Friday, December 14, 2012

Bible Study Daniel 11 Kings of North & South

Daniel 11 gives an accurate and detailed prophecy of the future kings of Persia, Greece, 4 divided regions, and in particular the wars and alliances of the North and Southern regions, and into the final rule and destruction of the Anti-Christ before the coming rule of Christ. There are many lessons we can learn such as the trust worthiness of the Bible, the up and down cycles of success and defeat, the craftiness and cruelty of men, the history and future of mankind, the life and rule of the anti-Christ and the wisdom of  "Man proposes, God disposes" (Prov 16:9) and the way for us to live well is to follow the teaching of Prov 3:5-6.
Read with the help of a Good Commentary
It is much easier to understand Daniel 11 with a modern translation and a good commentary. I will for a change deviate from ESV and recommend reading it in NLB, CEV, or NCV. Daniel's prophecy did not have the names and exact times, though the events and their sequence were very clear, allowing us to identify who was the person referred to. Using a commentary that provides the history and gives us the name and time enable a easier read. I will jump straight to raise questions and share some answers from from group discussion for your consideration and study.

Questions for Reflections:

The history of mankind show us the truth of  the wisdom of  "Man proposes, God disposes" (Prov 16:9) and the way for us to live well is to follow the teaching of Prov 3:5-6. Using God's unchanging truths and laws to handle this VUCAD world enables us to fulfill His calling for us.

Lim Liat (C) 15 Dec 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Bible Study Daniel Chapter 10 The Messenger

God answers our prayers though it may take some time to reach us as shown in this case of Daniel. We just need to continue until we get the answer as taught by Jesus in the parables of unjust judge and mid-night visitor. We just do our praying and trust God in answering us. The vision came not when Daniel fasted and when he was praying but when he was with his men at a river side. It was a terrifying and yet rewarding time for Daniel who got to know the future of his people. We get to know the reality of a parallel worlds of spiritual and natural and the authority given to us by Jesus in influencing the spiritual world from earth.
The Group Discussion Summary
This is summarized in the mind-map below:

Questions for Reflections with some answers

Lim Liat (C) 10 Nov 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

Bible Study Daniel Chapter 9 Intercession & 70 Week Prophecy

Daniel 9 teaches us how to intercede for others. Bad consequences cause us to reflect and repent. Interceding required us to be serious (fasting if needed, be free from distractions), be specific in sins that we committed, focus on the merciful and graceful God, ask for forgiveness, find biblical verses for us to be persuaded on His blessings and deliverance. The Lord answered while Daniel was praying! Angel Gabriel told him the salvation and victory of his people though needing to go through an anti-Christ suffering of the famous 70 week prophecy.
How to Intercede

This is the key message of the chapter. Daniel taught us how. Here is mind-map from the group discussion:

The Quick Answer from God

The Message - Prophecy of 70 Week Years

The Questions and Suggested Answers for Reflections:

Lim Liat (C) 15 Oct 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bible Study of 1&2 Thessalonians in Visual Maps

1&2 Thessalonians recorded the great success story of the community of believers by a combination of great mentors and excellent students. Their secrets  and best practices are revealed in these visuals. 
If you are looking for a quick way of studying the Bible effectively, memorizing the key concepts and ensuring the accuracy of the exposition, then the Bible in visual map forms are best.  I present in visuals for 1&2 Thessalonians as follow:

1. The Complete Visuals of 1&2 Thessalonians.

The Thessalonians Believers became the examples to all believers in Macedonia and Achaia (1Th1:7).  How did that happen? We have the great mentor teams of Paul, Silvanus and Timothy (1Th1:1) and the excellent students achieving the great outcomes of work of faith, patience of hope, labor of love(not just in words but in deeds too). These students in turn encouraged their mentors. They were their hope, joy and glory.... Please study the visual to gain the essence of their success.
2. The Best Practices

In the business world, bench marking against the competitors, learning the best practices even from other industries are keys to business success. Here is the best practices for building great church or community of believers.

3. Coaching or Mentoring - The Know How's

The most basic foundation of coaching or mentoring is that you must earn the right to coach or mentor another. This is like any leader must earn the right to lead. Coach or leader must set the example, be the role model, to gain the respect and the trust to lead. There is another saying that is true too, and that is "I don't care what you say until I know that you care". So, having a good testimony as a good leader must be followed with a true love and concern for your students. Two things then that the Mentor must have, the ability and the love. Let's look at the details of the process:

4. The Victorious Life Model

The Victorious Life Model was first shown in Bible Study on Ephesians - Overview and in Ephesians - Conclusions: Visualize Your Learning. Here is a mapping to verses in 1&2 Thess.

How to I be Successful?
You can read the above visual starting from any of the box. You can start with knowing "Love of Christ" then results in "Faith in Christ" which brings forth "Hope of His Calling" that gives you the "Ability" to do and be "Productive" and successful in the things that you do bring joy and glory to God and others.

Why am I Not Successful?
You can also read it anticlockwise and use it as a diagnostic tool. If you find that you are in a jam or lacking success, then check your Ability. Did you ask God or make you of the ability or strengths that God had given you or have you wasted much time on fixing your weaknesses or sins. Did you find out His Calling for you? Are you doing things outside of His will for you. Have you got a vision? Do you have a plan? Did you follow your plan? You may need to go further back to see if you have focus your eye on the problem too much that you loose your faith or trust in the Word of God and in Christ? May be you feel so dejected and rejected that you forgot about the Love of God.

Hope you learn much and enjoy this visual way of studying the Bible. The visual took me a lot of time and effort that I hope you can save those effort and concentrate on internalizing the truths and acting out through your actions and achieve for you the fulfillment and joy in the Lord.

God bless you as you put your learning into work.

Lim Liat (C) 20 Sep 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

Bible Study Daniel 8 - Daniel's Vision of Ram & Goat

Daniel 2nd vision of Ram and Goat tells us more about the history of man. The picture of the Little Horn is getting even clearer. Despite the explanation given, Daniel was still puzzled. For us now looking at the fulfilled prophesies, our faith on the trustworthiness of the Bible should increase. One thing is sure, the man run organization will cycle through times of victory and defeats, goodness and evil. The human system will end with the Little Horn evil empire being removed by Jesus Christ for the establishment of His eternal kingdom with believers as kings and priests. It behooves us to be watchful and busy in doing God glorifying work in the mean time while watching for his eminent return. We can also learn from here what kind of government and political systems that God is please with. In this time of election, may we select and elect our leader wisely.

The Vision of Ram and Goat

Here is the mind-map that captures the essence of Daniel 8:

The Little Horn
We consolidate the verses on the little horn from Dan 7 & 8 here to get a better view.

The Questions and Suggested Answers for Reflections

Of particular interest to us at this time of election is to select and elect the leader according to the Biblical Standards. We can see that leaders are appointed and anointed by God first. Then the Appointed Leader select and appoint his sub-leaders. It seems to be a top down approach like today business organization. The founders start the business and choose his partners and followers to build the dream together. When voting is required, it is not about bidding one against another. It is about setting a criteria or standards for leadership and those who qualified, or perceived by the people that they qualify, are elected into the team to lead them. The criteria for leadership is explicitly stated in many places in the Bible, an election by God and a response of obedience. Paul shared much of the leadership criteria with us in 1&2 Tim and Titus. Please refer to the following posts:

Lim Liat (C) 18 Sep 2012

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bible Study Daniel 7 - Daniel's Vision of Four Beasts

A quick overview of the history and future of the mankind is given in Daniel's vision of the Four Beasts of Chapter 7 ending in the eternal Kingdom of Christ and His people. We are given a view of God's throne, the angelic hosts, the saved saints and judgments. It describes the rise of the Little Horn (Anti-Christ), his rebellious actions and words and his defeat by Christ who came to establish His kingdom forever and ever. We are then to prepare for Christ's 2nd coming - to be ready anytime. to be prepared for a long time and be busy in investing in things of eternal values in the mean time.

The Overview of The History and Future of Mankind.
This is the first of many visions of the future given to Daniel. This one came early at the 1st year of Belshazzar king of Babylon. In the vision, there was the rise of four beasts representing four kingdoms over the history of mankind. The final one was a little horn that uprooted three kingdoms and went against God. He even prevailed against God's people for 3.5 years (derived from a time, times, and half a time). Eventually, he was destroyed by the Son of Man (Jesus Christ) who would establish His kingdom on earth forever and ever.

The Spiritual World Rule the Physical World

Daniel also saw the thrones, and the throne of God and saw the judgments with books being opened. This vision of the throne was given in between the rise of the little horn and its destruction.

It shows us that there are the spiritual world influencing the physical world. The 'Beasts' of the kingdoms could also be spiritual beings with the one represented by the little horn being killed and burnt by fire first (v 11) and the others dethroned and kept alive for a season (v12).

There are many other lessons that we could learn from this lesson. This are summarized in the Questions and Answers mind-map shown below:

Questions and Suggested Answers:

Please also note that the world of the four beasts referred is the western world of roughly the same territories of the Roman Empire. At those times, there were great kingdoms of the east such as China that were not spoken of. So the anti-Christ does not exert any power in the East.

As we read further, more and more details will be given in other visions of Daniel.

The key points are:

  1. God is in charge all the time though at times, people may think He is asleep!
  2. God put kings and kingdoms on earth. Their power is temporary.
  3. God is just. He will put an end to all evil and rewards the good.
  4. Mankind has a good ending. God first came in Jesus Christ to save the world as Son of Man. He will come again to establish His kingdom on earth, not in heaven, forever.
  5. We are to be ready for His return any time. We are to prepare to wait for a long time, going for long term, not trying to exploit His sudden return. We are to be busy in His work and be joyful in the mean time.
For how to get ready, please see: Preparing for Christ 2nd Coming

Lim Liat (C) 26 Aug 2012

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bible Study Daniel 6 - Daniel in the Den of Lions

There are many things to learn from this exciting real-life story. A high flying person must be careful to be faultless; because that are many eyeing and scheming to trap him. Watch out that our ego and pride are easily used by others to fool and trap us. Know what true friendship is like. Know how to be successful and influential like Daniel. The great God that delivers the righteous and innocence and punishes the evil ones.
This is one of the most famous stories of the Bible - Daniel in the Den of Lions.

It has all ingredients for a blockbuster:
  • The good guys - Prophet Daniel, King Darius, 
  • The bad guys - the accusers who were jealous of Daniel and his coming promotion over them. 
  • The evil Trap - inescapable trap.
  • The Danger - the Lions' Den 
  • The Love - the close friendship between King Darius and Daniel 
  • The Excitement - setting up the trap, catching Daniel, Darius' sudden discovery that he was tricked to kill his good friend and mentor Daniel. The anguish of having to send Daniel into the den. The sleepless night. 
  • The Happy Ending - the great deliverance by God sending His angels, an unharmed Daniel and the death of the accusers. The proclamation of the true, living and good God.
If you want to be successful, then learn from Daniel.
  1. Daniel had a long and excellent public career serving the kings of Babylonians and the Medes & Persians. The favor that the Persian Kings gave the Jews must be the result of Daniel faithfulness, wisdom and influence. Ezra and Nehemiah were allowed by the Persian Kings to return to Jerusalem to rebuilt the temple and the walls respectively. 
  2. A key success factor for Daniel was his close relationship with God. He prayed three times a day. Praying is not just about asking. It is about studying His words, reflecting on them, and contemplating on them to gain a close understanding of God and His will. 
  3. Daniel don't just talk about God but put his learning to work. Daniel was promoted to the lead president of 3 presidents because of his excellent spirit. 
  4. His enemies, those with the sharpest eyes and looking through magnifying glasses could not find any fault with him. The best testimony of you is from your enemy - no fault! 
  5. He was prepared to die for his love and worship of his God. He trusted his God no matter what - to deliver him or be martyred to with Him. He echoed Paul's words "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain!" 
May you discover more of Daniel, his God, his friend, his enemies, the tricks etc in the following mind-map:

The Story:

The Q&A:

For your reflection with some suggested answers.

Lim Liat (C) 29 July 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bible Study Daniel Chapter 5 Hand Writing on the Wall

God does execute judgment and this time quite quickly. Under this great period of grace, we should not take his kindness for granted and must show our honor and respect to Him. God may have already forgiven us but we may have to go through the discipline and the consequences that our sins had brought us like David and others.
Belshazzar did not learn from his maternal grand-father Nebuchadnezzar's acknowledge of the true God. Instead, he held wild party, abusing the cups of the Temple of God to worship their own idols that could not save them from the attack of the Medes & Persian. God judged him, with a dramatic display of finger writing the wall. Daniel was remembered and called for. Daniel gave the interpretation and pronounced his sins and judgement. He was killed the very night.

The mind map below gives us the details:

Daniel 5 The Hand Writing on the Wall

The Questions for your reflection with some answers:

Like me quote Phil 2:12-13 to be the lesson and application that we learned from this study:

work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Let us live this life wisely, knowing and honoring our God with our testimonies in word and deeds.

Lim Liat (C) 14 July 2012

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bible Study Daniel 4 - The Testimony of God from a King

We have here, the rare incidence of a King giving a personal testimony about God. He made a proclamation throughout the his kingdom. Through his dream, the interpretation by Daniel and the actual events of his pride, madness and restoration of his mind and kingdom that fulfilled the dream, he came to know the real God and His power over the affairs of men.

The Content:

The Questions and Some Answers:

Lim Liat (C) 24 June 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

Bible Study Daniel 3 - The Golden Image & True Faith

The proud King Nebuchadnezzar built a golden image of himself for all to worship him. But he was a fair and intelligent king. He gave clear orders and executed his orders. He did not listen to accusations and called for a court hearing and gave the accused a second chance. We learned about the true faith of SMA(Shadrach, Messhach & Abednego) and about their God. The King was quick to acknowledge the true God of SMA . He promoted them. But he was not yet ready to acknowledge God as his God (that happened in chapter 4).
The Content
This chapter 3 is best summarized in the mind-map below:

Questions for Reflections and Applications:
The mind-map below give some possible answers for your consideration.

 Lim Liat (C) 26 May 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

Bible Study Daniel 2 - Nebuchadnezzar's Dream and Promotion

Learn: 1. the wisdom of Nebuchadnezzar's in validating people advice to him;  2. from Daniel about how he handled a major crisis and run a country;  3. about what God is like and   4. about the history and future of mankind.
Chapter 2 is summarized in the following mind-map:

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What was Nebuchadnezzar's way of ruling his kingdom?
  2. In what way did Nebuchadnezzar make sure the interpretation of his dream is correct?
  3. Can you think of a better way to get his dream known and interpreted?
  4. How did Daniel handled this crisis?
  5. What can we learned about God from Daniel's experience with Him?
  6. What was Nebuchadnezzar's dream and what was the interpretation?
  7. What happened to Daniel after the interpretation?
  8. Do you think it is right for Daniel to get his friends promoted to ruling positions as well? Isn't it Nepotism? What are the advantages and disadvantages
  9. What principles and lessons can you learned from this chapter that you can apply in your life?
  10. Think of some issues that concern you now. How can your answer in the preceding question help you?
Some possible answers for your considerations are in the following mind-map:

Lim Liat (C) 12 May 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

Bible Study Daniel 1 - Growing Up

Daniel is a book about the story of mankind - from history to future. We can see the handiwork of God in the affairs of the world. (See Kingdom Principles Discussion 04 The Dual Worlds). We learned about Daniel and his friends. We could see how wise and powerful King Nebuchadnezzar was that we could learn good principles of management from him. Daniel served for over sixty years under different kings. The interpreted dreams and visions tell us our past, present and future. It is a book full of interesting turns of events and full of wisdom. Read it to discover powerful and loving God, how to wise and to live a long life of contributions and a good testimony for God.

The Overview:
See the mind-map below:

Daniel Chapter One:

Read the chapter and see you could summarize the key points. Here is one mind-map for it:

Have you discovered? 
See the underlying influence of God in all worldly events. Learn how to make a stand for God from Daniel. Non-confrontational leads to better outcomes for all. Learn the Management Principles for running a large country or company from Nebuchadnezzar (Diversities & Talents selection and development and personal involvement with the talents and assignment of work.

Questions for Reflection:
  1. Who is in charge of world events? What we can learn about influencing the events in our lives?
    (hints: Dan 1:2 Gave Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar; Dan 1:9 Gave Daniel favors; Dan 1:17 Gave them wisdom and skills ...; praying to know God's will and intercessory for ... You can see more of these in the life Daniel in the following chapters)
  2. What is the most important resource in a nation or a company?
    (Hint: talents)
  3. What can you learn about selection and development of talents? 
  4. Why couldn't Daniel and his Jewish friends just follow the diet prescribed for them?
    (Hint: Due to his belief and conviction. He decided not be defiled by the King's food)
  5. What can you learn from Daniel about making a stand for God?
    (Hint: Not a frontal confrontation. Seek first to understand the key reasons for the rejection. Find the solution. Both parties will end up better) 
  6. What was the result of the King's Interview?
    (Hint: they were 10 times better )
  7. How long did Daniel serve in the governments?
    (Hint: BC 605 Daniel Taken - 3 year of education - BC 539 King Cyrus + 1 = 64)
  8. Are you selecting and developing talents in your Company, Church, or Family or even yourself?What should you do?
  9. Reflect on your last event of bearing testimony for God. Did it go well? Why or Why not?
  10. What is your testimony for your service in your company or church or family?
Lim Liat (copyright) 28 April 2012