Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
   A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Could you please provide me with some information on the 7 years of tribulation?

The seven years of tribulation begins with the rise to power of the Antichrist. He will come to rule for three and a half years after which the great tribulation will materialize. The Holy book of Daniel tells us, "And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time" (Dan 12:1). Our Lord Jesus Christ describes it saying, "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened" (Mt 24:21-22).

The Abomination of Desolation is the time of coming of the Antichrist and his very first work. This Abomination will last for three and a half year, and the Great Tribulation for another three and a half years, or forty two months, or 1,260 days (Rev 13:5; 11:2-3; 12:5, Dan 12:11-12).

St. Paul says that the Antichrist would sit in the temple as God, "Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God" (2.Thes 2:3-4). People will see prosperity under the rule of the Antichrist; all those whose names are not written in the Book of Life will acknowledge him as ‘god’ and savior of the human race. He will perform many miracles that will deceive many.

Christian churches will be turned into a place of worship of the new "god". The Liturgies and the offering of the Eternal sacrifice (The Eucharist) will cease in these churches. It is at this point that the Great Tribulation will start, "And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days" (Dan 12:11). The thousand two hundred and ninety days is the symbolic time of the Great Tribulation which is the same as the "time and times and the dividing of times" mentioned in the Holy Book of Daniel 7:25 and the "forty two months" (Rev 13:5).

During this time when deceptions will spread because of the coming of the deceiver, God will send two witnesses or prophets, Elijah and Enoch, clothed in sackcloth, unconcerned about worldly matters, to resist the Antichrist who will have set himself up as a king.  Only those "whose names are written in the Book of Life" will listen; and take heed of the warning; the rest of the world will mock them and despise them. The period of their witness will be 1260 days until their martyrdom.

At the time of the Antichrist, the Church will flee in the wilderness and the mountains away from the severity of tribulation and suffering inflicted on her by the antichrist. Chapter 12 of the holy book of Revelation describes the exile of the Church. The woman (symbolizing the Church) being persecuted by the serpent (Satan), flees to the wilderness "Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days" (Rev 12:6). During the Great Tribulation, God has a place prepared for the church where she can find refuge, and be looked after (fed) for the whole duration of the Tribulation. The word "wilderness" does not necessarily mean a desert place, but rather a solitary place, a kind of a retreat. This corresponds to the admonition of our Lord that we flea to the mountains. Again mountains here are not to be taken literally, but rather in the sense of taking the "high ground."

When Satan acting through Antichrist sees that the Church is living safely in her place of exile, he will try to attack her using all his followers (symbolized by the water as a flood,) but God will miraculously save the Church, to the astonishment of the nations around the world.

The Holy Bible assures that God will protect the elect during the Great Tribulation "At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book" (Dan 12:1).

This Great Tribulation will shortly precede the second coming of our Lord "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. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (Mt 24:29-31). Once the Great Tribulation begins, this world will be only about three and one-half years away from the second coming of Christ. However, our Lord Jesus said, "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only" (Mt 24:36).
Home | Ask A Question | Search Q&A