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Updated: Feb 26, 2022

Daniel chapter 3 is a type of end-time events.

The compulsory worship of the image in this chapter illustrates the coming crisis when God's faithful people, i.e. true Bible believing Christians will be compelled to receive the mark of the beast and to worship the beast.

Daniel 3 is a type for events about to transpire in our world. The antitype is found in Revelation 13.

Rev 13:15, “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”

Daniel contains two clear examples of State enforced religious laws:

1. In Daniel chapter 3 we learn that it is wrong for the state to force people to worship a particular God.

2. In Daniel chapter 6 we learn that it is wrong for the state to stop people worshiping a particular God.

This chapter brings to light the case of "The King vs. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego" and Daniel chapter 6, the case of "The State vs. Daniel"


False worship is compelled and only three remain faithful.

verses 1-3 False worship compelled In Daniel 2 the king of Babylon had dreamed of a metallic image whose golden head represented his kingdom. However, not satisfied that other kingdoms would succeed his, he built an image all of gold and commanded all in his kingdom to worship the image. The Hebrew youth consented to attend the dedication knowing what would happen.

The image was 60x6 cubits. A cubit was approx. the distance from the finger tip to the elbow. The standardized Babylonian cubit was 19.6 inches, just under half a meter. The image was, therefore, about 26.7m high. The depth of the image is not given but apparently in Hebrew if the depth is not given it is the same as the width. Thus we have 60 x 6 x 6. It is significant that the number of the beast in Revelation 13 is 666 and therefore the number of the image of the beast.


The image was 60 x 6 cubits in size. 60x6=360. 1+2+3...+36 = 666.

6 instruments are listed in verses 5, 10, 15.

6 gods are mentioned in Daniel 5:4.

In Revelation, six is the number of spiritual Babylon:

The term “Babylon” occurs six times in Revelation.

Babylon is presented under the symbol of a “woman” six times.

The Babylonian woman has six types of attire

Six items of Babylon will be no more at all (Rev 18:21-23)

Six major sins are levelled at Babylon

Babylon’s merchants trade with her in 30 items (6x5) commencing with gold, the highest value in her sight and concluding with “the souls of men,” the thing of lowest value in her sight. (Revelation 18:12-14)],

verse 4-7 Music and worship A worship service involving music was associated with the image worship. See study at "Play on" blog

verses 8-12 Accusations Only three Hebrew youths remained faithful and refused to sin by bowing before the image. These youths were reported to the king, probably by Babylonians jealous that the Hebrews had been promoted (Daniel 2:49).

verses 13-19 Death Decree Furious at their refusal the king condemned them to death. The Hebrews knew they would be delivered from the kingʼs power (verse 17). However they did not know if it would be by a miracle or by death!

The death penalty for non compliance may seem harsh but absolute monarchs have always been afraid of anyone who might challenge their authority. The threat was no idle bluff. Jeremiah 29:22 records the fact that the king roasted in the fire two Jewish men, Zedekiah and Ahab.

“Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee...” Ps 76:10. Nebuchadnezzar’s wrath only worked to bring praise and glory to God.

verses 21-24 Deliverance Their executioners, those who threw them into the furnace, perished and Jesus delivered the three Hebrews.“Deliver” is a key word in Daniel. God did deliver them and the king confessed, “there is no other God that can DELIVER after this sort” (verse 29).

In Daniel 6, God delivered Daniel from the lions. Ultimately Michael will stand up “and at that time thy people shall be DELIVERED, every one that shall be found written in the book..” (Daniel 12:1)

“When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee...when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” Isaiah 43:2.

- In Daniel 3 the fire was made to destroy the righteous. The wicked died in the fire.

- In Daniel 6 the lions were intended to destroy Daniel. The wicked were devoured by the lions.

- In Esther Haman made gallows (Est 5:14) to destroy the righteous Mordecai. The wicked Haman died on the gallows (Est 7:10)].

verse 26 A story of their experience The meanings of their Hebrew names give the story of their deliverance: Hananiah - “Yaweh is gracious” Mishael - “Who belongs to God”

Azariah - “Yahweh helps.”

They literally experienced the following: Job 23:10 “But he knoweth the way that I take: [when] he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”

verse 29 The relationship of Church & State Though well-meaning, the king overstepped his jurisdiction by passing laws concerning religion. The civil power is to attend to matters civil, not religious. Whether one is religious or not is between the individual and God. Forced worship is worthless. God told His people to “serve the king of Babylon seventy years.” Jeremiah 25:11. In delivering the three Hebrews who violated the kingʼs command to worship the image, God showed that the command to serve the king did not include religious demands.


God had said all nations were to “serve the king of Babylon” (Jer 25:11; Jer 27:6-9) but the deliverance of the three worthies who refused to serve the king's religious command shows that God gives no earthly king or dictator any right to command anything pertaining to religion.

The three worthies maintained individuality in religion in obedience to the law of God but in violation of the authority of the king. God sanctioned this violation (Daniel 3). The Hebrews did not subject themselves to the Babylonian monarch in matters of religious service and God honoured their refusal.

The State has no jurisdiction in the religious realm. In making Nebuchadnezzar the head of nations, God did not make him head of religion.

Rom 13:1”Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” This experience shows that this subjection is only in civil matters and that the State has no right to demand any religious observance.

“The right of private judgment in religion, and the principle of individual responsibility to God, are two essentials of the Protestant Reformation. Without these there never would -- there never could -- have been any Reformation. But these are not only essentials of the Protestant Reformation. They are essentials of Christianity itself. “ A.T. Jones, Lessons from the Reformation, p 20.

What we can learn Daniel contains 2 examples of State enforced religious law: Daniel 3 - False worship enforced. Daniel 6 - True worship forbidden.

Both are types (illustrations) of soon-coming events. False worship will be compelled and true worship forbidden on a global scale. All will be commanded to take the mark of the beast and to worship the “image of the beast.” Only a minority will remain faithful and keep Godʼs commandments. See Rev 13 and Rev 14:8-12.

Music and the image of the beast Music played a large part in the ʻworship serviceʼ on the plains of Dura. As that event typifies the end-time worship of the image of the beast we may know that music will play a large part in deceiving the majority to worship the image of the beast. Already certain music styles are creating a bond of unity between church denominations. This is helping them to work together in influencing the civil government to enforce those religious laws they hold in common.

Overcoming appetite before overcoming the image The three Hebrew youths, who overcame the earlier test on appetite (See Daniel 1), remained faithful when forced to worship the image. (Apparently Daniel was elsewhere). In the last days only those who give glory to God and overcome appetite (1st angelʼs message Rev 14:7; 1Cor 10:31) will remain faithful when forced to worship the beast and the image of the beast (3rd angel Rev 14:9-12).


God declares anyone innocent who violates any law that interferes with their relationship to Him, i.e., any law which invades the rights of conscience. See cases - "The King vs. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego;" and "The State vs. Daniel" (Daniel 3 & 6).

No earthly king or dictator has the right to command anything pertaining to religion

The three worthies maintained individuality in religion in obedience to the law of God but in violation of the authority of the king. God sanctioned this violation (Dan 3).

“The right of private judgment in religion, and the principle of individual responsibility to God, are two essentials of the Protestant Reformation. Without these there never would -- there never could -- have been any Reformation. But these are not only essentials of the Protestant Reformation. They are essentials of Christianity itself. “ A.T. Jones, Lessons from the Reformation, p 20.

God gives no government the right to make any religious law

Daniel maintained individuality in religion in obedience to the law of God but in violation the law of the Medes & Persians. God sanctioned this violation (Dan 6).

In Daniel 3 the king was wrong for commanding worship. In Daniel 6 the government was wrong for forbidding it.

God does not give the Church the right to use the power of the State to achieve His will

Christ maintained individuality in religion in violation of the ‘church.’ God sanctioned this violation. The crucifixion of Christ was the result of the union of church & state.

God does not give the Church the right to command anyone what they should believe or not believe, teach or not teach.

The spread of Christianity was in obedience to the law of God but in violation of the existing church authorities - the Jewish priesthood. God sanctioned such violation (Acts 5:17-19; 28-42).

The Reformation from popery was also in violation of papal church authorities, - the priesthood. The parties in the wrong in both instances clearly identified themselves by persecuting and killing those in the right for matters of religious conviction.

God opposes & exposes the powers which attempted to control individuality in religion. Thus any attempted domination is seen to be absolutely wrong and individuality is seen to be an absolute right.

As between individuals

“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Rom 14:12. If a man will not choose to have faith unto salvation let him alone as you will never force him to have faith unto salvation. If the love of Christ is insufficient to draw a man to righteousness compulsion will never force him into righteousness.

God & Ceasar

Had sin never entered there would only have been one jurisdiction but now there are two, God & the civil power. Because all do not choose to obey God there needs to be a power in the world that will cause those to be civil who choose not to be moral.

The two jurisdictions are distinct:

  • Civil vs Moral

  • Physical vs Spiritual

  • Temporal vs Eternal

The Civil Power

“The civil society or State is an assemblage of men subject to a common authority, to common laws, - that is to say, a society whose members may be constrained by public force to respect their reciprocal rights. Two necessary elements enter into the idea of the State: laws and force.” Janet, Elements of Morals, p. 143.

The Kingdom of God The Kingdom of God is an assemblage of people subject to God by their own FREE WILL - that is to say, a society whose members are constrained by their own conscience to respect Godʼs law. Only one element enters into the idea of Godʼs King- dom: Love. Godʼs law is a definition of love. Romans 13:10

The church is not of this world and it can never take civil power without becoming of this world and such an act would be apostasy. The Bible presents that church which seeks State power, as a harlot who has commited fornication with the kings of the earth (Revelation 17).

The true church is represented as a pure woman who remains faithful to Christ (Revelation 12).

Individuality - the Supreme gift

The existence of an intelligent creature necessitates a Creator. A Creator necessitates honour, devotion and subjection from the creature. This is the principle of government

With the creation of the first intelligent creature came the first relationship - “Love God with all...” With the creation of the second intelligent creature came the second relationship “...[love] thy neighbor as thyself.” Creatures are equal and their first allegiance, devotions etc. is to their Creator.

This was the first and ultimate government and it was self-government under God based on the intelligent recognition of relationships. God’s intelligent creatures are to be moral which necessitates them possessing freedom of choice.

History shows that the union of religion and the State has resulted in the greatest apostasies from God, and has caused more misery than any other thing in all history.

All civil powers, even pagan Rome, are or ordained by God to keep order in matters of civil rights, defined by the policeable laws on the second table of the Decalogue. These last 6 commandments define man’s relationship to man. The State’s jurisdiction ends there. (See Rom 13).

Ancient Israel were one people governed by God in a Theocracy. That Theocracy ceased at the time Israel went into captivity in Babylon about 600B.C. Spiritual Israel, the true church, now live in various nations and God in His wisdom has ordained that his people are to obey the civil laws of the country in which they live so long as those laws do not require the violation of God’s moral law of Ten commandments.

Morality is unpoliceable

The state can police civility but it is unable to police morality because morality is of the heart and internal, e.g. lust, covetousness.

The State cannot legislate morality, for the State cannot police the thoughts. However if immorality leads to crime, e.g. rape, the civil power may punish, but it must be remembered that the punishment is not for immorality but for incivility.

The enforcement of God’s moral law by the State would require the death of all men including the statesmen, for all have sinned and “the wages of sin is death.” (Rom 3:23; 6:23). If the penalty is changed then the law has been changed and can no longer be called God’s moral law.

Civil law may be based upon God’s moral law but it must ever be remembered that civil laws are not moral laws, at best they reflect the legislators moral values but they are only civil in nature.

The enforcement of Christ’s code by the civil power is unworkable. God’s moral government includes mercy and pardon. Christ taught that "If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him." If the State adopted such a system it would destroy civil government in twenty-four hours.

Crime & Sin must not be confused

Sin is a breach of Divine moral law.

Crime is a breach of Human civil law.

The civil powers have no right to punish transgressors of the moral law, they may only punish violators of the civil law. The civil law concerns mans relation to man and is purely external.

The moral law concerns man's relationship to His Maker and is internal.

Crime is a civil matter within the civil powers jurisdiction. Sin is a moral matter and outside the jurisdiction of civil powers.

The punishment for breaking civil law (crime) is measurable. The punishment for breaking Divine law (sin) is eternal. The smallest sin demands everlasting death. The retribution for sin is therefore beyond the civil powers ability to measure out and enforce. Sin and crime must not therefore be confounded.

Forced morality in the name of Jesus misrepresents Him:

"Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty." 2 Cor 3:17. Forced morality is forced hypocracy.

Truth is not determined by majority vote, state, democracy or dictator, therefore mankind cannot even determine true moral law collectively.

Furthermore, since civil powers were formed, the majority have always been in error. Free to follow and to worship God or not. Free to think moral thought or not.

The civil law must not only give men freedom of religion but freedom from religion if they so desire.

As the civil State is not infallible it cannot with safety favour any moral or religious teaching.

As the States function is to maitain civility and not morality, the state should teach obedience to civil law and leave moral teaching to family & religious groups.

Unless a state was infallible it could not choose among the sects of religion the ‘correct’ religion to enforce. The claim to infaliblity is papal not protestant.

The union of Church & State was the result of transgression

The church could never have united with any earthly State had sin not occurred. Had men always kept the great commandments to love God supremely and one’s neighbour as ones self there never would have been any earthly State. God would have been the only law Maker, King & Government.

Therefore, the State powers which have come about are a result of sin and are only to be obeyed as far as those laws do not require the violation of God’s moral law (Rom 13; Acts 5:29).

The uniting of Church & State requires the rejection of God. Israel wanted a king, they wanted to become a state like those around them, (I Sam. 8:5). God protested ( I Sam. 8:9), the people persisted ( I Sam. 8:19, 20) and God said “ they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.” 1 Sam 8:7. As that people were then the church whenever the church forms any connection with any State or kingdom on the earth, in the very doing of it she rejects God.

God seperated Abraham, the Father of the faithful, from the earthly State system. God promising him, Christ and Christ’s followers, the world to come, the heavenly Kingdom. Gen 12:1; Heb. 11:8-9, 16; Rom. 4:13; Gal. 3:29; Acts 7:5.

God cannot accomplish His work through the Civil Power

God did not wish to use the power of the Egyptian State to do His work, instead He called Moses out of Egypt away form the throne to which he was destined. Heb. 11:24-26. Christians are likewise called out of earthly alliances into the heavenly kingdom.

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” 2Cor 6:14.

Jesus did not attempt to change the world through political means, neither did He instruct His people to attempt to do so. Jesus actually refused oppourtunities to take State power to further His work (John 6:15). To attempt Christ’s work using the force of the State is therefore un-Christlike.

Uniting church & State obstructs God’s purpose

Uniting Church & State Obstructs the Purpose of the Church to demonstrate the superiority of God’s government over all State systems (Deut. 4:5, 6).

Since Christ’s time, no earthly government has been or can be a government of God (a Theocracy)

Moses led Israel out and they were governed by the laws of God - i.e. a Theocracy. God allowed them a king and chose Saul, but Saul failed to do God's will. David was chosen and Davids throne was established forever. Solomon took the throne which was called "the throne of the Lord." 1 Chron 29:23. The government was a government of God. Zedekiah took the throne and they were made subject to Babylon. God said at this time, "Thou profane, wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it, and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him." Eze 21:25-27; see chap. 17:1-21.

From the days of Babylon the throne was successively under the dominion of Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome (Three overturnings). Who is "He...whose right it is?" "Thou . . . shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David; and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." Luke 1:31-33.

When on earth Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world." Thus the throne of the Lord has been removed from this world, and will "be no more, until He come whose right it is," and then it will be given him. And when is that time? That time is the end of this world, and the beginning of "the world to come." Therefore while this world stands, a true theocracy can never be in it again. From the time of Christ until the end of the world every theory of an earthly theocracy is a false theory. (e.g. the Papacy and the ecumenical political movement).

Many today wish to make Christ King of this world and His teachings the law of the land, and they intend to bring it in by politics even though Christ's kingdom is not to be brought in by human hands. (See Dan 2:34; cf. Heb 9:24; 2 Cor 5:1).

Though all governements, Roman, Papal, Moslem, Atheistic, Communist etc., be ordained of God (Rom 13:1), none are the government of God. God's government is moral, all earthly governments are civil.

Christ taught a seperation between Church & State

Christ said, "My kingdom is not of this world." (John 18:36).

God’s Kingdom is to be set up “without hands” (Dan 2:45). which means by Divine power. cf. Heb 9:11, 24; 2 Cor 5:1; Col 2:11, not human efforts.

Christ’s people are not to have their allegiance divided between earthly State & heavenly Kingdom. Christian can not serve two masters. Their patriotism is due Christ and His kingdom alone.

Jesus taught that State and Religion are separate entities with separate jurisdictions

“...Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.Matt. 22:21). To unite them would destroy the distinctness Christ maintained.

God grants to all religious liberty

"One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day [alike]. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." Rom 14:5. God is judge.

Jesus would not judge or compell and neither should His followers. (John 12:47-48). God will judge men at the last day.

God Himself does not force us to accept His will or command the State or any power to enforce it for Him. The State should not, therefore, try to impose God’s will for Him.

Any command as to what shall be believed kills spirtual advancement by making change in spiritual understanding illegal. (See Acts 5:40).

To legislate how one must worship is to legislate against one ever changing how one worships. It prohibits unhindered advancement and understanding.

Permitting religious legislation opens the way for an evil religion gaining the State power.

The church is to promote faith, which cannot be promoted through State force.

The State cannot enforce God's perfect will as it does not know God's perfect will.

The States place is to ensure civility, not to teach morality.

To grant the teaching of any groups moral value in public schools is to open the way for the teaching of moral values one rejects.

The recognition of religious liberty in human law. The US Constitution.

Because the founders of the USA realized the truth that the State has no place in matters moral or religious the First Amendment to the US Constitution reads:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

George Washington, one of the founders of the USA, said: “Every man who conducts himself as a good citizen, is accountable to God for his religious faith, and should be protected in worshiping God according to the dictates of his own conscience.”

George Washington also said: “...the government of the United States of America is NOT in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” 1796 treaty with Tripoli, article II, signed by George Washington.

No nation on earth is a Christian nation. No nation on earth has been founded as a Christian nation. Christ said, “My kingdom is NOT OF THIS WORLD.” John 18:36.

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