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The devil made me do it! Part II

Last week, I began to explore the process of multiplication as observed in human conception. In so doing, I began an attempt to demonstrate how demon spirits came into being. I discussed how both parents contribute equally to the chromosomal makeup of their offspring.

But is this 50/50 split the case with the spirit of the child, the breath of life, which actually gives the child life and makes the child to become a living soul? If everything in the reproductive process is a 50/50 split between the mother and the father, then why does the Bible universally say the father begat the children?

Many people assume that the spirit of a child is deposited by God at the time of conception, like God reaches down from heaven adding an individual new spirit into the child. But God says that we reproduce by “multiplication”, not addition.

If the spirit of a child was added by God, or was 50/50 from the mother and father, along with the child’s body or soul being 50/50 from the mother and father, then it would seem counter-intuitive that the Bible always speaks of men begetting children.

In fact, as solely the mother’s body grows the child’s body in pregnancy, it would make more sense for her to be said to beget the children, all things being equal. Yet it is always the father who begets the child, and God the Father who begot Jesus Christ.

As the spirit of the child, the breath of life, is what makes the child to be alive and a living soul, then this is essential to the child being alive. If the father alone were to contribute the spirit giving life to the child, this could explain why a child is begat only by their father.

And this essential ingredient to a living child would also balance with the mother’s larger contribution in pregnancy. Only the mother can go through pregnancy, perhaps in the same way only the father can give the spirit, the breath of life, and this is what it means that the father begets the child. There is more in the Bible which seems to verify this idea.

"For the man is not out of the woman, but the woman is out of the man; For just as the woman is out of the man, in this manner also the man is through the woman; but all together from God.” 1 Corinthians 11:8,12. The Bible says the children came through Eve, as in “passing through”. The word here “dia” means “a motion through”.

The distinction is clearly made that while Eve came “out of” Adam, that her sons “passed through” her. And so also, while sons and daughters come “out of” their fathers, all children have come “through” their mother, not “out of” her. It cannot be physical birth that is spoken of here, as obviously babies come out of their mothers. It could not be the multiplication of the body that is referenced to here, as we know the child body is multiplied from both the parents equally.

Rather, this stated difference must reference to spiritual multiplication. Applying this to Eve, this means her children came through her, but solely “out of” Adam. It must be the spirit that is referenced here, the breath of life, an essential ingredient, which when added to the body makes a child to become a new living soul. This is indicative that the spirit of a child (male or female) comes only from the father of a child, and is multiplied from him alone.

But on the other hand the body and soul of a child clearly have traits of both of the child’s parents. If begetting means giving life, and the spirit is the breath of life, then it makes sense that the spirit would come only from the father of the child, because the Bible says that fathers alone beget children.

And in the larger scheme of things, if the father solely was the source of multiplication for a child’s spirit, this would balance the larger contribution of the mother in the “multiplication” of the child’s body in pregnancy. There is more in the Bible to confirm this idea. In keeping with this, the Bible confirms that it was by Adam alone (not Eve) who passed the sinful/dying spiritual state to all of humanity.

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned – for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.

The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:12-21 NASB.

“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 45. It seems the spiritual change that occurred when Adam ate from the tree, when his eyes were opened, and his spirit became in a dead/sinful state, passed from him alone to all of humanity.

The Bible makes clear that this spiritual state came from Adam alone, and not from Eve. This would make the most sense if all of his children were multiplied solely from his own spirit. It seems after him eating from the tree, his spirit gained these qualities of a dead/sinful state, and all spirits multiplied from his original would inherit this quality as well. These passages parallel Adam and Jesus very closely. It is true that through Jesus Christ, singularly, all Christians become spiritually born again to life.

This matches most closely with the concept that through Adam, singularly, all people were born spiritually to death. In the same way that in Adam alone all die spiritually, all are made alive spiritually by Jesus Christ alone, through a new birth by the Holy Spirit.

And so there are several conclusive points that the Bible seems to make about how humans reproduce by multiplication, which align with what is known of Jesus Christ. If human multiplication was set up by God so that the mother’s spirit is not multiplied to the child in any portion, then this would allow for Jesus Christ to have been fully God spiritually, His spirit being begotten solely by God the Father.

Some teachings seem to argue that how Jesus was fully God and fully man is a mystery. But this teaching here would allow for Jesus Christ to have been fully God spiritually without anything having happened in reproduction that violated the way God set up human multiplication to work, in the beginning.

This teaching makes the fully God spiritual nature of Jesus Christ to be completely consistent with the process of reproduction through multiplication which God set up originally. If all people receive their spirit as multiplied solely from the spirit of their father, then Jesus Christ being fully God would work without inconsistency.

But if the spirit of the mother was also multiplied in combination to grow the spirit of the child, then this could be argued to have been at odds with Jesus being fully God spiritually. He was not half-man spiritually, but fully God spiritually. Jesus surely was not half-man spiritually and half-God spiritually, with a contribution from his mother Mary affecting his spiritual full God-ness, but rather Jesus Christ was fully God.

This lines up with the spirit of the child coming solely from the spirit of the father. At the same time, Jesus was fully man in His body, receiving both from his mother… and paradoxically from Himself… as He is the image of the invisible God.

“Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature” (Col 1:15). The 50/50 contribution of Jesus’ body from God the Father and from Mary, can only be understood in that Jesus Christ is eternal, and always was… so His paternal bodily blueprint came from Himself. This is not meant in that Jesus was His own father, as that would contradict that God is His Father, and I am not stating otherwise, nor blurring the lines of the persons of the Godhead or Trinity.

But what I do mean is found in the truth Jesus spoke, "Before Abraham was, I AM”, in that Jesus Christ eternally always was, is, and will be God, and here before He made time itself, a paradox that is only solved by Jesus Christ eternally existing. Colossians 1:15 also means we all were made in the image of God, which means we all were made in the image of Jesus Christ, from the beginning. He always was.

The body of a child comes from, is multiplied from, both the mother and father, as seen in Adam and Eve. And the body is grown solely by the mother in pregnancy. But at the same time the spirit, breath of life, of the child is multiplied solely from the spirit of the father of the child. This seems to be the definition of “begetting”.

And the spirit of the child therefore inherits the qualities of the spirit of the father, such as the example of a sinful spiritual nature and death passing from Adam to all of his children. And so it seems that the Bible teaches that in multiplication the body of the child will be half from the mother, and half from the father, but that the spirit of the child will come solely from the father of the child, which gives the breath of life, which makes the child to become a new living soul.

Understanding this to be the case, there is an account in the Bible which sticks out, in regards to where demons came from. It sticks out because understanding this about human multiplication; this account requires some strange implications.

Going back to the first wave of fallen angels, the “sons of God”, messenger-type angels who looked like men: “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they [were] fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also [is] flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare [children] to them, the same [became] mighty men which [were] of old, men of renown.” Genesis 6:1-4. Here the “sons of God” had children with human women. Based on what we have covered, this has some interesting implications.

These “sons of God” were of the messenger type of angels, who universally are described to look like human men. Apparently, they were able to reproduce, in having a bodily form of human men. Another thing we know about angels is that they are immortal spirits. Their children are described to have been mighty men, and giants (Nephilim in Hebrew).

They are described as men, and so they looked human, but were giants. What would happen if a human-looking male angel had children with a human woman? If this was the case, then the result as described here were giant men.

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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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