Washington Post columnist Peter Holley recently wrote about the super powers of ISIS fighters that makes them fearless in ISIS’s battle to set up a Muslim Caliphate in the Middle East.
He says the reason is a small pill called “Captagon.”
The highly addictive drug is illegal in the West. It was initially produced as a cure for such things as depression or hyperactivity. However, because of its severe negative side affects and addictive qualities the drug was banned in 1986 in most Western nations.
Some of the side effects included hallucinations, psychosis and even brain damage.
While banned in the rest of the world, the easily manufactured drug remained in production in the Middle East. Today, Syria and Saudi Arabia are the main producers of the drug which over the years has become increasingly toxic.
According to Holley, ISIS leaders are giving their fighters the drug because it produces an euphoric state in the person, causing them to lose any sense of fear. It also results in the person being able to go for days without sleep.
Holley writes the drug gives the fighters “superhuman energy and courage.”
The drug is not only being produced to feed ISIS fighters, but the terrorist organization is also selling it throughout Europe to fund its army.
In October 2015, NBC reported that Beirut police arrested a member of the Saudi Royal family at the city’s airport after two tons of Captagon were found on a private jet. Four other people were also detained.
So does this have any significance for the end times? Perhaps.
When we read the New Testament, the word sorcerer or sorcery shows up different times. The word is found several times in the Book of Revelation which is a written record of a vision of the end times received by the Apostle John while on the Island of Patmos.
At first read, the word sorcerer seems to be referring to Harry Potter style magicians. However, there are two Greek words in play here that are routinely translated sorcerer or sorcery — magos and those derived from the Greek word pharma.
The word ‘magos’ refers to magicians while second word pharma (and its different derivatives such as pharmakeia) is what our modern English word pharmacy comes from. Pharma refers to drugs.
At first, the ancient Greeks used it to describe medicinal drugs but over time, it shifted to poisons or drugs that caused psychotic or hallucinogenic episodes. In his dictionary of ancient Greek, W. E. Vine says the word “primarily signified the use of medicine drugs, spells, then poisoning; then sorcery.”
By New Testament times, this was how the word was commonly understood. It was associated with demonology or the black arts as people used drugs or potions to contact the spirit world.
Some Christians have gone overboard to suggest the Greek word condemns the usage of all drugs including medicinal. However, this is clearly not the case.
In the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John refers to sorcery four times (Revelation 9:21; 18:23; 21:8; and 22:15). Each time, John uses words derived from pharma, not magos. Because pharma is found more often in the book of Revelation than any other New Testament book, it suggests that drug usage would be a major problem at the end of the age.
It is also clear from the passage that these illicit drugs would be used to manipulate and control people as John writes people were deceived by this sorcery or drugs.
23 and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer; for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery. (Revelation 18:23 NASV)
The passage also associates pharma with the business world, that may be a reference to the gradual legalization of mind altering drugs, such as marijuana, that we are witnessing today. When there are profits to be made and taxes to collect there is pressure to open the financial doors these drugs produce.
But the verse also implies that this sorcery may make a person more vulnerable to deception, which in turn allows satan to bring forth his end times agenda.
Are ISIS extremists an example of this unfolding plan?