To him give all the prophets witness - See Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 52:7; Isaiah 53:5, Isaiah 53:6; Isaiah 59:20; Jeremiah 31:34; Daniel 9:24; Micah 7:18, etc.; and Zechariah 13:1. As Jesus Christ was the sum and substance of the law and the Mosaic dispensation, so all the prophets bore testimony, either directly or indirectly, to him; and, indeed, without him and the salvation he has promised, there is scarcely any meaning in the Mosaic economy, nor in most of the allusions of the prophets.
Remission of sins - The phrase, αφεσις ἁμαρτιων, means simply the taking away of sins; and this does not refer to the guilt of sin merely, but also to its power, nature, and consequences. All that is implied in pardon of sin, destruction of its tyranny, and purification from its pollution, is here intended; and it is wrong to restrict such operations of mercy to pardon alone.
To him give - See the notes on Luke 24:27, Luke 24:44.
That through his name - This was implied in what the prophets said. See Romans 10:11. It was not, indeed, expressly affirmed that they who believed in him should be pardoned, but this was implied in what they said. They promised a Messiah, and their religion consisted mainly in believing in a Messiah to come. See the reasoning of the apostle Paul in Romans 4:
Present the Word of God as the way in which a holy faith and a pure character may be attained. Offer a full and free salvation, not as coming from yourselves, but from Christ. Show your hearers their need of returning through repentance and faith to their loyalty; for all are on a level; all are condemned alike by that great moral standard of righteousness. Proclaim remission of sins through Christ, the only Sin-bearer, the only Sin-pardoner. Proclaim the remission of sins through repentance toward God and faith in Christ, and God will ratify your testimony. With all assurance you can proclaim the means by which a holy character may be obtained—as Enoch obtained it, through Christ Jesus. VSS 340.1
Every messenger of God can proclaim pardon and remission of sins through the name of Christ, who died to redeem the sinner. The Lord's full favor comes to those who seek Him with the whole heart, and are willing to follow Him in doing God's will, enthroning Christ in the heart, planting His attributes deep in the life practice. These have a constraining motive, a supreme love for Christ our Saviour, which brings even the thoughts into captivity to Him.—Manuscript 138, 1897. VSS 340.2
Convicting and Converting Truths—In every congregation there are souls upon whom the Spirit of the Lord is moving, and they need help in order that they may understand what they must do to be saved. You have often presented grand scenes before them which they could not comprehend. Those who are imaginative may grasp these lofty thoughts, but to the larger number such discourses are only as Greek [to them]. Dwell upon truths that convict and convert souls. God is at work in the tent, though there be few or many present. VSS 340.3Read in context »
Bidding His hearers marvel not, Christ opened before them, in still wider view, the mystery of the future. “The hour cometh,” He said, “in which all that are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done ill, unto the resurrection of judgment.” John 5:28, 29, R. V. DA 211.1
This assurance of the future life was that for which Israel had so long waited, and which they had hoped to receive at the Messiah's advent. The only light that can lighten the gloom of the grave was shining upon them. But self-will is blind. Jesus had violated the traditions of the rabbis, and disregarded their authority, and they would not believe. DA 211.2
The time, the place, the occasion, the intensity of feeling that pervaded the assembly, all combined to make the words of Jesus before the Sanhedrin the more impressive. The highest religious authorities of the nation were seeking the life of Him who declared Himself the restorer of Israel. The Lord of the Sabbath was arraigned before an earthly tribunal to answer the charge of breaking the Sabbath law. When He so fearlessly declared His mission, His judges looked upon Him with astonishment and rage; but His words were unanswerable. They could not condemn Him. He denied the right of the priests and rabbis to question Him, or to interfere with His work. They were invested with no such authority. Their claims were based upon their own pride and arrogance. He refused to plead guilty of their charges, or to be catechized by them. DA 211.3
Instead of apologizing for the act of which they complained, or explaining His purpose in doing it, Jesus turned upon the rulers, and the accused became the accuser. He rebuked them for the hardness of their hearts, and their ignorance of the Scriptures. He declared that they had rejected the word of God, inasmuch as they had rejected Him whom God had sent. “Ye search the Scriptures, because ye think that in them ye have eternal life; and these are they which bear witness of Me.” John 5:39, R. V. DA 211.4
In every page, whether history, or precept, or prophecy, the Old Testament Scriptures are irradiated with the glory of the Son of God. So far as it was of divine institution, the entire system of Judaism was a compacted prophecy of the gospel. To Christ “give all the prophets witness.” Acts 10:43. From the promise given to Adam, down through the patriarchal line and the legal economy, heaven's glorious light made plain the footsteps of the Redeemer. Seers beheld the Star of Bethlehem, the Shiloh to come, as future things swept before them in mysterious procession. In every sacrifice Christ's death was shown. In every cloud of incense His righteousness ascended. By every jubilee trumpet His name was sounded. In the awful mystery of the holy of holies His glory dwelt. DA 211.5Read in context »
The seventy weeks, or 490 years, especially allotted to the Jews, ended, as we have seen, in A.D. 34. At that time, through the action of the Jewish Sanhedrin, the nation sealed its rejection of the gospel by the martyrdom of Stephen and the persecution of the followers of Christ. Then the message of salvation, no longer restricted to the chosen people, was given to the world. The disciples, forced by persecution to flee from Jerusalem, “went everywhere preaching the word.” “Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.” Peter, divinely guided, opened the gospel to the centurion of Caesarea, the God-fearing Cornelius; and the ardent Paul, won to the faith of Christ, was commissioned to carry the glad tidings “far hence unto the Gentiles.” Acts 8:4, 5; 22:21. GC 328.1
Thus far every specification of the prophecies is strikingly fulfilled, and the beginning of the seventy weeks is fixed beyond question at 457 B.C., and their expiration in A.D. 34. From this data there is no difficulty in finding the termination of the 2300 days. The seventy weeks—490 days—having been cut off from the 2300, there were 1810 days remaining. After the end of 490 days, the 1810 days were still to be fulfilled. From A.D. 34, 1810 years extend to 1844. Consequently the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14 terminate in 1844. At the expiration of this great prophetic period, upon the testimony of the angel of God, “the sanctuary shall be cleansed.” Thus the time of the cleansing of the sanctuary—which was almost universally believed to take place at the second advent—was definitely pointed out. GC 328.2
Miller and his associates at first believed that the 2300 days would terminate in the spring of 1844, whereas the prophecy points to the autumn of that year. (See Appendix.) The misapprehension of this point brought disappointment and perplexity to those who had fixed upon the earlier date as the time of the Lord's coming. But this did not in the least affect the strength of the argument showing that the 2300 days terminated in the year 1844, and that the great event represented by the cleansing of the sanctuary must then take place. GC 328.3Read in context »
Peter related the plain interpretation of these words, which was given him almost immediately in his summons to go to the centurion and instruct him in the faith of Christ. This message showed that God was no respecter of persons, but accepted and acknowledged all who feared Him. Peter told of his astonishment when, in speaking the words of truth to those assembled at the home of Cornelius, he witnessed the Holy Spirit taking possession of his hearers, Gentiles as well as Jews. The same light and glory that was reflected upon the circumcised Jews shone also upon the faces of the uncircumcised Gentiles. This was God's warning that Peter was not to regard one as inferior to the other, for the blood of Christ could cleanse from all uncleanness. AA 193.1
Once before, Peter had reasoned with his brethren concerning the conversion of Cornelius and his friends, and his fellowship with them. As he on that occasion related how the Holy Spirit fell on the Gentiles he declared, “Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as He did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?” Acts 11:17. Now, with equal fervor and force, he said: “God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did unto us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?” This yoke was not the law of Ten Commandments, as some who oppose the binding claims of the law assert; Peter here referred to the law of ceremonies, which was made null and void by the crucifixion of Christ. AA 193.2
Peter's address brought the assembly to a point where they could listen with patience to Paul and Barnabas, who related their experience in working for the Gentiles. “All the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.” AA 194.1Read in context »