You do not have to be long amongst Pentecostal-Charismatic circles before you routinely hear shouts of, "Out!" "Come out of her!" "Fire!" "I command you demons to come out!" Fun times! If you are a newbie to such, you might be properly alarmed and perhaps even petrified! If not by the booming voices of microphones maxed out, then by the theatrical manifestations that customarily follow these commands.
It can get quite spooky! But, what exactly is going on here? Why would an otherwise seemingly cultured man or woman suddenly contort, twist, jerk, convulse, become aggressive, and generally act radically out of character? Are these things real or staged? Is it hypnotism? Hysteria? Mind control? Are there really some malevolent spirits out there that can take up residence in a person? How? Why? What are they?
What are demons? Where do they come from? Are there really instances when people are not responsible for their actions and the devil is the culprit? I will attempt to shed some light on this. It's a long and controversial subject, but I hope to do it justice.
Some people think that demons are fallen angels, but the Bible repeatedly demonstrates that there are clear differences between them. Fallen angels are called “sons of God, gods, powers, principalities, authorities, dominions, host of heaven”. Angels in general are repeatedly shown to cause dreams and visions by which they interact with people and deliver a message from God.
They also appear in a bodily form looking like men, and interact with people this way, being seen as having a body. Of the fallen angels, it is made clear that there is a certain way one should rebuke them, namely asking God to do so, and not doing so personally.
“Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.” Jude 1:8-9. “But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they,self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.” 2 Pet 2:10-11. And Jesus himself gave us an example of resisting Satan, a fallen angel, by using scripture in Matthew 4 and Luke 4.
On the other hand, Demons are often called “wicked, unclean, evil spirits” and are usually mentioned in relation to someone who is demonized, and the demon speaks through that person. Demons do not appear in a bodily form themselves, but interactions with them always involve a body of a person or animal they are working through. In other words, demons need a body to get inhabit.
They cannot function without a body. Their preferred body is a human body, but if they can't get access to one, any will do. Jesus made clear that believers have been given authority by Jesus to cast demons out in His name. “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. “Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name…
Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.” Luke 10:17,20. “And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.” Acts 16:18. There are essential practical differences in how we are told to spiritually battle against demons versus fallen angels, as Christians.
We are given different instructions for each. There is a practical importance involved in understanding that demons and fallen angels are not the same, and we have different instructions for how we are to practice spiritual warfare against each of them.
Between this and the different terms used to refer to each, and the different descriptions of how they each interact with or attack people, it becomes clear that demons are not the same creatures as fallen angels. We know by scriptural inference that all the angels were probably made on the first day of creation, and are called the "host of heaven," and by the end of the 6th day the Bible says God had finished creating the heaven and earth and all their hosts.
However, the demons are never called the host of heaven, a term which always refers to angels, so it cannot be assumed the demons were created along with the angels. To understand where demons came from, we have to understand a few things first about Jesus Christ, and about human reproduction. Jesus Christ was the only begotten son of God, and the Bible teaches he was both fully man and fully God.
Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit, who is God, and Jesus’ Father is God the Father; and Jesus Christ, while the son of God, is also Himself God. But Jesus Christ was also the son of Mary, a human woman, and Jesus Christ was also a human man. Was Jesus Christ half-man physically and half-God physically? God the Father is spirit, and the Holy Spirit is spirit.
“God is Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24. “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” Luke 24:39. As God the Father is a Spirit, He does not have a body made of flesh and bones, by which Jesus could be half-God physically in His body. In fact Jesus Christ is the “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15).
And so it can be argued Jesus Christ is the only person within the triune Godhead with a physical body. The Father does not have a physical body, nor does the Holy Spirit. But it is made clear that Jesus partook as much as any man in flesh and blood: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” Hebrews 2:14.
This means that Jesus had a body that was fully human, flesh and blood as much as any normal human man. And the Bible says that Jesus Christ came in the flesh (2 John 1:7) and was a man (1 Timothy 2:5). So, Jesus was not half-man, half-God.
He was fully man and fully God. Was Jesus Christ spiritually a man, or was He spiritually God? It would seem that spiritually Jesus Christ was God. Nor could Jesus be considered to be half-God spiritually and half-man spiritually, as this would make him out to be less than fully God spiritually. Jesus Christ is God, and came from above, existing eternally, creating all things (John 8:23, 8:58, John 1). And the Bible teaches that in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead, but bodily:
“For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Colossians 2:9. In fact believing that Jesus Christ was both fully God and fully man, also called “Hypostatic Union”, is an essential Christian Doctrine, basic to the Christian Faith. But it is important to understand that Jesus Christ had a fully human body, like any other human.
But Jesus was also fully God, so it can be understood that this was in the spiritual sense, and that spiritually Jesus was fully God. Jesus was not just like any other man when it came to His spirit, or half-man/half-God spiritually, but rather His spirit was that of God. This indicates that Jesus’ spirit was solely from God the Father, in regards to reproduction and the virgin conception by the Holy Spirit.
This is interesting as the Bible says that Jesus Christ is the only begotten son of God, and was “begat” by God. “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth Him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of Him.” 1 John 5:1. But the same word for “begotten” is used many times relating to men and their children. Matthew 1:2 “Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren.”
In fact the Old Testament is full of examples in which fathers beget their children, but there are no cases of mothers begetting their children. The Bible therefore, taken at literal face-value, teaches that children are only begat by their fathers. In the case of Jesus, spiritually He was fully God, and begotten of God the Father by the Holy Spirit.
He did not have a half-human spirit, and so it seems his spirit was not a 50/50 mixture of God the Father and His mother Mary’s human spirit. Rather, Jesus as the son of God was God, and of the same spirit as God the Father. What does the Bible actually teach about the spiritual side of human reproduction?
Let’s go back to the beginning when God first made Adam, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7) Once Adam’s body had received the “breath of life”, then he became a living soul. So apparently a body, that then has the “breath of life” added to it, results in a new living soul.
The word here for “soul” is clarified in the New Testament, 1 Corinthians 15:45 “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” The word here for “soul” is “psyche” and it means “life” and “soul”. It is also used in Matthew 10:28, "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” But there is a different word that is used in 1 Corinthians 15 for “spirit”, and that is “pneuma”.
This is the “breath of life” in Genesis 2:7 which is the “spirit” which gives life. “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” Job 33:4. “All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit (ruach) of God is in my nostrils” Job 27:3.
“And the LORD said, My spirit (ruach) shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.”Genesis 6:3. The spirit of life in man was given by God to Adam in Genesis 2:7, and is the spirit of man. Without God striving with the spirit of man, he no longer has life, but the man dies. But as long as God strives with the spirit of man, the man lives.
The point being that a man being alive is tied to him having the spirit, the “breath of life” giving life, as God breathed into Adam. Job says the breath of the Almighty had given him life, but yet the only time when God is recorded to have breathed life into any man is when God made Adam.
The Bible only records God having done this one time, with Adam. Yet Job indicates he also has the breath of the Almighty. As such it would make sense that somehow the “breath of life” is inherited, and passed down through reproduction, and did pass down from Adam through his children, all the way to Job. How might the “breath of life” or spirit pass down through reproduction? The Bible does say that what causes life, giving life to the body, is in the blood.
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” Leviticus 17:11. And we know that what causes life is the “breath of life” or “spirit”.
And so the “spirit” or “breath of life” must be in the blood. As such there is a connection that the Bible makes between the “breath of life” or “spirit” and the blood of the physical body. It is understood that a child is formed from a bodily contribution from both parents in the process of reproduction.
Perhaps the “breath of life” is tied to the father’s contribution in reproduction. God specifies that people reproduce through multiplication, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). What is multiplication? God actually demonstrated multiplication for us, by how God made Eve from a little piece, a rib, taken from Adam. (The rib itself contains blood in the marrow, and the life of the body is in the blood.)
“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.” Genesis 2:21-22. God is not recorded to have breathed the spirit, the breath of life, into Eve in order for her to become a living soul. Nor is God recorded to have repeated this process with Cain, Abel, Seth, or any of their children.
God breathed the spirit of life into Adam who became a living soul, and God is recorded to have done this only one time, with Adam. Then Adam had a spirit and a soul and was alive. Obviously Eve and Adam’s children were alive and had living souls also, even though no record is made of God having breathed the breath of life into them.
Yet Job states that the breath of the Almighty had given him life. All of this indicates that God put the breath of life – a spirit – into Adam, and somehow this spirit was multiplied to all other people from Adam. Whether by Adam’s rib in the case of Eve, or through reproduction with their children, which the Bible calls “multiplication”, it seems that all people were passed down the breath of life from Adam.
So it makes sense that when God made Eve, He not only multiplied her body from Adam’s body, but that also God multiplied her spirit from Adam’s spirit, like a seed that grows. And then she became an individual living soul as well, as she had a body and spirit (the breath of life) which is located in the blood.
And this was all through the process of “multiplication”. As such, Eve was multiplied from Adam, in body and spirit, and then herself became a living soul. God did this with Eve Himself, but from that point on the same thing would occur with Adam and Eve multiplying to have children, through the natural process God set in place.
This means that during reproduction, the new spirit, breath of life, that each child has, is multiplied and grown from a little seed of the spirit or “breath of life” of the prior generation. This does not negate that that God forms each person in the womb (Isaiah 44:2,24) but the point is that the building materials, a seed, are already in place for God to build from, not just in regards to multiplying a new body, but to multiplying a new spirit as well.
All children are multiplied from what already exists in the father or mother. That the body and soul (mind, emotions, will) of the mother are inherited traits of a child is obvious. Children look like their mothers, have psychological traits like their mothers, the intelligence of their mother, etc.
And so we know that both the body and soul of the mother contribute to the body and soul (mind/will/emotions) of the child. Both the mother and father’s soul and body contribute in the multiplying process to form a child, and this is obvious as the child looks like both parents. Each contributes an equal number of chromosomes, to combine in conception, for the physical body, and the same sort of thing would make sense of the soul (mind/will/emotions) as well.
Parliament, the second arm of State through its parliamentary committees are one of Botswana’s most powerful mechanisms to ensure that government is held accountable at all times. The Accounting Officers are mostly Permanent Secretaries across government Ministries and Chief Executive Officers, Director Generals, Managing Directors of parastatals, state owned enterprises and Civil Society.
So parliament plays its oversight authority via the legislators sitting on a parliamentary committee and Accounting Officers sitting in the hot chair. When left with no proper checks and balances, the Executive is prone to abuse the arrangement and so systematic oversight of the executive is usually carried out by parliamentary committees. They track the work of various government departments and ministries, and conduct scrutiny into important aspects of their policy, direction and administration.
It is not rocket science that effective oversight requires that committees be totally independent and able to set their own agendas and have the power to summon ministers and top civil servants to appear and answer questions. Naturally, Accounting Officers are the highest ranking officials in the government hierarchy apart from cabinet Ministers and as such wield much power and influence in the performance of government. To illustrate further, government performance is largely owed to the strategic and policy direction of top technocrats in various Ministries.
It is disheartening to point out that the recent parliament committees — as has been the case all over the years — has laid bare the incompetency, inadequacy and ineptitude of people bestowed with great responsibilities in public offices. To say that they are ineffective and inefficient sounds as an understatement. Some appear useless and hopeless when it comes to running the government despite the huge responsibility they possess.
If we were uncertain about the degree at which the Accounting Officers are incompetent, the ongoing parliament committees provide a glaring answer. It is not an exaggeration to say that ordinary people on the streets have been held ransom by these technocrats who enjoy their air conditioned offices and relish being chauffeured around in luxurious BX SUV’s while the rest of the citizenry continue to suffer. Because of such high life the Accounting Officers seem to have, with time, they have gotten out of touch with the people they are supposed to serve.
An example; when appearing before the recent Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Office of the President Permanent Secretary, Thuso Ramodimoosi, looked reluctant to admit misuse of public funds. Although it is clear funds were misused, he looked unbothered when committee members grilled him over the P80 million Orapa House building that has since morphed into a white elephant for close to 10 successive years. To him, it seems it did not matter much and PAC members were worried for nothing.
On a separate day, another Accounting officer, Director of Public Service Management (DPSM), Naledi Mosalakatane, was not shy to reveal to PAC upon cross-examination that there exist more than 6 000 vacancies in government. Whatever reasons she gave as an excuse, they were not convincing and the committee looked sceptical too. She was faltering and seemed not to have a sense of urgency over the matter no matter how critical it is to the populace.
Botswana’s unemployment rate hoovers around 18 percent in a country where majority of the population is the youth, and the most affected by unemployment. It is still unclear why DPSM could underplay such a critical matter that may threaten the peace and stability of the country. Accounting Officers clearly appear out of touch with the reality out there – if the PAC examinations are anything to go by.
Ideally the DPSM Director could be dropping the vacancy post digits while sourcing funds and setting timelines for the spaces to be filled as a matter of urgency so that the citizens get employed to feed their families and get out of unemployment and poverty ravaging the country. The country should thank parliamentary committees such as PAC to expose these abnormalities and the behaviour of our leaders when in public office. How can a full Accounting Officer downplay the magnitude of the landless problem in Botswana and fail to come with direct solutions tailor made to provide Batswana with the land they desperately need?
Land is a life and death matter for some citizens, as we would know.
When Bonolo Khumotaka, the Accounting Officer in the Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, whom as a top official probably with a lucrative pay too appears to be lacking sense of urgency as she is failing on her key mandate of working around the clock to award the citizens with land especially those who need it most like the marginalised. If government purports they need P94 billion to service land to address the land crisis what is plan B for government? Are we going to accept it the way it is?
Government should wake up from its slumber and intervene to avoid the 30 years unnecessary waiting period in State land and 13 years in Tribal land. Accounting Officers are custodians of government policy, they should ensure it is effective and serve its purpose. What we have been doing over the years, has proved that it is not effective, and clearly there is a need for change of direction.
His Excellency Dr Mokgweetsi EK Masisi, the President of the Republic of Botswana found it appropriate to invoke Section 17 (1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Botswana, using the powers vested in him to declare a State of Public Emergency starting from the 2nd April 2020 at midnight.
The constitutional provision under Section 17 (2b) only provided that such a declaration could be up to a maximum of 21 days. His Excellency further invoked Section 93 (1) to convene an extra- ordinary meeting of Parliament to have the opportunity to consult members of parliament on measures that have been put in place to address the spread and transmission of the virus. At this meeting Members of Parliament passed a resolution on the legal instruments and regulations governing the period of the state of emergency, and extended its duration by six (6) months.
The passing of the State of Emergency is considered as a very crucial step in fighting the near apocalyptic potential of the Novel COVID-19 virus. One of the interesting initiatives that was developed and extended to the business community was a 3-month wage subsidy that came with a condition that no businesses would retrench for the duration of the State of Public Emergency. This has potentially saved many people’s jobs as most companies would have been extremely quick to reduce expenses by downsizing. Self-preservation as some would call it.
Most organisations would have tried to reduce costs by letting go of people, retreated and tried their best to live long enough to fight another day. In my view there is silver lining that we need to look at and consider. The fact that organisations are not allowed to retrench has forced certain companies to look at the people with a long-term view.
Most leaders have probably had to wonder how they are going to ensure that their people are resilient. Do they have team members who innovate and add value to the organisation during these testing times? Do they even have resilient people or are they just waiting for the inevitable end? Can they really train people and make them resilient? How can your team members be part of your recovery plan? What can they do to avoid losing the capabilities they need to operate meaningfully for the duration of the State of Public Emergency and beyond?
The above questions have forced companies to reimagine the future of work. The truth is that no organisation can operate to its full potential without resilient people. In the normal business cycle, new teams come on board; new business streams open, operations or production sites launch or close; new markets develop, and technology is introduced. All of this provides fresh opportunities – and risks.
The best analogy I have seen of people-focused resilience planning reframes employees as your organisation’s immune system, ready and prepared to anticipate risks and ensure they can tackle challenges, fend off illness and bounce back more quickly. So, how do you supercharge your organizational immune system to become resilient?
COVID-19 has helped many organisations realize they were not as prepared as they believed themselves to be. Now is the time to take stock and reset for the future. All the strategies and plans prior to COVID-19 arriving in Botswana need to be thrown out of the window and you need to develop a new plan today. There is no room for tweaking or reframing. Botswana has been disrupted and we need to accept and embrace the change. What we initially anticipated as a disease that would take a short term is turning out to be something we are going to have to live with for a much longer time. It is going to be a marathon and therefore businesses need to have a plan to complete this marathon.
Start planning. Planning for change can help reduce employee stress, anxiety, and overall fear, boosting the confidence of staff and stakeholders. Think about conducting and then regularly refreshing a strategic business impact analysis, look at your employee engagement scores, dig into your customer metrics and explore the way people work alongside your behaviours and culture. This research will help to identify what you really want to protect, the risks that you need to plan for and what you need to survive during disruption. Don’t forget to ask your team members for their input. In many cases they are closest to critical business areas and already have ideas to make processes and systems more robust.
Revisit your organisational purpose. Purpose, values and principles are powerful tools. By putting your organisation’s purpose and values front and center, you provide clear decision-making guidelines for yourself and your organisation. There are very tough and interesting decisions to make which have to be made fast; so having guiding principles on which the business believes in will help and assist all decision makers with sanity checking the choices that are in front of them. One noticeable characteristic of companies that adapt well during change is that they have a strong sense of identity. Leaders and employees have a shared sense of purpose and a common performance culture; they know what the company stands for beyond shareholder value and how to get things done right.
Revisit your purpose and values. Understand if they have been internalised and are proving useful. If so, find ways to increase their use. If not, adapt them as necessities, to help inspire and guide people while immunizing yourself against future disruption. Design your employee experience. The most resilient, adaptive and high performing companies are made up of people who know each other, like each other, and support each other.
Adaptability requires us to teach other, speak up and discuss problems, and have a collective sense of belonging. Listening to your team members is a powerful and disruptive thing to do. It has the potential to transform the way you manage your organisation. Enlisting employees to help shape employee experience, motivates better performance, increases employee retention and helps you spot issues and risks sooner. More importantly, it gives employees a voice so you can get active and constructive suggestions to make your business more robust by adopting an inclusive approach.
Leaders need to show they care. If you want to build resilience, you must build on a basis of trust. And this means leaders should listen, care, and respond. It’s time to build the entire business model around trust and empathy. Many of the employees will be working under extreme pressure due to the looming question around what will happen when companies have to retrench. As a leader of a company transparency and open communication are the most critical aspects that need to be illustrated.
Take your team member into confidence because if you do have to go through the dreaded excise of retrenchment you have to remember that those people the company retains will judge you based on the process you follow. If you illustrate that the business or organization has no regard for loyalty and commitment, they will never commit to the long-term plans of the organisation which will leave you worse off in the end. Its an absolutely delicate balance but it must all be done in good faith. Hopefully, your organization will avoid this!
This is the best time to revisit your identify and train your people to encourage qualities that build strong, empathetic leadership; self-awareness and control, communication, kindness and psychological safety. Resilience is the glue that binds functional silos and integrates partners, improves communications, helps you prepare, listen and understand. Most importantly, people-focused resilience helps individuals and teams to think collectively and with empathy – helping you respond and recover faster.
Article written by Thabo Majola, a brand communications expert with a wealth of experience in the field and is Managing Director of Incepta Communications.
Parliament was this week once again seized with matters that concern them and borders on conflict of interest and abuse of privilege.
The two matters are; review of MPs benefits as well as President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s participation in the bidding for Banyana Farms. For the latter, it should not come as a surprise that President Masisi succeeded in bid.
The President’s business interests have also been in the forefront. While President Masisi is entitled as a citizen to participate in a various businesses in the country or abroad, it is morally deficient for him to participate in a bidding process that is handled by the government he leads. By the virtue of his presidency, Masisi is the head of government and head of State.
Not long ago, former President Festus Mogae suggested that elected officials should consider using blind trust to manage their business interests once they are elected to public office. Though blind trusts are expensive, they are the best way of ensuring confidence in those that serve in public office.
A blind trust is a trust established by the owner (or trustor) giving another party (the trustee) full control of the trust. Blind trusts are often established in situations where individuals want to avoid conflicts of interest between their employment and investments.
The trustee has full discretion over the assets and investments while being charged with managing the assets and any income generated in the trust.
The trustor can terminate the trust, but otherwise exercises no control over the actions taken within the trust and receives no reports from the trustees while the blind trust is in force.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Secretary General, Mpho Balopi, has defended President Masisi’s participation in business and in the Banyana Farms bidding. His contention is that, the practise even obtained during the administration of previous presidents.
The President is the most influential figure in the country. His role is representative and he enjoys a plethora of privileges. He is not an ordinary citizen. The President should therefore be mindful of this fact.
We should as a nation continue to thrive for improvement of our laws with the viewing of enhancing good governance. We should accept perpetuation of certain practices on the bases that they are a norm. MPs are custodians of good governance and they should measure up to the demands of their responsibility.
Parliament should not be spared for its role in countenancing these developments. Parliament is charged with the mandate of making laws and providing oversight, but for them to make laws that are meant solely for their benefits as MPs is unethical and from a governance point of view, wrong.
There have been debates in parliament, some dating from past years, about the benefits of MPs including pension benefits. It is of course self-serving for MPs to be deliberating on their compensation and other benefits.
In the past, we have also contended that MPs are not the right people to discuss their own compensation and there has to be Special Committee set for the purpose. This is a practice in advanced democracies.
By suggesting this, we are not suggesting that MP benefits are in anyway lucrative, but we are saying, an independent body may figure out the best way of handling such issues, and even offer MPs better benefits.
In the United Kingdom for example; since 2009 following a scandal relating to abuse of office, set-up Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA)
IPSA is responsible for: setting the level of and paying MPs’ annual salaries; paying the salaries of MPs’ staff; drawing up, reviewing, and administering an MP’s allowance scheme; providing MPs with publicly available and information relating to taxation issues; and determining the procedures for investigations and complaints relating to MPs.
Owing to what has happened in the Parliament of Botswana recently, we now need to have a way of limiting what MPs can do especially when it comes to laws that concern them. We cannot be too trusting as a nation.
MPs can abuse office for their own agendas. There is need to act swiftly to deal with the inherent conflict of interest that arise as a result of our legislative setup. A voice of reason should emerge from Parliament to address this unpleasant situation. This cannot be business as usual.