The Gap in Genesis 1:1-2
Genesis 1:1-2 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 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.
There are many varying viewpoints on the creation of the world. Some view it as a literal six days, others that each day was 6,000 years and then there are those that believe in the gap theory, as it is disdainfully called. The gap theory is described on about.com as..
The gap theory, also known as the ruin-reconstruction theory or gap creationism, suggests that a time gap equaling millions (or perhaps even billions) of years occurred between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. This theory is one of several Old Earth Creationism views.
Although proponents of the gap theory deny the concept of an evolutionary process, they do believe the earth is much older than the 6,000 or so years accounted for in the Scriptures. In addition to the age of the earth, the gap theory presents possible solutions to other incompatibilities between scientific theory and the Bible record.
When you read the following quotes you will understand that brother Branham espoused to the gap theory or the doctrine of ruin-reconstruction. I will have you read the statements that he made and then I will review the Scriptures.
I was talking to a person not long ago. He was trying to discuss with me and saying, “Aren’t you ashamed to say that God created the heavens and earth in three days, or, in six days?” I said, “That’s what the Bible said.” Said, “Well, we got evidence and can prove that the world is millions of years old.” I said, “That didn’t have anything to do with it. In Genesis 1:1, it said, ‘In the beginning God created heavens and earth’ period. See? That’s all. Now, the world without form and void.” And I said, “I believe every seed was laying right there from some other civilization or something, and as soon as the water lifted off and the light struck it, up come the trees and everything.”
63-0321 – The Fourth Seal
And God took that great chaos of darkness, and transformed it into a garden of Eden, see, by His Word. That’s how we’re transformed, by God’s Word. When God said, “Let there be light,” and that mass of creation out there come over in around the sun, and begin to revolve around the sun, and became a garden of Eden because it obeyed the Word of God. It done the perfect will of God, for it was transformed from chaos, into a garden of Eden, by the Word of God.
65-1031M – Power Of Transformation
My daughter back there, Rebekah, was saying, “Daddy, in school we proved that the… that there are millions and millions of years this world is old. Then isn’t that contradictory to the Bible?” “No, sir,” I said. “It isn’t.” 51 “Well,” said, “if the—the different study of rocks and formations, and stalactites and stalagmites and so forth, prove that, dripping, of millions of years, and God said He made the heavens and earth in one twenty-four hours, doesn’t that misprove, disprove the Bible?” I said, “No.” 52 If you’ll notice, God telling Moses about the Bible, He said, “In the beginning God created the heavens and earth.” Period! How long it took, that’s none of our business. Then He goes ahead and begins to bring in His time of putting seed in the earth. But, “In the beginning,” might have been hundreds of billions of trillions of years, aeons of time, but, “God created the heavens and the earth.” Period! That settles that. That’s the first step. See? He makes no mistakes.
62-0318 – The Spoken Word Is The Original Seed
Here are three points we want to gather from these excerpts from brother Branham;
- there was another civilization prior to the creation of the garden of Eden
- God transformed the earth from a darkness and chaos into the garden of Eden
- There were billions or perhaps trillions of years prior God creating the garden of Eden
1. There Was Another Civilization Prior To the Creation of the Garden of Eden
I want to review these three points in detail and expand upon them as much as it would stay within the bounds of what brother Branham is teaching. Prior to the six days of creation there was another civilization that existed. The definition of the word civilization is, “the process by which a society or place reaches an advanced stage of social development and organization or the stage of human social development and organization that is considered most advanced.” To have a civilization you cannot merely have animals living upon the planet. There needs to be some type of individuals who can reason, who can learn, who can communicate and organize themselves by government, etc.
We have absolutely no record in Scripture of any kind of human civilization prior to the creation of Adam and Eve. We understand clearly that angelic beings were created just after God brought forth his Logos from himself and that prior to the creation of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden Satan was already a fallen being.
When Lucifer fell and became Satan he was cast down to earth. Who created this civilization prior to Eden we do not know. In this quote brother Branham alludes to the possibility that the serpent was like unto prehistoric man, something next to (ie-similar to) man.
Today science is looking for a bone of some animal that connects man and monkey together. The closest they got is a chimpanzee. They can’t find a bone. They’ll never, because it’s a serpent. It’s a revelation of God. Watch. The serpent was a—like a prehistoric man, something next to God—or next to man.
59-0628E – Questions And Answers
So, perhaps this early civilization prior to Genesis 1:2, was like unto the serpent, in the image of man, but not in the image of God, but could walk upright, reason, etc.
2. God transformed the earth from a darkness and chaos into the garden of Eden
Genesis 1:2 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.
The original creation was completed, a civilization of some sort was upon it, at some point Lucifer and his angels fell and were cast down to earth and then we find the earth in this condition. It was “without form”, which shows that it was brought to a condition of desolation, a waste land, and “void” and this means it was empty, or more specifically, an indistinguishable ruin. Brother Branham described it as “a chaos of darkness.” According to the Scripture and the nature of God, He makes nothing in a condition of chaos of darkness. “God is Light and in Him is no darkness at all.” He makes all things with order and exactness. Darkness is a result of sin, chaos is a result of God’s judgement. Let’s look at this Scripture as well:
Jeremiah 4:22-28 For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge. 23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. 24 I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. 25 I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. 26 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. 27 For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end. 28 For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.
Jeremiah is prophesying of judgement against Jerusalem for their sins against God. A result of the judgement is that the earth was without form and void. So, we can see clearly that Genesis 1:2 was not how the LORD created the earth. Rather, this was a result of the judgement of God upon the old world. Hence, the seeds from another civilization, the lack of that civilization being in existence anymore and this Scripture alluding to the judgement of God upon the prehistoric world.
3. There were billions or perhaps trillions of years prior God creating the garden of Eden
This is pretty straightforward in that Genesis 1:1 simply says “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” No other details are offered, simply that God created everything. Next, we see that the earth was in the darkness of chaos, as a result of God’s judgement since God creates nothing without form and void. So, there was another creation and civilization prior to the six days of creation recorded in Genesis chapter 1. It was judged and then found in the condition as being without form and void. This initial creation could be billions or trillions of years old.
In concluding this article I want to state that our source for this understanding is not science, rather the word of God. Science can only be trusted as much as it is in line with the word of God. We do not take a scientific viewpoint and then put it on top of the Word. We start with the Bible and then look at science. If science is in line with the Bible then we accept it, but if it contradicts the Bible then the science needs to be rethought.
So, the six days of creation are actually six days of the reconstruction of the earth so that man could properly inhabit it. Each day is bringing the earth closer to its inhabitants entering it and repopulating it.