Pastor David B. Curtis


The "Last Days"

Hebrews 1:2

Delivered 01/30/2000

Hebrews 1:1-2 (NKJV) God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;

In our last study of Hebrews, we looked at these two verses. This morning we are going to focus on the beginning words of verse 2, "in these last days". What exactly are the "last days"? When did they start? When did they end? These are very important questions that must be answered if we are going to interpret the Bible correctly. Hopefully, this study will answer these questions.

Most Christians today would probably say that we (twentieth century American Christians) are living in the last days. This is a commonly held view. Alan Yusko writes this:

We are truly living in the last days before the return of the Lord Jesus! The world is in the process of throwing away all forms of discretion, decency, and morality. With 'the world's' approval many are living for their lusts in these last days. Marriage is no longer important as the covenant of marriage is breaking down. Why get married if it is OK just to live together? Men are lusting after women. Women are lusting after men. Men are lusting after men, and women are lusting after women. As a result many people have hurt themselves physically and spiritually as they pursue their immoral lifestyle. Good has become evil and evil has become good. This is very true in the area of sexual morality.
AIDS is truly one of the last days plagues upon the earth. It would never have reached its present level of widespread infections if it had not been for all the immoral fornicators who reject God's laws and morals.

According to Alan we are living in the "last days", and his proof of this is the immorality that we see in our society.

One commentator said, "We have been living in the last days since the days of Christ - that is, the last days of history as we know it before the final and full establishment of the kingdom of God."

There are many today who believe we are in the last days because they see all of the middle-east turmoil, technological advancements, "new world order", etc. They claim that these are fulfillments of Biblical prophecy that prove that we are in the last days.

Let's examine what the Bible says about the "last days" and see if we can come to an understanding of their meaning. I think that most everyone would agree that the last days had begun by the time Christ came into the world.

Hebrews 1:2 (NKJV) has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;

The writer of Hebrews says that they (first century Christians) were in the last days. Most Christians would agree that the last days began around the time of Christ, the big debate comes over when do the last days end? Hopefully, our study today will help us answer that question.

In order to understand the term "last days", let's look at how the phrase was originally used in the Hebrew Scriptures. The Bible's first use of the phrase "last days" is found in Genesis.

Genesis 49:1 (NKJV) And Jacob called his sons and said, "Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days:

Consider carefully to whom the phrase "last days" is primarily addressed. Jacob is talking to his sons (the twelve tribes of Israel) and he pronounces the general evil that would come upon. So, clearly, Israel is the subject of the last days, and the last days concern the Jews.

Numbers 24:13-14 (NKJV) 'If Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the word of the LORD, to do good or bad of my own will. What the LORD says, that I must speak'? 14 "And now, indeed, I am going to my people. Come, I will advise you what this people will do to your people in the latter days."

Here again the vision is concerning the Jews. It was concerning what would happen to Israel in the last days.

Isaiah predicts these last days as well.

Isaiah 2:1-2 (NKJV) The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the Lord's house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it.

The vision was concerning Judah and Jerusalem. This is speaking of the New Covenant that is inaugurated in the "last days." Nowhere is the phrase "last days" used to refer to the physical planet, but, rather, it is referring to the "last days" of the nation Israel.

Moses confirms that the "last days" of the Jews would be characterized by devastation and their ultimate scattering.

Deuteronomy 4:27 (NKJV) "And the LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the LORD will drive you.
Deuteronomy 4:30 (NKJV) "When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the LORD your God and obey His voice

He continues this idea toward the end of the book.

Deuteronomy 31:29 (NKJV) "For I know that after my death you will become utterly corrupt, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days, because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger through the work of your hands."

Moses says, "evil will befall you in the latter days." Moses was leading the company of Jews. There is no reference to Gentiles being the subject of these latter days.

Jeremiah 23:16-20 (NKJV) Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; They speak a vision of their own heart, Not from the mouth of the LORD. 17 They continually say to those who despise Me, 'The LORD has said, "You shall have peace" '; And to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say, 'No evil shall come upon you.'" 18 For who has stood in the counsel of the LORD, And has perceived and heard His word? Who has marked His word and heard it? 19 Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD has gone forth in fury; A violent whirlwind! It will fall violently on the head of the wicked. 20 The anger of the LORD will not turn back Until He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart. In the latter days you will understand it perfectly.

Throughout the book of Jeremiah God condemns the Jewish false prophets. Here Jeremiah predicts that when these latter days come, the people of God will understand what He will do to the nation in destroying it and punishing it for its wickedness.

God, through Ezekiel, warns Israel (My people) of their destruction by the hand of foreign nations.

Ezekiel 38:16 (NKJV) "You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes."

Michael the archangel spoke to Daniel associating the latter days with Daniel's people.

Daniel 10:14 (NKJV) "Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come."

The phrase "your people" is referring to Israel. Israel is Daniel's people. The time of this writing is about 536 BC. He says that the vision of what will happen to Israel in the latter days is a long way off, "the vision refers to many days to come." So, in Daniel's time, the "last days" were a long way off.

Hosea talks about how the elect remnant will turn to God in the "last days."

Hosea 3:5 (NKJV) Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They shall fear the LORD and His goodness in the latter days.

Finally, in Micah, the prophet states that the last days involves the destruction of physical Israel, and the establishment of true Israel.

Micah 3:12 (NKJV) Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed like a field, Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins, And the mountain of the temple Like the bare hills of the forest.
Micah 4:1 (NKJV) Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the Lord's house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And peoples shall flow to it.

In order to understand these verses, we must understand that there are two Israels.

Romans 9:6 (NKJV) But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel,

What does that mean? Within national Israel is "true Israel," or "spiritual Israel." Most of Israel was faithless, only a remnant was redeemed. Those of faith made up the remnant.

John 1:47 (NKJV) Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!"

Jesus is saying that Nathanael is a true Israelite, not simply an outward one.

Israel is not a term like Ammon, Moab, Greece, or Rome. Israel cannot be defined in terms of physical descent, or understood simply on the human side; it is created not by blood or soil but by the promise of God. Romans 9:6 clearly teaches us that there are two Israels. There is ethnic, physical, national Israel, and there is true, spiritual Israel, God's chosen people.

Galatians 3:6-7 (NKJV) just as Abraham "believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.

Who are Abraham's true children? Those of faith, not physical descent.

Galatians 3: 9 (NKJV) So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.

The blessing comes from faith not physical descent.

Galatians 3:16 (NKJV) Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed," who is Christ.

Notice who the promise is to; it is to Abraham and his seed (singular) who is Christ. We only get in on the blessing by our relationship with Christ.

Galatians 3:29 (NKJV) And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

It is evident, or at least it should be, that physical Israel was the main subject involved in these texts dealing with the "last days."

The nation of Israel has not existed for nearly 2000 years. National Israel was destroyed in A.D. 70. Those in the middle east who affirm themselves as Israel have no right to do so.

 Many people today still consider the Jewish people as a race. After the destruction of Jerusalem, however, the nation of Israel, after the flesh, was scattered throughout the earth, and lost all tribal relations. This scattering was made immutable due to the fact that all tribal genealogical records were destroyed with the Temple in A.D. 70. The simple fact is that there is no existing Jewish race today.  Consider the following quotations:

The Encyclopedia Brittanica (1973)

The Jews As A Race: The findings of physical anthropology show that, contrary to the popular view, there is no Jewish race. Anthropornetric measurements of Jewish groups in many parts of the world indicate that they differ greatly from one another with respect to all the important physical characteristics. (vol. 12, page 1054)

Encyclopedia Judaica Jerusalem (1971)

It is a common assumption, and one that sometimes seems ineradicable even in the face of evidence to the contrary, that the Jews of today constitute a race, a homogeneous entity easily recognizable. From the preceding discussion of the origin and early history of the Jews, it should be clear that in the course of their formation as a people and a nation they had already assimilated a variety of racial strains from people moving into the general area they occupied. This had taken place by interbreeding and then by conversion to Judaism of a considerable number of communities. . . .
Thus, the diversity of the racial and genetic attributes of various Jewish colonies of today renders any unified racial classification of them a contradiction in terms. Despite this, many people readily accept the notion that they are a distinct race. This is probably reinforced by the fact that some Jews are recognizably different in appearance from the surrounding population. That many cannot be easily identified is overlooked and the stereotype for some is extended to all - a not uncommon phenomenon 1971, (vol. 3, p. 50).

Collier's Encyclopedia (1977)

A common error and persistent modern myth is the designation of the Jews as a 'race! This is scientifically fallacious, from the standpoint of both physical and historical tradition. Investigations by anthropologists have shown that Jews are by no means uniform in physical character and that they nearly always reflect the physical and mental characteristics of the people among whom they live. 1977, vol. 13, p. 573).

Today, being a Jew simply means that one is of the Judaistic religion or a convert to it, or else in a "brotherhood" of those who are. Therefore, being a Jew has nothing to do with race. We are familiar with a number of notable figures, such as Sammy Davis, Jr., Elizabeth Taylor, and Tom Arnold, in fact, who became Jews by conversion to the religion of Judaism.

There is no Jewish race or nation today. God put an end to Judaism in A.D. 70. The "last days" were the "last days" of Israel. The last days ended when the nation Israel ended.

Let's move into the New Testament and see if we can't verify these truths. In the book of Acts, we find a profound statement made by Peter (a Jew) to a multitude of Jews out of every nation.

Acts 2:14-18 (NKJV) But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 "For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 "But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.

Let me ask you a couple of questions here. Who is Peter talking to? The answer is: men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem. When did Peter say this? He said this in the first century.

Peter explicitly says, "This is that." He then explains that what this multitude of Jews was experiencing was the fulfillment of the prophecy in Joel. Peter is telling this multitude that they (first century Jews) were in the last days. Beyond this, he goes on to describe what would take place during these last days:

Acts 2:19-20 (NKJV) I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.

Notice how this corresponds to what Jesus said in:

Matthew 24:29 (NKJV) "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Jesus spoke these word in answer to the disciples question as to when the end of the age would come.

Matthew 24:1-3 (NKJV) Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down." 3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"

Their question was two-fold. First they ask, "When will these things be?" The "these things"refers to the temple's destruction in verse 2. In verse 1, the disciples point out the temple buildings to Jesus. In verse 2, Jesus says, "All' 'these things' shall be destroyed." It should be clear that they are asking, "WHEN will the temple be destroyed? When will our house be left desolate?" After all Jesus had just said about judgment on Jerusalem (Matt. 23), and then about not one stone being left upon another, the disciples' response is, "When?" That makes sense, doesn't it? I would hope so..

The second part of their question is, "What will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age."

If you compare all three synoptic gospel accounts, you will see that the disciples considered His "coming" and "the end of the age" to be identical events with the destruction of the temple.

Mark 13:4 (NKJV) "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?"

Notice in the first part of the verse, he says, "When will these things be?" -- referring to the temples' destruction. Then in the second half, he asks, "What will be the sign when all 'these things' will be fulfilled?" The sign of His coming and the end of age was the same as the "these things," which referred to the destruction of Jerusalem in the year AD 70. The disciples had one thing, and only one thing, on their mind, and that was the destruction of the temple. With the destruction of the temple, they connected the coming of Messiah and the end of the age. Their question was, "When will the end be?" Jesus tells them quite clearly that the end would come in "This generation" (v 34). The word "generation" means: "those who are contemporaries or live at the same time."

So, the age that was to end was the Jewish age. It would end with the destruction of the Jewish temple and the city Jerusalem. It was not the "last days" of planet earth or the "end" of the world, he is talking about the "last days" or "end" of the age of Judaism. The disciples knew that the fall of the temple and the destruction of the city meant the end of the Old Covenant age and the inauguration of a new age.

Matthew 24:29 (NKJV) "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Modern commentators generally understand this, and what follows, as the end of the world; but is that consistent with biblical language? Is this talking about global destruction?

If you are not familiar with the apocalyptic language of the Old Testament, you will not understand what Christ is saying here. This language is common among the Old Testament prophets. This idea is seen clearly as we look at passages where mention is made of the destruction of a state and government using language which seems to set forth the end of the world.

Isaiah 13:1 (NKJV) The burden against Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.

In this chapter, God is talking about the judgment that is to fall upon Babylon. The word "burden" is the Hebrew word massa': an utterance, chiefly a doom. This introduction sets the stage for the subject matter in this chapter, and if we forget this, our interpretations of Isaiah 13 can go just about anywhere our imagination wants to go. This is not an oracle against the universe or world but against the nation of Babylon.

Isaiah 13:6 (NKJV) Wail, for the day of the LORD is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty.
Isaiah 13:9-13 (NKJV) Behold, the day of the LORD comes, Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, To lay the land desolate; And He will destroy its sinners from it. 10 For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not give their light; The sun will be darkened in its going forth, And the moon will not cause its light to shine. 11 "I will punish the world for its evil, And the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. 12 I will make a mortal more rare than fine gold, A man more than the golden wedge of Ophir. 13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, And the earth will move out of her place, In the wrath of the LORD of hosts And in the day of His fierce anger.

Now, remember he is speaking about the destruction of Babylon, but it sounds like world wide destruction. The terminology of a context cannot be expanded beyond the scope of the subject under discussion. The spectrum of language surely cannot go outside the land of Babylon. If you were a Babylonian and Babylon was destroyed, would it seem like the world was destroyed? Yes! Your world would be destroyed.

Isaiah 13:17 (NKJV) "Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, Who will not regard silver; And as for gold, they will not delight in it.

This is a historical event that took place in 539 BC. When the Medes destroyed Babylon, the Babylonian world came to an end. This destruction is said (verse 6) to be from the Almighty, and the Medes constitute the means that God uses to accomplish this task. This is apocalyptic language. This is the way the Bible discusses the fall of a nation. This is obviously figurativelanguage. God did not intend for us to take this literally. If we take this literally, the world ended in 539 BC and we're not really here.

As we have seen, the "latter days" concerned the nation of Israel. In fact, the very first mention of the "last days", as we have seen, was by Jacob, the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. More importantly, Jacob was addressing the twelve sons, or tribes, in speaking about the evil that would befall those tribes in the last days. The question is, how does this relate to the language of Jesus and Peter in speaking of the sun, moon, and the stars? Do you remember Joseph's dream about his family?

Genesis 37:9-10 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. {10} And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?

Here we see Jacob, his wife, and the heads of the twelve tribes identified as the sun, moon, and stars, respectively. They represented the foundation of the whole Jewish nation. When Jesus, therefore, spoke of the sun being darkened, the moon not giving its light, and the stars falling from heaven, He was referring to the complete dissolution of the Jewish state. Peter was addressing the same event.

In the prophetic language, great commotions and revolutions upon earth are often represented by commotions and changes in the heavens. None of these things literally took place!

Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) said,

The figurative language of the prophets is taken from the analogy between the world natural and an empire or kingdom considered as a world politic. Accordingly, the world natural, consisting of heaven and earth, signifies the whole world politic, consisting of thrones and people, or so much of it as is considered in prophecy; and the things in that world signify the analogous things in this. For the heavens and the things therein signify thrones and dignities, and those who enjoy them: and the earth, with the things thereon, the inferior people; and the lowest parts of the earth, called Hades or Hell, the lowest or most miserable part of them. Great earthquakes, and the shaking of heaven and earth, are put for the shaking of kingdoms, so as to distract and overthrow them; the creating of a new heaven and earth, and the passing of an old one; or the beginning and end of a world, for the rise and ruin of a body politic signified thereby. The sun, for the whole species and race of kings, in the kingdoms of the world politic; the moon, for the body of common people considered as the king's wife; the starts, for subordinate princes and great men; or for bishops and rulers of the people of God, when the sun is Christ. Setting of the sun, moon, and stars; darkening the sun, turning the moon into blood, and falling of the stars, for the ceasing of a kingdom."(Observations on the Prophecies, Part i. chap. ii)

What is significant about Peter's statement is that he was claiming that they were in the "last days."

The writer of Hebrews expressed this identical sentiment as he began his discourse comparing the fading Old Covenant with the Everlasting New Covenant.

Hebrews 1:1-2 (NKJV) God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;

Jesus was speaking in the last days. What last days? The last days of the Old Covenant age.

Hebrews 9:26 (NKJV) He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

When was it that Jesus appeared? He was born, not at the beginning, but at the end of the ages. To suppose that he meant that Jesus' incarnation came near the end of the world, would be to make his statement false. The world has already lasted longer since the incarnation than the whole duration of the Mosaic economy, from the exodus to the destruction of the temple. Jesus was manifest at the end of the Jewish age. Peter says the same thing:

1 Peter 1:20 (NKJV) He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you

Jesus came during the last days of the age that was the Old Covenant age, the Jewish age. That age came to an end with the destruction of the temple in AD 70.

Certainly the writers of the New Testament were very aware of those passages we have studied involving the "last days" of Judah and Jerusalem. Therefore, it is safe and logical to say that the New Testament writers believed that they were in the "last days" of the Jewish age. Paul believed they were living in the end of the Jewish age.

1 Corinthians 10:11 (NKJV) Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

Paul said that the end of the ages was coming upon them, first century saints. James taught the same thing.

James 5:1-3 (NKJV) Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days.

Clearly James taught that these men were in the "last days." John taught this also:

1 John 2:18 (NKJV) Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.

John believed they were in the last hour of the Jewish age.

There are many other passages that could be used to support the fact that the first-century believers, and particularly the apostles, believed that they were in the end of the Jewish age or the "last days" of the Jewish age. The writer of Hebrews says:

Hebrews 10:25 (NKJV) not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Commenting on this verse, Arthur Pink wrote:

There seems little room for doubt that the first reference here is to the destruction of the Jewish commonwealth, which was now very nigh for this epistle was written within less than eight years before Jerusalem was captured by Titus. That terrible catastrophe had been foretold, again and again, by Israel's prophets, and was plainly announced by the Lord Jesus in Luke 21. The approach of that dreadful "day" could be plainly seen or perceived by those possessing spiritual discernment: the continued refusal of the Nation to repent of their murder of Christ, and the abandoning of Christianity for an apostate Judaism by such large numbers, clearly presaged the bursting of the storm of God's judgment. Pink-Volume 2 Commentary on Hebrews (10:25).

John Brown writes this on Hebrews 10:25: "The day" here referred to seems plainly the day of the destruction of the Jewish State and Church. That day had been foretold by many of the prophets, and with peculiar minuteness by our Lord Himself: (Luke 21:8-12)..."These events were now very near; and the harbingers of their coming were well fitted to quicken to holy diligence the Hebrew Christians, that they might escape the coming desolation."

The approaching day was the same day that would come in a little while, according to the author of Hebrews:

Hebrews 10:37 (NKJV) "For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.

John Brown, in his commentary on Hebrews, says this of "these last days" (chapter 1, verse 2)

...the meaning is, towards the conclusion of the Jewish dispensation. It seems equivalent to the expressions used by the Apostle, 1 Cor, 10:11, 'the ends of the world (age) are come'-the conclusion of the Mosaic economy; Gal. 4:4, 'the fullness, or the fulfillment of time'-the accomplishment or termination of the period assigned for the duration of the Mosaic economy; Eph. 1:10, 'the dispensation of the fullness of times'-the economy which was to be introduced when the times of the Mosaic economy were fulfilled; Heb. 9:26, 'the end of the world,' literally 'of the ages'-the period of the termination of the Mosaic economy-the time when the present age, or world, was about to be changed into the coming age-the world to come. The Christian revelation was begun to be made in the conclusion of the Jewish age. It was before the conclusion of that age that God spake to the Jews by His Son, who, according to our Lord's parabolical representation, was sent last of all to the husband men: 'He sent forth His Son made under the law.' His personal ministry, and for some time that of His Apostles, was confined to them; and though by His death the Mosaic economy was virtually abrogated, yet it was not in fact dissolved till forty years afterwards, in the destruction of the Temple by the Romans, and the consequent final cessation of its services.

What "last days" is the writer of Hebrews referring to? He is talking about the "last days" of the Old Covenant age. Jerusalem, the temple, and the nation would be destroyed during that first generation of Christianity (Mt. 10:23; 24:34; Luke 21:20, 22, 32).

Contrary to popular opinion, we are not living in the "last days" but the first days of the New Covenant age. The New Covenant age is "the eternal covenant."

Hebrews 13:20 (NKJV) Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

An everlasting age has no "last days." We are living in the first days of the eternal age. Missing these important time statements cause people to misapply, by nearly 2000 years, many verses in the book of Hebrews. The "last days" spoken of by the Hebrew writer were the "last days" of the Jewish old covenant age which became obsolete and passed away in the A.D. 70 judgment and destruction of Jerusalem.

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