Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
"For when they shall say, 'Peace , and safety,' then sudden destruction
cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall
not escape. But ye brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should
overtake you as a thief" (First Thessalonians 5: 3,4).
The Last Generation
A survivor and member of the crew of the U.S.S. Liberty, shelled by the Israelis during the "Six Day War" in 1967, writes here of his experiences, and feelings, and reflections upon that momentous time in history, and his eye-witness involvement in it. Here, in his own words, is a saga of miracles and mishaps, close-calls and stunning events. Here is his personal account of that day of action and incredible events:
by Ronald G. Kukal
As I lay upon my bed this morning thinking, and praying about what God would have me to write, the above verses came upon me, and so they shall be the beginning of a testimony that I have wanted to share for many years, but could find no one to listen. No one would listen until I came upon an article about the "Six Day War", and how it was a part of prophecy. You see I was a part of the "Six Day War," and I do believe with all my heart that a clock started ticking that day of June 7, 1967. The day that the Jews took back the old city of Jerusalem that had belonged to the gentiles since the day of the Roman Empire, was a turning point that started the wheels grinding unto the last generation.
On June 8, 1967 1 was aboard the U.S.S. Liberty as she steamed the coast off Israel about fifteen miles out in international waters. If one would like to read the story about why we were there, then I would recommend the book Assault on the Liberty, by James Ennes. As far as I am concerned, and as far as this testimony is concerned, why we were there, and what we were doing is of little significance compared to the larger story that was about to unfold that day. Yes, 34 American sailors died during this war, and yes many more were injured. I was one of the men who helped recover the bodies, and ship them home. No one has felt the pain of all that more then I, with the exception of their own families.
For thirty-one years I have carried on my heart what I saw that day, and the miracles that I know God brought about, so that I could pass this on to others before the chastening of this great nation takes place.
Let me explain to you that I am only a layman, as far as the Bible goes, and am probably the same type person as the minor prophet, Amos. I have always related to this man because he came from humble beginnings, and considered himself to be no one in particular. Until I began reading the Bible, and studying it, I was not aware that God would reveal great, and mighty things to the lowly of the world, and that he would confound the wise with these people. That is why I consider myself to be on the same level as Amos, and do all I can to keep myself humble, and bring all the glory to God. That is what this testimony is all about.
At about 1300 on June 8th, 1967 the U.S.S. Liberty was attacked by Israeli forces, which included jet airplanes and torpedo boats. The reason for this attack is explained in the book, Assault on the Liberty, and as it still has no bearing on the reason I am writing this testimony, I suggest the reader read the book, and draw his, or her own conclusions. I wish the reader to remain focused on what God did that day, and the relationship to Scripture that was brought about during the "Six Day War".
The taking back of the old city of Jerusalem on the day previous to the attack on the ship, was the end of the trampling of this great city by the Gentiles, and started the beginning of the last generation. I have been profoundly affected by what happened to me, and have always felt it to be related to scripture, but could really never understand how. I understand more now then I did then, but my discovery of articles began to shed a great deal of light on what I have felt over the past thirty one years.
I am here to write, and give my testimony, because God has allowed it, and even though his own people attacked the Liberty, he kept it afloat under the most adverse circumstances. The ship had over 800 holes put in her during the attack, had a 40 by 40 foot hole on the starboard side below the water line, and was burning from the use of napalm, and yet I am here to tell my story. I am here because God would not let the Liberty go down, and I am here because someone needed to tell this story, and to warn others that the time is near.
My battle station at the time of the attack was down below, two decks below from the main deck. I was no more than thirty feet from the entry, and explosion of the torpedo, and yet I remained unscathed except for a few minor bruises, and scratches. After the torpedo entered, and exploded, my compartment began to fill with water, and the hatch that was the only way out was closed, to maintain water tight integrity. I felt that I might drown, after escaping the explosion that killed many of my shipmates, but at the last minute before the compartment completely flooded, the hatch was opened, to let us out. This was a decision that was probably made by the captain, or our Engineering officer, Mr. Golden. In my mind, it was another miracle that kept me alive.
We all scrambled topside to get a breath of fresh air, and to leave behind the death, and destruction that went on down below. One of my shipmates told me many years afterward that he observed us on the main deck congratulating one another because we had escaped death, while a hail of 50 caliber machine gun bullets from the torpedo boats, showered the ship from bow to stem. I do not remember this at all, and must take his word for it, but what I can remember is that we were so elated to be alive, that I'm sure we were oblivious to anything going on around us.
Another miracle had occurred to keep me alive to tell this story.
There were miracles that day one right after another, and some I do not know about, but one that sticks in my mind in particular is one our radioman told me. They began to call for help as soon as the attack started, but almost all of the antenna we had were shot off by gunfire from the first wave of the attack. I then asked him how we finally got the word back to the Sixth Fleet, and he told me that one lonely antenna was left, and it had never worked even under the best of circumstances, but on that day when it was needed the most, it worked. As I think of that day, my mind forms a picture of Christ himself holding the U.S.S. Liberty in his arms, and no matter what his own people threw at us, we still are here to tell, and give our testimony.
I know to this day that I should not be here, and that by man's standards that ship should not have stayed afloat. Many experts have observed the ship after the attack, and were amazed that the Liberty did not go immediately to the bottom.
I know why, and I am sure that many of you know why, and so I am here telling you that God is still in control, and that we must draw ever closer, and closer to him. What happened in June of 1967, is most certainly backed by Scripture, and I most thoroughly believe that I have been shown how to communicate this to others who need to know, because the time is short.
As a child I have felt God's presence in my life, and although I knew not what it meant at the time, I can look back now and know that most surely he knew me in the womb. That he knew the direction I would take, and although I had the free will to go elsewhere, he knew that I wouldn't.
All I can think of is God's grace at this very moment, and I am a sinner saved by his unmerited favor. I stumble, I fall, and I try to pick myself up, but there is nothing that can save me except the blood of Christ that was shed for my sins, and to think I could do it on my own, is out of the question.
I pray that each, and every one who reads this story will check it out for himself, study the Scriptures, and come to the same conclusion as I have.
"If my people who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land" (II Chron. 7:14).
I have no idea if prayer will change our direction, not that I don't believe, but I think we have gone too far.
If only I could convey the power that I was witness to 31 years ago, then I believe people would understand, and they would be on their knees. There are no words to describe it, and I shall not try. I would just ask that you heed what I have written here, because they are not my words, but words that have been written on my heart for many years.
God's timing has brought them out.
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