By Sandy Simpson
Deception in the Church Ministries
In the introduction to Mike Oppenheimer’s and my book Idolatry In Their Hearts, I exposed the fact that Don Richardson pulled the phrase “Eternity In Their Hearts” to use as his book title from its context in Ecc. 3:11. He did this to support his thesis, which actually contradicts the second part of that verse, where it states that man cannot fathom what God has done. Richardson, rather, sets forth what has become the foundation for the false teachings of the WCGIP [World Christian Gathering on Indigenous People], YWAM, a number of Bible translation societies, and the Emerging Church … the proposition that men from Gentile cultures have always been seeking God and that Gentile cultures were already worshipping the true God before missionaries came with the Gospel.
But as I further investigated this verse, I found that Richardson even ignored the true meaning of the FIRST half of the verse in favor of a few translations that use the phrase “eternity in their hearts.” Richardson opted to use that phrase, or the equivalent, which is only used in five major translations: the NIV, GWV, Lesser, NKJV and RSV.
Ecc. 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (NIV)
Ecc. 3:11 It is beautiful how God has done everything at the right time. He has put a sense of eternity in people’s minds. Yet, mortals still can’t grasp what God is doing from the beginning to the end of time. (GWV)
Ecc. 3:11 Every thing hath he made beautiful in its proper time: he hath also placed the eternity in their heart, without a man’s being able to find out the work that God hath made from the beginning to the end. (Lesser)
Ecc. 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. (NKJV)
Ecc. 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time; also he has put eternity into man’s mind, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. (RSV)
The Hebrew word translated above as “eternity” is actually owlam, according to Strong’s, meaning ever, everlasting, old, perpetual, evermore, never, time, ancient, world, always, alway, long. Eternity is not the most used meaning of owlam in the Bible. Usually when the Old Testament means “eternity,” it uses the Hebrew word ad. To be fair, the OT uses the world tebel most often for “world.” But when you look at the majority of the translations of Ecc. 3:11 [including the KJV], you will not find “eternity in their hearts” but rather “the world in their heart.” I believe that “the world in their heart” is more consistent with the last half of the verse. God gave man a worldly mindset, if you will, so that he could not really know God without the intervention of His Word and the Holy Spirit through being born again. Click here to continue reading.
The Missionaries Brought A Foreign God … DUH! by Sandy Simpson
Also check out Mike Oppenheimer and Sandy Simpson’s First Nations Movement Lectures DVD (available through Lighthouse Trails)