Q. Is there Biblical evidence that Satan needs permission to start events that have prophetic significance, or are they not his to start anyway? For example, since everything in Bible prophecy depends on exact timing, and everything has to follow a pre-written plan, even if we as humans do not have all the details, can Satan just have his human comrades escalate events (like rocket fire on Tel Aviv that may lead to Psalm 83) if it isn’t yet time for it, prophetically?
A. I think all prophecy has to be fulfilled in God’s perfect timing, because unlike mankind He can’t be caught off guard. I think Satan tries to stir things up as often as he can, but if it’s not God’s timing then it won’t be allowed to proceed. In the 30 years I’ve been studying prophecy I’ve seen the Middle East on the brink of a Psalm 83 / Isaiah 17 event a number of times, but each time the Lord has put a stop to it. I don’t think we’ll know for sure whether the time has come for these prophecies until after the fact.
That said, the Lord gave us these prophecies and told us to be on the look out for them. Since there’s no indication of the timing for many of them all we can know is if conditions are right for their occurrence. For example, I believe conditions are currently right for Psalm 83 and Isaiah 17 but not for Ezekiel 38. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re about to happen, it just means they could.