Sunday January 9 2022

TWO WITNESSES – Part One

Part One – The Biblical Standard Established                          January 9 2022

1 Timothy 5:19 NKJV

“Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.”

The Biblical criteria for validating truth is testimony of at least two witnesses.

Consider the following examples.

  • Numbers 35:30 – “Whoever kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death on the testimony of witnesses; but one witness is not sufficient testimony against a person for the death penalty.”
  • This statement concerned a portion of the civil law concerning the people of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
  • I present this statement to establish that one witness is not sufficient to establish truth.
  • Deuteronomy 17:6 makes a similar statement. “Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses; he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness.”
  • Again, the civil law requirement of more than a single witness in the establishment of truth.
  • Deuteronomy 19:15 also states this requirement.

“One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established.”

  • Here, this foundational, essential law is taken beyond the scope of murder.
  • It now applies to any iniquity or any sin that is committed.
  • And that this requirement of at least two witnesses is established – set in stone – unmoveable, irrevocable!

This requirement of at least two witnesses goes far beyond civil law, as we will see, and is not confined only to the Old Testament but indeed stretches throughout the entire scope of Scripture.

  • Matthew 18:16 records this fundamental truth this way.

“But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.”

  • This concerns a fellow brother or sister who has trespassed against someone in a fellowship.
  • The injured party is first to go to the offending person and attempt to reconcile the situation, but, this failing, they are to invoke the fundamental, established law of bringing others, at least two, in order to establish the truth of the situation.
  • The need for at least two witnesses is thus established by Jesus also in the New Testament.
  • This is further established by Paul in 2 Corinthians 13:1 when he states:

“This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.”

In order for truth to be established there must be two witnesses.

  • Jesus, adds a further dimension to this foundational law in Matthew 18:20 when He says,

“For when two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.”

  • What is He saying here?
  • Remember that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life!
  • So, when two or three witnesses are gathered together in His name, the Truth becomes established among them.
  • A minimum of two witnesses is essential and established by GOD for the revelation of truth.

Now, let us consider an example in the Bible of truth being established by the testimony of at least two witnesses.

  • In Jeremiah 32:5-12

“Buy my field, I pray thee, that is in Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin: for the right of inheritance is thine, and the redemption is thine; buy it for thyself. . . And I bought the field and weighed out the money, seventeen shekels of silver. And I subscribed the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, in the sight of Hanameel mine uncle’s son, in the presence of the witnesses that subscribed the book of the purchase . . . “

  • Now, this passage will become crucial in later discussions, but for now it outlines the necessity for at least two witnesses in the redeeming of “land of inheritance.”
  • Our Kinsman Redeemer, Jesus, will likewise purchase, and redeem planet earth similarly in the presence of witnesses.
  • More on this later, but suffice it for now to realize that witnesses, two as a minimum, are required for rendering land transfers legal and acceptable.
  • Two witnesses are necessary to validate and establish land transfer.

Bearing False Witness.

  • Bearing false witness is crucial enough to be part of the 10 commandments.

“Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” Exodus 20:16

And of course, Jesus expanded our thinking as to “Who is my neighbour?” – anyone!

  • This is established as part of the foundational law of Moses. “Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”
  • It is critical, in GOD’s eyes, because He established the truth of two witnesses at the very beginning of creation. (More on this in parts 4 and 5)

Jesus also had much to say concerning this “bearing false witness.”

Matthew 15:19 He states,

“For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:”

  • This is quite the list, and false witness is front and center.

Before and after the crucifixion the chief priests sought false witnesses!

Consider the following.

Matthew 26:59-60

“Now the chief priests and elders, and all the council, sought false witnesses against Jesus, to put him to death; But they found none: yea, though, many false witnesses came, yet they found none. At the last two false witnesses came.”

  • During His arrest and trial at the hands of these religious leaders, many came who were eager to give false witness but there was nothing in their testimonies that could be used against Jesus.
  • Finally two came who testified to His claim that though they destroy this temple He would rebuild it in three days.
  • So now they had a false charge of blasphemy that they could use against Him.
  • (Of course, all those gathered in judgment here mis-understood His meaning.)
  • Still, false witnesses were called and many answered the summons.

Again in Mark 14:57 we have a similar account of this event.

@

After the crucifixion we have the following account from Matthew 28:11-15.

“Now, while they were going, [Mary and the women] behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened. When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, saying, ‘Tell them, his disciples, came at night and stole him away while we slept.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure. So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews to this day.”

Here’s some money; give a false witness; and if the governor or anyone else comes after you for lying we will have your back.

  • The consequences of this false witness by these individuals has had far reaching consequences throughout history to the people of Jewish descent.
  • Do you recall their cry? They called down His blood upon themselves and upon the lives of their children.
  • And the hand they had, in supporting known false witness, has hung as a curse upon the entire nation ever since.
  • Their expression and acceptance of false witness has contributed greatly to the “blinders” even now upon their eyes according to Romans.

The heathen leaders, Pilate and Herod, will fare much better than this adulterous generation on that day for they both found “nothing worthy of death in this man.” Luke 23:13-15.

To counter the false witnesses of man, God provided His own two witnesses.

Luke 24:4-7 gives us that account.

“And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, two men stood by them in shining garments: and as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them. ‘Why seek you the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spoke unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying,’ The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered His words.”

  • The two true witnesses were angels and they gave the true account.
  • Again, two witnesses to testify to the truth.

For the better part of the rest of the New Testament we find the disciples going out to testify to the truth of the Good News in pairs.

  • John and Peter; Paul and Silas as examples.

From the very beginning as we will see in future presentations, the necessity for two witness is well founded.

  • Isaiah 8:2 – “And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah.” Two faithful witnesses.
  • Exodus 28:30 – “And you will put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they will be upon the Aaron’s heart when he goes in before the LORD . . .”
  • Urim means lights and Thummim means perfection.
  • These were two items that were to adorn the breastplate of the high priest Aaron.
  • He would enter in before the LORD sporting these two items.
  • The description of these two items is unknown yet they were to give direction to Israel.
  • They were to provide light and perfection for the discernment of GOD’s will.
  • Again, two witness to truth and direction.

Then in Hebrews the writer confirms the need for a minimum of two witnesses.

Hebrews 10:28 “He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses.”

Even the familiar Psalm 23:6 suggests the blessings of two witnesses to aid us in our daily walk. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”

  • Here again, two faithful witnesses of truth will escort the believer safely into the presence of the LORD.

So, let me summarize this introductory treatment of the essential aspect of two witnesses.

  1. There is an overwhelming amount of Scriptural reference to an established law of GOD pointing to the absolute necessity of the need for a minimum of two witnesses in order to testify to truth.
  2. The foundation of all civil activities is rooted in the requirement of two faithful witnesses. These include,
  • All public transaction, an example of which is presented in Ruth chapter 4:1-11
  • All legal documents signed for the purpose of inherited land transfers. As per Jeremiah 32.
  • All legal actions against any individual accused of iniquities or sins. (both in the Old and in the New Testaments.)
  • All situations involving the sentencing of a person to death for crimes of murder.
  • The establishment of the beginning of the Holy day of the Sabbath by the identification of the first sighting of the New Moon.
  • All individuals cured of Leprosy were to appear before two priestly witnesses for the confirmation.

There are many additional aspects to this law of two witnesses that will be addressed in future messages.

GOD’s law established from the very first verse of scripture of the necessity of two faithful witnesses is truly an amazing revelation.

This will be treated in more detail in the weeks to come, so stay tuned, for the episodes to follow are truly amazing and exciting.  Amen

  

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *