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If I obey the Old Testament Law (Torah) today, am I pleasing God or the devil?

It is granted that in the Old Testament, the devil tried to lure people to disobey God's Law. Is it true, then, that in the New Testament, the devil now tries to lure people to obey God's OT Law?

Clarify Share Report Asked April 17 2014 Stringio Nathan Toronga


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Ari Ariel HaNaviy Messianic Jew and Torah Teacher with Messianic Congregation 'The Harvest'
Q: If I obey the Old Testament Law (Torah) today, am I pleasing God or the devil?
A: The entire Bible flows in the direction of being pleasing to God if you obey his Words. The fullest expression of obedience is the “obedience of faith” by which I mean, surrender to his Son Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ). We cannot fully do everything the Torah (Law) asks of us because of missing elements (priests, Temple, sacrifices, theocracy, live in the Land, etc.). Also, some parts were given to priests, some to men, some to women, etc., so not all parts are expected to be performed by every single person. Make sense?

Q: It is granted that in the Old Testament, the devil tried to lure people to disobey God's Law. Is it true, then, that in the New Testament, the devil now tries to lure people to obey God's OT Law?
A: I would say the Adversary (devil) tries to get people both to obey and to disobey Torah. He tries to get people—both believers and non—to disobey, probably because he knows it displeases God. And he tries to get people—both believers and non—to obey it for wrong reasons (such as legalism, judgmental spirit, religious pride, etc.), probably because he knows it displeases God as well.

But make no mistake: since the Torah points the way to Messiah (Rom. 10:4; Gal. 3:19) obedience to Torah is something God most assuredly desires of all of his children in Messiah. Consider this logic: Jesus kept the Law, did he not? Delighting after the Law of God in his inner being is something Paul did (read Rom. 7:22), and he served the Law of God with his mind (read Rom. 7:25). Shouldn't we be imitating Paul as he imitated Christ? (read 1 Cor. 11:1) To be sure, if a person is living according to his flesh, according to his old desires, he CANNOT please God: “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Rom. 8:7) Living in the flesh most CERTAINLY pleases the Adversary. But not God.

Christianity originated in Judaism. One wonders, then, why there are so many disparaging words to say about Law-keeping in Traditional Christianity. In Judaism, safeguarding and keeping the Torah is central to performing the will of God. Indeed, as properly understood from God’s point of view, the whole of Torah was given to bring its followers to the "goal" of acquiring the kind of faith in God that leads to placing one’s trusting faithfulness in the One and only Son of God, Yeshua HaMashiach. To this end, the Torah has prophesied about him since as early as Genesis 3:15, and continues to speak of him until its conclusion in Revelation 22:20. In this capacity, the Torah acts like its etymological counterpart "yarah" (an archery term) in that it "teaches" its adherents how to properly identify with God by helping them to "reach the mark.” To be sure, one of the most common Hebrew verbs used to identify "sin" (chatah) literally means, "to miss the mark.”

Because the Messiah has already come, the Torah is now a document meant to be lived out in the life of a faithful follower of Yeshua, through the power of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), to the glory of God the Father. It should not be presumed that it could be obeyed mechanically, automatically, legalistically, without having faith, without having trust in God, without having love for God or man, and without being empowered by the Ruach HaKodesh. To state it succinctly, Torah observance is a matter of the heart, always has been, and always will be.

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