Animals, Colors, Metals, Numbers and Signs in Scripture.
Two -- Witness
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."
Based on the above, men were not to be put to death, or convicted of any iniquity unless there were at least two witnesses. Likewise, a charge is not to be brought against an elder except in the mouth of two or more witnesses. A trespass is not to be brought before the church unless two witnesses had first judged it.
The witnesses had to agree together for their testimony to be judged valid. Two witnesses whose testimony did not agree together were considered invalid testimony.
Finally, the two faithful witnesses listed in Rev. 11:3, which we have otherwise shown to be the law and the prophets are two witnesses that have rightfully convicted all men of sin: Gal. 3:10 "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them."
These two faithful witnesses have also testified to us that we were redeemed from our sins: Gal. 3:13 "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree."
With the contrast of these two men, the Lord taught a great lesson on the need for humility. The Pharisee represented those which trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others. Self-righteousness leads to self-exaltation and subsequently the belittlement of others in their eyes. A self-righteous man is proud of his own works and exalts his own works. The Pharisee was thankful for himself and that he was better than others. He was proud that he was not an extortioner, he was proud that he was just (even though he really was not). He was proud that he was not an adulterer. He was proud that he was better than the publican (even though he was not). He was proud of his religious exercises and how well he performed them. His standard was himself. He had an improper standard. We should not measure ourselves by ourselves, but look unto the perfect standard which is God's word. Some would say that this man had not been born of the Spirit. I think we should not make such judgments. The truth is God's children can and often do become self-righteous in their actions and judgments. The Lord warned that "every one that exalteth himself shall be abased."
The publican viewed himself in light of God's word. He saw himself to be a sinner and unworthy of the least of God's mercy. He knew within his heart that he was under the curse of the law, as it is written, "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them." This man's standard was the perfect standard of God's word. We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. However, we do not all acknowledge our condition. The publican acknowledged his condition, felt his unworthiness even to come close in the temple or to raise his eyes unto heaven. He did not cry out for justice, for he already felt the conviction of sin. However, he cried out for mercy and acknowledged he was a sinner. In this condition, he experienced something that he probably did not expect. He experienced the forgiveness of his sins and felt the fellowship of God in his heart. As the Lord also said, "he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
Within the most holy place in the tabernacle there was the ark of the covenant, the mercy seat and the two golden cherubims. The mercy seat was situated on top of the ark of the covenant and its dimensions of length and width were the exact same dimensions as the ark of the covenant. Once a year the blood of the lamb was carried by the High Priest and sprinkled on the mercy seat. Furthermore, God had promised to meet with and commune with the representative of the people from above the mercy seat.
The ark of the covenant contained the two tables of testimony, Aaron's rod that budded, and the bowl of manna. These were all placed in the ark of the covenant for safe keeping. The ark of the covenant was a type of Jesus Christ. It was he that ate of "every word that cometh forth from the mouth of God (manna)." It was he that kept the law to a jot and a tittle (two tables of testimony). He, like Aaron's rod that budded, showed forth life from the dead in his resurrection.
The mercy seat was situated exactly above the ark of the covenant. This testifies to us that God's mercy toward us is directly related to Christ's covenant work and sacrifice. It is through God's mercy and Christ's (the lamb of God) sacrificial atonement that God communes and meets with us through our mediator (Jesus Christ).
The two cherubims were situated on either end of the mercy seat, with their wings spread the complete length of the tabernacle. Their inward wings met in the middle of the tabernacle above the mercy seat. These two cherubims had their faces inward toward the mercy seat and ark of the covenant. They were witnesses of the ark of the covenant, the sacrificial atonement, and of God's mercy toward his people. One was testifying on one side of the ark and the other was testifying on the other side of the ark.
These two cherubims are typical of the Old Testament scriptures and the New Testament scriptures. The Old Testament testified of what Christ was going to do when he came and the New Testament testified of what Christ did when he came. Their faces were inward.
The Lord said that to love God and to love one's neighbor were the two great commandments in the law and was the foundation on which the law and the prophets rested. When God wrote the Ten Commandments on two tables of stone and gave them to Moses to deliver unto the children of Israel, the commandments on those two stones were divided into those things that pertain to our relationship to God and those things that pertain unto our relationship with men. Those Ten Commandments on two tables of stone formed the foundation of the covenant that God made with the children of Israel.
In the book of Jeremiah God promised to make a new covenant with Israel:
This promise was confirmed in the 8th chapter and in the 10th chapter of the book of Hebrews. In the 8th chapter God said "I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts." In the 10th chapter God said "I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them." By combining the promises made in chapters 8 and 10 we see that God said that he would put and write his laws in two places: the mind and the heart of his people and that would serve as a foundation for the New Covenant of worship. Those laws that were placed in two places in the children of God are the laws of love to God and love to our neighbor.
These are the two great commandments that Christ spoke about and serve as the foundation for our worship and service to God. These two laws are the foundation and bear testimony in the court room of our hearts and minds of our faithfulness to serve God or to convict us when we deviate from that service: Rom. 2:14 "For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15 Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another."