I was reading your magazine...very good! In the August 2007 issue, an article caught my eye, and I need you to clear up something for me.
You state that Lucifer was created before the six days of creation recorded in Genesis. I have always been under the impression that according to Exodus 20:11, and Genesis 1:1, that God made heaven first, and all that is in heaven, then earth, beginning with earth’s foundations as mentioned in Jeremiah 31:37. Nehemiah 9:6 seems to support that. Could that mean that heaven and all its host were created, then sang as our Great and Awesome God began to lay the foundations of the earth? Revelation states that our Savior, The Lamb was slain “from the foundation of the earth” (Revelation 13:8). Apparently, His sacrifice was made after the heavens, and the heaven of heavens, and all the host thereof was created. When then, did Lucifer fall, if he was created by God on the first day?
I don't believe in the so-called “gap theory,” so I have always been puzzled by this!
This is an honest question, Sir. I am sure in my salvation, and praise God for all He has done for me. I can wait for the answer until eternity, and then it won’t really matter if time does not allow you to answer! Thank you for your time, and the magazine!
The first chapter of Genesis records God’s creative works during six twenty-four hour days. But the first two verses record God’s work of creating the heaven and the earth sometime before the six days of remaking the existing planet that had fallen into a state defined as “without form and void,” apparently occasioned by Lucifer’s sin, also involving one third of the angels. So there is a time gap of undetermined length between the first and third verses of the first chapter of Genesis. Other passages in the Bible address this subject more definitively. Nearly every Bible commentary, whether ancient or modern, assumes the existence of this time gap. However, in recent years opposition has arisen to this historical Biblical doctrine. Modern opponents now call this wonderful Biblical fact “the gap theory” in an attempt to associate it with the “theory” of evolution.
This anti-gap theory is a new doctrine in the church that has come into popularity only in the last 40 years, corresponding to the decline in sound Biblical teaching and holiness. To not believe in a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:3 is not only contrary to clear Scripture, it is not in keeping with the historical positions of both Judaism and Bible-believing Christianity. There is no reason to reject the plain sense of Scripture on this subject except that which has arisen in modern times—a need to prove a young earth in order to deny theistic evolutionists a time frame for evolution to occur. Only those influenced by the “Christian scientists” have been led away from orthodoxy on this point. I will quote a portion of my book Eight Kingdoms.
Modern secular scientists believe that the earth and universe are millions of years old. We who know and believe the Bible reject that claim outright. In the late nineteenth century and early to mid-twentieth century, many professing Christians were made to doubt their own Bibles concerning a six-day creation. They sought to harmonize the creation miracle with what they thought was proven science — organic evolution over eons of time. These compromising Christians imagined that the six days in Genesis were vast ages that would allow enough time for God to employ a process of evolution, slowly bringing about advances in the complexity and variety of life. They called this clumsy hybrid “Theistic Evolution”. The Roman Pope, John Paul, affirmed his belief that life began through the process of organic evolution. As apostasy increases in these last days sound doctrine will be more and more cast aside and replaced with popular fads.
Throughout those years of unholy marriage of belief with unbelief, faithful Bible believers never wavered. We knew the Bible to be clear, that the creation events of Genesis chapter one were completed in six twenty-four-hour days.
But, as already pointed out, the earth did indeed exist prior to the beginning of the six days of creation recorded in Genesis 1:3. Furthermore, well before Darwin came along, and before backslidden Christians sought to make time for evolution, Bible believers knew and proclaimed that the earth existed before the six days of Genesis. One example will suffice. Everyone is familiar with 5th century Augustine. He wrote in his Confessions that which was commonly believed in his day.
“Chapter VIII—Heaven and Earth were made “In the beginning;” afterwards the world, during six days, from shapeless matter.
For very wonderful is this corporeal heaven; of which firmament between water and water, the second day, after the creation of light, Thou saidst, Let it be made, and it was made. Which firmament Thou calledst heaven; the heaven, that is, to this earth and sea, which Thou madest the third day, by giving a visible figure to the formless matter, which Thou madest before all days. For already hadst Thou made both an heaven, before all days; but that was the heaven of this heaven; because In the beginning Thou hadst made heaven and earth. But this same earth which Thou madest was formless matter, because it was invisible and without form, and darkness was upon the deep…”
The Jews of old recognized this obvious truth, that the earth was created sometime before Genesis 1:3. They had no reason to be biased one way or the other. They just believed the Hebrew text as it read and therefore believed in a “gap”. When I open up a commentary, unless it was written in the last twenty five years, I know that it is going to assume the reality of a gap. I went through the ones in my library and all but one recognized the gap. They are: The Bible Knowledge Commentary; A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory; The Wycliffe Bible Commentary; Jamieson, Fausset and Brown; and Bible Believer’s Commentary. None of them sought to insert evolution into the gap.
How did the gap fact fall into disfavor? When Christian scientists got serious about defending special creation, they found many “Christian” theistic evolutionists entrenched in what they called the “gap theory”. The Christian scientists sought to sweep away that argument by attacking the Biblical doctrine of the gap itself. Possibly they were not aware that it has been a well-established doctrine throughout Biblical history, for they speak as if they think it is a concept invented by theistic evolutionists. Nearly every publication on special creation, whether of magazines, pamphlets, or books, will take a swipe at “The Gap Theory.” This author greatly appreciates the many works published by these Christian scientists. They have done a wonderful job of challenging the evolutionists and providing the doubting Christians with scientific proof of special creation. Our thanks go out to them. But in their zeal to rid the theistic evolutionists of their “biblical” foundation, in this one instance they have trashed the Scripture with their “science.”
Let me be absolutely clear. By believing that the earth existed before the six days of creation and that it was inhabited by angels and cherubim, complete with plants and animals much like it is today, we are not suggesting that the earth is millions of years old or that God needed a great deal of time to bring about creation. The earth may be just ten years older than the six days of remaking. It could be a thousand or ten thousand years older. It is probably no more than 100,000 years older, but then that is only a “scientific” guess by one who is not a scientist. Certainly the earth was created with the appearance of age, no matter how old it is. This author is nothing more than a student of the Bible. The Bible doesn’t suggest that the earth is old. It just states that it existed prior to the six days of recreation. With the Bible speaking clearly, we don’t need science to support it, and we will not allow scientists — Christian or otherwise — to tell us differently. The evolutionists didn’t sway us by pointing to “science” and neither will we be swayed by the “science” of well-meaning but Biblically inaccurate Christian scientists. The old book will weather all the fads.”
For those of you new to the subject, a brief overview of this historical position is in order. The first sentence of the Bible is, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” The same Hebrew phrase is used in Proverbs 8:22-23 in reference to wisdom, “The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.” The entire issue can be expressed in one sentence: Is verse one a prologue to the whole account of creation that is recorded in verse three and following, as the anti gap proponents tells us, or is the first verse an account of a creation prior to the six days? The anti gap theorists claim that verse one is indeed a prologue and then they turn to science to “prove” it. The evidence for the historical position of a gap is much more extensive scripturally and does not resort to extra Biblical arguments to support its position. We don’t point to the age of rocks or the time it takes for sand to form, etc. We know that regardless of when the earth was created or how old it is, it had to have been created with the appearance of age, just as was Adam. The trees God created had growth rings and rocks contained fossils. That is no concern to a Bible believer. We believe in a gap, just as believers have down through the ages, because the Bible teaches it. Let the scientists guess. It is a worthy profession, but God’s Word need not be interpreted through the lens of various theories, be they “Christian” or secular.
If you claim to believe the Bible, stop being huffy long enough to see what the text actually says. The first day’s creation began in verse three with the same statement that precedes each of the six days, “And God said….” Likewise each of the six day’s work ends with, “And the evening and the morning were the first/second/third/etc. day.” Note carefully, each of the six days is bracketed in the same manner. The Holy Spirit is technical. All of the creative acts are spelled out in six days, and the six days are defined with identically bracketed statements. You can make a chart depicting what was created on each day, as has been done many times, but your chart will not include the creation of the water, soil, rock, or the heaven. These things are assumed to exist as the raw material for the fist day’s creative work— “Let there be light.” The first act of the six days was to separate light from darkness on a chaotic planet that the Holy Spirit had been moving over in contemplation. You do not read “And God said, Let there be a heavens, and earth, and water, and darkness.” The first act of the six days was the creation of light into the darkness that surrounded a chaotic earth. There is much more evidence, but this text alone should be enough to convince anyone who is not motivated by an outside agenda, not matter how noble.
On the second day, after light (Gen. 1:6), God does not create water or land; he divides the existing waters from the existing land. The land and the water had been created in Genesis 1:1 sometime before the commencement of the six days. This is not difficult. Before apologists needed an argument against the theistic evolutionists, no Bible believer had any trouble understanding this plain and simple text. Why trash the Bible with a false argument just to deny an unbeliever a convenient argument? They are not worth it.
I have heard some try to explain away the implications of the text by saying that Genesis 1:1-2 are just summary verses, a prologue to the details that follow. Such an argument demonstrates little respect for the text. They would have us believe that God is a sloppy writer, not able to articulate his thoughts. You have five elements present at the same time in the first two verses:
It is impossible to fit those five things at the same time into any point in the six days of creation. God creates light on the first day, so after that first act of creation the conditions of verses 1-2 never exist again. Those conditions must precede the six days. To call verses one and two a summary is to suggest that the Holy Spirit did an extremely poor job of summing up a beautiful creation.
I ask you; where in the six days is land, water, and darkness created? Where is space created—dimension, time, and atoms the substance of all things? These things are assumed to exist from the beginning, before the six day creation.
Note that on the fourth day (1:14-19) God created the sun and moon. This was after light already existed on the earth from day one. That light did not come from the sun. It came from the stars. Verse sixteen adds an amendment, just to assure us of their origin, “…he made the stars also.” Notice carefully, it does not say, “And God said let there be stars in the heavens” as it does of the sun and moon. It just informs us that he was also the author of stars. The stars already existed when the earth was created—long before the six days, for we read, “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? …When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-7). The stars rejoiced in the creation of the earth. This was not the six day creation, for this star attended extravaganza occurred when God “laid the foundations of the earth.”
The Scriptures are clear. The earth was created sometime after the stars. That demands a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:3. Why fight the truth? Why does the Word of God trouble your views? Let’s all say it together, “I believe in the gap fact.” The truth shall set you free.
Now let us examine the text more closely and see if the Holy Spirit has left us any evidence. There are two different words used in regard to God’s creative words—created and made. These two English words correspond exactly to two Hebrew words (also two Greek words and two Latin words in the Greek and Latin translations).
The Hebrew word behind our English word created is bara. It appears 54 times in the Hebrew text. In the Authorized Version it is primarily translated as “create” and “creator”. It is used exclusively for acts of God in creating something out of nothing.
The Hebrew word behind our English word made is asah. It occurs 2633 times in the Hebrew Bible and always carries the meaning of making something out of that which previously exists. The Holy Spirit was careful to make a distinction by employing two different words. We must recognize and accept this distinction.
As we said, created (bara) is a verb used exclusively of God. It speaks of making something out of nothing, whereas made (asah) is used of man quite frequently and speaks of making something out of previously existing material. Only God can create, but he can also make something new from previously existing material, like when he “made” wine from water, or when he “made” the firmament above the earth out of previously existing material (Genesis 1:7) or “made” two great lights to rule the day and night (Genesis 1:16).
Notice the clear pattern in the way the two words are used.
It is most revealing that of the 54 times the Hebrew text uses the word bara (create in the AV) it is never in reference to man as the creator, but beginning with Genesis 3:7, where Adam and Eve made themselves aprons, the Hebrew word asah (made) is used hundreds of times in reference to man, the maker of things from previously existing materials. Clearly, the Bible intends to frame a distinction between these two words.
In answer to those who would claim that these two words are just synonyms, the text uses the two words together, expressing their differences and similarities.
Beautiful, isn’t it? When the Holy Spirit sums up his work, he makes it a point to tell us again that he had both created and made. The soul of man was created in the image of God, but his body was made from dust, so both words apply to Adam. Likewise, the heavens were originally created and then at a later time were made as we now know them today.
It is wonderful to have such a beautiful book so perfectly preserved for us—right from the mouth of God. “Sing them over again to me, wonderful words of life!” Yes, I am singing as I write.
That brings us to two passages used by the “young earth” theorists, to refute the gap fact.
Having come to understand God’s use of the two words—created and made—you can now understand the passage. In six days God made, not created, the heaven (singular) and earth. That is exactly what he did. He took the previously existing material and made the heaven (the atmosphere containing clouds and birds, called the first heaven) and earth. In six days it went from a dark and formless ball of frozen matter to a beautiful garden full of life. He made it in six days. We will deal with this word heaven/heavens later.
We see the two phases expressed again. He originally created and then he performed the making of it, here expressed as “spread forth” the earth.
On a side note, the underlined portion above (Isaiah 42:5) speaks of the earth as the source of the things created upon it—plants, animals, even the body of Adam.
The prophet also utilizes the distinction between the words create and formed/made.
Isaiah 43:7 “Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”
The soul was created; the body was formed from common dirt; and so God made man. Bible words are eternal words that will never pass away. The text cannot be improved upon. “Wonderful words of life!”
Isaiah 45:12 “I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.”
During the six day creation the earth was made, man was created, and the heavens were stretched out. “The perfection of beauty, God hath shined.”
Why is there a gap between the original creation and the six day creation? What happened to cause the earth to become without form and void? Let’s look at the clues the Bible gives us as to the history of the universe and its inhabitants.
Genesis 1:2 describes the chaotic earth as “without form and void.” The Hebrew word behind without form is tohuw, which means formlessness, confusion, unreality, emptiness, wasteland, wilderness, chaos.
Though the earth was “without form and void” (tohuw) before the six day creation, Isaiah tells us that it was not originally created that way.
Isaiah 45:18 “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 (tohuw), he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.”
The Hebrew word tohuw, used in Genesis 1:2 and in Isaiah 45:18 occurs 20 times in the Hebrew Scripture and is translated in the Authorize Version as “vain” four times, “vanity” four times, “confusion” three times, “without form” twice, “wilderness” twice, “nought” twice, “nothing” once, “empty place” once, and “waste” once.
This is an amazing revelation! Isaiah 45:18 tells us that the earth was not created tohuw, yet Genesis 1:2 tells us that it was in fact tohuw before the first day of recreation. So something must have happened between the time it was created not tohuw and the time when the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the tohuw planet. If you are going to have any credibility rejecting the gap, you must answer this argument.
It is most revealing to read the 20 passages where this Hebrew word tohuw is used. It will enable you to define the word clearly. Here is a sampling representative of the twenty verses.
One further use of the Hebrew word tohuw is fascinating. As was the manner with prophets in predicting the coming invasion of Israel and their being carried into captivity, Jeremiah takes up a lamentation against Israel based on the former destruction of the original earth before the six days of creation. He employs the exact Hebrew words found in Genesis 1:2.
Jeremiah 4:23-26 “I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form [tohuw—same word used in Genesis 1:2], and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger.”
This passage must me more far-reaching than Israel, for the earth itself, not just Israel, was without form. To say that there was no light from the heavens fits the original chaotic earth but could only be employed as figurative language in reference to Israel. There was never a time when Israel had no man and no birds, but it was true of the earth in Genesis 1:1-2. The gap fact by no means depends upon interpreting this passage in this manner, but it is fascinating.
We know that there is a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:3 because the angels were present when the earth was created and they were already associated with the stars before the six days of recreation. God wanted to humble Job, so he asked him a series of questions about basic facts of the earth’s origin, which no man has ever answered, nor will they. These things could not be known other than by Divine revelation.
Job 38:1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
“Sons of God” found five times in the OT, all five times referring to angels. Following are two examples.
- Job 1:6 “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.”
- Job 2:1 “Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.”
8 Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?
Psalm 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. [The first heaven was made from the second heaven]
7 He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. [This occurred on the third day (Genesis 1:9).]
8 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
9 For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
9 When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it, [Tells us how the earth came to be covered in darkness.]
10 And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,
11 And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed? [Here is a description of God separating the waters and the dry land on day two (Genesis 1:6).]
12 Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring [first light of day] to know his place; [The sun was given a place to light the earth after it had been swaddled in darkness.]
The series of impossible questions God directed at Job are chronological, in keeping with the events of Genesis 1, revealing that the earth was not originally created without form, but came to be in that condition by direct act of God—no doubt when Lucifer sinned upon the earth, which brings us to additional texts.
The passage in Job alone is sufficient to demand a preexistent earth, but there are others.
Psalm 82:1-7 “God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods....”
5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.
6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.
These gods were not men, but they were “children of the most High” which could not be said of sinners, and these gods would die like men.
In case you are not aware that the angels are the class called gods, please note, Satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). “For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)” (1 Corinthians 8:5).
God “judged among the gods” (angels) when some were fallen into darkness and the foundations of the earth were out of course.
Why did God destroy the original earth, making it without form and void? Why, as the text says, did God make “the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it” (Job 38)? What moved God to bring the beautiful and perfect original earth to the condition Jeremiah described?
“I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled” (Jeremiah 4:23-25).
No such condition has ever existed since the creation of man; nor does prophecy reveal that such will ever happen before the destruction of the earth at the end of the Millennium (Revelation 21:1).
The Psalmist briefly speaks of the chaotic earth and associates it with “the gods”—angels.
“God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.... They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes” (Psalm 82:1-8).
Again the Psalmist links the angels, called “gods”, to the event of the earth being covered with thick darkness and water.
“Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire: Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away” (Psalm 104:5-7).
The first earth was destroyed—placed under a curse of death—because it was the domain of the Cherub Lucifer and of that portion of the angels who committed the original sin sometime before the six day recreation. Later, when Adam sinned God responded in the same manner by cursing the planet on which the sin occurred, revealing God’s modes of operand in response to rebellion in his universe. We know that Lucifer and one third (Rev. 12:4) of the angels sinned before the six days of recreation because Lucifer was already the enemy of God, standing in the garden tempting Eve before the end of the first week. It is just a matter of believing what God says.
God charges Lucifer with the destruction of the earth.
“That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?” (Is. 14:17).
God gave Jeremiah a lamentation to speak against the king of Tyrus, comparing his sin to that of Lucifer’s, revealing the original sin and how it occurred.
Ezekiel 28:11 “Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
13 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.
14 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.
15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
16… thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.”
There is no way that the facts of Ezekiel’s lamentation could be applied to a sinful human king. Observe the peculiarities that could only pertain to the anointed cherub Lucifer.
It would be absurd nonsense to apply this to a human being, but it fits the sin of the anointed Cherub perfectly and is supported by additional Scripture. Isaiah 14 is addressed to Lucifer—the original name of the devil.
Isaiah 14:11 “Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols [musical pipes]: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?”
Again, this is addressed to Lucifer. Observe the main points.
This passage, very similar to the passage in Ezekiel, is addressed to Lucifer, son of the morning, the anointed cherub, former ruler of Eden (earth), perfect and beautiful from his creation, originator of sin, the enemy of God, tempter of mankind, god of this world, the father of lies, prince of all demons, accuser of the brethren, the serpent whose head will soon be crushed by the seed of the woman, destined to a the pit covered with worms to tempt and torment no more.
Putting all the evidence together, it is obvious that the original earth, before man was created, was the dwelling place of the cherubim and angels (Ezek. 28:13; 31:9-18). Lucifer, Eden's governor, rebelled against God (Is.14; Ezek.28) and received the judgment of physical death with the subsequent cursing of the planet (Jer. 4:23-26). After many centuries or millennium the earth, created “to be inhabited forever” (Isa. 45:17-18), was renewed with man, a creature of less statue than its original custodians (Heb. 2:7).
Since Lucifer was already in a fallen, disembodied state (Gen. 3:4-5), and since his original home was Eden, and he is the “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4 ), and his angels are called “gods (Gen. 3:5),” and when he sinned he “ascended up” (Isa. 14:13) to heaven and was cast back “down” (Isa. 14:15) to hell, it is clear that the earth (Eden) was originally the home of Lucifer and “his (Rev. 12:9) angels.”
The subsequent struggle, with the opening act under the tree of knowledge of good and evil, culminates on the edge of the bottomless pit some seven thousand years later (Rev. 12:7; and chapter 20).
The proponents of the anti gap theory assume that prior to about 6,000 years ago, before the six day creation recorded in Genesis one, matter, space, and energy did not exist, and, by inference, neither did time. They lean heavily on two passages to support their theory that the entire universe, including God’s Heaven, and the earth were all created in those six days.
Exodus 20:11 “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.”
Exodus 31:17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
Their argument is simple: If God made the heaven and the earth in six days, as the two passages above declare, then the passage in Genesis 1:1-2 that says “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” could not be other than part of the six days, not some event prior to it as the gap proponents claim. Their argument would be entirely valid and irrefutable if the passages rendered the word heaven in the plural as it does elsewhere, and if it said created instead of made. But the Holy Spirit rendered heaven singular, indicating that only one of three heavens was created in Genesis 1:1. In case you have a problem basing an argument on the number of a noun, remember that the apostle Paul did just that in Galatians 3:16.
There are three heavens, as seen by the fact that Paul was caught up to the third heaven (1Corinthians 12:2), which is God’s dwelling place on the outer reaches of the universe—or perhaps beyond it. The second heaven contains sun, moon, and stars. It is what we call the universe, and was created in Genesis 1:1, spoken of in the singular. “In the beginning, God made the heaven,” not heavens. It would serve your understanding well to read all 716 times that the word heaven appears. Many passages speak of the first heaven, the one God made on the second day (Genesis 1:7-8). It is the space, firmament, above the earth, the place where birds fly, clouds form, and tall buildings reach into this heaven.
The first chapter of Genesis speaks of heaven in the singular six times, and then Genesis 2:1 sums up God’s creative works by telling us, “Thus the heavens [plural for the first time] and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.” Then 2:4 reinforces this concept, saying, “These are the generations [plural] of the heavens [plural] and of the earth when they were created [First earth and second heaven created in Genesis 1:1.], in the day that the LORD God made [The making of the earth and heavens occurred in the six days of recreation.] the earth and the heavens.”
Further confirmation is imbedded in the use of both words, created and made in the text, letting us know one generation was creation and another was primarily God making something out of the previously existing creation.
Notice the plural generations. A generation is a given course of history, a time in which a particular order or economy exists. By Genesis 2:4 the heavens (plural) had already experienced more than one generation.
Again, we are challenged on the statement, “in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,” suggesting that the text is telling us that heaven and earth were both made on the same 24 hour day. But the six days reveal no such thing. Heaven was made on the second day, and dry earth was made on the third day. Throughout the Bible a generation of time is spoken of as a day. This by no means suggests that the six days were other than 24 hour days, for they were defined as one period of light and one of dark—24 hours.
The Holy Spirit went to great lengths to communicate clearly: Heaven/heavens, generations (plural), created and made, the six days recreation based on an assumption of prior existence of a chaotic planet. Why fight the plain truth just to prove a narrowly held supposition of a few Christian scientists whose view is not based on the Bible itself but on the need to deny theistic evolutionists a convenient argument? It serves no purpose to twist the truth in order to prove the truth. The Bible is an exciting and thrilling book, speaking plainly to those who have no outside agenda. There is more Scriptural evidence for a gap—much more, but it would take an entire book to cover it all. There are some things I have not dealt with, some obscure arguments for which there are easy answers—to easy and obvious to deserve dignifying by recounting them. Scripturally, there is not worthy challenge to the gap fact. Believe it and the Bible becomes a much bigger drama with acts preceding the present one, leaving us anticipating a consummation in the Age of Ages that is all the more glorious for it.
If you enjoyed this discussion and would like to learn more, check out Michael Pearl’s 27-page booklet, The Gap Fact, which offers further insight into this topic.