The word Baal simply means husband, or lord.
As the name of a false god, Baal symbolizes False Authority (False Church and False Government)
Thus, though this is not always recognized, Baal is the spiritual force behind False Churches, most of which look like genuine churches!
(This has to be so, or no one would be deceived. As it is, Baal has contrived it so as to deceive if possible even the elect.)
That is why, if we want the churches around us to be purified, our first step must be to cut down the altars of Baal in our own lives. and in the church.
And now a Personal Note on my own experience of conflict with Baal in my local church
In entering into conflict with the Baal principality in my church I was following in the footsteps of Gideon.
Gideon cuts down the altar of Baal
Well before Gideon, Abraham was called to get out of the land over which Baal reigned (Ur of the Chaldees the earlier name of Babylon) to another Chosen and Promised Land, which is once again at the center of the world, and in which God will finally establish His Kingdom with Jerusalem as His world capital.
Well after Gideon, we see the conflict with Baal in the time of Elijah, and in the lives of Manasseh and Josiah.
In today’s pre-Tribulation times, we need iconoclasts like Gideon who will be prepared to risk losing favor with authority figures in the church, and losing relationships with their followers, to cut down all the strongholds of Baal that come within our view.
In the 7-year Tribulation period, the Beast will be indwelt by Satan, but the False Prophet is also a part of the dyarchy (rule by two). Expressing iteelf through the False Prophet is no doubt the same principality of Baal that opposed the rule of Yahweh, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob from the time of Pharaoh, through the history of Israel in the land. In the reign of Ahab and his wife Jezebel (another dyarchy), Baal worked with Ashterah (the male and female principles). In the Great Tribulation, the woman riding the scarlet beast, working with the Beast and the False Prophet. I will have more teaching in due course, specifically for those reading this during the Tribulation.
See also WolfScope and NightScope