We see here that first Satan will go out and deceive the nations. That would seem to imply that the deceit will take time. Of course, many may be willing to be persuaded more than others, but when we see the number of people that are persuaded to be on Satan's side (like the sand on the seashore), then it would likely take a good amount of time to accumulate that number of people. It could take many years or even many decades.
The second scripture is found in Micah chapter 5. This is probably less well known and many have tried to make it fit into other prophecy, but it still seems to stand alone. Some of you may be familiar with verse 2 which predicts that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, and we know that Jesus Christ was born there as prophesied (Lk 2). However, this chapter is very wide in scope. This coming Messiah is a ruler who will rule when Israel and Judah are recombined as a nation (v3) and he will rule over the entire earth in peace (v4-5). This undoubtedly speaks of Christ's Millennial reign. Verse 5 then transitions from a period of peace to a period of strife. While Assyria did invade Israel and take the northern tribes captive in 722 BC, the events in this chapter of Micah do not fit any scenarios of Assyria invading Israel and Israel never ruled Assyria. Therefore, these verses seem to point to the Messiah taking back the land over which Satan had gained control.
We know that during the Millennium, both Assyria and Egypt which had been adversaries against Israel for ages, become ruled by the Messiah and he calls them his people (Is 19:23-25). It seems that once Satan is released from the Abyss he likely sets up shop back in Babylon again - his first place of rule led by Nimrod (Gn 10:8-12, 11:1-9; Mi 5:6). From here he campaigns throughout the whole earth to get recruits and is apparently very successful.
So why would God allow such to happen? After all, the people that are rejecting him came out of the Millennium under his rule. While scripture teaches that Christ will rule with an iron scepter (Ps 2:9; Rv 2:27, 12:5, 19:15) meaning that any insurrection will be taken care of immediately (Is 65:20). However, there will be those who do not rebel openly and these are the one to whom Satan will appeal. It is hard to imagine such a thing where people will be born into an almost perfect state and not be appreciative. However, I think there are a couple of reasons for Christ to allow this to happen. One, is that God has always allowed people to have freedom of choice - even to their own detriment. He wants only those who are truly devoted to him to enter a state where they will live forever. Secondly, this gives everyone proof that their rebellion cannot be blamed on Satan as they had this built-up animosity against the Messiah during his rule when Satan was not present. Satan only capitalizes on their discord and is able to deceive them with, again, half-truths just like he has always done. This is a word of wisdom for us today. We, too, cannot use the excuse, "the devil made me do it." He certainly supplies the temptation, but not the desire. We need to pray to have the mind of Christ (1Co 2:16).
Needless to say, Christ is victorious as noted in Revelation (Rv 20:9). All those that are opposed to our Messiah are forever removed and only those devoted to him enters into the Eternal State. The time of ultimate peace will have arrived and we will be forever with the Lord. We don't have time to go into how wonderful the Eternal State will be but it will not be boring! We will save that for another time. It will also be a subject in my soon (hopefully) upcoming book.
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Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah
Gap in the Timeline