Yes, In the Beginning God Created the Heavens and the Earth!
Was each day of the Creation Week 24 hours long or did billions of years of time elapse between the first two verses of Genesis as per the Gap Theory?

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

This first verse of the Bible is not only a summation of the narrative to follow but speaks of God’s supernatural intervention to create something from nothing. Before the beginning of the creation, only God existed. After the beginning, two realms were created including a supernatural abode for angels and a natural dwelling place for mankind. In the beginning God created the *heavens… *Note the plural term heavens.

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 2 Corinthians 12:2

The apostle Paul spoke of a man caught up to the “third heaven”where the paradise of God is located. God created the heavens in the beginning. We know from Scripture that the first heavens are our inner atmosphere where weather activity takes place.

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
Genesis 7:11

The highest Heaven, the third heaven of Paul’s vision, is now where God Himself dwells.

But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! 1 Kings 8:27

We may logically conclude that the second heaven is the vast void of outer space with its star systems known as the cosmos surrounding the earth’s atmosphere.

For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. Colossians 1:16

According to medieval Christian theologians, the angels are organized into several orders, or “Angelic Choirs.”

First Sphere or Angelic Choir: Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones or Ophanim (Elders). These angles are associated with their proximity to God’s throne.

The name Seraphim means “the burning ones.” The Seraphim have six wings; two covering their faces, two covering their feet, and two with which they fly. Cherubim have four faces: one of each a man, an ox, a lion, and an eagle. The 24 Elders who are seated on thrones wearing crowns are angels who are living symbols of God's justice and authority.

Second Sphere: Dominions and Powers or Authorities. Angels of the Second Sphere work as heavenly governors.
The Dominions, also known as the Hashmallim, regulate the duties of lower angels. It is only with extreme rarity that the angelic lords make themselves physically known to humans. They are also the angels who preside over nations. The Powers or Authorities are warrior angels who defend the cosmos or the region between heaven and earth.

Third Sphere: Principalities or Rulers, Archangels and Angels. These are the angels who function as heavenly messengers and soldiers. They are the angles who most frequently are sent to the earth.
It is the duty of the Principalities to carry out the orders given to them by the Dominions and bequeath blessings to the material world. The word “archangel” comes from the Greek word archangelos, meaning chief angel, a translation of the Hebrew word rav-mal'ákh. It derives from the Greek archo, meaning to be first in rank or power; and aggelos which means messenger. Only the archangels Michael and Gabriel are mentioned by name in the Bible. The “angels”, (Hebrew malakhim; Greek angelos) messengers, are the lowest order of the angels, and the most recognized. They are the ones most concerned with the affairs of living things.
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Genesis 1:2

Many people have tried to place a gap of indeterminate time between the first two verses of Genesis chapter 1. The “Gap Theory” was first proposed in 1814 by a Scottish minister named Chalmers. It was during this period that scientists were beginning to teach that the earth was billions of years in age. The gap theory was another significant attempt by Christian theologians to reconcile the time scale of world history found in Genesis with the popular belief that geologists provide so-called “undeniable” evidence that the world is exceedingly old.

According to the Gap Theory, billions of years ago God created the space/mass/time universe. Then the geological ages took place over the course of eons of earth’s history when the different forms of life developed that are now preserved in the fossil record. At the end of these geological ages, a great upheaval took place on earth, when Satan rebelled in heaven with many of the angels following. God, therefore, cast him to the earth, and the earth underwent a great cataclysm, leaving it finally without form and void, and with darkness on the face of the deep, as described in Genesis 1:2. Subsequently, according to this theory—God then re-created or reconstituted the earth in the six literal days of creation recorded in the first chapter of Genesis.

As opposed to the teachings found in C.I. Scofield’s commentary of the King James Version of the Bible, there was no rebellion in the heavenlies or pre-Adamic race of men before the creation of Adam. The King James Version of the Bible was written in 1611 AD. In Genesis 1:28, the KJV translation reads:

 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

Today the word “replenish” means to fill up again or to restore to a former level or condition. But the word replenish has changed in meaning since the King James Version of the Bible was written in 1611 AD. At that time, the Hebrew word “male” [mah-lay] was translated as the English word “replenish,” and it meant “to fill,” as in an initial act of completion. The word "replenish" didn't take the meaning of “refilling” until it was incorporated into the English language about 1650 AD. Genesis 1:28 uses the word “male” in the original Hebrew text. So, God told Adam to “go fill the earth,” and did not imply a refilling or replenishing of what had once been filled or completed.

The New King James Version translates Genesis 1:28 as:

 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

The idea that the geological ages took place in between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 is precluded by the plain biblical statement in the Ten Commandments, where God said, ‘In six days, the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is’ (Exodus 20:11). That is, He was telling man that he must work six days and rest one day because God worked six days and rested one day. The context goes on to say that everything in heaven and earth and in the sea was made in six days. There could have been nothing created that was not made during the six days.

Gap theorists have the fossil record being created by billions of years of death and animal extinction between the first two verses of the Bible. But, the Bible records that death only entered the world because of Adam's fall. The Gap Theory would have the Garden of Eden planted on top of dead animal bones.

Scripture tells us that by man came death. (2 Corinthians 15:21) Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin. (Romans 5:12)

How could there be a rebellion in heaven and billions of years of death before Adam’s fall? If prehistoric animals vied for the survival of the fittest, then God could not have made the following statement found in verse 31 of Genesis chapter 1:

 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

Unfortunately, many Christians have been deceived into believing that angels preexisted for billions of years before man was created and that Lucifer rebelled before the fall of man.

 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. Genesis 2:8

“‘You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire,turquoise and beryl.Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you." Ezekiel 28:12b-15

God planted the Garden of Eden and then put Adam, whom he had already formed, into the garden. Lucifer was in Eden – the Garden of God, before iniquity was found in him. Since Adam was created before the garden was planted, and Lucifer was in the garden in glory and splendor before iniquity was found in him, Lucifer could not have rebelled before man was created.

 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Genesis 1:1-2

The original conditions of the newly created universe were unformed and unfilled. The Genesis creation week reveals that God created through a process of first forming and later filling.

 And God said, “Let there be light,”and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. Genesis 1:3-5

Day one of creation not only speaks of the heavens being called into existence but also of a formless and empty earth. Darkness was over the surface of the deep. Besides matter being brought into existence, light (a form of energy) was created. Darkness is the absence of light. God Himself provided the source of the day one light. It is probable that God created the whole of the electromagnetic spectrum at that time and it is possible that this Day one light manifested some aspect of God’s glory. The light shone on one side of a rotating earth and the day/night cycle was established.The final chapters of the Book of Revelation speaks of a similar phenomenon in that the New Jerusalem will not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God will give it light.

The Hebrew word for day (yom) is used some 3,000 times in the Hebrew Bible, and is almost always used to mean an ordinary 24-hour day-night cycle. On the few occasions where it is used to mean an indeterminate period of time, it is always clear from the context that it means something other than a 24-hour day (day of trouble, day of the LORD, day of battle, etc). Whenever it is used with an ordinal number (1, 2, 1st, 2nd, etc.), it always means a specific day, an ordinary  24-hour day.

The language of Genesis 1 appears to have been crafted so that no reader would mistake the word use for anything other than an ordinary 24-hour day. The light portion is named “day,” and the dark portion is named “night.” Then the “evening and the morning” is Day 1, Day 2, etc. The linguistic formula is repeated for each of the six days, a strange emphasis if the words were to be taken as allegorical or analogous to something other than a day-night cycle.

 And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day. Genesis 1:6-8

The Hebrew word raqiya is translated as the English words “expanse” or “firmament.” There are two creationist views of how the firmament functioned that I would like to share.

According to Dr. Henry M. Morris of the Institute for Creation Research, “On the second day, God separated the primeval deep into two deeps, with a great space between. The waters below the space were the oceans. The waters above the firmament had apparently been transformed into a vapor state in order to be separated from the heavier materials and elevated above the atmosphere, where it could serve as a thermal [warming] blanket for the earth’s future inhabitants. Such a vapor canopy would undoubtedly have provided a highly efficient “greenhouse effect,” assuring a perennial spring-like climate for the entire earth. Water vapor both shields the earth against harmful radiations from space and also retains and spreads incoming solar heat. A vapor canopy would thus provide an ideal environment for abundant animal and plant life and for longevity and comfort in human life.”

A different theory is proposed by Dr. Carl E. Baugh of the Creation Evidence Museum. He is a proponent of The Crystalline Canopy Theory. He believes that the raqiya was a thin layer of frozen water suspended several miles above the earth. In his scientific abstract Dr. Baugh states, “A thin, metastable, superconductive lattice of hydrogen (interlaminated within thin layers of ice in the flux lines of Earth’s magnetic field) might have comprised the crystalline canopy of Genesis, chapter one…”

“… The earth has a magnetic field. The earth is one giant magnet. That means that this thin layer of bounded metallic hydrogen would actually hold the firmament in suspension above the earth. This canopy over the earth assimilated the light and filtered out that short-wave radiation so that we would not have decay from ultra-violet radiation. The firmament was able to share that energy with the earth’s magnetic field so that the earth’s electromagnetic field was constantly re-energized as living systems used its energy…”

In Dr. Baugh’s model of the firmament, the crystalline canopy could protect earth and its inhabitants from the sun’s harmful rays and help re-energize the electromagnetic field around the earth which positively affects cellular metabolism. Other benefits of the solid firmament would be increased atmospheric pressure which would result in a greater percentage of oxygen in the atmosphere prior to Noah’s flood, and promote a gentle warming of the earth. The protection from harmful radiation, a re-energized magnetic field and increased oxygen in the atmosphere would explain the incredibly long life-spans of the pre-diluvian patriarchs.

In either theory, the firmament served to protect and enhance life on earth.

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:9-10

Plate Tectonics theory assumes that all the continents of the Earth were originally a single land mass called Pangaea or a Super Continent. When God created the world, all the land was in a single land mass. I believe that as a result of sin entering into the world, the earth is now divided into continents. Our continents move and these movements give rise to earthquakes, volcano eruptions, sea-level changes, and the movements of the magnetic poles which are the result of the earth being cursed.

 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day. Genesis 1:11-13

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone— while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? Job 38:4-7

The angels were created on day one or two, after the heavens were created and prior to day three. On day three, the Bible records that they witnessed a formless and empty earth being fashioned into a land mass filled with vegetation surrounded by seas.

 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day. Genesis 1:14-19

With the sun and moon having been created, there can be no argument that the fourth day was a literal 24 hour period. It also makes sense that the length of day three, in which the land produced vegetation, was a literal 24 hour day. If the term “day” meant an indeterminate long period of time, the vegetation which was created to use the sun’s energy to produce food on day three, would have died from lack of sunlight.

 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.”And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day. Genesis 1:20-23

God first created the heavens and then formed the sky. Then God filled the sky with avian life. God formed the ocean by gathering the water into seas before filling the seas with aquatic life.
And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:24-25

God first created the earth and then formed the dry land. Then God filled the land with animals.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 1:26-28

Forming and filling, God first creates an environment in a progressive fashion—light, atmosphere and earth, sea and dry land, and vegetation on the dry land. Next, God creates the inhabitants of the environment, again moving progressively—heavenly bodies, birds, fish, land animals, and finally man.
The Hebrew word for God, Elohim, is a plural noun. Let us make man in our image speaks of the three persons of the Trinity. One God in three persons made man who is comprised of body, soul, and spirit. Man was then given the “Dominion Mandate.” God’s first commandment to the man and woman He had created was to populate the earth and be responsible stewards of the environment.

 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. Genesis 1:29-30

The Gap Theory claims that the dinosaurs, including the meat eating dinosaurs, vied for survival of the fittest and the fossil record was deposited over the course of eons before Adam fell. But according to the Genesis account, before the fall of man and sin entering into the world, there was no death. The animals were herbivorous and docile. There was no survival of the fittest. Animals did not devour one another for food. All the animals were given plants as their source of food.

 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. Genesis 1:31

If there was a rebellion in the heavens and an ungodly pre-Adamic race, God would not have called his creation, “very good.”

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Genesis 2:1-3

"Looking Back to Day Six of Creation and the Garden of Eden"  (Genesis Chapter 2)

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