THE GAP THEORY
OPEN: Hey, good morning and welcome to STAG, I'm Jack. We're doing some Bible study today, plus we'll look at the idea of home and freedom. But first….
DISC: The views you hear will be mine and not meant to….
UW: The following hour of RCR is being underwritten by STAG.
The Gap Theory: You can follow this up by watching the YouTube video I have on the subject.
There are many gaps in the Bible. Lots of them occur in prophecy. What I want to do is establish the fact of gaps in scripture and point out a few important ones.
One of the gaps found in prophecy is in Isaiah 61. Isaiah is the main prophet for the messiah. A few chapters back he told us all about Jesus' death and resurrection. By chapter 61, Isaiah has moved to the mission of Jesus and the establishment of the millennial kingdom.
The gap occurs in verse 2 between the words "...LORD" and "and..." Jesus did all the stuff up to the word LORD, but the "day of vengeance" is God's wrath during the Great Tribulation. So there's a GAP of time between Jesus' first advent and the "day of vengeance." I know this is quite obvious, but this prophecy dovetails with others to say pretty much the same thing. It's those other times where many do not recognize any gap and come to mistaken conclusions.
By way of confirmation, as God is wont to do, Jesus himself repeats this passage in Isaiah, when he reads in the synagogue. In Luke 4, this same gap occurs between verses 19 and 20. When Jesus gets to the part about vengeance, he closes the book and says that this day this is fulfilled in your eyes. He couldn't say that if he had read "the day of vengeance."
Now for one of the most important gaps in the Bible. There is great controversy over this gap. It occurs between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. Advocates of this theory say that there is a great gulf of time before verse two. Some cataclysm hit the earth and heavens that were created in verse one. The result of this event was what we are told the earth looked like in verse two. But the advocates want us to know that the translation of verse two is not set in concrete and can be equally translated "became a waste and desolation." This is true.
If that were all we had to go on, we might not accept the gap, but we have another confirmation that is stronger than just a translation preference. It's Jeremiah 4:23-26.
Jeremiah is clearly telling us that he saw the earth be virtually destroyed. Mountains fled away. BIG destruction of "cities." The main point of the passage is that he also tells us that there were "no men". There were cities, but no men. Who inhabited those cities? The "people" that were around before Adam was created. This one theory allows for all the archeology that has been dated before 6000 BC.
I'd also like to take a quick look at Ezekiel 28:13 and Ezekiel 31:9,16,18. In both theses passages Ezekiel starts out talking to the king of Tyre or the Pharaoh of Egypt. But quickly it's apparent that he has switched to describing Satan and his being cast down, at some time in the future. Two gaps.
Now on to Daniel. I've counted seven or eight gaps in the book of Daniel. The one in chapter two is repeated. Verse 40 talks about the Roman Empire. Then verse 41 talks about the feet, but doesn't say anything about the fact that even today we haven't got that kingdom. That kingdom is the one that spawns the anti-christ. There's a gap there. The other gap between 43 and 44 starts with those same toes, but then tells that another kingdom will be set up by God. If there was no gap of time between 43 and 44 then I have to ask, where is the kingdom that God set up?
Next, Daniel 7:7 and 8. Daniel talks about the "iron" beast kingdom in verse seven, but immediately, with no hint of a gap of time, tells us in verse eight that the little horn comes up out of that kingdom. That's the anti-christ. There has to be a gap between the Roman empire and the rise to the anti-christ. This passage in Daniel is there only to narrow down the location of the anti-christ. Right now, it's somewhere in the Roman Empire.
In chapter eight Daniel tells us where in the Roman Empire this little horn comes out. The gap occurs between verses eight and nine. Alexander's empire has broken up into four regions, controlled by his four top generals. That's verse eight. In verse nine, we see that little horn again. Well, the breakup of Alexander's empire is a fact, but not the rise of the anti-christ. There's a gap. There is a second gap between verses 22 and 23. This time it's very clear, because after mentioning the four generals, 23 says, "in the latter time of their kingdom." This hasn't happened yet. We haven't seen that "king of fierce countenance." The following verses outline many details about him.
These last gaps have been easy to see and accept. Not so with the next one in chapter nine.
There are two important gaps. The first is in the middle of verse 24, between the words "iniquity" and "and." This is really just a parallel of Isaiah, only it talks about the good part instead of the vengeance of God: everlasting righteousness and the establishment of the millennial Temple.
The very controversial gap is found in verse 26. The first part of the verse is about Jesus and his crucifixion, but notice the colon. We have a couple things happening here. First off, we have no idea what happened to the 70th week. We can find 69 of Daniel's weeks, but not the last one. That colon is the gap.
The verse goes on to tell us that some prince shall come and destroy the city and the sanctuary. Then we catch up with that 70th week in the next verse. This same prince from verse 26 is the one who makes a "covenant" for seven years. That's Daniel's last week. But the "prince" is the guy who will become the anti-christ. There has to be a gap of time between Jesus advent and that 70th week. It has to be the anti-christ, because the things said about that prince line up with other passages in end times prophecy, like Revelation. This gap is fairly well known, if not wholly accepted by some. The next gap is "hidden" from most eyes. It's the gap in chapter eleven.
Daniel 11 has a gap between verses 20 and 21. By this time, Daniel has positioned us in the middle east and spends the whole chapter talking about two of Alexander's generals, Ptolemy in Egypt and Seleucus in the Fertile Crescent. Seleucus is the king of the north and Ptolemy is the king of the south. If you hit the history books for those two regions, you'll find that Daniel's prophecy reads like a historical account. In fact, there were/are some who still hold that Daniel was not written by the real Daniel, but was produced in 150 BC. First level research disproves that.
So we run down the kings through the history of the two kingdoms until we hit a brick wall. After all Daniel's uncanny accuracy describing the various kings and queens, Cleopatra is even in there, the person of verse 21 can't be found, even though he would have been on the scene before Jesus. Of course, when we put all the attributes of this guy in 21 and onward we find that it's the anti-christ again. He's doing all the stuff that been prophesied about him in other chapters and books.
For those who don't know or accept this gap, the whole of end times scenario gets skewed and spawns some very weird teaching indeed.
Home Free:Two things that humans long for, strive for, dream of are the concepts of "Home" and freedom. The result of Home and Freedom is total peace of mind, right? We'll get to that.
Home is easily understood as the overall idea of security in different areas of life. People want to be safe. Home is safe. People want to be fed. There's food at home. People want to be sheltered. Home is shelter. People want to prosper. Home is a place of prosperity.
Freedom, on the other hand, is not so easily understood. The first thing to settle is from what do we want to be free? Of course, one could use all of the above in the pursuit of freedom. But it can be shown that even those pursuits can become a prison.
Well, freedom to choose is certainly a desire people seek. We don't like it when we have to do what others tell us we must, even when our spirits tell us otherwise. We want to be free from domination, physical or mental.
We could use physical imprisonment as a way to discover the principle of freedom. When someone is in jail, they have almost no control over their lives. They are bound very tightly to many rules. This is exactly what Jesus tried to teach; freedom from rules, bondage in rules. Rules are things that hinder natural activities. The natural activity of driving a car may want the driver to just run through that stop sign. The rule interrupts the "natural" flow of driving. No driver is free to do what they feel is OK at the moment.
Here's the cart. We'll get to the horse in a minute.
Home and Freedom are ideas, but not everyone will define them the same. Some people will tell you they are free, but are obviously locked into certain behaviors, like drug addiction. So, I think we have to go behind the behavior to see if there is a universal principle that covers ALL types of bondage. What makes bondage? Two people in the exact same situation will tell you that they are free or imprisoned. How can that be?
How can the man on death row proclaim that he is free? The guy next door is in a heap of depression in the corner of his cell. Peace of mind. I'm reminded of what Paul said about being content in what ever situation he found himself.
Peace of mind.
Where can one find physical peace of mind, but home? It's warm, safe, and has food. How many folks sitting down after dinner to watch a classic movie are worried about shelter, food, money? Very few. Home gives peace of mind.
Home, as I said is the easy one. What about freedom? That's a brier patch.
Our normal existence is so full of rules and regulations that it would seem that there is no real way to have peace of mind when it comes to freedom. From birth to death, we are controlled to one degree or another.
When we are born, they are taking our DNA, giving us mind bending shots, converting us into little corporations with a specific certificate on the stock market, taking the prints of our feet and filing away all our information for later use. How many adults would happily go along with all that at age thirty? See what I mean? And birth is just the beginning. From then on it's one rule after another. There are even rules about you after you are dead.
There's a funny joke about rules that I just remembered. The little boy was seen by a man that lived down the block from him. The boy passed by the neighbor's house. After a while the neighbor noticed that the boy was coming down the street again. The boy passed by and went on, only to be seen again after some time went by. Finally, on the boy's fifth trip by the neighbor, the man asked the boy what he was doing. The boy replied in a somewhat sad tone, "I'm running away from home."
The man said, "Oh. You're not getting very far away are you, walking around the block this way?" "The boy replied, I know. But I'm not allowed to cross the street." I'm sure the boy would have professed freedom to go anywhere on the block he wanted. He was free. He just couldn't cross the street.
Isn't peace of mind directly connected to what we have decided is or isn't a rule? Or better, that any certain rule does or doesn't feel to us as a restriction. How can some people live within many restrictions and still have the same peace of mind as if there were no restrictions at all? There's a real paradox for you.
I guess we have to decide what we will count as a real restriction. Does any rule really restrict us or not? How can we feel at Home when we aren't, Free when we aren't? It's all in our heads. It occurs to me that some might call it insanity, to say one has peace of mind when it's obvious that the person is in the direst of straits. "Well, sure, he's just deluded."
To the person judging, that will be the answer that they MUST arrive at. Nothing in their experience allows for anything else. And after all, this guy is talking, acting like there is some invisible force that is directing his actions and thoughts.
The fact is that there is NO peace of mind in any human solution to any situation or circumstance. We know, instinctively that all humans are defective to the point the even to ones we revere are still capable of making a mistake and hurting someone. No human being is 100% good, right or infallible. WE know this by just our own mistakes and fallibility. And if we know that we aren't perfect, then we know that NO other human is perfect either. Whatever solution we come up with to solve a problem, or the solution that anyone else comes up with can't be trusted 100%. So while we work through the problem or remain in the situation we don't have peace of mind, we worry.
Back to Home. Of course, the ultimate Home is with God. Everything we strive for in a Home is there with God. And even though we are not there now, we know that we will go there and finally have all the Home that we longed for all our lives.
Maybe you can see how that knowledge shrinks down all the aspects of the Home we have at this moment. Think of all the time, money and energy some folks put into the place they live, trying to have what the real Home has. Every time I hang out my wash I think to the fact that someone has, and might again, steal some of my clothes off the line. Worrying about that is not peace of mind. If I can accomplish a change of attitude about that, I can avoid experiencing the stress or worry about it. The thought may occur, by I won't be worried by it. It's really just that simple, even on a very large scale.
OK, there's the cart. What pulls that cart? What's the name of that horse? The Bible.
You see, the real peace of mind only comes from God. But you can't get to God without the Bible. Yeah, I know some want to argue that, but in the end it's God and nothing else.
You want to know how close to God a person is, watch his behavior. What makes him mad? What makes him cry. What makes him worry? How much real peace of mind does he exhibit. Is it what his behavior confirms or is he just a good talker and his lifestyle gives the lie to his words? That's what most of us do, right? We talk the way we WANT it to be, but live the way is it.
I challenge any Believer listening to get out your Bible and use it to prove the existence of God to yourself, to the point of being able to prove it to someone else. If you can't prove God to someone else, you don't have enough evidence to depend on God for your Home and Freedom.
Our Home and Freedom are directly proportional to our knowing of God's reality. The more you know God, the more you can depend on Him, the more peace of mind you will have over the things that your humanity can't deal with; the unknown.
It's all in our heads. If we encounter the unknown, we shrink back and start the "What-If" dialogue. God has covered all situations. He's told us how He'd like us to act. He's given us examples of how to act and decide in like situations. He's even given us a Little Voice to help us make the Right decisions. The problem with most of God's advice is that going His way means taking on the unknown and giving it to Him. We want to be sure that we're OK, so we search around for any little thing that can humanly get us out of a jam. Doing what God suggests seems too risky.
An angel, in that same situation, would have no problem deciding an God's solution. Why? Because angels don't have ANY doubt about God's reality. They are absolutely sure that God exists and that when He says something He makes sure that it happens.
Are angels free? They certainly are free from all the things that bother humans.
They never act outside of what God has directed. They never decide things for themselves. That's where people fall down. We want to decide based on what we think is OK. We let our ego run the show and put God in a corner. We don't depend, like angels do, on what God has said. We don't believe God, the way angels do.
Again, the horse is the Bible. But belief in God doesn't come off the pages and implant itself in your mind. The horse is the work involved in verifying the supernatural inspiration of what's written in the Bible. This takes a lot of work to find out if the Bible is inspired. That's where the breakdown happens.
Over the years, I've presented many different ways to prove God's reality, in or outside of the Bible. The Lost Tribes study on one. Ivan Panin's work with the numerical schemes in the Bible. Biblical gematria. The two Zodiacs. The Great Pyramid. The numbers found in the creation of the solar system. Any one of these confirms God's reality.
From what I've seen and heard for the past thirty years, my guess is that there isn't one in a hundred self-proclaimed Believer who can prove God's reality without trying to use personal experience to do so. Personal experience will never convince someone else of God's reality.
Freedom is a paradox. That is, True Freedom. Freedom from everything. Is is a paradox because to gain this total Freedom one must give one's whole life to God. It's very counter-intuitive. You have to give up everything to get everything you really want. But then, didn't Jesus say this very thing? You get to be first by going last. You get to rule by serving. You get life by giving up your life. Again, it's about getting ALL of our ego out of EVERY decision we have to make and doing it God's way.
Total subjection to God, is total freedom; from all the things that cause us pain and worry.
If anyone out there would like to investigate God's reality and the inspiration of the Bible, you know where to find me.
1-The Gap theory, if you study it in depth will show you God's hand at work. That will help give you peace of mind.
2-If you want to talk about the gap or freedom, STAG is a comfortable place to do that. We're at 88 Briceland Rd. in Redway. The number is 707 923 ALLY(2559). Or on the web at STAG.WS. The email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
3-I'll be back on Dec 6 to tell you when Jesus was really born. It's not Dec 25.
4-Next time you are worried and need some peace of mind, maybe you'll remember what I said today and try a little God.
5- He's real, you know. And He does exactly what He say He will, exactly when He wants it to.
This is Jack, Bye.
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