The Bible often refers to periods of times that have activities or attributes that are unique to those times. Sometimes the references are specific, and sometimes the references are implied by means of circumstances.
For example, the Garden of Eden is often called the age of innocence. It is defined as the time that Adam and Eve were living in the Garden, beginning with their creation and ending with their fall in sin. This is an obvious beginning and ending of this era.
The period prior to the flood of Noah is another period of time that has definite and obvious beginning and ending. Beginning with the eviction of Adam and Eve from the Garden and ending with the flood.
The next period is the period of the Patriarchs (fathers of families), from Noah to Jacob, and then is followed by the period identified as the Nation of Israel and so forth.
In theology these periods are referred to as dispensations, or divisions of time in history that separate them from other periods. Each period having some distinctive characteristics that distinguishes them from other periods.
The last days, is often used in the scriptures, especially in the Old Testament, which makes reference to the Messiah and the establishment of the Kingdom of God.
As presented in the Old Testament, the Messiah was to come into this world, born as a man, to be a man while at the same time being God. Then He was to end all sin and death, by becoming a sacrifice in mans place. This is portrayed and taught by the sacrificial rituals, and then establish His kingdom, thus terminating mans rule.
From the Old Testaments perspective, this all seemed to occur in one continuous and fluid sequence.
The time of these last events were referred to as the, last days.
However, something happened, that the Old Testament priests and many of the Jewish people did not expect. The times of God, dispensations, were going to have yet one more era of time, before the ‘last days’ was going to occur.
This last and hidden dispensation, is our current dispensation, which we call the Church Age, or sometimes we call it the Age of the Royal Family, or sometimes it is referred to as the Age of the Bride of Christ.
Our era is different from the other dispensations, in that within it we possess the development of the New Testament and the completed canon of scripture, it is post messiah and sacrifice (cross), we are totally without revelation from God as was commonly known in the Old Testament (no more dreams, visions, new revelations, etc.).
Further, we are identified as complete with respect to the availability to doctrine and the spiritual life, various titles are made known (royal family, bride, royal priest, royal ambassador, permanent indwelling and residence of the Godhead in each believer, and so forth).
And John and Paul identified our era as the ‘end times,’ not the last days.
The Tribulation was defined as the last seven years of the previous dispensation, which is called the Age of Israel.
Daniel defined that era as lasting 490 more years, from his time, of which only 483 years had transpired, when our dispensation interrupted that former dispensation. Thus leaving seven more years yet to occur in order to complete the Age of Israel. Those last seven years are identified as the Tribulation.
Which, the tribulation, now is carries the term, ‘last days.’
Note that each dispensation is exclusive from all other dispensations. Thus the Church Age is not a part of the Tribulation.
The Tribulation is a part of the Old Testaments, Age of Israel. It is its last seven years.
When our dispensation terminates, with the Rapture, then that future era or last seven years of the Age of Israel, will resume. Each dispensation has a definite beginning and end point. (ie. creation of man, sin, flood, family, nation, Pentecost, rapture, second advent, final judgment).
We know from our study of Revelation, that at the end of the Tribulation, Christ will return, a date commonly referred to as the Second Advent, and at that time and immediately prior to that event, all of the mountains and hills and such will crumble away. That the region around Jerusalem will be lifted up to become the highest point on the planet.
And thus our current verse.
The mountain of the Lords house, will be established in the top of the mountains and above the hills, which is an expression that means that the Lords house, the Temple, doctrine, the faith of Christianity, will be elevated above all other beliefs (false beliefs).
It will be elevated above all others symbolically, philosophically, and geographically.
Jerusalem means the city of peace, which results from the mountain of Zion, which refers to the vast mountain of doctrine which resides within the city of Jerusalem. Thus doctrine is the heart and foundation of true peace and happiness and prosperity and so forth.
The mountains and hills will refer to all other beliefs, large and small, major and minor, that will most likely occur during the Millennium, but they will not outweigh or overshadow or prevail over Christianity as they do today.
At the end of the Millennium there will be a huge population of people who will have rejected Christ, and obviously that attitude will develop during the Millennium. But with Satan being imprisoned during the Millennium, and his influence removed, then any alternate belief system will not flourish as it does today.
And in our current world, Christianity, though worldwide, is pretty much limited to the western nations. Whereas, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam and many other cults and religions dominate the landscape elsewhere.
However, when Christ returns, Christianity will be the dominant faith on the entire planet. Thus, all nations will flow (in faith) to Christ.