|Unconscious Baal Worship|
Thomas Tillam - 1657|
Cmpr Righteousness by Faith
The Witness of Jeremiah
The Modern Prophets of Baal
Baal in Our Time
How does it occur?|
The Danger Ministries Can Be In
Notes & References
Baal has no power
The name `baal', by itself and not part of a city name, occurs 51 times in the Bible, starting with Numbers 22:41 to Romans 11:4. No one who has learned to confide in Bible truths would want to be misled and worship unknowingly a false god, a false Christ (Mt. 24:24) and a false Holy Spirit. To guard against such false worship we must know the past and learn from past experiences how to recognize false worship. The Bible passages and study statements are intended to help in this matter.
"How canst thou say, I am not polluted, I have not gone after Baalim? see thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done: thou art a swift dromedary traversing her ways; . . .
"And it shall come to pass, when thou shalt show this people all these words, and they shall say unto thee, Wherefore hath the LORD pronounced all this great evil against us? or what is our iniquity? or what is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?
"For according to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars to burn incense unto Baal. . . .
Do we indulge in such apostate worship when we burn candles on holidays and birthdays? As for me, I suspect doing that is mighty close to what Israel was doing and I shall refrain from doing it. The only reason to burn candles would be for light in a power outage or while camping, seems to me. Apostate worship was combined with the true worship of the Lord in His temple at Jerusalem:
"Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not;
And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? . . .
The religious leaders at the headquarters of the nation aided and propagated this apostasy:
The Witness of Malachi
Thank God He has promised to send Elijah before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
Defining Baal, a false Christ
. . . He would pretend to be the Christ! "The appearance of a false Christ will arouse delusive hopes in the minds of those who will allow themselves to be deceived." It will invoke the worship of self disguised as the worship of God. It evades the principle of the Cross but/or presents it without denying self.
He will endeavor to secure our allegiance and service through a misconception of the third angel's message in verity. Since that verity is the message of Christ's righteousness, it follows that Satan's final effort to deceive and allure us would be an attempt to infatuate us with Babylon's understanding of the "doctrine" or "tenet" of "justification and righteousness by faith". If he can first lead Babylon into the worship of a false Christ (Mt. 24:24); and then can lead us to mistake their doctrine of "faith in Christ" for the third angel's message in verity, he will have us, to all intents and purposes, confused with a false Christ, in spite of our verbal protestations.
The infatuation with a false Christ can become possible only as the knowledge of the true Christ is lost. In a previous chapter of another essay, it was found that involved in the rejection of light at Minneapolis was the spurning of the offer of a closer, more intimate relation to Christ Himself than had ever been offered any other people. Jesus Christ was "insulted." The following statements require a closer investigation than a merely platitudinous concept would justify:
"There are ancient parchments called "Palimpsests", the writing on which, having become faint through the ages, has been written over, thus effectually obliterating the ancient characters. So it is with the true Christ."
"It has been shown . . . that a false Christ, who completely hides from view all the distinctive features of the true Christ, has been substituted for Him."
"It has been shown . . . that a false Christ, who completely hides from view all the distinctive features of the true Christ, has been substituted for Him."[Ibid., p. 3.]
"It is not by the names given to them but only by their moral characteristics, that an unseen God or an unseen Christ can be known, and if the moral characteristics assigned to them are evil, the being worshipped and acknowledged are a false God and a false Christ. Thus Christ said to the Jews . . . "Of whom ye say that He is your God, yet ye know Him not," (Jh. 8:54,55) and that he whom they called their Father was not God, but the Devil (Jh. 8:44). So it was with the gods of the Pagans." [Ibid., p. 39.]
The Jews, who had for so many centuries received divine warnings against being deceived by a false god and a false Christ, finally put the true Christ to death in the name of God! So terribly confused can highly religious people become, when blinded by love of self.
It has already been noted that a false Christ can appear through misrepresentation, as well as through impersonation. In fact, the former would naturally precede the latter. Has he manifested himself in the teachings of modern Protestantism?
But it is very evident that there is nothing in Christianity, as it is presented to us in these days, that can produce such a result; nothing that can cause its followers to despise their very lives in this world; nothing which can produce "joy unspeakable and full of glory." (1.Pt. 1:8) But if there is not, and if Christianity is indeed of God, the conclusion is forced upon us that . . . it must in some way have become misrepresented; and the Christ who is its central figure, but who fails to attract, or to give rest to the earnest and sincere, cannot possibly be the true Christ . . .
At the Reformation, when some of the nations, awaking out of their long sleep, compared the doctrines of the received religion with those taught by Christ, it was found that they were directly opposed to each other, and that the old Paganism, under the cover of Christian names and incidents, had virtually taken its place.
What has occurred once may have occurred again, and the distinctive truths brought to light at the Reformation may perchance, during the last three hundred and fifty years have been similarly replaced by doctrines which, although possessing a verbal similarity to the truth, are in reality opposed to it." [Garnier I, pp. 4,5.]
It is Satan's effort through every conceivable means to confuse, mystify, becloud, and efface this view, with the result that a false Christ invariably takes the place of the true, This was John's meaning when he said, "Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God; and this is that spirit of anti-Christ."
"Thus, "the spirit of antichrist", by which a false Christ, without human weakness, temptation, and infirmities, is substituted for the true Christ, is the manifestation of the offence of the Cross, and it shows that this human weakness is still the same stumblingblock to belief in Him as of old, and that, like the Jews, the world still rejects the true Christ for a false Christ." [Garnier, I, p. 166.]
We may not argue that Christians today can safely assume they are saved, without the very real danger of a false Christ filling their self-satisfied spiritual vision. The fruit borne by such spiritual pride is not consistent with present truth.
It is characteristic of those who mistake the truth of Christ's human nature, confusing Him with some mysterious extra-human God who did not know our sinful flesh, to indulge in rapturous homilies on the fantasy of "oneness" with His person. "Christianity is Christ" they affirm, and if one has the Person, he has all there is to have, for the Person becomes personality to the "believer." There is a very subtle danger in such a doctrine that can lead to infatuation with a false Christ.
The real basis of "holiness by faith" as taught by a false evangelicalism is self-righteousness, cleverly disguised. Any unintelligent faith which "gets rid of all the distinctive doctrines of the Cross" is as helpless. It can lead only to the kind of spiritual confusion which admits a false Christ.
Thus, today Baal worship is a mistaking of the false Christ for the true Christ, and the confusion centers in the "Christian" experience of the "believer."
Since the natural effect of false doctrines concerning "righteousness by faith" is to lead souls to forget the true Christ and look to a false Christ, which itself causes confusion to the human mind, it follows that the ministers who teach these false doctrines must themselves be subjected to a terrible strain of conscience and reason, proportionate to their sincerity and honesty of heart.
The human organism of mind, nerves, and body was not designed by its Creator to believe a lie, and must in the process, therefore, if persisted in, result in its being "seared, as with a hot iron." Hence, the most pitiable victims of the worship of a false Christ are his ministers. As their desperation increases in their ministry, they can only mutilate themselves, as did the ancient prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel. It was for this reason that Jesus warned His disciples against the hypocrisy, or "leaven of the Pharisees"; the slightest amount retained in the experience of Christian ministers today can have only tragic consequences. The whole lump will eventually be leavened with the horrible hypocrisy of spiritual self-deception.
(3) The reader is reminded that Baal worship is something definitely not original with Israel, but is always imported from our neighbors. The very term "Babylon" signifying confusion, the reader will recognize that if present-day confusion is evident in our contemporary presentations of "righteousness by faith", it must, necessarily, indicate a Babylonian influence infiltrating our thinking and experience. Such confusion is the haze and mysticism which permits the entrance of a false Christ into the picture. "The enemy . . . has cast his shadow between us and our Saviour, that we may not discern what Christ is to us, or what He may be." [R&H, March 11, 1890.]
This alarming omission is not a mere matter of emphasis or lack of emphasis. The verbal mention of the Cross of Christ is as impotent, verily, as the wearing of a crucifix, unless Jesus Christ is set forth among our hearers, crucified among them, and by them, and their consciences aroused and their hearts broken. Let no SdA say that such preaching is fanaticism - there is no other preaching worthy of the name. Such a presentation alone can bring forth the "hearing of faith" which is genuine repentance, falling upon the Rock, and being broken. The omission of such preaching of a false Christ, because any Cross-less Christ is a false Christ, a modern Baal. The preaching of such a Christ is circumcision - ultimately it is dependence upon the works of the flesh, in which preaching there is no offence, only the "beatings" and "dressing-downs" which the modern religious self has been disciplined to rather enjoy.
A natural consequence of talking about Christ without the word is to lead to the glorification of His person. Yet the "flesh profiteth nothing", and representations of it profit nothing, as well. Historical scenes from Bible history which involve pictorial representations of Christ cannot be condemned, for the pictures re-create the event for the imagination. (Good preaching is much more effective, however.) But portraits of Christ can plead no such justification whatever, sentimental tales of sin-hardened sailors and others finding "Him" thereby notwithstanding. One of Baal's chief attractions is his beauty of person, and many artists have painted him. Others have painted a modern Tammuz, in an attempt to induce people to weep for him. "The Twelve Stations of the Cross" in Roman Catholic churches are an example of the use to which pictures can be put, whereby a false Christ motivates the histrionic emotions of the human heart, but leaves it in quite an unbroken spiritual condition, so far as genuine love for the true Christ is concerned.
The erroneous teachings which have taken the place of a clear understanding of the message of Christ's righteousness are traceable directly to the practical omission of the Cross from our present concept of justification and righteousness by faith. The idea of expiation is partly and secondarily responsible. Spiritual love of self, however, is primarily responsible. The spurning of the unwelcome thought of true and ultimate self-crucifixion opened the way for a misunderstanding of the purpose of the crucifixion of Christ. Nearly every species of erroneous teaching concerning Christian experience which has beset us since the Minneapolis era has its root in this omission of the true understanding of the atonement (See here) and of the principle of the Cross. It should be recognized that this practical omission of the Cross, both for Christ and the believer, is evidence that a false Christ has infiltrated the thinking and faith of modern Israel, in proportion as "we" failed to discern or recognize the true Christ.
Another characteristic of modern prophets of Baal is their lack of courage to stand forth boldly for what they are convicted in their souls is truth. The omission of the principle of the Cross from their Christian experience is the cause of this cowardice, which is falsely represented to be "patience" or broad-mindedness. There are still today many who secretly believe on Him, but because of the Pharisees do not confess, lest they should be put out of the fraternity. For they love the praise of men more than the praise of God. Thus a love of majority-opinions, and a fear of singularity, are inevitable effects of Baal-worship.
Baal in Our Time
Anything which tends to the idea that people can be a god themselves in order to center their lives around pleasure (appetite), thus echoing the words of the snake when leading man into sin.
Ideas which say, true knowledge places man above all law; that whatever is good is right; that God does not condemn and that all sins which are committed are innocent.
The idea that we are accountable only to ourselves.
Multitudes of sermons on the love of God while denying the justice of God.
The neglect of the pulpit to promulgate the divine law thus underrating the evil of sin.
Satan has substituted the sinful, erring nature of man himself as the only object of adoration, the only rule of judgment, or standard of character.
The `live as you please' ideas lead to universalism - the idea that all churches are equally right and good; all have truth and we will all go to heaven.
The idea that sin is inevitable in your life; it is not.
While it is easy to talk about Baal worship in ancient times, today's Baal worship is much worse and takes place just about in every family house on earth, in apartments, offices, churches, even in your very hands as you do your daily appointments. Baal worship shuts out the possibility that God can reach you through the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Modern technology is designed to drown out the voice of God and cut off your connection with God.
Satan has worked long and hard to give the type of wisdom to man that leads to perdition. Man uses a thousand ways as excuse why he or she must partake of this service to Baal.
They may think, `Oh, my work requires it.' `I must be informed to what is happening.' `I use it to stay in touch.' `I love it because it is educational.' ... and more excuses could be added.
Yes, the culprit are all those electronic media flooding the markets like a flood. For each person there may be some worse than others. Television is Satan's appointed medium to lead the world captive. The presentation of sound and pictures in living color beguiles people and they can hardly pull themselves away once they start imbibing. Men and women, boys and girls, have become Baal worshipers of the worst kind.
Why should TV be so bad? Because you do not control what is shown. The world controls the media. Because it is very difficult to pray a prayer to Almighty God after you heard or saw something sinful which comes at you several times a day unexpectedly. Video programming is full of sinful twists and of the highest danger to a supposed follower of Christ and many will not be in heaven because they have not conquered it.
No. It is not only television. Computers and cell phones are also very addictive and rob people of natural discourse with people right next to them. Bringing a cell phone into a worship service is probably a very carnal sin. It is like pre-meditating that if it alerts me I will go out of the worship service and answer it for any reason. That is sin. On God's appointed day we are not to do what?
We are not to do what is in our own heart, but regard and serve only God, Isa. 58:13; Jer. 18:12.
I know, it took me a great while to eliminate these idols myself. I finally did and a calm and quiet comes into the house I used to have as a child. My parents never had a TV or telephone when we were growing up. While we were unable to communicate often and quickly, our mind was less cluttered by visual and sound bits which follow you for long periods of time after you turned away. Certain images can follow you for years. That is why we must have put these things away yesterday.
What ought to be our response? Probably that of Mary, where it says, "Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart," and then act upon them so God can say of us as He did about Jesus, who "increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man." Luke 2:19,52.
True versus False Worship
A few years ago I visited northern India on the way to the Taj Mahal. We stopped by several native religious centers, mostly Hindu temples were people would come and go all day long to bring their gifts of money and little presents like flowers. They are proud of these colorful and richly decorated temples. But when you look at it, the adoration and worship is directed to a god made of stone, just a motionless, dead piece of finely and skillfully crafted stone. The natives will tell you, that it helps them to relate to their god. It helps them to see their god, to be religious. So we ask, `What does the Bible say about how we are to worship God?'
Our planet earth was especially created by God for us to live on. Thus we live on God's earth, who owns everything we see. But how do we worship God? Do we worship the great Creator the same way it is done in those many temples, or in another way?
The Danger Successful Ministries Can Be In
There are some very successful ministries operating today, which fit Proverbs 28:9. So how can one convict such of the need to come in line with the Word of God?
Here is what assures them that they are part of God's gospel family - and they may be, according to what they know. However, some of these ministries insulate themselves from all influences except the message they bring to the world. - They just won't read anything else.
They may say things like,
While they do a great work in their field, they also have some untruths about the Word of God included in their message. Can Christ dwell together with unrighteousness?
They say for instance, yes, God created all things (Rev. 4:11), but they circle around and avoid studiously to quote from the Law of God. Why? Because some push the view which states, "Christians must be aware of any changes to the gospel of God's saving grace in Christ. Satan promotes legalism, as well as license (Gal. 5:1-4, 13-14). So Christians must guard their lives by following God's truth and depending upon the Holy Spirit, lest their sinful desires overrule God's will."
The message certainly sounds good and true. But somehow, when I read `Satan promotes legalism,' without defining it, this suspicion comes to mind that in that concept there is a very subtle denial of the law of God included. What is a yoke of bondage? Well, of course Protestant churches from 140 years ago and after, made this message their war cry against the seventh day Sabbath keepers. That spirit still lingers when we read about `legalists' or `legalism.' Apparently they do not consider that today, among Christians the type of legalism which permeated Judaism in the days of Christ is not there. That type of legalsim is written up in the books of the Jewish rabies and teachers. Today a greater problem is `illegalism', the disobedience to the law of God. Legalists do keep the law, but illeglists do trespass the law.
"God's saving grace" is another hurdle. The understanding about God's grace is that it somehow is in conflict with His law. How can that be? God calls law and grace through His mouth pieces, "my law" (Ex. 20:6) and "my grace" (2.Cor. 12:9), so how can there be a conflict between grace and law since they come from the same source? What is the answer? The answer is, there is not conflict whatever, the problem is people's mistaken understanding. There is a false concept of what these words mean included. It is their hidden and yet determining factor why they disrespect God's holy seventh day Sabbath. They fail to see that their Sunday is an illegal day to keep as a day for worship.
The Bible defines who God's people are in a few scriptures quite well. "But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings." Mal. 4:2. Who are those who fear, reverence, worship God, for them there is a heaven, a crown of life to win. But to the overcomer only is the reward given. He who gains heaven must be clothed with the robe of righteousness. "Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." In the character of Christ there was no discord of any kind. Thus the term righteousness relates to the life of Christ and only Christ can give us His righteousness on account that we accept Him as our Savior and pattern our life according to His life while ministering on earth until He died on the cross. So does it come as no surprise that the Bible says, "Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth." ". . . for all thy commandments are righteousness." Psalm 119:142, 172b. Next, according to the Bible, who will be in heaven? We read, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10. - Thus we recognize that those who came to the cross of Christ to confess, repent and accept His salvation, and live a life according to His pattern - including the keeping of all of his commandments, will receive the white robe of His righteousness, will have a place in heaven. So, Christians, what are God's criteria after you came to the foot of the Cross and accepted Christ? That you study His word for yourself, gather in all you can and when you come to crossroads like tithing, clean living, doctrines like the state of the dead, the Sabbath - take great care not to turn against the counsels of His word, and accept the truths not based what you want to be true, but what is taught in His word and you should have no problem unless you have a hard time understanding terminology, etc. - What we studied briefly shows, that those who are in heaven will keep the 10 commandments of God as you read them in Exodus 20. Find a church that keeps all ten, and you are on your way to walk in harmony with Jesus.
In the first we read, Why?
Because the Bible knows only the seventh day Sabbath as a day for worshipping our Creator God.
All heaven worships God on His holy day, not man's.
Each week Sunday idolizers are one day too late. Yet, their own holy day, they hardly know when to start and end it.
They wonder, do we start it at sunset Saturday night? Do we end it when we get out of church? They rob God of the praise and worship He deserves each week.
They may do this unconsciously, nevertheless, they all have Bibles and ought to be able to figure it out for themselves.
Not only that, they also have Lexica, Encyclopedias and such which would tell them where Sunday comes from.
Can't they read?
So what must happen?
Professed believers in things pertaining to the Word of God, must not be so narrowly just do their thing. The Word of God calls His followers to continually and always, proof from the Word of God, like the Bereans did, all things pertaining to faith, salvation and consumation.
Today's Christian churches seem to assume that they are in line with the Word of God. Just think, millions think they are ok - while in most of history God says about the inhabitants of the world, why have you fallen so far away from me? Come to your senses! Come back to the Word.
To come back to the Word of God we must study more than David and Goliath, more than Genesis 1 through 11, more than the teachings of the evangelists, more than Paul or John and all those great topics, we must study all of the books in the Bible and check if we truly are in line with all of the truths about God and His kingdom. Well, sometimes, may be even frequently, that means that we must check the Word of God not only as we read it in our English Bibles, we must also consult the Hebrew and Greek, as we demonstrate below.
Start: Genesis 2:2-3
Middle: Isaiah 66:12 - 18 - 23 - 24
Jesus: Mark 2:28.
Paul most likely: Hebrews 4:9: "There remaineth therefore the keeping of the Sabbath for the people of God." 
Heaven: Just notice how frequently the number seven is highlighted by John the Revelator in his whole book, that ought to cause Christians to think of the ways of God!! - Revelation 12:17; 14: 7, 12 - 21:1-10b, 11 - 22 - 27 - 23: 1 - 19 - 21.
What about those who say they seek to unite the minds of people and faiths as depending one on another; as `interdependent' in a `joyful experience?' What does the Bible say? Jesus said, "Without me, you can do nothing." John 15:5. Are we to look to other religions for guidance? No. We are only to look to Jesus and how He is presented in the word of God. The word of God says to come out of all these multitudes of religions which do not teach the straight testimony, the three angels messages, but instead present Babylonian doctrines. It says, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." Ps. 119:11. So we ask, what unites all these other religions leading them to want to stay in Babylon? What is the cement that unites them with great strength? They may not know it yet that the Sunday law will provide the "cement."
Thus, the movement today to get together in love and unity while excusing sin is one of the last deceptions Satan will bring upon this world. It is the sins of the Nicolaitans (Nicolaus, = Nimrod) which say, `I am saved by grace and God accepts me just the way I am. Don't worry about changing.' According to this new theology you can be saved while you are still in your sins. No. Nothing of sin will enter into heaven, for its says, "to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." Rev. 2:6,7. In cooperation with God's appointed means we are to overcome our life in sin, and become a born again person. Being born again means, no sign of sin is left in such a person for they cooperate with God and live now according to what His word says. Thus we know, this new theology is not new at all, Satan has used it for thousands of years.
We read, "When the religion of Christ is most held in contempt, when His law is most despised, then should our zeal be the warmest and our courage and firmness the most unflinching. To stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority forsake us, to fight the battles of the Lord when champions are few - this will be our test." 
"But whoso listens to me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil." Prov. 1:33.
Notes & References
 The Message of Elijah
What day is that? It is the day of the Second Coming, when Jesus comes again.
God's people will be persecuted because they preach the Elijah message. And you can identify the true movement of God, because they preach the same message that Elijah preached, on a world wide scale, to every nation, kindred, tongue and people.
They have the same message, the same enemies, the same persecution.
 The 4th commandment of God's unchangable law requires the observance of the 7th day Sabbath. This day is at the same time a memorial of creation and a sign of sanctification, a sign of the believer's rest from his own works of sin, and his entrance into the rest of soul which Jesus promises to those who come to Him. (Gen. 2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11; 31:12,17; Hebr. 4:1-10).
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