The Catholic church was able to keep control for hundreds of years because they were able to keep the people living in fear and ignorance of the scriptures. Much of this fear and ignorance is still with us today. Our society is also very heavily influenced by the Ascetics and Gnostics because their dogma has the appearance of the higher standard when in reality it is just another collar around our necks.
What do you use to determine what or who is God? Our abilities do limit our understanding, but there is much we can easily know from the scriptures. It is there that we can get an idea of how to define God.
We have only one God. In the old testament God tells us that He is the one who saves. The son and the father are one.
Isaiah 43:11 I, I am Yahweh; and beside me there is no savior.
Hosea 13:4 Yet I am Yahweh thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me.
John 10:30 I and my Father are one.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
God's law is a part of His word and must be included in defining Him. God's morals are found in his law.
God does not change. His morality does not change. I like to tell people that what was sin the day The Adam was placed in the garden is still sin today. What is sin today was sin that very same day. God can not change. To change what is right and wrong from one day to the next or even from one covenant to the next changes God into another God. A God who changes what is right and wrong can not be counted on for stability. He would not be reliable and thus not much of a god.
Malachi 3:6 For I am Yahweh, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
James 1:17b ...the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Some people say that with the change to the new covenant, God's law was changed. Can you imagine someone who violated a law on Tuesday suffering eternal punishment for something that God made righteous on Wednesday? I know we are used to that sort of thing to a lesser degree today in man's government. There are people currently serving jail terms for something that is now legal or was never illegal in another country. I am so thankful we have a consistent reliable God.
There are also some who want to almost pit Christ against God. Some suggest that Christ came with a better plan in opposition to the Father's plan. This ignores the scriptural concept that Christ is God. The Father and Son are one. They are the same in mind and spirit. Christ never once taught against His own law, what we know as God's law. To do so would have made him a sinner. The old and new covenants are virtually the same with one exception.
Hebrews 10:16 "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord; I will put My Laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them".
The new covenant was placed over or superimposed on the first covenant. According to the Greek both are still evident. In Hebrews 7:19 this aspect is found in the phrase "bringing in". The new covenant just added the Law being written on the heart.
Hebrews 7:19 "(for the law made nothing perfect), and a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God."
What we know as the ten commandments, along with the statutes that explain them and the judgments, has always existed and still does. At the time of Moses they were written down as a part of a special contract between God and Israel. Beyond that, at the time of Moses some things were added to the law that were and are still fulfilled or satisfied by Christ. Hebrews explains that those items were the mandatory sacrifices for forgiveness and righteousness and the Levitical priesthood.
Christ is our sacrifice once and for all time and he is our high priest and we are a priesthood of believers so those added parts are now fulfilled in Christ. He satisfied the requirements of the law in those things. (Specifically what was prophesied that he would accomplish.)
Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
Christ fully supported the law during his ministry. He never once taught differently. If Christ had taught against the law of God, His own law, He would have been guilty of violating the law and thus a sinner. God must obey his own law. Many think that God can do pretty much anything He wants to do. This is not true. He has placed great limitations upon himself because of His nature. Perhaps simpler said He can not do anything He wants because He is a moral and righteous God.
One example that should be understood is that at the time Christ walked the earth the Pharisees had added to God's law. In John 5:8 Christ told a man to pick up his bed and walk. The Pharisees counted a man carrying his bed on the Sabbath as a violation of the Law. If this were truly a violation of the law then Christ would have been a sinner for telling the man to do something unLawful. We need to know God's law so that we can understand what occurred in the new testament. We still have many who want to be Pharisees. The influence of Pharisees is in the church today and in many of our preaching schools and Christian colleges.
The truth of scripture is in the Greek and Hebrew. The Greek and Hebrew teach a unified doctrine throughout the old and new testaments. Once one understands that then many of the doctrinal issues or problems people have trouble with seem to just go away.