Can You Stand Alone
The Plan of God
Jesus faced death all alone. David fought Goliath alone. Elijah confronted four hundred and fifty priests of Baal alone. Esther stood in the court of King Ahasuerus alone. Many early saints, like Stephen, faced martyrdom alone. Even God the Father was once all alone. What does it mean to stand alone? Is it possible that we, too, might be required to stand alone? Let’s take a look at the overall picture.
In the beginning, there was only God the Father and the Word, Jesus Christ. They were the only two beings that existed. The relationship and bond between God the Father and Jesus Christ represented perfect love and harmony. The first act of God, of which we are aware, is this: in their brilliant Godly love, they came up with a magnificent plan – a perfect plan.
God the Father and Jesus Christ decided that they would invest themselves in the greatest venture imaginable. Before launching into their plan, they made absolutely certain that it was perfect and infallible. Their plan was to open their close-knit God-Family to others. They did not see it as an intrusion, but as an expansion of their love. For them, opening the God-Family to others was an act of sharing and giving of their Spiritual substance. They wished to share their Eternal God Life with an extended Family.
It was the most splendid design conceivable! They even had an alternative course of action in place to allow for interruptions, such as Satan’s rebellion and the sin of Adam and Eve. They determined that their Godly relationship with others must always be perfect and unspoiled in every way; always directed by flawless, righteous character.
God started by creating the vast angelic realm (Hebrews 1:14) and then the immeasurable, physical universe – this earth, the sun, the moon and the billions of stars (Colossians 1:16). It is so enormous that it is impossible to comprehend its size.
Why did God create so vast a universe with so much power and so much potential? It was certainly created for a purpose. God does nothing without purpose; no more than we would go out and build a barn which we have no use for. So, for what purpose was the universe created?
The vastness of the heavens not only points to His unlimited power to create, but it is also an indication of God’s earnest intent to extend His Family. “Of the increase of His empire and peace there shall be no end.” (Isaiah 9:7)
As you and I would measure progress, God’s plan was moving along very well. Then something terrible happened! Iniquity, imperfection, sin, jealousy and rebellion were found within the angelic realm – horrible sin! It was a dreadful thing, but it happened before the character of those in the angelic realm was established.
Lucifer, an archangel, sinned; thereby becoming Satan, the adversary. He proved to be unfaithful to the plan of God. He revolted and led one third of the angels into rebellion. Lucifer and the angels who followed him were originally created as holy beings capable of making their own decisions and choices. They could choose to stand for God’s way, or they could reject it. They rebelled against God’s way of love that is outgoing concern for the good of others.
Those angels rejected the way of humility, of love for their Maker, of giving, serving, cooperating, and sharing. They turned instead to Satan’s way of lust and greed, of competition, bitterness and destruction. As a result, God has reserved for them darkness forever. “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell [tartaroo] and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment…” (2 Peter 2:4).
Our earth was well on the way to completion when it was annihilated in the demonic battle that took place at the time that Satan attempted to seize God’s throne. Everything became tohu, bohu and coshek. In Genesis 1:2-3 we read, “the earth became without form [‘tohu’] and void [‘bohu’], and darkness [‘coshek’] was upon the face of the deep. But Satan’s rebellion and the ensuing war were unable to put a stop to the inevitable plan of God. “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters... And the light shone forth…” Continuing with His plan, God planted a breathtaking garden, the Garden of Eden, making a place of beauty, tranquility and comfort for His children. That magnificent garden contained two trees; a very spectacular tree – the tree of life, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
The tree of life represented the spiritual component missing in mankind, the very “life” of God. Mankind was created with short-term mortal life. Man does not have an immortal soul. That pagan concept comes from Satan’s lie, “You shall not surely die.” Only God the Father and Jesus Christ now possess eternal life (1 Timothy 6:16). Through the tree of life, God was offering mankind the way to eternal life as members of the Family of God. God told Adam and Eve that they would die if they ate of the forbidden tree. (Compare Genesis 2:17 and 3:4). Therefore, the tree of life was an integral part of God’s plan. God wanted Adam and Eve to freely choose His way; they were alone in the garden when Satan came to them. Neither Adam nor Eve was willing to stand up to Satan in defense of God’s way of life.
Abel was the first man to stand alone. Abel brought the very best offering of the firstlings of his flock, and the Lord had respect for Abel and his offering. Jesus said that Abel was a righteous man (Matthew 23:35). In faith, Abel knew that God would provide for the future because he was placing God completely first in his life. Throughout the Bible, there is a common thread showing that the world loves its own. Contrariwise, those who stand for God, the righteous, are hated, persecuted and often killed. “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous.” (Hebrews 11:4)
“All who live righteously will suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12) Cain martyred righteous Abel. Abel suffered the fate of those who fearlessly live the Truth. Abel had risen above the yardstick of man-kind and exhibited the attributes of the God-kind.