the Bible definition, Beelzebub is the “Prince of the devils.”
However, we are still far from anything definite concerning him, unless
we can determine just what is meant by “devils.”
This may prove to be a difficult task.
When once this question is settled, the identification of Beelzebub
will present no great difficulty. It
is the purpose of this chapter to give a clear presentation of the identity,
of the character, and of the work of Beelzebub.
There is a great deal of confusion in the minds of Bible readers
concerning “devils.” Our
common version of the Bible increases the confusion rather than diminishes it.
The Greek word for “devil” is “diabolos.”
This is the word applied to Satan himself.
The Greek in Matt. 12: 24, as also in many other places where our
common version reads “devils,” is “daimonion.”
This last word classically denotes a subordinate divinity, supernatural
being. In Scripture this word
always has its evil sense. The
word “demons” is a far better translation of this term, as it
distinguishes this class of spirits from Satan.
The Scriptures everywhere distinguish demons from “the devil,” but
our English version continually calls them “devils.”
Properly speaking, there is but one devil, whereas demons may be
numbered by billions.
Just what demons are is to some extent an unsettled question.
That they are in existence today, and that they are present among the
human family, no one with any degree of spirituality will deny.
Every Christian on the globe is conscious of a daily contact with
them. Just what they are, and
just from where they came, however, is hard to determine.
There are chiefly two theories concerning their origin.
The one theory is that demons are fallen angels; the other is that
they are the souls of dead men, particularly the spirits of those who bore a bad character in this life. There are strong arguments presented by the advocates of each side of the question in favor of their position.
In my mind, this has always been an unsettled question.
It might not involve any serious danger to say that the term
“demons” applies to both fallen angels and souls of wicked men.
However, I am almost persuaded that this term applies more directly to
the latter. “The angels which
kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved
in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great
day.”—Jude 6. This verse with
others (Rev. 9: 1, 14; 2 Peter 2: 4) indicates that the fallen angels are
chained now in hell. Of course,
Satan himself, though chained, is allowed to roam the earth (1 Peter 5: 8),
and yet to hold his throne in the atmosphere (Eph. 2: 2).
Yet, it seems more plausible to me that the millions of spirits that
inhabit our atmosphere, the emissaries of Satan with whom we meet so often,
are the souls of bad persons who once lived on earth.
It is a noticeable fact that, whoever these demons are, they are
always seeking refuge in some human beings; and this is a strong argument
in favor of their identity as human souls.
By this, I do not mean to teach that all men who have died in
wickedness are roaming about the earth as demons; but that certain classes of
them are so doing. Josephus gives
us as the orthodox Jewish opinion, that demons are no other than the souls of
bad men. The Christian fathers,
with very few exceptions, were of the same opinion.
It is taught, both in the Bible and in the classics, that the
“immortals” whom the heathen worshipped, were once men; and Paul declares
in 1 Cor. 10: 20, 21, that the sacrifices of the heathen made to these
“immortals,” were sacrifices to demons, and that their sacred feasts
were in honor of demons. This
seems to give us Scriptural grounds for believing that demons are what the
Jews and early Christian
SECOND COMING OF JESUS.
believed them to be, viz., the souls of wicked men who once lived on earth in
In the Old Testament we read much about demon worship.
“They shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils, after whom
they have gone a‑whoring.”—Lev. 17: 7.
“They sacrificed unto devils, not to God.”—Deut. 32: 17.
“He ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and
for the calves which he had made.”—2 Chron. 11: 15.
“Yea, they sacrificed unto devils.”—Psa. 106: 37.
The New Testament indicates that demon worship shall abound in the
latter days much more than in the former.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some
shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of
devils.” —1 Tim. 4: 1. “The
rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the
works of their hands, that they should not worship devils.”—Rev. 9:
20. Hundreds of years before
Christ, men worshipped demons; while Jesus was on earth they worshipped
demons; in the Gospel Dispensation they are worshipping demons; and they will
worship demons till this age shall end.
If we are correct in our identification of demons as human souls, it
follows that Antichrist himself is no more than a demon.
The Scriptures clearly state that Antichrist is one who did live, is
today in the bottomless pit, and will be resurrected during The Great
Tribulation. Perhaps one reason
why the people will so readily worship him when he appears is because the most
of them are worshipping him already. If
men have been so inclined to worship demons all through the ages, it is easy
to see how they will yield themselves to a demon that has been resurrected and
placed before their eyes. As
stated above, it appears that not all wicked men who have died are roaming the
earth today as demons. Some are
so terrible in their nature and work that God, in His mercy, withholds them
from the habitation of man. There
is coming a day, however, when the worst of them shall be let go, shall be
in the flesh, and shall be made rulers of this world.
Of all of those who shall be so manifest, Antichrist will be the chief
This brings us to a logical conclusion that Beelzebub and Antichrist
are the same. If demons be fallen
angels, then I can not believe that Beelzebub will be the Antichrist; but if
demons be the souls of the wicked dead, then I can not see how anyone can fail
to see that the two are one. From
the words of Jesus in Matt. 12: 26, many think that Beelzebub is Satan; but
the context does not necessitate such a conclusion.
If Beelzebub be a fallen angel, it is likely that he is inferior to
Satan. Whoever he be, it is clear
that he is a chief among the powers of darkness.
The fact that Beelzebub is “the prince of the demons” implies that
he has a kingdom. He is one in
authority. He is a ruler, a king.
This accords very closely with the idea of Antichrist.
Antichrist is a king, a prince of dead souls—of demons, a future
sovereign of this world. Each of
these princes is in direct opposition to Christ.
At one time when Jesus was casting out demons, the Pharisees accused
Him of casting them out by Beelzebub. This
was a fearful accusation indeed, and was the highest type of disrespect to
Christ. It was in connection with
this that Jesus spake that warning concerning blasphemy against the Holy
Ghost. There is such an
alienation between Christ and Beelzebub that it is blasphemy against the
Holy Ghost to attribute to Beelzebub the works that Christ does.
The Pharisees were blasphemers because they accused Christ of being
allied to Satan. Beelzebub
himself is a blasphemer because he claims to be allied with God, while at the
same time he is in colleague with hell. Antichrist
will come from hell with each of his heads covered with the names of blasphemy
(Rev. 13: 1). To join the
Antichrist, or to acknowledge his nefarious claim of divinity in the smallest
degree is the highest blasphemy against God, and such a sin can never be
pardoned. This thought
SECOND COMING OF JESUS.
out the idea farther that Beelzebub and Antichrist are one.
Having reached this point, we are prepared to look back into the Old
Testament and to see that the Antichrist of the Jewish Dispensation is the
same as that one who is to arise in the last days.
In the Old Testament we read: “Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in
his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick; and he sent messengers,
and said Unto them, Go, enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron whether I shall
recover of this disease. But the
angel of the Lord said unto Elijah the Tishbite, Arise, go up to meet the
messengers of the king of Samaria, and say unto them, Is it not because there
is not a God in Israel, that ye go to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron?
Now, therefore, thus saith the Lord, Thou shalt not come down from that bed on
which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.”—2 Ki. 1: 2‑4.
Baalzebub is the original form of Beelzebub.
Baalzebub was the Ekron god of flies. Before this we have stated that
one phase of antichristian religion consists in the worship of bugs, flies,
etc. There were certain animals,
bugs, and flies that this class of worshippers held sacred.
They believed that their gods dwelt in the bodies of insects.
Closely related to this doctrine was the doctrine of the
“Transmigration of Spirits.” By
this is meant that the human soul passed from one body to another.
In other words, it meant that at death the human soul passed into the
body of an animal or insect; at the death of that animal or insect the soul
passed on to another body, and so on “Zebub” means “dwelling”.
“Baalzebub” means “lord of those dwelling in bodies originally
not their own.” The
“Transmigration of Spirits” closely resembles the Bible doctrine of
demons. Antichrist himself is to
be resurrected, is to transmigrate from one body or state to another.
He is the lord of those who transmigrate, the prince of demons, the
Baalzebub of the Old Testament, and the Beelzebub of the
Testament. Hence, we see the
vivid contrast between Baalzebub and the Lord drawn in the text last quoted.
“Baalzebub” is a title applying to Baal, as it is easy to determine
from the word itself. “Baal”
is a word coming from the same from which “Babel” is derived.
As we have said before, “Baal” is a title applied to Nimrod after
his death. While Nimrod lived, he
was believed to be a god; after he died, he was reckoned among the
“immortals”. For years he was
worshipped as “Baal Nimrod.” Afterwards
“Nimrod” was dropped, and he became known as only “Baal.”
It seems probable that thousands of Nimrod’s followers died and
became “demons.” These demons
began seeking refuge in human bodies. Then
it was that Baal became “Baalzebub,” or “lord of dwellers.”
Many good men now believe that demons have some method of multiplying
their number. Viewing their
origin as I have in this article, it is easy to see how that their numbers are
daily increasing; taking any other view of their origin, the increase of their
numbers is wholly improbable.
It is a noticeable fact that demon worship and idol worship have always
associated with each other. In
the worship of Antichrist, demons and idols will be closely related (Rev. 9:
20). Thus we have given to our
readers what we deem to be the Bible view of the identity, the character, and
the work of Beelzebub.