TAKING 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







fathers believed them to be, viz., the souls of wicked men who once lived on earth in the flesh.

     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 mani­-






fested 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 or prince.

     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







bears 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







New 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.