The Book of Daniel is a series of stories and visions. It is divided into three sections. It begins with an overview followed by stories about Daniel and his three friends who belong to the royal family of David. After being captured by the Babylonians, they are chosen to serve in their royal court, where they are instructed to adapt to their culture and food. They refuse to violate God's law and are ordered to be burned alive in a furnace. The fire does not kill them. The king is impressed and elevates their status. This follows the king's dream, which Daniel interprets as the fall of all kingdoms that do not obey God's law and the coming of God's kingdom. Then his friends are thrown into a furnace because they choose not to disobey God's law. They survive. Daniel has a recurring vision of the sequence of empires that will descend on earth followed by an evil king who will exalt himself above God and then be destroyed. The common theme is that people go astray and become like "beasts," that they glorify their own power and define right and wrong. In the end, God will establish His kingdom, destroy the "beast," and rescue His world.