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These coins from Syria bear certain witness that the first year of Tiberius should be counted from A. D. 12. Therefore "the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Cæsar" would be A. D. 27, just 483 years from the going forth of the commandment to restore Jerusalem. The prophecy of the sixty-nine weeks was fulfilled the Messiah had come.
Confirming the Covenant
But "one week" of the seventy remained seven years. Of the Messiah's work during this time the angel said:
"He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." Dan. 9:27.
Christ's death upon the cross made "the sacrifice and the oblation to cease," so far as their appointed force was concerned. After three years and a half of ministry, "in the midst" of this seven-year period, the prophetic week, the Messiah was lifted up on Calvary. For centuries the sure word of prophecy had pointed to this supreme hour in the working out of the plan of salvation. When the time was fulfilled, the promise of God was fulfilled also, and the divine Sacrifice was offered.
"Paschal Lamb, by God appointed,
Thou redemption's price hast paid.
Through the virtue of Thy blood;
Peace is made 'twixt man and God."
With the offering of the great Sacrifice, all the typical offerings ceased to have significance. The veil of the temple was rent when the Lamb of God expired upon the cross,sign to all that He had caused "the sacrifice and the oblation to cease."
The Messiah was to "confirm the covenant with many for one week," filling out the seventy weeks allotted in God's merciful patience especially to the people of the Jews. Three and a half years of Christ's personal ministry on earth had
been devoted to the chosen people. Now, after His ascen- . sion, He was still, in the persons of His disciples, to press the gospel of the new covenant especially upon the Jewish people "to the Jew first," and "beginning at Jerusalem."
This last seven-year period, beginning in A. D. 27, ended in A. D. 34. By that time the opposition of the Jews was be
coming exceedingly bitter. As a people they were rejecting again the divine invitation extended by the risen Christ through His witnesses. About A. D. 34 Stephen was martyred. The same council that, against all evidence, had rejected the Messiah, again rejected the appeal of the Holy Ghost shining visibly on Stephen's countenance.
The believers in Jerusalem were driven out by persecution; and "they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word." Acts 8:4. The Gentiles gave heed in Samaria, and the Ethiopian received the gospel on the road to Gaza. The gospel message had fairly passed the boundaries of Jerusalem and was on its way to the "uttermost parts of the earth."
Though the seventy weeks cut off upon the Jewish people and upon the holy city had ended, to the world's end the gospel of Christ's salvation is for that people as well as for all other nations.
The Ending of the 2300 Years
It must not be forgotten that the angel was explaining to Daniel the vision and prophecy of the long prophetic period that was to reach to the cleansing of the sanctuary at the time of the end.
These events of the first seventy weeks of that period were "to seal up the vision and prophecy." Dan. 9:24. The shedding of the blood of the divine Sacrifice "to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness," set Heaven's seal to the vision. As surely as the great Offering had been made, so surely the cleansing of the sanctuary would be accomplished by the ministry of our High Priest in heaven.
And the exact fulfilment of the time schedule for this first portion of the prophetic period, set seal to the declaration that when the full 2300 years should run out, the closing ministry of Christ would surely begin in the heavenly sanctuary.
From 457 B. C., when the commandment of Artaxerxes to restore Jerusalem went forth, the measuring line of the 2300 years reaches to the year A. D. 1844. In that year the time of the prophecy came. Then the cleansing of the sanctuary was to begin.
The prophet John, in the Revelation, beheld the opening of this last phase of the ministry of Christ in the most holy