wall street bull
Baal historically depicted as a bull

Does Babylon exist today? Has Baal worship (the ancient pagan Canaanite deity of the Old Testament and repeated snare to the Israelites – e.g., Balaam and Jezebel) disappeared? If not, what names does Babylon and Baal go by today, and what form of worship does this ancient principality take on in the Western world?

And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.”

1 Kings 18:21

The Bible reveals that everything in world history falls into two kingdoms. One good, and one evil. The Kingdom of God (also referred to as the Kingdom of Heaven) and the Kingdom of Babylon (also referred to as the anti-Christ kingdom and ‘the kingdom of this world’). So biblically, Babylon is not only Nebuchadnezzar’s physical kingdom in 700 B.C. located in ancient Iraq, but it is the collection of all the Kingdoms of the earth that ended up corrupt in the heart of men. We see this in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the hybrid statue representing Babylon throughout history (Persians, Greeks, Romans). That statue was smashed by the “rock hewn without hands”, representing the Kingdom of God, who’s king is Jesus. The tower of Babel is like a forrunning of Babylon, as it was the first city, and it was built on the notion that it’s leaders could build a tower to the heavens and be “like God”. A similar mistake that Lucefer made when he was cast out of God’s presence.

Is the strongman of Baal holding the United States and God’s people in economic slavery today?

Wall Street Overhaul

Who was Baal? In essence, Baal was and is simply the all-time chief deity of self. Worshiping Baal is just a vehicle of worshiping what one selfishly wants out of life. “Looking out for number one”. Money, pleasure, control, fame, vanity, power. When we attempt to manipulate, cajole, sacrifice, or control things and people to achieve our objectives (to get what we want), we are in effect worshiping a type of Baal – just as the ancient peoples did (though today it would likely be guised in an intellectual wrapper and not necessarily be considered “spiritual”).

Babylon is simply that metaphorical “city” or “nation” (Revelation 18) where people worship a type of “Baal” (Bel was the equivalent god to Baal in Babylon – starting with Nimrod’s Tower of Babel in Genesis 11 culminating in its future destruction in Revelation 18). In other words, those who trust in themselves rather than trusting in God. The power of man and desire for self vs. the power of God and desire of His loving kindness.

The woman you saw [harlot Babylon] is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth… When those kings who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her, standing at a distance, fearing her torment, saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.

Revelation 17:18 – 18:10

World Trade Center – NYC like the capital of the world’s economy

The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore: merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble; and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and the bodies and souls of men…

For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.’ Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘Was there ever a city like this great city?’ They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing, and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is has been brought to ruin.

Revelation 18: 11-19

Do we trust in ourselves and our money, or do we trust in God? Even as believers, if we trust God for our next breath and heartbeat (or going to heaven in the afterlife), why wouldn’t we trust Him in all of our daily affairs too, including providing for us, meeting our needs, and fulfilling our Godly desires?

One of Baal’s names is “Lord of the Harvest”. Do Christians today attempt to worship ‘a little bit of Jehovah and a little bit of Baal?’

Now it came to pass the same night that the Lord said to Gideon, “Take your father’s young bull, the second bull of seven years old, and tear down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the wooden image that is beside it.”

Judges 6:25

Do we as believers say we trust in God, but we can’t stop worrying about our finances? About our immediate financial needs or our future financial security?

Or, do we as believers say that we trust in God, but since we have diligently worked to make more than enough to supply our needs, we have pride in our work and a wrong image of God?

‘Look, sir. I know that you are a hard man to please and you’re a shrewd and ruthless businessman who grows rich on the backs of others…

Matthew 25:24 Passion Translation

Do we take pride in our jobs/position/businesses/careers, income, that we go back to Jesus saying “look what I did” to provide for myself and my family? Yet, in doing so we are more like the servant who buried his “talent” or “mina” in the ground and says to the master – but I didn’t look to you for help because I thought of you as someone who left me with the talents you gave me to make a way for myself. Does our image of God sometimes include such a taskmaster philosophy: “God helps those who help themselves”?

We explore the possibilities, the deception that masks the problem, as well as our personal and corporate responsibilities of repentance and transformation.

Tower of Babel

So how does Baal worship tie into Babylon? First, we need to go back to the tower of Babel (Babylon) and the worship of Bel (Baal). The issue was pride in the work of man’s hands and the people trying to make themselves god:

Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves

Genesis 11:4

Nebuchadnezzar as King

Fast forward to Nebuchadnezzar, king of ancient Babylon. Here is his same mistake:

Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?

Daniel 4:30

Here is an example from the 1st century church:

You who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”… Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”

James 4:13

The issues? Pride. Self-effort. Control. Forgetting about God. Relegating God to a religious system or putting Him in a “box”. This is the essence of Baal worship and at the heart of every type of “Babylon” throughout history (Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome and really any anti-Christ system). This is why God’s people are commanded to come out of this metaphorical “city” and depart from depending on its systems of worshiping self-serving gods and idols:

Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.

Revelation 18:4

Nebuchadnezzar under judgment like an animal

Another name for Baal is “Husband”, which implies a false marriage (Jesus being the true groom). If we are so entangled, we should divorce Baal. This is also a type of Ezra’s repentance when the remnant of Israel were called out of Babylon to rebuild the temple. They discovered their sin:

For we have forsaken Your commandments: ‘The land… is an unclean land… do not give your daughters as wives for their sons, nor take their daughters to your sons; and never seek their peace or prosperity’

Ezra 9:11-12

We have trespassed against our God, and have taken pagan wives from the peoples of the land; yet now there is hope in Israel in spite of this. Now therefore, let us make a covenant with our God to put away all these wives and those who have been born to them

Ezra 10:4

May we gain understanding, divorce Baal, divorce Mammon, and come out of Babylon!

Coming Out of Babylon

Understanding and Action

Who is Baal? Coming out of Babylon. Ties to Mammon (download)
Baal god of 1000 faces – Dutch Sheets 1-page teaching (download)
Divorce Baal – Resource page and legal documents
Divorce Baal and Mammon – legal agreement to spiritually divorce Mammon and remarry Jehovah

Outstanding Sermons on problem of Baal and Mammon Worship

Trial by Fire – Peter Marshall US Senate Chaplin sermon (3/11/1944)
Mammon and Midianites Part 1 – Raymond Mooi, Malaysia (10/17/08)
Mammon and Midianites Part 2 – Raymond Mooi, Malaysia (10/17/08)