Revelation: Letter to a 9-Yr-Old

Letter w/answersRevelation

Below is an aggregation of questions posed to me over several correspondences with my Godson, Bradley.

As I have discovered in the course of my studies, it is not easy for most adults to understand the Book of Revelation. Nevertheless, God planted a thirst for Bibical knowledge in Bradley, and I felt blessed to have the opportunity to help him understand some the many questions arising from the study of this complex book of the Bible.

Whenever i am asked questions about the Bible, regardless whether it's from a child or an adult, I pray that the Lord will give me the wisdom and ability to answer them accurately. I remember when I was around nine years old, and I would have similar questions to those of Bradley's. However, the adults that I would ask would only give me easy answers, or not really answer me at all, thinking a child of my age wouldn't understand. I know that within each of us Christ speaks to us at our own level, and He'll give us the answers we need if we seek Him out. So here's praying that He'll speak to you through this lesson.

What follows below is more-or-less our verbatum conversation.


When you consider studying about end time events you should always keep in mind one thing - God's in control, He has a plan and it will work out perfectly even if we don't understand all of it. There will always be pieces we don't fully understand but He's given us His Holy Word through the Bible so we'll know He's in control and He does have a plan.

The Book of Revelation has so many things happening at different times and places and with so many different people it's hard to understand it all as a single picture. It reminds me of standing in a Control Tower at an Airport and looking down at the airport. You see airplanes taking off and landing, some are taxing along the taxiways, some are parked, some are backing out. Trucks and cars and baggage carts all coming and going. It's all a very confusing and busy picture, yet in the Control Tower it's all closely controlled and monitored and at the end of the day all of the airplanes got where they needed to go and everything ran smoothly.

Revelation is like that. All of the end time prophecy in the Bible comes together in Revelation, Christ returns, judgments occur and Gods great plan for mankind successfully comes together as Satan is defeated and he and his followers are sent away into eternal punishment forever, never to trouble God's people again. So, as we consider our study of Revelation and try to understand it all we need to always remember that no matter our understanding, God is in control, His will will be done and we will reign forever with Christ, what an exciting thing to look forward to.

Now, to your questions about Revelation.

  1. Does the beast come before Jesus does?
    1. ANSWER: Yes. He comes to try and mislead everyone into thinking he's Jesus - he comes to bring a big lie to everyone hoping he can defeat Jesus and raise himself above God. But then Jesus comes with the Saints from Heaven and defeats him.
  2. If the beast is just about to kill someone such as a believer, will Jesus come before the beast touches that person?
    1. ANSWER: We know that during the last days many will die for believing in Christ. This is what the beast wants, he believes this will make people follow after him. But all of those he kills who follow Christ will go immediately to Heaven and be comforted by God until the day of Christ's return.
  3. How many days is the end of the world process?
    1. ANSWER: The last seven years, called the Tribulation Period, will lead to the Second Coming of Christ. Then Christ will set up His earthly kingdom and rule with us for one thousand years. At the end of that period Satan will make one last attack on Christ and His followers, but Satan will be quickly defeated - no one in Christ's kingdom will be lost and Satan and followers will be cast away forever. On that day, the Great White Throne judgment day after they have been cast away God will burn up the old heaven and earth and create a brand new one that will last forever and that's where we'll live with him. It's a beautiful place, you can read about it in Revelation Chapters twenty-one and twenty-two.
  4. Is it ok to Jesus and God if we fight back with the beast?
    1. ANSWER: Yes it's ok. But our battle with the beast won't be one we fight with swords and guns but with our faith and with the Bible, God's Holy Word. God tells us His Word is sharper than a two edge sword. Our stand against Satan is to not believe His lies, not to take the mark of the beast on hand or forehand, and to continue to spread the Good News of Christ's second coming. Revelation tells us God will lead many away from the beast. God will protect many, but many will also be killed going right to heaven. Then Christ will come at the end of the seven year period and defeat him. Christ will bring back with Him all those the beast killed. You see he thinks killing us will stop Christ's kingdom, but the instant he does we go to be with Christ. Then when Christ comes back we come with him - boy that will be an exciting time, coming down in the air with Christ and watching as He defeats Satan right before our very eyes. What a celebration that will be.
  5. How do we know when we are in the process of revelation?
    1. ANSWER: I personally don't believe we as the Church today will go through the period referred to as the Tribulation Period, or the Period of Great Tribulation, which is described in the book of The Revelation. However, the Bible is clear about how we'll know when it begins.
      1. A great apostasy will break out (the word apostasy means teaching a lie for the truth). For example the "church" that exists when the Tribulation begins will be teaching lies as truth - one might be that Jesus was not born of a virgin, or they might teach that Jesus is not the only Son of God, or they might teach Jesus is not the only way to heaven. We also know from Revelation itself that Satan will set himself up to look like the Messiah so that people believe he's actually the long awaited savior. We need to carefully watch over God's Holy Word, the Bible, and how it is taught and interpreted. The Bible tells us many will come in those days claiming that Christ is here or there and they will be wrong but many will believe the lies. We need to hold fast to the truth about Christ, and about the Bible so that we don't fall into their traps and start believing lies ourselves.
      2. A great peace will breakout in the Middle East, particularly in Israel. In fact the Bible tells us the peace will be so great Israel will actually lay down their arms and not defend themselves because they feel so safe. That will begin the Tribulation Period - they will make peace with Satan's earthly representative, the Anti Christ.
      3. The Temple at Jerusalem will be rebuilt. Today in Israel the Temple Society has already drawn the plans to rebuild the Temple, they've even traced the lineage of all of the Biblical Levite families and identified which would serve in the new Temple. All is in place today for that to happen once a peace is in place - and of course it would have to be a peace that would allow them to tear down the Mosque - the Dome of The Rock - that Islam currently has standing on the point where the Temple needs to be rebuilt. So watch - keep an eye on Jerusalem and on Israel that will be a sign as well.
  6. Won't the end of the world be when the gospel is taught to the world? If so then are we really close?
    1. ANSWER 1: You can interpret Matthew 24:14 two different ways. First, clearly Christ teaches us to go forth and spread the gospel to the whole world. We see that as well in Matthew 28:19-20. However, the specific verse you reference in Matthew 24, I believe - as do others - is referencing activities that will take place near the end of the period called The Great Tribulation. Christ is saying that before He returns "this gospel" will be preached to the whole world which is referring back to what he said in the previous verse "but he who stands firm to the end will be saved" and then the end will come. Believers during the Tribulation period will have to demonstrate their faith by holding firm to the truth even in the face of death. Those who aren't truly believers will compromise with the devil and will not be saved, only those "who stand firm" this is the message of the 144,000 witnesses as they reach out and preach this gospel message to the whole world, that indeed Jesus is the true Messiah and He is coming again - very soon.
    2. ANSWER 2: As Billy Graham once said, we are closer today to Christ's Second Coming than ever before, but Christ chose not to tell us exactly what day that will be - we are to live every day as though He's coming back today. Don't be frightened by the thought that we're "really close" Christ will watch over us and I believe He will protect His Church from judgment.
  7. Would it be ok to pretend to be on the Beast's side and then double cross him?
    1. ANSWER: I like the way you think…but I wouldn't do it. First, Christ knows exactly how to defeat him so we shouldn't try to figure it out for him and secondly the Bible tells us just how smart and evil the Devil is…you would never be able to trick him, but he could easily trick you by letting you think you had fooled him, until it was too late. Any time we try to do things our way we don't succeed, but when we trust Jesus and do things His way we always succeed.
  8. How do we call Jesus for help if we are in deep trouble with the Devil or the Beast?
    1. ANSWER: That's a good question, Satan can seem very powerful and the Beast described in Revelation is a very powerful figure….but we have Christ living in us. The Bible tells us He knows what we need before we ask him. Anytime we face Satan or his demons, just as Jesus did in the desert, all we need to do is resist him. The Bible tells us "resist him and he will flee" (James 4:7). If we try to take Satan on, or we're afraid Satan has a hold on us, all we need to do is pray and the Holy Spirit will protect you and give you the strength to resist Satan. We never have to fear Satan, his demons, or death as long as we have Christ living in us. He provides us a peace that goes beyond all human understanding. The next time you even think Satan's around, pray and resist his presence…he will flee. "the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world". 1 John 4:4
  9. If you know of a good movie on Revelation could you tell me so I can watch it?
    1. ANSWER 1: I honestly don't know of one. There have been many attempts made, most focus on one or two events in the tribulation period, I'm not aware of one that covers the entire period. Many people like the Tim LaHaye Left Behind series books and I know they did a movie, but I've never been much of movie fan when it comes to understanding the Bible, too much theater and not enough accurate theology for my taste in most of them.
    2. ANSWER 2: Like you I began wondering about the "end of the world" and all the events leading up to it at a young age. I think by the time I turned thirty I had read Revelation probably twenty or more times and have since read it another twenty or more. As you grow older and God gives you more wisdom you'll learn that to understand God's ultimate plan for mankind you actually need a good solid understanding of the whole Bible - God reveals something to us in every book, and in particular you're going to need to know Old Testament Prophecy. If you think of Revelation as a keystone - the stone that ties everything else together, you'll realize that to really understand it you must understand all of end time prophecy, Old and New Testament. God's grand plan for mankind is so vast and complex I'm not sure you could ever capture it in a single movie. But as His Word is planted in your heart He'll reveal things to you that tie each piece together so that you can see He really does have a plan and it will come together perfectly when Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation Period.

My wife Sherrie and I were really thankful that Christ put it in Bradley's heart to learn more about Him and about His plan for us. I encouraged him, and told him that I would try and answers that he may have in the future, as I do with all of my students. As we grow and learn more about Jesus, we will naturally have more and more questions, so I admonished him not to be afraid to ask me, or his mom and dad, or pastor, since God uses mature Christians to help us better understand his Word.

I pray that God will really bless you as you try to learn more and more about Him as well.

Yours in Christ,