The Book of Daniel

Chapter 3 __The Fiery Furnace

Study the Bible, Study Torah, Place of worship, Bible Study Book, Holy Bible

     Daniel 3:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.

     About twenty years have passed since Nebuchadnezzar had his dream, probably enough time for him to have gotten used to the knowledge of Daniel’s God, and he slips back into his old style of worshipping the usual national pagan gods as before.

     Human beings and human nature never change. How long does it take the average Christian to commit the next sin after confessing and repenting to the Father? You can answer that question for yourself. Everybody is different. A fair answer would probably be: not long.

     He continues to break Father’s first commandment and he has an image built out in the plain of Dura. No doubt remembering that, with the image in his dream, he was the head of that particular image and since it was made of gold, he covers this particular image in gold as well.

     The dimensions are not the usual size for making a statue of a human being, the ratio there being about 1:4, whereas this image here has a ratio of 1:10.

     The length of a cubit was usually the length of a man’s forearm plus the width of his palm put together. The accepted Hebrew cubit was 17 ½ “; the Egyptian cubit was almost exactly the same, 17 5/8”; the Babylonian cubit was 19 ½ “.

     So, we would be well within the ballpark limits by using 19” as the length. With that understanding, threescore cubits would be about 95’ feet and six cubits would be 9 ½ feet. 10’ wide and 95’ tall.

     Most scholars, including Dr. Bullinger, think that this image to be, not a man, but an Asherah.

     Remember what that was? This word, Asherah, was always rendered grove in the Hebrew, giving its relationship to grove worshipping. In order to make one, a tree was hewn down, branches trimmed off, and then shaped, generally, in the form of a male penis.

     Israel sinned a great sin when they placed one of these idols in the Holy Temple of God:

     Ref: 2nd Kings 23:4 And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel. KJV

     Continuing further down...

     Ref: 2nd Kings 23:7 And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the Lord, where the women wove hangings for the grove. KJV
 

     There were places, actually tent-like buildings, close to the Temple that were used for sexual purposes. The people in them were called sodomites and they were known as the Temple prostitutes.

     When they had placed this idol, this replica of the male appendage INSIDE the Temple, the women would weave cloths that were placed over it whenever there were no services going on.

     From Jameison, Fauset, and Brown, we have this description:


     "....not solid houses, but tents, or small tent-like temples, which were regarded as holy and worshipped along with the deities, which they contained (Amos 5:26); called elsewhere Succoth-benoth, the booths of the young women who were devoted to the service of Asherah, for which they made embroidered hangings, and in which they gave themselves to unbridled revelry and lust. Or, the hangings might be for Asherah itself...."

     Nebuchadnezzar built a huge male appendage out in the plain of Dura. That may be offensive to some people but it’s the truth from our Father’s Word. If it were just another statue of a goat or a golden calf or something resembling Baal, that would be one thing.

     But this was a HUGE abomination to our Father and the gravity of it needs to be pointed out, and a HUGE image, 10’ x 95’, my goodness, you could probably see it from a mile away, standing straight up in the air.

     Don’t ever get too good for our Father’s Word. Would I talk about this to a group of 12-year old’s in a Sunday School class? Hardly.

     I’m assuming that you’re an adult with an adult mind.

     Daniel 3:2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

     This would include Daniel’s three friends because they had been made rulers.

     Daniel 3:3 Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

     Can you imagine all these people standing before this pagan idol out in the middle of the desert? Just another day of depravity in the annuls of humanity. (Want to grab a burger and a Coke for lunch?)

     Daniel 3:4 Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages,

     That would be everybody.

     Daniel 3:5 That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:

     In biblical numerics, the number 6 represents the weakness of man, the evils of Satan and the manifestation of sin.

     Don’t forget what this image looks like.

     Daniel 3:6 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

     If you don’t worship it, you’re going to die.

     Daniel 3:7 Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

     All the people fell down and worshiped. Worshiped what, king Nebuchadnezzar? No. The sun, moon, stars and planets? Nope. They worshiped a hand-hewn tree, stripped of bark and branches, and shaped like the male appendage.

     Daniel 3:8 Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews.

     These four children of Israel. They’re being accused, by some of these wizards and astrologers and what have you.

     Daniel 3:9 They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever.

     Butter him up, tell him what a nice guy he is and all that.

     Daniel 3:10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image:

     They repeat the commandment of the king as though he might have had a lapse of memory in the last hour or so.

     Daniel 3:11 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

     Continuing to set things up against these four.

     Daniel 3:12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

     Now Nebuchadnezzar is aware that these four Elect of our Father have not fallen to their knees and paid homage to this idol. How well does he take it?

     Daniel 3:13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Then they brought these men before the king.

     How dare they! Even though they were special to him, why would anybody go against his word? He’s the king.

     Daniel 3:14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?

     Is it true? Did they intentionally NOT worship this golden image?

     Daniel 3:15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?

     Nebuchadnezzar is going to give them another chance BUT if they don’t fall down and worship THIS time, it’s into the furnace with them.

     Of course, we know that our Father can deliver them out of it but shouldn’t the king recognize it as well? Was our Father hardening his heart like he did with Pharaoh in Egypt?

     Ref: Exodus 5:2 And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go. KJV

     It’s our heavenly Father that can deliver us out of that fiery furnace. And it was Nebuchadnezzar’s pride that’s making him so angry. True God of the Israelites, or not, they WILL worship this 100’ tall statue covered with gold.

     Daniel 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.

     We are not careful to answer thee means that they don’t have to answer the king.

     Daniel 3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

   Their answer is that they have complete faith in our Father, that He will deliver them if thrown into the furnace. That, my friend, is true faith. Is your faith that strong?

     Can you stand up and say to a false preacher/pastor:

     “I don’t have to come to your church and listen to your lies. I can go where the Truth is taught.”

     Not too many people will do that. I’ve mentioned before that the greatest gift that I’ve ever given to my three children, unknowingly at the time, is to not have them attend some church where the truth of our Father’s Word is not taught, during their younger years.

     They don’t have the traditional lies ingrained in their minds, the rapture theory, the any-moment and fly-away doctrines, of which, many people are never able to overcome or forget or replace with the truth.

     Even back then I knew that what was taught was not the truth. I remember one Sunday morning, we had all gotten dressed and were ready to go to my father-in-law’s church, which was a small Baptist church, and I just decided to tell my wife, the pastors’ daughter, by the way, that I wasn’t going to go for the above stated reasons.

     Needless to say, I cannot write the words that came out of her mouth during that particular firestorm.

     Yes, we did attend that particular morning and several after that, but we were on the edge of getting divorce lawyers, at that time, so it was all a moot point anyway.

     Do my children attend a church regularly today? No, not even irregularly. I did, at one time, buy each of them a Companion Bible so if they ever felt the desire to read His Letter to us, they would have a good study bible available.

     It would be many years later before I began studying the Scriptures with a sincere effort.

     Daniel 3:18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

     Here we have a perfect example of not worshipping the false messiah.

     Daniel 3:19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.

     A normal fire in the furnace would have killed these three. The king wanted a really intense fire to kill them. He wanted to really, really kill them.

     Daniel 3:20 And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.

     These mighty men may be a reference to the ten kings that Satan/Antichrist will bring with him when he comes for his five-month tribulation. They will be of the fallen angels, written of in Genesis chapter 6.

     We learned this earlier in chapter 2:43:

     Ref: Daniel 2:43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. KJV

     That’s what’s being talked about here.

     Daniel 3:21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

     They, no doubt, had on the gospel armor, in addition to their earthly clothing. You can read about this armor in the book of Ephesians:

     Ref: Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

     Ref: Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

     Against spiritual wickedness in high places. That means a church or whatever place there might be where our Father’s Word is not taught as He intended. Revivals, study groups and such.

     For we wrestle….all of us are consumed with our daily lives. Most of us raising families and keeping a job and trying to get ahead in life and we fail to look around at the actions of other people and see if the supernatural may be influencing them in some way, with the intention of harming us.

     An argument with your best friend may turn into something ugly, he/she being influenced by a supernatural factor, intending on using that person to hurt you in some way.

     Arguments with your significant other, over something so small as how to open and use a tube of toothpaste, while Satan or one of his spirits sits over there in the corner laughing at you.

     We should regularly bless the door posts to our house, with olive oil that we set aside for that purpose, expelling any spirits that may have entered with other people, doing it through and with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ. They can easily piggy-back into your home unnoticed.

     Ref: Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. KJV

     Saying that prayer of expulsion openly and out loud so that Satan and his world can hear it clearly.

     The nether world cannot read your mind, as Father can. Which means that you can talk to the Father and our Lord without Satan and the nether world hearing what you say and maybe plotting against your weakness to commit a particular sin.

     Putting temptations in your way, hoping that you’ll fall for it.

     I mentioned Luke 10 above, but read verses 17-24 as well. Go to Colossians 1:10-13, Psalms 91:1-16 and 108:1-13.

     I’m not saying that there’s a spiritual spook behind every closet door but the other dimension, that coincides with the one in which we’re living, DOES EXIST. And it’s full of entities that want to mess with us and ultimately destroy our soul.

     ALWAYS pray through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ and they will run away quickly.

     Stay away from mediums and psychics. They may seem like a lot of fun but they do have the ability to communicate with the unseen world. They can activate evil spirits that can mimic a loved one that has passed on into Paradise.

     Why would you intentionally open the door to a world that lives in darkness? That’s tantamount to opening a door to a room full of dynamite with a blasting cap in your hand. Why would you do that?

     Ref: Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

     Ref: Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

     Ref: Ephesians 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

     Ref: Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

     Ref: Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

     Ref: Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; KJV

     Back to Daniel…

     Daniel 3:22 Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.

     It killed those soldiers that picked up these three to throw them into the fire, it was so hot. Radiant heat.

     Daniel 3:23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

     Although not included in the King James, in the Goodspeed Apocrypha, there is a chapter called The Song of the Three Children. It’s the song that they sang in that furnace, repenting for Israel for their captivity and their shortcomings.

     I will include it under Bible Basics, on the top menu bar.

     Daniel 3:24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.

     He was shocked and amazed.

     Daniel 3:25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

     That fourth One was our Lord, the son of our Father. The heat didn’t harm one hair on their arm but it killed those on the outside that even dared to come close to it.

     This example was to let you know that when the five-month tribulation of Satan/Antichrist is in effect, He will protect us all, those with His seal in our minds, and we have nothing to worry about. Those that do not have His seal, they will probably worship Satan and feel quite secure during this time.

     Ref: Revelation 9:4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. KJV

     But it’s a false sense of security that won’t last very long. When the Lord appears on the Mount of Olives, Mt. Olivet, in all His Shekinah glory, they will know instantly that they made a wrong choice. But it will be too late.

     If you are reading this, you are showing Him that you have a desire to learn the truth and that is the first step to acquiring His seal but it takes more than just the desire. You have to build on that knowledge by reading and studying this book that He gave us.

     You’ve got to build a foundation that cannot be shaken by the lies of Satan and that takes a little time. Satan will be very, very powerful and convincing; that’s why our Lord shortened his time from 3 ½ years to 5 months:

     Ref: Matthew 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. KJV

     And it was shortened to that 5 months:

     Ref: Revelation 9:5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. KJV

     Continue to study/read His Word and you’ll do just fine.

     Daniel 3:26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, came forth of the midst of the fire.

     As with the interpretation of his dream, Nebuchadnezzar once again gives credit to our Father. How long will it last this time, I wonder.

     Daniel 3:27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.

     Not being harmed here is the same promise given to us by our Lord when we’re delivered up before Satan’s councils:

     Ref: Luke 21:18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish. KJV

     And here you couldn’t even smell smoke on their clothing. Satan cannot hurt you. His lies will run off of your spiritual back like water off a duck.

     Now, you’ve got all these people standing around, taking this all in, seeing these three Hebrew men out walking around, their dead friends lying on the sand by this furnace, blasted to death by the radiant heat. There had to be a bunch of them that said to themselves:

     “Darn! Maybe the God of Israel is something we should look into.”

     They had witnessed a miracle; how long will that impression stay active in their mind? Even after  going through the entire thousand years of the Millennium there will still be some souls that will continue to follow Satan.

     For a thousand years they SAW our Lord, watched Him walk around. They were taught the Scriptures without interference from Satan or anyone in his dominion spreading lies like they do in this age, and STILL some will follow Satan.

     I really don’t know what it would take to convince some people.

     Daniel 3:28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

     This whole chapter has been placed here to show you that there is no need to fear Satan when you are delivered up before his counsels. It’s going to take faith but you’ll be one of His Election so don’t worry about it.

     Daniel 3:29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.

     The plotting of the princes and the magicians, all of them witnessing all these events, was for naught. Things didn’t turn out the way that they desired. These three Hebrew boys came out on top because our Father protected them.

     He’s going to protect you, too, if you have the faith of a mustard seed. That doesn’t sound like much but it’s all Father needs to understand that you mean business, that you trust in Him.

     Ref: Matthew 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. KJV
 

     Have you tried to move a mountain lately? Did it go anywhere? Was your faith lacking? No. What it means is that nothing physical should stand between you and your faith in our Father.

     Daniel 3:30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, in the province of Babylon. KJV

     Moved up the ladder of success by human beings. I don’t think it gave them the big head though. They knew our Father was the one that promoted them.

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__19 March 2017__

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