Stretching The Dollar During Recession

Prov 6: 6-8.  Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!  It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.

Prov 27:12.  The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

As mentioned in earlier articles on wisdom nuggets, there were 6 recessions in the last 30 years – 1985, 1991, 1997, 2001, 2008 and 2015 – with an average period of 6 years between recessions.  Getting lower prices for the big expense items such as an apartment and a car during a recession should be obvious as long as we are willing to wait out the 6 expansionary years between recessions.  But it is predictably irrational that many will still buy such big expense items during the expansionary years than the recessionary years.

Residential Apartment

2 of the largest expenses in life are an apartment and a car which most will take a mortgage loan and a hire purchase loan for 30 years and 10 years respectively.  If one could save up and buy at the next recession, one would have saved so much as to pay up such loans earlier than the stipulated loan tenure.

Allow me to share my personal experience as an example.  My peers and I started our career in 1985.  Most bought the public housing apartment in 1987 and paid up the mortgage loan by 1992.  Most then upgraded to private apartment in 1994 or 1995 at the peak of the housing prices after surviving the recession in 1991.  I decided to continue saving and skip the 1997 recession till the next recession in 2001 before considering upgrading.  Following is the comparison of our different financial status.

Year My Peer Myself
1992 Owned HDB apartment worth $ 350,000 Owned HDB apartment worth $ 350,000
1994 Bought 120 sq m private apartment for $ 975,000. Took 25 year loan of $ 600,000 and paid monthly installment of $3500. Continued to save $3500 per month and skip buying apartment in 1997 recession.
2001 Principal loan is still between $ 500K to $ 600K with 18 years’ loan repayment remaining. Had saved up $ 320,000 with compounded interest instead of paying monthly mortgage.
2002 Principal loan is still between $ 500K to $ 600K with 17 years’ loan repayment remaining. Bought a 210 sq m apartment for $ 800,000 with a 40% discount from 1995 prices.  With the HDB apartment sold at $350,000, $ 320,000 saved up and some CPF balance, I could almost pay up the apartment without taking any bank loan.


During the good years between recession, the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) will be very high.  If we can change our cars during the recession, we will save much by paying less for the COE and the depressed car price as well.   Allow me to share my experience.  I traded in my 5 year old Mitsubishi Lancer in 2009 for a brand new Suzuki Swift and a 7 seater APV without forking out any money.   I was paying a HP installment of about $ 800 per month for the Lancer and when I took out both brand new cars at a total cost of $ 85,000, I continued to pay the same $800 plus installment for the next 10 years. The COE during the first 6 months of 2009 and the car price were so depressed that the COE offered by the car distributor was practically zero.


During recession,  you can get very cheap airfare, hotel and food during vacation travel.  For one vacation travel destination during the good economic years,  you can enjoy up to 3 vacation destinations.

Home Necessities

During recession, you can stretch the dollar so much for home renovation and repair,  replacement of necessary old home appliances and furnishing, and purchase of new clothing.  Depleting inventory becomes a top priority for all manufacturers faced with excess manufacturing capacity and you can expect very good discounted prices.

Offers Galore

Shopping and dining offers will be in abundance during recession.  Time to bless your family with treat to the finest restaurants but paying the price in fast food restaurants normally.

There is apprehension to spend during recession for fear of losing the job.  To me, it is irrational fear.  As there is a recession every 5 to 7 years, you still have to worry at the next recession when you have already bought a high priced apartment and a car during the good years anyway.  So instead of spending during the good years, save up this money till the next recession in a separate bank account.  This account should not have existed if you have spent this money away during the good years, and so you cannot treat this account as a rainy day savings account which is another separate account.


Dogs As Mentioned Degoratorily In The Bible

Matt 7:6
Do not give what is holy to DOGS, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Phil 3:2
Beware of the DOGS, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision;

Isaiah 56:11
They are DOGS with mighty appetites;
they never have enough.
They are shepherds who lack understanding;
they all turn to their own way,
they seek their own gain.

2 Pet 2:22

Of them (false prophets and false teachers) the proverbs are true: “A DOG returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”

As described above in Isaiah 56:11, these dogs are “shepherds” who lack understanding and they seek their own gain with mighty appetites. They peddle the gospel for financial gain and are swindlers in every sense (2 Pet 2:3,14).

They will bring the way of truth into disrepute and many will follow them surprisingly. 2 Pet 2:2.  Because of greed for financial gain using God’s name for ministry, they will exploit undiscerning believers with fabricated stories. 2 Pet 2:3.  Another clear recognizable trait of such dogs is their boldness and arrogance in heaping abuse on demons and the devil, which even more powerful angels do not blaspheme so at all,  in their “slain in the spirit” practice of driving out demons.   2 Pet 2:10-12.

They are better off not knowing the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.  2 Pet 2:21.  The proverb – a DOG will return to its own vomit – is true of them as they have returned to sinful ways after knowing the way of righteousness.  2 Pet 2:22.

Their fate is spelt out in Rev 22:15 : Outside are the DOGS and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

Here are some clear commands from our Lord and His Word concerning tares (evil workers) and dogs in the church.  And every genuine believer has to decide if he or she wants to obey such clear commands from our Lord to disassociate with them or risk being torn apart by them later.

  1. Do not give what is holy to the DOGS or they will turn to tear you apart. Matt 7:6.
  2. Treat the unrepentant so-called brothers as tax collectors after exhausting the due process of correcting them. Matt 18:15-17.
  3. Avoid people who have a form of godliness but deny its power. 2 Tim 3:  5-6; 2 John 1:10-11
  4. Do not fellowship with so-called brother who is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler.  1 Cor 5:11-12.
  5. Do not welcome false teachers and give them credibility out of your good reputation. 2 John 1:10-11.

King Saul kept the good spoils of the Amalekites and offered sacrifice to God.  Though his intention seemed good apparently but God was angry over his disobedience to carry out His command to annihilate the Amalekites. 1 Sam 15.  Because King Saul showed mercy to some Amalekite children,  they grew up to harass Israel and kidnapped King David’s family later. 1 Sam 30.

Likewise, if we show magnanimity to dogs against our Lord’s clear commands,  firstly we have disobeyed a clear command and secondly, we will face adverse consequence of these dogs turning around to tear us apart.

Though Scripture is clear on such church discipline and even mentioned that a DOG is likely to return to its own vomit (2 Pet 2:22),  we are still exhorted to welcome recalcitrant believers back into church fellowship when they repent.


Training In Righteousness

James 1:2-4 NASB

2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Heb 12:7-11 NIV

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

When we face hardship or trials, we are exhorted to endure.   We are to treat such trials as divine discipline and to expect them if we are sons of the living God.  If we endure, eventually we will gain peace and a harvest of righteousness having trained by it.

God’s Revealed Will for us is to conform us to be like His Son (Rom 8:28-29).   And so His discipline trains us in this manner to bear fruit of the Spirit :

  1.  Personal Trials.   Train us in love, peace and joy.
  2.  Our Neighbor’s Trials.  Train us in gentleness, kindness and goodness towards them.
  3.  Testing and Temptation.  Train us in patience, faithfulness and self-control.



Testimony (12)

After God gave me such a earth-shattering vision in Sep 2001, I knew He was giving me a message.   And in hindsight now,  I could understand the purpose of the message for it paved the way for the mission God would give me.   I was called to galvanize churches to prepare for the end times and also to encourage doubling effort to share the gospel both in word and in deeds.

But since I have not enrolled for theological studies in any local seminary, I have no alumni network to call on to embark on this God-given mission.  I did not serve in any office or ministry in any denominational church for which the church could send me out.  I did not join any para-church organization as well.   Unless God opens the door for me, it is apparent that I cannot get off the ground at all.

What a journey of faith in seeing how God opened doors for me miraculously!   Not one, not two but three in a relatively short period of time.   Against all these odds, doors were opened for me in China, Indonesia and Philippines.

“…God led me to know two senior pastors from Guangzhou and Shenyang through a brother who was serving as a missionary in Hong Kong and Shenzhen.  They were overseeing a few dozen home churches with some few thousand members in these cities and were part of an alliance of thousands of churches across China with a Baptist background.  They invited me to come and share in their churches in China.  In late 2007 I made it to share in a pastoral conference in a village in a small town situated one hundred and fifty kilometers from Shenyang.  That was to be my first missionary trip.  About a hundred and fifty pastors and ministry workers attended.  As the churches were unregistered, that conference was considered to be illegal.  In the last evening of the conference, I shared the prophetic word that the financial crisis would happen just after the China Olympics in September 2008…The fulfillment of this prophetic word cemented our bonding and led to further mission collaboration in the future.

In 2011, God opened doors for me in a big way to share in the regional mission movements in Indonesia and Philippines also.  It was nothing short of the miraculous.

One evening in early 2011, a brother brought an Indonesian businessman to my home.  I took the opportunity to share about my visions and the coming financial collapse.  He was so intrigued that he invited me to share in the church pastored by his younger brother in Indonesia…On March 10, 2011, I went to Batam to share in a prayer meeting.  Some one thousand people attended that evening.  And, to my surprise, a radio crew was present to record my message…I learned later that the senior pastor of the church is the chairman of the Body of Christ Fellowship, which is an alliance of some one thousand churches belonging to more than sixty denominations.  As I was sitting in a café lounge waiting for my ferry ride back home the next day on March 11, 2011, I saw the breaking news on TV of a tsunami that had just happened in Japan.  Over the next 7 days, with my sermon being played on air to an audience estimated to be a million listeners, the sermon – with the mention of signs such as exponential increase of earthquakes and calamities – captured the attention of the churches.  I was subsequently invited regularly to share in pastoral conferences across several cities in Indonesia.

Two weeks later, a Filipino pastor walked into our Sunday worship service.  We thought he walked into the wrong church, as there was another Filipino worship service in the same premises.  He told us that he felt led by God to attend our service.   I was preaching that day…He invited me to share with his church in the Philippines.  Two months later I travelled to the Baptist church.  I did not know it was actually a pastoral conference, or rather, a conference to commission chaplains.  As the leaders are mainly pastors of evangelical churches, they invited mostly pastors of evangelical churches to serve as chaplains in the Philippine government across over 80 provinces in the provincial, city and county level today… “

– extracted from my book, The Coming Economic Flood.

1 Cor 1:26-29

26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, 29 so that no man may boast before God.

What a humbling experience to see how God opened the doors for a person like me with no network, church or resources to call on except just for the grace of God.   All thanks and glory to God in the highest !

Chaplain Commissioning Ceremony in Bangasinan.

Chaplain Commissioning Ceremony in Bangasinan.

Emptying The Gospel Of Its Power

There are presently 2 huge diabolical movements of deceiving the elect.   One is promoting a different gospel and has called itself the Grace Reformation.   The other is promoting a different Jesus and has called itself the New Apostolic Reformation.

The false prophets in both these movements will understandably masquerade themselves well as servants of righteousness and will lure away many professing believers as prophesized.  They should be very skillful in deception by disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.   Not surprising that they really call themselves Apostles in the New Apostolic Reformation as stated in 2 Cor 11:13-15.   And since they are so skillful in deception, the defense of their authenticity by their followers and sympathizers  – that they are humble, preach good biblical sermons on grace and do a lot of good to help the young people for example – surely fall short.  A “Berean” Christian should watch out for their doctrine of salvation and Christology instead.  For the master of these false prophets, the devil, surely will not promote the true gospel and true Jesus.

It is one thing to believe in the sovereign will of God that He still give spiritual gifts today and I sincerely believe;  but quite another to believe that signs and wonders are a necessity to share the gospel.   The following Scripture in Luke 16:30-31 dispels that premise.

Luke 16:30-31

30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’

1 Cor 1:17

17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

As Paul was even careful not to empty the gospel of its power by eloquent wisdom like what the hyper grace false teachers did,  how much more would it be through signs and wonders ?

Our Lord had warned specifically in Matt 24:24 that false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders to lead astray even the elect in the last days and will He confuse the elect even more by empowering many to do signs and wonders as a necessity to share the gospel  as well ?

Though we have to be wary of the New Apostolic Reformation prophets who promote these signs and wonders as THE means of sharing the gospel emptying the gospel of its power and twisting the doctrine of Christology in the process, we should not dismiss or despise that God can still give such spiritual gifts today for certain unique circumstances on the other hand.   We are exhorted not to despise but to test these spirits.    1 John 4:1.  1 Thess 5:20-21.

Martin Luther, the champion of sola scriptura, said this, “The signs here spoken of (Mark 16:17-18) are to be used according to need.  When the need arises, and the gospel is hard pressed, then we must definitely do these signs, before we allow the gospel to be maligned and knocked down.”  –  Believer’s Bible Commentary.