When God in the beginning created the heaven and the Earth, there was only one created earth on that first day of Creation. There was no Earth prior to this created Earth. Time began on this first day of Creation.
In the past, the most widely accepted hybrid theory among conservative churches was the dispensational teaching that there had been an “earlier world” or “old world” that was destroyed when Lucifer fell from heaven in his rebellion against the Creator. They say this old world is mentioned in 2 Peter 3:5-7, “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: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and 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.” These verses are associated with Noah’s Flood (Genesis 6-9) and are not describing the supposed Luciferian flood of Genesis 1:2,Because this “old world” is talking about Noah’s world during the Flood. 2 Peter 2:5 tells us clearly it was Noah’s Flood. “And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.”
In Genesis 1:6-8, on the second day of creation, we find God how He, “divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament.” Water was placed below the earth’s crust and called “the fountains of the great deep (Genesis 7:11),(Proverbs 8:28), water was placed on the surface of the earth (Genesis 1:10), and water was lifted up above the earth’s atmosphere (Psalm 148:4). Clearly the earth created during the six-day creation week was “standing out of the water and in the water“.
Getting back to the “gap“. They say that the “pre-adamic” age lasted for an unknown number of eons, but accounts for the alleged billions of years prior to the re-creation after Satan’s fall. A “gap” was thus inserted between the first two verses of Genesis 1. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (implied gap) And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters“. (Genesis 1:1-2)
In the text, the earth is described as “without form, and void;” Proponents of the Gap theory usually translate these words as “ruined” and “desolate”, indicating something bad had happened previously. In essence, the theory suggests that God did indeed create the heaven and the earth, but a cataclysmic event occurred after the initial creation demanding the judgment of God and this ruining the earth and leaving it desolate. But the apparent reading of the text would be that God created the heaven and the earth in their basic elemental compounds (Space and matter), and these were without form and empty, waiting to be developed by God. The earth was being made inhabitable by God for biological life and His ultimate creation: man (Isaiah 45:18).
Made popular by the Scofield Study Bible of 1909, with his footnotes, this “ruin and reconstruction” idea alleged to be further verified by the fossil record. The various gigantic fossils (dinosaurs, marine reptiles, etc.) are assumed to be additional evidence of a pre-adamic time that lasted for millions of years under the rule of Satan. In the footnote to Genesis 1:1, Scofield wrote that “the first creative act refers to the dateless past, and gives scope for all the geologic ages“. Motivated similarly as gap theorists that came before him, Scofield reveals that his support of the gap theory is not derived from any scriptural interpretation, but from his desire to show that “no conflict of science with the Genesis cosmogony remains.” (both quotes are found in The Scofield Study Bible (New York Oxford Press, 1909), pages 3 and 4).
This “gap” between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 is not linguistically, grammatically, or doctrinally required in any case. It does not even hold up to basic logic. A cataclysm sufficiently powerful to leave the earth “without form and void” would destroy and physical evidence of that event (like fossils) and would do away with the intended place for billions of years to accrue. Furthermore,God’s ultimate pronouncement of “very good” on everything that He made (Genesis 1:31) would be meaningless if there had been ages of wickedness prior to God’s final evaluation of His work. Sorry but there is no room for a “gap” between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.