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THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT! PART V

Some teachings out there include ideas that the giants after the flood were also Nephilim, and must have been caused by a second incursion of fallen angels interbreeding with human women, which I believe is incorrect. No such event is recorded in the Bible after the flood. God saw fit to record the first incursion of the “sons of God” in the Bible, so we would know what had happened, and so there is every reason to think that God would have told us about a second incursion also.

The idea that God has hidden this knowledge makes God seem inconsistent, as He was forthright about telling us about the first incursion. There is no Biblical reason to think there was a second incursion of interbreeding of fallen angels with human women. The gigantism after the flood and the shortened life-spans both can be traced back to the first incursion which God is forthright about in His Word.

It is also obvious that neither shortened life-span nor gigantism should be taken as proof positive that anyone living after the flood was a “Nephilim”, up to and including today. Humans have had gigantism since the flood, as is recorded in the Bible, and humans have had life-spans shortened to 120 years since the flood, as it recorded in the Bible. Additionally Ezekiel 31, speaking of these Gen 6 events, and the imprisonment of these fallen angels who begat the giants (Nephilim) in the Abyss, says that: “To the end that none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves for their height, neither shoot up their top among the thick boughs, neither their trees stand up in their height, all that drink water for they are all delivered unto death, to the nether parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with them that go down to the pit.

Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day when he went down to the grave I caused a mourning: I covered the deep for him, and I restrained the floods thereof, and the great waters were stayed: and I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him.”” Symbolically, this passage, which we already covered in detail, tells that God sent these fallen angels of Genesis 6 down to the prison of the Abyss at the time of the Flood. The stated purpose of imprisoning these sinful angels in the Abyss was “to the end that none of all” the trees (angels) would repeat these actions.

The other “trees” who were angels mourned, and even fainted when God imprisoned these “sons of God” of Genesis 6 in the Abyss. God specifies in this symbolic passage that He did this to the end that none of all the other angels would repeat the actions of Genesis 6. This was God’s stated purpose for their imprisonment. As such what the Bible actually teaches is that no other fallen angels would repeat these actions, and this can be known as God’s purpose will stand. “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.” Isaiah 46:10. “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11.

There may also be a second to the statement in Ezekiel 31, which is in: “The LORD [is] good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies. What do ye imagine against the LORD? He will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.” Nahum 1:7-9. The Bible seems to teach that God imprisoned the angels who begat children with women in Genesis for the specific purpose and reason that no other angels would repeat their actions. And so in the absence of any mention of these interbreeding events repeating after the Flood, and in the presence of God stating His purpose was for these events to not be repeated by any other angels, it seems clear that all the giants after the Flood were just giant humans. And there are still people afflicted with gigantism today, who are also human. The lack of a second incursion of interbreeding after the flood, coupled with the fact that all flesh was destroyed in the worldwide Flood (save those on the Ark), indicates that if there was any relationship between the gigantism before the flood and gigantism after the flood, it must have come through those on the Ark.

However, the eight souls on the Ark were all human. Outlined here is a Biblical explanation of what happened, and how both shortened life-spans and gigantism still occurred after the flood, relating it to the Nephilim, while all the people on the Ark were still fully human. Barring this explanation, it would have to be concluded from the Bible that the gigantism of those before the flood and those after the flood is entirely coincidental.

We are now going to resume covering demons from the perspective that they have their origin in the giants (Nephilim) who existed only before the flood, who all died in the Flood (as “all flesh” was destroyed save the eight human souls on the Ark), and that demons are the disembodied evil spirits of these giants (Nephilim). After the flood of Noah demons were around, and seem to have been involved with people in many ways.

One way they seem to have been involved with people was in idolatry. “What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons.” 1 Corinthians 10:19-21. Even as early as the time of Jacob in Genesis (1900s BC) it is recorded that Laban had idols (Genesis 31).

It seems that these idols were inspired by demons, and the worship of them must have involved interaction with demons. Many nations had idols and practiced idolatry, and demons seem to have been involved in all this, across the worldwide scope of many cultures. In the time of Moses (1400s BC) God forbade the making of idols in the Ten Commandments: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20:4-6. God also forbade the Israelites to be involved with various types of magic, familiar spirits, and necromancy.

“A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood [shall be] upon them.” Leviticus 20:27. According to the Strong’s Concordance, the word here for “familiar spirit” means “ghost, spirit of a dead one, necromancy, one who evokes a dead one, one with a familiar spirit”. If one considers that demons are actually the spirits of the dead giants (Nephilim), then it makes a lot of sense that it is demons who are being referenced to here as the “ghost, spirit of a dead one”. And it is forbidden for God’s people to “evoke the spirit of a dead one”, or to have anything to do with a demon, let alone to become familiar, gain familiarity, with one.

The term here for “wizard” is “one who has a familiar spirit” and “necromancer”, again this is having a relationship with a demon. “When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you [any one] that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, [or] that useth divination, [or] an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

For all that do these things [are] an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.” Deuteronomy 18:9-12. Some of these same terms are used again in Deuteronomy 18, forbidding the people to practice, or to consult with anyone who practiced, having a relationship with a demon. God calls this an abomination, and makes clear that those nations around at the time all did practice these things. As such we can know historically that demons were interacting with people all throughout the world in this time period, as familiar spirits in various magical practices.

In the time of Jesus many in Israel and the surrounding nations, had come to be demonized and a major part of Jesus’ ministry was in casting demons out of those who were demonized, and thereby healing them. “Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed. But some of them said, “By Beelzebub, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.” Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.

Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebub. Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges.

But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.” Luke 11:14-20. It stands to reason that demons had also been inflicting people in times prior to then, as there already were Jewish people who were driving out demons at the time, prior to Jesus doing so. Jesus also makes clear that Satan had power over the demons, and Jesus equates the “prince of demons” or “Beelzebub” to either be Satan, or be working for Satan. And so it becomes clear that the demons were working for Satan. Further confirmation that demons were the disembodied spirits of the dead giants (Nephilim) is seen in that they seemed to be familiar with God having sent someone to the Abyss in punishment, in specific their angel fathers. Luke 8:28-31:

“When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” (For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.) Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.” The term here for Abyss is the same word that is used in Revelation, the same place where the locusts are released from. And as we have covered, this is synonymous with the lowest part of the Earth mentioned in Ezekiel 31, and Tartaros the prison of the angels who sinned before the Flood.

And so the demons are aware that their angel fathers or paternal ancestors are imprisoned in the Abyss, and fear being imprisoned there themselves. It is also interesting to note that the demons knew that Jesus was the son of God. In many places the attitude of the demons towards Jesus seems to be one of fear, and they beg and entreat him to not torment them, asking if he is going to destroy them. “Ah! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!” Luke 4:34. “And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, [thou] Son of the most high God? I entreat thee by God, that thou torment me not.” Mark 5:7.

That they seemed to be seriously afraid is confirmed in: “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble in fear.” James 2:19. As part of his ministry, Jesus gave authority to His disciples to cast out demons. “And when he had called unto [him] his twelve disciples, he gave them power [against] unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.” Matthew 10:1. And they went out, and preached that men should repent.

And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed [them]. Mark 6:12-13. “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:17-20.

Jesus made clear that in the future His followers also would continue to cast out demons. “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues” Mark 16:17. And believers did just that, such as Paul who is recorded to have cast out a demon in Jesus’ name in Acts. “Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of fortune-telling met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying,

“These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.” Acts 16:16-18. Christians have been casting demons out in the name of Jesus Christ ever since that time, and still do today. Demons have been located here on earth since their beginning, and through the book of Revelation into the future there seems to be no change in this. They are on earth and demonize people. In the book of Revelation there is a place where demons seem to be mentioned in specific as playing an important role, working for Satan.
 

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Botswana to Become a Vaccinated Nation: Pandemic Anxiety Over?

30th March 2021

OSCAR MOTSUMI

This is a question that should seriously exercise the mind of every Botswana citizen and every science researcher, every health worker and every political leader political.

The Covid-19 currently defines our lives and poses a direct threat to every aspect and every part of national safety, security and general well-being. This disease has become a normative part of human life throughout the world.

The first part of the struggle against the murderous depredation of this disease was to protect personal life through restrictive health injunctions and protocols; the worst possibly being human isolation and masks that hid our sorrows and lamentations through thin veils. We suffered that humiliation with grace and I believe as a nation we did a great job.

Now the vaccines are here, ushering us into the second phase of this war against the plague; and we are asking ourselves, is this science-driven fight against Covid-19 spell the end of pandemic anxiety? Is the health nightmare coming to an end? What happy lives lie ahead? Is this the time for celebration or caution? As the Non State Actors, we have being struggling with these questions for months.

We have published our thoughts and feelings, and our research reviews and thorough reading of both the local and international impacts of this rampaging viral invasion in local newspapers and social media platforms.

More significantly, we have successfully organised workshops about the impact of the pandemic on society and the economy and the last workshop invited a panel of health experts, professionals, and public administers to advance this social dialogue as part of our commitment to the tripartite engagement we enjoy working with Government of Botswana, Civil Society and Development partners. These workshops are virtual and open to all Batswana, foreign diplomatic missions based in Gaborone, UN agencies located in Gaborone and international academic researchers and professional health experts and specialists.

The mark of Covid-19 on our nation is a painful one, a tragedy shared by the entire human race, but still a contextually painful experience. Our response is fraught with grave difficulties; limited resources, limited time, and the urgency to not only save lives but also avert economic ruin and a bleak future for all who survive. Several vaccines are already in the  market.

Parts of the world are already doing the best they can to trunk the pestilential march of this disease by rolling out mass-vaccinations campaigns that promise to evict this health menace and nightmare from their public lives. Botswana, like much of Africa, is still up in the disreputable, and, unenviable, preventative social melee of masked interactions, metered distances, contactless commerce.

We remain very much at the mercy of a marauding virus that daily runs amuck with earth shattering implications for the economy and human lives. And the battle against both infections and transmissions is proving to be difficult, in terms of finance, institutional capacities and resource mobilization. How are we prepared as government, and as citizens, to embrace the impending mass-vaccinations? What are the chances of us  succeeding at this last-ditch effort to defeat the virus? What are the most pressing obstacles?

Does the work of vaccines spell an end to the pandemic anxieties?

Our panellists addressed the current state of mass-vaccination preparedness at the Botswana national level. What resources are available? What are the financial, institutional and administrative operational challenges (costs and supply chains, delivery, distribution, administering the vaccine on time, surveillance and security of vaccines?) What is being done to overcome them, or what can be done to overcome them? What do public assessments of preparedness tell us at the local community levels? How strong is the political will and direction? How long can we expect the whole exercise to last? At what point should we start seeing tangible results of the mass-vaccination campaign?

They also addressed the challenges of the anticipated emerging Vaccinated Society. How to fight the myths of vaccines and the superstitions about histories of human immunizations? What exactly is being done to grow robust local confidence in the science of vaccinations and the vaccines themselves? More significantly, how to square these campaigns vis-vis personal rights, moral/religious obligations?

What messages are being sent out in these regards and how are Batswana responding? What about issues of justice and equality? Will we get the necessary vaccines to everyone who wants them? What is being done to ensure no deserving person is left behind?

They also addressed issues of health data. To accomplish this mass-vaccination campaign and do everything right we need accurate and complete data. Poor data already makes it very hard to just cope with the disease. What is being done to improve data for the mass-vaccination campaign? How is this data being collected, aggregated and prepared for real life situation/applications throughout Botswana in the coming campaign?

We know in America, for example, general reporting and treatment of health data at the beginning of vaccinations was so poor, so chaotic and so scattered mainstream newspapers like The Atlantic, Washington Post and the New York Times had to step in, working very closely with civil society organizations, to rescue the situation. What data-related issues are still problematic in Botswana?

To be specific, what kind of Covid-19 data is being taken now to ready the whole country for an effective and efficient mass-vaccination program?

Batswana must be made aware that the  end part of vaccination will just mark the beginning of a long journey to health recovery and national redemption; that in many ways Covid-19 vaccination is just another step toward the many efforts in abeyance to fight this health pandemic, the road ahead is still long and painful.

For this purpose, and to highlight the significance of this observation we tasked our panellists with  the arduous imperative of  analysing the impact of mass-vaccination on society and the economy alongside the pressing issues of post-Covid-19 national health surveillance and rehabilitation programs.

Research suggests the aftermath of Covid-19 vaccination is going to be just as difficult and uncertain world as the present reality in many ways, and that caution should prevail over celebration, at least for a long time. The disease itself is projected to linger around for some time after all these mass-vaccination campaigns unless an effort is made to vaccinate everyone to the last reported case, every nation succeeds beyond herd immunity, and cure is found for Covid-19 disease. Many people are going to continue in need of medications, psychological and psychiatric services and therapy.

Is Botswana ready for this long holdout? If not, what path should we take going into the future? The Second concern is , are we going to have a single, trusted national agency charged with the  mandate to set standards for our national health data system, now that we know how real bad pandemics can be, and the value of data in quickly responding to them and mitigating impact? Finally, what is being done to curate a short history of this pandemic? A national museum of health and medicine or a Public Health Institute  in Botswana is overdue.

If we are to create strong sets of data policies and data quality standards for fighting future health pandemics it is critical that they find ideological and moral foundations in the artistic imagery and photography of the present human experience…context is essential to fighting such diseases, and to be prepared we must learn from every tragic health incident.

Our panellists answered most of these questions with distinguished intellectual clarity. We wish Batswana to join us in our second Mass-vaccination workshop.

*Oscar Motsumi: Email:oscar.motsumi@gmail.com

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The women you see in the news matter. Here’s why

9th March 2021
Jane Godia

Jane Godia

Today is International Women’s Day – it’s a moment to think about how much better our news diet could be if inequities were eliminated. In 1995, when the curtains fell in one of the largest meetings that have ever brought women together to discuss women in development, it was noted that women and media remain key to development.

Twenty-six years later, the relevant “Article J” of the Beijing Platform for Action, remains unfulfilled. Its two strategic objectives with regard to Women and Media have not been met. They are
Increase the participation and access of women to expression and decision-making in and through the media and new technologies of communication

Promote a balanced and non-stereotyped portrayal of women in the media.

Today, as we mark International Women’s Day, it’s an indictment on both media owners and civil society that women remain on the periphery of news-making. They cannot claim equal space in either the structures of newsrooms or in the content produced, be that as sources of news or as the subjects of reports. Indeed, the latest figures from WAN-IFRA’s Women in News Programme show just one in five voices in news belong to women*, be they as sources, as the author or as the main character of the news report.

Some progress was evident several years back, with stand-out women being named as chief executive officers, editors in chief, managing editors and executive editors. But these gains appear short lived in most media organisations. Excitement has turned to frustration as one-step forward has been replaced with three steps backwards. In Africa, the problem is acute. The decision-making tables of media organisations remain deprived of women and where there are women, they are surrounded by men.

Few women have followed in the footsteps of Esther Kamweru, the first woman managing editor in Kenya, and indeed sub-Saharan Africa. Today’s standout women editors include Pamela Makotsi-Sittoni (Nation Media Group, Kenya), Barbara Kaija (New Vision, Uganda), Mary Mbewe (Daily Nation, Zambia), Margaret Vuchiri (The Monitor, Uganda), Joyce Shebe (Clouds, Tanzania), Tryphinah Dongwana (Weekend Post, Botswana), Joyce Mhaville (Independent Television -ITV, Tanzania) and Tuma Abdallah (Standard Newspapers,Tanzania). But they remain an exception.

The lack of balance between women and men at the table of decision making has a rollback effect on the content that is produced. A table dominated by men typically makes decisions that benefit men.

So today, International Women’s Day is a grim reminder that things are not rosy in the news business. Achieving gender balance in news and in the structure of media organisations remains a challenge. Unmet, it sees more than half of the population in our countries suffer the consequences of bias, discrimination and sexism.

The business of ignoring the other half of the population can no longer be treated as normal. It’s time that media leaders grasp the challenge, not only because it is the right thing to do, but because it also makes a whole lot of business sense: start covering women, give them space and a voice in news-making and propel them to all levels of decision making within your organisation.

We can no longer afford to imagine that it’s only men who make and sell the news and bring in the shillings to fund the media business. Women too are worthy newsmakers. In all of our societies, there are women holding decision making positions and who are now experts in once male-only domains such as engineers, doctors, scientists and researchers.

They can be deliberately picked out to share their perspectives and expertise and bring balance to the profile of experts quoted on our news pages. Media is the prism through which society sees itself and women are an untapped audience. So, as we celebrate International Women’s Day, let us embrace diversity, which yields better news content and business products, and in so doing eliminate sexism. We know that actions and attitudes that discriminate against people based on their gender is bad for business.

As media, the challenge is ours. We need to consciously embrace and reach the commitments made 26 years ago when the Beijing Platform for Action was signed globally. As the news consuming public, you have a role to play too. Hold your news organization to account and make sure they deliver balanced news that reflects the voices of all of society.

Jane Godia is a gender development and media expert who serves as the Africa Director of Women in News programme.  
WOMEN IN NEWS is WAN-IFRA’s ground-breaking programme to increase women’s leadership and voices in the news. It does so by equipping women journalists and editors with the skills, strategies, and support networks to take on greater leadership positions within their media. www.womeninnews.org

Jane Godia, Director, Africa, Women in News

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Why is the media so afraid to talk about sexual harassment?

9th March 2021

MELANIE WALKER

The eve of International Women’s Day presents an opportunity for us to think about gender equality and the long and often frustrating march toward societies that are truly equal.

As media, we are uniquely placed to drive forward this reflection and discussion. But while focusing on the challenges of gender in society, we owe it to our staff and the communities we serve to also take a hard look at the obstacles within our own organisations.

I’m talking specifically about the scourge of sexual harassment. It’s likely to have happened in your newsroom. It has likely happened to a member of your team. It happens to all genders but is disproportionately directed at women. It happens in every industry, regardless of country, culture or context. This is because sexual harassment is driven by power, not sex. Wherever you have imbalances in power, you have individuals who are at risk of sexual harassment, and those who abuse this power.

I’ve been sexually harassed. The many journalists and editors, friends and family members who I have spoken to over the years on this subject have also been harassed. Yet it is still hard for leaders to recognize that this could be happening within their newsrooms and boardrooms. Why does it continue to be such a taboo?

Counting the cost of sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is, simply put, bad for business. It can harm your corporate reputation. It is a drain on the productivity of staff and managers. Maintaining and building trust in your brand is an absolute imperative for media organisations globally. If and when a case gets out of control or is badly handled – this can directly impact your bottom line.

It is for this reason that WAN-IFRA Women in News has put eliminating sexual harassment as a top priority in our work around gender equality in the media sector. This might seem at odds with the current climate where social interactions are fewer and remote work scenarios are in place in many newsrooms and businesses. But one only needs to tune into the news to know that the abuse of power, manifested as verbal, physical or online harassment, is alive and well.

Preliminary results from an ongoing Women in News research study into the issue of sexual harassment polling hundreds of journalists in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia indicate that more than 1 in 3 women media professionals have been physically harassed, and just under 50% have been verbally harassed. Just over 15% of men in African newsrooms reported being physically harassed, and slightly less than 1 in 4 reports being verbally harassed. The numbers for male media professionals in Southeast Asia are slightly higher than a quarter on both forms of harassment.

The first step in confronting sexual harassment is to talk about it. We need to strip away the stigma and discomfort around having open conversations about what sexual harassment is and isn’t. Media managers, it is entirely in your power to create dynamics in your own teams that are free from sexual harassment.

Publishers and CEOs, you set the organisational culture in your media company.

By being vocal in recognising that it happens everywhere, and communicating to your employees that you will not tolerate sexual harassment of any kind, you send a powerful message to your teams, and publicly. With these actions, you will help us overcome the legacy of silence around this topic, and in doing so take an important first step to create media environments that truly embrace equality.

Melanie Walker is Executive Director of Media Development of the World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). She is a creator of Women in News, WAN-IFRA’s ground-breaking programme to increase women’s leadership and voices in the news. It does so by equipping women journalists and editors with the skills, strategies, and support networks to take on greater leadership positions within their media. www.womeninnews.org

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