Church of God, New World Ministries

Baal - The God Of Modern Christianity

Very few professing Christians know why they observe the days they do. Why is it men all over the world observe so many different days of worship? So many foolish customs?

Where did this world’s holidays come from? Were they established by and on the authority of God Almighty?

What Bible authority is there for the customs and traditions of the churches today? What about Easter with its hot cross buns, bunnies and Easter eggs?

What about Christmas with it’s red-nosed reindeer, Santa Clause and gift trading. Did these days come from the Bible? Why are professing Christians observing days which are nowhere commanded in the Bible? Days neither Jesus nor the disciples kept.

Since the founder of Christianity (Jesus Christ) didn’t keep them, how did they become dignified by the name Christian? Who conspired to have them replace the days God made holy? How did all this happen?

It was God who created time, it was man who abused it!

When God created the heavens and the earth, God said: “Let there be light in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years” (Gen. 1:14).

The earth’s rotation regulates the length of a day, the lunar phases indicate the length of a month. And the orbit of the earth around the sun dictates the length of a year.

Now, since God created time, He alone has the authority to set aside certain days for worship to make them holy.

We many not realize it, but God put within man the desire to observe days. It is a basic drive in man. That is why every tribe, every nation, every religion singles out certain times of worship.

But without God’s own instruction, man can’t know which days God Himself made holy! God has not left His worship to human whim, dependent upon human ideas, human traditions!

“In vain (the word vain means folly or to no purpose) do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15:9). From this one verse we can see that it is possible to actually worship God to venerate the name of Jesus Christ, and still do it to no purpose.

“Full well you reject the commandment of God (why do they do this) so that you may keep your own traditions” (Mark 7:9). The end result of such teaching: “making the Word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered” (v. 13).

Just as Satan deceived men into pagan Sunday observance instead of keeping God’s Sabbath day, Satan has instituted his holidays. They are counterfeits, as counterfeit as Satan himself.

These holidays were contrived to hide God’s Supreme Master Plan. Pagan holidays are made to appear happy times, times to enjoy yourself. But in reality, they are really only pain killers designed to cover up the empty ritualism of today’s counterfeit Christianity.

Why is it that no one in the world, it seems, questions Satan’s days, they just assume them to be Christian?

Satan’s pagan holidays are nothing more than a diabolical scheme to plunge a deceived mankind down the broad way to eternal death. Satan wants people to believe you can flaunt God’s commands, trample His holy days underfoot and worship in whatever way you choose.

Satan’s ministers object to keeping God’s holy days, they like to say: “It doesn’t make any difference which days you observe; all days are holy to God, worship on whatever days that seems right to you.”

These lying ministers are the direct tools of Satan. But God tells us we must choose whom we will serve: “If the Lord be God, serve Him. But if Baal, then follow him.”

If Satan be God then keep Easter, Christmas, Hallowe’en. But if the Creator is the Living God then we had better keep holy the days He made holy!

It does make a difference what days we observe, it is a matter of eternal life or eternal death.

What makes this hard to understand is there are people in modern Christianity, who know these days are pagan, but still stubbornly refuse to stop observing them.

Now, some will ask why didn’t God warn us in the Bible that pagan holidays would be substituted for His holy days? The answer is He did.

“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many” (Matt. 24:11). Remember Christ is talking about the end time!

False ministers have cleverly adopted the name of Christ as a cloak for their false doctrines. Jesus Said, “Many shall come in my name” purporting to be Christians saying, “I am Christ” even teaching that Jesus is the Christ, “and shall deceive many” (Matt. 24:5).

Very early in the New Testament times, the Apostle Paul found false teachers pretending to be Christians and even pretending to be apostles. “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel: for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” (II Cor. 11:13-14).

(In Revelation 2: 2, 6) the apostle John writes. Among the Church of God at Ephesus some of these false ministers, falsely calling themselves Christ’s apostles had been discovered. But how were these false apostles discovered, by their fruits?

“But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate” (v. 6). Just who were these Nicolaitanes? A Nicolaitane is a follower of Nicolas. The name Nicolas is derived from the Greek words, nikos and laos. Nikos means the conqueror or destroyer and laos means people.

Nicolas was merely the Greek word for Nimrod, the original arch-rival of God who conquered the people and founded man-made religion within two centuries after the Flood.

When Nimrod was alive he put himself in place of God by his dictatorial rule. When this man died the people continued to worship him as a divine hero. They called him Baal Baal means mater or lord.

But Baal wasn’t Nimrod’s only name in Babylon he was known as Tammuz, in Syria and Greece, Adonis, which means lord. In Egypt he was the god Osiris. All these names were used to disguise his true identity.

Another of his names was Santa, this name was commonly used throughout Asia Minor. (See Lanagers’ An Encyclopedia of World History, p. 37.)

So, is there any connection between Nimrod who was called Santa in Asia Minor, and ‘Saint’ Nicolas of Asia Minor ‘Santa Claus’?

Santa Claus is but a shortened form of Santa Nicolas or Saint Nicholas. So, the followers of St. Nicholas or Nimrod are termed Nicolaitans in the New Testament. Now, remember, these people called themselves Christians but they continued to honor Nimrod in the days of the apostle John, just as they do today.

You will see how Satan has deceived men into worshipping Nimrod, all the while calling himself the Saviour!

Nimrod was opposed to God. The phrase “a mighty hunter before the Lord” in the Hebrew indicates he has set himself in opposition to and in the place of the Lord. Nimrod was the world’s first despot.

Josephus, a prominent Jewish historian says of him: “Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God. He also gradually changed the government into tyranny” (Ant. Bk. I, Chap. IV. Part 2).

What more did Nimrod do in rebellion against God? Genesis 11:1-9, compared with Genesis 10:10. Wasn’t Nimrod’s first city Babel or Babylon?

Again, notice the testimony of Josephus: “He (Nimrod) also said he would be revenged on God, if He should have a mind to drown the world again; for he would build a tower too high for the waters to be able to reach!” Nimrod claimed to be the “saviour” of mankind, saving them from God! Such was his blasphemy!

The people he had conquered now followed him. “Now the multitude were very ready to follow the determination of Nimrod.”

Nimrod taught that it was wrong or cowardice to submit to God and His laws, this was the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes.

In Revelation 17:5 we see that God names or labels this false religious system by its city of origin: “And upon her forehead was a name written: mystery Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.”

And we can see from Revelation 18:1-8 that this system has been perpetuated down to our day today.

Since the time of Babel and continuing into our modern 21st century, the false religion of Nimrod has dominated the world. Today his religion bears Christian names, but it is still pagan in practices and purposes.

In Genesis 11:8 we see that God scattered the nations at Babel. So, sometimes after the death of Nimrod, his followers continued their rebellion in secret. They developed symbolism called the Mysteries. This pagan system hinged on the careful re-naming of all phases of their worship. In order to deceive the people, the priest of Nimrod began calling their wicked customs by names which seemed to honor God Himself!

Nimrod took the name “lord” which translated into Hebrew became Baal, and into Greek Adonis.

Nimrod’s wicked mother/wife, known to historians as Semiramis, took the name of the “Mother of God,” and was worshipped as Ishtar the mother goddess of dawn or light (Lempriere’s Classical Dictionary, article, “Adonis”). Her new name, “Ishtar,” was pronounced just as we pronounce the word “Easter” in English. She was worshipped in the spring, her feast day a rite of fertility!

In the 18th chapter of Leviticus you can read just how widespread the worship of Nimrod and Semiramis had become in the time of Moses and what God says about it.

God warned Israel to avoid the ways of Egypt, a land filled with pagan customs and traditions and do not adopt the customs of Canaan while they were in the wilderness (v. 3).

Why was God against the practices of the heathen? They had defiled the very land they lived in. “You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you. For all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled. Lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it as it vomited out the nations that were before you. Therefore, you shall keep My ordinance, so that you do not commit any of these abominable customs which were committed before you and that you do not defile yourselves by them I am the Lord your God” (Lev. 18:26-30).

God punished these heathen nations who defiled themselves by practicing pagan customs. And He cast them out of the land so Israel could inhabit it.

What was the penalty for observing the customs of the heathen?

“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Again, you shall say to the children of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell in Israel, who gives any of his descendants to Molech, he shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones” (Lev. 20:1-2).

God is no respecter of persons. Whichever people practice pagan customs and defile themselves on pagan holidays, He punishes. Read Deut. 8:19-20.

So, we see that the penalty for sin is the same today. And God says “I change not” (Mal. 3:6). He still exacts the death penalty the second death for observing pagan customs.

In the Old Testament Israel, the civil government of the nation executed sinners. Today, God Himself places the guilty person under the spiritual penalty of eternal death!

Many today assume that because they have always worshipped on pagan days and are still alive, they have somehow escaped the death penalty! But Jesus Christ is about to return with the sharp two-edged sword of God’s Word to condemn and execute those who assume they can flaunt God’s law and not pay with their lives!

God instructed His people to keep the holy days God had revealed to them: “You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the Lord your God” (Lev. 18:4-5).

Among the statutes God has given Israel are the Holy Days, these days reveal the way to salvation and eternal life to those who keep them (Lev. 23:14, 21, 31, and 41). (If you would like to learn more about these Holy Days send for our Mini-series, “God’s Master Plan of salvation.”)

God promised to bless Israel abundantly if they would keep His Holy Days (Lev. 26:1-13 and would suffer punishment if they broke them (vs. 14-39).

But, it just wasn’t in the heart of Israel to always obey God: “Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep My commandments that it might be well with them and with their children forever” (Deut. 5:29).

The prophet Jeremiah tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked who can know it” (Jere. 17:9).

On December 25, 2018, people around the world celebrated a pagan custom call Christmas.

Christmas was celebrated in Rome long before the birth of Jesus Christ. They were called the Saturnalia.

Toward the end of December, the Romans set aside several days to celebrate the winter solstice, when the sun reached the lowest point in the heavens, and the days were shortest. The high point of this solar festival was the Saturnalia.

Notice how the customs of Saturnalia are the same identified with Christmas today.

“In private the day (Saturnalia) began with the sacrifice of a young pig, all ranks devoted themselves to feasting and mirth, presents were interchanged among friends, and crowds thronged the streets shouting Lo Saturnalia” (Dictionary of Greek and Romans Antiquities, 3rd ed. Vol. II, Art. “Oscilla”).

The offerings were made beneath a decorated tree Virgil the pagan poet, mentions a pine or evergreen tree. Figurines and masks called “Oscilla” were hung on the tree, as are Christmas decorations today. History admits: “There can be no doubt that we have in these “oscilla” a relic of human sacrifice.

Of all the pagan holidays, Saturnalia was the one at which human sacrifice was especially required.

Imperial Rome adopted the name of Christ and applied it to existing pagan customs. Today families decorate their “Christmas” trees with masks and figurines unwittingly perpetuating a custom of Roman human sacrifice.

The practice of commemorating the winter solstice is not limited to ancient Rome! Nearly every pagan nation has observed a counterpart to modern “Christmas” customs!

Why hasn’t modern Christianity been told that their form of religious worship is none other than ancient Baalism masquerading as the religion of Jesus Christ?

What happened to Israel when they came into the land of Moab? “Now Israel remained in Acacia Grove, and the people began to commit harlotry with the women of Moab. They invited the people to the sacrifice of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So Israel was jointed to Baal of Peor, and the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel” (Num. 25:1-3).

Was God angry with Israel? “Then the Lord said to Moses, take all the leaders of the people and hang the offenders before the Lord, out in the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel (v. 4).

In these verses you will notice the name Baal-Peor. Who was this person? It was another name for Nimrod. This compound name, Baal-Peor, had special significance to the Moabites who worshipped Nimrod as a child.

Today, in mid-winter, the “sacred child” is still worshipped! The familiar mother and child theme at Christmas is a cleverly disguised pagan “mystery” which dates back to Nimrod and his mother Semiramis! The New Year’s baby,” once worshipped in ancient Greece as Dionysus or Adonis “the lord” is now welcome in the churches of modern Christianity!

No wonder God was enraged when Israel began to observe the wild, licentious rites of Baal among the Moabites! For historical proof of the origin and perpetuation of this pagan worship, read our article “The Truth About New Year’s!

When Israel approached the Promised Land, God reminded them of His warning adopting pagan holidays. They were warned especially against transferring pagan customs to the worship of the true God (Deut. 12:29-31).

Why did God hate these hideous rites of the pagan nations? Because they burn, even their sons and daughters, in the fire to their gods.

Sometime after the death of Joshua Israel adopted the religious customs of Canaan: Judges 2: 8-13, “Now Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died when he was 110 years old. (v 10-11) “When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel. Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals.”

The book of Judges is a chronicle of the repeated rebellion of ancient Israel when they entered the land of Canaan. Each time they forgot God’s law, lost sight of His holy days and His plan they began to worship heathen gods on pagan holidays. Each time they did, God chastened them by allowing them to be conquered by the Canaanites.

After the reign of Saul, God established the dynasty of David, a man after God’s how heart (Acts 13:22). But soon after David was dead, his son Solomon forsook God’s law, and introduced pagan religions into Israel!

When Solomon finished building the Temple, God warned him and Israel not to worship other gods, not to pollute the land with paganism. You can read about this in I Kings 9:1-9.

But King Solomon disobeyed God and introduced pagan worship in the land (I Kings 11:1-8). “But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites.

“For it was so, when Solomon was old that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David.”

Solomon worshipped Semiramis or Easter (“Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abominations of the Ammonites.”) verse 5. He also worshipped Nimrod the first despot: “Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon” (v. 7).

Nimrod was called Milcom and Molech by the Ammonites. The word Molech is derived from the Hebrew word melek which means king. The pagan nations worshipped Nimrod as the king of kings.

Ashtaroth or Semiramis was also worshipped as the queen of heaven by the ancient world. Today, a “queen of heaven” and “mother of God” is worshipped by modern Christianity.

Some assume she is Jesus Christ’s own mother Mary, who supposedly had ascended bodily into heaven. Prayers are repeated to her. But Christ’s mother is yet in her grave awaiting the resurrection.

We can see just how clever Satan’s deceptions are, don’t you be deceived!

How did God look upon Solomon’s idolatry? “Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not fully follow the Lord, as did his father David.” I Kings 11:6. Verses 9-10, “So the Lord became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the Lord God of Israel, who has appeared to him twice. And had commanded him concerning this thing that he should not go after others gods; but he did not keep what the Lord had commanded.

God warned Solomon that punishment for his sins would surely come. “Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant” (v.11). That servant was Jeroboam.

Jeroboam thought that in order to maintain control of the 10 tribes of Israel he must stop their worship on God’s holy days (I Kings 12:26-27). He told them it was too much trouble to go all the way to where God had placed his name, just to keep the holy days (v. 28).

The Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day were held in the 7th month (Lev. 23:33-39). That corresponds to about the middle of September and October.

Jeroboam’s idolatrous feast was held in the 8th month and that corresponds to about the middle of October and November.

The pagan Roman calendar man has adopted for us in this modern world has been corrupted but the feast of the 8th month is still being kept today! The Latin word for eight is “octo.” The eight month was called October! Today Jeroboam’s pagan holiday is carried on under the name of Hallowe’en celebrated at the very end of October and the beginning of November. It pictures a macabre scene of disinterment of the dead as ghosts and goblins. Hallowe’en is a counterfeit of God’s festivals which reveals, not goblins, but the resurrection of the righteous dead and of those who will learn God’s way after the millennium.

Once again, Satan has counterfeited God’s truth, and hidden God’s holy day plan from mankind.

After the division of Israel, the northern 10-tribes went deeper into Baal worship. Ahab was now king and God sent Elijah to reprove his people. “So Omri rested with his fathers and was buried in Samaria. Then Ahab his son reigned in his place. Verses 30-31 “Now Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him. And it came to pass, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshipped him.”

God sent Elijah to warn Ahab: “And it came to pass after many days that the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the 3rd year, saying, “Go present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the earth. So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab, and there was a severe famine in Samaria” (I Kings 18:1-2). In verse 4, we see that Jezebel murdered God’s prophets.

Notice what Elijah told Ahab: “And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, then Ahab said unto him, are you he that troubles Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel: but you and your father’s house, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and you have followed Baalim” (I Kings 18:17-18).

“And he answered, I have not troubled Israel: but you and your father’s house, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and you have followed Baalim.”

Elijah told them: “How long halt you between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him; but if Baal then follow him. And the people answered him not a word” (v.21).

“Now therefore, send and gather all Israel to me on Mt. Carmel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal. And the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebels’ table” (v.19).

So, the people of Israel couldn’t do anything, so they sat on the sidelines and watched the contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal. These ancient Israelites probably had convinced themselves it didn’t make any difference which customs they observe, but choosing not to follow God, they were rebelling against Him.

The prophets of Baal went first: these children of Abraham would call upon Baal by whipping themselves up into an emotional frenzy. They tortured themselves with cruel penance, this would force Baal to hear them. But no answer came.

While all of this was going on Elijah taunted them, made fun of them. Elijah taunted them by asking why Baal didn’t answer. Was Baal out walking? Was he away from Carmel on a trip? Perhaps, insinuated Elijah sarcastically, Baal was sleeping!

Today, God has promised to send servants in the spirit of Elijah to show how foolish the pagan customs of modern Christianity and its false minister are. We are to expose the evil of false religion in this world so the people will know the difference and choose the good.

Who is responsible for accepting the rites and practices, the customs and traditions, the pagan holidays and festivals of Nimrod into modern Christianity? “For certain men have crept in unnoticed who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 4).

In the Church at Pergamos some members accepted the doctrine of Nicolaitanes, and Balaam vs. 9, 14. The doctrine of Balaam was the doctrine of compromise with paganism. Read Numbers 25 and you will see how Israel compromised by attending the worship service of the Midianites and who worshipped Baal-Peor.

The Christians at Thyatira followed this theme of compromise and allowed a woman whose character was like that of Jezebel to commit sin in their midst (Rev. 2:20).

But who is this modern Jezebel? It is none other than the false church pictured as a woman in Revelation 17:1-2,5) The Roman Catholic Church is the modern Jezebel.

Just as Jezebel had more than one child, so does this modern Jezebel have children (Rev. 17:5) These are daughter churches who came out of Rome protesting but still have the character of their mother. Today they are called Protestants.

It was the Roman Catholic Church which compromised with the paganism of the old world and adopted it as Christian.

This is the testimony of Walter Johnson, British archeologist: “By the edict of Theodosius (A.D. 392), pagan shrines were to be dedicated as Christians churches. Later, the edict of Honorius (A.D. 408) definitely forbad the demolition of heathen temples.”

Johnson continues: “Again, pagan festivals were converted into Christian holy days (or holidays). The yuletide- merrymaking in honor of Thor which have also been connected by some writers equally with the god Adonis, Dionysus and Mithra became the festival celebration of the birth of Christ. Thus, by the retention of holy oaks, of idolatrous feasts, of pagan symbols and ceremonies, of the heathen names for the days of the week, the new religion gained entrance.”

Johnson continue: “Christian and pagan ideas were blended. Following the only practical method that - of peaceful permeation the church often retained the forms of heathen ceremonies while actually investing these with new meanings.”

Webster, in Rest Days p. 306 writes: “The feast of All Souls in November is a continuation of an old heathen feast of the dead; and that the Nativity of Christ himself was assigned to the winter solstice in December because that day was deemed the Nativity of the Sun. Many of the holy days in the religious calendar of Christendom were borrowed, as is well known, from the festivals of ancient paganism.”

The holidays of this world are inseparably linked to the worship of Nimrod and Nimrod worship to Sunday observance. And all have been inspired by Satan the Devil.

All these doctrines are espoused and promulgated by the Roman Catholic Church and her Protestant daughters. Anyone who accepts and observes these pagan holidays are linked to Satan’s Babylonian system and has accept its mark.

So, who is your God Baal or the Living God who created this universe? If Baal is your God, go ahead keep Easter, keep Christmas and all the other pagan holidays.

God has put the decision to the descendants of modern Israel and to the Church itself?

“How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him, but if Baal, then follow him. The answer is up to you!

Turn in your Bible and read the 23rd chapter of the book of Leviticus. These are the feasts God proclaimed to be His feasts. These are the feasts mankind should be observing today. These are the feasts Christ and the apostles observed. Our Mini Course, “God’s Master Plan of Salvation” explains how each of these feast days fits into God’s Plan of Salvation for mankind. Order it today.

 
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