Who is the Fourth Man of Daniel 3:25?

A Paper Presented at the Toronto Baptist Church

Third Annual King James Bible Conference

 

By Pastor Hugo W.K. Schönhaar

Pastor of TORONTO BAPTIST CHURCH

www.torontobaptist.org

Preaching the King from the King James Bible

Who is the Fourth Man of Daniel 3:25?

 

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.

There is no question in the minds of Bible believers who this Person is. The debate rages over whom Nebuchadnezzar believed he saw. The reasoning goes like this; since Nebuchadnezzar was a pagan king he would have had no way of identifying this Person as the Son of God. Is this supposition true?

The King James Bible should be enough evidence for the Bible believer. Unfortunately, few people read a KJB today and are left holding a modern perversion (Excuse me, I meant to say satanic counterfeit).

Daniel 3:25(NIV), He said, "Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods."

With this kind of blatant attack on the words of the living God it is important to back up what was really said in Daniel 3:25. I will bring a four-fold refutation on the readings found in the NIV and all other new bible versions (Excuse me, I meant to say New Age bible versions.[Just in case the "brethren" get upset; the NIV backs up David Spangler’s statement of faith: "Christ is the same force as Lucifer" cf. Isaiah 14:12 and Revelation 22:16b in an NIV]).

This quadripartite argument will deal with: philology, prophets, pedagogues and philosophy.

Philology:

The Aramaic used does not lend itself to the readings in the modern versions. Dr. Thomas Strouse has explained the situation well in the space of one paragraph:

Grammatically, the Aramaic words for son ( var or bar) and God

( ‘elahin) form a word pair. When the second word of a word pair is definite ("God"), then the first word is definite ("the Son").

Dr. Strouse states in a footnote that, "Modern translations fail to state this common Hebrew/Aramaic grammatical idiom. Translations such as the NIV’s "a son of the gods"&ldots;are wrongheaded, grammatically and theologically".

So much for retaining the "poetic language" of the "time honoured" KJV. So much for "vigorously adhering to the original languages". So much for the "scholarship" that is tainted with modernism.

The words of the NIV in Daniel 3:25 are defined -not by the rules of grammar, but by the warped theology of the translators. To be fair, the NIV translation committee did not have the intellectual rigor of the KJB translators. They have been weighed in the balances for well over a quarter of a century and have been found woefully wanting; both intellectually and spiritually.

Let us now turn to the second point of defense for Daniel 3:25:

Prophets:

The Old Testament was not complete when Nebuchadnezzar peered into the fiery furnace but God had revealed His triune nature as well as His Son by the time Nebuchadnezzar was born.

God has chosen to reveal Himself through His Word. We could not know the nature of God apart from His Word. What revelation, from God, was available during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar? What had God written by 605 B.C.?

Genesis 1:1,

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Bible Word

Description of General Part of God’s Creation

Trinity manifest in God’s Creation

Beginning (Genesis 1:1)

Time

past, present and future

Heaven (Genesis 1:1)

Space

height, breadth and depth

Earth (Genesis 1:1)

Matter

solid, liquid and gas

In the chart above we see illustrated three "trinities" revealed in God’s creation. The Bible says that what God’s creation reveals His "eternal power and Godhead" (Romans 1:20). Is God telling us something here in Genesis 1:1? You bet your booties He is! In fact, the title "God" (elohim’) is a plural noun!

Dr. Mark Cambron commenting:

"&ldots;we say plural means two or more. This is true in English, but not so in the Hebrew language. We have two numbers in English: singular, meaning one; plural, two or more. In the Hebrew, however, we have three numbers: singular, meaning one; dual, equaling two; plural, denoting three or more. Thus, Elohim is a plural noun –three or more".

So, in Genesis 1:1, we find the triune God revealed in the first verse of the Bible. Genesis 1:1 was available during the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar.

In Genesis 1:26-27 we read,

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. [27] So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Thanks to the grammatical explanation of Dr. Mark Cambron, these verses take on a deeper meaning. The "us" of verse 26 speaks of at least three persons. Man is created in God’s image (v.27). Man is a triune being just like his Creator. Man exists as body, soul and spirit.

God shows up in Genesis 18 as a trinity:

Genesis 18:1-2,

And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; [2] And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,

Later, the LORD went to Sodom as two persons (Genesis 18:21 with Genesis 19:1), "but Abraham stood yet before the LORD." (Genesis 18:22b).

What else did God reveal to His prophets concerning Himself?

Genesis 3:15,

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Someone was coming supernaturally ("her seed" could only be a miraculous birth) to inflict a fatal "head" wound on the serpents’ seed. God is speaking of His Son and does so again in:

Psalm 2:12,

Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

And again in,

Proverbs 30:4,

Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell?

These and many other Scriptures were available during the time of the Babylonian captivity. The question naturally arises, was it possible for Nebuchadnezzar to have read these verses of the Bible or to have had them quoted to him? We need to look at his&ldots;

Pedagogues:

In the book of Daniel, there were four men, from the tribe of Judah, who stood out as men of God. Their names are: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Their captors later renamed them: Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego (respectively). It was not long before they promoted to positions of influence in the king’s court.

Daniel 1:19,

And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.

Notice that the Scripture says they "stood before the king". Nebuchadnezzar communed with these wise, godly men and found them better than all the occultists that were in his kingdom.

Daniel 1:20,

And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.

One of man’s characteristics is his thirst for knowledge. The Bible clearly testifies to the fact that Nebuchadnezzar "enquired" of Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. These Hebrew young men were taught the Scriptures, particularly the Law, from their earliest childhood.

 

Deut. 6:6-9,

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: [7] And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. [8] And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. [9] And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

The Psalms are the Hebrew hymn book and the words were sung in their homes and in the temple before the Babylonian captivity. Indeed, the prophetic psalms and the other Scriptures cited above were available to Daniel and his friends. The Bible teaches that apart from the Scriptures there is no true wisdom:

Psalm 119:130,

The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

Isaiah 8:20,

To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

God, the Holy Spirit, calls the council of Daniel and his friends, "wisdom and understanding". Not only could these men have taught the Bible to Nebuchadnezzar but it would seem from the context, and by comparing Scripture with Scripture, that Nebuchadnezzar was schooled in the prophetic word and in the person of God the Son.

Is there another indication that Nebuchadnezzar was savvy to the concept of the Son of God? We need to examine his pagan background and his:

Philosophy:

Before Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were ever brought to Babylon there was a belief system in place that pointed, however darkly, back to many truths contained in the sacred Scriptures. Just as Roman Catholicism contains perverted concepts that have their origin in the Bible; so too had the Babylonians a set of beliefs and practices that had been perverted from the true revelation of God. The chart below illustrates the true doctrines of the Bible, over against the paganism and blasphemy of Babylon.

Bible Doctrine

Babylonian Perversion

Scripture Reference(s)

Triune God: Father, Son, Holy Spirit

Circle (representing the seed), head of an old man, wings of a dove.

Genesis 1:1-3; 18&19;

1 John 5:7 et al.

Virgin and child

Semiramis: Queen of Heaven or Catholic "Mary" and Nimrod.

Gen. 3:15; Isaiah 7:14

The Child is God

The child is Nimrod.

1 Timothy 3:16

Christ, who is God eternal, dies for our sins.

Nimrod, a man, dies a violent death (for his own sins) and is deified.

Genesis 3:15; Micah 5:2;

Genesis 22:8 et al.

The Son of God was born of a virgin.

Nimrod has an incestuous relationship with his mother, dies and reincarnates as her son.

Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14

The Son is to be worshipped.

The mother is worshipped as the Queen of Heaven or as "Mary".

Psalm 2; Hebrews 1:6; cf. Acts 19.

This pagan system of belief was the antithesis of pure Bible doctrine. Had Nebuchadnezzar taken the time to search out the truth and believe what his subjects told him, he could have readily seen that his paganism was but a shadow of the glorious truths revealed by God Almighty.

I maintain that Nebuchadnezzar’s philosophy may have actually helped him to see his falsehood in the light of the truth of God’s Word. In order for Satan’s lies to be effective they must contain just enough truth to sound plausible. Many of the aspects of the person of God, the virgin birth and Christ’s sacrifice were perverted in the belief system Nebuchadnezzar had embraced from childhood. When God’s prophets spoke the truth to Nebuchadnezzar, he was able to see his religion for what it was-satanic error. Let the reader not forget that God the Son actually appeared to Nebuchadnezzar, as he peered into the furnace, confirming the Word that was preached with a miracle. This is consistent with God’s dealings with men at other times:

Mark 16:20,

And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Conclusion:

Is it possible to be confused when God chooses to reveal Himself? It is totally inconceivable for an all powerful God to allow confusion at such an important event. The Person that Nebuchadnezzar saw in the fiery furnace was none other than the Son of God. There is no need to correct our Sunday school material, let alone tamper with the Bible (Revelation 22:18-19!).

The Scriptures were available, God’s men were on the scene, they counseled with Nebuchadnezzar and Nebuchadnezzar had been preached truths to counter the satanic doctrines he had been taught as a boy. God has accurately recorded for us what Nebuchadnezzar saw and what he said he saw.

There comes a point where we must exercise faith in what God has recorded in His Word. After all, we were not there. Thank God, we have a Book, written by the Son of God, who was.