“In a very real sense, the book of Genesis is the most important book in the world, for it is the foundation upon which all the other 65 books of God’s written Word have been based. When Jesus Christ, after His resurrection, gave a key Bible study to His disciples on the way to Emmaus, He began with Genesis” ‘And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.’ Luke 24:27 All the great doctrines of Christianity–sin, atonement, grace, redemption, faith justification, salvation, and many others–are first encountered in Genesis.” Dr. Henry M. Morris
“For me personally, the study of Creation has given me a foundation in my life that cannot be shaken. I had the wonderful privilege of hearing Dr. Henry M. Morris speak at Multnomah Bible College, now, Multnomah University. Then I have owned and read many of his books and materials. Also, thru the years I have been greatly influenced by the teaching of (ICR) Institute for Creation Research and the Acts & Facts magazine.” Gary T. Panell
“My study of Creation really started when I was a young person in high school. I was on a cross-country team going to a meet on the school bus from Moses Lake, Washington. One time my cross-country coach, who was also my biology teacher, was sitting beside me on the bus. I had been in Canada for 7 years in a Christian school before that, so I knew something about the Bible and that it taught creation. My teacher was a Roman Catholic, and yet he taught evolution in the biology class, so I wanted to know how he could be a Catholic and still teach evolution. He told me, “I just believe in the Gap Theory.” I had no idea what that was, but I determined from that time forward to find out. Thus, started my research into “Creation,” and what a wonderful study it has been.” Gary T. Panell
“This first phrase: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” This is a summary of all God did in the six days of creation. Then the next verse, shows what God started with, much like all the other planets are today, they are formless and void. One day, I believe in the future creation, God has a plan for them too, but now we are just talking about how God first started to create. “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.”
I would like to explain something here–before we go any further, that you need to know about. God created the angels before the heavens and the earth, in other words before the universe. You say, “What would they stand on, etc.?” Angels are spirit beings, they don’t need anything to stand on or sit on. They can stand on or sit on things if they want to, but the point is, they are different from people, they don’t have to stand or sit on anything.
You say how do you know they were around before creation? And why does it matter? First, I will tell you why it matters. It matters because if you don’t understand that the angels were created before the heavens and the earth, it makes it hard to put a date on the beginning of creation.
The reason we know this is because they were singing while the earth was being created. It says this in Job 38:4-7. 4 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. 5 Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6 To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, 7 When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy? Job 38:4-7
You might be thinking, “this is really a strange way to start a study on these verses on creation. No, really it isn’t, because I want you to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God created the heavens and earth in six literal days and rested on the seventh day. You see, so many people will get into a discussion of what these verses are saying. So often, they want to put a gap between verse one and verse two. I want to show you that there should be no gap between verses one and two. Verse one, being the Summary of the Creation of the heavens and the earth. Then verse two starts talking about the creation sequence.
You say, “How do you know these are six literal days of creation. The reason I know this is because of what Moses says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:6-11
Settle this in your heart and mind as we start the study of Genesis! This is so important! Let me tell you right now, you will be called all sorts of names because you believe this. You will be told that you are keeping intelligent people from getting saved. You will be called a flat ‘earther.’ On and on the names will go.
Let me show you what most Christians believe about the first two verses of Genesis. Watch what they have to say and know that I am telling you, most Christians do not believe in literal days of creation. Sometimes they will say, oh yes, we do, but they mean after billions of years in verse one. Here is how THEY STATE IT:
“1:2 The two words without form void express one concept-chaos. The earth had been reduced to this state (Jer. 4:23); it was not the way God had first created it (Is. 45:18). Darkness is a potent biblical symbol of evil and wrong (Job 3:5; Ps. 143:3; Is. 8:22; John 3:19). The deep is a term for the secret places of the waters (see also 7:11); this term sounds enough like the name of the Babylonian goddess Tiamat to remind the ancient reader of the Babylonian story of creation to which this story stands in dramatic contrast. All these images together portray chaos, disaster, and devastation. From this portrait of utter ruin, God brought an orderly creation.” Nelson’s Study Bible NKJV
Ok, let me explain what they are saying here, and they would tell you, yes, Gary, is giving you what we believe. They honestly believe that God had another creation, a first creation. Then this creation was destroyed by God or Satan. It had ‘become’ corrupt and had to be destroyed. They will give you a reference from, Jeremiah 4:23-26, that seems to be saying that there was an original creation that was destroyed. Some will even put people in there, but most often they say it was the dinosaurs only. Still they will agree that this is what is talked about in verse two where it says, “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.” Genesis 1:2 Then they believe God started another, second creation, which He did in six days. So they don’t believe the recreation starts until verse three.
The problem with this view is, it disagrees with the rest of Scripture. Again, what did Moses say, 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:11 Does God say that there was a first creation that was there for billions of years and then was destroyed? No, He doesn’t and I will show you these verses that they use, even though at first reading they seem like they are talking about an original creation that was destroyed, they are not, when you look at the context of Jeremiah.
Let me be clear here, there was not another creation that was destroyed, but God is only speaking of this creation we are living in now. Yes, God destroyed the people before the Flood, but that is a later subject. So, what God is saying in verse two is that when God began to create, He put the materials on the earth, but they were not put where He would put them later. He had water there, dirt, rocks, etc., but after this it is put together in a beginning sequence to prepare it for fish, birds, animals and lastly people. Then, much like an artist takes a palette of paint and puts the paints where he wants. Or my favorite illustration is like a person who gets the things he needs to put together a fish aquarium.
Then he or she puts them where they need to be so the fish can have a nice environment to live in. He will have a tank (as God had a world). Then the person working the aquarium will put the rocks where they go, and the water and so forth. After this he puts plants and other nice things for the fish to look at or move around, and so on. Last, he will put the fish in the tank, when it is already.
This is like what God did for Adam and Eve. So don’t look at it when He first started as wrong, or something evil or even something destroyed. No, it was just the beginning. Now, of course, God could have created everything all at once, in a second of time if He wanted, but He didn’t want to do that, he wanted to have it over a six day period. That way, He could teach us about life, using His creation as an object lesson.
This really ‘bugs’ evil-o-lutionists, as I call evolutionists. Actually, this is the way the British pronounce it, and I like their pronunciation! They say, “That is ridiculous God couldn’t do that! Well, we will prove this is exactly what He did when He created for us.
Now, let me show you how the verses the other people in the “Gap Theory” use are out of context:
Here is what they say, the ones that believe that there is a gap between verses 1 and 2, in other words, the people who believe in the “Gap Theory.”
They give as one of their support verses Jeremiah 4:23-26, and here is what they say about that: “without form, and void: This Hebrew phrase is the same one used in Gen. 1:2 to describe the chaos before the ordering of the cosmos. no light: The prophets spoke of darkness as part of God’s judgment on the world. Here the lack of light describes the disastrous effects of sin on creation, particularly on the land of Judah.” Nelson’s NKJV Study Bible
Now here is what the text says, let’s see if it is talking about a former creation or the destruction of Judah looking like the earth before God started to work on it. I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void;
“And the heavens, they had no light. 24 I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled, And all the hills moved back and forth.25 I beheld, and indeed there was no man, And all the birds of the heavens had fled. 26 I beheld, and indeed the fruitful land was a wilderness, And all its cities were broken down At the presence of the Lord, By His fierce anger. 27 For thus says the Lord:
(Now here is the context of those verses.)”The whole land shall be desolate; Yet I will not make a full end.28 For this shall the earth mourn, And the heavens above be black, Because I have spoken. I have purposed and will not relent, Nor will I turn back from it.29 The whole city shall flee from the noise of the horsemen and bowmen. They shall go into thickets and climb up on the rocks. Every city shall be forsaken, And not a man shall dwell in it.” So, God is saying, when I get done with the destruction of Judah it will look like the earth before I started to create order of the chaos.
Now let’s get back to the text, since we understand, this was only God’s first step in His creation plan.