Does James 5:1-5 predict that the price of gold and sliver will skyrocket in the end times? Is a historically high gold price an indicator of the soon return of Jesus?
As a disclaimer these are just my personal musings. It is certainly possible that I am abusing the text and forcing something into the text that may not be there.
Let's read James 5:1-5:
1 "Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you!
2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten.
3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days.
4 Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth (a Hebrew word for armies or militaries)
5 You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter.
It is very interesting that "in the last days" the rich will have "heaped up treasure" that are described as "gold and silver." Central bankers might see this as unfortunate but the author James was not aware of such things as Federal Reserve Notes, derivatives, and Quantitative Easing. The author James lived in a time and place where silver was the common currency. Gold was commonly used medium of exchange (see Matthew 2:11, 10:9, Acts 3:6, 20:33).
Could it be that the price of gold and silver will jump really high right before Jesus returns? Could it be that many wealthy people or organizations will be hoarding the gold as they expect it's imminent rise in value? China and Russia have been hoarding gold, do they expect something to happen?
According to the Federal Reserve, if you need more money you just turn on the printer and print some, no problem. But you cannot just print more gold. There exists only a finite limited amount of gold in this earth and as the population increases and gold mining productions eventually decrease, gold will inevitably rise in price. However there may also be a rise in the price of gold as people holding green-paper-with-faces-of-dead-people-and-pyraminds....oops I mean official Federal Reserve Notes...as people holding this paper realize it's losing value they will look for something that has stood the test of time: gold and silver.
Is a massive spike in gold and silver and good sign?
Right now it's April 2015 and there is a quite a bit of chatter on the internet about an imminent collapse in the economy. Personally I believe a collapse (or severe natural disasters) is inevitable and certain because these huge shocks will create the political and religious atmosphere to enact and enforce laws that will combine church and state to restrict religious liberties. As Naomi Klein pointed out in The Shock Doctrine on page 6 "Only a crisis—actual or perceived—produces real change." Whether natural or orchestrated by secret societies, it is imminent.
Whether the price of gold shoots through the roof or not, it will not really matter. Why? Gold is not the most precious commodity and will ultimately lose all gains.
God says in Isaiah 13:12 that He will make a man more valuable than gold. For all of human history not one angel could put a price on the value of a human soul. It was not possible until Jesus was crucified on Calvary. The moment God was murdered for man all of heaven recognized the infinite value of one soul. All of heaven had been bankrupted and all of heaven's resources were poured out and emptied when Jesus died. Everything of eternal value was risked for a human soul. Because of this great price at which a soul was valued, evangelism to win people to Jesus should have been the number one investment of all time and money of all Christians from that day forward to the end of time. Sadly, history bears witness that people of this world have been deluded and have been making investments that can only produce negative returns on an eternal scale.
The value of foreign missions and evangelism now has reached unprecedented highs. The world is teeming with masses waiting to learn of something with eternal value and security. Who will invest in this message?
The opportunities now for missions and evangelism have reached historical highs. The resources and means to reach unreached people groups have grown exponentially, who make the investment now to be wealthy later?
Investing in missions and evangelism now to take the last warning to the world will have greater returns than ALL the investments that could ever have been made EVER. 1 Thessalonians 2:19 "What is the source of our wealth and the reason for unbelievable joy? It is you and all those that have been won to the truth at the appearing of Jesus when he returns." (my paraphrase)
Gold and silver "will be a witness against you." What a sad day it will be to be the one holding the gold and silver when the music stops and Jesus comes back to demand an account. What people valued so highly will be "against" them as it testifies they wanted to invest in temporary rocks more than eternal friends in heaven.
To understand where the markets will be headed you will have to read The Great Controversy book by Ellen White (pdf here). Read especially the last 11 chapters and while reading ask yourself the question "How will the rise or fall of the economy play out in the events described in these chapters?"