The Gap Theory refuted: Prophetic clocks can’t stop!

The church is part of God’s eternal purpose not an after-thought.

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The signs of Matthew 24 prophecies the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD not the second coming and certainly not some “Rapture” theology that was invented in 1830 AD by John Darby. When Christians saw the signs, they fled the city and were saved.


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The Gap Theory refuted: Prophetic clocks can’t stop!

The church is part of God’s eternal purpose not an after-thought


1.        The Gap Theory is a false doctrine taught by pre-tribulation Rapture advocates.

2.        It is rooted in the 70 weeks of Daniel where the clock stops at week 69, because God did not expect the Jews to reject as their earthly King, and it starts again when Israel became a nation again in 1948 AD… at least that is how the story goes.

3.        The problem is, that you cannot stop the clock with TIME prophecies. The whole point of the time sensitive prophecy, is that an event must take place within a specific time. To stop the clock makes the prophecy fail!

4.        While Rapture teachers say that God thought up the church on the fly only after the Jews rejected Jesus as King, the church is the eternal purpose of God and will endure for all future eternity.

5.        The idea of a church age, if heresy because it implies the church is a parentheses (a temporary stop gap measure), when in fact the “church age” began on Pentecost and endures forever.

6.        The church is the body of Christ. He is the head, we are the body. Our salvation is in Christ’s body, the church. The idea that the church will come to an end, is heresy because our salvation is oneness with Christ’s body to be consummated at the great marriage where Christ is the husband and the church is His bride.

A. Salvation only in the church. If the church doesn’t exist we have no salvation in Christ. The church was part of God’s plan hidden in countless Old Testament prophecies and will endure for all future eternity:

1.        The most serious error of the Gap Theory is that it makes God’s eternal purpose for salvation in the church null and void. Harold Camping, for example, taught that the church age ended in 1988, 40 years after 1948 when Israel became a nation. He boldly taught until his date of May 21, 2011 failed, that anyone who was a member of a church after 1988 but before May 21 was of the devil, lost and destined for hell because they did not obey Camping’s divinely revealed “latter Rain” inspiration. Camping’s failed date was judgment not only on a heresy of Latter Rain theology, but also his gap theory.

2.        The difference between the universal church and the local church is one of function. You cannot destroy and remove the local church and retain the universal church. They are made of Christians. Camping is so ill informed of the gospel, that he thinks he can discard the local church and keep the universal church. This is heresy.

3.        Countless Old Testament prophesies describe the church. God planned the church from before creation and was not an afterthought after the Jews rejected Jesus as their earthly king. In fact the church was part of God’s eternal purpose in Jesus Christ. Notice the church was in hidden in the mind of God in all ages past and will exist for all future eternity:

a.      “and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, ” (Ephesians 3:9–11)

4.        The church will exist after the second coming and for all eternity. The idea that the church age will come to an end, and the church will be abolished like animal sacrifices is a violation of the most basic concept of the Gospel of Christ. Notice that God will be glorified in the church for all future eternity.

a.      “to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. ” (Ephesians 3:21)

5.        The church is the body of Christ, who is the head of the church. To suggest the church doesn’t exist means Christ has lost his “fullness” and is no longer head of the church.

a.      “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. ” (Ephesians 1:21–23)

b.      “He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. ” (Colossians 1:18)

6.        The church is the revealed Old Testament mystery that the prophets of God prophesied about through the coming kingdom of Isa 2:1-4 and Dan 2:44. In the church we have both riches and hope. If the church is extinct we lose our access to the riches of Christ and hope of salvation.

a.      “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions. Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. ” (Colossians 1:24–27)

7.        The church is the bride of Christ after judgment day in heaven for an eternal marriage. Gap theorists like Harold camping leave Christ, as the groom at the altar by himself because the bride never shows up! Notice in Eph 5:23-32 the close relationship in the analogy between Christ and the church; husband and wife.

a.      Christ is the savior of the body, the church: Eph 5:23

b.      Paul emphases that while the oneness of husband and wife is a mystery, it is the marriage of Christ and the church that he considers a greater mystery! “THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. ” (Ephesians 5:31-32) According to Harold Camping, suddenly in 1988, Christ just walks away from his marriage relationship and leaves his bride high and dry to fend for herself!

c.       The church is married to Christ at the second coming: “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ ” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.” ” (Revelation 19:7–9)

8.        We proclaim the Lord’s death every Sunday in church with the Lord’s supper till Christ returns. Harold Camping had the proclaimation of the death of Christ end in 1988. For 23 years between 1988 and 2011, Camping did not obey the command to have weekly communion:

a.      “On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight. ” (Acts 20:7)

b.      “In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. ” (1 Corinthians 11:25–26)

9.        We are commanded to give a freewill offering of money every Sunday while in church. Camping disobeyed the Lord’s command and redirected all the weekly contrubutions to church to himself and his 200 million dollar per year radio ministry.

a.      “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come. ” (1 Corinthians 16:1–2)

10.    Jesus said that the “Gates of hades (death) not prevail against the church”, yet Camping says Satan now controls every church on earth and to leave all the churches.

a.      “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. ” (Matthew 16:18)

11.    The church is where we find our salvation. If the church doesn’t exist, we have no salvation in Christ: “For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. ” (Ephesians 5:23)

12.    God united Jew and Gentile in church. Has this union been dissolved? Never!

a.      “But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, ” (Ephesians 2:13–19)

13.    All spiritual blessings “in Christ”, in the church. If the church is gone, then we have no spiritual blessings.

a.      “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, ” (Ephesians 1:3)

14.    Sins forgiven/redemption “in Christ”, in the church. There is no forgiveness of sin without the church:

a.      “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace ” (Ephesians 1:7)

b.      “For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory. ” (2 Timothy 2:10)

15.    We are a new creature “in Christ”, in the church. If the church is destroyed, then so is our new spiritual creature:

a.      “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. ” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

16.    The church is foreseen in heaven after the second coming:  “to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, ” (Hebrews 12:23)

B. False doctrines from Rapture teachers:

1.      “THE CHURCH AGE AS A PARENTHESIS: One of the important questions raised by the amillenarians is whether the present age is predicted in the Old Testament. This they confidently affirm and find the kingdom promises fulfilled in the present church age. Premillenarians have not always given a clear answer to the amillennial position. While dispensationalists have regarded the present age as a parenthesis unexpected and without specific prediction in the Old Testament, some premillenarians have tended to strike a compromise interpretation in which part of the Old Testament predictions are fulfilled now and part in the future. In some cases they have conceded so much to the amillenarians that for all practical purposes they have surrendered premillennialism as well. It is the purpose of the present investigation to show the reasonableness and Scriptural support of the parenthesis concept.” (The Millennial Kingdom: A Basic Text in Premillennial Theology, John F. Walvoord, p 227, 1983 AD)

2.      "Nothing could be plainer to one reading the O.T. than the foreview herein proved did NOT PREDICT a period of time between the two advents”  (The Millennial Kingdom: A Basic Text in Premillennial Theology, John F. Walvoord, p 228, 1983 AD)

3.      “The prophetic foreview of Daniel 2 in Nebuchadnezzar’s image and the fourth beast of Daniel 7:23-27 likewise ignores the present age. ” (The Millennial Kingdom: A Basic Text in Premillennial Theology, John F. Walvoord, p 228, 1983 AD)

4.      “The ultimate proof of the teaching that the present age is a parenthesis is in the positive revelation concerning the church as the body of Christ, the study of which will be undertaken next. The evidence for a parenthesis in the present age interrupting God’s predicted program for Jew and Gentile as revealed in the Old Testament is extensive, however. The evidence if interpreted literally leads inevitably to the parenthesis doctrine. The kingdom predictions of the Old Testament do not conform to the pattern of this present age. … Those among the premillennial group who see clearly the issues involved would do well to divorce themselves from the amillennial method in dealing with the prophetic word, and interpret the prophecies of the Old Testament in relation to the millennium rather than the present age. ” (The Millennial Kingdom: A Basic Text in Premillennial Theology, John F. Walvoord, p 230, 1983 AD)

C. Basic errors of the pre-tribulation Gap theory:

1.        The idea that the church was “not the subject of Old Testament prophecy” is rank heresy. The church was the Old Testament mystery revealed in the New Testament.

2.        Prophetic time clocks cannot stop when dealing with time prophecies. Its like saying, In 12 hours the sun will turn blue. Then at the 11th hour, you stop the clock for 2000 years and start it again because of a guess based on some world event like Israel becoming a nation.

3.        Physical Israel becoming a physical nation again is what is “not the subject of Old Testament prophecy”. Starting the clock again in 1948 AD is wild unfounded, unbiblical speculation.

4.        There are four key time prophecies in the Bible that predicted the coming of the Kingdon in 33 A.D. on Pentecost. These prophecies are time sensitive and stopping the clock makes them fail:

a.      Jesus said the time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand: Mk 1:15. You cannot extent this for 2000 years because it makes the time sensitive statement fail.

b.      Jesus said that his disciples would live to see the kingdom with their own eyes and before they died the Kingdom of God that was prophesied in the Old Testament would be established: Mk 9:1

c.       Daniel saw a vision of four human kingdoms and prophesied that the Kingdom of God would be established during the days of the Roman empire of 63 BC to 396 AD: Dan 2:44

d.      The 70 weeks of Daniel 9, although symbolic periods of time, are concurrent and sequential. To have 69 weeks representing about 550 years from the descree of Cyrus to the first coming of Christ, then a gap of 2000 years and the last week begins in 1948 is absurd.

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1.        The Gap Theory is rank heresy and infidelity because it makes God’s plans and prophecies fail!

2.        You cannot stop a prophecy clock, especially when it is about TIME PROPHECIES.

3.        The church is not a “parentheses”, an “after thought” when the Jews (to the complete surprise of God) rejected Jesus as their early king and instead crucified Him.

4.        The church was part of the Old Testament plan from ages past hidden in the mind of God and revealed in the New Testament as the vessel of salvation for mankind.

5.        There is no salvation outside of the church, which is the body of Christ.

6.        If the church became extinct in 1988, so did our eternal salvation.

7.        Harold Camping is an agent of Satan when he tells everyone in the world to leave all the churches because Satan is in them. Harold, Satan is outside the church, where you are telling your lemmings to follow you! Salvation is in the church. There is no salvation outside the church. Now that May 21, 2011 has past and Campings prediction for the end of the world failed, it is time for Camping to admit he was totally wrong about everything, including everything he believes as doctrine including Latter Rain Theology, Pre-tribulation Rapture, and Calvinism.

8.        It is a sin to miss weekly attendance in a local church, even though the world has the idea that we can have Christ apart from the church.

a.      “let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. ” (Hebrews 10:24–25)

9.        God will have glory in the church for the same length of time he will have glory in Christ: forever!

10.    Find a good, bible believing church in your own home town, that teaches the full gospel of Christ and has weekly communion and collections.


Steve Rudd

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