Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you. Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
The Book of James is not typically the first book one would think of in the New Testament as containing prophetic information about the time of the LORD's return. Yet, the last phrase of verse eight clearly gives an indication of an economic nightmare near the coming of the LORD. Revelation 18 plainly warns of the collapse of the economy of the one world system brought about by the Antichrist just prior to Christ's physical return. However, could a prior collapse also be the reason for nations ceding their sovereignty to a new worldwide economy that allows the rise of the Antichrist? Could it be a severe or near total collapse at a global economic level would convince nations and peoples that they need to accept a sole totalitarian worldwide leader as a new hope for international and personal stability? One thing is for sure, our history books are full of rebellions and revolutions brought about by economic crises where people did just that. Hoping for a brighter future, they allowed dictators and despots to take control. The change for the better, however, never followed. James' warning should be taken to heart as we can see the storms of worldwide unification on the horizon.
About the time of the American Civil War, China was suffering from severe economic problems. Some of these woes were also the result of natural disasters that were placing a great strain on the economy as well as war with western powers. Ironically, it was a deluded "Christian" named Hong Xiuquan (This man believed himself to be the younger brother of Jesus Christ) who promised change. Playing off of the problems of corrupt government and a fragile economy, Xiuquan quickly drew many followers. What followed was the Taiping Rebellion. It escalated into one of the bloodiest rebellions of all time with some estimates of 30 million deaths. Though this rebellion ended in defeat, it serves as an example of the type of confusion the Bible clearly speaks about in the last days. This rebellion featured a false Christ who took advantage of economic and political confusion for his own gain. Unlike Hong Xiuguin's failed experiment, others have succeeded in thoroughly changing society while robbing citizens of their rights and freedoms in order to bring a new order.
About 80 years later, a man named Adolf Hitler also stepped onto the world stage during a time of great economic confusion. Like Hong Xiuquan, Hitler also promised a new millennium of change. The economy of Germany was in a shambles. The picture above shows German children building a pyramid with the devalued and worthless Weimar Marks prior to Hitler's meteoric rise. Grasping for a change in government and economy, the German people accepted a wicked ruler who also brought tragedy to the entire world. In doing so, they also entered into Hitler's personality cult that paid homage to a man seen as a savior. There probably is no greater shadow of the Antichrist outside of scripture as Adolf Hitler. However, Hitler will seem like a novice when compared with the real thing. The earth will experience unprecedented deaths, and it seems to be just around the corner. He, too, will rise promising order from chaos, but it was chaos purposefully staged to rob men and nations of their freedoms and rights.
No wonder James tried to warn those trusting in riches over trusting in Christ near the last days before the Lord's return. So where is your trust? Is it in Christ or mammon? Trust Jesus! He is Soon2Come! His kingdom will bring the stability you are looking for.
I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.