There have been attempts by Christians to harmonize the Genesis account of creation with the theories of modern geology and evolution. Of these attempts, three are most popular: theistic evolution, progressive creation, and the gap theory. It is from the gap theory that the idea of “Lucifer’s flood,” also known as the Luciferian flood, is derived.
Basically, the gap theory, which for some incorporates the so-called Lucifer’s flood, teaches that many millions of years ago God created a perfect heaven and earth (Genesis 1:1). At that time, Satan was the ruler of the earth, which was inhabited by a race of men with no souls. Satan rebelled, and sin entered the universe after Satan’s rebellion and fall from heaven. Satan’s fall also brought God’s judgment in the form of a flood named for him: Lucifer’s flood. All the plant, animal, and human fossils upon the earth today were caused by this flood and do not bear any genetic relationship with the plants, animals and humans living today. This Luciferian flood is said to have occurred between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, and it was this event that explains the “waters” and that reduced the world to the “without form and void” state in Genesis 1:2 (KJV).
The gap theory claims that the earth is very old, possibly millions of years, based on the observation that rock layers form very slowly today. For the most part, gap theorists claim belief in a six-day creation and are opposed to evolution. However, looking at the same geologic evidence, gap theorists must propose that God literally reshaped the earth and re-created all life in six literal days, but not until after a Luciferian flood that produced the fossils we see today.
In our view, there are some serious problems with this interpretation of Scripture. First of all, the gap theory forces millions of years into the “gap” between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 but attempts to maintain a literal Genesis. This, in turn, prompts the question of the meaning of the term literal (“word-for-word accuracy”). Since there are, of course, no words between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2, the gap theory and the Luciferan flood cannot truly be part of a “literal” interpretation of Genesis.
If God created a perfect heaven and earth, then all life on Earth must also be perfect. If this “perfect life” was the source of the fossils buried by Lucifer’s flood, and sin entered this world by Satan’s rebellion, why do these same fossils show abundant evidence for disease and deformities? The presence of disease and deformities in fossils proves that all things could not have been perfect and that sin was already present before the flood that buried them. If sin was present before God’s judgment of Satan, then either the Bible is wrong or the gap theory is flawed.
If Lucifer’s flood was God’s judgment against Satan, and the earth was razed to become “without form and void,” then why did this flood not destroy the fossil record as well? What about Noah’s flood? Noah’s flood was also a judgment on the earth, and it is used throughout the Bible as an example of God’s judgment on man. Lucifer’s flood is never mentioned once. How can someone believe that Noah’s flood was somehow less impactful, geologically speaking, than an un-mentioned flood, while claiming a literal interpretation of Genesis?
Does it really matter whether we accept a “literal” interpretation of the Creation? The answer is “yes!” For example, most gap theorists, using the concept of the Luciferian flood, believe that there was human death before Adam, which presents major theological problems. Romans 5:12 states that “sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin,” so to accept the concept of death before the time of Adam is to destroy the foundational message of the cross: “For just as through the disobedience of the one man [Adam] the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man [Jesus Christ] the many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:19).
Genesis records a catastrophe responsible for destroying everything that had the “breath of life” in it, except for the people and animals preserved in the ark. Christ refers to the global flood in Noah’s day in Matthew 24:37–39, and Peter writes that, just as there was once a worldwide judgment of mankind by water, so there will be another worldwide judgment by fire (2 Peter 3). But this same passage has nothing specific to say supportive of Lucifer’s flood. For that and other reasons, the theory should be rejected.