How is the “God” of the “Christian” Church Identical to the Pagan King, Nebuchadnezzar?

 Daniel, Chapter 3

Lorraine Day, M.D.


1 In the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, the king made an image of gold.  Its height was sixty cubits and its breadth six cubits.  He set it up in Dura valley in the province of Babylon. 

2 Then Nebuchadnezzar, the king of the kings and rulers of the whole habitance, sends to assemble all the nations and leagues and language-groups: the satraps, the prefects, and the viceroys, the noble hieromancers, the governors, the magistrates, the jurists, and all the authorities of the provinces, to arrive for the dedication of the image that is set up by Nebuchadnezzar the king.

3 Then assembling are the satraps, the prefects, and the viceroys, the noble hieromancers, the governors, the magistrates, the jurists, and all the authorities of the provinces, for the dedication of the image that is set up by Nebuchadnezzar the king.  And those registered are rising to receive the image that is set up by Nebuchadnezzar.

“Nebuchadnezzar seems to have succeeded in bringing the whole earth into political unity under his absolute rule, but he had failed to force the people under him to worship his gods.  According to his viewpoint, this was a lack that should be remedied.  Religious differences may result in much friction and even rebellion in a realm that consists largely of subjugated peoples.  So it seemed expedient to establish one state religion to which ALL must bow and to enforce it through the officers of his government.”  Concordant Studies in the Book of Daniel, pg 83,84

Daniel, Chapter 2, dealt with the political supremacy of the nations, whereas Chapter 3 is concerned with their religious subordination.  But this was not to succeed.  Rather this occurrence in the Valley of Dura was intended to show the failure of every form of rule that is not under the direct control of God.

Nebuchadnezzar was trying to set up a state church.  But whenever a government controls religion, the result is usually a fiery furnace (hell!) for those who dissent.

If we remember that Nebuchadnezzar had acknowledged Daniel’s God as the God of gods and Lord of kings when Daniel revealed – and - interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in the Second year of his reign, it is disappointing to see the king forget the God of heaven.  That episode with Daniel and his God, seemed to make a powerful impression on the king at the time, but after sixteen years the memory had faded and now he makes his own god.

After the dream recorded in Daniel, Chapter 2, of the image that looked like a man, most theologians as well as most books on Daniel, assume that the image of gold in Chapter 3 is also that of a man.  Preachers and Bible teachers often have said that Nebuchadnezzar was so intent on maintaining his golden kingdom forever that he refused to accept Daniel’s revelation that “another kingdom will rise after yours.”  So the king defiantly ordered his craftsmen to erect a statue made of pure gold, from top to bottom. 

This statue is almost always depicted as a man – the form of a male human being, much like the statue in Daniel, Chapter 2.  But this is not the case. 

The general proportions of a normal human body are approximately 4 to 1.  The height is four times the width.  But the dimensions of this image are 10 to 1 showing that this image could not be that of a human being and could no way resemble the image in Chapter 2.

So what was this image?  Egyptian obelisks have a ratio of about ten to one, height to base, according to Bernard Pietsch in Brief History of the Washington Monument.  The Washington Monument is 555 feet 5.125 inches in height with a base of 55 feet, 1.5 inches, following this 10 to 1 ratio, as do virtually all obelisks, including the one in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.

Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image clearly was an obelisk.  And obelisks are pagan phallic symbols. Masonic and Occultic Symbols Illustrated, by Cathy Burns, p 191.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were ordered by the King to bow down and worship a golden phallic symbol!  As true followers of God, they refused – even though they were threatened with death by a terrifying means – death by fire.

Yet, “Christians” every Sunday, gather together in a “church” building with the same pagan phallic symbol on its roof, at its entrance – a steeple!  This is a pagan symbol, pagan symbols are of Satan – NOT God!

Pagan obelisks are found on the roof of virtually ALL “Christian” Churches - - “Church” Steeples!   The website of Campbellisville Industries, Inc., makers of church steeples, tells us that the ratio of a steeple’s height to its width is approximately 10 to 1.

What is the origin of the church steeple?  How did this symbol come to be found on virtually all “Christian” churches? 

These structures long preceded Christianity, dating back to fertility ceremonies of ancient pagan religions.  Pagan priests used an upright stone, pillar, obelisk or slender tower to represent the male sex organ.  Idols of the pagan goddess Asherah, the Queen of Heaven (mother of gods), were erected as poles or pillars beside roadside altars.  Others were in the form of an obelisk.

It is clear that Nebuchadnezzar’s image was a pagan obelisk, a phallic symbol of pure gold.  Those present were being commanded to worship the creation (the symbol of fertility, sex, and regeneration) rather than the Creator. 

Another mark of its pagan origins is its dimensions.  It was to be 60 cubits high and 6 cubits wide.  The number 6 is an occultic number, reminding us of humanity and its highest attainments always being short of seven, which denotes perfection – God’s number.  “The number of man mankindhumanity, is 666.  (Rev. 13:18)  A cubit is roughly the distance from a man’s elbow to his fingertip, about a foot and a half, making the statue approximately 90 feet high and 9 feet wide.

Dura was probably not a plain but a valley.  The Syriac bqoa occurs only here, but the Hebrew valley more often than plain, as in valley of Megiddo (2 Chron. 35:22) and valley of Jericho (Deut 34:3).  This suggests that the image was set up in a valley, perhaps a small partial amphitheater, so that all could see.  This would be better than any plain for the purpose.

The highest officials apart from the central government were commanded to appear.  Daniel was not present probably because he was in the highest level of government.  Daniel was not a prefect (governor), he was grandee of the prefects (Daniel 2:48).

 “It seems that here we have a gathering of the entire executive staff of the empire, except a few of the very highest officials at Babylon.  This new god is to have the full support of the whole machinery of the government.  It is to be the state religion, not only of Babylon, but of the whole world, which is subject to it, no matter what may be their inherited form of worship.  It was the most ambitious scheme to convert the world ever conceived.”  Ibid p 88

4  Then the herald is calling with potency to the throng, “To you it is commanded, O nations, peoples, leagues and language-groups! 

5  As soon as you shall hear the sound of the horn, the pipe, the lyre, the sambuke, the psalteries – all sorts of music in concert – you shall fall down and worship the golden image that is set up by Nebuchadnezzar the king.

6  And whoever shall not fall down and worship, in the same hour shall he be heaved into the midst of the glowing, flaming furnace.”

7  Wherefore, at the stated time, as all the people are hearing the sound of the horn, the pipe, the lyre, the sambuke, the psalteries – all sorts of music in concert- falling down are all the peoples, leagues, and language-groups, and worshiping the golden image that is set up by Nebuchadnezzar the king.

“What a one-sided evangel is heralded here! Not a single promise to the obedient, yet a terrible punishment to the disobedient!  That is man’s way.  God attracts by His gifts.  Man compels by dire threats.

“Alas, this spirit has done much to destroy the power and attractiveness of the true gospel, as it is preached in pulpits today.  Let us beware lest our gracious God be dragged down to the level of a golden image that must be worshiped under penalty of an eternal hell.”  Ibid. p 89

The “God” of the “Christian” Church

and Pagan King Nebuchadnezzar are –

the SAME!

It is no mere coincidence that the “God” that the “Christian” Church reveres and worships has exactly the same character as the Pagan king, Nebuchadnezzar

Nebuchadnezzar commanded the people to worship his way or they would be thrown into the fiery furnace.

The “God” that is worshipped by the “Christian” Church commands that the people worship in His way, or they will be thrown into the fiery furnace of Hell!

This “God” that is worshipped by the entire Christian Church, who behaves in exactly the same way as Pagan King Nebuchadnezzar, CANNOT be the God of heaven!

The “Christian” Church is worshiping the WRONG “God”!



The Music

The principal instruments of Nebuchadnezzar’s orchestra fall into two classes:  wind instruments (the horn and pipe); and stringed instruments (the lyre, sambuke and psaltery).  The only class of instruments missing were the percussion instruments.

Psychologists of that day knew the value of music in stirring the people and rousing their souls.  It is used for the same purposes in churches today.  Sound is not enough.  Hymns and spiritual songs should honor God in every way.  Worship of God should appeal to the highest spirituality in man.  It should not appeal to the senses.

What the Kings James Version renders dulcimer is the Aramaic sumphnie.  The Latin Vulgate makes it symphonia.  Our word symphony comes from the Greek sun, together, and phone, sound. Nebuchadnezzar seems to have assembled a symphony orchestra for the occasion.

8  Wherefore, at the stated time, the masters of the Chaldeans draw near and accuse the Judeans. 

9  They respond and are saying to king Nebuchadnezzar, “O lord the king, live for the eons! 

10 You, O king, promulgate a decree that every mortal that shall hear the sound of the horn, the pipe, the lyre, the sambuke, the psalteries – all sorts of music in concert – shall fall down and worship the golden image;

11 And whoever shall not fall down and worship the golden image shall be heaved into the midst of the glowing, flaming furnace.

12 Actually, the Judean masters whom you assigned over the administration of the province of Babylon – Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego – these masters did not act on your decree, O king; your god they are not serving, the golden image that you set up they are not worshiping.


God had given Nebuchadnezzar political power over the world, but He had not transferred to him the religious rule.  Daniel’s companions were subject to him in secular matters, but they had not eaten of the king’s luxurious food.  This was a spiritual matter because their body was the temple of the Holy Spirit.  Their hearts were set to obey their God under all circumstances.

Now they were presented with a far more severe test.  To worship the golden image would have caused them to break the First Commandment and dishonor their God.  But if they did not bow down, there was nothing for them but the fiery furnace.

In the original Hebrew, the Chaldeans and the three Judeans, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, were all specifically called “masters” in Babylon.

“Man’s inhumanity to man is most flagrant in the sphere of religion.  It seems that the Judeans quietly refrained from worshiping.  Knowing the terrible penalty, everyone with the least spark of kindness would have let the matter rest.  Especially the Chaldeans, whose lives and property had been saved by the intervention of these very Judeans, along with Daniel, had cause to shield them from harm. But alas! Instead of being thankful, they are jealous of the prominence that these Judeans had attained in the province of Babylon and wanted to get rid of them.

“Now they had a marvelous opportunity of venting their spite, under cover of religious zeal.  Religion is the best cloak that evil ever had.  It makes sin invisible and even glorious.”  Ibid. p 94

13  Then Nebuchadnezzar, disturbed and furious, says to bring hither Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  Then these Judean masters are brought hither before the king.

14  Responding is Nebuchadnezzar and saying to them, “Is it intentional, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you are not actually serving my god, the golden image that I set up you are not worshiping?

15  Actually, should you now be ready, then, as soon as you are hearing the sound of the horn, the pipe, the lyre, the sambuke, the psalteries – all sorts of music in concert – you shall fall down and worship the golden image that I made.  And should you not be ready, you know that if you are not worshiping, in the same hour shall you be heaved into the midst of the glowing, flaming furnace.  And who is the god that will deliver you from my hands?”

Nebuchadnezzar is asking all the leaders in his kingdom to worship this golden image, but when the three young men refuse to bow down, Nebuchadnezzar does NOT turn them over to the vengeance of his new god.  He has more confidence in himself so takes vengeance in his own hand instead of leaving it to this untried deity. 

The real test here is between Nebuchadnezzar and the God of the Bible.  God had to teach the king that the authority given to him was exclusively political and must not be extended to the sphere of religion and worship.

This is an important lesson to Christians of today: Do not combine church and state. The authority delegated to the state in political matters is from God, “but the tyranny usurped by the church (Acts 5:29), whether united to the secular power or not, can never be.”  (Concordant Commentary p 95,96) It is time that Nebuchadnezzar and his successors in the present era are taught this important lesson.

16 Answering are Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and saying to king Nebuchadnezzar, “Not necessary is it for us to reply to you concerning this matter.

17 Should it actually happen, our God in the heavens, Whom we are serving, can deliver us from the glowing, flaming furnace, and from your hand, O king, will He deliver us.

18 Should He not, be it known to you, O king, that actually your god we will not serve, and the golden image that you set up we will not worship.”

The three young men refused to bow down to the image of gold whether God would deliver them or not.  This is how we must stand now, in the present times. 

“Many today make gold their god.  Greed is idolatry (Col 3:5) and this can become their golden image also.”  Ibid p 97

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar is full of fury, and the mien of his visage alters against Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  He is answering and saying to heat the furnace seven units over what he perceives it to be already heated.

20 And to the masters – masters of valor that are in his army – he says to truss up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and heave them into the glowing flaming furnace.

21 Then these masters truss them up in their mantles, their turbans on their heads, their garb and their clothing, and heave them into the midst of the glowing, flaming furnace.

22 Wherefore – because the king’s matter is urgent, and the furnace heated redundantly, seven units more than aforetime – these masters who were chosen to truss them up and to approach the furnace and hoist Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego: dispatched are they by the flare of the flame.

23 And these other masters, the three of them, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, fall trussed up into the midst of the glowing, flaming furnace.  Yet they are walking in the midst of the flame, singing hymns to God and blessing Jehovah. (This last phrase is in the Septuagint version of the Bible.)

Nebuchadnezzar was defied by the three young men and the king felt that his honor was at stake.  He must, by all means, assert his authority or lose face.  O, the pride of man!  How could anyone defy him like this?  He would show the world what happens to such rebels.  So he heats the furnace hotter than before and has his mightiest soldiers truss the young men and throw them into the fire.

But the soldiers are instantly killed by a sudden flare of the flames.  They receive the fate that was reserved for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  Thus, there was no doubt about the heat of the fire, and the miraculous deliverance of the true worshipers of God.

24 Then king Nebuchadnezzar marks it and rises in a fluster.  Responding and saying is he to his retinue, “Did we not heave three masters, trussed up, into the midst of the flame?”  They are answering and saying to the king, “Certainly, O king!”

25 He is answering and saying, “Aha, I am perceiving four masters, untied, walking about in the midst of the flame, and actually, not one among them is harmed!  And the appearance of the fourth is like a son of God.”

26 Then king Nebuchadnezzar draws near to the door of the glowing flaming furnace and is responding and saying, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of Him Who is the Supreme God of Gods, step and come hither.”  Then out are stepping Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the midst of the flame.

27 Now assembling are the satraps, prefects and viceroys and the king’s retinue and are perceiving these masters, that the flame has no authority over their frames: the hair of their head it does not singe, their mantels it does not alter, and further, the smell of flame is not on them.

The death of the soldiers was a terrifying event, but was soon eclipsed by the miraculous preservation of the worshipers of the true God.  But even that was not so astonishing as the fourth person seen in the fiery furnace, One like the Son of God (or son of the gods.)  What an exhibition of God’s power!

The three young men do not even smell of smoke, and the only things that were burned were the bonds that bound them.  The bonds symbolize bondage to sin, from which our Lord delivers us.

“Who is the god that will deliver you from my hands?”  Such was Nebuchadnezzar’s proud defiance of the God of Israel.  Now he answers his own question.”  This shows how easily God can convince His creatures of His power and presence, if He chooses to do so.  And ultimately, God will become ALL in ALL.

But Nebuchadnezzar, though strongly impressed by God’s show of power and majesty, is not yet converted.  He is unable to carry out his mandated punishment on the three young men who have defied him, so he seeks to save face.  All the king’s retinue gather around the young men to witness the miracle with their senses.  They SAW them in the flames, they SMELLED no smoke on them.  They probably TOUCHED them, as well.  Here, God has shown the weakness of man, even mighty kings, and the Supremacy of God, and He does that in the presence of all the leaders of Babylon.

They should have been burned to a crisp.  The king’s retinue are convinced of the miracle of the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  What was to have been a triumph for king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, had become, instead, a victory for the God of heaven, the God of the three young men.

28 Responding is king Nebuchadnezzar and saying, “Blessed be their God – that of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego – Who sent His messenger and delivered His servants who are relying on Him, when they alter the king’s declaration.  They granted their frames to the fire, seeing that they will not serve, neither worship any other god, only their God.

29 Now from me shall be promulgated a decree that, in every people, league, and language-group, whoever is saying aught carelessly against their God – that of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego – shall be dismembered and his house shall be the equivalent of a confiscation, forasmuch as there is actually not another God Who can rescue as this One.”

30 Then the king prospers Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.  And he promotes them and deems them worthy to govern all the Judeans who are in his kingdom.

“Humiliation and blessing go hand in hand.  Most men would consider Nebuchadnezzar’s exaltation to be the head of gold, the supreme monarch of the world, as the height of blessedness.  Not so.  His real blessing begins when he humbles himself under the Supreme.  His degradation to the sphere of the animals will be found his most valuable experience.  God begins to bring him down in the valley of Dura.  There the servants of the Supreme God defy him and make him retract his declaration.  But alas! He does it in such a highhanded way, by threatening all who speak carelessly of the Supreme God (of which he himself was guilty) that it is evident that his pride is not laid low as yet.

“But let us not minimize the revolution wrought in the king’s mind.  From blind defiance he is converted to intelligent blessing.  He is not yet ready to accept the God of these Judeans as his God, but he will not allow Him to be slighted in his kingdom.”

Satan’s objective was to destroy the worship of God and cause it to cease in the entire empire of Nebuchadnezzar.  Except for a few fugitives, perhaps, the name of Jehovah would have been banished from the earth.  But the result was the very reverse.  Satan overreached himself.  He turned the government in favor of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and their God, rather than against them.

This is a lesson for us.  Though it may seem very dark when the government demands our allegiance and prohibits the worship of the God of the Bible, we must remember that God is in charge of everything and everyone, including our enemies.

And we can rejoice for at least two more important reasons:

1) that God can convert ANY heart, even the heart of pride-filled king Nebuchadnezzar, even when he wasn’t looking for salvation, just as Jesus converted Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus.  Conversion is God’s job.  He does it in His own time.  It is NOT the decision of “man.”  “God is the Savior of ALL mankind.” 1 Timothy 4:10  “Is anything to hard for the Lord?”  Genesis 18:14


2) that our God is NOT the “God” worshipped by the “Christian” Church, a “God” like Pagan King Nebuchadnezzar, who will throw those who don’t worship “Him” into the fiery furnace of “Hell”!  It is NOT the fear of Hell that will lead a person to Christ.  “It is the goodness of God that leads to repentance.”  Romans 2:4


© Lorraine Day, M.D. 2006. All Rights Reserved.
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