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James 5 with Metaphysical Footnotes (ASV)

Warning to Rich Oppressors

5:1Come now, ye rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you.1 5:2Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 5:3Your gold and your silver are rusted; and their rust shall be for a testimony against you, and shall eat your flesh as fire. Ye have laid up your treasure in the last days.2 5:4Behold, the hire of the laborers who mowed your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth out: and the cries of them that reaped have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 5:5Ye have lived delicately on the earth, and taken your pleasure; ye have nourished your hearts in a day of slaughter. 5:6Ye have condemned, ye have killed the righteous one; he doth not resist you.

  1. your miseries that are coming upon you. How does injustice affect the doer of injustice? It hardens his spirit, making him impervious to the needs of his fellows. It narrows his vision, giving him no insight into the mind and heart of another, and leaving him marooned in his own selfishness. He lays up his treasure "in the last days," since his opportunities to practice justice and righteousness are continually diminished, until he becomes incapable of fellow feeling.
  2. laid up your treasure in the last days. What is the proper care of money? Since money is a medium of exchange, it should be kept in circulation where it can do most good. Used aright, with vision and originality, money produces material wealth and often produces immaterial wealth, such as good will, at the same time.

Patience in Suffering

5:7Be patient therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it, until it receive the early and latter rain. 5:8Be ye also patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 5:9Murmur not, brethren, one against another, that ye be not judged: behold, the judge standeth before the doors. 5:10Take, brethren, for an example of suffering1 and of patience, the prophets who spake in the name of the Lord.5:11Behold, we call them blessed that endured: ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord, how that the Lord is full of pity, and merciful.

5:12But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by the heaven, nor by the earth, nor by any other oath: but let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay; that ye fall not under judgment.

  1. for an example of suffering. Why do we invoke divine power in suffering? Because suffering quickly exhausts our human resources, so that we awaken to the need of a higher help than our own. Because we need divine power more urgently, we look to God more often in suffering than in joy.

The Prayer of Faith

5:13Is any among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praise. 5:14Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 5:15and the prayer of faith1 shall save him that is sick2, and the Lord shall raise him up3; and if he have committed sins, it shall be forgiven him. 5:16Confess therefore your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The supplication of a righteous man availeth much in its working. 5:17Elijah was a man of like passions with us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain; and it rained not on the earth for three years and six months. 5:18And he prayed again; and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

5:19My brethren, if any among you err from the truth, and one convert him; 5:20let him know, that he who converteth a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins.

  1. and the prayer of faith. The act of mentally taking that which is desired. Jesus said, "All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them" (Mark 11:24). "We believe that the prayer of faith will save the sick, resurrect the body from "trespasses and sins," and finally overcome the last enemy, death."—Statement of Faith #13.
  2. shall save him that is sick. This is a very definite and wonderful promise. According to the record, it was undoubtedly acted upon by the disciples and proved to be very effective for hundreds of years. That this mighty promise still stands is proved by unnumbered thousands of Jesus' followers today. Faith healing through prayer has become a practice founded on principles that never fail when rightly applied. Those who seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness are having all things added, as promised. When we "take with us words" (Hos. 14:2) and attempt to go into God's presence, our faith in Him is the power that swings wide open the gate that leads into the inner kingdom. —Charles and Cora Fillmore, Teach Us To Pray, Healing Through The Prayer of Faith
  3. and the Lord shall raise him up. It is found by those who have faith in the power of God that the prayer for health is the most quickly answered. The reason for this is that the natural laws that create and sustain the body are really divine laws, and when man silently asks for the intervention of God in restoring health, he is calling into action the natural forces of his being. Doctors agree that the object of using their remedies is to quicken the natural functions of the body. But medicine does not appeal to the intelligent principle that directs all the activities of the organism, hence it fails to give permanent healing.—Charles Fillmore, Jesus Christ Heals, The Omnipotence of Prayer.

Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks

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