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WHY JERUSALEM IS A BURDENSOME STONE
FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, June 12, 2011

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it” (Zechariah 12:2-3).


Dr. Ed Dobson said, “The existence of the State of Israel brings together biblical prophecy and modern history as has not been seen since the days of the New Testament. The regathering of the Jews to Israel and their existence as a nation is the most significant prophetic event since Jesus ascended to heaven” (Ed Dobson, Ph.D., The End, Zondervan Publishing House, 1997, p. 44).

The prophet Amos spoke of the final regathering of the Jews in the end-times when he said,

“I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God” (Amos 9:15).

Dr. James O. Combs, provost of Louisiana Baptist University and Theological Seminary, gave this outline of the restoration of Israel:

1814 –  Presbyterian pastor John MacDonald in Albany, New York, began to preach on Bible prophecy and Israel’s restoration, sparking an interest in the literalist interpretation of Old Testament prophecies about Israel.

[1864 – C. H. Spurgeon preached and published a famous sermon titled “The Restoration and Conversion of the Jews,” based on Ezekiel 37:1-10, in which Spurgeon said, “There is to be a political restoration of the Jews...[Israel] is to be re-organized...There will be a native government again; there will again be the form of a body politic, a state shall be incorporated...‘I will place you in your own land,’ is God’s promise to them...Israel is yet to be restored,” C. H. Spurgeon, “The Restoration and Conversion of the Jews,” The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Pilgrim Publications, 1991 reprint, volume X, pp. 428-429].

1878 –  W. E. Blackstone’s book, Jesus is Coming, was published, predicting and encouraging the return of the Jews in fulfillment of prophecy.

1881-1900 –  The first Aliyah [return to Israel] occurred and consisted of some 30,000 Jews under persecution in Russia moving to Palestine.

1897 –  The First Zionist Congress, convened in Basel, Switzerland, adopted Zionism as a program, and stated, “The aim of Zionism is to create for the Jewish people a home in Palestine by public law.”

1904-1914 –  The Second Aliyah [return] resulted in 32,000 persecuted Russian Jews moving to Palestine.

[1917 –  The Scofield Study Bible was published, with its notes on the restoration of Israel as a homeland for the Jews. The tremendous popularity of the Scofield Study Bible, to this day, has convinced large numbers of Christians to support Israel as the rightful home of the Jews].

1917 –  The [British] Balfour Declaration, read in part: “His Majesty’s government views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

1924-1939 –  The Third Aliyah [return], when 78,000 Polish Jews moved to Palestine [to escape the rise of anti-Semitism in Poland].

1933-1939 –  The Fourth Aliyah [return], when 230,000 Jews fled from [Hitler’s] persecution in Germany and central Europe.

1940-1948 –  The Fifth Aliyah [return], when 95,000 Jews escaped from central Europe. Many Jews remained in Europe, and more than six million were [massacred] during the Holocaust led by Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany.

1948 –  The Jewish Agency, in what would become the new nation of Israel, proclaimed nation status. On May 14, 1948, the United States President Harry Truman’s administration made the announcement: “The United States recognizes the provisional government as the de-facto authority of the new State of Israel.”

1967 –  The Six Day War, [caused] by an [impending] Arab invasion, resulted in Israel capturing Jerusalem and the West Bank.

1973 –  An attack by Arabs was repulsed, with Israeli victories [with aid from President Nixon].

1978-2000 –  Egypt recognizes Israel; the Arab-Palestinian resistance movement begins, negotiations, agreements, and tensions continue.

(“Israel in Two Centuries” by James O. Combs, D.Min., Litt.D., in the Tim LaHaye Prophecy Study Bible, AMG Publishers, 2000 edition, p. 874).

2011 –  On May 19, 2011 President Barack Obama issues a statement calling for Israel to give the Palestinians and their terrorist allies all the land that Israel had won in 1967, in the Six Day War. The following day (May 20, 2011) a confrontation occurred in the White House between Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and President Obama, in which Netanyahu rejected the plan outlined by Obama that would use the borders before the 1967 war “as the starting point for negotiations.” Netanyahu said that doing so would risk Israel’s security and force it to negotiate with “a Palestinian version of Al Qaeda” (Los Angeles Times, Saturday, May 21, 2011, p. A1).


This takes us back to our text in Zechariah 12:2-3,

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it” (Zechariah 12:2-3).

Dr. W. A. Criswell said of these verses,

Such a coalition of nations against Jerusalem did not exist in the days of Nebuchadnezzar [the Babylonian Captivity], nor in the Maccabean period, nor during the Roman war [70 A.D., the Roman dispersion]. However, it [the coalition of nations against Israel] has uniquely existed in these recent decades... and it apparently will continue to exist and intensify as God’s time of fulfillment draws nearer (W. A. Criswell, Ph.D., The Criswell Study Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1979, p. 1069; note on Zechariah 12:2-3).

Even today, God has made Jerusalem a “cup of trembling” to the nations that surround Israel, and many other nations. They simply cannot get rid of Israel, or take all of Jerusalem, no matter how hard they try. And God is making “Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people,” literally “a heavy stone, a stone of burden, hard to lift” (Merrill F. Unger, Ph.D., Unger’s Commentary on the Old Testament, volume II, Moody Press, 1981, p. 2037; notes on Zechariah 12:2-3).

Dr. J. Vernon McGee pointed out “Jerusalem is a rather isolated place, an old city, and actually not very attractive today...But why should this place be so prominent and significant in the last days? How do you explain that? Well, the city even today has become a burdensome stone...It almost broke up the Common Market, it almost wrecked NATO – Jerusalem became a burdensome stone. Consider the list of the nations of the world which have captured that city and tried to rule it [They were all destroyed]. Frankly, I hope the United States doesn’t get too involved. God says, ‘Keep your hands off. I am the One running that place’” (J. Vernon McGee, Th.D., Thru the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982, volume III, p. 974; note on Zechariah 12:3).

Dr. McGee wrote that nearly thirty years ago. I think President Obama should listen to him. Dr. McGee is, to this day, the most well-known and respected Bible teacher in America. President Obama should listen carefully to Dr. McGee’s comment on Zechariah 12:3, “God says, ‘Keep your hands off. I am the One running that place.’”

I hope that each of you will pray for God to lead Mr. Obama to keep his hands off of Israel. I hope that each of you will “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee” (Psalm 122:6).

One of the reasons that America has been blessed by God, in spite of our many national sins, is that until now the United States has blessed the nation of Israel. How we pray that will continue! How we pray that God will change President Obama’s mind!

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it”
       (Zechariah 12:2-3).

These verses refer to the coming “Battle of Armageddon” (Revelation 16:14-16; Joel 3:9-14). But the world stage is already being set by many nations turning against Israel, “and against Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12:2). God is already making “Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people” (Zechariah 12:3).

Why is this happening? Because of man’s sin. The human race is sinful by nature. Ever since Adam rebelled against God in the Garden of Eden, his descendants have been enemies of God, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God” (Romans 8:7). The Bible says that all unconverted people are “enemies in your mind” (Colossians 1:21). The Bible says that all unconverted minds are, to some extent at least, controlled by Satan, “the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). It is sin and disobedience to God that makes “Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people” (Zechariah 12:3).

That is not only true of those nations that are against Israel. It is also true of you if you are unconverted. Your “mind is enmity against God” (Romans 8:7). You, too, are “enemies in your mind” (Colossians 1:21). Your mind is also influenced by Satan, “the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). The Bible teaches that you are a sinner “by nature” (Ephesians 2:3). And the Bible teaches that sin robs you of inner peace,

“The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest...There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked”
       (Isaiah 57:20-21).

For you to experience peace with God, you must be broken and humbled by the Holy Spirit, convicted of sin. The Bible says, “A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise” (Psalm 51:17). You must be made to feel your need for Jesus Christ to justify you in the sight of a holy God.

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).

May you be drawn to Christ. He came down to earth to die on the Cross, to pay the full penalty for your sin. He shed His Blood to cleanse you from all sin. He ascended back to Heaven, where He is praying for you. And we are also praying for you – that you will come to Jesus and be cleansed from your sin by His precious Blood! Then you will be ready to enter the Holy City, the New Jerusalem in Heaven! Amen.  Click here to read "Obama's War on Israel."

Last night I lay a sleeping, There came a dream so fair,
   I stood in old Jerusalem Beside the temple there.
I heard the children singing, And ever as they sang,
   I thought the voice of angels From Heaven in answer rang;
I thought the voice of angels From Heaven in answer rang: —
    “Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Lift up your gates and sing,
Hosanna in the highest, Hosanna to your King!”

And then I thought my dream was changed, The streets no longer rang,
   Hushed were the glad hosannas The little children sang.
The sun grew dark with mystery, The morn was cold and chill,
   As the shadow of a cross arose Upon a lonely hill,
As the shadow of a cross arose Upon a lonely hill.
    “Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Hark! how the angels sing,
Hosanna in the highest, Hosanna to your King.”

And once again the scene was changed, New earth there seemed to be,
   I saw the Holy City Beside the tideless sea;
The light of God was on its streets, The gates were open wide,
   And all who would might enter, And no one was denied.
No need of moon or stars by night, Or sun to shine by day,
   It was the new Jerusalem, That would not pass away,
It was the new Jerusalem, That would not pass away.
    “Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Sing, for the night is o’er!
Hosanna in the highest, Hosanna for evermore!
   Hosanna in the highest, Hosanna for evermore!”
(“The Holy City” by Frederick E. Weatherly, 1848-1929;
         altered by Dr. Hymers).

(END OF SERMON)
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or you may write to him at P.O. Box 15308, Los Angeles, CA 90015.
Or phone him at (818)352-0452.

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Hymers: Zechariah 12:1-10.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“The Holy City” (by Frederick E. Weatherly, 1848-1929).


THE OUTLINE OF

WHY JERUSALEM IS A BURDENSOME STONE
FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it” (Zechariah 12:2-3).

(Amos 9:15; Psalm 122:6; Revelation 16:14-16; Joel 3:9-14;
Romans 8:7; Colossians 1:21; Ephesians 2:2, 3;
Isaiah 57:20-21; Psalm 51:17; Romans 5:1)