THE UPWARD CALL
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God
IN CHRIST JESUS.
(Philippians 3:13-14 NASB)
TUC #03-0922
by – Stuart H. Pouliot
February 13, 2009
The Lambkin [Arnion]
In the New Testament, the word lamb comes from one of two Greek words, amnos or arnion .
The word amnos is a young sheep and is used exclusively when referring to Jesus as the Lamb of God dying for the
sin of the world. In the New Testament, it is used only four times.
The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb [amnos] of God who takes away the sin
of the world!” (John 1:29 NASB; also John 1:36)
(32) Now the passage of the Scripture which he was reading aloud was this: “He was led as a sheep to
slaughter, and as a lamb [amnos] before the one shearing it [is] silent, so He does not open His mouth. (33) In
His humiliation his justice was taken away, but who will describe His generation? Because His life is taken away
from the earth.” [Isaiah 53:7, 8] (Acts 8:32-33 ALT)
(18) knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life
inherited from your forefathers, (19) but with precious blood, as of a lamb [amnos] unblemished and spotless,
the blood of Christ. (1 Peter 1:18-19 NASB)
The word arnion is a little lamb and is used exclusively by John, especially in the book of Revelation, where it is
the only Greek word used for the word lamb . To ensure that the distinction is not lost, the Concordant Version
translates arnion with the word lambkin . In Webster’s dictionary, a lambkin is defined as “a little lamb; sometimes
applied to a child or young person as a term of affection.” So, lambkin portrays youthfulness and affection. In the
Concordant Version, lambkin is used thirty times. As will be shown, the number 30 and the word lambkin speak of
spiritual maturity.
(6) And I perceived, in the center of the throne and of the four animals, and in the center of the elders, a
Lambkin [arnion] standing, as though slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes which are the seven spirits of
God, commissioned for the entire earth. (7) And It came and has taken the scroll out of the right hand of Him
Who is sitting on the throne. (8) And when It took the scroll, the four animals and the twenty-four elders fall
before the Lambkin [arnion] , each having a lyre, and golden bowls brimming with incenses, which are the
prayers of the saints. (Revelation 5:6-8 CV)
Without any doubt, the Lambkin uniquely refers to the Son of God, our Lord Jesus. Only He has the right to the
take the scroll and to be worshipped by all creation (Revelation 5:11-14). This is unquestionable; however, the
question arises as to whether there is some greater significance to John’s use of the word lambkin . I propose that
there is, so let me explain.
First, lambkin refers to a little lamb, which speaks of something fresh and new. A lambkin has youthful vitality.
When New Jerusalem comes into view in God’s day, the One sitting on the throne declares: “Behold, I am making
all things new” (Revelation 21:5). There is something new, vital, and fresh in this Lambkin. Yes, He was slain, but
now He lives. John declared: Him who is, who was, and who is to come (Revelation 1:4). The Lambkin is who is to
come. The One who comes will make all new. He is like a fresh breeze blowing throughout creation as He brings
about a new creation.
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Lambkin [ Arnion ]
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Second, lambkin speaks of affection, which means fond or tender feelings, as distinguished from love.
Undoubtedly, some would say that affection can be fleeting and is not as deep as love. Perhaps, but I see the two
going hand-in-hand. Affection and love are mutually inclusive. Affection speaks of the tenderness of the youthful
heart. The Lambkin is love, and He has tender feelings for all mankind. His feelings are not fleeting, but
everlasting.
Third, the Lambkin is very much like the Christ. In issue #03-0911 (February 2, 2009) Head Up All In The Christ , I
made the point that Paul saw the Christ as both the Head and the body. You cannot have a head without a body
(see 1 Corinthians 12:12). The two are inseparable. When Eve was fashioned out of the body of Adam, it was
declared that they had become one flesh (Genesis 2:24). Paul tells us that this mystery is great as he declares that
this now speaks of the Christ and His ecclesia, which is His body. The two are now one (see Ephesians 5:22-33).
To make the point, let us start with the only reference to the word lambkin used outside of the Revelation. In the
last chapter of John’s gospel, it is recorded that Peter decided that they should go fishing, so they did. The story is
well-known and has many truths in it, but notice that when He spoke to Peter, Jesus used the word arnion or
lambkin .
When, then, they lunch, Jesus is saying to Simon Peter, “Simon of John, are you loving Me more than these?”
He is saying to Him, “Yes, Lord, Thou art aware that I am fond of Thee!” He is saying to him, “Graze My
lambkins [arnion] !” (John 21:15 CV)
Peter could only acknowledge that he was fond of his Lord and, to this confession, the Lord told him to graze or
feed His lambkins, His young, tender lambs. Again, there is much to be gleaned from this, but I simply want to
make the point that the Lord Jesus Himself calls His people arnions or lambkins . This is significant, for Jesus laid
the groundwork for His lambkins to be included in the Lambkin just as the body is included in the Christ. To be
sure, there are times when the Lambkin and the Christ refer singly to the Lord Himself, but there are also times
when we need to see that both the Lambkin and the Christ ultimately refer to the two, that is, the Head and the
body being one. I propose that the Revelation signifies this truth, especially as New Jerusalem comes into view.
(22) And a temple I did not perceive in it, for the Lord God Almighty is its temple, and the Lambkin [arnion] . (23)
And the city has no need of the sun nor of the moon, that they should be appearing in it, for the glory of God
illuminates it, and its lamp is the Lambkin [arnion]. (Revelation 21:22-23 CV)
What is the temple of God? It is more than just Christ alone; it is the Christ, Christ and His body of conquerors.
They are the light of the world, for their Head is the Light of the World; they are the city set on a hill, shining for all
to see; they are the dwelling of God in spirit, the sons of glory. The physical temple long ago gave way to the
spiritual temple of living stones. But there is more, for this Lambkin is not only the temple but also the throne or
the seat of governance over all creation. John saw the throne of God and of the Lambkin (Revelation 22:1, 3). Life
emanates from this throne. But who sits upon this throne, or rather, who is vested with the right and privilege to
reign with Christ? The conquerors are the ones counted worthy to reign; the immortal, glorified, celestial ones.
They are the ones counted worthy to sit upon His throne (Revelation 3:21), and, in God’s day, they, along with
their Head, will sit upon the throne of God to rule and reign as all creation is brought into the will and love of God,
until all mankind is saved. This is the Lambkin that will feed mankind until God is all in all new.
Finally, as stated already, the word arnion or lambkin appears thirty times in the New Testament. The number 30
signifies “dedication” or “spiritual maturity.” Joseph, a type of Christ, was 30 years of age when he was set over
the land of Egypt (Genesis 41:46). David, another type of Christ, began to reign when he was 30 years of age (2
Samuel 5:4). Jesus began His ministry when He was 30 years of age (Luke 3.23). Likewise, the word arnion or
lambkin appears 30 times to signify the spiritual maturity of the sons of glory, those who have conquered through
the love of Christ. In other words, a day will come when the Lambkin will have matured into the likeness of Christ
and will reign with Him, sitting upon the throne of God. The thirtieth mention of the Lambkin declares that the
throne of God and of the Lambkin is in New Jerusalem (Revelation 22:3). The conquerors have arrived at their
destiny!