Alexander has been a Christian for 46 years. Over the past decade he has studied 'the end times’ from a Preterist's perspective.
A view held by many scholars today is Satan, prior to his fall, ruled over a Pre-Adamic race on earth. Apparently, this civilisation existed between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.
During the 19th century in particular, some scholars attempted to harmonise the Scriptures with science. This was a genuine attempt to defend the Word of God from the onslaught of emerging scientific 'discoveries'.
As if such a course of action was necessary!
The result of this strategy was the 'Gap Theory'. The problem is, the Scriptures do not support this view. Allow me to explain further.
The Domino Effect of the Gap Theory
According to popular opinion, and particularly within Dispensationalism, a Pre-Adamic race existed between Genesis 1:1-2 with Lucifer its ruler during that period. Ultimately, Satan rebelled and sinned against God. The result was his fall and the destruction of the Pre-Adamic world. Notwithstanding, after a considerable time 'gap', God recreated the heaven and the earth from the formless void that remained, with Adam the pinnacle of His new creation. However, fallen Lucifer caused Adam to disobey God when he tempted Eve in the garden and the rest is history.
Those who promulgate the 'Gap Theory' are immediately confronted by an insurmountable difficulty; the 'domino effect' on their 'Origin of Satan' theory. If Lucifer fell during a Pre-Adamic world, how could he possibly fit the description of the person described in Isaiah and Ezekiel? Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 being the premise to support Satan's origin and fall.
- Eze 28:13-15 KJV Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
Pastor Bill Britton clearly explains the dilemma:
A Quote from Pastor Bill Britton lighthouselibrary.com
Ezekiel 28:13 'As for Satan being 'Lucifer' (King James Version only) of Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28, consider this... this being who fell was described as holy and beautiful and wise before he fell, and was described as being in the Garden of God, walking among the stones of fire, etc. Read Genesis account of creation, and find that the Garden was prepared for ADAM, not Satan, and that according to the 'gap theory' (a foundation for the Holy Angel Lucifer theory), the Garden was not even created until after 'Lucifer' was supposed to have fallen and become Satan. So Satan could not have walked in the Garden of God in a holy state, as per Ezekiel. Read the footnote on Isaiah 14:12 in the Amplified Bible, as to why 'Lucifer' is only in King James.'
Disseminators of the Gap Theory
C Larkin, F J Dake, J N Darby, C I Scofield, T Chalmers, Chuck Missler, and Jimmy Swaggart (to name a few) helped promote this doctrine, now considered by many to be the orthodox view.
'We have to fall back then upon Science'!
'The manner of the “creation” of the Pre-Adamite Earth is not revealed in the Scriptures. They simply declare that-“In the BEGINNING GOD CREATED the heaven and the earth.” We have to fall back then upon Science.'
— Clarence Larkin, Dispensational Truth
'We have to fall back then upon science'! In that case rule me out.
Let us stand by the adage 'let us speak when the Scriptures speak and be silent when the Scriptures are silent'. The Scriptures are silent about a Pre-Adamic race having ever existed.
'The probability is'!
'Satan before his fall was the “Anointed Cherub that Covereth”. That is, he was the Guardian of the “Throne of God”. The probability is that the original Earth was placed under his “Governorship”, and was the scene of the first rebellion against the “Kingdom of God”, for which Satan was responsible...'
— Clarence Larkin, Dispensational Truth
Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 and a Pre-Adamic Race
Larkin, in defence of the Gap Theory, alluded to Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 as proof texts.
For further study on Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28:
Even although Charles Larkin used the word 'probability' in his statement, many believe his theory is 'factuality'! In my opinion, without scriptural support, he should have remained silent instead of allowing his imagination to run wild.
The Scriptures cited to support the Gap Theory are taken out of context, and thereby fail to add any credibility to this teaching. There is no justification for the misappropriation of Scripture.
Let's examine the Scriptures that reputedly prop up this doctrine.
The Creation of light
Genesis 1:2 and a Pre-Adamic Race
- Gen 1:2-3 GW The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep water. The Spirit of God was hovering over the water. 3 Then God said, "Let there be light!" So there was light.
'formless and empty' The phrase simply means the earth was still unformed; it was not the finished work of creation. This Scripture does not support the assumption that a Pre-Adamic rebellion by Satan caused the Earth to be ‘formless and empty’.
'A reconstruction following a cataclysmic judgement'!
'Genesis 1 is not a history of the original creation, but of a reconstruction following a cataclysmic judgment which had befallen the original creation. Gen_1:1 Original creation. Gen_1:2 its destruction. Gen_1:3 and on, Reconstruction.'
— The Summarised Bible Commentary
The Summarized Bible Commentary not only endorsed the theory of a cataclysmic judgement between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:3 due to Satan's fall; it surrendered to science in the process.
The Prophet Jeremiah Mourning over the Destruction of Jerusalem
Jeremiah 4:24 and a Pre-Adamic Race
- Jer 4:23-26 KJV 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.
'the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void' This phrase may allude to Genesis 1:2 but it does not automatically endorse the Gap Theory. Jeremiah described the utter devastation that had overwhelmed the Kingdom of Judah.
A Quote from Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
Jeremiah 4:23-26 'In four verses each beginning with “I beheld,” the prophet sees in vision the desolate condition of Judaea during the Babylonian captivity.'
Jeremiah used poetic prophetic language to describe the result of God’s judgement.
'Satan invaded heaven from the earth long before Adam'!
Luke 10:18 'This refers to the casting out of Satan when he invaded heaven from the earth long before Adam.'
— F K Dake, Annotated Reference Bible
The Gap Theory
Luke 10:18: and a Pre-Adamic Race
- Luk 10:17-18 KJV 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.
Many scholars misquote Luke 10:18 to support the casting out of Satan and his angels from Heaven during a Pre-Adamic rebellion.
By doing so, the verse is taken out of context and misinterpreted.
How could Dake postulate such a theory? Luke 10:18 has nothing to do with a Pre-Adamic race.
The seventy, filled with joy, reported to Jesus they had fulfilled His commission to preach the Kingdom of God and heal the sick. Jesus responded by saying, 'I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven'.
A Quote from Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary
Luke 10:18 '...that is, “I followed you on your mission, and watched its triumphs; while you were wondering at the subjection to you of devils in My name, a grander spectacle was opening to My view; sudden as the darting of lightning from heaven to earth, lo! Satan was beheld falling from heaven!...’
Jesus taught more on His response to the seventy in the following chapter.
- Luk 11:21-22 KJV When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: 22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.
As the seventy preached the Kingdom of God and witnessed the manifestation of its power, Jesus saw the 'beginning of the end' of Satan’s power and control. Matthew described it as the binding of the strong man... Matthew 12:29. Only through the binding of Satan could the seventy spoil his goods.
A Quote from the Wycliffe Bible Commentary
Luke 10:18 'Jesus implied that the power was broken, and that the success of these disciples was an evidence of the victory.'
A Quote from John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes
Luke 10:18 'I beheld Satan - That is, when ye went forth, I saw the kingdom of Satan, which was highly exalted, swiftly and suddenly cast down.'
— John Wesley, Explanatory Notes
2 Peter 3:4-7 and a Pre-Adamic Race
The context of this portion of Scripture appertains to Noah and the flood, not to a Pre-Adamic flood known as the Luciferian flood.
- 2Pe 3:4-7 KJV And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 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: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
'the earth standing out of the water and in the water' The earth after the third day of creation…Genesis 1:9-10.
'the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished' This was the antediluvian world prior to Noah's flood… Genesis 6:17.
Scoffers alleged God was negligent concerning His promises by contending all things continued as before, they wilfully misconstrued the Scriptures. Peter reminded them of God's promise to destroy the earth by flood during the days of Noah. He then proceeded to warn them that judgement awaited them for their complacency. Judgement came to Peter's generation on 'the great and terrible day of the Lord', the second coming of Christ in AD 70.
- 2Pe 3:2 KJV That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
Peter said his authority was the words spoken by the prophets and the precepts of Christ, why would he extrapolate on a Pre-Adamic world bereft of scriptural support.
Peter did not allude to a Pre-Adamic race; he spoke of the fathers who had lived and died since Adam.
The Fall of the Rebel Angels
Revelation 12:9 and a Pre-Adamic Kingdom
- Rev 12:9 KJV And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Some scholars use Revelation 12:9 to validate the fall of Satan during a Pre-Adamic civilisation. However, the Revelation was a vision of an imminent event that involved the fulfillment of God’s promises to Old Covenant Israel. The physical evidence was the destruction of the temple, Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews in AD 70.
The war between Michael and the dragon took place during the 'great tribulation' when Satan was ‘loosed' on earth for the last time.
- Rev 12:4 KJV 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.
If the phrase 'the third part of the stars of heaven' was a reference to the rebellious angels being cast out with Satan, it does not give license to apply it to an angelic host being cast out during a Pre-Adamic race.
The Domino Effect
Consign dominoes to the purpose originally intended, if stood on end they will inevitably fall; likewise, the Scriptures.
The aggrandised theories of Satan's origin and a Pre-Adamic race can only be supported by the vain imagination of 'man' in conjunction with mythology, extra-biblical writings, and the misappropriation of Scripture; confusion being the end result.
In my opinion, the Scriptures are silent concerning the casting out of Satan during a Pre-Adamic race.
Let's leave fiction to Hollywood.
What do you think?
© 2012 Alexander Gibb