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Daniel 3: 24 “Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” 25 “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”

 

3:24

Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”

Nebuchadnezzar sees something astonishing.  He wanted to check with others in case he saw an illusion.  “Did we not cast three men…?” 

3:25

Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”

The king sees an additional person in the furnace.  That fourth person was like “the Son of God.”  We should translate this “like a son of the gods.”  To Nebuchadnezzar it looked like something in the pantheon but it was the preincarnate Christ.  Nebuchadnezzar did not understand this fourth figure as “the Son of God.”  This is a theophany (a pre-incarnate appearance of the Son of God).

PRINCIPLE: 

Christians with courage can take a stand against opposition. 

APPLICATION: 

Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, opposed the heretical teaching of Arius who denied the deity of Christ.  He was exiled five times for his opposition to Arius.  They brought him before Emperor Theodosius who mandated that he cease his opposition to Arius.  The Emperor sharply reproved him and said, “Do you not realize that all the world is against you?”  Athanasius answered, “Then I am against all the world!” 

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