December 6, 2003

Gap Theory Continental Breakup – When?

Please read Prophecy Updates 148A to 148G before reading this Update. I contend there was only one continent when God created the earth in Genesis 1:1. Geologists call it Pangaea, which means “all lands.” When Lucifer rebelled against God this one landmass, Pangaea, began to break up and spread apart. It has been spreading apart ever since, and is still spreading apart in some areas, but undercutting and overriding itself in others. The spreading may have started as early as two billion years ago, or as late as 150 million years in the past. I believe this breakup of this first land mass occurred between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, and that the first part of 1:2 shows the results of that breakup.

Genesis 1:1,2 – In the beginning God created (bara’) the heaven and the earth. [2] And the earth was (became-hayethah) 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.

For bara’, hayethah, tohu, and bohu, please see Updates 148A to 148G.

Widespread tectonic plate motion proofs come from two different aspects of the earth’s magnetic field. These are the “paths of polar wandering” and patterns of magnetic reversals on the sea floor. We were able to see the plate movements over long periods of time because the long lines of magnetic force running between the north and south poles influence the properties of rock as it forms. Following World War II we developed the ability to map the entire sea floor of the world through many deep-sea explorations and satellite spectrographic photography in all the various colors of the spectrum. The heat seeking ability of detection by colors of the spectrum unveiled what had been hidden from man’s eye’s since his creation in the Garden of Eden, the great cracks in the crust of the ocean and sea floors that extended down to great underground lakes of molten magma. One of these great cracks is now identified as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and, along this crack, since the breakup of Pangaea, liquid lava has been flowing upward, hardening instantly when its hits the waters on the Ocean sea floor. This phenomenon has been spreading the European and African continents apart from the North and South American continents at a very, very, slow rate, averaging perhaps only a few inches per year. We know it has been a very slow process by the interaction between two things in God’s creation, the change of state occurrences in rocks when they change from liquid to solid, and the constant shifting of the earth’s magnetic field. Volcanic rocks cooling from the lava become magnetized in the direction of the earth’s magnetic field when they cool to a solid state. The lines of force in the magnetic field occur at different angles at earth’s different latitudes, being horizontal at the equator and vertical at the poles. By using a sensitive instrument called a magnetometer one can determine the direction of the magnetic poles and the magnetic latitude at the time the rock was formed into its solid state. Studies of magnetic properties in rocks show that the continents have changed their positions relative to the earth’s magnetic field during the geologic time since the fall of Satan and the associated breakup of Pangaea. The continents followed different paths relative to the magnetic poles, showing that they have moved relative to each other, which led to the proof that continental drift tectonic plate theory was correct, and that the earth has been slowly spreading apart for countless numbers of years.

Another proof of tectonic plate drift over eons of time were studies of the basalt rock magnetic properties across the surface of the entire earth, which proved that the earth’s magnetic field has reversed itself many times during the last 70 to 80 million years, There have been periods of 1 to 3 million years during which the magnetic poles have been close to their present locations, followed by similar periods during which the north and south poles have been reversed. At least nine reversals have occurred in the last 5 million years. The present period of “normal” polarity began about 700,000 years ago, and was preceded by a period of reverse polarity some 2 million years before it occurred, which contained two short periods of “normal” polarity.

In the early sixties Fred Vine and D.H. Matthews postulated that since the earth’s magnetic field had been reversed intermittently, then new basalt forming at the crest of the Mid-Atlantic ridge during geologic time would have experienced a process of being magnetized, and that it would have to be according to the earth’s polarity at that time. As spreading of the ocean floor progressed, a series of normal and reversed magnetic strips should have been produced symmetrically from the center of the ridge. Each band of new rock moving on the ocean floor to the east on one side of the crack, and to the west on the other side, should have kept the original magnetic declination it received at the time of its formation from liquid to solid, and each section on either side of the crack should have a matching section equal distant on the other side of the crack. So, if their postulation was correct, the result should have been a matching set of parallel bands of normal and reversed magnetized rocks on either side of the ridge. The use of magnetometers across the Atlantic Ocean floor proved their theory to be a fact.

Dr. L.D. Foreman, whom I loved dearly, and who was a kind friend to me in my early years as a believer, believed the earth did spread apart, and was a proponent of the Gap Theory, but he believed the continents began to spread apart in the days of Peleg. The only time we ever fully discussed “when” I believed they first begin to spread apart was in the break room of the ABA Texarkana book store shortly before he went to the Solomon Islands, where he died of a heart attack while baptizing a new convert. I really don’t know if I would ever have been able to bring him to believe what I concluded about the land spreading in the days of Peleg, because I never had the opportunity after our Texarkana meeting, but I intended to try. There were some geological, geographic, and archeological discoveries in Iraq that did not really come to light until the fifties, and they tend to indicate a different interpretation of Scripture dealing with the days of Peleg. They involve the discovery of a canal, or as the ancients of that day called it, “a rill”, or a watercourse, for travel and irrigation of the land.

According to Strong’s Dictionary of Old Testament Words, the Hebrew word PELEG means: “A rill (i.e., a small channel of water, as is used in irrigation).” The Indian custom of naming their children after historical events that occurred near or at their birth, which is still done at times in our present day culture, was quite common among the ancients, and I am persuaded that Peleg was named for a historic event among the ancients of his day. Peleg was born some 100 years after the flood, at which time civilization was limited largely to the fertile valleys that lay between the Tigris and Euphrates River, which both emptied into the Persian Gulf. So the event was a major one for the known world of that day. In the following Scripture the word translated “earth” is the Hebrew word “erets,” and in the context of this verse it means only the land surface that made up the known world at Peleg’s birth. Young’s Analytical Concordance lists the numbers of ways it is translated in the KJV.

Country – 140 times

Earth – Frequently

Field – 1

Ground – 96

Land – Frequently

Nation – 1

Way – 3

World – 4

So, as you can see from the table, earth or land is the usual meaning of it. We often refer to fertile soil as the good land of the earth.

Genesis 10:25 – And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth (erets) divided (palag); and his brother's name was Joktan.

We now know that the earliest civilization, which lived in the wide fertile valley between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, built what they would have called a rill or watercourse, but which we would call a canal. It was used for irrigation between the two rivers, and to transport trade goods from one river population to the other by small boats, rather than having to cross either river.

PALAG, translated as “divided,” is rarely used in the Old Testament, and only four occurrences are listed in Young’s Analytical Concordance. It is a primary root and, according to Strong’s Dictionary, it simply means: “to split.”

So, putting this all together, I do not believe this is when the continents, as we know them today, began to move apart at the speed of ocean liners. I believe the one continent that God created in Genesis, which geologists have named Pangaea, began to break apart very slowly when Lucifer rebelled against God between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, and they have been very slowly drifting apart for countless numbers of years.

I believe that Peleg was named for the peleg (rill or canal of water) that was made when the erets (land) was palag (split), and which did indeed separate the known world of civilization into two sections, a northern half of the Tigris-Euphrates River valley, and a southern half ending at the Persian Gulf. I believe it likely that the rill had just been completed when Peleg was born, and his name was used as a historical marker of the event.

The three videos, titled “A Geological Exposition of the Second Coming of Christ”, which are found for on the Menu at the top of this Update you are now reading under VIDEOS, make a very convincing case that God will again break up along the borders of the world’s existing tectonic plates, and thereby generate many of the terrifying events of the coming tribulation period. They are on the second page of VIDEOS, which is opened by clicking on the bottom of the first exposed page.

This is the end of The Gap Series. It runs from 148A through 148H. I do not intend to say anything else about it. If anyone asks me what I believe about creation, what follows is what I proclaim. The first two Scriptures are what I know for sure about creation, and the last five are what I know for sure about the last Adam, Jesus. I preach the last five, and do believe they are more important than completely understanding the two in Genesis.

Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

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 Corinthians 15:45 – And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

John 6:62,63 – What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? [63] It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

John 5:40 – And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

Romans 10:17 – So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

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