By – Stuart H. Pouliot
Lambkin [Arnion] of God
May 2019
For those who have read some of my writings, you might have noticed (and wondered why) I
occasionally use the word lambkin to refer to the Lord Jesus that John unveils in the Revelation .
I'll explain.
In Greek scripture, 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 (John 1:29, 36; Acts 8:32; 1 Peter 1:19).
The word arnion is a little lamb and is used by John, exclusively in the book of Revelation.
According to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance , arnion is "a lambkin; - lamb." As we will see,
lambkin refers to a specific type of lamb; but, to my knowledge, only one translation makes the
distinction by translating arnion exclusively with the word lambkin . However, some do use the
expression little lamb . The exception is the Concordant Literal Version (CLV) that uniformly
translates, some thirty times, arnion with the word lambkin . Here is one example.
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. And It came
and has taken the scroll out of the right hand of Him Who is sitting on the throne. 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 CLV)
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 . Why did he use the Greek word arnion and not amnos ? Here
are some thoughts.
First, 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." As such, lambkin speaks of something fresh and new,
portraying youthfulness and affection. We could say that a lambkin has youthful vitality.
Given this definition, one might surmise that John used arnion to bring attention to a freshly slain
lamb, indicating the scene he saw took place shortly after Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection.
There is merit to this since John was told to write what must "soon take place." It makes sense
that John was shown something that had transpired in God's realm (i.e., heaven) during John's
day and not something far off into the future. In this sense, Jesus was a freshly slain lambkin.
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May 2019
In contrast to this, the word amnos is used prior to Jesus' actual crucifixion. It is simply a
declaration before He is slain, meaning the fresh slaying was on the horizon. For example, John
the Baptist twice declared: "Behold, the lamb of God." Here the young sheep word is used.
Second, the lambkin seems to be linked to God's declaration: Behold, I am making all things new
(Revelation 21:5). There is something new, vital, and fresh in this newly slain lambkin. He is the
inauguration of the new creation that ultimately and, perhaps, progressively leads to a new
heaven, a new earth, and New Jerusalem.
But, as great as these are, this is far more than some new spatial reality where heaven and earth
come into the union God has always intended these two realms to have. It is about a new
humanity that has finally and fully become an image-bearer of God, where heaven and earth are
embodied in a people. This new humanity is called new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians
6:15). Right from the start, God made it very clear that He is after a being that fully manifests His
image in heaven and on earth and, I surmise, anything and everything that might be beyond this
that we have no clue about today. It is as if the Father has declared: I must have an image-bearer
in order to bring about My ultimate purpose of being all in all, and this image-bearer must be in
the image of My Son, the lambkin of God.
Jesus is the pattern son for the new creation son . All who form this new creation will be
conformed to His image. However, let us be clear that this new creation was inaugurated nearly
2,000 years ago, but it awaits the second coming or manifestation of the Son of God to begin
consummating the work He began. For this reason, those who have been called out and chosen
as a new creation (and have been over two millennia) are eagerly waiting for our Savior to come
from heaven to change our poor bodies into the likeness of His glorious body (Philippians 3:20-
21). This is the adoption of sons, the redemption of our body (Romans 8:23). Let us not lose sight
of the fact that this is about resurrection and transfiguration. He has the power to do it, and He
will do it to perfection! And, when He does, we will receive Him to ourselves and introduce Him
to a world that is in desperate need of one to rescue it.
You might be wondering what this has to do with the lambkin. Everything! It has everything to
do with new creation, for the lambkin is representative of life, especially conquering life that
conquers every form of death. Keep in mind that John saw a lambkin slain but that now 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 consummate all new. He is like a fresh breeze blowing
throughout creation as He brings about a new creation, inaugurating it as the firstborn of creation
and consummating it as the firstborn from among the dead .
New means something of an entirely different character from what previously existed. And, this
new is something fresh and new, portraying youthfulness and affection; it has youthful vitality.
Think about it. Today, as we live in mortal bodies, we continue to struggle against things that are
of the old nature that strive to hold onto the old, which is corruptible and contrary to life. New
creation is beyond death and is incorruptible!
Third, this leads to another aspect of new creation. The lambkin is very much like the Christ, if
not precisely one and the same. Elsewhere, I made the point that Paul saw the Christ as both the
Lambkin [ Arnion ] of God
May 2019
head and the body. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul uses the expression the Christ in speaking
of God's ultimate plan for the heavens and earth.
To head up all in the Christ—both that in the heavens and that on the earth…. (Ephesians
1:10 CLV)
As I see it, the expression the Christ explains how God intends to head up all things. It is through
the body of Christ joined with its head—a vessel Paul calls the complement of the one completing
the all in all (Ephesians 1:23). As His complement, He completes us and we complete Him. And,
it is through this complete complement that all creation gets summed up or gathered up. In
Christ, both head and body!
See Head Up All Things in the King http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art37.pdf
Now, there is another set of verses that include the Christ. This one is not quite as obvious as the
one above; nevertheless, it is worth mentioning.
For, just as, the body, is one, and yet hath many members, but, all the members of the
body, though many, are one body, so, also, the Christ; —For, even to one Spirit, we all, into
one body, have been immersed…. (1 Corinthians 12:12-13a Rotherham)
At first glance, we might be tempted to read into this that the head of this body is Jesus. Don't
take this the wrong way—Jesus truly is the head of His body: He is the head of the body, the
ecclesia (Colossians 1:18). The headship of Christ speaks of His authority over and life within His
people, the ecclesia (or, church). But further on in Corinthians, Paul writes: And if the ear says,
"Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part
of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were
hearing, where would the sense of smell be? (1 Corinthians 12:16-17). Clearly, Paul includes the
eyes and ears, which are part of the head, as part of the body. Here he is dealing with functionality
of the Lord's people, and not directly with the headship of Christ over His ecclesia. The 1912
Weymouth translation clearly makes the point.
For just as the human body is one and yet has many parts, and all its parts, many as they
are, constitute but one body, so it is with the Church of Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:12 WNT)
As an aside—depending on the translation, some use the expression the Christ and others use
simply Christ without the definite article the . Recently, I read that when the definite article the is
not used in the Greek, it refers to quality, not identity. In the case of this verse, it appears that in
most manuscripts the article is not used, meaning that Paul was dealing with a quality issue, not
an identity one.
I may be breaking a rule, but spiritually speaking, I believe the Christ is just as valid, for Paul is
clearly dealing with an identity and a quality issue, all in one. He is identifying the Christ as a many
membered body, from head to toe. Concurrently, He is also speaking of the quality of Christ—a
multi-functional body immersed in one spirit, full of the spirit of the Lord. Consider how Jonathan
Mitchell phrases it.
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May 2019
For we, ourselves – within the midst of and in union with one Spirit – are (or: were) all
submerged (immersed, baptized) into one body – whether Jews or Greeks (or: Hellenists),
whether slaves or free ones – and we all are (or: were) made (caused) to drink one Spirit
(or: spirit). For, indeed, the body is not one member, but to the contrary, [it is] many. (1
Corinthians 12:13-14 JM-NT)
Notice how the translator uses the word union within the midst of and in union with one spirit .
Immersion in the spirit brings the Lord's people in union with one another and with the Lord's
spirit. Thus, identity is the multi-functional body of Jesus made up of many members, regardless
of ethnic origin or background; the quality is a body in union with the spirit of the Lord. We were
all given one spirit to drink . And, on a much higher level, all of this comes under the headship of
Jesus, which is perhaps the strongest argument in favor of the Christ or the Lambkin.
Now, returning to the lambkin. Using lambkin language, based on the above, we have been
immersed in the lambkin. We are one in the fresh, youthful lambkin of God. We are of His nature
and are in union with Him in this capacity.
After all, when Eve was fashioned out of the body of Adam, it was declared that they had become
one flesh (Genesis 2:24). We can only imagine the joy Adam had when he first gazed upon Eve
that was formed from his very own bones. 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
(Ephesians 5:22-33). What joy this must continue to bring to the heart of the last Adam.
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 CLV)
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. In other words, 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 of Revelation, 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.
And a temple I did not perceive in it, for the Lord God Almighty is its temple, and the
Lambkin [ arnion ]. 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 CLV)
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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 Jesus? 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). In
God's age, they, along with their head, sit upon the throne of God ruling and reigning as all
creation is progressively brought into the will and love of God, until all mankind is ultimately
rescued, even from the fire of God. This is the lambkin that feeds humanity until God is all in all
Fourth, the word arnion or lambkin appears thirty times in the new testament. The number 30
signifies "dedication" or "spiritual maturity." Joseph, a type of Jesus, was 30 years of age when
he was set over the land of Egypt (Genesis 41:46). David, another type of Jesus, 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 conquer through the love of Christ. In other words, a
day is fast approaching when the lambkin will have matured into the likeness of Yeshua 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). Thus, the
conquerors arrive at their manifest destiny!
Fifth, I have saved the best, at least to me, for last. The word lambkin has an endearing feel to it.
The word endearing means "to inspire love or affection." Synonyms for endearing also add to the
sense of the word: engaging, captivating, lovely, to name a few. Truly, all of these and more
speak to the heart of love Jesus has for us, and we are to have for Him. Is He not engaging to us?
Has He not captivated our hearts? Isn't He altogether lovely? Doesn't He inspire love and
affection, not only for Him as the love of our life but also for all humanity created to be in His
The lambkin slain is love personified. Yes; in John's day, the lambkin of God had to judge His own
that had rejected Him. But behind all that transpired in John's day, that has transpired down
through the centuries to the present, and that is yet to come as the Father wraps up this age,
there is the tender heart of the lambkin for all humanity. He does not hate the race of Adam that
was made to be His image-bearer. Never! He loves, for that is the very essence of God. Jesus has
tender feelings for all humanity. His feelings are not fleeting, but forgiving and everlasting.
Forgive them, for they know not what they do!
Jesus' mission as the lambkin of God is to bring all of us born of Adam's race into the new creation
of the last Adam, the second man. Perhaps not all in the same day or even in the same way, but
all through the lambkin slain. For those who know Him (and have known Him since Calvary), there
is a new day coming, a joyously beautiful day in which we will be harbingers of the harvests to
follow. In that glorious day, we will frolic in the pastures of glory as youthful, vibrant, joyful
Lambkin [ Arnion ] of God
May 2019
lambkins of God, never again plagued by the old, but forever embracing all that is new, even
going from new creation to new creation, all to the glory of God, as His heart is fully satisfied in
His all in all new and in love.
Praise the Father and His Son, the lambkin of God!