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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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The Taiwan Question: China ramps up military exercises to rebuff US provocations

18th August 2022

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosis visit to Taiwan has violated the One-China policy, and caused the escalation of tensions across the Taiwan Strait. Experts and political observers across the spectra agree that Pelosis actions and subsequent pronouncements by US President Joe Biden gave impetus to an already simmering tension in the Taiwan Strait, provoking China to strengthen its legitimate hold on the Taiwan Strait waters, which the US and Taiwan deem as international waters.

Pelosis visit to Chinas Taiwan region has been heavily criticised across the globe, with China arguing that this is a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US Joint Communiqus. In response to this reckless move which seriously undermined China’s sovereignty, and interfered in China’s internal affairs, the expectation is for China to give a firm response. Pelosi visit violated the commitments made by the U.S. side, and seriously jeopardized peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

To give context to Chinas position over Taiwan region, the history behind gives us perspective. It is also important to note that the history between China and Taiwan is well documented and the US has always recognized it.

The Peoples Republic of China recognises Taiwan as its territory. It has always been the case even before the Nationalist Republic of China government fled to the previously Japanese-ruled Island after losing the civil war on the mainland in 1949. According to literature that threat was contained for decades first with a military alliance between the US and the ROC on Taiwan, and after Washington switched diplomatic recognition to the PRC in 1979 by the US One China policy, which acknowledges Beijings position that Taiwan is part of One China. Effectively, Taiwans administration was transferred to the Republic of China from Japan after the Second World War in 1945, along with the split between the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC) as a consequence of the Chinese Civil War. Disregarding this history, as the US is attempting to do, will surely initiate some defence reaction on the side of China to affirm its sovereignty.

However, this history was undermined since Taiwan claimed to democratise in the 1990s and China has grown ever more belligerent. Furthermore, it is well documented that the Biden administration, following the Trump presidency, has made subtle changes in the way it deals with Taipei, such as loosening restrictions on US officials meeting Taiwanese officials this should make China uneasy. And while the White House continues to say it does not support Taiwanese independence, Bidens words and actions are parallel to this pledge because he has warned China that the US would intervene militarily if China attacked Taiwan another statement that has provoked China.

Pelosi, in her private space, would know that her actions amount to provocation of China. This act of aggression by the USA seriously undermines the virtues of sovereignty and territorial integrity which has a huge potential to destabilize not only the Taiwan Strait but the whole of the Asia- Pacific region. The Americans know very well that their provocative behavior is deliberately invoking the spirit of separatism masqueraded as Taiwan independence. The US is misled to think that by supporting separatism of Taiwan from China that would give them an edge over China in a geopolitics. This is what one Chinese diplomat said this week: The critical point is if every country put their One-China policy into practice with sincerity, with no compromise, is going to guarantee the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. Therefore, it was in the wake of US House speaker Nancy Pelosis visit to Taiwan, that China, in a natural response revealed plans for unprecedented military exercises near the island, prompting fears of a crisis in the Taiwan Strait and the entire Asia-Pacific region. The world community must promote and foster peace, this may be achieved when international laws are respected. It may also happen when nations respect the sovereignty of another. China may be in a better space because it is well capacitated to stake its territorial integrity, what about a small nation, if this happens to it?

As to why military exercises by Beijing; it is an expected response because China was provoked by the actions of Pelosi. To fortify this position, Chinese President, Xi signed a legal basis for Chinas Peoples Liberation Army to safeguard Chinas national sovereignty, security and development interests. The legal basis will also allow military missions around disaster relief, humanitarian aid and peacekeeping. In addition the legal changes would allow troops to prevent spillover effects of regional instabilities from affecting China, secure vital transport routes for strategic materials like oil, or safeguard Chinas overseas investments, projects and personnel. It then follows that President Xis administration cannot afford to look weak under a US provocation. President Xi must protector Chinas sovereignty and territorial integrity, of which Taiwan is a central part. Beijing is very clear on One-China Policy, and expects all world players to recognize and respect it.

The Peoples Liberation Army has made it clear that it has firepower that covers all of Taiwan, and it can strike wherever it wants. This sentiments have been attributed to Zhang Junshe, a researcher at the PLA Navy Research Institute. Zheng further said, We got really close to Taiwan. We encircled Taiwan. And we demonstrated that we can effectively stop intervention by foreign forces. This is a strong reaction from China to warn the US against provocation and violation of the One-China Policy.

Beijings military exercises will certainly shake Taiwans confidence in the sources of its economic and political survival. The potential for an effective blockade threatens the air and shipping routes that support Taiwans central role in global technology supply chains. Should a humanitarian situation arise in Taiwan, the blame would squarely be on the US.

As Chinas military exercises along the Taiwan Strait progress and grow, it remains that the decision by Nancy Pelosi to visit Chinas Taiwan region gravely undermined peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and sent a wrong signal to Taiwan independence separatist forces. This then speaks to international conventions, as the UN Secretary-General Antnio Guterres explicitly stressed that the UN remains committed to the UN General Assembly Resolution 2758. The centerpiece is the one-China principle, namely, there is but one China in the world, the government of the Peoples Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China, and Taiwan is a part of China. It must be noted that the US and the US-led NATO countries have selectively applied international law, this has been going on unabated. There is a plethora of actions that have collapsed several states after they were attacked under the pretext of the so-called possession of weapons of mass destruction illuminating them as threats – and sometimes even without any valid reason. to blatantly launch military strikes and even unleash wars on sovereign countrie

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Opinions

Internal party-democracy under pressure

21st June 2022

British novelist, W. Somerset Maugham once opined: If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too.

The truism in these words cannot be underestimated, especially when contextualizing against the political developments in Botswana. We have become a nation that does not value democracy, yet nothing represent freedom more than democracy. In fact, we desire, and value winning power or clinging to power more than anything else, even if it harms the democratic credentials of our political institutions. This is happening across political parties ruling and opposition.

As far as democracy is concerned, we are regressing. We are becoming worse-off than we were in the past. If not arrested, Botswana will lose its status as among few democratic nations in the Africa. Ironically, Botswana was the first country in Africa to embrace democracy, and has held elections every five years without fail since independence.

We were once viewed as the shining example of Africa. Those accolades are not worth it any more. Young democracies such as South Africa, with strong institutions, deserves to be exalted. Botswana has lost faith in democracy, and we will pay a price for it. It is a slippery slope to dictatorship, which will bring among other excess, assault on civil liberties and human rights violations.

Former President, Festus Mogae once stated that Botswanas democracy will only become authentic, when a different party, other than the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) wins elections, and when the President of such party is not from Serowe.

Although many may not publicly care to admit, Mogaes assertion is true. BDP has over the years projected itself as a dyed-in-the-wool proponent of democracy, but the moment its stay in power became threatened and uncertain, it started behaving in a manner that is at variance with democratic values.This has been happening over the years now, and the situation is getting worse by the day.

Recently, the BDP party leadership has been preaching compromise and consensus candidates for 2024 general elections. Essentially, the leadership has lost faith in theBulela Ditswedispensation, which has been used to selected party candidates for council and parliament since 2003. The leadership is discouraging democracy because they believe primary elections threaten party unity. It is a strange assertion indeed.

Bulela Ditswewas an enrichment of internal party democracy in the sense that it replaced the previous method of selection of candidates known as Committee of 18, in which a branch committee made of 18 people endorsed the representatives. While it is true that political contest can divide, the ruling party should be investing in political education and strengthening in its primary elections processes. Democracy does not come cheap or easy, but it is valuable.

Any unity that we desire so much at the expense of democracy is not true unity. Like W. Somerset Maugham said, democracy would be lost in the process, and ultimately, even the unity that was desired would eventually be lost too. Any solution that sacrifice democracy would not bring any results in the long run, except misery.

We have seen that also in opposition ranks. The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) recently indicated that its incumbent Members of Parliament (MPs) should not be challenged for their seats. While BDP is sacrificing democracy to stay in power, UDC is sacrificing democracy to win power. It is a scary reality given the fact that both parties ruling and opposition have embraced this position and believe democracy is the hindrance to their political ambitions.

These current reality points to one thing; our political parties have lost faith in democracy. They desire power more than, the purpose of power itself. It is also a crisis of leadership across the political divide, where we have seen dissenting views being met with persecution. We have seen perverting of political process endorsed by those in echelons of power to manipulate political outcomes in their favour.

Democracy should not be optional, it should be mandatory. Any leader proposing curtailing of democracy should be viewed with suspicion, and his adventures should be rejected before it is too late. Members of political parties, as subscribers of democracy, should collectively rise to the occasion to save their democracy from self-interest that is becoming prevalent among Botswana political parties.

The so-called compromise candidates, only benefits the leadership because it creates comforts for them. But for members, and for the nation, it is causing damage by reversing the gains that have been made over the years. We should reject leaders who only preach democracy in word, but are hesitant to practice it.

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Opinions

The Big Deal About Piracy

21st June 2022

Piracy of all kinds continues to have a massive impact on the global creative industry and the economies of the countries where it thrives.

One of the biggest misconceptions around piracy is that an individual consumers piracy activities, especially in a market the size of Botswanas, is only a drop in the pool of potential losses to the different sectors of the economy piracy affects.

When someone sitting in Gaborone, Botswana logs onto an illegal site to download King Richard online, they dont imagine that their one download will do anything to the production houses pocket or make a dent in the actors net worth. At best, the sensitivity towards this illegal pirating activity likely only exists when contemplating going about pirating a local musicians music or a short film produced locally.

The ripple effects of piracy at whatever scale reach far beyond what the average consumer could ever imagine. Figures released by software security and media technology company, Irdeto, show that users in five major African territories made approximately 17,4 million total visits to the top 10 identified piracy sites on the internet.

The economic impact of this on the creative industry alone soars to between 40 and 97.1 billion dollars, according a 2022 Dataprot study. In addition, they estimate that illegally streamed copyrighted content consumes 24% of global bandwidth.

As Botswanas creative industry remains relatively slight on the scale of comparison to industries such as Nollywood and Nilewood where the creative industry contributes a huge proportion to West and East Africas respective GDPs, that does not imply that piracy activities in Botswana do not have a similar impact on our economy and the ability of our creative industry to grow.

When individuals make decisions to illegally consume content via internet streaming sites they believe they are saving money for themselves in the name of enjoying content they desire to consume. Although this is a personal choice that remains the prerogative of the consumer, looking beyond the fact that streaming on illegal content sites is piracy, the ripple effect of this decision also has an endless trail of impact where funds which could be used to grow the local creative industry through increased consumption, and revenue which would otherwise be fed back into Botswanas economy are being diverted.

Why cant our local creative industry grow? Why dont we see more home-grown films and shows in Botswana? are questions constantly posed by those who consume television content in Botswana. The answer to this lies largely in the fact that Botswanas local content needs an audience in order for it to grow. It needs support from government and entities which are in a position to fund and help the industry scale greater heights.

Any organisational body willing to support and grow the local creative industry needs to exist and operate in an economy which can support its mandates. Content piracy is a cycle that can only be alleviated when consumers make wiser decisions around what they consume and how.

This goes beyond eradicating piracy activities in so far as television content is concerned. This extends to the importation and trade in counterfeit goods, resale of goods and services not intended for resale across the border, outside its jurisdiction, and more. All of these activities stunt the growth of an economy and make it nearly impossible for industries and sectors to propel themselves to places where they can positively impact society and reinvest into the countrys economy.

So what can be done to turn the tide here in Botswana in order to see our local production houses gain the momentum required to produce more, license more and expand their horizons? While those who enforce the law continue to work towards minimizing piracy activities, its imperative that as consumers we work to make their efforts easier by being mindful of how our individual actions play a role in preventing the success of our local creative networks and our economys growth.

Whether you are pirating a Hollywood Blockbuster, illegally streaming a popular Motswana artists music, or smuggling in an illegal decoder to view content restricted to South Africa only, your actions have an impact on how we as a nation will make our mark on the global landscape with local creative productions. Thembi Legwaila is Corporate Affairs Manager, MultiChoice Botswana

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