“One might also literally in another way connect fire and chariots with His coming through the siege that attacked Jerusalem after our Savior’s Advent for the Temple was burned with fire not long after and was reduced to extreme desolation, and the city was encircled by the chariots and camps of the enemy, after which too the promises to the Gentiles were fulfilled in harmony with the prophecy.”
He made these comments in regard to Luke 12:49 and Isaiah 66:15-19. (See also Proof of the Gospel, Bk. VIII, chapter 4, (Grand Rapids, Baker, 1981)144f, where he says Christ came, “with the chariots and horses” to conquer the army of the Jews.
3.) Here is what is interesting. Once again, in Matthew 24:30-31, we find the coming of Christ with the angels in judgment of Jerusalem / Israel for their internicine history of persecuting the saints. And, Jesus quotes Zechariah 12:10 and the prediction of the judgment of Israel for killing the Son! In Zechariah 13, that prophecy and discussion continue
s right into chapter 14 and the explicit prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem.
4.) So, once again, in a text (Zechariah) that amillennialists and postmillennialists agree predicted the Lord’s A.D. 70 coming against Jerusalem, Jesus applies it to what amillennialists and postmillennialists agree is his prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem for persecuting the saints!
5.) Then, in 1Thessalonians 3, Paul, who says that he is reminding them of what the Lord had said, cites Zechariah 14!
Paul, writing in the context of the Jewish persecution of the church, cites Zechariah 14 and the promise of the coming of the Lord with His saints.
But, Jesus applied Zechariah 14 to his A.D. 70 coming against Jerusalem for persecuting the saints– Matthew 24!
Therefore, the coming of the Lord in 1 Thessalonians 3:13 is the coming of the Lord in judgment of Jerusalem / Israel for persecuting the saints!
As you can see, there is a lot of eschatology and Bible prophecy in 1 Thessalonians 3, and it all points decisively to Christ’s coming in judgment of Old Covenant Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
We must never lose sight of the fact that Zechariah foretold that “in that day” the day of the Lord’s coming against Jerusalem, that a fountain for cleansing and salvation would be open! (13:1f; 14:6f). So, while that Day was to be a day of judgment for Old Covenant Israel, it was to result in salvation because it would usher in the New Covenant World of Messiah! (Note how Eusebius tied the promises to the Gentiles to completion of God’s purposes with the Jews!)
Well, I must close. I hope that this has been somewhat helpful. I am currently finishing my book on 1 Thessalonians 4:13f– a six year project!!– and have much, much more in it that I think will be helpful to the readers.
For His Truth, and in His Grace,
Don K. Preston