The Old Testament is full of accounts of Baal Worship. The Children of Israel were constantly coming in contact with sun worship. They were constantly being tempted to follow the religion of the pagans instead of the Bible. Satan succeeded many times in leading God's people into sin and pagan sun worship. The prophet Ezekiel was shown the people turning their backs on the temple of God and worshipping the sun toward the east. While Moses was on the mountain the people below who had just built the golden calf (called Apis by the Egyptians and was tied with their pagan sun worship) Exodus 32:5 "they rose up early on the morrow." to worship the sun.
Priests instructed the people that Baal was responsible for droughts, plagues, and other calamities. People were often worked up into great frenzies at the prospects of displeasing Baal. In times of great turbulence human sacrifices, particularly children, were made. (Another name for Baal is Molech)
On Mount Carmel it was the prophet Elijah who discredited King Ahab's belief in the power of Baal, when at his request "the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice," and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. Afterwards Elijah had the people slay "the prophets of Baal," thereby assuring the survival of the worship of Yahweh in Israel.
Satan worked many many years before the conception and birth of the true Messiah, Jesus, to counterfeit through sun worship His miraculous conception and birth. He perfected an entire false religious system based upon sun worship / Baal worship/devil worship.
The devil understood exactly what God meant in Genesis 3:15. "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thy shalt bruise his heel."
The prophecy stated the seed of the woman would crush his head. God was telling the devil that Jesus is coming, he will be born of a virgin, a first born male child, and that child will be the undoing of Satan’s kingdom. This was the ancient prophecy that caused people of that time to know the redeemer would be born of a virgin.
Satan tried with the help of willing men to stop this prophecy from happening Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz were the first to be worshiped as gods. Other ways he tried to prevent a virgin birth happening were by decreasing the number of virgins in the population through the introduction of temple prostitution and fertility worship.
Ezekiel 8:12-18 "Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, the Lord seeth us not; the Lord hath forsaken the earth. He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do. Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord's house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, 0 son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these. And he brought me into the inner court of the Lord's house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and they WORSHIPPED THE SUN TOWARD THE EAST. Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, 0 son of man? Is it a light thing...to commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them."
2 Kings 23:5 "And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven."
There's Nothing New Under the Sun
"That which hath been is that which shall be; and that which hath been done is that which shall be done:
and there is no new thing under the sun." Ecc 1:9
Due to the birth of Chistianity and through the preaching of the gospel by the Apostles, the Babylonian beliefs started to be challenged. Even tho they had been challenged in the Old Testament by many such as Moses, Daniel, Ezekiel and Jeremiah - this challenge was on a new scale which would sweep across the world. But unfortunately there were false teachers amongst the early church and drip by drip the old Babylonian ways started to creep into Christendom. Constantine was a pagan sun-worshipper who had a "Christian experience". He wanted to unite his empire, both Christian and pagan together. Constantine attempted to merge biblical beliefs concerning Christ with pagan beliefs and practices. He absorbed the Mother and Child cult into Christianity. It isn't hard to see from Church history that Constantine was very successful as the doctrines, rituals and festivals of Roman Catholicism, and even elements of the Protestant Church, are based on the ancient Babylonian mysteries.
Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem