The connecting link
Chapters 38 and 39 of Ezekiel describe an invasion of Israel which is stopped by divine intervention. There is disagreement among Bible students about when this invasion will take place. Some think it is a description of the final battle at Armageddon; some think it will take place earlier, perhaps before the beginning of the tribulation. In the Left Behind series it takes place even before the rapture of the church.
The Bible tells us that at some time in the future there will be an event called the rapture, in which all Christians, living and dead, will be removed from the earth.
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
At some subsequent time a world leader will make a seven year treaty with Israel which will enable them to resume the system of sacrifices commanded in the Old Testament. This begins a period of time called the Tribulation. Such a treaty would obviously require the agreement of the Muslim countries surrounding Israel because a Muslim shrine now occupies the site of the temple.
Then in the middle of the seven years this leader will reveal his true nature by ending the sacrifices and demanding that he be worshiped.
And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering.
The man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
One reason Israel’s enemies don’t unite for an all out attack is Israel’s alliance with the United States. They are afraid that if they go to war with Israel they will end up at war with the US as well.
The US has many Christians and some of them hold positions of influence. The rapture will probably have such a crippling effect on the country that it might be temporarily incapable of carrying out any kind of military campaign. On the other hand the countries that are Israel’s enemies have few Christians and almost none of them hold influential positions. The rapture will have little or no effect on their military capabilities and they might decide to attack Israel and try to destroy it before the US recovers enough to pose a threat.
Many Muslims are convinced that God wants them to destroy Israel and the Jews. This belief makes them totally unwilling to consider making any kind of peace with Israel. But what would happen if they attack Israel and are defeated by what is clearly an act of God? The shock of this event might make them question the truth of their beliefs. The final result might be a willingness to abandon their determination to destroy Israel and to agree to a peace treaty.
Perhaps the invasion described by Ezekiel is a link that connects the rapture and the signing of the seven year treaty. It could be the result of one and the cause of the other.