The Lord our God provided mankind with all the answers to most of the questions pertaining to human living. There are issues like homosexuality, the death penalty, prostitution, circumcision and many more which have caused divisions and generated a lot of debate across the world, yet God gave us the answers to most of the issues encompassing human life.
He gave us guidelines on what to do and what not to do so that the human species can forever survive and live in harmony. For all the living creatures to survive, there has to be some rules and guidelines to be followed. In addition, there has to be an authority within each species to ensure that the regulations in each particular group are adhered to in order to maintain law and order. This is crucial for the survival of every specie. Absence of authority, rules and regulations brings chaos and extinction to any group of any species.
The Lord our God created humans in His image; so by creating us in His likeness He became our authority in addition to being our creator. It was, therefore, His responsibility to provide mankind with an array of rules and regulations to ensure the continued survival of the human species. Throughout the documented scriptures, He spelt out numerous laws and commandments for mankind to follow so that we could live forever. Various other terms are used to describe these regulations: e.g. statutes or ordinances. In the third book of Moses, Leviticus 18 verse 4-5, He spoke to mankind, “You shall do my ordinances and keep my statutes, by doing which a man shall live. I am the Lord.”
The coming of Jesus Christ on earth had a big impact on the direct relationship between God and the people, especially of the Christian faith in relation to the laws and commandments hitherto given out to mankind by the Lord our God. Some say Jesus Christ came to change the laws, others say He came to give them a new meaning. Yet others say He became the new law. Some say because He was born of God, He became God Himself.
What did Jesus Christ Himself say regarding the laws and commandments of God? In the book of Matthew 5 verse 17-20, He spoke; “Think not that I have come to abolish the laws and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the laws until all is accomplished. Whoever then releases one of the least of these commandments and teaches men, so shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven.”
During His sermons, He was asked the same question by various people. In Matthew 19 verses 16-20; Mark 10 verses 17- 20 and Luke 18 verses 18- 21, people asked Him, “What must we do to have eternal life?” In all instances His answer was the same, “If you want eternal life, keep the commandments [of the Lord our God].” He was again asked the same a number of times about which laws and commandments He was referring to and each time He mentioned the laws of the Lord our God, His Father. It is, therefore, surprising to note that a number of Christian churches have abandoned the original laws and commandments of the Lord our God to suit their own practices, contrary to the teachings of Christ.
Some of our Christian churches now misinterpret the scriptures to their followers by directing them to follow only one law which they claim to have originated from our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the law to “love our neighbours as we love ourselves”. While it is true that He directed us to love one another, He did not mean to say we should disregard all the other laws of the Lord our God. What He really meant was that this law alone covers a lot of ground in relation to most of the laws and commandments. While this law alone touched on a lot of issues to do with the laws, it did not mean that all the other laws should be disregarded as they dealt and touched on other issues. In fact, the law to “love one another” originated from one of the laws and commandments of the Lord our God. He spoke to mankind through Moses at Mount Sinai; “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason with your neighbour, lest you bear sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19 verses 17- 18) By proclaiming, “I am the Lord your God,” He is putting a signature to His words as the author. Whoever claims that the commandment to love one another originated from Jesus Christ is totally misguided. The Lord Jesus Christ was only reiterating what His Father, the Lord our God had already made into law.
Some of us Christians have been misled by the church. We have been blinded and made to follow certain doctrines without questioning anything — unquestioned beliefs. We have also followed without question the doctrine of the 10 Commandments, yet there are many other laws and commandments that the Lord our God commanded mankind to follow. We think that these laws were meant only for the people of Israel. In the fourth book of Moses, Numbers 15 verses 15- 16, the Lord our God spoke, “For the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the stranger who lives with you, a perpetual (lasting) statute for your generations. As you are, so shall the sojourner (all other people) be before the Lord. One law and one ordinance shall be for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you.” Therefore we should all follow the same commandments without fail.
In most of our African cultures ,we still unknowingly follow some commandments of God in our customs yet the origins of those practices are in our time unknown to man. Examples are the cutting of the throats of all domesticated animals and birds we slaughter to eat to drain out the blood, circumcision, the choice of animals, bird, fish and insects we select to eat, the issue on taking a deceased brother’s wife (kugara nhaka) and many others. Due to lack of biblical knowledge, some of these customs are being labelled as pagan, yet they are statutes as commanded by the Lord our God. We will look at the biblical origins of these practices in future installments.
Prosper Tingini has authored a book entitled: God’s Constitution for Mankind — The Laws and Commandments. He can be contacted on 0771 260 195 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org