JERUSALEM, Israel – On the eve of the 1967 Six-Day War, world Jewry was terrified their newly born homeland was about to be destroyed. But as CBN's Scott Ross reports, no one could imagine what was in store for Israel and how prophecy and history would come together to deliver an amazing victory.
More than 5,000 miles from Israel, Jewish teenager Moshe Kempinski was feeling the shock waves of the war.
"I was writing a chemistry exam in my junior high in Montreal, Canada," Kempinski recalled. "I snuck in a transistor radio to the exam room. I was listening because we were frustrated and frightened."
Kempinski said they feared the worst.
"The world told us the next Holocaust was going to happen. Tel Aviv and Haifa were digging out mass graves. We expected the worst," he said.
That fear spread across the border to New York where Marty Oliner lived.
"All the troops were lined up. Nasser's troops – we thought we were losing Israel forever," Oliner said. "We thought it was really a Goliath story. Nasser was ready to annihilate us."
Then something very different happened.
"I was listening on June 7th. On June 6th, something miraculous happened that we really weren't aware of," Kempinski said. "The most powerful Arab army in the Middle East was the Jordanian Legion, British armed, British trained. They were in charge of the Old City and for some reason – till this day, no one knows why – they just picked up and left."
On the third day, Israel captured the Old City.
"So, on my transistor radio I was listening to a broadcast of a broadcaster correspondent running with the forces," Kempinski said.
"Then, Rabbi Goren decides to blow the shofar, a ram's horn…thousands of kilometers away [from me] – blowing the shofar. The sound goes across the radio waves, across the ocean, into my junior high in Montreal and changes me forever," he said. "I knew at that moment, no matter what would happen, I would become a Jerusalemite."
Author and shop owner, Kempinski moved to Israel more than 30 years ago. Ross talked with him near his shop in the Old City's Jewish Quarter – something that would not have been possible 50 years earlier.
Ross asked him how it had changed his life, admitting it was a "pretty loaded question."
"Not really. It's when I finally realized I'm not reading the Bible any more. I'm not studying the Bible. I just became the Bible," he said.
"When you realize that you're walking here is a fulfillment of prophecy, my child playing in the park 30 years ago, and I realize you know what? Maybe, my son Yoni was the one that Zechariah saw in his vision when he says in Zechariah 8 there will yet be a time when old men and old women will rest on the streets and children will play in the streets of Jerusalem."
"They're doing that now," Ross said, asking if 50 years later people appreciate that.
"You have what – six children? All served in the military?" he asked.
"I have six children. All served in the military and all of them very much appreciate it. In addition to that, it gave them the eyes to see everything in its real context," he explained.
"Construction booms, cranes that you see all over the country. You suddenly realize they aren't construction cranes. They're [the] words of Amos 9 being made physical: 'I will rebuild your ruins.' …How's God going to fulfill prophecy if not through construction cranes? When you realize that – that every physical thing you see, every brick you see, every building you see being built is actually God speaking to the world, saying 'Wake up. I'm doing what I said I would do.' Are you going to be part of this plan or are you going to fight it?'"
And what about the future?
Ross asked Oliner if when he thanks God, it's a literal thanks and does he believe God watches over Jerusalem.
"I think there's no question that Jerusalem is the City of David," Oliner said. "God has watched over Jerusalem for millennia, for 3,000 years. This is the most important city in the world."
"I think what's going to happen is there's going to be more negativity and there's going to be more people realizing God's on the move," Kempinski replied. "I think what God is saying [is] 'no more am I going to be known as a God of history. I'm going to be known as the God of now.'
"Open up your eyes. Watch it happen," Kempinski continued. "God's on the move and everything, but everything is possible."
"What about dividing Jerusalem?" Ross asked.
"A) they can't do it, and B) my response is I come here every morning, open up my shop, meet with people, have coffee in the center of the world and know that I'm supposed to be here and will continue to be here 'til the end of days," he said.