Belial is a transliteration from the Hebrew Beliya‘al, which means “worthless one” (Deuteronomy 13:13; Judges 19:22; 1 Samuel 2:12). The etymology of the word is often understood as “lacking worth.” Alternate spellings include Baalial, Balial, Belhor, Beliall, Beliar, Berial, Bylyl and Beliya’al.
The word “Belial” is given in Deuteronomy 15:9 as “wicked,” in 2 Samuel 22:5 and Psalm 18:4 as “ungodly men,” in Job 34:18 and Nahum 1:11 as “wicked,” and in Psalm 41:8 as “evil.” Some suggest that Belial comes from Beli ‘ol, meaning “without yoke,” where the meaning is the same. This word is used twenty-six times in the Old Testament.
Among the Apocryphal literature of the times in the Old Testament, Belial is mentioned in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs. Also, the Book of Jubilees, teaches that Belial was one of the demons who followed Satan. And the Sibylline Oracles teach that this being will be the Antichrist who deceives the Samaritans. The author John Milton mentions in the Paradise Lost writings, that Belial was the last demon to fall and the most wicked. This evil angel is also mentioned in the Lesser Key of Solomon, which is an anonymous magical book on demonology.
Christ the Antithesis of Belial
Belial became the personification of evil – the devil, Satan, or the man of lawlessness. Christ and Belial are the opposing leaders in the great battle between good and evil (Revelation 12:7–9; 20:7–9). Christ represents all that is righteous, whereas Satan represents all that is unrighteous. Christ is the Prince of light (John 1:9; 8:12) and Satan is the prince of darkness and the ruler of this world (Colossians 1:13). The most wicked one appears as an angel of light to deceive the world (2 Corinthians 11:14).
The word Belial is also used for the followers of Satan (Deuteronomy 15:9, 1 Samuel. 25:25; 30:22; Psalms 41:8), who are the sons of darkness (John 3:19; Ephesians 5:11). These sons of Belial walk in sin now, and their destiny will be eternal death (Matthew 22:13; 25:30; 2 Peter 2:17; 1 John 1:6; Jude 13).
On the other hand, Christ’s followers are called the sons of light (Matthew 5:14; John 12:36; Ephesians 5:8). They walk in God’s path, and their destiny is the city of light, where there is no darkness at all (John 12:35, 36; 1 Thessalonians 5:4, 5; 1 John 1:5–7; Revelation 22:5).
Thus, all the world is lined up either behind Christ or Satan (1 Peter 5:8–9; Revelation 12:11). In the great battle for the souls of humanity, there is no middle ground. He who is not with Christ is with the deceiver. Jesus said, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad” (Matthew 12:30).
God sets before men life and death and urges them to choose life. But He does not interfere with their bad choices, nor does He protect them from its natural results. Joshua’s last appeal to God’s people was: “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
Therefore, those who want heaven must be willing, despite all hardships, to act as the best do and not as the most do. Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it” (Matthew 7:13).
God Gives Victory
The good news is that God gives people both the will and the ability to do good (Philippians 2:13). First, God provides the stimulus that urges the hearts to be saved. Then, He helps the believers to make the decision to accept salvation. And finally, He also provides the converted with the power to make the decision effective so that salvation is achieved. Thus, God provides all the needed strength for man’s use. “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15;57).
In His service,
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