What Is the Genesis Gap Theory?

R. Guntrum asks:

“What is the Genesis gap theory?”

My answer…

It’s a false doctrine that teaches that God created everything then destroyed it in the gap between Genesis 1:1–2, and that He then recreated everything. Many people will say that Satan’s rebellion led to this destruction and all sorts of mad speculation proceeds from that point. It is fantasy religion.

“Foundation” of Sand: Bullinger’s Katabole, Overthrow or Rebellion

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“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.” – Genesis 1:1-2

To understand the Shepherd’s Chapel you’ll need to understand the influence of 19th Century theologian and hyperdispensationalist E.W. Bullinger. He was the one that originated some of Murray’s more pivotal false doctrines.

Case in point, the Gap Theory and the KATABOLE… which I consider to be foundational Chapel teachings.

Frequently you’ll hear the Chapel make reference to the “three earth ages” – the one that was, is and is to come. This model is simply not biblical.

In the New Testament Jesus Christ is VERY clear, there are only two ages: the one that is and the one that is to come…

This World (Gen 1:1)     Timeline of Events
World to Come (Rev 21, 22)


twoagemodel

We can see that this is completely different from Bullinger’s model of three earth ages. This is taken from 2nd Peter…

“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:” – 2nd Peter 3:5-6

Bullinger and Murray teach that the whole world was destroy by water in the gap between Genesis 1:1-2, prior to the six days of creation. Folks, it is very plain what Peter is talking about here…

It’s the antedeluvian world that perished by Noah’s global flood! Now you can understand why the gappers grasp to make the Noah’s flood a local event because evidence does in fact corraborate such a global flood. Do you see how catastrophic this error is now? 

This is directly from the Companion, click for a larger image…

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This is from Bullinger’s Companion bible, italics and highlights are mine…

COMPANION BIBLE. APPENDIX 146. “THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.”

To arrive at the true meaning of this expression, we must note there are two words translated “foundation” in the New Testament:

(1) themelios, and

(2) katabole.

The Noun, themelios, occurs in Luke 6:48, 49; 14:29. Acts 16:26. Rom. 15:20. 1Cor. 3:10, 11, 12. Eph. 2:20. 1Tim. 6:19. 2Tim. 2:19. Heb. 6:1; 11:10. Rev. 21:14, 19. It is never used of the world (kosmos) or the earth (ge). The corresponding Verb (themeliou) occurs in Matt. 7:25. Luke 6:48. Eph. 3:17. Col. 1:23. Heb. 1:10 and 1Pet. 5:10. The verb is only once used of the earth (ge). Heb. 1:10. A comparison of all these passages will show that these are proper and regular terms for the English words “to found”, and “foundation”.

The Noun, katabole, occurs in Matt. 13:35; 25:34. Luke 11:50. John 17:24. Eph. 1:4. Heb. 4:3; 9:26; 11:11. 1Pet. 1:20. Rev. 13:8; 17:8; and the corresponding Verb (kataballo) occurs in 2Cor. 4:9. Heb. 6:1; and Rev. 12:10. A comparison of all these passages (especially 2Cor. 4:9, and Rev. 12:10) will show that kataballo and katabole are not the proper terms for founding and foundation, but the correct meaning is casting down, or overthrow.

Consistency, therefore, calls for the same translation in Heb. 6:1, where, instead of “not laying again”, the rendering should be “not casting down”. That is to say, the foundation already laid, of repentance, &c., was not to be cast down or overthrown, but was to be left — and progress made unto the perfection. Accordingly, the Noun katabole, derived from, and cognate with the Verb, ought to be translated “disruption”, or “ruin”.

The remarkable thing is that in all occurrences (except Heb. 11:11) the word is connected with “the world” (Gr. kosmos. Ap. 129. 1), and therefore the expression should be rendered “the disruption (or ruin) of the world”, clearly referring to the condition indicated in Gen. 1:2, and described in 2Pet. 3:5, 6.

For the earth was not created tohu (Isa. 45:18), but became so, as stated in the Hebrew of Gen 1:2 and confirmed by 2 Pet. 3:6, where “the world that then was by the word of God” (Gen. 1:1), perished, and “the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word “were created (Gen. 2:4), and are “kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment” (2Pet. 3:7) which shall usher in the “new heavens and the new earth” of 2Pet. 3:13.

“The disruption of the world” is an event forming a great dividing line in the dispensations of the ages. In Gen. 1:1 we have the founding of the world (Heb. 1:10 = themeliou), but in Gen. 1:2 we have its overthrow.

This is confirmed by a further remarkable fact, that the phrase, which occurs ten times, is associated with the Preposition apo = from (Ap. 104. iv) seven times, and with pros = before (Ap. 104. xiv) three times. The former refers to the kingdom and is connected with the “counsels” of God; the latter refers to the Mystery (or Secret. See Ap. 192) and is connected with the “purpose” of God (See John 17:24. Eph. 1:4. 1Pet. 1:20).

Ample New Testament testimony is thus given to the profoundly significant fact recorded in Gen. 1:2, that “the earth became tohu and bohu (i.e. waste and desolate); and darkness was on the face of the deep”, before the creation of “the heavens and the earth which are now” (2Pet. 3:7).

Do these arguments look familiar? They should. This is the very foundation that Murray built his system of theology upon and guess what? It is of sand…

The reason why we know the KJV translators were correct in properly translating the greek word “katabole” as foundation because the old testament is replete with references to the foundation of the earth…

“Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.” – Psalm 102:25

…and,

“Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.” – Isaiah 48:13

The reference is obvious, it points to the events spoken of in Genesis 1:1-2. It logically follows that 2nd Peter was pointing to the same founding in Genesis 1:1-2. Therefore the KJV translators are CORRECT! Foundation is the proper interpretation…

Are you a Shepherd’s Chapel follower? Do you want to really learn what the bible means? Set up shop over this issue and dig – a landslide of error will come cascading off your mind by the grace of Christ…

Is A Gap of Time Between the 69th & 70th Week of Daniel?

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And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” – Daniel 9:27

As we have noted before, the Shepherd’s Chapel is dispensational. This is very ironic as we find that Murray rails against the system of deception in which he is in bondage. He swings at the low-hanging fruit of a pre-tribulation rapture while expanding the essential ideas of dispensationalism even further…

To recap – E.W. Bullinger lived during the emergence of a now popular system of scripture interpretation called dispensationalism. Bullinger is a very close cousin of Scofield but pioneered his own system and study bible to rival the Scofield bible. Bullinger’s form is called hyperdispensationalism, as it has the church starting later in Acts.

If you go to the Companion Bible – notice his notes for Daniel 9:26-27 will detail his position. You can read his appendix 91 here to see for yourself…

Here are Bullinger’s own words in the appendix, “THE THIRD PERIOD. The last, or the seventieth seven. This period is yet future, and awaits the same literal fulfillment as the other two periods.”

So as you can see, Bullinger makes this passage in Daniel about a future Antichrist as he splits the 70th week off into the future. This is a classic example of dispensationalism. There’s a lot more but I simply want to demonstrate that there is no gap. The 70 week prophecy is one continuous prophecy with no gaps.

Once you begin to realize this, it will help you break free from a lot of the madness within futurism, a system of biblical interpretation that was invented by Roman Jesuits and passed down to the Anglican church and then on to the evangelicals of today.

Shepherd’s Chapel though it has it’s own variety of dispensationalism it bares many of the hallmarks, including the gap between the 69th and 70th week. In Murray system, the 70th week commences at the 6th trumpet and lasts a period of 5 months. 7 years is truncated to 5 months based on Jesus words… 

And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” – Matthew 24:22

The 1260 days, 42 months and time, times and half of time (the great tribulation) is shortened to just 2.5 months.

The reality is this: dispensationalism completely distorts the meaning of prophecy when it adds this gap in time.

In the prophecy of the 70 weeks, Jesus the Messiah is the context throughout. During his earthly ministry he confirmed the covenant (the new covenant) with many, performing miracles, proclaiming the kingdom and forgiving sins. In the midst of the week he was cut-off in crucifixion thus bringing an end to the sacrificial system. He said, “it is finished” when He died and thereby ratified the new covenant…

The old covenant worship system continued on in form until it became a blasphemous caricature of worship and a stumbling block to all – it was swept away in judgment by the Romans a generation after the crucifixion of Christ…

That said, there remains a period of time after Christ’s death – the last half of the 70th week… I will address some issues on how to interpret this in an upcoming post.

Katabole, the Overthrow, CORNERSTONE of the Chapel’s ERROR

The Gap Theory and the Katabole

To understand the Shepherd’s Chapel cult you have to understand the significance of what Murray refers to as the KATABOLE (Greek for ‘foundation’), or the Overthrow. This is a word in the new testament that means foundation but Murray with the help of another false teacher translates it as, “Overthrow”.

On the broadcast Murray makes much ado about the three earth ages – the first and second age are separated by this event called “the Overthrow” or Satan’s rebellion.

… it is for this reason, according to Murray, that God created this age at all!

Throughout the NT we see the word “foundation” being used – we are told it means the opposite of the way it is translated… huh? Instead of a literal “founding” we have something quite different.

“That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.” – Matthew 13:35

In most places “foundation” is the Greek word katabole, which we are told is an event that took place, an “overthrow” which was judgment and destruction of an age.

This Katabole is posited as taking place between in the gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. Hence the term Gap Theory. Murray got this notion from theologian E.W. Bullinger whose Companion Bible was a mainstay. In fact, Bullinger’s false teachings had an immense influence on Murray and we will be drawing these out in time…

Bullinger had a series of appendices in his bible. Appendix #146 Bullinger gives us the nuts and bolts of a false teaching that I would consider to be the cornerstone of the whole delusional and wildly popular system of Murray…

Here is appendix 146 if you want to look at it…

The Overthrow occurred as the result of Satan’s rebellion in the first earth age. It’s the stuff that religious fantasies are made of. According to Murray you and I were in angelic bodies in some distant prehistoric period of time.

Satan fomented a plot to depose God and drew one third of the souls with him. He tells us that Revelation 12:4 is referring to this event in the first earth age…

And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.” Revelation 12:4

God instead destroying the rebels just destroyed the age and decided to give us a probationary existence to amend our actions in the first earth age.

There is an immense system of fantasy religion based on these distortions. We will be overthrowing Murray’s foundational Katabole doctrine…