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Baal-worship and The Long Delay

Does Baal-worship Exist Today?

A quick check of the Index of the writings of Ellen White, shows that there are over 100 references to Baal. We have already mentioned the 1890 Salamanca vision which revealed that in consequence of our 1888 unbelief in the true Christ, a false christ would sneak himself in among us. Adventists have long known that at the very end Satan would not only try to carry on the work of God, but he would try to appear in the likeness of God. This counterfeit impersonation referred to by Christ, is explained by Ellen White in this familiar setting:

As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate Christ. … as a majestic being of dazzling brightness. … unsurpassed by anything mortal eyes have yet beheld. The shout of triumph rings out upon the air, "Christ has come! Christ has come!" The people prostrate themselves in adoration before him, while he lifts up his hands and pronounces a blessing upon them. … His voice is soft and subdued, yet full of melody. … This is the strong, almost overmastering delusion.12

Long before this final act of deception, Satan will have conditioned the people to accept his methods. This means the use of "brilliant, sparkling ideas," "charming philosophical speculations," "principles of Satan" pitted against "principles of heavenly origin," "unsanctified ministers … arraying themselves against God … praising Christ and the god of this world in the same breath." As the vision pointed out, "The religion among us will be the religion of apostate Israel"—Baal-worship.

Since Baal was solely the creation of man, counterfeit from the beginning, an insult to the Creator, made to fit the desire "to be mighty … in the earth," and to build cities and make Babylon the capitol—so it must be plain that Baal-worship is none other than self-worship. The verbal use of the name of Christ and all other Christian terminology means nothing so far as establishing and identifying truth. Baal is a false christ and it should be obvious that all worship of self, even though disguised as worship of Christ but which evades the principle of the cross is in reality Baal-worship. The roots of this Satan-inspired worship go deep, often unknown to us and beneath our consciousness.

One current refined and subtle manifestation of Baal-worship, is the cult of self-love. Through a clever manipulation of Scripture, the love of self has been transformed into a virtue. In recent years it has been strenuously taught as a supposed Christian duty. The divine command to love our neighbor as we love ourselves is twisted into a command to love self, when in fact the Lord taught that our natural-born sinful love of self is redirected through genuine faith to a Christlike love of our neighbor.

Genuine self-respect is another matter. It becomes authentic only through an appreciation of God’s self-emptying love revealed at the cross. True self esteem is therefore rooted in Christ’s atonement. But the love of self is antithetical to devotion to Christ and His work. It is understandable that an enemy would promote the cult of selfism as though it were Christ’s teaching. This is foreign to a people who are preparing for translation.

No matter how much we may profess to serve Christ, no matter what our position may be in the church, wherever self becomes the object of devotion, there we have Baal-worship. The myriad forms that this takes are frightening. In a certain sense the ministry is in greater peril than any other segment of the church. It is among the ministry that a kind of ladder-climbing fraternity has been established— as if office could enhance character. Where we have a coveting of promotion, office seeking, with prestige and power as the motivations of ministry, there we have the prophets of Baal.

This denial of the true Christ and glorification of self is to be found in many of our now-standard practices. Why does the Remnant Church need plaques, trophies, certificates, and all the other trappings the world uses and loves? Where the true message of righteousness by faith is understood and believed, these emblems of greatness will fall away. Baal-worship is the fruit of a species of corrupted teachings that encourage a profession of faith in Christ while self refuses to be crucified with Him.

Just how we can find ourselves in the present confusion is made clear by the word of the Lord through His messenger:

The present age is one of idolatry, as verily as was that in which Elijah lived. No outward shrine may be visible; there may be no image for the eye to rest upon; … Multitudes have a wrong conception of God and His attributes and are as truly serving a false god as were the worshipers of Baal.13

In this age antichrist will appear as the true Christ. … But the true leader of all this is Satan clothed as an angel of light. Men will be deceived and will exalt him to the place of God, and deify him.14

Christ will be personified, but on one point there will be a marked distinction. Satan will turn the people from the law of God.15

Those who are not wholly consecrated to God may be led to do the work of Satan, while yet they flatter themselves that they are in the service of Christ.16

The apostasy prevailing today is similar to that which in the prophet’s day overspread Israel. In the exaltation of the human above the divine, in the praise of popular leaders, in the worship of mammon, and in placing of the teachings of science above the truths of revelation, multitudes today are following after Baal.17

How Long Will Baal-worship Prevail?

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