I was reminded of the gap theory while reading Genesis 1 this morning. If you have a Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible, you can read about it in his notes on Genesis. Kenneth Hagin mentions it a few times in his writings as well. When I heard this theory years ago, it made sense and answered many questions for me. To repeat, it’s a theory, not a doctrine. That means it could have been this way, but there’s not enough proof from scripture to call it a doctrine. So I submit these thoughts in a non-dogmatic way.
Here’s the theory. There’s a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. Sometime in eternity past, God created the heavens and earth. But the earth became without form and void, and the light of the sun became hindered from giving light to the earth. Between the two verses something happened that created chaos on earth.
Here’s what many believe about the gap after examining the fall of Lucifer and other passages such as Ezekiel 28:11-19; Jeremiah 4: 23-24; Isaiah 14: 12-14; and 2 Peter 3: 5-7. God created the earth in eternity past. It could have been tens of thousands or millions of years ago. He also created a race of beings that inhabited the earth at that time. In this social order, the dinosaurs were on earth along with this man-like creature. Dake calls this race of beings Pre-Adamites, because they were created before Adam. How long they existed, no one knows.
When Lucifer was kicked out of heaven due to rebellion to God, he fell to the earth, and corrupted it. This race of beings was corrupted, and a flood destroyed the whole social order of the time, including the dinosaurs and other strange creatures that existed of which we have fossil remains. After this the ice age emerged as well.
As the theory goes, God then recreated the heavens and the earth in Genesis 1:3 through the rest of the chapter. Satan’s rebellion caused chaos on the planet, and God took what was here, brought order, and then created mankind as a new race of living beings.
To many, this may seem far fetched! But if you examine the Hebrew words carefully in the above mentioned passages, there is a bit of light here. Not enough to make a doctrine or to dogmatic about, but enough to say, it could have been that way.
For me, the theory explains the fossils we find that are so unlike our current social order of creation; it explains why the earth could be older than 6000 years. It explains demon spirits, which are different than fallen angels, and which many believe are the spirits of this Pre-Adamite race that was destroyed when the earth became chaotic after God had to judge it and destroy it when Lucifer fell.
Another interesting book to read is Kenneth Hagin’s The Triumphant Church. He mentions the Gap Theory there with some detail. Another prolific author that explains this view in many of his writings is Gordon Lindsay, founder of Christ for the Nations Bible school in Texas.
There’s so much that we don’t know. But what we do know is that the Father loves us so much that He spent a lot of time creating this world to be a place where life can thrive. He’s coming back to lift the curse from it one day, and we’ll live with Him for eternity here in glorified bodies. That’s enough to make me shout!