Christian Churches of God

No. 153z




The First Commandment:

The Sin of Satan

(Edition 2.0 19960227-19991020)


The chief figure in the rebellion of the heavenly host was one of the sons of God who the Bible refers to by various names – the most common is Satan. Satan was known by other names, which bear light on his nature and indicate his sin.



Christian Churches of God





(Copyright ã 2003 Wade Cox)

(Summary by Tom Hoffahrt, Ed. Wade Cox)


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The First Commandment: The Sin of Satan


Names and titles of Satan

The name Satan is a Hebrew word (SHD 7854 sawtawn) which means to attack, hence accuse. The word has the meaning of adversary or to withstand. The connotation is thus of rebellion Satan was known by other names, which bear light on his nature and indicate his sin. He was referred to as Azazel in the Hebrew writings. This word is itself derived from SHD 5810 ‘azaz which means to be stout. The Bible identifies Satan as this being.

The name Abaddon in Revelation 9:11 is of Hebrew origin and refers to a destroying angel. Apollyon means a destroyer (SGD 623) and hence Satan (Rev. 9:11). Katelogos from kata as down or opposing, distribution or intensity and logos the word, hence accuser (of the brothers) (Rev. 12:10); also the adversary (1Pet. 5:8). The connotation here is that Satan accuses God of making an error in creating humans.

Other names are Beelzebub (Lk. 11:15). Another term is enemy (Mat. 13:39) (SGD 2190 echthros). Satan is also referred to as an evil spirit (1Sam. 16:14) and a lying spirit (1Kgs. 22:22). He is the Father of Lies (Jn. 8:44).

Revelation refers to him as the Great Red Dragon (Rev. 12:3) and the Old Serpent (Rev. 12:9; 20:2). John 8:44 classes him as a murderer because, through false teaching and lies, men are killed through sin. He is also the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2); ruler of the darkness of this world (Eph. 6:12) and a tempter (Mat. 4:3; 1Thes. 3:5) through these powers. He is thus the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4) and an unclean spirit (Mat. 12:43) and the wicked one (Mat. 13:19,38).

Satan’s sin

Satan’s sin in the first instance, is a breach of the first commandment (Ex. 20:1-3). He attempted to elevate himself and, through him, other sons of God to an equality of will and position with Eloah who is God the Father.

His activities were contrary to the nature of God, which was made available to the sons of God through the Holy Spirit (see the papers The Holy Spirit (No. 117) and Consubstantial with the Father (No. 81).

Christ and the loyal Host did not make this error. The Shema deals with this basic position.

Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: (KJV)

This text has been used by Trinitarians and Binitarians, to attempt to assert a unity to the elohim, such that God and Christ are one elohim. However, this is false. The singularity of Eloah is absolute and does not include the son selected as Messiah as Proverbs 30:4-5 shows.

The elohim were a plurality, understood as the Council of the Elders (Rev 4:1 to 5:14), or Gods of Justice, which included Satan and the fallen host. Knowing that we worship Eloah and not any of the elohim is central to the faith. Satan breached this relationship on a spiritual and a physical level.

Christ himself cites Deuteronomy 6:5 as the first and great commandment (Mat 22:37) and the essential and basic principle of the law. Satan thus breached this rule and Christ did not. This is the essential distinction between them.

There is One True God

Israel cannot admit another god or another law-order. God is one and truth is one. Truth is one because, like the nature of goodness, it proceeds from the omnipotence and omniscience of God. Truth is a centrality of the power of God. Thus, there is one truth.

To say that a second true God eternally existed before the beginning of God’s creation establishes another elohim as an object of worship besides Eloah. This is expressly forbidden. Such teaching produces another God and is idolatry.

The Unchanging Nature of God and the Law

The unchanging nature of God means that the law is unchanging. This is essential, as the law must proceed from a premise. The only basis for the issue of the law is that it proceeds from the nature of God and He could issue no other system.

Grace thus cannot be an alternative to the law. It must be an adjunct to that system and a means of perfection within the system. The alternative to law is lawlessness. This is termed anti-nomianism, from nomos or law. This is essentially a Gnostic doctrine, and allows for the elevation of Christ serving two purposes: It removed the Messiah ontologically from the elect and, hence, struck at the inheritance of the elect as co-heirs. Secondarily, by elevating Christ to equality and co-eternality with God it could be asserted that Christ had eliminated the law of God. The entire law/grace argument of modern Christianity is a demonic inspired, Gnostic position (see also the papers The Relationship Between Salvation by Grace and the Law (No. 82), Works of the Law Text - or MMT (No. 104) and Heresy in the Apostolic Church (No. 89)).

Obedience to God

This is perhaps the most difficult but the most central to the activities of Christ. Christ learnt obedience from all that he suffered (Heb. 5:8). Man must obey God totally.

Monotheism is predicated entirely on obedience to the will of God, which, as law, stems from His nature. All beings are under the divine will, as expressed by the law, or they are polytheist, having wills external to the will of God. In this sense Binitarianism is polytheist, in that it seeks to establish two eternal wills.

To rebel against God’s will, and His will as law, is to assert an independence from God and impugn the logical necessity of monotheism.

Education in the Law

Education in the law is inseparable from both obedience to the law and from worship. Worship is entirely centred on Eloah who is the object of worship and the focus of the Temple (Ezra. 4:24; 5:1-2,8,12-17; 6:3-12). Thus: There is no God but Eloah.

Speaking in tongues either of men or of demons, foreign and real, or garbled and unintelligible, or imaginary, is a breach of the principles within the first commandment also.

Grace in the Law

This is perhaps the most misunderstood or deliberately misconstrued concept. The entire Grace/Law argument stems from the misapplication of the biblical texts. The errors are quite condemned by the entire structure of the Reformation system (see the paper Distinction in the Law (No. 96)).

The law thus stands intact and is kept by Christians. It is defended by the prophets and apostles. If professing Christians speak not according to the Law and the Testimony, there is no light in them (Isa. 8:20).

The Fear of God and His Jealousy

The fear of God or the jealousy of God is dependent upon the perspective from which the activity is viewed. The central point is that there is no other law-order than that established by God. Thus Christ could not do away with the law, as he was an image of the invisible God. Hence, having the Holy Spirit he partook of the divine nature and could issue no instruction other than that which was conveyed to him from the nature of God through the Holy Spirit.

The assumption is that might and numbers constitute the Church of God. This assumption is incorrect. The triumph of the Church of God is at the resurrection at the return of Messiah for the millennial rule.

God is Not to be Tempted

This flows from the Shema as that of not tempting God. This is distinct from the concept of testing God, which He says specifically to do in regard to tithing (Mal. 3:10). Tithing to an apostate system is worshipping a false god and a breach of the first commandment (cf. the paper Tithing (No. 161)).

The first commandment is thus central to the faith and upon this commandment hangs the other commandments and the ordinances. Respect of persons is sin and a breach of God’s law and will (Jas. 2:9) as surely as is idolatry and witchcraft (cf. the paper The Second Great Commandment (No. 257)).

Satan breached the first commandment and is attempting to mitigate his position by misleading others and thus justifying the demons in their activity.

Worship God and serve Him only (Mat. 4:10).