Animals, Colors, Metals, Numbers and Signs in Scripture.
Two -- Witness (Overview)
The bible number "two" is often closely associated in the scriptures with the bible subject of "witness." For instance two witnesses were often required before a person could be condemned in judgment:
1. Num. 35:30, "Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to
death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify
against any person to cause him to die."
As can be seen from the above this requirement for two or more witnesses has important consequences for the church. Whether it be a personal offense, an accusation against an elder or against any other member of the church one witness is insufficient to bring forth judgment. The requirement for two witnesses is a protection for the church and its members.
When Jesus sent forth the seventy disciples to testify of the kingdom of God we read in Lk. 10:1, "After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come." Often we see in the scriptures where the preachers went in pairs such as Paul and Barnabas, and later Barnabas and John Mark, and Paul and Silas. As a point of expediency in the church Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 14:29, "Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge."
I, personally, have felt that to have four or more preachers to speak at one preaching session is both difficult for the preachers because of the time restrictions and hard on the congregation because of extensive sitting time.
Next, we read of the two witnesses in Rev. 11:3, "And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth." The subsequent verses in this chapter reference events that took place in connection with Moses and Elijah, who are representative of the law and the prophets.
Furthermore, who do we see with Jesus on the mount of transfiguration, but Moses and Elijah (law and prophets). In the Old Testament, when God illustrated great truths, He often brought two men in contrast to one another. For instance, he illustrated the following truths:
a. True vs. false worship Cain & Abel.
Furthermore, we see pairs testifying concerning the mock trial, crucifixion, death, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. We see two false witnesses testifying at the mock trial. We see two malefactors who were crucified with Jesus. We see two men (Joseph and Nicodemus) claim the body of Jesus to bury him. We see two angels in the tomb testifying of the resurrection of Jesus and we see two men in white apparel testifying of the ascension of Jesus that he would come in like manner as he ascended to heaven. Additionally, we have testimony of the apostolic authority after the ascension of Jesus as two persons were raised from the dead by two apostles (Peter and Paul). This was foreshadowed in the old testament by two prophets, Elijah and Elisha, raising two young men from the dead. (Of course, God did the raising, he used the apostles and prophets as instruments to raise the dead).
Finally, we have the two cherubim witnessing the ark of the covenant and the mercy seat in the inner sanctuary of the tabernacle. How similar this is to the Old Testament and the New Testament bearing witness to the covenant work of Christ and God's mercy to his elect.
Adam and Christ Witness
of Federal Headship
In verse 14 above we are told that Adam was the figure of him that was to come, which is Christ. Both Adam and Christ are "federal heads." Federal headship means that the head is the sole representative of those that he represents. The consequences of the actions of the federal head affect all that the federal head represents. There are two groupings of people represented by Adam and Christ: 1 Cor. 15:22 "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." It is an erroneous assumption to assume that both Adam and Christ represented all the human race. Adam represented those that are "in Adam." Christ represented those that are "in Christ." "In" is often a positional word showing the location of those positioned.
Adam represented the entire human race that was seminally positioned in him when he represented them in the Garden of Eden. Christ represented the covenant elect of God (Rom. 8:29) that were "chosen in him before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4).
When Adam was in the Garden of Eden he represented all the human race seminally positioned in him. As their federal head, his actions not only effected him, but also they effected equally all that he represented. When Adam transgressed the law of God in the Garden of Eden, he brought death and condemnation upon the entire human race, seminally positioned in him. As the scripture reads, " Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned," so by the sin of Adam sin entered into all mankind and death passed upon all mankind in that all sinned in Adam.
Further consequences upon mankind due to Adams transgression are set forth in the above passage of scripture:
1. Through the one
sin of Adam death passed upon all mankind.
None of those represented by Adam had any say in what Adam did nor did they have any choice in the consequences of Adam's action. The headship of Adam was binding upon them. Similarly, when Christ lived upon the earth and when he died upon the cross he represented all the elect as their federal head. Christ represented all the elect that were in him by covenant. As the federal head of the elect his actions in keeping perfectly the law and subsequent sacrificial atonement upon the cross to satisfy God's divine justice equally affected all that he represented.
The consequences upon the elect due to Christ's righteousness and sacrificial atonement are set forth in the above passage of scripture:
actions justified all the elect.
None of those represented by Christ had any say in what Christ did nor did they have any choice in the consequences of Christ's action. The headship of Christ was binding upon them. I certainly have no objection to that.
Cain and Abel Witness of False
and True Worship
Gen. 4:1 "And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. 2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell."
There are two great questions generated by the above passage of scripture. Why did God have respect unto Abel and not unto Cain? Why did God have respect unto Abel's offering and not unto Cain's offering?
Numerous passages of scripture tell us that God is no respecter of persons:
1. 2 Sam 14:14 "For we must needs die, and are as water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither doth God respect any person: yet doth he devise means, that his banished be not expelled from him."
2. 2 Chr 19:7 "Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts."
3. Rom 2:11 "For there is no respect of persons with God."
4. Eph 6:9 "And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him."
5. Col 3:25 "But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons."
6. 1 Pet 1:17 "And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:"
7. Acts 10:34 "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:"
Even though God is no respecter of persons, yet he had respect unto Abel, but not unto Cain. Thus, we ask, "On what basis does God have respect?" The answer is that God has respect unto his covenant:
1. Lev 26:9 "For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you."
2. 2 Ki 13:23 "And the LORD was gracious unto them, and had compassion on them, and had respect unto them, because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them, neither cast he them from his presence as yet.
3. Psa 74:20 "Have respect unto the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty."
Thus, God has respect unto his covenant and since God made a covenant of redemption before the foundation of the world and in that covenant he chose who would be his. God's respect for Abel is a covenant respect, for God chose him in Christ before the foundation of the world. God's lack of respect for Cain is because God did not choose Cain before the foundation of the world.
God also had respect unto Abel's offering, but not unto Cain's offering. After Adam had transgressed the law of God in the garden of Eden, God made coats of skin and clothed Adam and Eve. It was necessary that blood be shed in order that Adam and Eve be clothed. This became the pattern for offerings until the giving of the law at Mount Sinai. Abel followed the pattern that had been established and offered a firstling of the flock and of the fat thereof. This offering pointed to the perfect sacrifice of Jesus. It gave all the praise, honor, and glory unto Christ.
In contrast, Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto God. God had before cursed the ground, thus Cain brought of that which God had cursed for an offering. He was offering a cursed thing unto God! Furthermore, based on Cain's reaction we can conclude that Cain expected to be praised by God for his offering, yet was rejected. Abel's offering sought to praise God, whereas, Cain's offering sought for praise from God.
Today there are two basic patterns of attempted worship of God. The vast majority attempt to place their effort as the final cause of gaining eternal life. Those who do this are seeking God to praise their efforts. This is unacceptable worship before God. A very small minority attempt to give all the credit for their salvation from sin and eternal life unto God, reserving no praise for themselves or their efforts. This very small minority seek only to praise God in their worship. This is acceptable unto God.