ost religious leaders and believers have been tongue-tied when confronted with some of life's puzzling issues. I have been asked same questions too. If the True Lord God Almighty is good, why does He allow evil and injustice in the world? You look around you and find it herculean to explain the monumental injustice and evil being perpetrated in the world and wonder, Does God care? Why do little children suffer when the suffering and helplessness are not of their making? Why does God allow babies to be thrown into canals and garbage bins? Why are innocent women raped? Why does the True Lord God Almighty tolerate the atrocities currently being perpetrated by ISIS in the Middle East? Why are there so much sufferings, poverty, and malnutrition in the world? Another perplexing answer some religious leaders often give to heart-throbbing questions from agnostics and atheists is; the True Lord God Almighty is in control. When prodded further, what is the Lord in control, these religious leaders insist that, God is in control of everything. Really? So, it was the True Lord God Almighty that was in control when Hitler killed more than 6million Jews during the Holocaust? It was the same Lord God Almighty in control when millions were senselessly butchered during the 3-year internecine fratricidal Nigerian-Biafra War of 1966-1970? So, God knew and permitted the beasty regimes of Mobutu Sesezeko of the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), Sergeant Samuel Kanyon Doe of Liberia, Jean-Bedel Bokassa of Central African Republic and the rest misbegotten dictators of Africa in the Last Century? Could the Sovereign Lord God Almighty of the universe have allowed that murderous cretin known as Sani Abacha kill a defenseless housewife; Kudirat Adeyemi Abiola in 1996? How do you explain the Love of God and yet reconcile the injustice meted on Nigerians by that bully, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida and the June 12, 1993 tragedy, while the bastard is still alive and in retirement in Nigeria? Why does the Lord God Almighty appear to not care when evil, naked evil parades the streets and even mock the rest of us? How can the Lord God Almighty be in control of events and situations in the world, and yet tolerate heinous crimes, oppression, injustice, poverty, and unheard and unexplained atrocities that boggle the imagination and denigrate His eternal love?
SOURCES OF EVIL: First, we must locate the genesis of evil before we lay the blame on the doorsteps of a loving and gracious Lord God Almighty. Among some of the most egregious claims of religionists is ascribe evil to the Sovereign Lord God Almighty of the universe. The Creator didn't create Satan. It isn't in His Word; the Holy Bible. Until those of us charged with the responsibility of preaching the Word of God, as exactly revealed in His Word of God to "Do their best to present themselves to God as those approved, workers who do not need to be ashamed and who correctly handle the word of truth," (2 Timothy 2:15), through the Holy Spirit; agnostics, free thinkers of the world, and atheists would give us wide berth. If we do not locate the origin of evil, we cannot tackle its consequences. Satan is the first cause of evil. The Holy Bible declares this fact unambiguously: "The Lord is good all the time" (Psalm 100:5). We are also told by Him in His Word: "The eyes of the Lord are so pure to behold evil." (Habakkuk 1:13). If these two scriptures are to be believed, why are realities on earth contrary to these facts? If He is good, why are bad things happening on earth? If His eyes cannot behold evil; does He shut the same eyes to earthly evil deeds?
The angelic creature known as Lucifer was the good and perfect being that the Creator made at the beginning (Ezekiel 28:12-19 and Revelation 12: 7-12). From these two scriptures, we can extrapolate that the Lord God Almighty created Lucifer, but Lucifer later turned himself into Satan. He was good before, but in accordance with God's Love; He gives all His created beings sovereign will, including the angels. Lucifer and the one-third of the angels that aligned with him in opposition to the Sovereign Lord God Almighty used their free will to rebel. These rebellious angels are those referred to as principalities, demons and spiritual hosts of darkness and wickedness now on earth. The fault for evil therefore, shouldn't be laid on the Lord God Almighty. Someone argued with me here on this point by asking another question; God is still to be blamed; since He is said to know all things; so, why did He create Lucifer knowing fully well this Lucifer would turn against Him and become Satan, the chief perpetrator of evil and wickedness? I asked the Lord God Almighty the same question and He replied me by directing me to yet another feature of His eternal quality and attribute of Love as revealed in 1 Corinthian 13: 5d: "…Love…thinks no evil." He explained to me that, He is so good and lovely that, when He was about to create the angels, He didn't think evil of any of them, including Satan. The same for human beings, including you and I, Hallelujah! He said evil is strange to Him and so how could He co-exist with evil when He is 100 percent good. How could a Loving Lord God Almighty be bad and evil at the same time? That is an oxymoron.
Now that we have located the genesis of evil and its corollaries, why does God allow evil in the world? This question goes back to the first question above and the Lord responded; if evil isn't from Me, how can I tolerate and allow it among human beings? He replied; evil came from Satan and you human beings. From Genesis in the beginning, everything that the Lord God Almighty created was good. The word; "good" was used 6 times for the perfection of creation by the Great Alone. When human beings were created, the superlative expression and epithet; "very good" was applied to humanity. Just as Lucifer was created good and part of the attribute of being good is to allow His creature to have free will; humanity was also created good and part of the goodness in us is our individual sovereign will, beginning with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. How could a loving and good Lord God Almighty replicate His love and goodness in angels and humanity suddenly take away the same love and goodness simultaneously? Sovereign will, is a part of Divine Love and Goodness. We-human beings-just as the angels too, are responsible for how we use the sovereign will, that Divine Love and Goodness gave to us, including the consequences of that sovereign will. Consequently, the second answer to evil, wickedness, oppression, autocratic rule, inhumanity from fellow humans, poverty and the rest is, human beings.
Evil exists, because human beings covet evil and tolerate evil. Mobutu Sesezeko, Samuel Kanyon Doe, Jead Bedel-Bokassa and other tyrants in history inflicted pains and misery on their citizens, because those citizens tolerated them. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida is still roaming about and free in Nigeria, despite all the atrocities he committed in Nigeria in 8 years, because Nigerians still harbor and tolerate him. Sani Abacha killed and assassinated Kudirat Adeyemi Abiola in 1996, because Ms Kudirant Abiola didn't run to the True Lord God Almighty Who could have saved her? A pastor was in the same car with her on that fateful day on her way to Dr Gerald Ohlsen's office, the Canadian Ambassador to Nigeria at that time, who by the way was a great friend, but the pastor "saw" the death that was about to occur few hours and asked to be dropped-off few miles to where the woman was murdered at Ikeja Lagos. And this is to the Glory of the Lord; I was chained down like a dog, manacled and dehumanized for two years by the same Sani Abacha inside the dungeons of the DMI, Apapa Lagos at the same time, but survived. In fact, I saw and preached about the death of Sani Abacha for a year before the bastard eventually expired and finally went to where he eternally belongs. This brings us to the third and final sources of evil: humanity's disobedience to the True Lord God Almighty.
The children of Adam and Eve-that is, you and I-have been telling the Creator that we can live our lives the way we want and we do not need Him in our affairs. The rebellion of our First Parents; Adam and Eve, instigated by Satan in the Garden of Eden continues today. The moment any human being says he/she can live his or her life the way he or she wants; the Owner of that life; the Sovereign Lord God Almighty will step aside as part of His Divine Love and Goodness in respecting our individual's sovereign free will. Do not ever make the mistake or fall into that error being taught by half-baked spiritual teachers in the world that, the Lord God Almighty oversees everything in the world. It is unscriptural and can't be found in the Holy Bible-the only revealed Word of God. Numerously, the Holy Bible refers to Satan as "the god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4); "the ruler of this world" (John 12:31); the one who blinds the people of the world "and prince of the air" (Ephesian 2:2). Therefore, we spend time and space many times in this column to expose the powers and modus operandi of the denizens of darkness. Those Christians, who attack and insist we should desist from "advertising" Satan and the kingdom of darkness are ignorant. The True Lord God Almighty, the sovereign Lord of the heavens and earth is not totally and absolutely in charge of all events, activities and people of the world. The Lord Jesus Christ is in charge of that areas of your life you permit Him to be in charge, simple. Even Christians; He oversees your life to the extent you want Him to be in charge, as simple as that. That is the reason our Lord Jesus Christ commanded us thus: "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). Even as a born-again, blood-bought, cleansed and redeemed child of the Living God, Jesus Christ will not over step and diminish your sovereign free will, because it is for freedom we have been set free (Galatians 5:1). For example, if you refuse to submit your sovereign free will to Him in your finances, He will not get involved. When you begin to suffer in that area, you'll know it's because of financial disobedience. If you can speak all tongues, pray for hours and days and fathom all mysteries, but refuse to obey His commandment in Matthew 6:15: "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins," you will not have major breakthroughs in life. Here is how the Lord God Almighty operate on earth; He will not and never do for us what He has commanded us to do for ourselves, simple. If you can tell me which areas of your life you are having challenges and problems: bachelorhood, single life and inability to settle down to a husband or wife; poverty, lack of progress, marital crisis, sickness/illness, stagnation, unemployment etc-I can tell you one or more laws and commandments of God you are violating.
The Lord God Almighty will not and never override the sovereign will of any human being, including the angels. That was the reason our Lord Jesus Christ told the Jewish Establishment in His day: If you want to do the Will of God, you will know I have come from the Father (John 6:38). Get this straight here and now; it is not the will of the Lord to save anyone, who doesn't want to be saved. That famous verse known to every human soul in the world: John 3:16 put a condition in between the Love and Mercy of God and His redemptive work when it says: "whoever." For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." To make it to heaven is a choice. To end your life on the Other Side is also a choice. Two thieves were crucified with our Lord Jesus Christ; same offence, same time, same condition, same opportunities. The road to eternity was presented before the twain; everything hung in the air and they were confronted with two diametrically-opposed choices. The one on the right used his sovereign free will that was given to him by the Lord God Almighty through His Divine Love and Sovereign Will to confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (Luke 23:42: "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.") The same opportunity He gave to the other thief on the left. The former made it to paradise through his free will, while the latter ended in the nether gloom through the same free will. It was said of that beautiful American actress; Marilyn Monroe that a week to her suicide in Los Angeles, CA on August 05, 1962; a pastor knocked on her hotel door to preach to her and pray for her to give her life to the Lord Jesus Christ, but she chased out the pastor with these remarks: " I don't have time for that Jesus Christ of yours." I still remember vividly when I tried to tell my testimony on how the Lord Jesus Christ rescued me from the claws of Satan in the 1990s to a former friend, whom we had lived wayward and rebellious lives to God together and how he had instructed people to chase me out of his house in Lagos. I learned of his death by ghastly motor accident two weeks after that attempt and he went to eternity without knowing Christ. This brings us to the issue of disobedience to the Creator, the True Lord God Almighty.
Yes, He has given each of us a sovereign will in accordance with His Divine Love and Sovereign Will as well. But He will hold each of us accountable for how we use that sovereign will. He has given us His Laws and Commandments and has also given us the ability to live up to those commandments. On our individual own, we cannot satisfy those laws and commandments. Consequently, He came down physically to this earth in our Lord Jesus Christ to satisfy His own laws and commandments so He can credit you and me. What He simply and onerously asks us to do is to believe in Him and exercise our faith, which is part of our sovereign will, to what He had already done and accomplished 2,000 years ago, simple! As we have explained in this column numerous time and elsewhere, it is not that those who do not believe in the saving grace of the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ cannot trust and exercise faith in Him; they can, but do not want to, period! Just as our Lord Jesus Christ Himself aptly disclosed: "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come into the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.…"(John 3:19-20). Those human beings, who have never heard about the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, or didn't have the opportunity to hear the good news shall be pardoned as Apostle Paul disclosed in Romans 2:12 & 14-16:"For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law… for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel." But the greatest tragedy that could befall anyone on this earth is to pass through this fleetingly ephemeral abode, heard about the Lord Jesus Christ and spurned His love and saving grace, either because of fear, unbelief, to belong to the teeming crowd or for other reasons. Whatever the reason, it is tantamount to disobedience before the eternal court of the justice of the Lord God Almighty. Here is the verdict of the Sovereign Lord God Almighty Who will use your sovereign will to demand an accounting: "Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares. She cries out in the chief concourses,]At the openings of the gates in the city. She speaks her words: "How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, And fools hate knowledge. Turn at my rebuke; Surely, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,5 Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, When your terror comes like a storm, And your destruction comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. "Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD, They would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke. Therefore, they shall eat the fruit of their own way, And be filled to the full with their own fancies. For the turning, away of the simple will slay them; And the complacency of fools will destroy them; But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil." (Proverbs 1:22-33).
The Sovereign Lord God Almighty Who, because of His Love and sovereign will gave you the same love and sovereign free will is saying, when you disobey Him with the same love and free will He has given you, you are a fool. He says, when you unilaterally decide to cut Him out of your life and begin to run your life the way you like in flagrant disobedience to Him Who, gave you that life in the first place, you are not wise. He says, anyone who runs his or her life independent of Him- the giver of that life, will most assuredly ruin that life. He says you can't choose to live your life the way you want and then, when you run into trouble; when Satan and his demons put pepper in your life, and yet still refuse to run back to Him; you are not only a fool, but a stupid, compound and complicated fool. He says you can't live in rebellion of His Laws and Commandments and except Him to have your back when you are stuck. He says, finally, if you do not turn a new leaf, change your mind and return to Him so you can be saved; do not blame Him when Satan and his demons have you for supper.
HOW GOD'S LOVE TRIUMPHS OVER EVIL? Despite the fact, the Sovereign Lord God Almighty is not the architect of evil; despite the monotonous infidelity and disobedience of the human race toward this Eternal Alone; His Divine Love continues to shine through a darkened and evilest world stolen by Satan and his demons. Yes, evil is in the world. But don't ever make the mistake that Satan and his demons are totally in charge. Amid this satanically chaotic world, the True Lord God Almighty still uses evil to draw us to Him. Does He create evil? No. But He allows it for a time to achieve these three main objectives in accordance with His permissible will.
First, He uses evil to demonstrate His awesomeness. How can we know the ultimate power of the Lord God Almighty, if it is not tested? How can He be all in all and the I AM THAT I AM if he is not challenged? Who appreciates light outside darkness? How can He be the Lord of lords and King of kings, if He doesn't create barriers, checks and balances for Satan and his demons? Even though He didn't raise up Mobutu Sesezeko, Samuel Kanyon Doe and Bokassa in DRC, Liberia and CAR respectively to abuse and mow down their citizens; even though the citizens in those countries didn't cry unto Him; but see how those men ended their lives. See how these tyrants died un-mourned, unwept and unmissed. Even though that psychopathic fellow known as Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida still feels more than ten feet tall in a nation where he should have been tied to a stake and shot for the misery and sufferings he inflicted on Nigerians, the Lord God Almighty has not only kept him for greater punishment in the nether glom, but He says one of His ways of punishing such evil people is Exodus 20:5b: "For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,…" How do we appreciate the Love of our Lord God Almighty, if there is no Evil in the world? For those agnostics and atheists, the proof of the existence of the Lord God Almighty is the presence of evil on earth. If there is no power that checkmates evil, and evil can run amok, then there is no God. But the fact that evil, in all its stinging and excruciating fangs parades slender body; is the distinct proof there is an all-awesome, all-knowing, all-presence and all-powerful God.
Second, amid evil; the Lord God Almighty brings out the best among His creation. Would any of us have consciously and deliberately used our free will to serve the True Lord God Almighty, without evil? How would the True Lord God Almighty know those of us, who genuinely love Him, for His goodness rather than for His goods, without evil constantly dogging at our heels? That was the argument Satan made against Job and he makes the same case against each of us before the True Lord God Almighty today and every day: Human beings serve and fear the Lord not, because they love God; but because of what they can get from God. A sister called me and complained endlessly why she has not been able to find a God-fearing man to settle down with as husband. "Don't God answer prayers again?" she shouted at the other end of the phone. I explained to her that she should wait on the Lord. She became antsy and seemed to be threatening our Heavenly Father. The Holy Spirit spoke to me in an instant: "Satan just left the tabernacle minutes ago, after accusing your sister thus; 'she is attending church and worshipping you now, because she wants a husband, as soon as you give her that husband, she won't show up again and worship you." So, I asked the Lord; what should I tell her, and the Holy Spirit said I should not pray for her for a husband but pray for her to allow Me-the Holy Spirit-saturate her with one of my greatest fruits-patience a.ka. long suffering (Galatians 5.2) "I will wait and see whether she will prove Satan right or wrong," says the Holy Spirit. When I see the alumni of Sani Abacha's Gulag at the DMI Apapa, Lagos each time I visit Nigeria, I weep. I was invited to preach at one of my fellow brethren, who was called into ministry during our incarceration at the DMI during Abacha's tyrannical years and I wept. A brother came to me when I was still in Chicago and complained that, although he has given his life to the Lord Jesus Christ when he was in prison, but after release, he keeps being arrested for no apparent reason. I told him to consider entering Prison Ministry. Who is far more qualified to minister to prisoners than an alumna? Repeatedly in the Word of Life, that adversary and evil plan of Satan are normally employed by the Lord to prove His existence, display His awesomeness but most significantly, save those who want to be saved and used by Him for His eternal gory, Hallelujah!
Thirdly and finally, the presence of evil is the manifestation of eternal judgment down the Street of Time. If death, which is the greatest evil and enemy of human doesn't exist, and the Lord God Almighty opens our eyes to the Other Side; every human being will rush back to God for safety and refuge. The basis for reward and punishment would have been foreclosed. As Apostle Paul dialectically explained in the Pauline Literature, no one hopes for what has been seen. The Sovereign Lord God Almighty, in His Infinite and manifold Wisdom allows god and evil to percolate, to proof evil wrong and good right. If we see how the dammed will eventually end up; we shall all run to Him not out of love, but out of fear and trepidation for disobedience. I hell, there is no repentance. Consequently, hell is the comeuppance for disobedience and disbelief in the Eternal Lord God Almighty. Even, if God were to wield His Veto and eternal power to save the damned from that horrible and stench place, the damned will baulk and reject it, because underneath the mind of the disobedient is the unworthiness of eternal reprieve after death. So, what did God do? He closes and draws thick curtain between Here and the Other Side; first, so that those who love darkness and evil can make an independent choice with the free will He has lovely and lovingly gave each of us. Similarly, those of us who haven't seen the Positive Other Side do so freely and choicely with the same free will He has lovingly and graciously given us. This is in tandem with His sense of eternal justice. So, there is injustice in the world; you can stop it. There is poverty on earth, you have the free will to reject it. Your life is not automatons; you are not destined for evil and hell, you have a choice and that choice is yours and onerously yours.
LETTERS OF THE WEEK
Calvary greetings to you sir. How is the family sir. It's been a while we communicated last and I've missed receiving from your deep knowledge of the word. I just got a contract job last month and it is supposed to lead to a permanent placement based on my performance during the period. Please I covet your prayers for me to excel to get the job on a permanent basis. Thanks for your prayers and spiritual assistance. Please Sir, what time is suitable to speak with you on phone. Have a blessed day sir---T.P. Lagos, Nigeria.
Praise the Lord for answered prayers. The same telephone number in Texas.
Dear Dr. Fayemiwo, I always read your column with keen interest, and today I am asking that you help me understand my future in terms of my health and my job. Sometimes I am worried that I may lose my job and that will be a very devastating blow to my family. Please I need your help. My daughter was diagnosed with brain tumor and has lost one of her eye sights. This is troubling to me. I always pray that the Lord Almighty will help her to regain her lost vision. Please I need your prayers. Remain Blessed man of God-E.O. Atlanta, GA, USA.
Good day to you man of God. My name is S.F. Please pray for me and my wife. She was recently laid off about 2 months ago, and we need prayer for the Lord God Almighty to bless her with another job. Thank you very much. ---S.F. Springfield, IL, USA