5:3 for the last days. This section (James 5:1-9) is obviously set in the context of “the last days.” While it is true that the disparity between rich and poor has always been a great problem (and thus any period in church history could have been held to fulfill this prophecy), it also seems true that the problem grows more severe every year. The communist scourge, which all but conquered the world before it suddenly disintegrated (maybe!) was fueled by intellectuals who took advantage of the feeling of hopelessness in the downtrodden masses, on whose backs had been built the great fortunes of the wealthy classes. The institution of slavery had already contributed to the amassing of wealth by prosperous merchants and landowners in many nations. Even now, despite the development of a superficial democracy in various nations, the reality is that wealth and political influence in greater and more insidious—even conspiratorial—financial empires have concentrated the wealth of the world in the hands of a relatively small number of multi-national power brokers. That this will still be the case in the very last days before Christ returns is evident from the graphic description of the destruction of commercial Babylon in Revelation 18.