The Seven Year Trial – Part V

Christ in Gethsemane, by Michael D. O’Brien


The Israelites did what displeases the Lord; the Lord gave them over for seven years into the hands of Midian. (Judges 6:1)


THIS writing examines the transition between the first and second half of the Seven Year Trial.

We have been following Jesus along His Passion, which is a pattern for the Church’s present and coming Great Trial. Furthermore, this series aligns His Passion to the Book of Revelation which is, on one of its many levels of symbolism, a High Mass being offered in Heaven: the representation of Christ’s Passion as both sacrifice and victory.

Jesus enters Jerusalem, preaching boldly, cleansing the temple, and seemingly winning over many souls. But at the same time, there are false prophets among them, confusing His identity in the minds of many, claiming that Jesus is just a prophet, and plotting His destruction. From what I can tell, it is three and a half days from the moment of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem until the Passover.

Then Jesus enters into the Upper Room.



I believe one of the great graces which will be born of the Illumination and Great Sign, indeed the Woman clothed with the sun, is unity among the faithful—Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox (see The Coming Wedding). This remnant will unite themselves around the Holy Eucharist, inspired and enlightened by the Great Sign and its accompanying Eucharistic miracles. There will be a fervor, zeal, and power flowing from these Christians as in the days of Pentecost. It is precisely this unified worship of and witness to Jesus which draws out the wrath of the Dragon.

Then the dragon became angry with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring, those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus. (Rev 12:17)

The faithful remnant unite in their own “last supper” before this Great Persecution. After the Seventh Seal is broken, St. John records part of this Liturgy in the Heavens:

Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a gold censer. He was given a great quantity of incense to offer, along with the prayers of all the holy ones, on the gold altar that was before the throne. The smoke of the incense along with the prayers of the holy ones went up before God from the hand of the angel. (Rev 8:3-4)

It sounds like the Offertory—the offering of gifts. It is the remnant, the holy ones, offering themselves completely to God, even unto death. The angel is offering the “Eucharistic prayers” of the holy ones who are placing themselves upon the Heavenly altar to “complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body” (Col 1:24). This offering, though it will not convert Antichrist, may convert some of those who carry out the persecution. 

If the word has not converted, it will be blood that converts.  —POPE JOHN PAUL II, from poem, Stanislaw

The Church will repeat the words of Jesus who said at His Last Supper,

I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God. (Mark 14:25)

And perhaps the faithful remnant will drink this new wine in the temporal kingdom during the Era of Peace.



The Garden of Gethsemane is the moment when the Church will fully comprehend that, despite her greatest efforts, the road which leads to Heaven is narrow and few are those who take it:

Because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. (John 15:19-20)

It will be clear to her that the world is about to turn against her en masse. But Christ will not abandon His Bride! We will be given the comfort of one another’s presence and prayers, the encouragement of seeing the sacrificial witness of others, the intercession of the Saints, the help of the Angels, the Blessed Mother, and the holy Rosary; also the inspiration of the Great Sign which remains and cannot be destroyed, the outpouring of the Spirit, and of course, the Holy Eucharist, wherever Masses can be said. The apostles of these days will be powerful, or rather, wonderfully empowered. I believe we will be given an interior joy as were the martyrs from St. Stephen, to Ignatius of Antioch, to the modern day souls who are continually offering their lives for Christ. These graces are all symbolized in the angel who came to Jesus in the Garden:

And to strengthen him an angel from heaven appeared to him. (Luke 22:43)

It is then that “Judas” will betray the Church.  



Judas is a prefigurement of  the Antichrist. Aside from calling Judas a “devil,” Jesus addresses His betrayer with the same title that St. Paul used in describing the Antichrist:

I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled.  (John 17:12; cf. 2 Thess 2:3)

As I wrote in Part I, the Seven Year Trial or “Daniel’s week” begins with a peace agreement between Antichrist and “the many” at some point proximate to the Illumination. Some scholars suggest it is a peace agreement with Israel, though the text in New Testament times may suggest simply many nations.

During the first three and a half years of the Trial, the Antichrist ‘s plans will appear at first as amicable to all religions and peoples so as to delude the greatest number of souls, especially Christians. This is the torrent of deception that Satan spews at the Woman-Church:

The serpent, however, spewed a torrent of water out of his mouth after the woman to sweep her away with the current. (Rev 12:15)

This present and coming deception has been the repeated warning throughout my writings.

For even Antichrist, when he shall begin to come, shall not enter into the Church because he threatens. —St. Cyprian of Carthage, Church Father (died 258 A.D.), Against the Heretics, Epistle 54, n. 19

His speech was smoother than butter, yet war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swo rds… he violated his covenant. (Psalm 55:21, 20)

Just how prominent Antichrist will be during the first three and a half years, we don’t know. Perhaps his presence will be known, but somewhat in the background just as Judas remained in the background—until he betrayed Christ. Indeed, according to Daniel, the Antichrist suddenly steps forward and breaks his covenant halfway through the “week.” 

Judas came and immediately went over to Jesus and said, “Rabbi.” And he kissed him. At this they laid hands on him and arrested him… and [the disciples] left him and fled.  (Mark 14:41)

Daniel paints a picture of this Judas who slowly extends his power throughout the world until he claims global dominance. He rises out of the “ten horns” or “kings” which appeared on the Dragon—the New World Order.

Out of one of them came a little horn which kept growing toward the south, the east, and the glorious country. Its power extended to the host of heaven, so that it cast down to earth some of the host and some of the stars and trampled on them (cf. Rev 12:4). It boasted even against the prince of the host, from whom it removed the daily sacrifice, and whose sanctuary it cast down, as well as the host, while sin replaced the daily sacrifice. It cast truth to the ground, and was succeeding in its undertaking. (Dan 8:9-12)

Indeed, we will see the culmination of what we are experiencing now: that which is true will be called false, and that which is false will said to be truth. Along with the abolition of the Eucharist, it is this obscuration of Truth which also forms part of the Eclipse of the Son.

Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” (John 18:38) 



This Judas will suddenly change his platitudes from peacemaking to persecution.

The beast was given a mouth uttering proud boasts and blasphemies, and it was given authority to act for forty-two months. (Rev 13:5)

It is perhaps then that a most painful moment will arrive for the Church. Many mystics and Church Fathers speak of a time when, like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, the shepherd of the Church, the Holy Father, will be struck. Perhaps this is central to the “final trial which will shake the faith of many believers” (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church 675) when the guiding voice of the Church on earth, the Pope, is temporarily silenced.

Jesus said to them, “This night all of you will have your faith in me shaken, for it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be dispersed.’” (Matt 26:31)

I saw one of my successors taking to flight over the bodies of his brethren. He will take refuge in disguise somewhere; and after a short retirement [exile], he will die a cruel death. —POPE PIUS X (1835-1914), Antichrist and the End Times, Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi, P. 30

Persecution will burst out in its ugliest form. The flock will be scattered, like burning coals cast upon the earth:

Then the angel took the censer, filled it with burning coals from the altar, and hurled it down to the earth. There were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake. The seven angels who were holding the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.  (Rev 8:5)

The Eye of the Storm will have passed, and the Great Storm will resume its final course with the thunder of justice resounding throughout the cosmos.

Then they will hand you over to persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of my name. (Matt 24:9)



God will permit great evil against the Church: Heretics and tyrants will come suddenly and unexpectedly; they will break into the Church while bishops, prelates and priests are asleep. They will enter Italy and lay Rome waste; they will burn down the churches and destroy everything. —Venerable Bartholome Holzhauser (1613-1658 A.D.), Apocalypsin, 1850; Catholic Prophecy

It has been handed over to the Gentiles, who will trample the holy city for forty-two months. (Rev 11:2)

The Mass will be abolished…

…half of the week he [Antichrist] shall cause sacrifice and offering to cease. (Dan 9:27)

… and abominations will enter her sanctuaries…

I saw enlightened Protestants, plans formed for the blending of religious creeds, the suppression of papal authority… I saw no Pope, but a bishop prostrate before the High Altar. In this vision I saw the church bombarded by other vessels… It was threatened on all sides… They built a large, extravagant church which was to embrace all creeds with equal rights… but in place of an altar were only abomination and desolation. Such was the new church to be… —Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824 A.D.), The Life and Revelations of Anne Catherine Emmerich, April 12th, 1820

Yet, God will be near His people as the last three and a half years of the Trial begin to unfold:

He will guard the footsteps of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall perish in the darkness. (1 Sam 2:9)

For the definitive moment of victory for the Church has also arrived, as well as the hour of justice for the world. And thus, the warning:

…woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born. (Matt 26:24) 

Speak to the world about My mercy… It is a sign for the end times. After it will come the Day of Justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fountain of My mercy. Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary of St. Faustina, 848

Antichrist is not the final word. JESUS CHRIST is the definitive Word. And He will come to restore all things…

It is God’s task to bring about this happy hour and to make it known to all… When it does arrive, it will turn out to be a solemn hour, one big with consequences not only for the restoration of the Kingdom of Christ, but for the pacification of… the world.  —Pope Pius XI, Ubi Arcani dei Consilioi “On the Peace of Christ in his Kingdom”




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