December 1, 2003

The Gap Theory and Associated Fall of Satan from Heaven

In Prophecy Update 148A I presented the history of the Gap Theory. In Prophecy Update 148B I presented the two basic Scriptures that are used to make the linguistic biblical case for its validity. Basically, the Gap Theory advocates that Satan was created by God as a sinless Archangel and placed over the material universe as its prince and protector, with countless number of angels under his authority to facilitate the tasks of the commission he had received from God. But Satan rebelled against the authority of his maker, and caused one-third of the angels to follow him in his rebellion, and they also fell from favor with their creator. I believe this rebellion occurred between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, and changed God’s original creation of the earth in verse 1 to the desolate waste found in verse 2 (Please see Updates 148A & 148B).

Genesis 1:1,2 – In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. [2] And the earth was (became) without form (tohu), and void (bohu); and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Our understanding of time, as finite human beings, is really incapable of grasping time as God views it. Peter alludes to this principle in his second epistle.

II Peter 3:8-12 – But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. [9] The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

I believe that perhaps as long a period of time as six billion years passed between Genesis 1:1 and 1:3, and that the verses from 1:3 onwards are about a restoring, a reconstruction, a reshaping, a remolding of God’s original creation, which was marred by the fall of Satan. I do not believe man ever existed upon the earth until the sixth day of the restoring of the earth by its creator. I believe Genesis 2:7 occurred on the sixth day of the remolding of God’s first creation.

Genesis 2:7 – And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

I believe that one of the reasons God created man was to place him over the creation he had assigned Satan as prince before his sin against God. But Adam also sinned, and lost his position as ruler over the creation. God then immediately advised Adam and Eve that he would one day send a Seed from their lineage to crush the power of the prince of this world, Satan, and thereby restore man as its ruler. Jesus was that Seed.

Genesis 3:15 – And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Christ came as that Seed possessing power over Satan and all his fallen angels, which are now also identified as devils or demons. Christ, as the pre-incarnate Son of God, saw Satan when he first fell billions of years ago.

Luke 10:17,18 – And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. [18] And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

When Satan fell, about one-third of the angels fell from heaven with him as his followers. A falling star looks like a long bolt of lightning coming down from the heavens, and the stars of Revelation 12:4 represent all the angels that fell to the earth long ago with the Dragon, who is Satan.

Satan fell from heaven billions of years before the Seed arrived in the manger in Bethlehem, but patiently waited for the Seed’s arrival in the flesh, hoping to destroy him and keep his kingdom. But the Seed grew to manhood, was crucified for our sins, and Philippians 2:6-11 was fulfilled. Christ is in heaven today as the intercessor for all who have their faith in him for the salvation of their souls.

Philippians 2:6-11 – Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: [7] But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: [8] And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. [9] Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: [10] That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; [11] And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

If we confess him in this life, he will confess us forever as his children. It is a matter of first believing in the heart he is the total sacrifice for your sins to the extent you believe he is still alive by calling on his name to save you. Confession of him from your mouth as your Savior then naturally follows.

Romans 10:9,10 – That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. [10] For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Romans 10:13 – For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Acts 4:12 – Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

So Satan fell long ago, with one-third of the angelic host, but failed to destroy the Christ child, who is now in heaven with all the power of God.

Revelation 12:4,5 – 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. [5] And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

Christ judged the prince of this world, and Satan was found wanting, and the power he held over men through the threat of death was broken by the Seed, who stepped on the serpent’s head and broke his power. But in so doing, the Seed’s heel, which walked upon earth to redeem mankind, was more than bruised at Golgotha.

Isaiah 53:5 – But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

But the Seed’s death passed judgment on Satan, and this world over which Satan was prince, and now the power of the Holy Spirit draws men to the resurrected Seed through the preaching of the cross.

I Corinthians 1:18 – For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

John 12:32 – And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

John 14:30 – Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world (Satan) cometh, and hath nothing IN ME.

Satan could never possess the righteousness of God that is in Christ after falling, hence Jesus said, “and hath nothing IN ME.” We can only be made the righteousness of God by our position in Christ.

II Corinthians 5:21 – For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God IN HIM.

Christ alone can impute to us his righteousness, and he imputes it based on our faith in him to save us from the power of death, which is eternal separation from him in a lake of fire. The power of Satan is broken, and now men and women can be set free from the condemnation of God for their sins by trusting in Christ’s sacrifice for their sins. Only faith in the saving power of the Son can forever remove us from the condemnation of God for what we all are – born sinners.

John 8:36 – If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Lord willing, in our next Prophecy Update, I will clearly define from Scripture what I believe Satan did that caused his fall. I will also discuss the dinosaurs, evolution, when man was placed on this earth, and other things I am often asked about creation.