This post is a supplement to our verse-by-verse studies on the book of Daniel: https://www.calvaryportsmouth.co.uk/sermon-book/daniel/
“Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth”
In Daniel chapter four we read that God brought Nebuchadnezzar to his knees (literally!) “until [he knew] that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever he will”. Daniel, in his interpretation, makes it clear that the great tree that Nebuchadnezzar saw represented Nebuchadnezzar himself and the kingdom of Babylon. As Daniel continues, he explains to the king that God will ‘bring him down’ for a season, but the root will remain and at the appointed time it will flourish again. All of this we noted in our study (audio/PDF PowerPoint slides and study notes available from Verse-by-verse study of Daniel Ch 4). However, in the Bible we find a number of verses where there is a ‘double reference’. This is where the verse or verses in question are dealing with a specific local situation, yet, at the same time, allusion is made to something else – often something that will be fulfilled at some time in the future. We see a clear example of this in Daniel chapter 8, where the ‘little horn’ is a reference to Antiochus Epiphanes, who desecrated the Jews Temple in Jerusalem in 167 B.C., yet this is clearly an allusion, a model in advance, of the future World Leader (whom we often refer to as ‘Antichrist’) who will also desecrate the Jews Temple. Bible scholar Arnold Fruchtenbaum explains this ‘law of double reference’ as follows: “This law observes the fact that often a passage or a block of Scripture is speaking of two different persons or two different events that are separated by a long period of time”.
It has been proposed that another example of this ‘double reference’ can be found in Daniel 4:15. On the one hand this is clearly referring to the fact that, despite being driven from men, Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom would be returned to him. The casual reader might settle for this perfectly adequate explanation / interpretation of this verse. However, one of the most important discoveries we can make is that there are no meaningless details in the Bible. Every number, every name, every word, every letter, every detail are all there by deliberate supernatural design. So, with that in mind, when we re-read the verse, we notice something very interesting; the stump – which is Babylon – is to be bound with iron and brass! God could have chosen any material to bind the stump with; indeed, only one type of material would have been necessary. Yet God specifically chooses not one, but two materials which happen to be iron and brass. It is interesting that Daniel doesn’t mention this in his interpretation, yet this detail in the dream must have been there for a reason. Could this then mean that it has an application other than what was immediately in view of which Daniel was primarily concerned?
In Daniel chapter two Nebuchadnezzar had another dream. This time it was of a poly-metallic image representing the world empires up until the time when the ‘Rock cut without hands’ – Jesus Christ – will come and smash the image on the feet and establish His kingdom on earth (Christians are told to pray ‘Thy kingdom come’ – this is why!). From the interpretation that Daniel gave Nebuchadnezzar, we saw that the belly and thighs of brass represented the Greek Empire and that the legs of iron represented the mighty Roman Empire.
The more we study scripture the more we become sensitive to the consistent use of certain words, phrases and ideas. For example, throughout scripture the idea of a rock/stone is repeatedly linked to Jesus Christ – see Ex 17:6 / 1 Cor 10:4 / Deut 32:4 / 2 Sam 22:47 / Dan 2:45 / 1 Peter 2:8). Another Example is the ‘fowls of the air’. In the parables in Matthew 13 Jesus tells us they represent ‘workers of iniquity, evil ones’. If you take a concordance and look at ‘fowls’ or ‘birds’ you will see that they almost always have a negative connotation.
Daniel 4:15 tells us that Babylon (represented by Nebuchadnezzar) would be cut down to just a stump, it would then be bound with brass and iron. Being consistent with the idioms already given, this would suggest Babylon being ‘bound’ with the Greek and Roman Empires, finally to re-emerge – and if Nebuchadnezzar’s life is a model of this, which it would appear to be, when it re-emerges it will only be for a short time before it finally dies.
If this is what is implied by the binding of the stump with the brass and iron, what does it mean? How was Babylon ‘bound’ by Greece and Rome? In order to answer this question, it would be beneficial to review a little history.
Historically speaking our western culture has behind it, as its political and social roots, and also its scientific endeavours, Greece and Rome. The logic of the Greek thinkers, their philosophy, their mathematics and geometry, combined with the organisational structure of Rome has become the backbone of our society. Our educational establishments had their origin in Greece, where the first ‘universities’ were established with men like Plato and Aristotle driving the quest for knowledge and understanding. Rationalism and reason were the driving forces that pushed the barriers of science and discovery. Along with this there was the Judeo-Christian moral and ethical modals that permeated this culture – and has done so for two thousand years. The Apostle Paul based his arguments on reason and appealed to his hearers to think critically about what he was saying, and they would see the logic of his position and arguments (See Acts 17:2 / Acts 18:4 / Acts 18:19 / Acts 24:25 / Acts 26:25).
Thus, one legacy of the Greek and Roman Empires was to bring about a rational and reasonable society that in many ways is vastly superior to all that has preceded it – and there can be little doubt that God used this as a platform to communicate the gospel to mankind.
Babylon, in contrast, was also known for its ‘science’, yet it was a science mixed with mysticism and occultism. Their astronomy was laced with astrology; their ability to interpret dreams was based in psychology yet was heavily influenced by mystical ideas. They had a basis to their understanding that was indeed scientific and rational, yet they would use this to jump to conclusions that were not. They had great medical knowledge and understanding of anatomy, yet they would use this when dissecting an animal and laying the pieces out to determine the future (the same as palm or tea-leaf reading). Thus, there was often a complete hiatus between the observation and the conclusion.
In addition to this, their mythology believed that ‘the gods’ had created them to be slaves of the gods – and in particular, slaves of the ‘mother god’.
The Re-emergence of Babylon?
What makes all of this significant to us today, and fits remarkably well to this proposed interpretation of Daniel 4:15, is that we are undeniably seeing a re-emergence of the ‘Babylonian mindset’. Using science as a basis, we are now jumping to conclusions that have no empirical basis; and as each day passes we are becoming more and more slaves to ‘Mother Earth’. The rationalism and reason that typified the Greek and Roman ‘west’ is now giving way to ‘Babylonianism’. It would appear that the bands of brass and iron that once held the stump are falling off and the ‘tree’ is growing once again.
Consider the following:
Consider Homeopathy: In the nineteenth century it was proposed that you may be able to heal people of certain sicknesses if you could find a poison that produced the same symptoms. By diluting the poison and giving it to the patient, as a sort of antidote, the patient would get better. As with the Babylonians, the basis of observing the effects that a particular poison has on the human system was in the realm of legitimate scientific observation. However, by the time the poison was diluted enough to give to the patient, not a single molecule of the poison remained in the antidote! Even to this day there are people that believe that Homeopathy will cure you, yet one thing that is not allowed is proper scientific evaluation. Like the Babylonians, a conclusion is drawn that has no basis in empirical evidence. The same is true with the other alternative medicines, they each claim something mystical in the healing and preclude scientific enquiry.
Organic farming is something so intrinsically woven into the fabric of our society that we seldom give it a thought, although it is curious to note that our principles and support of organic foods are often trumped by the price tag when shopping in our local supermarket! We are happy to promote sustainability so long as it doesn’t cost us too much! However, it is worth pointing out that groups such as the Soil Association, often interviewed when related topics are in the news, owes its origins to a man called Rudolph Steiner.
Rudolph Steiner (1861-1925) was an Austrian occult philosopher who developed a system of agriculture, known as bio-dynamics, which rejects chemical fertilisers. On the surface we may perceive this to be a good thing, however, based on Steiner’s teaching, organic farming relies on planting your seed when the moon is full, or some other astrological event occurs, and as such is a regurgitation of ancient Babylonian myths. Organic farming is presented as being good for nature and very sustainable; yet a plant biologist, C. K. Prakash, stated: “Organic farming is sustainable. It sustains poverty and malnutrition”. What is the basis for such a remark? Well, from studies that have been conducted regarding pesticides on fruit and vegetables and their supposed link to cancer, it has been shown statistically that only one case in a million could actually be attributed to the pesticides. The alternative would be to not use pesticides but this would increase the cost of fresh fruit and vegetables by at least 30-40%. This in turn would mean that the poorest parts of the world’s population would no longer be able to afford much in the way of fresh fruit and vegetables so consequently would not buy them. But in so doing, because fruit and vegetables are one of the best agents against cancer, this poorer part of the population would be at much greater risk of cancer to the extent that out of a million cases, 30-40,000 cases could be attributed to a diet devoid of fruit and veg.
This is not to say that all organic farming has ‘Babylonian roots’, but without doubt, we are not presented with all the facts before being told how we should think and act!
There is no clearer demonstration of the fact that we are returning to a Babylonian mindset, than in the abundant daily reference in the media of our need to serve and protect ‘Mother Earth’. Rather than being the pinnacle of God’s creation (fallen and sinful as we are), we are now subservient to nature and seen as one of the major enemies of planet earth. Nature is seen as more important than human beings as livelihoods are destroyed in order to protect the planet.
We are regularly hearing that our pursuit of science for the purpose of producing things for our pleasure is actually stripping the planet of non-renewable resources; and the end of this will bring ecological disaster to the planet unless we act now. We are told that we are running out of oil, filling the atmosphere with gasses that are causing global warming and generally poisoning the planet. As the world’s population spirals out of control, there are predicted food and water shortages that will be compounded by depleting energy reserves.
The ‘experts’ that we see in the media are being held in increasingly high regard by governments around the world – and how can they not listen to such important warnings when it affects all of us? Or so we are to believe. Certainly, the masses have fallen for this propaganda and it is assumed to be proven fact; any who dare to question the ‘ecological prophets’ and go against the status quo are almost universally frowned upon.
In the book of Deuteronomy God gives us very clear instructions as to how to test to see if what someone is predicting is true. “When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously, thou shalt not be afraid of him” (Deut 18:22).
In simple terms, if people are prophesying (or predicting) things that God has not spoken, they are speaking presumptuously and we need not be afraid of them or their predictions. Now, these so-called ecological experts have indeed made predictions, and many speak with a self-appointed divine authority, but are they true? Will they come to pass?
Let’s take one of the big issues: Global warming (or Climate Change as it has conveniently been relabelled). Whilst the temperature on earth does indeed fluctuate, we now are seeing abundant warnings in the press and on TV telling us that the ice caps are melting, and the world is warming up. Accompanying this is an increase in freak weather events around the world (at this point they usually site a recent hurricane, tornado or bush fire that has occurred somewhere in the world). However, when we look at the available data, we actually see a slight improvement over the last 100 years in regard to severe weather events. Thus, the data would demonstrate that there has been no increase whatsoever in severe weather trends, despite what was predicted. Even according to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change there has been no increase in the severe weather that is supposed to accompany global warming. They stated: “Examination of meteorological data fails to support the perception of increased frequency of extreme climate events in the context of a long term climate change. Overall there is no evidence that extreme weather events or climate variability has increased in a global sense in the twentieth century” This acceptance that it is not happening is coming from one of the main organisations that are promoting the idea of long term climate change!
Instead we find numerous computer models predicting change in weather patterns consistent with long term global warming – these are frequently demonstrated on TV – but once again, as with the Babylonians, there is no empirical evidence to support the conclusion.
Another point to bear in mind is that meteorologists using the best available technology are unable to accurately predict global weather any more than ten days in advance. Years ago they abandoned long range weather forecasts because they were found to be useless. Why is it then that people set such store in predictions for the next 100 years based on similar climate modelling?
One answer is because of the ‘precautionary principle’ which states that, whilst there is no solid evidence of global warming at present, unless we act now, by the time the evidence is available it will be too late! With such reasoning you can achieve anything! It is like the man who nails a fried egg to his gatepost each morning. A neighbour asked him why this was. His reply was that it was to keep pink elephants away. His neighbour protested that “there are no pink elephants!”, to which the man replied “well it’s working very well isn’t it!” – how can you argue with logic like that!
We could look at the area of global temperatures – exactly how can these be measured accurately? Again, there is no reliable evidence in existence from which such vast conclusions can be drawn.
Or what about CO2 levels? We are told that they are on the increase and this is playing havoc with the ozone layer. Now it does seem that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing. In the last 100 years we have gone from about 300 parts per million to approaching 375 parts per million, but these are very small numbers compared with the whole. CO2 still only accounts for 0.3% of the gas in our atmosphere. However, with the increase in CO2 comes an increase in the bio-mass on Earth (plant life and trees etc.). A recent report by the BBC highlighted the increase on forestation over recent years. What is skilfully avoided by the media and professionals in these fields is the incredible design and balance we see in life on Earth. Mother Earth is heralded but Father God is forgotten!
There is however another ‘greenhouse’ gas that is more abundant than any other and it has far greater effects on the temperature than anything else: Water vapour.
Not only is this never mentioned with its colossal effects on the environment, but there is no computer model that can simulate or predict what it is going to do in terms of affecting the temperature on earth. Therefore, if we are unable to deal with this fundamental problem, it renders all of the atmospheric computer models virtually useless in regard to predicting global temperature.
Furthermore, if we look back throughout history, we see a variety of weather conditions at either extreme which suggests that if empirical evidence could be found that the earth is warming up, it would demonstrate little more than the fact that temperature on earth varies over time; it certainly would not prove that we are heading for disaster.
In the medieval period there was a time when it was so warm that the Danes colonised Greenland; in contrast to this there were the ‘little ice ages’, where even the river Thames froze over. Again, it is recorded that the Romans grew vines at Hadrian’s Wall, requiring it to be significantly warmer than it is now.
There is another factor about which little is said and which can significantly affect the temperature on earth – the Sun! The Sun is not at a uniform temperature but fluctuates albeit only slightly. Yet it is obvious that even a slight difference in the heat the Sun is producing, will have an impact on the temperature on this planet – and no amount of signed agreements and declarations about greenhouse gasses etc. are going to have any effect or be able to control what the Sun is doing!
There is enough information in the public domain to at least cause an honest enquirer to question the propaganda we are constantly fed as ‘proven fact’. Scientists and ‘experts’ often rely on government grants and funding and so it is not in their interest to upset the apple cart. We see this with the teaching of the easily-disproved and yet so-enthusiastically-taught Theory of Evolution, for which there is not a single shred of real evidence. Countless scientists know the obvious flaws with evolution yet they don’t speak out for fear of becoming marginalized or jeopardising their careers.
Pollution worldwide has come down significantly in the last 50 years (remember hearing of the smog in London?), and we have all become more acutely aware of the need to recycle, use renewable energy and protect the environment. If we look back, we would see that the atmosphere is cleaner now than it has been for centuries – and the controls are much tighter.
Less people are starving today around the world than there were 70 years ago, due to agricultural advances that have increased productivity; and that is despite the fact that the world’s population has almost doubled in that period.
We are not running out of non-renewable resources; much of the propaganda has more to do with governments wanting to tax and exert control on people than any empirical evidence.
We are frequently told of the plight of the rain forests, and whilst there is certainly mismanagement of these resources, rain forests are not disappearing at an alarming rate, but rather, forest areas worldwide have actually been increasing over the last 50 years!
One of the factors that causes them to grow as noted above, is increased carbon dioxide, which although only up by a fraction, has no doubt been a contributing factor. One estimate, based on current growth, suggests that, if we were to survive on earth for another 100 years, the bio-mass (amount of plant life & vegetation etc) would increase by 40%! We are actually seeing signs of this now, and of course, more plant life means more Oxygen produced!
In conclusion, we can see how the Babylonian pride and deep rooted love for ‘Mother Earth’ is re-emerging as logic and rational thinking are brushed aside. There is no doubt that the world’s governments and the United Nations are using these things to continue to exert control over the populace, and, as revealed in the Bible, to eventually bring about a One World Government (the ‘ten toes’ of Daniel 2). Along with this, Covid-19 has brough us closer to cash being done-away with and the embryonic stages of everyone receiving a ‘mark for buying and selling’. Who would have thought that now the populace is actually wanting a Tack & Trace system & Covid Vaccination Passport? This is just a prelude of what is to come. The New Zealand evangelist, the late Barry Smith taught extensively about these issues – his books are still available and worth reading (Warning / Second Warning / Final Notice / Postscript / Better Than Nostradamus).
Vast conclusions are being drawn from half-vast evidence. Mark Twain famously said: “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact”.
For Christians the message is simple: do not get caught up worrying about these things, or for that matter embarking on crusades to fix the environment that our Creator God skilfully balanced in the first place. The world is remarkably resilient; yes it is finite, and the Bible reveals that it will all be dissolved one day – literally the atoms will be loosed (2 Peter 3:12), but before this happens the Rock cut without hands will come and crush to pieces the kingdoms of this world and will establish an everlasting kingdom that will start with a period of 1000 years when Jesus will personally rule with a rod of iron and sit on David’s throne in Jerusalem. Yes, the good ol’ Earth has got at least another 1000 years left in her!
For not-yet-Christians the message is also simple: do not get caught up in all the propaganda and worry about these things and how we are going to save the planet; because there is a far greater issue at stake. The planet will get burnt up one day, but you are eternal (whether you like it or not). You have a choice as to where you will spend eternity: with the King of Kings, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth who loved you so much that He personally came to die in your place to pay the price for your sin; OR you can choose to reject Him and opt to stand before God on judgment day and be your own defence attorney. There you will have to answer for every thought, word and deed (and for how you have treated His planet!).
“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, & day and night shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:21)
20,000 scientists, of whom about 2,700 of them are physicists, geophysicists, climatologists, meteorologists, oceanographers or environmental scientists, who are in a position to understand the global warming issues, have signed the following statement:
“There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence, that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth”.1
Christians especially need to be cautious when it comes to the issue of global warming and other environmental issues. One of the reasons is that these issues have been hijacked by individuals who desire to change our way of life, and in particular, the Christian worldview that has guided the Western Hemisphere. [Columnist] Veith [noted in an article]: “A big part of the problem is that the current environmental movement has been hijacked by the far left.”2
- Beisner, E.C., P.K. Driessen, R. McKitrick, and R.W. Spencer, 2006. “A call to truth, prudence, and protection of the poor: An evangelical response to global warming,” p. 10.
- Veith, G.E., 2006. To protect and conserve. World 21(20):30.