Drug Use and the End Time
By Dean T. Olson
The weekend news was full of reports of a huge marijuana smoke-in on Saturday, April 20th in Denver. Named the 4/20 counterculture holiday, it was expected to attract 80,000 people in celebration of Colorado's recent legalization of marijuana use. In addition to Colorado, Washington State also voted for a referendum to legalize marijuana use in November, 2012. A news helicopter overflew the site and taped a thick haze of pot smoke hanging over the venue. In spite of a huge police presence following the Boston Marathon bombing, the pot smokers were stampeded when gunfire erupted resulting in the wounding of two people.
The legalization of drug use is one sign among a growing number that our culture is being radically deformed as traditional norms are being discarded in a headlong pursuit of secular hedonism. That pursuit is a key indicator of Satan's growing influence as we near the Rapture. The growing erosion of moral restraints such as mainstreaming homosexuality and the rise of legalized drug use signal that the end of the Age of Grace is drawing near. In Isaiah 5:20 the Bible refers to the fourth woe of the ancient Jews who followed false prophets to reject the true worship of God. As the Jews did then, America is doing now by turning our backs on worship and service for God to indulge in earthly pleasures. By legalizing drug use, society stamps its approval on the practice essentially "calling evil good and good evil and putting darkness for light and light for darkness." By reclassifying drug use as acceptable, our dying culture opens the door for wholesale drug use and provides Satan with a powerful tool to drive a wedge between man and God.
Few drug users know that drug use is tied to occultism. It falls in line with other occult practices designed to prepare the mind for the penetration of demons. The word witchcraft in the following verse is translated from the Greek word "Pharmakeia" the root of modern words such as pharmacy and pharmaceuticals. In Greek Pharmakeia means witchcraft, the occult, sorcery, illicit drugs and magical incantations with drugs and mind control through drug use and drug potions.
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatons 5:19-21).
Many drug abusers seek the mind-altering euphoria that illicit drugs induce. The Bible strongly denounces these practices because they are part of Satan's strategy to lead us astray. Satan uses drug abuse to change the abuser's perspective of reality. In the 1960's - the beginning of America's insatiable desire for mind-altering substances - the drug-altered reality was called a "mind trip." In the Bible it is called 'sorcery.' It prepares the abuser's mind for the penetration of demonic thoughts that separate the abuser from God. When abused long enough, or with the right drug, addiction occurs and Satan is one step closer to his goal of winning the abuser's soul. The high rate of suicide among the drug addicted underscores Satan's effectiveness in using drugs to entice man away from God. Satan's goal has always been to wrest souls from God to his dark side. He wins a soul whenever he can convince one of God's Creation to destroy themselves via suicide. And even if the drug addiction doesn't lead to suicide, the need to feed an addiction to stave off psycho-physical withdrawal and attain that euphoric mental state becomes the first priority in the addict's life. As Satan intended, addiction shoves aside friends, family, job, God and even health in the chronic desire to feed the addiction.
The secular world ignores the fact that Satan and his demons are real beings set on our destruction:
When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire [an ancient occult practice], or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination [detestable] to the Lord…" (Deuteronomy 18:9-12a).
Research has shown that occult practices are often fraudulent and deceitful illusions including counterfeit miracles stemming from demonic sources. In some instances, occult magic or divination are a manifestation of demonic powers or the result of demon possession (Acts 16:16). All occult practices lead practitioners away from God. The Bible is unequivocal that anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord (Deuteronomy 18:10-12; 2 Kings 21:6; Micah 5:12; Isaiah 47:12; Ezekiel 13:18, 20; Acts 8:11-24; Leviticus 20:27; Exodus 7:11; Revelation 9:21; 22:15).
God warns of the ultimate punishment. Revelation 21:8 says of "…those who practice magic arts …their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur… the second death" (NIV). Those who practice witchcraft (sorcery) will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:20-21). These practices are anti-God and are in rebellion against Him.
This extends to mediums (psychics) and spiritists (those claiming the ability to speak to the dead). Instead we are to turn to God for the truth (Isaiah 8:19). Clearly, if those who practiced these arts have any power, beyond being great deceivers, it is not a gift from God as some falsely claim. The Bible condemns and forbids these practices several times (Deuteronomy 18:9-14; Isaiah 44:25; Jeremiah 27:9; 2 Kings 21:6; 23:24). Divination and spiritism were despised practices of the heathens (Ezekiel 21:21; Isaiah 19:3; 1 Samuel 28).
Scripture says that one of the reasons King Saul died was "because he consulted a medium for guidance" rather than God (1 Chronicles 10:13-14).
The Bible provides examples showing the folly and failures of those who claimed the ability to predict the future based on their own powers or those of spirits (Daniel 2:27, etc.). God calls the word of diviners "nonsense," "lies" and "deception" for foolish people (Ezekiel 13:8; Jeremiah 14:14; Isaiah 44:25). God said, "Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!" (Ezekiel 13:3). Being a psychic medium was punishable by death in ancient Israel (Leviticus 20:27). The presence of a medium or spiritist among God's people of Israel was considered a defilement (Leviticus 19:31). All these practices take people further from their Creator, the true and living God.
The spiritual decline of our culture typified by legalizing drug use was prophesied to occur as the end time neared. Further evidence of that decline is provided by an online quiz started in 2011 by the group, The Changing the Face of Christianity. It examined how consistently Christians are living according to the teachings of Jesus Christ. The anonymous self-assessment asked Christians how they would act in real-life dilemmas and sought to determine whether respondents were "Far from Christ," a "Worldly Christian," a "Good Christian," or a "Spiritually Mature Christian." The results initially indicated that one in four scored as "Worldly Christians," or "Christians in name only." The latest results taken in 2012 show that the number has risen from 23.7 percent to 30.9 - or almost 1 in 3 who are now "Worldly Christians." Some of the questions on the quiz included: "How often do you read your Bible and/or have quiet time with the Lord?" and "How have you been transformed by your acceptance of Jesus Christ as your savior?"
Accompanying the decline in spirituality and faith are efforts to marginalize and stigmatize Christians as unenlightened, intolerant bigots. A key battleground for these efforts is the public educational system. In a future article I will document the battle that rages to eliminate all vestiges of Christianity from the public sphere, and especially in our public schools. The influence wielded by the forces of evil currently treading the earth seeking to separate us from our Creator's loving embrace will continue to grow as we near the Rapture. We can expect to see the continued deformation of our once great culture and America's corresponding decline. As disheartening as these things are, we can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that our true reward lies in Heaven after Jesus calls us home in the Rapture. In the meantime it is wise to remember the words of C.S. Lewis, "If you read history you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were those who thought the most about the next world." Thinking of the next world is a powerful antidote to the depressing conditions of this world.
Dean T. Olson, Omaha