Israel My Glory In Depth: Interview with Bruce Scott
We face a deadly adversary. His goal is to defeat God and take His power. He’s the Dragon, the Devil, Satan, and He’s after your soul. The Friends of Israel Bible teacher Bruce Scott joins Chris this week to equip us for spiritual warfare. He shares insight from his recent Israel My Glory article about the terrible plans of this Dragon.
Bruce breaks down the Dragon’s defining characteristics on the show. Satan is a defector, deceiver, despot, devourer, defamer, and destroyer. Though he is a powerful opponent, his fate is sealed—he will never defeat the Lord. Bruce’s interview will inform you about our enemy whom we must be prepared to battle, but ultimately it will encourage you with the knowledge of God’s inevitable victory over our crafty adversary!
Check out Bruce’s article, “The Fiery Red Dragon.”
Steve Conover: Welcome to The Friends of Israel Today. I'm Steve Conover, with me as our host and teacher, Chris Katulka. We have a great show for you. But before Chris comes, I'd like to encourage you to visit our website, foiradio.org. There you'll find trustworthy and accurate news on Israel and the Middle East. And while you're there, you can support our ministry by clicking on the donate button and help us continue teaching biblical truth about Israel and the Jewish people. Again, that's foiradio.org.
Chris Katulka: Steve, you know what else our listeners can do? They can go to foiradio.org and sign up for a year free subscription to our award-winning magazine, Israel My Glory, because that's what this entire episode is all about, our most recent issue of Israel My Glory, which is called The Woman, The Child, and The Dragon, a brief look at world history through the lens of Revelation chapter 12. We're going to have Bruce Scott, who is the program ministries director here at The Friends of Israel, talking about his recent article in the magazine, which is called The Fiery Red Dragon. We're going to look at Satan, not only what Satan is doing today as he deceives the world, but also what Revelation 12 says about Satan and his impact on the prophetic future.
Steve Conover: Before Bruce joins us, in the news, tensions between Israel and Gaza escalated earlier this month after Khaled al-Batsh, head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza, promised retaliation following Israel's arrest of its West Bank commander. Instead of waiting for the worst, Israel enacted Operation Breaking Dawn, eliminating key terrorist leaders and destroying assets of the Islamic Jihad. Still, more than 1,000 projectiles were fired on Israel by the Iran funded terrorist organization.
Chris Katulka: Steve, here's my take, the terrorist threat on Israel came as Jewish people all around the world entered into Tisha B'Av, the ninth of Av, which is the most solemn day on Israel's calendar. It's a time when Jewish people remember the destruction of both the first and second temples in Jerusalem at the hand of their enemies, and it's a reminder for us today that Israel's enemies are still active today. But it's God who watches over Israel and God will neither slumber, nor sleep.
Chris Katulka: Well, everybody, it's a joy to have Bruce Scott on the other line with us to chat about his most recent article that he wrote for Israel My Glory, which is called The Fiery Red Dragon. Bruce, great to have you on the program.
Bruce Scott: Thank you, Chris. It's good to be with you.
Chris Katulka: Hey, Bruce, I know we can't talk long on this because we have limited time, but you have just been traveling around like crazy for Friends of Israel this summer. You've been to Israel, leading a trip of young adults on a volunteer trip to Israel. And then you did our Encounter program twice where you take people on a trip throughout Philadelphia, New York City, and New Jersey showing them the Jewish cultures and customs here in North America. You've been pretty busy traveling around.
Bruce Scott: Yes, it's been kind of crazy, but I've enjoyed every moment of it. It's great opportunities for people to join us and gain new friends and learn about Jewish history and culture and also to serve. Both of those programs, Origins and Encounter, are great opportunities for people.
Chris Katulka: Bruce, we're going to have you come back and talk about those ministry opportunities. But until then, you wrote an article called The Fiery Red Dragon. This article is about the dragon who is Satan and it all originates from Revelation 12. Really, Bruce, Revelation 12 is an interesting chapter in John's apocalypse. How would you describe Revelation 12 to our listeners?
Bruce Scott: Well, in Revelation 12, John, the apostle John, is given a vision from God and what it is is an overview, it's a summary of world history that really begins back in Genesis 3:15, where after Adam and Eve have sinned, they've fallen through the deception of Satan, the evil one, through the serpent. God promises, "I will put in enmity between you, the serpent, and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise your head," which indicates a deadly blow, "and you, the serpent, shall bruise his heel." From the very beginning, this is the first messianic prophecy, God predicts this cosmic conflict that goes throughout human history.
Bruce Scott: In chapter 12 you find this as well. In chapter 12 of Revelation, you see flashbacks going back in history, but you also see flash forwards. In other words, you see things that have already happened in human history, but also things yet to come. In this vision that John receives, there are three main characters and these characters are figurative, but they represent actual major players on history's world stage.
Chris Katulka: Yeah, it's interesting too, because I've always enjoyed reading Revelation 12 because you kind of get a chance to peel back and see all the events that are taking place on earth, Bruce, that we look at prophetically are also keys to see that God is acting what's going on behind the scenes. That there is a battle between God and Satan, between his angels warring against Satan and demons and all of the good and evil that are fighting behind the scenes that we can't see in the unseen world. I have always appreciated that about Revelation 12. It's actually a passage I like reading during Christmas.
Chris Katulka: I call it the cosmic Christmas, because it's really the story of what God is doing in bringing Jesus to earth. But in Revelation 12, Bruce, there are three main characters and you point them out perfectly. There's Jesus, who is the male child. There's the woman who represents Israel. And then there's the great fiery red dragon who represents the serpent of old, the devil, Satan. Your article focuses on the fiery red dragon. Before we dive into this, where did Satan... I think this is an important topic. Where did Satan even come from, Bruce?
Bruce Scott: Well, it's interesting. He came from heaven. In fact, in chapter 12, verse four, it says his tail, speaking of the dragon, threw a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. That's where Satan was originally from. He was a created or he is a created being. And because he is a created being, an angel, he's not equal with God. Sometimes people look at Satan as being the exact opposite of God, but he's not. He's definitely not equal with God. He's an angel. He's a fallen angel, and he originally started out as the highest ranking angel. There was no angel more important than him, where he was originally known as Lucifer.
Bruce Scott: He was the anointed cherub, the Bible describes him in Ezekiel 28. He was perfect in all those ways until iniquity was found in him. The devil originally comes from heaven and God describes him in chapter 12 as a dragon. This is God's perspective of him that he is this monster that was perfect and he was the anointed cherub, he was the highest of all the angels. But then because of his pride, according to Isaiah 14, he fell and turned into this monster, being seen in Revelation 12 as a dragon. In Isaiah 14, it speaks of this anointed cherub saying five times in his heart, "I will. I will be like the most high. I will do this. I will do that."
Bruce Scott: And up until that time, there had only been one will, one desire, one purpose in the universe, and that was God's. But whenever Satan said, "I will," then that brought in another desire, another purpose that was contrary to God. He was a rebel. He turned into Satan, which means adversary or opponent. And because he is God's adversary or opponent, we, as children of God, he's our opponent as well.
Chris Katulka: You do such a great job in your article, Bruce, defining Satan. You call him a defector, a deceiver, a despot, a devourer, a defamer, and a destroyer. I want to highlight some of these in our remaining time together. You call Satan a deceiver who deceives the whole world as Revelation 12:9 says. How will Satan deceive the world in the future? Really, I guess, how is he deceiving us now as you call him the deceiver?
Bruce Scott: Well, to deceive someone means you're trying to convince them that something is true when it's really not. When it says here in Revelation 12:9, he deceives the whole world, it's interesting that the participle that's used there indicates an ongoing action. In other words, Satan not only leaves the world astray in the future during the tribulation period, but he's always led the world astray from the very beginning. He tries to convince people that something is true when it's not. Now, in the future, what he will try to do is to deceive the world into following the antichrist. That this man, this antichrist is the solution to all of the world's problems.
Bruce Scott: He will deceive the world into following this antichrist. He'll do that through a number of different ways, by this person's leadership skills, but also he will appear to have this deadly wound and it will be restored and people will follow him because of this seeming miracle and such. But this is what he's going to do in the future. He's going to deceive the world into following this man and to convince them that he is the answer to their problems and to receive the mark of the beast, the mark of the antichrist, which will either be a number or the name of the antichrist imprinted on their forehead or on their right hand, Revelation 13 tells us.
Bruce Scott: That will doom people whenever they receive that. He's going to deceive people then through the antichrist, but he's also deceiving people now. His tactics haven't changed from the very beginning when he deceived Eve, and that is the devil denies what God has said. He cast doubt on what God has said. Then he denies what God has said. He said to Eve, "Has God said," and then he actually denied it. "You shall not die." He uses those same tactics, even today. He casts doubt about God in his character and God in his Word. He also deceives people by using the elements of his world system, which are the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
Bruce Scott: He deceives people into thinking that this is what life is all about. You don't need God. There is no meaning to life other than fulfilling the lust of your flesh or the lust of your eyes and the boastful pride of life. He disguises himself even as an angel of light. Jesus referred to him as the father of lies, and that's what he is and that's what he does.
Chris Katulka: Listen, we're talking with Bruce Scott, who is the program ministries director here at Friends of Israel, and we're going to continue speaking with Bruce about his recent article that's in Israel My Glory. But before we go on, I want to invite you. Are you a subscriber to Israel My Glory? If you're not, would you please go to foiradio.org? And right there, you can subscribe to receive one year free subscription of our award-winning Christian magazine, Israel My Glory. And let me tell you something, if you get our digital version of Israel My Glory, you will not only get all of the new material coming to you every two months, but you'll also get 40 years worth of Israel My Glory magazines right at your fingertips.
Chris Katulka: You can read it on your tablet, on your cell phone, on your computer. You can take it wherever you go. We have an app as well that you can download so that you can keep up with everything that's happening with Israel and the Jewish people and what the Scriptures teach about Israel and the Jewish people. You'll also be able to get our most recent issue of Israel My Glory that's out right now, The Woman, The Dragon, and The Child, which we're talking about with Bruce, a brief look at world history through the lens of Revelation 12. Hey, let me encourage you one more time, go to foiradio.org and get your one year free subscription of our award winning Christian magazine, Israel My Glory.
Chris Katulka: Bruce, this has been so encouraging to talk to you about the reality of who Satan is, especially as it's painted in Revelation 12. As I'm sitting here listening to you, number one, you've done a great job connecting the devil to all of these different words that start with D like a deceiver, like a despot, all of these different attributes of who he is, a destroyer, a defamer. But you call Satan a despot, Bruce, which is someone who holds absolute power or authority, but actually exercises that power in a really cruel and oppressive way. In prophecy, in God's prophetic Word, how will Satan attempt to rule over the world and what will that rule look like?
Bruce Scott: Those are good questions. I guess, I would preface my answer by saying that in actuality, Satan is the ruler of this world right now. In fact, he's referred to that in John 12, John 14, and John 16. He's the ruler of this world. 2 Corinthians 4 says he's the God of this age. Ephesians 2 says he's the prince of the power of the air. Right now he is the ruler of this world and its evil system are under his control. His influence is felt around the world. This is why, interestingly enough, in Luke 4 when Satan tried to tempt Jesus Christ to sin, he offered to give Jesus all the kingdoms of the world. In fact, he said, "All this authority I will give you and their glory for this has been delivered to me and I give it to whomever I wish."
Bruce Scott: Obviously Jesus didn't take Satan up on his offer, but in the future, after the devil is thrown out of heaven where he is currently the accuser of the brethren, Revelation 12:10 tells us, then Satan on the earth will draw out from the sea, in Revelation 13, this picture of the sea, this future world ruler called the antichrist. What the devil does is he rules the world, but he also does it through proxies. This is why in Daniel 10:20 we're told that there are spiritual powers behind the political governments across the globe. This will happen during the tribulation period.
Bruce Scott: The antichrist, who will be an imitation of Christ, since the devil tries to imitate God, the dragon will give to his false Christ, according to Revelation 13:2, his power, his throne, and great authority, so much so that the antichrist will be a world dictator and a despot such as the world has never seen before.
Chris Katulka: It's interesting because when I look at what's going on in Revelation too, Satan almost has the ability to want to mimic the Trinity, Bruce. We can see in the Book of Revelation as well.
Bruce Scott: Yes. The dragon, obviously the devil, wants to mimic God the Father. The antichrist is the imitation, the false imitation, of the Messiah. And then the false prophet in Revelation 13 who points people to the false Christ is an imitation of the Holy Spirit, and part of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to point people to the true Christ.
Chris Katulka: Now, you have a fascinating quote in your article, Bruce. You say, “of the past 3,400 years, humans have been entirely at peace for 268 of them, or just 8% of recorded history. Estimates for the total number of killed in wars throughout all of human history range from 150 million to one billion.” Now, in your article, Bruce, you say “Satan is the destroyer at one who's characterized by war.” Can you share more about that, especially what it means about Satan's ambitions during the future tribulation period?
Bruce Scott: Sure. The dragon is characterized as a warmonger in the Book of Revelation in particular, and he does it through his proxies. In fact, in chapters 12 through 20 of the Book of Revelation, there are 10 times when war is mentioned in relation to the dragon or he's making war with others. He's a rebel. The devil seeks to overthrow, to usurp, to control. He wants his will to be done and he wants it to be done, if people won't accept it willingly, he forces them. The devil delights in war. He engages in war, like I said, through human proxies, especially during the tribulation period.
Bruce Scott: He especially does it through the antichrist, and he wages war against Israel against believers in the Lord Jesus, and he even makes war against the returning Messiah. The Bible says in chapter 11 of Revelation that he makes war with the two witnesses and he kills them through his proxy, the antichrist. It says in chapter 12, there is war in heaven. He also in chapter 12:17, he makes war with the offspring of the woman and those who hold the testimony of Jesus. It's said of the antichrist in chapter 13, who's able to make or wage war with him. It's interesting, with the antichrist in Daniel 11:38, it describes the antichrist as one who honors a God of fortresses, which is a military picture.
Bruce Scott: The antichrist makes war with the saints and overcomes them in chapter 13:7. Demonic spirits come out of the mouth of the dragon and the antichrist and the false prophet in chapter 16 to gather the kings of the whole world for Armageddon. The antichrist and his kings wage war against the lamb upon his return. And of course, Jesus defeats them. And then even after he's released from imprisonment in chapter 20, it says the dragon goes out to make war. He's definitely a warmonger. Why? It's because his chief ambition has always been to replace God with himself, to usurp the throne of God so that he might not only be the ruler of this world, but the ruler of heaven as well.
Chris Katulka: Bruce, we only have about a minute left and you're talking about Satan being a warmonger. But the question is, what's the destiny of this warmonger? What's the destiny of this defector, this deceiver, this despot, destroyer, devourer, this defamer? What's the destiny of the dragon, Bruce?
Bruce Scott: To continue with alliteration, he's ultimately going to be defeated and doomed.
Chris Katulka: That's good. I like it. There's a lot of Ds here, Bruce.
Bruce Scott: Yes. He's going to be defeated when the Lord Jesus returns. The Lord will just speak a word, he'll defeat the antichrist and all of his minions. The devil will then be thrown into the lake of fire... First of all, he'll be imprisoned for a thousand years. And then when he's released, then his doom is that he will be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, which the Bible says in Matthew 25 has already been prepared for him and his angels.
Chris Katulka: Yes.
Bruce Scott: They will be tormented day and night forever and ever in Revelation 20:10. It doesn't look good for him. He is a defeated foe. He was defeated. His power of death was defeated at the cross and at Jesus' resurrection and his future defeat will even be worse and his doom is sure.
Chris Katulka: Bruce, I'll tell you, the Book of Revelation can definitely seem like a depressing book at moments, but it also better yet details the plan that God has that he will win the victory. He will win the battle, and that battle is very clearly seen in Revelation 12. A brief look at world history through the lens of Revelation 12 is what our most recent issue of Israel My Glory is all about, The Woman, The Child, and The Dragon. Bruce, I can't thank you enough for joining us to give our listeners an overview of what your article is all about.
Bruce Scott: Thank you, Chris. It's been great to be with you.
Steve Conover: Thank you for joining us for The Friends of Israel Today. We want to create content that we know is enriching your life. If this program has touched your heart, let us know by reaching us at the contact form you'll find at foiradio.org. That's foiradio.org.
Chris Katulka: Steve, this September, we're going to be doing our National Prophecy Conferences where we're going to be looking at the Seven Feasts of Israel. We're not only going to look at the historical aspects of the seven feasts, but also their prophetic significance and what they show us about God and the scriptures as well. But to kind of tease the conference, I'm going to give my two messages right here on the radio program over the next two weeks. We'll look at the Feast of Unleavened Bread next week, and then Yom Kippur, which is fitting because Yom Kippur will be coming up in the next few months.
Steve Conover: We look forward to it. Our host and teacher is Chris Katulka. Today's program was produced by Tom Gallione. Our theme music was composed and performed by Jeremy Strong. Mike Kellogg read Apples of Gold. And I'm Steve Conover, executive producer. The Friends of Israel Today is a production of The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry. We are a worldwide evangelical ministry proclaiming biblical truth about Israel and the Messiah, while bringing physical and spiritual comfort to the Jewish people.
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