“For prophecy never had its origin in the will of men, but holy men of God spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” Peter 1:21
BIBLICAL PROPHECY ABOUT JESUS In biblical prophecy, the Bible in its predictions of nations, individuals and world events is not suggestive or assuming. The fulfillment of its prophetic utterances over the years gives it the authority to speak with a measure of finality and a hint of conclusion. In this edition I will put in a lot of Scripture quotations to empower our understanding of the subject at hand.
Let us examine a few examples of the many messianic prophecies – the prophecies that talk about Jesus Christ. In that book of Genesis 3:15 after Adam and Eve disobeyed God a prophetic message is uttered that emphasized that some member of the human race (as opposed to an angelic being) would be the agent who would defeat Satan.
How that plan of redemption was going to roll out, Genesis 12:1-3 predicts that God will raise through Abraham a nation through which He (God) will bring the deliverer; that nation is Israel. I need to point out here that, the Israelites were chosen by God not because they were a mighty nation or well-known, good, or large in number; but because of God’s sovereign love for them (Deuteronomy 7:7-8). He chose them to be the medium through whom the messiah would come and His divine plan would roll out.
The Messiah was to come from the tribe of Judah as stated in Genesis 49:10. Jesus is frequently referred to in Scripture as the “Son of David.” David came from one of the families of the tribe of Judah and Romans 1:3 indicates that Jesus was a descendant of David. Psalm 16:8-11 speak in clear terms to the resurrection of Jesus that is vividly quoted in the New Testament and characterized Peter’s famous Pentecost public address.
Seven hundred years before Jesus was born, prophet Isaiah had foretold that He was going to be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14). One of the most remarkable prophecies issued about Jesus is one recorded in Micah5:2. Unknown to Caesar Augustus that he was in the prophetic time frame of God, he issued the decree that people should be registered, which will require Joseph and Mary to leave their home in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem and that is the place prophet Micah saw the birth of Jesus (Luke 2:1-7).
BIBLICAL PROPHECY OF NATIONS It is astonishing how the Bible can predict the destinies of cities, nations, kings, and whole kingdoms. These predictions are from Genesis in the Old Testament running across to Revelation in the New Testament. Twenty chapters in Isaiah, nine in Jeremiah, nine in Ezekiel, and two in Amos predict the destiny of Israel’s neighboring nations. In the New Testament (Matthew 24; Luke 21; Mark 3), Jesus Christ speaks with some detail about the future of Jerusalem.
In Ezekiel 26, the prophet identifies at least eight items that altogether provide an explicit detail of how the destruction of the city of Tyre would occur. In verse three, more than one nation will have part in his judgment and these nations would assault the city in waves rather than as a pact. There would be through devastation to the extent that the prophet indicates that the city would never be rebuilt. This prophecy of Ezekiel can be date at about 586 B.C, at the time Solomon’s temple was destroyed.
In 334 B.C Alexander the Great led his army across Asian Minor, where he defeated the Persians. In 332 B.C, Alexander was at the gates of Tyre. When the Tyrians refused to submit, Alexander built a causeway out to the island city. In so doing, he scraped the dust of the older city of Tyre to furnish building material for the causeway. In this way Alexander destroyed both the old city and the new city. To this day the area remains desolate. In the past I dealt a great deal with this subject and would love to resound that account hereunder.
Prophet Daniel predicted precisely our time today on God’s prophetic timeline through a series of visions in Daniel 7. In Daniel 2:31-45, God gives Daniel king Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and its interpretation. In the book of Daniel God presents the unfolding of His timeline for the nations of the world particularly Israel. In a different time space altogether during the first century persecution, John is in the island of Patmos west of the present day Turkey. John receives the revelation of Jesus, Rev 1:1. I belong to the school of thought that, the book of Revelation gives us access to behind the scene, into the spiritual world that causes events on earth to transpire. This makes it key in biblical prophecy.
In Daniel 2:31-45 account, the Israelites are in Babylonian captivity. Daniel tells king Nebuchadnezzar his dream and the interpretation thereof. The king had dreamt a mighty glorious statue made out of precious metals. Daniel tells him that these metals represented kingdoms of the earth. The head of gold stood for the Babylonian empire of which Nebuchadnezzar is king. The chest and arms of silver represented Medo-Persia Empire under Cyrus that will bring down Babylonian empire. The belly and thighs of bronze stood for the Grecian empire led by Alexander the Great. The fourth kingdom was to be Roman Empire under Caesars represented by legs of Iron.
Now, all these kingdoms historically are qualified to have existed and are gone. Roman Empire being the last long reigning for about 1000 years. Interestingly, in that same dream another kingdom is shown by the feet and toes made out of iron and clay. It turns out that just as baked mixture of clay and iron is brittle, the people in this dispensation will be a mixture and will not remain united. Verse 44 describes in clear terms what God will do to establish His kingdom. He will eventually put an end to all human administrations known in history.
BIBLICAL PROPHECY OF ISRAEL Truthfully speaking there is no way one can deal with biblical prophecy without making strong reference to the nation of Israel. God’s redemptive plan was to roll out through Israel, but Israel rebelled against this plan alone the way. Presently God has raised the Church, that is, the body of Christ to carry out this plan of redemption.
That is why the Church more than anything else should be predominantly occupied with evangelizing the world. This is its divine mandate straight from the throne of God. Anyone and anything that fight this mandate fights God who gave it! But God has not forgotten Israel. Israel remains the hands in God’s prophetic time clock. Ezekiel 37:21-22 carries the prophetic message that gathered Jewish people from all corners of the earth to the land of their forefathers. About 2000 years later, 14th May 1948 this prophetic message was fulfilled as Israel was declared a Jewish state.
About 19 years later they miraculous resisted Jordanian forces and capture eastern Jerusalem in a war that lasted six days. By the 7th of June 1967 Jerusalem was reunified as the capital city of Israel. These had to happen so as to place Israel in her position going into the final administration of man. Israel is at the center stage of events leading to this kingdom. All observers as Paul Little points out agree that the re-establishment of Israel as a nation is one of the amazing political phenomena.
I quote Bishop David Oyedepo when He said, “You cannot pray off a prophetic agenda but you can only seek an exemption through revelation, the will be famines in different places until Jesus comes, nation will be rising against another nation until Jesus comes.”
The release of an apocalyptic horse man of a black horse in Revelation 6:5-6, saw in 2008 the largest global investment bank Lehman Brothers finally collapse and the holders of their stocks woke up one day and found out that they have zero in their hands. That is what created a Domino Effect when markets crushed from New York passing through London, Frankfurt, Paris, all the way to Hong Kong and Shanghai. The global financial markets crushed in less than 24hrs! The global financial situation is not by far over.
The fulfillment of Bible prophecies can only mean one thing; that what it said will surely come to pass. Jesus is coming back to earth again to consummate His victory over Satan and his cohorts; He is coming not as a savior but a judge. The church is His messenger on the earth to warn people of this impending judgment that is to come. In the light of the many proves that are in Scripture, archaeology, and other disciplines; what is revealed through biblical prophecy is sure as the rising of the sun! Shalom!
The Central Bank has by way of its Monetary Policy Statement informed us that the Botswana economy is likely to contract by 8.9 percent over the course of the year 2020.
The IMF paints an even gloomier picture – a shrinkage of the order of 9.6 percent. That translates to just under $2 billion hived off from the overall economic yield given our average GDP of roughly $18 billion a year. In Pula terms, this is about P23 billion less goods and services produced in the country and you and I have a good guess as to what such a sum can do in terms of job creation and sustainability, boosting tax revenue, succouring both recurrent and development expenditure, and on the whole keeping our teeny-weeny economy in relatively good nick.
Joseph’s and Judah’s family lines conjoin to produce lineal seed
Just to recap, General Atiku, the Israelites were not headed for uncharted territory. The Promised Land teemed with Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. These nations were not simply going to cut and run when they saw columns of battle-ready Israelites approach: they were going to fight to the death.
Parliament has begun debates on three related Private Members Bills on the conditions of service of members of the Security Sector.
The Bills are Prisons (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Police (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and Botswana Defence Force (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The Bills seek to amend the three statutes so that officers are placed on full salaries when on interdictions or suspensions whilst facing disciplinary boards or courts of law.
In terms of the Public Service Act, 2008 which took effect in 2010, civil servants who are indicted are paid full salary and not a portion of their emolument. Section 35(3) of the Act specifically provides that “An employee’s salary shall not be withheld during the period of his or her suspension”.
However, when parliament reformed the public service law to allow civil servants to unionize, among other things, and extended the said protection of their salaries, the process was not completed. When the House conferred the benefit on civil servants, members of the disciplined forces were left out by not accordingly amending the laws regulating their employment.
The Bills stated above seeks to ask Parliament to also include members of the forces on the said benefit. It is unfair not to include soldiers or military officers, police officers and prison waders in the benefit. Paying an officer who is facing either external or internal charges full pay is in line with the notion of ei incumbit probation qui dicit, non qui negat or the presumption of innocence; that the burden of proof is on the one who declares, not on one who denies.
The officers facing charges, either internal disciplinary or criminal charges before the courts, must be presumed innocent until proven otherwise. Paying them a portion of their salary is penalty and therefore arbitrary. Punishment by way of loss of income or anything should come as a result of a finding on the guilt by a competent court of law, tribunal or disciplinary board.
What was the rationale behind this reform in 2008 when the Public Service Act was adopted? First it was the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise.
The presumption of innocence is the legal principle that one is considered “innocent until proven guilty”. In terms of the constitution and other laws of Botswana, the presumption of innocence is a legal right of the accused in a criminal trial, and it is an international human right under the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 11.
Withholding a civil servant’s salary because they are accused of an internal disciplinary offense or a criminal offense in the courts of law, was seen as punishment before a decision by a tribunal, disciplinary board or a court of law actually finds someone culpable. Parliament in its wisdom decided that no one deserves this premature punishment.
Secondly, it was considered that people’s lives got destroyed by withholding of financial benefits during internal or judicial trials. Protection of wages is very important for any worker. Workers commit their salaries, they pay mortgages, car loans, insurances, schools fees for children and other things. When public servants were experiencing salary cuts because of interdictions, they lost their homes, cars and their children’s future.
They plummeted into instant destitution. People lost their livelihoods. Families crumbled. What was disheartening was that in many cases, these workers are ultimately exonerated by the courts or disciplinary tribunals. When they are cleared, the harm suffered is usually irreparable. Even if one is reimbursed all their dues, it is difficult to almost impossible to get one’s life back to normal.
There is a reasoning that members of the security sector should be held to very high standards of discipline and moral compass. This is true. However, other more senior public servants such as judges, permanent secretary to the President and ministers have faced suspensions, interdictions and or criminal charges in the courts but were placed on full salaries.
The yardstick against which security sector officers are held cannot be higher than the aforementioned public officials. It just wouldn’t make sense. They are in charge of the security and operate in a very sensitive area, but cannot in anyway be held to higher standards that prosecutors, magistrates, judges, ministers and even senior officials such as permanent secretaries.
Moreover, jail guards, police officers and soldiers, have unique harsh punishments which deter many of them from committing misdemeanors and serious crimes. So, the argument that if the suspension or interdiction with full pay is introduced it would open floodgates of lawlessness is illogical.
Security Sector members work in very difficult conditions. Sometimes this drives them into depression and other emotional conditions. The truth is that many seldom receive proper and adequate counseling or such related therapies. They see horrifying scenes whilst on duty. Jail guards double as hangmen/women.
Detectives attend to autopsies on cases they are dealing with. Traffic police officers are usually the first at accident scenes. Soldiers fight and kill poachers. In all these cases, their minds are troubled. They are human. These conditions also play a part in their behaviors. They are actually more deserving to be paid full salaries when they’re facing allegations of misconduct.
To withhold up to 50 percent of the police, prison workers and the military officers’ salaries during their interdiction or suspensions from work is punitive, insensitive and prejudicial as we do not do the same for other employees employed by the government.
The rest enjoy their full salaries when they are at home and it is for a good reason as no one should be made to suffer before being found blameworthy. The ruling party seems to have taken a position to negate the Bills and the collective opposition argue in the affirmative. The debate have just began and will continue next week Thursday, a day designated for Private Bills.