"In These Last Days"
Some preachers love to startle their audiences with such exclamations as, “We are rapidly approaching the last days!” To the Bible student such a statement is startling only because the teacher uttering it is merely indicating how little he knows of the Bible. According to the New Testament we have been in the last days for almost 2,000 years. Hear the words of Paul in Hebrews 1:1.2: “God who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his son.” Note the tense of the verb has spoken. The writer of the Hebrew letter and those to whom he was writing were in the last days. Peter says substantially the same in Acts 3:12.26. It is foolish, then, to make such statements as “We are rapidly approaching the last days!” when an inspired apostle wrote 2,000 years ago that he was in “these last days.”
“These days” (Peter) and “these last days” (Paul) are terms denoting the Christian period (some say dispensation) which extends from the cross of Christ to his return at the end of time. Bible history may be divided into three periods: the Patriarchal, from Adam to Sinai; the Mosaic, from Sinai to the crucifixion; and the gospel (these last days) dispensation, which extends from the cross to the resurrection and judgment, the restitution of all things (Acts 3:21). Jesus is on His throne (Heb. 8:1) and will remain there until the resurrection Day of Judgment when he shall deliver the kingdom (his church) to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:24). This is the restitution of all things (Acts 3:21).
The Hebrew writer and Peter simply state that the time is past when God spoke through the prophets. He once spoke through the fathers of the Patriarchal Age (Adam, Noah, Abraham, etc.) and through the Prophets of the Mosaic Age (Moses, David, Jeremiah, Daniel, etc.). Peter, Paul, and the writer of Hebrews teach that God no longer speaks through the prophets, but He speaks through his Son in these last days (The Gospel Age). Note also Matthew 3:17 and Matthew 17:5.
The only safe way to interpret the Bible or to understand prophecy is to let inspired men interpret it. Peter and Paul were inspired men. When they. say, “This is that,” then THIS IS THAT. When they say “in these last days,” then you can be assured that the last days have come and are not “rapidly approaching.”