1967 – Last Date in the Bible!
There is only one city that has been called
“holy” by God – Jerusalem (ISAIAH 52:1; ISAIAH 66:20). No other city has been named the
“city of our God” (PSALM 48:1) and none other has been chosen by the Lord.
“But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there…” (2 CHRONICLES 6:6). The Lord is
“…jealous for Jerusalem with a great jealousy” (ZECHARIAH 1:14). Jesus even wept for Jerusalem, foreseeing her destruction (LUKE 19:41).
It was in Jerusalem that the disciples received the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, and the Gospel spread from this city. Jesus ascended to heaven from Jerusalem and will return there again (ZECHARIAH 14:4).
Jerusalem, the “city of peace”, has been conquered and re-conquered numerous times, but the Word of God tells us that at the end the Lord Himself will defend Jerusalem.
“And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth” (ZECHARIAH 14:12). This Scripture is an indication of the final nuclear war at the end of our present age.
The Time of the Gentiles
Numerous prophecies centre on Jerusalem. It was foretold that Jerusalem would be conquered by Gentiles:
“Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (LUKE 21:24). This prophecy was given by Jesus and started to come to pass in 70 AD when Jerusalem was conquered by the Romans and all the Jews were either killed, died of starvation, or were sold into slavery. In 638 AD, the Muslims conquered Jerusalem and, apart from a brief interval by the Crusaders, held it until 1917 when the Allied Forces under General Allenby delivered the city.
The Prophecy of Jerusalem's Deliverance in 1917
The prophet Daniel, speaking about the future of his hometown Jerusalem, gave the following remarkable prophecy:
“Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days…” (DANIEL 12:4-12). The year 1335 in the Muslim calendar corresponds to the year 1917, the exact year when the Turks handed over the city of Jerusalem to the British. The prophet Haggai even prophesied the exact day of the deliverance: the 9th of December (HAGGAI 2:15-18), and Isaiah foretold the manner in which Jerusalem would be freed – with the help of airplanes (ISAIAH 31:5). For more information see the article, “As Birds Flying”.
The Prophecy of Jerusalem's Deliverance in 1967
Ever since the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948, the Arab nations have refused to accept Israel as an independent state and were waiting to defeat Israel. In spite of catching the Israelis off guard by attacking on a Sabbath day in June, 1967, and in spite of outnumbering them by at least 50:1, the Arabs suffered complete defeat in just six days. In less than three hours the Israeli air force destroyed 300 Egyptian aircraft on the ground. But the most significant fact of the war was that the Old City of Jerusalem, which was until then in the hands of Jordan, came into Jewish possession. Thus, once again, amazing Bible prophecies were fulfilled.
As unlikely as it was, many Christians were not taken by surprise by the outcome of the Six Day War. Two different prophecies pointed to the year 1967 for the deliverance of Jerusalem:
1) Daniel's 2,300 Year Prophecy
“How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed” (DANIEL 8:13-14).
Reading the context this prophecy was given in, it speaks about a ram with two horns (Media and Persia; see DANIEL 8:20), and a rough goat (Greece; DANIEL 8:21).
“And I saw him (the goat)
come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand” (DANIEL 8:7).
This part of the prophecy was fulfilled when Alexander the Great, with an army of 35,000 Greeks and Macedonians, crossed the Dardanelles into Asia Minor in 334 BC and defeated the vast Persian Empire. From that time on, Palestine / Israel would always be “trodden down by Gentiles”, or under the control of foreign nations, be it the Greeks, Romans, Saracens or Turks.
However, Daniel prophesied that the sanctuary (Jerusalem) would be trodden down only for 2,300 days. Applying the Biblical time scale (one day equals one year – see EZEKIEL 4:6), and bearing in mind that there is no date 0 AD, we arrive exactly at 1967!
2) The Year of Jubilee
“And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family” (LEVITICUS 25:10).
The year of Jubilee was marked by the fact that all the properties and possessions were given back to their original owners, should they have lost them in the meantime. Slaves would be set free; in short, it was a time to “proclaim liberty”.
Calculating from the year 1917, the next year of Jubilee was to be 1967. Is it mere coincidence that Jerusalem was again delivered in that year?
The Prophecy of the Fig Tree
“Now learn a parable of the fig tree: When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh; So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled” (MATTHEW 24:32-34).
Jesus, talking about the events bound to happen before His return, gave the sign of the fig tree putting forth leaves. Often in the Bible, Judah is likened to a fig tree. For example, JEREMIAH 24 speaks about good and bad figs, the good figs being Jews returning from the Babylonian captivity to Jerusalem; the bad figs being Jews to
“be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb.” Jesus cursed the fig tree that didn't bring fruit (MATTHEW 21:19), indicating that the Jews didn't bring forth fruit either.
“…The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof” (MATTHEW 21:43).
Yet Jesus indicated that there would be a time when the fig tree (Judah / the Jews), would bring forth leaves, and that this generation should see the return of Christ. We are presently living in that time! The founding of the state of Israel in 1948 and the deliverance of Jerusalem in 1917 and 1967 are all signs of the fig tree putting forth leaves. Jesus will indeed return soon, intervening in the coming final nuclear war and establishing His kingdom on earth which will exist for a thousand years. The signs can already be seen. Are you ready?
“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh… But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (MATTHEW 24:44,37-39).
Teaching Department (June 2005)