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"Behold, the Lamb of God, which taketh away
the sin of the world"

John 1:29, 36

This statement was made by John the Baptist to reveal that the fulfillment of all that the law had prophesied of the promised sacrifice for the sins of man was about to take place, for the One who was promised was there. Why didn't John say behold the "he-goat," or the "bullock," or the "ram," or for that matter the "ewe lamb," the "she-goat," the "pigeon," the "turtledove," or the "flour," for these were also means of atonement for sin?

All of the various offerings may be classified in a few different categories – burnt offerings, sin offerings, trespass (guilt) offerings, peace (or thanksgiving) offerings. They can also be divided into two other categories – regular and special. The regular offerings were made at appointed times of the day, week, months, and years. The special offerings were made as circumstances arose which called for their use.

All of the mammals used as burnt offerings, regular or special, were to be males. The regular sin offerings were he-goats only, while the special sin offerings consisted of he-goats, bullocks, female lambs or goats, pigeons, turtledoves, and, in one instance only, a male "lamb," that being in the cleansing from leprosy. Leprosy, with its decay and potentially deadly consequences, the suffering caused by it, and separation from one's fellow man, is truly a symbol of sin, in general, but not of specific sins. When Jesus died on the cross He did so for the sins of all, in all ages, in general, thus taking away the sin (the leprosy) of the world.

As marvelous as this is, though, the main ceremonies wherein were revealed the male "Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world" were the daily burnt offerings, which always included a meal and drink offering. These symbolized the daily unbroken, uninterrupted adoration, worship, gratitude, and consecration of the nation – the taking away of sin before it occurred, by a knowledge of the Life shed for the sanctification of all who believe.

What has been a mystery to a great many is that the sin offering for the common individual (not the congregation at large, nor a priest or ruler) who sins through ignorance was a female (ewe) lamb or goat (Leviticus 4:27-28). A ewe lamb was also the means of atonement for sins involving the hearing of cursings, touching the uncleanness of mankind, and of taking rash oaths (regardless of the degree).

It has been generally understood by the Christian world that all of the ceremonial offerings of the law of Moses were types of Christ's sacrifice. How do female offerings typify Jesus, seeing that He is a male? An understanding of a few main points will solve the mystery, and give us a clear picture as to the love of God in the salvation of man.

The first is "that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not reckoning unto them their trespasses" 2 Corinthians. 5:19. It wasn't only Jesus who suffered for the sins of the world. "The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave Themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption." Counsels on Health, p. 222

The next is,"We need to realize that the Holy Spirit... is as much a person as God is a person." Evangelism p. 616 The Holy Spirit has a will (1 Corinthians. 12:11), a mind (Romans. 8:27, Acts 15:28), knowledge (1 Corinthians. 2:11), love (Romans. 15:30), communion (2 Corinthians. 13:14), and can be grieved, insulted, tempted, and lied to (Ephesians. 4:30, Hebrews. 10:29, Acts 5:9, Acts 5:3,4). These characteristics give evidence of something more than a mere influence or power – by a Person.

The third is that in Hebrew and Aramaic the Holy Spirit is portrayed in the feminine gender. In Genesis 1:2, where it is written, "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters," not only is the word "Spirit" in the feminine gender, but so is the word "moved." Where feminine nouns are present with feminine verbs and antecedents, then, according to the laws of Hebrew grammar, the subject spoken of would be feminine – in this case, the Holy Spirit. The same Hebrew word which is translated "moved" in Genesis 1:2 is translated "fluttereth" in Deuteronomy. 32:11, 12 where it is written, "As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him." Thus this also testifies to its feminine gender there, and when used in relationship to God, the Holy Spirit when She moved (fluttered) upon the face of the waters.

So, while we have been given much of the truth concerning the male "Lamb" of God, there still remains a fuller revelation of meaning of the other sacrifices, and in particular, the feminine ones. Therefore, with humble hearts and minds enlightened by the wisdom of God, may we

Behold the EWE Lamb of God
which taketh away the sin of the world.

"The Spirit also joins in to help our weakness, for we do not know what we should pray for as we should. But the Spirit Herself pleads on our behalf with groanings too deep for words. And the One searching the hearts knows what the Spirit is thinking since Her pleadings for the saints harmonize with God's purposes." (Romans 8:26,27) – a literal translation including the Hebrew and Aramaic gender usage. Without taking into account the original gender of the Hebrew language the feminine sacrifices cannot be properly understood. Nor can they be properly discerned without the understanding that She, the Holy Spirit, is "as much a Person as God is a Person."

"If any man sin, we have an Advocate (Paraclete, in Greek) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." (1 John 2:1). Jesus said, "I will. pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter (Paraclete)." (John 14:16). Two Paracletes, Advocates, Comforters – one male, one female – Christ and the Holy Ghost*.

*Note – we have used the term "Holy Ghost" here rather than "Holy Spirit" to correspond to its usage in the King James version of the New Testament. The reason for this usage is explained in our study The Real Ghost Story.

"And Gods (the word is plural in Hebrew) said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:... So Gods created man in his own image, in the image of Gods created he him; male and female created he them." Genesis 1:26, 27. "The invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead..." Romans 1:20

By this verse, by nature, by the gender of the Hebrew words which are used to depict the Godhead, and by the male and female sacrifices we may clearly see that our creation as gendered beings is of divine design to teach us eternal truths. Just as males and females each have distinct characteristics, so does each gender draw from us a different response when they intercede for us. When a father, a brother, a male friend, or a husband speaks on our behalf, or lays his life on the line for us, our attitude is different from that when a mother, a sister, a female friend, or a wife does the same.

"Grieve not the Holy Spirit, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." (Ephesians 4:30).

Our sins "grieve," wound, the Holy Spirit, as they do the whole Godhead, and it requires that they all pour out their "Life" (symbolized by the blood of the various sacrifices) for our redemption. "For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul." (Leviticus 17:11) The blood of the female offerings symbolizes the "Life" of the Holy Spirit given as an ever-living sacrifice for our salvation, our restoration.

The intercession of the female lamb or goat for sins done in ignorance was available for those of the community of Israel, as well as the strangers among them. But under the law of Moses (the old Covenant), there was no provision for sins done with a "high hand" – presumptuously, in bold defiance of what is known to be right (Numbers 15:28-31). Under the new Covenant, though, it is written, "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men." Matthew 12:31.

This doesn't mean that now one can now sin with a "high hand" and still receive forgiveness. But it places the matter on better promises. That is, the old Covenant was based on the promises of the people, whereas the New Covenant is based on the promises of God through Christ.

When ancient Israel made their promise to God to obey the terms of the covenant, they were not personally aware that they could not of their own keep the covenant. But under the New Covenant the terms of the peoples' standing is clearly delineated – "ye must be born again." A good example of this is in the experience of Nicodemus. He was a leader in Israel, and one who had been seeking of his own power to keep the covenant. But the words of Jesus awoke a reality within him which he previously did not understand – his unregenerated earthly nature with which he was born and which was at enmity with the movings of the Holy Spirit. Though he certainly came to recognize the workings of his unsanctified heart, he knew of no cure for it until Jesus pointed him to the higher way. Jesus said,

"If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he [She] may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him [Her] not, neither knoweth him [Her]: but ye know him [Her]; for he [She] dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." John 14:15-18 [the words in brackets are translations from the Hebrew and Aramaic which Jesus actually spoke to His listeners, rather than from the Greek translation of His words].

Additionally, the word translated "comfortless" means "orphans." In order for Jesus not to leave us as orphans He would have to send us a parental Guardian. As the words he spoke regarding the Holy Spirit were feminine, then the One whom He intended to send would be like a comforting, interceding Mother – "the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." Romans 8:15.

What was Paul speaking of in that text? Often a father comes home from work and has his precious little ones run up to him and "cry" papa!, and throw their little arms around him and give him a big hug. If mamma, has been keeping him in their memories, and letting them know of all of the blessing he have been providing for her and them, they would naturally have a deep appreciation for his presence, and cry out to him in joy when he returns. Then after they had rejoiced in their expressions to "abba," and in his love for them, they would be more thankful to mamma for having kept them in remembrance of him. As it is in the earthly family, so it is in the heavenly.

In the daily burnt offering of the male lambs which were offered morning and evening Jesus is revealed in His daily ministration of the intercession of His "Life" (blood) for us – His righteousness being accepted as a substitute for our unrighteousness – our sins in general. In general, because there was no confession of specific sins involved with the burnt offering. Thus it is revealed that by means of His sacrifice and atoning blood His Life is imputed daily to our records whereby we all may continue living rather than dying immediately for our sins and those of our forefathers and foremothers (Exodus 34:7). A true realization of the meaning of the daily burnt offerings also provides the means whereby we may obtain the humility of mind and heart whereby we may avoid sinning. This happens through an impartation of His life within us – "a well of water springing up into everlasting life" John 4:14.Yet there is another aspect to this provision of our consecration which is revealed in other of the typical sacrifices.

Beholding the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, and daily in the heavenly Sanctuary in the daily burnt offering (male lambs), in antitype, keeps (consecrates) His people from falling by keeping the cross "fresh" in our memories, thereby taking away the sin of the world. Beholding the female sin offering, the Holy Ghost (and the blood - the Life given), in antitype, restores one who has had a specific sin come to mind, or who has fallen into sin ignorantly. It is the Holy Spirit who is first sinned against when a believer falls. She is the One who keeps the cross of Jesus fresh in the mind of the believer, and imparts the power to keep one from falling. This is also true of everyone who is born into this world, for it is written of Jesus that He "was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." (John 1:9). It is likewise true that from the innocence of birth "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23). Thus the need for rebirth (John 3:7).

It is this truth that is taught in the feminine sacrifices. When one comes to Christ, and there receives forgiveness and cleansing, he also receives the Holy Spirit by which to keep from falling. If he were to fall into sin again, it would first be necessary to push away the influence of the Holy Spirit, for one cannot sin while abiding in the Spirit. This hurts, wounds, the Holy Spirit, a divine Person.

It is written that one of the purposes of giving us the Holy Spirit is that She may lead us into "all truth" (John 16:13). In doing this we naturally are regularly newly reminded of the higher standards to which we may obtain. Thus as we grow we also learn of our need for cleansing from our old ways. In the regular round of ceremonies, intercession for these periods of growth were supplied in the ordinances of the observation of the new moons. At these times a regular sin offering was provided for said purpose. It was at the time of these cyclical events (which are feminine in nature) that the people were to be brought into contact with the prophets of God (2 Kings 4:22-23) who were to teach them of the higher things of God as they would be freshly revealed by the Holy Spirit. Thus again we see the work of our feminine Intercessor and Her manner of leading us into all truth.

In the typical service, the ewe lamb atoned for sins of ignorance committed by any of the common people, and the male offerings are for sins of ignorance committed by a priest or ruler. But there is no means of forgiveness in the law of Moses for sins done with a "high hand" – sins done presumptuously.

The Jews said that they "saw" when they did not know that they did not see. They acted in their blindness. Of some the blindness was intentionally self-inflicted. Of others it was by deception. Those who later, in humility, realized that they did not truly see were redeemed. Those who clung to their presumption that they did indeed see were lost. They had sinned in ignorance, but did not later accept the provided Sacrifice (male or female) to intercede for them when their sin came to their mind. They did not let the power of the Holy Ghost restore them.

"Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth." John 9:39-41.

The Jews were not alone in their ignorance and blindness:

"This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation [manner of life] the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." Ephesians 4:17-24.

How does one "put on the new man?" By the workings of the Holy Spirit – opening the eyes and washing away the sins done in ignorance. "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32. It is the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost) who leads us into all truth. Therefore, grieve not Her (the Holy Ghost) whereby ye are sealed for She says, "He that sinneth against Me wrongeth his own soul: all that hate Me love death." Proverbs 8:31. Read all of Proverbs 8.

There is more to be said of the female offerings – ewe lambs, female lambs and goats, the red heifer, and the female bird of the "pair" of birds. There is likewise more which can be said about the use of the words Holy Spirit and Holy Ghost in the King James version. Most all that is attributed to Mary by the Catholic Church is a counterfeit of the truth of the Holy Ghost and Her intercession (comforting) for us. These things are addressed in other of our studies. By the Spirit, seek for the truth of this yourself and see.

Doug Mitchell

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