The Coming Collapse Of China’s Ponzi Scheme Economy

A very well written article by a financial columnist of South China Morning Post, Mr Jake Van Der Kamp, explaining the mechanics of a ponzi scheme economy of China.

Using example of steel production as representative of all manufacturing industries,  the article explained this way :

“Why is so much steel needed?

Simple. It is needed to build more steel mills so as to build more shipyards, ports, railways and bridges so that more ships can be built to carry more iron ore to more ports and thence along more rails and bridges to more steel mills so as to build more shipyards, ports, railways …

What we have here, in short, is a giant Ponzi scheme. In a Ponzi scheme you pay out the winnings of the first entrants with what others later pay into it.

As long as it keeps growing everything is fine. When it stops growing it collapses.

In this case you justify production with demand based purely on more production. As long as you keep pushing production up everything looks fine. At its peak in 2014 China turned out 30 times more cement than the United States, and the latest production figures are only a smidgen less than 2014’s.

Command systems may be good at deciding where to direct economic effort in wartime but they are hopeless in peacetime at deciding when to stop and do something else.

They just keep going down the same old track and then what you get is economic cancer, uncontrollable growth.”

You can read more in the following link.

Testimony (16)

In an earlier testimony, I shared about the terrible eczema condition of my eldest son when he was 18 years of age.  Unlike my eldest son whose condition only worsened when he was in his teens,  my youngest son suffered terribly from it since birth.

He had eczema all over his body and even on his face.   He could not sleep every night waking us up all the time in the early morning.   I could not manage and I had to hire 2 domestic helpers to help us tend to him round the clock in bathing him and applying moisturizing cream often throughout the whole day.

One day, one of the domestic helpers even fainted due to exhaustion taking care of him.

We tried several methods of easing his pain so that he could have a good night’s sleep such as having him putting on one set of wet pajamas  and another set of dry clothes over it, or sewing specially made pajamas that did not allow him to scratch his body.  All specialist treatment then were ineffective.

We could only turn to God to plead for His healing in desperation when it was really unbearable for us to see him suffering at such a young age.   All praise and thanks to the Lord that his face and his body were cleared of eczema except his knees and elbows very soon which allowed him to sleep right through the night.   (We thanked God for forgiving our weakness in faith as well for not going to Him in the very first instance.)

By the grace of God since his stressful toddling days, his eczema has been contained and confined to knees only which are controlled well with moisturizing cream today.   He can even participate in field sports and rigorous training now.

Testimony (15)

When I was first called into ministry,  I was led by the Spirit of God to minister to one keen pre-believer living in the most radical place in that particular country which is hostile to our faith.  One afternoon, together with my mission partners, a local missionary who acted as my translator and this other brother who invited us,  I explained the Scripture to him and his family.   Later he believed in Christ our Lord.

Subsequent trips to this place allowed me to share the gospel to another cleric of this other faith who is a friend of these two brothers.   He shared that I was not welcome as I was like one stirring up muddy waters.  The translator did not translate to me as he was worried I would not be comfortable in sharing further.  By the grace of God,  this cleric eventually believed and he turned out to be very enthusiastic in sharing the gospel himself.  In one further trip,  he could come up with a gospel tract explaining why our Lord is the only way for salvation.  We were pleasantly pleased.

Before long, there was already a big group who believed and were baptized.  We decided to go once every 2 months to ground them in the Word of God.  We also supported their desire to meet regularly by providing the snacks and coffee and travel allowance.

I usually prepared my teaching way in advance.  But in this last trip, somehow I did not have a topic or anything to share right up to the day I was in the plane traveling there again for a 3 day conference with the leaders of this 105 member fellowship group.   Usually they would travel to the nearest city near their villages.   This time, I had a prompting from the Spirit of our Lord that I should stay in the capital and encouraged all to travel by train.   It was quite a hassle to get all ten of them to travel to meet us instead of having just 2 of us to meet them as usual in the nearest city and also to get last minute hotel accommodation.

As I started the first day of the conference in the hotel, the Lord impressed upon me to share about persecution.   I chose Luke 21 and Matt 24 to 25 as the text.  In the afternoon, we had the workshop to discuss on how to prepare ourselves to meet persecution.  I could not give any meaningful answer as I live in a country that is among the safest and allow religious freedom.

The conference was cut short as in the late afternoon, the translator received word that his brother had died in an accident and we could not continue any meaningful discussion or teaching without him.

We received word 2 days later that all of them were persecuted by a mob of a few hundred who razed their homes.

We could not contact anyone since, except the translator who had escaped to his extended family’s home in another city overseas.

I did not have any inkling of what was about to happen then but I obeyed the prompting of the Spirit of God despite the logistical hassle.   I did so not because of fear, but because I believe in the guidance of the Holy Spirit as St Paul was often guided in such instances mentioned in the Book of Acts.

We thanked God for the warning.  Firstly,  we were protected from possible harm so that the conference could continue.  It was so necessary as we discussed on persecution for the very first time.  Secondly, the brothers got to learn that they should not be surprised to encounter persecution and that enhanced their faith to face it.

Some Tips To Save A Penny

Ask For Discount Always

It does not cost us anything to ask for discount in a restaurant or any entertainment  place.   Sometimes, out of goodwill, the restaurant may offer you a dessert free of charge even if there is no discount offer.

Dinner At The Mid Range Restaurants

Go around 9 pm as most restaurants take the last order at 10 pm.   As you finish your dinner at around 10 pm, they are likely offer you a dessert or cake which will otherwise be disposed anyway.   Similarly for food kiosks,  if you purchase at this late hour, you are likely to get a hefty discount or a lot more food thrown in free.

Discount For Members

Whether it is supermarket, restaurant or any entertainment place, sometimes members get to enjoy discounts and membership points to redeem gifts.  It is not a hassle to ask any member to make the purchase for you. You get to enjoy the discount while the member receives more membership points.

Car Park Charges

Once I parked my car in a 5 star hotel car park for several hours to attend a seminar.  The car park charges were exorbitant. In most 5 star hotels, if not all,  the guests are entitled to complimentary parking.   I went to the bar and asked the first foreign guest I saw sitting at the bar counter whether he was staying at the hotel.  When he replied in the affirmative, I asked him for a favor.  I asked if I could buy him a drink in exchange for his complimentary car park privilege.  He saw no harm as he earned another drink while I need not pay for the car park charges.  You may find yourself in such situation sometimes because the seminar or exhibition may be held in 5 star hotels but the organizer does not offer you complimentary parking.

Theme Park Entrance Tickets

Most theme park offers bulk discount and usually the shops just outside the entrance of the theme park may have these discounted entrance tickets.  It is not a hassle just to walk over to ask all these shops on the availability of these discounted entrance tickets.

Online Purchase

Do not be surprised that you can get even good quality brand goods delivered to your door-step for a fraction of what you will pay in the retail shops in the mall.   Today, so much stuff can be purchased online.

You can even design your own promotional banner, flyers, brochures,  curtains, covers, etc, for only a fraction of what you will pay engaging professional services in shops or offices.

Understanding The Book Of Revelation

Rev 1:19

19 Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this.

Contrary to popular belief, the book of Revelation is not difficult to understand if it is read literally with the major periods of the Rapture, the 7 year Tribulation period, the Second Coming of our Lord, His 1000 year glorious reign,  and the coming reuniting of the New Heaven and Earth in the right chronological order.  (The possible confusion is the placing of the chronological order of the Seal, Trumpet and Bowl judgments and certain description which is clearly figurative.  I believe in the pre-tribulation Rapture and so I see the apparent difficulty in figuring out the chronological order of various judgments is of little consequence to the believer.)

The things that John the Apostle was told to write down in Rev 1:19 by our Lord were :

  • “Things that he had seen”

Which were his vision of the Lord and the Lord’s explanation of the symbols surrounding Him in chapter 1.

  • “Things that are”

Which were the Lord’s letters to the churches in Asia Minor from chapter 2 to 3.

  • “Things that are to take place in the future”

Which were the “Seal” judgments, “Trumpet” judgments and “Bowl” judgments of Israel and the nations during the 7 year Tribulation period, the return of our Lord, the victory over the enemy, the Lord’s glorious 1000 year reign, the reuniting of heaven and earth; and the eternal state in the remaining chapters.

The outline is as follows :

John’s vision of the Lord and His explanation of the symbols surrounding Him. Chapter 1
The Lord’s letters to the 7 churches in Asia Minor Chapter 2 – 3
The Vision of God’s Throne and Worship in Heaven

The Seven Seal Judgments

Chapter 4

Chapter 5 – 6

Sealing 144,000 Jews of the 12 Tribes of Israel Chapter 7
The Seven Trumpet Judgments Chapter 8 – 9
The Seven Thunders Chapter 10
The Two Witnesses Chapter 11
War in Heaven and Earth Chapter 12
The Beast and the False Prophet Chapter 13
Warnings Of 3 Angels, and Call and Harvest of the Earth by 3 Angels Chapter 14
The Seven Bowl Judgments Chapter 15 – 16
The Judgment of Babylon – the religious, political and financial system of the world Chapter 17 – 18
The Return of our Lord Chapter 19
The Judgment of Unbelievers Chapter 20
The New Heavens and New Earth Chapter 20 – 21
Concluding Blessing and Warning as regards to the Prophecy Chapter 22

How is one blessed when he heeds what he reads and hears the words of this prophecy ?  Rev 1:3.

L Ralph Rohr, M.D., author of The Revelation of Jesus Christ—Comfort or Confusion, gave some of these reasons why we should read the Book of Revelation and be blessed with hope :

  • We should read Revelation, because it is the only book of the Bible that promises a blessing to those who read and heed what it says. This promise is given seven times throughout the book (Revelation 1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7; 22:14).  Seven is the number that signifies complete perfection.  God promises His full and perfect blessing to those who study His Revelation of Jesus Christ.
  • The entire Bible is about Jesus, but different parts of Scripture reveal Jesus in different ways. In the Old Testament we see Jesus in shadows and prophecy.  In the four Gospels we see Jesus in His humiliation in the flesh.  In the New Testament epistles we see Jesus as our moral Virtue and Friend interceding for us with the Father.  But only in Revelation do we see Jesus as He presently and eternally Is—in all of His glorious reality on the throne of Heaven leading and securing His saints, who are His Bride, the Church (Rev. 4 – 5).
  • Revelation is exciting and reassuring. The many horrible and beautiful scenes that John sees explain what is happening in the world today, and comfort the saints in their tribulation.  John is told that what he sees is coming SOON, not sometime thousands of years in the future!  Thus Revelation reveals history as we saints are living it between the first and second advents (comings) of Jesus into our world.  Furthermore, Revelation shows the inevitable outcome of that history, which is victory in Jesus!  (Rev 19:6-16)
  • Revelation explains suffering and pain. All people experience suffering and pain and death in this fallen world where Satan and his beasts deceive and dominate human governments and religions.  True Christians suffer when they tell the story of Jesus and uphold Christ as Savior.  But their suffering is as nothing beside their eternal joy and glory (2 Cor 4:17 – 18).  Revelation shows that the saints are victorious over every worldly circumstance and are singing a new song on Mount Zion (Rev. 14:1-3)
  • Revelation transforms our view of death. For true Christians, death is not a bane but a blessing (Rev 14:13; 20:6; Psa 116:15).


Mission Lesson From The Parable Of The Shrewd Manager

Luke 16:8-13 NLT  Parable of The Shrewd Manager

“The rich man had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light. Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home. 10 “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. 11 And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? 12 And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own? 13 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.”

Some years ago, we bought and gave some hectares of paddy land to a church.  We prayed that it will feed the church and the needy community when hard economic times come.  All thanks and glory to God that the offering has now become the bridge to reaching out to the community of other faiths and winning them for Christ our Lord as we were told.  Recently these inhabitants faced economic hardship and our stock of some dozen tons of rice went a long way to alleviate the hardship.  Besides, we offer to help to mill their rice for just 10% of their produce.

We believed then that we ought to do good to one another while we could.  We took the exhortation of our Lord to be like the Shrewd Manager in benefiting others first and making friends while we had the ability to do so.

We also believed that our initial help to others will surely come back to help ourselves one day in one way or another.

The hard economic times will come as the world continues her irrational exuberance without learning the lesson in 2001 and 2008 crises and the bubble now is probably 10 times or more larger.  Should we find ourselves in lack one day, we can look forward to the churches whom we have helped in the past.

2 Cor 8 :11-14

11 Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have. 12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. 13 Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. 14 Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal.

Ministry In Tumen, China

When God first called me into ministry 14 years ago, the destination of my first few missions was Northeast and Southeast China.  Reminiscing on one such mission to Northeast China,  I was invited to a conference attended by some 150 pastors and ministry workers from several provinces.  The conference was held in a obscure village as approval for such mass gathering was not likely to be approved by the authorities then.   I remembered that there was a motorcycle on standby for our rapid evacuation at the rear of the village home in which we congregated.

I prophesized about the coming economic crisis which would happen after the 2008 Olympics then. (My mission partner, a Malaysian missionary based in Shenzhen, translated for me. He told me later that though he translated for me, he did not pay attention to what I said and the paper loss of his stock portfolio came to about USD 25,000 when the 2008 financial crisis began in Oct 2008.)

On the last day of the conference, a church in Tumen, a town on the border with North Korea populated mostly by the Korean tribe, invited us over to share the word of God with them.   The train journey from Shenyang to Tomen would take 18 hours.

In the afternoon of the last day of the conference, when we were about to leave for the train station, the brothers who cooked for the conference – affectionately called “Martha” – wanted us to stay a while longer to pray for them.  My mission partners were divided whether to stay or head for the train station. Eventually we stayed behind and missed the train.  We prayed and decided on renting a van to chase after the train to the next city Changchun.   Along the way, we were lost.  Again we prayed and we managed to get back on track.  We arrived one hour late at the train station and by the grace of God, the train departure was also delayed.  Hallelujah !

We finally arrived to minister to the church in Tumen.  We also took the opportunity to share the gospel in the lobby of the hotel in which we stayed.

We were so close to North Korea.   Our hotel was very near the ruined bridge straddling across the Tumen River which separate the 2 countries.  The bridge was bombed by the Japanese during the second World War.