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Questions and Answers

by R. H. Boll

There is much much misapprehension or the meaning of the book of Ecclesiastes as a
whole. A careful examination of its contents will show that the book is an inspired record
of a man’s search for the one thing that can bring him peace and satisfy the inmost longings
of his heart. He tries first one thing and then another, only to be disappointed. He speaks of
what he saw under the sun, what he observed in the world, what he thinks about it all,
how he lays one thing to another, draws conclusions and gives his opinions and views, but all
to no effect. At last he sees that man's one and only hope is in God - to fear Him, and keep
His commandments. The last chapter is a highly poetical and figurative picture of the
feebleness or old age which marks the nearing end of man's fleeting existence on the earth.
Wherefore he concludes that the one thing needful is to fear God and keep His
commandments, “for this is the whole duty of man.”

John’s was the “baptism of repentance unto the remission of sins.” Those who
came penitent to his baptism received remission of sins. No sacrifice was offered for them.
so far as the record shows; but John pointed them forward to One who was to come after
him "the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world" (John I:29). If they were
sincere in submitting to John's baptism, they would believe John's testimony to Jesus. Those
who had been baptized by John, and believed in Jesus when He came, were accepted. They
did not have to be baptized again. Those in Acts 19 had been baptized into John’s baptism
long after Christ had come, and John's baptism had gone out of effect. For "John baptized
with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people that they should believe on him
that should come after him”, that is, on Jesus. “When they heard this they were
baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 19:1. 5).

The gospel which John preached, and which the Lord Jesus took up after John’s
imprisonment (Matthew 4:12, 17) was Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Mark 1:15 refers to the same. The word  simply means good tidings;. We must
ascertain from the context what good tidings are meant. The gospel of Mark 1:15 was not
the gospel spoken of in I Cor. 15: 1-4, for Christ had not yet died, been buried, nor raised
from the dead. Neither was it the gospel preached "by the Holy Spirit sent forth from
heaven (1 Peter 1: 12) which Peter preached on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). This gospel
which was preached by the apostles is ours today.

-R. H. Boll, February 1956

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That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10