exalted position with God and are individually chosen by Him— they are carefully picked out of the crowd by the Righteous Chief Himself. These warriors will compose an elite tribe that is destined for a special position under God’s Developmental Program for His Universe. This is the overcoming remnant that will be victorious over our current world (which will one day be called Old Earth), and they are the ones whom God will use to re-populate the planet of His New Earth.
The more massive population on our current Earth is that formed by the Tribe of Darkness, who mostly adhere to the Majority Opinion. These guys serve the Chief of Devils and Darkness (Satan), whom Jesus declared to be “the Prince of Darkness” and “the ruler of this world”— whether they realize that fact or not!
But that team is headed for ultimate destruction, since they will share the same fate as Chief Satan and his demons! As tribesmen of Darkness, that is their fate. They will first march over all the Earth causing a lot of damage, but ultimately they will suffer an eternal torment when they are consigned to Hell, a place of Outer Darkness where there will be only mental pain, weeping, and despair!
Hell is a place where the enemies of the Most High God will be trapped forever with their leader (Chief Satan) and endless remorse. It’s rather like a Lunatic Asylum that will imprison all the enemies of God.
You may wonder why a Loving God (a God of Light) would allow such a thing as Hell to exist. Well, it’s like this:
God created all human and angelic beings in His Universe with the innate gift of Eternal Life, and they get to keep forever that Endless Spirit which resides within their outward forms. They stay alive for all time, infinitely... no matter how much they sin, no matter how evil or insane they may become. So God has to put the Evil One and all his followers SOMEWHERE, when He recreates the Universe and produces the New Earth as a World of Light. The place that He has designed for that purpose is an Isolation Chamber that He calls Hell.
The Darkness which Chief Satan, his demons, and his followers have so long promoted... then becomes the Prison that will trap them for all of Eternity.
So choose this day whom you will serve...! If God the High Father is your God, then choose to follow Him...! If you continue to follow the Chief of Darkness, then you must share his ultimate destiny...!
High Father God wants YOU to join the Salvation Warriors! Become one of the Best... be smart and join the winning team! It’s the only way to come out on top in the end!
(The alternative is to stay on the losing side... and then you’ll end up at the bottom of a Pit of Fire, with a nasty guy named Satan and an ugly bunch of demons. Woe, woe... and whoa now! Stop that bus, ‘cause I want to get off! Hey, that’s a fate that shouldn’t appeal to anyone with an ounce of good sense...)
Let us reiterate...
High Father God wants YOU to join the Salvation Warriors! Become one of the Best... be smart and join the winning team! It’s the only way to come out on top in the end!
Yeah, that’s right— we’re the World’s Finest, the Good Guys who are “the salt of the Earth.” Admittedly, we fight for truth, for what’s right, and for justice... just like those “square” police officers that a lot of people try to avoid!
So why do we end up thinking that we’re “better” than all the rest? What makes us so special— what sets us apart from all the other evil sinners in the world?
Only the fact that we’ve accepted salvation through Christ, and have thus gotten forgiveness from our sins... and the fact that we’ve turned to Jesus Christ as a source of Light.
You can share the Light of Jesus Christ, can reflect His Holy Light in a Cruel World, and thus become a point of illumination in the darkness of this world.
God’s Light can become a Lamp unto your feet and a Light unto your path, if you choose to accept rescue and salvation that is available in Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God Almighty.
You can even live to see the Light of God flowing through you and reaching out to other people in our world...!
It’s time your mind was illuminated by Jesus Christ, the Holy One Who is the Light of the World!
The High God Almighty, Who is the Holy and Righteous Chief of the Warriors of Light, is looking for a few good soldiers. But He only wants the most virtuous and courageous warriors to join with Him as allies in the Cause of His Tribe... a tribe which He calls the Warriors of Light. You can share this wonderful light by placing Jesus Christ, Who in the Trinity of God created our Universe, upon a throne at the center of your heart! He deserves that position and that kind of respect. He was first God The High Son, but when born in human flesh He became the only sinless and righteous person who ever lived. Yet He sacrificed Himself on a cross for your sake, taking all guilt and sins upon Himself, in order that you and I— that all people— that whoever wishes for salvation might be rescued from the due punishment of sins.
If you will do this, you will gain a new contentment and peace as you accept God The High Father's organizational plan for the Universe . . . because you'll be letting God be the High Chief of All Things in this world . . . and in your own life.
As a new Warrior of Light, you’ll be fighting for the Holy Cause of the Highest Chief, and His campaign will be a long and difficult struggle, often dangerous to life and limb. You’ll be often placed in harm’s way, with no shortage of enemies to battle. You will almost certainly go through a lot of pain and suffering for your devotion to the Righteous Chief. But it’s all worth it, because the Most High rewards all His followers, sooner or later, with the Warriors’ Heaven and the New Earth, which is a Warriors’ Paradise.
This is promised for all of the True Believers of God.
All it really takes is a simple but sincere little prayer— one that you should make up in your own words. The prayer for deliverance and for God's leadership should come from your own heart!
Some important elements that you should include are:
1) your desire to turn away from the wrongness or evil of all your past life, and your remorse over all the sins of your previous life,
2) your desire for God's forgiveness and mercy through the act of sacrifice of His Only Begotten Son (Jesus Christ),
3) your desire to know God's leadership in your life,
4) your desire to learn more of God's truth through Bible study,
5) your desire to find fellowship with genuine believers.
Jesus said of the people of God that "The kingdom of heaven is like a net that God has cast into the sea, and it gathers of every kind: When it is full, it will be pulled up on the shore, where they will sit down to sort the catch, and they will collect the good fish in baskets, but the bad things will be thrown away. This is the way it will be at the end of the world: The angels shall come forth, and they will separate the unrighteous persons from among those justified by God . . ."
Excerpt from the Book of Matthew, who was a constant
companion of Jesus and his devoted disciple [13:47-50].
Jesus spoke of the people of God as being like a seed that is growing secretly, saying, “As for the kingdom of God, it is as if a person should cast seed into the ground; and then he sleeps, and he rises up night and day to see that the seed is springing forth and always growing up, although he knows not exactly how. The Earth is bringing forth fruit from itself; first the blade, then the ears of corn, and after that the fullness of the ears of corn. And when all the fruit of the Earth has come forth, immediately God will use the sickle to reap the fields, because the harvest-time has come."
Excerpt from the book of Mark [4:26-29].
It's also important for all of us to remember this:
1) WE SPEAK TO GOD by our prayers.
2) GOD SPEAKS TO US by the words of Holy Scripture.
So we must try to read His words and His Book just as often as we possibly can!!
God wants to bless you for all your long efforts to understand this very confusing and difficult Universe in which we live— so let Him reward your search with the grace of His forgiveness and enlightenment!
THIS GUIDE WAS WRITTEN FOR YOU BY. . .
Ken Street, a baptized follower of the Way.
Copyright 2005 by Roddy Kenneth Street, Jr.