The forthcoming pages contain a collaboration of previously written materials regarding the Gap Theory and the Genesis accounts of Creation and Noah’s Flood. Some editing has been done for the purpose of easier reading, but most of the words you are about to read appear as they did either in their original form or as they appeared in this writer’s Facebook posts.
Why I Reject the Gap Theory
(2001 tract and Facebook post, June 10, 2017)
Now, you drive-by readers need to just keep moving on this one. Your minds are not ready for this, and I do not wish to make you look foolish for challenging me. I've probably read everything that you've read about this subject, even before some of you were born, so, please, for your own benefit, keep rolling. You've been warned.
As for the more learned readers, I welcome your challenges, but please READ THE ENTIRE POST FIRST, and read it very carefully, checking and considering all Scripture references.
I count no one a heretic for believing in the Gap Theory. I once believed in it myself, and most of my Christian friends still do believe it. That's fine, and I do not wish to fight with anyone about it. My view is that rejecting the Gap Theory and embracing a simple faith belief in the word-for-word Genesis account gives more honor to the words of God, since it creates no contradictions, and it requires more faith to believe, since it goes against modern "science." Alright, here we go . . .
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Gen. 1:1-2)
The “Gap Theory” has become a real subject of debate in fundamental circles. In fact, it is sometimes a subject which Satan uses to stir division among brethren. Many who teach this theory think of themselves as being a bit “deeper” in their Bible knowledge than the rest of us, when, in reality, there is nothing “deep” to it. Although I do not believe this issue should be a cause for division among Christians, I do believe one should be familiar with both sides of the argument.
The theory itself, not popularized until the early 1800's, suggests that there is a “gap” of time between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. Some sort of “pre-Adamite rebellion” involving Lucifer supposedly occurred in this time gap, which caused the earth to BECOME “without form and void” due to God’s intervening judgment. This means that the events of Genesis 1:3 through 1:31 are actually part of God’s “RE-creation” of the original earth. This indefinite time gap allows the Bible to “agree” with the thousands of scientists who believe the earth to be billions of years old, rather than only 6,000 years old as the scriptures indicate. That is, God was supposedly in a real jam until men discovered the time gap of Genesis 1:2. Now, at last, the Bible and the “scientific” community can agree. There are many problems with this theory as the forthcoming paragraphs shall reveal.
The Gap Theory is Unnecessary
For the past two hundred years Christians have been intimidated into believing that the earth is millions and billions of years old. Today it is believed to be about 4.5 billion years old. The Gap Theory was invented to bring the Bible in line with “science” by allowing an indefinite period of time for the millions and billions of years required by unsaved, Bible-rejecting, scientists. Although it is true that the Gap Theory is taught by many today who do not reject the Bible, it should be remembered that the theory was created and popularized so that "We can allow geology the amplest time . . . without infringing even on the literalities of the Mosaic record. . . ." (Thomas Chalmers, 1814)
The fact is that there is much evidence that the earth is only a few thousand years old, and Noah’s flood can explain any “evidence” which seems to indicate otherwise (rock formations, fossils, canyons, etc.). "The amplest time" isn't necessary when the flood is seriously taken into account.
As for the fall of Lucifer, this hasn’t fully happened yet (Rev. 12:7-9), and when it does, it won’t require 4.5 billion years (Luke 10:18). There is no legitimate need for a gap in Genesis 1:2.
“Without form and void”
The first problem with the Gap Theory is that it is based on a question, not a fact. The question is “Why was the earth without form and void in Genesis 1:2?” From this comes the reasoning that it must have BECAME that way. Then the question “Why?” is asked. Then come the answers: a pre-Adamite rebellion; Lucifer’s fall; a chaotic flood; this is where the dinosaurs died, etc. The problem is that there is no point in asking the question in the first place.
If I walk into my kitchen some evening about 6:00 p.m. and discover it to be “without form and void,” I am not going to ask my wife “Why is the kitchen without form and void?” I know why. She has JUST BEGUN preparing dinner. I must be patient and wait for her to finish. The meal will take form soon enough. I wouldn’t assume that the judgment of God had struck our kitchen just because it was in a mess.
It is God’s nature to work in a progressive manner. Even Adam was without form and void before God formed him into a perfect body. Later, he may have still felt without form and void until God provided him with a wife. No doubt, after only two weeks in his mother’s womb, even the Lord Jesus was without form and void until the gestation period had ended and he was born a healthy baby. The God of the Bible works progressively. Of course the earth was without form and void in the beginning because God had not yet formed it! He was just getting started. To assume that the word “was” actually means “became” is to doubt God’s word. God didn’t say the earth “became” without form and void. He said it “was” without form and void.
Isaiah 45:18 is a favorite “proof text” used by the Gap Theorists: “For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.” The words “in vain” are interpreted by the gappers to mean “without form and void.” So their reasoning is: God didn’t create the earth without form and void, so it must have BECAME that way.
This is only human reasoning, not Bible. The verse plainly says that God first “created” the earth and then he “formed” it. He created it in Genesis 1:1, and He then “formed” it after He created it. After He formed it, He then provided it with life forms. The whole thing is a process. None of this was done “in vain” because God had a purpose in mind from the very beginning.
When Did Lucifer Fall?
A careful reading of Isaiah 14:12-15 will reveal the fact that Lucifer’s fall is not yet complete. This is a prophecy of his fall, not a historical account. His actual final fall from heaven will not come until Revelation 12:7-9.
It is true that Lucifer did sin against God and become Satan (the adversary), but the Bible never says that this came about in some massive rebellion before the time of Adam. Ezekiel 28:13-15 makes it very clear WHEN Lucifer sinned: “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God . . . Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” When God looks back at the history of Lucifer, He looks no further back than Eden. Lucifer sinned and fell in Eden when he tempted Eve to be “as gods.” Before this time, everything was “very good” (Gen. 1:31). If Lucifer sinned in Genesis 1:2, then why did God say everything was “very good” when He summed up the creation in verse 31?
The gappers hold that a pre-Adamite rebellion arose and was destroyed by God before the time of Adam, yet this is contrary to God’s words concerning sin and death. Sin and death came WITH Adam, not before Adam. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.” (Rom. 5:12-14) “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (I Cor. 15:21-22) Sin and death before Adam? Not according to the Bible.
The gappers also claim that Exodus 20:11 supports their theory: “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Their logic is that God “made” the earth (out of existing matter) in six days, but He didn’t “create” it (out of nothing) in six days. This is taught with the assumption that “create” means to “create from nothing” and “made” means to have “made from existing matter.” The Bible never establishes such definitions for these words. Adam was “created” (Gen. 5:1), but not from nothing (Gen. 2:7). In Genesis 6:7 both words are used the same way. In Psalm 51:10 “create” means to “renew.” There is a creation in Psalm 102:18, but it isn’t from nothing. Other examples could be given. It is false to claim that “create” means “to create from nothing” and that “made” means “to have made from existing matter.” This logic is not consistent with God’s word. God made, or created, the heaven and the earth in six literal days.
Furthermore, it should be noted that Exodus 20:11 not only states that the heaven and earth were made in six days, but also “all that in them is.” This would include Lucifer and all the angels - after the first day begins, not BEFORE the first day begins. We know this is true because Ezekiel 28:15 speaks of Lucifer’s creation and says, “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” Lucifer, the anointed cherub, was created on a DAY, not before the six days of Genesis 1 began. There is no gap in Genesis 1, only six DAYS beginning with verse 1.
What about “Replenish?”
God told Adam and Eve to “replenish” the earth in Genesis 1:28. The gappers claim that “replenish” means to “re-do” or “re-populate.” It is amazing how little study a person will do when his mind is made up! The first definition for this word in Webster’s 1828 is “to fill; to stock with numbers or abundance.” Only in some modern dictionaries does “replenish” mean to “re-do” or “re-populate.” If “replenish” means what the gappers claim, why didn’t God also use the word in Genesis 1:22? Genesis 1:22 says, “And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.” If the earth had been populated before, why was “replenish” not used here? Answer: “replenish” and “fill” have the same meaning, and both come from the same Hebrew word.
In the Beginning
The Gap Theory holds that “the beginning” is Genesis 1:1, while the six days do not start until after the “gap” between verses 1 and 2. That is, Genesis 1:3-31 aren’t “the beginning.”
Evidently, Jesus didn’t subscribe to the Gap Theory. Adam and Eve weren’t created until the sixth day, yet Jesus said they were made “in the beginning” (Mat. 19:4; Mark 10:6). This statement alone “closes the gap.”
Also notice that Genesis 2:4 says that the earth and the heavens were created in a “day,” not before the first day began.
The Heavens and the Earth
A careful reading of II Peter 3:5-7 will make it clear that there have been only TWO sets of the heavens and the earth: the one that WAS and the one that exists NOW. This leaves no room for a Gap Theory because this theory demands more than two. The gappers believe that the heaven and the earth were perfect and then made without form and void due to a pre-Adamite rebellion. That’s one heaven and earth. Then a second heaven and earth existed until Noah’s flood. Since Noah’s flood, a third heaven and earth exists. II Peter 3:5-7 says there are only TWO, not three. There is one heaven and earth before Noah’s flood, and there is one now. So there is no room for a gap or a third heaven and earth.
Friend, don’t be fooled by the Gap Theory. God created the universe in six literal days. He didn’t need a time gap in order to get His work done, and He definitely isn't worried about the fact that His word doesn't satisfy the falsely so-called "scientists" (I Tim. 6:20) . . . or the Christians who are intimidated by them. Don't get sucked into the GAP TRAP where you feel like you have to believe something just to appease "science" OR just to remain in good standing with others who believe it. If you can soundly refute my arguments one by one, with Scripture, then please do. If not, then maybe it's time to make your own escape from the GAP TRAP.
One More Slap at the
(Facebook post, June 13, 2017)
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Gen. 1:1-2)
I have opposed the gap theory since 2001 when God opened my eyes to the record of Scripture that requires no gaps or pre-Adamite anything, only a simple belief in what is recorded in the Book. Before that time I had followed the teaching of Scofield, Larkin and Ruckman. In most other areas, I still follow their teachings and admire them greatly. As for Dr. Ruckman, I have spent more time (and money) with his studies than most of my critics will ever spend, so any hint of my ignorance of Dr. Ruckman’s teaching or my disrespect to him is wholly unwarranted. I have loved Dr. Ruckman dearly for three decades, his bookstore sells many of my publications, and I recommend his materials all the time, just as I recommend the works of Larkin and the Scofield Reference Bible. Furthermore, I spoke kindly of all three of these men in my church history book, and Ruckman and Scofield are two of the men covered in our Great Soldiers of the Cross tract series.
However, God is greater than any man, and it is my belief that God showed me a more perfect way in 2001 when I began to see things in the Scriptures that went against my gap theory beliefs. My tract on the subject was published at that time for the purpose of showing others what I believe God had showed to me, and the tract has remained in print since that time.
Now, it was brought to my attention over this past weekend that my presentation of the material was a bit hard to follow for some since I had not laid the information out in the orderly and pointed style that I normally use. Maybe that’s true, and maybe I’m to blame for confusing more people than I’ve helped, especially with newer believers who read my posts. I don’t know, but it’s not going to hurt for me to make one last attempt at laying out my position in the simplest way I know. So, here we go again . . .
The clear and natural flow of Genesis chapter 1 does not include a gap. No mention is made of a time space between verses 1 and 2. Some SUPPOSE that such a space, or gap, exists (usually because someone TOLD them that it exists), but the passage does not say so. The natural flow of the text is that all started at “the beginning” and then progressed through six creative days.
Those who suppose that there is a gap between verses 1 and 2 do so in order to explain primarily (1) why the earth was “without form and void,” (2) when Lucifer fell, and (3) when his angels fell.
Those who suppose that the above explanation is needed do so because they do not believe that the Bible offers sufficient explanation elsewhere. That is, those who subscribe to the gap theory do not believe that Lucifer or his angels could have fallen any time AFTER Genesis 1:2 because there are no events in the Bible, they believe, that can account for the fall of Lucifer or his angels.
Therefore, it is assumed that Lucifer and his angels must have fallen BEFORE Genesis 1:2.
With the above assumption in mind, gap theory adherents must now basically change the wording of verse two, at least in their interpretations. Instead of reading that “the earth WAS without form, and void,” as the King James text plainly says (minus the CAPS), gap theory followers interpret the wording to mean that “the earth BECAME without form and void,” although the verse never said this. Yes, even King James Bible believers do this.
With the assumption that the earth BECAME without form and void, the gappers now ask the question, “WHY did the earth become without form and void?” The Bible never SAID it became without form and void, so the question is based on an ASSUMPTION, not on a clear Bible statement. The Bible only said that the earth WAS without form and void.
Knowing (or being told) that the Scriptures contain no specific place that accounts for and fully explains the fall of Lucifer and his angels, the gapper reasons that perhaps Lucifer and his angels fell BEFORE Genesis 1:2 and AFTER Genesis 1:1, in the “gap,” the “gap” that was never really there until they produced it in their own minds.
Having reasoned that Lucifer and his angels rebelled and fell BEFORE Genesis 1:2, the gappers now reason that this fall led to a divine judgment that flooded the earth and RENDERED it “without form and void.” This whole gap scenario works much like the kid who has to keep telling lies in order to covers his lies.
To “prove” that the phrase “without form and void” implies judgment, the gappers run to Jeremiah 4:23 and show where the phrase IS used in reference to judgment: “I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.” The fact that Jeremiah chapter four has nothing to do with the creation of Genesis 1, but rather the coming Great Tribulation, doesn’t seem to matter to the gappers. Most won’t check the context anyway, so they get away with it. Furthermore, the law of first mention that many gappers profess to believe in is conveniently replaced here with their law of SECOND mention, allowing Jeremiah to define Genesis, rather than the other way around. Studying cross references is one thing; establishing DEFINITIONS is quite another.
Having convinced himself (or having now been convinced by others) that God’s judgment on the pre-Adamite earth caused the earth to BECOME without form and void, the gapper continues in his search for supporting Scripture, or at least what he THINKS is supporting Scripture. Sooner or later he is usually guided by other gappers to Isaiah 45:18, which says, “For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.” The gapper, or at least gapper in the making, is then coached to think, “If God made the earth NOT IN VAIN but rather FORMED IT TO BE INHABITED, then that must mean that the earth was perfect in Genesis 1:1 and then BECAME without form and void as a result of God’s flood judgment on the pre-Adamite earth that was under Lucifer’s rule.” None of that is stated in Genesis, but all of that is gradually built up, piece by piece, as the gapper continues his assumptive building program. The fact that the statement “he created it not in vain” (Isa. 45:18) might refer to Genesis chapter 1 as a whole (since the word “created” is found five times in the chapter, and not just in verse 1) never occurs to the pre-conditioned gapper. He’s a gapper in the making, and there’s no turning back. (I do not use the term “gapper” as an insult, only as an abbreviated way of saying “those who subscribe to the gap theory.”) I’ve been down this road and experienced all of this first hand. I’m not exaggerating in the least.
The law of first mention is also abandoned with the word “darkness,” since the gapper is coached to DEFINE the darkness of Genesis 1:2 with how he sees the word used in many other places in the Scriptures. Seeing that darkness is usually not a good thing, he assumes that it’s not a good thing in Genesis 1:2. Then he assumes that something BAD must have HAPPENED, such as Lucifer’s rebellion and God’s judgment. Of course, the Genesis account never says this. I am not suggesting that the darkness was a GOOD thing; only that its presence doesn’t have to imply that anything BAD had happened. Your bedroom was dark this morning before you turned on the lights, but you didn’t assume that the judgment of God had struck during the night.
The gapper then points out that Genesis chapter one says that the creative acts of each day were all “good,” except for the second day, implying that something on the second day was NOT good, such as Lucifer’s fall and judgment. Verse 31 is conveniently ignored: “And God saw EVERY THING that he had made, and, behold, it was VERY GOOD. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” (BLOCK CAPS used in Scripture quotations are for emphasis only)
The word “replenish” in verse 28 is defined by the gapper as meaning “re-populate” or to “re-fill,” although it is used interchangeably with the word “fill” in Genesis 1:22, both coming from the same Hebrew word. The truth of the matter is that TODAY the word can mean to “fill” OR to “re-fill,” but it did not necessarily mean both in 1611. For that matter, the word “replenish” is used only ONCE in reference to God’s creative week (Gen. 1:28), falling a bit short of the Biblical standard of two or three witnesses (Deu. 19:15; Mat. 18:16; I Tim. 5:19), and there is nothing in Genesis chapter one which defines the word as “re-populate” or “re-fill.” This is why the gapper ignores the word “fill” in Genesis 1:22 while claiming that the word is defined in Genesis 9:1. So much for the law of first mention, again.
With the information above, the gapper now reasons that the earth BECAME without form and void as a result of God’s judgment on Lucifer and the pre-Adamite earth, so the earth had to be RE-POPULATED.
By now, the gapper is fully committed to the gap “fact,” so the rest of the Bible will always be viewed through the lens of the “gap fact.” For instance, the usage of the word “And” at the beginning of most of the verses in Genesis chapter one has a special meaning in the gap world. The capitalization of the word “Heaven” in Genesis 1:8 has a special meaning in the gap world, although many proper names that follow the word “called” in the chapter are capitalized, not just the word “Heaven” in verse 8. In the gap world, Isaiah 24:1 is even used to support the “gap fact,” even though the verse says nothing at all about Genesis 1 or the creation. The usage of the word “deep” or “great deep” throughout the Scriptures is often privately interpreted by the gapper to have some connection to Genesis 1:2, even though it may have no connection at all. Of course, these are only a few of the “nuggets” that one is introduced to once he enters the gap world, or the gap TRAP. Everything must now be viewed through the gap.
The flood of II Peter 3:5-7 is privately interpreted to be the gap flood of Genesis 1:2, even though Peter had just made reference to NOAH’S flood in the previous chapter (II Peter 2:5-6) and in his previous epistle (I Peter. 3:20). This is done in spite of the fact that Genesis 1:2 says NOTHING AT ALL about a gap or a flood while Genesis 6, 7, and 8 say plenty.
The gapper perpetually believes that Lucifer fell before Genesis 1:2, even though Ezekiel 28:13 allows for Lucifer’s history to go no further back than EDEN: “Thou hast been in EDEN the garden of God . . .” In fact, Ezekiel 28:13 and 28:15 clearly state that Lucifer, or the anointed cherub, was created on a DAY: “in the DAY that thou wast created” (vs. 13) and “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the DAY that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” (vs. 15) This means that Lucifer was created on one of the six DAYS of Genesis 1, not before the days began.
Ezekiel 28:13-15 also makes it clear that iniquity was found in Lucifer IN EDEN, not before Eden was created. Read the passage carefully and notice that the whole context is on a DAY in EDEN, not in a gap before Eden: “Thou hast been in EDEN the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the DAY that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the DAY that thou wast created, till INIQUITY was found in thee.” The gapper might argue at this point that Eden didn’t have a mountain, only to assume that “the gap” DID have a mountain! There is nothing in Genesis that forbids Eden from having mountains and even “the holy mountain of God.” Ezekiel 28 speaks of this place in the context of EDEN, so it’s safer to leave the mountain in Eden than to move it into a fanciful gap that isn’t mentioned at all!
From what Ezekiel tells us, we have a CREATION DAY, then a place called EDEN, then INIQUITY being committed. Sound familiar?
The gapper assumes that the angels were present before Genesis 1:2 and fell with Lucifer, yet we read in Job 38:7 that “the morning stars sang together, and ALL the sons of God shouted for joy” when God laid the foundations of the earth (vs. 4), and Exodus 20:11 tells us that God did all of this in six days, not BEFORE the six days: “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and ALL that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” The “all that in them is” would include Lucifer and the angels, all being created within the six day period. The gapper assumes that Genesis 1:3-31 is a RE-creation, but Genesis never says this, nor is it found anywhere else in the Bible. Both Lucifer and the angels were created within the original six days of Genesis 1:1-31, and they sinned and fell afterwards.
Lucifer’s fall occurred in Eden, which is why the wording of Isaiah 14:14 (“I will be like the most High”) is very similar to what Satan told Eve in Eden (“ye shall be as gods” – Gen. 3:5). That is, Lucifer did not sin separately from the fall of man; he sinned when he BROUGHT ABOUT the fall of man through his ambitious and deceptive scheme. We know this true because Ezekiel speaks of his iniquity being found in the context of EDEN (Ezk. 28:13-15), not before Eden. It is in this sense that Satan was “a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44), although he directly murdered no one. He murdered man spiritually in Genesis chapter 3, and then he led Cain to murder his brother physically in chapter 4. Satan’s fall was in his deceitful dealings with man in EDEN, not anything else.
Although most gappers acknowledge that the fall of the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2 refers to angels (which it does), most still believe that either these same angels or another group of angels also fell in the supposed gap between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 as a result of Lucifer leading them astray. This theory is not substantiated in Genesis 1:1-2, nor is it substantiated anywhere else in the Scriptures. No passage that speaks of fallen angels ever places their fall before Genesis chapter 6. II Peter 2:4 speaks of the “angels that sinned,” but the verse doesn’t say that they sinned in Genesis chapter one. II Peter 2:4 says, “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” and then the NEXT VERSE (!) makes the TIMING of their sin quite clear: “And spared not the OLD WORLD, but saved NOAH the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;” Only ONE group of angels sinned, and they sinned in the days of NOAH, not in the supposed gap of Genesis 1:1-2. These same angels are mentioned in Jude verse 6: “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” Notice how the term “the angels” is used, clearly indicating only one group, the group mentioned in Genesis 6:2. Revelation 12:1-9 does speak of Satan and his angels being cast out into the earth, a debatable issue in itself, but nothing in the passage says this happened in Genesis chapter 1. Jesus mentioned “the devil and his angels” in Matthew 25:41, but He said nothing about them sinning in Genesis chapter 1, nor will any other passage that one might produce. The clear record of Scripture is that Satan first sinned in Genesis chapter 3 and his angels first sinned in Genesis chapter 6. There is no need FOR a gap, nor is there any evidence OF a gap.
The gap theory holds that the earth was populated before Adam and Eve and then that population (a “pre-Adamite” earth) was destroyed due to Lucifer’s rebellion. This cannot be true because the New Testament is very clear in stating that there was NO DEATH BEFORE ADAM. Please note: “For since BY MAN CAME DEATH, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as IN ADAM ALL DIE, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (I Cor. 15:21-22) “Nevertheless DEATH REIGNED FROM ADAM to Moses . . .” (Rom. 5:14) Death did not reign before Adam because death did not exist before Adam, which is why “every thing” was still “very good” in Genesis 1:31; no sin, no death, no judgment, and no gap to cram between verses 1 and 2.
In closing, after offering up over 3,000 words in hopes of helping Christians to see the foolishness of this whole gap nonsense, I will attempt to summarize . . .
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. He then further formed and completed His creation through a period of six days. Sometime after that, Lucifer sinned by tricking Eve to sin, and Adam willfully sinned with her. God then promised a SEED to one day redeem man, a promise of Jesus Christ Who would one day defeat Satan (Gen. 3:15). Realizing this, Satan sets out to destroy the promised SEED by having Cain murder Abel in Genesis chapter four. When God replaces Abel with Seth, thus preserving the SEED, Satan eventually concocts a plan to corrupt all flesh upon the earth by convincing angels to cohabitate with earthly women (Gen. 6:2). God again preserves the SEED by sparing Noah and his family while destroying everyone else. This scheme of Satan continues throughout the Bible and turns out to be an unfolding three part plan: Destroy the SEED. If that fails, then destroy the SAVIOUR. If that fails, then destroy the SAINTS. I trust you can find sufficient Scripture for each point in the plan, and I can assure you that none of them will be found in “the gap.”
Seven Dangers of the
Although it’s true that the gap theory should not be a basis for Christian fellowship or a cause for bitterness and division, it is not true to claim that the gap theory is harmless. Please consider the following . . .
The Gap Theory Removes the
Focus from the REAL Genesis Flood
As we’ve already seen, II Peter 3:3-7 stresses the importance of not being “willingly . . . ignorant” of the Genesis flood. Peter mentioned the flood (Noah’s flood, of course) in I Peter 3:20, in II Peter 2:5, and then a third time in II Peter 3:3-7, which says, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”
This is a clear warning for believers to REMEMBER the flood and to be EDUCATED about it. With that education comes the ability to answer the uniformitarian scoffers who claim that nothing has really changed since Genesis chapter one (“the beginning). Obviously, the global flood of Genesis 7-8 changed everything, and there’s much evidence of it, but the gap theory creates ANOTHER flood before Genesis 1:2 and then insists that II Peter 3:3-7 is referring to THAT flood rather than Noah’s flood, thus CAUSING people to be ignorant of the effects of the TRUE Genesis flood. In other words, the gappers “steal the thunder” of II Peter 3:3-7 by misapplying the passage to their fictitious gap flood (that is mentioned nowhere in the Bible) instead of allowing the text to speak to the reader about the obvious flood of Noah’s day.
The Gap Theory Adds to the Word of God
The gappers will argue that they do not add to the word of God but that they simply study Scripture with Scripture to discover and teach their “gap fact.” The REAL fact is that their theory, as pointed out earlier, is based entirely on assumption and private interpretation. Nothing is said about a gap in Genesis 1:1, Genesis 1:2, or in any other Bible verse, and the space between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 is no larger than the space between any other verses, so the gappers must ASSUME a space, which amounts to adding to the word of God.
And that’s just the beginning. The gapper then ASSUMES that the word “was” in Genesis 1:2 must mean “became,” the word “replenish” in verse 28 must mean “repopulate,” and the usage of the word “created” in Genesis 1:21, 1:27, 2:3-4, 5:1-2, and 6:7, REALLY MEANS that God RE-created. After adding a gap to Genesis 1, the gapper also adds Lucifer and his angels, although Genesis 1:1-2 says nothing of them, nor does it say anything about a pre-Adamite race or a judgment flood, both of which are added by the gapper. The gap theory is not supported by Scripture, and it cannot be taught without adding to the word of God by making baseless assumptions. Sure, one can run helter skelter through the Bible to find “supporting” Scripture for the gap, but only after making numerous ASSUMPTIONS and REDEFINING the wording of Genesis 1. The gappers will naturally reject this point by claiming that they are PROVING the gap by studying Scripture with Scripture, a concept that non-gappers like this writer are apparently too shallow to grasp. No, it’s the gappers who turn out to be shallow, at least in their study methods, because they fail to distinguish between PROOF and THEORY. A thing isn’t proven just because someone finds (or is shown) similar terminology in selected verses. If it were, then the Campbellites can “prove” baptismal regeneration, the Charismatics can “prove” that tongues are for today, and just about anyone can “prove” that the church is going through the Great Tribulation.
For instance, Matthew 1:23 PROVES that Isaiah 7:14 is speaking about Jesus. For instance, Acts 8:30-35 PROVES that Isaiah 53 is speaking about Jesus. For instance, Genesis 15:5, Deuteronomy 1:10, and Genesis 37:9-10 PROVE that the woman of Revelation 12 is Israel, as opposed to Mary or the church. However, no Scripture proves that there exists a gap with a flood judgment and spirit beings between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. One might offer up the THEORY of such, and he might present some verses for consideration, but a theory isn’t a fact just because one wants to believe it since his favorite preacher believes it. Actual PROOF exists when something is CONCLUSIVE and nothing else is possible, not when someone makes a theory sound interesting with his choice argument, his choice verses, or by raising his voice to make his point. A theory remains a theory until proven conclusively, and, in this case, proven conclusively with Scripture.
The Gap Theory Yields to
Science Falsely So Called
The gap theory was invented for the purpose of allowing Christians to believe the scientific community as well as the Bible. It was invented to give scientists all the time that they need for advancing their theories regarding the geologic ages and progressive evolution. After the invention of the gap theory, the Christian could feel “scientific” by not claiming that the earth was only 6,000 years old, but rather accepting the possibility that it could be much older, even millions of years, if needed, so as to allow for aging rock formations, the fossil record, etc.
We were warned about “science” in I Timothy 6:20 when Paul spoke of avoiding “science falsely so called.” We are not avoiding it when we give ground to it by allowing for its corrupt teachings. Our duty as Bible believers is to stand our ground and never give place to the devil (Eph. 4:27). The Bible does NOT allow for the earth being millions (or billions!) of years old, and Noah’s flood accounts for the “geologic ages” and the fossil record. The flood record is the evidence that God gave us, not the gap theory, so we should learn more of the evidences of Noah’s flood and use that information against “science falsely so called.”
The Gap Theory Appeals to
One’s Carnal Nature
There isn’t enough Scripture to soundly support the gap theory, and there’s nothing at all said of it in Genesis, yet many are still drawn to it. Why? Although this certainly isn’t the case with every gapper, with many the strongest motivation for subscribing to the gap theory is nothing more than the “fleshly mind” (Col. 2:18) having a desire to “know the deep things,” to “unravel the hidden mystery.” It’s akin to Eve’s temptation to partake of “a tree to be desired to make one wise” (Gen. 3:6). If you’ve spoken with many gappers about the issue, you’ve likely seen this proud show of the flesh on display. It’s basically a superiority complex where the one believing the theory feels superior to those who do not believe the theory, so their proud flesh struts like a peacock as they fill you in on “the gap fact.” Just as abortion is the sacrament of liberalism (to quote Rush Limbaugh), the gap theory is the sacrament of many professing Bible believers. With many, it’s the untouchable, never-to-be-questioned holy grail that all “true” believers are supposed to embrace. Those who do question it are immediately subjected to personal insults, accusations and name calling by people who claim to be superior Christians.
Now, you tell me: does that sound like Holy Spirit-led activity, or does it sound carnal? My observation through the years is that both, the acceptance of and the defense of the gap theory are more CARNAL in nature than spiritual. By the Lord’s rule found in Matthew 7:20, this one becomes a no brainer, at least for me.
The Gap Theory Violates the
Law of First Mention
Most of those in our Bible-believing churches who subscribe to the gap theory also subscribe to a general and more common belief in what is called the Law of First Mention. This is an unwritten Bible study rule that states that oftentimes when a word or doctrine is first mentioned in the Bible a specific definition is set for it, a definition that holds through throughout the Scriptures. Most Bible-believers follow this rule, including most gappers.
However, the rule doesn’t seem to matter to the gappers when it comes to their gap theory. As pointed out earlier, the phrase “without form and void” is found twice in the Bible. The gappers use the SECOND mention of the phrase for their definition because its first mention in Genesis 1:2 says nothing at all about a judgment.
The same is true with their way of defining the “darkness” of Genesis 1:2. Nothing in Genesis 1:2 says or implies that anything bad had happened to cause the darkness, yet the gappers write page after page to show where darkness is associated with judgment throughout the Bible (as if we didn’t already know that!), completely ignoring the fact that its first mention in Genesis 1:2 does not teach this.
The first mention of “replenish” is found within the original six-day creative week (Gen. 1:28). Within that same week and chapter the interchangeable word “fill” is also used in the same context of populating the earth (Gen. 1:22), yet the gappers ignore this definition that God provided to them while choosing Genesis 9:1 for their preferred definition.
The Gap Theory Obstructs other
As mentioned earlier, many gappers (though not all) view the entire Bible from their gap theory perspective, or through their gap “lens.” This causes them to see things in the Scriptures that aren’t even there, just as they see a gap in Genesis 1:1-1:2. For instance, just recently a gapper told me that the “fountains of the deep” in Proverbs 8:28 do not refer to earth’s oceans and its fountains, yet the context of Proverbs 8:22-31 clearly shows that it DOES refer to the oceans and the “fountains” that it contains, the very fountains that were “broken up” in Genesis 7:11, although many gappers believe that the fountains of Genesis 7:11 are in a body of water above the solar system. This twisted approach to the Scriptures causes them and those that they teach to MISS what God wants them to see in the Scriptures while playing the gap game instead.
Another good example is II Peter 3:3-7. Peter had already mentioned Noah’s flood twice, once in I Peter 3:20 and again in II Peter 2:5. Any normal person reading II Peter 3:3-7 would realize that NOAH’S FLOOD is the context, which is good because God is using the passage to inform us that Noah’s flood offers some great lessons of which we should not be “willingly ignorant.” Yet, many gappers completely ignore the fact that Noah’s flood is the context and then claim that II Peter 3:3-7 is speaking about the “gap flood” of Genesis 1:1-1:2, although no flood is mentioned in Genesis 1, and the Bible says nowhere that Genesis 1 had a flood! In short, the reader is robbed of the true lessons of II Peter 3:3-7 by being distracted with the nonsense of the gappers. (See our message The Sevenfold Significance of the Genesis Flood)
Another Bible truth that is often obstructed by the gap theory is the existence of dinosaurs and other “pre-historic” animals in the days of Noah. The Genesis account plainly states that ALL animals were created on the fifth and sixth days of Genesis chapter 1. This means that dinosaurs lived on earth during the pre-flood days of Noah, and some might have lived for a while afterwards. That is a Bible truth that the Holy Spirit wants Christians to understand. In fact, God has led many believers to use this interesting truth as a good witnessing tool, especially to children. Yet, many gappers suggest that dinosaurs either never lived at all or that they lived on the “pre-Adamite” earth before the “gap flood.” No, they lived on earth before NOAH’S flood, some were probably on the ark, but later died out or were killed. Some might even be the “dragons” of the Bible, and even leviathan and behemoth from Job 40 and 41.
Those are Bible truths that the Holy Spirit placed in the Scriptures for our instruction, yet the gappers obstruct these truths and other truths with their foolish and unscriptural theory.
The Gap Theory Creates Contradictions
The gap theory holds that the earth was populated by Lucifer and some other beings before the time of Adam and Eve and that these pre-Adamite beings rebelled and were judged by God in a global flood. Then the earth was RE-created in Genesis 1:3-31.
For some reason, the gappers don’t mind contradicting the word of God in support of their theory. My guess is that most do not realize they are contradicting the word of God, but they clearly are. Please note:
The Bible never says that the earth was populated before Adam and Eve. In fact, Jesus referred to ADAM and EVE, not a pre-Adamite race, being made “at the beginning” (Mat. 19:4).
The Bible never says that Lucifer, or the anointed cherub, existed before the time of Eden. Ezekiel 28:13-15 allows for Lucifer to go back only as far as one of the six creative days and that his iniquity was found in “Eden,” not in a time BEFORE Eden.
The “angels that sinned” (II Pet. 2:4-5) are clearly the “sons of God” of Genesis 6:2, in the days of Noah, and Jude 6 says that they left their “first estate” (heaven) to commit this sin. So, they could not have sinned BEFORE Genesis 6:2, otherwise they would not have been in heaven, their “first estate.”
The gap theory holds that there was judgment and death before the time of Adam and Eve, but the New Testament states that death began WITH Adam, not before Adam (I Cor. 15:21-22; Rom. 5:12).
The above is only a sampling of the kind of contradictions that are left behind as gap theory advocates trample carelessly through the word of God teaching their theory. To the casual Bible reader it seems like a non- issue, but the carful reader sees many problems with the gap theory, problems that do not reconcile with the word of God. Should we fight and break fellowship over the issue? No, but neither should we give ground to the erroneous gappers who often DO cause problems with their unscriptural theory. As is often the case, moderation is the key: “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” (Philippians 4:5)
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