Apologetics, Bible, End times, Main, Teaching, z51
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The Spirit of Baal in the end times


Temple of Bel (Baa)l at Palmyra, Syria prior to its destruction by ISIS in 2015 Credit: Egisto Sani/Flickr/Creative Commons

Temple of Bel (Baal) at Palmyra, Syria before its destruction by ISIS in 2015 Credit: Egisto Sani/Flickr/Creative Commons

A strange thing happened in 2016, a company manufactured full-scale 3-d replicas of the gates of a Temple of Baal that once stood in Palmyra, Syria. ISIS destroyed the 2,000 year old temple in 2015.

They installed arches this past spring in Trafalgar Square in London, England and later on September 19, 2016 at Times Square in New York City.

The 48′ foot arch from the Baal temple has certainly proved controversial. Some wonder if it provided an opening or portal for the spirit of Baal in these two countries, much in the same way the building of temples for Baal and Asherah would have done in ancient Israel when Queen Jezebel set them up.

In his article proposing this on Charisma News, author Michael Snyder suggests the setting up of the arch may have contributed to the rise in violence in America that we are recently seeing.

Or maybe it is all just one big coincidence.

Or, perhaps it is just a sign of the times — an indication of what is already happening in the spiritual realm as this spirit rises in prominence in association with Jezebel.

In an earlier post, I wrote on the Apostle John’s warnings to seven churches of Asia –Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea — recorded in the first three chapters of the Book of Revelation

Embedded in these messages were warnings of spiritual attacks that were coming against the church. Because of the book’s prophetic nature many believe these were battles churches and the world would face leading up to the second coming of Christ.

In his letter to the church at Thyatira, John warned about Jezebel who was pretending she was a prophet and leading some into sexual immorality:

20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. (Revelation 2:20 NASV)

Many believe this is not referring to an actual woman named Jezebel, but rather a spirit of Jezebel that first manifested itself in the Old Testament account of King Ahab’s marriage to a Phoenician princess named Jezebel.

In a matter of a few years, she usurped control from Ahab and was effectively running the nation. It was a spiritual overthrow of the country from within.

But we can’t fully understand what happened at that time without looking at Jezebel’s allies in this invasion.

When she married Ahab, Jezebel brought with her 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the goddess Asherah. She set up temples to these two idols in Israel’s two capital cities — Baal at Samaria and Asherah at the main palace where Ahab and Jezebel resided in Jezreel  (1 Kings 16:32-33; 1 Kings 18:19).

Who was Baal?

Baal was a Canaanite deity that Israel encountered when they conquered the Promised Land. This god was often portrayed as a calf or bull suggesting the idol that the Israelis built while Moses was up the mountain receiving the ten commandments was none other than Baal (Exodus 32:1-4).

Moses warned Israel of these gods and idols stating that they were simply physical representations for demons or evil spirits. This is who they would worship if they chose idols over Jehovah.

“They made Him jealous with strange gods;
With abominations they provoked Him to anger.
17 They sacrificed to demons who were not God,
To gods whom they have not known,
New gods who came lately,
Whom your fathers did not dread. (Deuteronomy 32:16-17 NASV)

So if there are evil spirits associated with this Baal idol, then the establishment of a Temple of Baal would provide an open door for these spirits in Israel. It is also not a coincidence that Jezebel built these temples in Israel’s two government cities — places of power — where satan could maximize his influence.

Baal was considered the supreme deity in the Canaanite religion and led a council of lesser gods.

The word Baal means lord, owner, master, husband and this spirit seeks to exert control and ownership of people.

This is the spirit of Baal’s goal — enslave people.

How the Jews perceived Baal

In the Old Testament, the Jews mocked Baal by calling it Beelzebub (2 Kings 1:2-3, 6, 16). This derogatory term literally means flies  — Baal was ‘Lord of the flies.’ Some believe because flies were attracted to dung, that was the underlying meaning.

This description shows up again in the New Testament. When Jesus gained a reputation because of His ability to cast out demons, the Jews accused the Lord of being possessed by the spirit of Beelzebub:

22 The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.”  (Mark 3:22 NASV)

In this accusation the Jews were also calling the demon behind Baal as the ‘ruling’ evil spirit or satan himself. And Jesus confirmed this when He responded by saying:

“How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. (Mark 3:23-24 NASV)

This suggests Baal was a manifestation of the highest authority in the demonic realm.

Characteristics of Baal

But if Baal is making a push for control in 2016 how would he do it? We can maybe see this in some of things he was noted for in ancient times.

I. Weather god

As we study the Canaanite religion, we see the unique way Baal exerted control — he was considered the god of the weather and is often portrayed in drawings with thunderbolts in his hand.

The Amorites considered Baal the god of spring, summer, fall and winter. Baal brought the spring rains that ensured good crops. Baal was a fertility god the Canaanites needed to appease to ensure good weather and good crops.

And there are indications that evil spirits may have some ability to control the weather. When God gave Satan permission to test Job, one of the testings involved a great wind that flattened a home where Job’s children were living (Job 1:18-19). Though we are not told explicitly that Satan caused the wind, it is implied.

We see this belief about Baal at play in the prophet Elijah’s run in with the 450 prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18:20-40). Israel was in the midst of a multi-year drought that God had brought on the country due to its fall into sin under the evil King Ahab and his wife Jezebel (1 Kings 18:1-2).

Stele (granite slab) at the Louvre Museum with an image of Baal holding a thunderbolt carved on it. Credit: Jastrow/Wikipedia

Stele (granite slab) at the Louvre Museum with an image of Baal holding a thunderbolt carved on it. Credit: Jastrow/Wikipedia

In his battle to win the hearts of the people back to Jehovah, Elijah challenged the 450 prophets of Baal to a contest. They would create an altar and see if Baal or Jehovah could set it on fire without human help.

Whoever did this was the true God. Elijah understood that Jehovah was the God who controlled weather, not some idol (Psalm 68).

The prophets of Baal jumped on this challenge because throwing down thunder bolts from heaven would be second nature to Baal.

Undoubtedly the Baal prophets had told the people of Israel that it was Baal who caused the drought and he was the god the people needed to appease to end it.

The prophets of Baal went first and danced, prophesied, shouted and called out to Baal to set fire to the altar. However, as the day dragged on and nothing happened they became more desperate and began to cut themselves with knives, causing blood to spill, to entice Baal to act (1 Kings 18:28-29).

It didn’t happen. And finally then Elijah doused the altar with water called on God and a fire consumed the altar and sacrifice.

So is this characteristic of Baal manifesting in the end times —  if in fact we are in the end times?

Perhaps.

Since the early 1970s weather has become one of the major emphasis of our time. During the seventies environmentalists warned if we didn’t cut our dependence of oil that an ice age was looming.

Then in the 90’s a new theory appeared which has gained much more ground — again weather related. Man-made global warming traced to CO2 emissions caused by our use of oil is now reported daily on the front pages of newspapers and websites around the world.

Governments are demanding people make huge sacrifices to stop global warming. They want to control how we live.

Through fear of weather, Baal tried to exert control over the Canaanites. Is the same thing happening today?

I don’t know.

2. Control

But the second thing Baal wants to do is control the people. He wants to be their master.

Earlier this year, one movie star publicly stated that no one should be allowed to run for political office if they don’t embrace the  man-made global warming agenda. Many believe it was a not so subtle jab at then Presidential candidate Donald Trump who is not convinced of the man-made global warming agenda.

A few years back, a prominent Canadian global warming activist suggested any politician who didn’t believe in man-made global warming should be thrown in jail.

Apparently a person who does not believe in man-made global warming can’t be a good leader.

Is this an issue of leadership or control?

In many ways, communism at its variants is the ultimate manifestation of the spirit of Baal at a political level as it seeks to control and enslave people. For more on this read my article: Was Karl Marx and the rise of communism influenced by Satan?

You may have heard of Dr. Patrick Moore. He was one of the founders of the environmentalist group Green Peace. During its early days, Moore was the only member that held a PhD in environmental studies. But he eventually left the organization he started.

In his book, Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist, Moore explains why.

He blamed it on communists/social activists who had infiltrated the environmental/man-made global warming movement after the decline of communism with the fall of the Berlin wall. Moore writes:

The collapse of world communism and the fall of the Berlin Wall during the 1980’s added to the trend toward extremism. The Cold War was over and the peace movement was largely disbanded. The peace movement had been mainly Western-based and anti-American in its leanings. Many of its members moved into the environmental movement, bringing with them their neo-Marxist, far-left agendas. To a considerable extent the environmental movement was hijacked by political and social activists who learned to use green language to cloak agendas that had more to do with anticapitalism and antiglobalization than with science or ecology. I remember visiting our Toronto office in 1985 and being surprised at how many of the new recruits were sporting army fatigues and red berets in support of the Sandinistas.

Is  man-made global warming  being used to drive the political agenda of an ‘ism’ obsessed with control?

But John also warns churches about the Jezebel spirit. What could this be referring to?

I believe the spirit of Baal can also affect the leadership of a church. Jesus taught that to be a leader in the Kingdom of God, you must be a servant to the people (Matthew 20:25-26).

But when the spirit of Baal successfully influences a congregation’s leadership, the message changes and people become the servants of the leaders. Leaders began to lord it over the flock.

Verses begin popping up in sermons about “touch not my anointed” implying that anyone who questions the authority of the anointed leader is resisting God. They begin to lord it over the congregation and in extreme cases a cult can form.

It is a sign of the end-times.

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