Stories in Revelation for Tots to Teens

Author(s): 
Dr. Roy A Kemp
Publisher: 
The Author
Edition / Year: 
1953

The Book of Revelation is, according to the Wikipedia entry for it, “one of the most controversial, and hardest to understand, books of the Bible”. Despite hundreds of years of scholarly argument, there is no consensus as to the true meaning of its arcane symbolism.

Such being the case, some might hesitate before attempting to teach this baffling text to children, but Roy Kemp is not one of them. In this unusual self-published volume Kemp sets out to teach Revelation in its entirety, in 52 lessons, a whole year of Sunday School.

Moreover, before the title page of this book Kemp announces that he is planning to produce similar commentaries on the whole Bible. There are 22 chapters in Revelation, out of a total of 1189 in all 66 books, so by a simple calculation it would take something approaching 54 years to complete the lot at the same plodding rate. The “tots” must be nearing retirement age, and still not done.

In Kemp's view Revelation depicts the reality of the “End Times”, which are, as ever, nigh. He is not dogmatic enough to insist that every word of the prophetic vision is to be taken literally, but his interpretation is of course the only correct one. The anti-Christ is coming and all the unbelievers are going to have a terrible time of it: bloody seas, darkness at noon, plague, famine, war and the rest. The faithful meanwhile will be carried safely away to Heaven in the “Rapture”.

Kemp recognises that in teaching Revelation to tinies he has to make it easier to digest. To that end he employs two means: simplified language and a remarkable innovation he calls the “flannelgraph”. The latter is a piece of blue flannel, three feet square, which ingeniously can represent both heaven and earth:

Make a rainbow in a complete circle 28” in diameter at the very top of the piece of blue flannel. Place all scenes pertaining to the Throne of God inside this rainbow. When the lesson pertains to an earthly scene, use the plain side of the flannel for background.

A set of 155 pictures printed on “flannel-adhering paper” is meant to be used with the book, to illustrate the stories as they are told, such as in this extract - which also shows Kemp's masterly reworking of the text for his young audience:

Our lesson today is about two mean men. Guess who? . . . Yes. (1) The False Prophet and the (2) Antichrist.

Oh here is the False Prophet.

Use Picture No. 97 ... False Prophet.
Place on Board

We found out in lesson last Sunday that The False Prophet will be a man who will serve the ol' mean Antichrist, didn't we? Yes. Well there he is (pointing) as he starts to serve the Antichrist as God. (Explain the true God). Look what this evil False Prophet says in Verse 14.

Rev 13:14

The False Prophet Says That He Is Going To Make An Image Unto The Antichrist, That Is An Image Unto The Antichrist For The Unsaved To Worship.

We will read Verse 14 and see this.

(Teacher lead in reading Verse 14. Talk one minute about the Antichrist was (will be) killed by a sword. Then he will be resurrected from the dead).

Now here is the Antichrist; here he is as he will be when he is risen from the dead.

Use Picture No. 20 ... Antichrist.
Place on Board

And so on, and on, and on. I like that instruction in brackets to “explain the true God”. Here's another extract, which includes scenes of violence some may find disturbing:

In Revelation 14:20 we read that blood (of the wicked army) will flow up to the horses' bridles. We will read it. (Teacher, lead in reading Revelation 14:20).

Blood up to the horses's bridles. That will be very deep.

Oh, I Have the picture of that terrible river of blood. Here it is:

Use Picture No. 125 ... Long Blood Stream.
Place on Board

(Teacher: This must be colored red before you go to class)

Now there is the blood stream. Where did the blood come from? (Pause) ... Yes, it is the blood (5 or 6 quarts to each wicked soldier) just now shed. (Pointing). Christ crushed them.

Explain the crushing - (no guns).

This is followed by a lovely image in which the flannelgraph Christ and his saints are made to wade through the river of blood - “And oh, Look! Their feet and legs are red”, in order to fulfil a prophecy made in Psalms 58:10 - no doubt eliciting a spontaneous round of applause from the little ones.

In this jaundiced modern age it is easy to forget that only half a century ago the weekly promise of the flannelgraph would have brought children running to their Sunday School classes, frothing with anticipation at the thought of more crayoned-in blood. Sadly, I don't have a complete set of pictures, so I can't show you what the Antichrist or the Long Blood Stream look like. You must be satisfied with the rather less exciting ones on the right. Sorry.

(You may also be interested in another example of unusual Bible illustration.)

Stories in Revelation for tots to teens, Roy A. Kemp
Roy A. Kemp
Roy A Kemp
 

 

Comments

I swear, my elementary school bible teachers must have read this book. As such, I have been scarred for life.
Well, what a surprise! My wife has the same book purchased from Dr. Kemp many years ago and used it to teach her Sunday School class! Is that surprising to you? Yes, it was a little more exciting in those days to have a "flannelgraph lesson". Now my 7 year old grandson "kills" hundreds of people every day on his playstation and thinks nothing of it. Dr. Kemp and his wife, Alcie, were dear friends of ours and we would visit just to listen to his fantastic tales of the ministry. He served under the fiery J.Frank Norris at First Baptist Church and Bible Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, where, by the way, my wife and her family were members. He and his wife have passed on now and their son has a few of his other books but he, too, is sick and may not be here long. Dr. Kemp also had a chart of the Revelation that he would stretch across the front of the church(or around the church according to the size of the church). He designed it and used it in many churches. It still exists. Dr. Kemp had the entire book of Revelation memorized and would teach the entire book from memory. Sorry for the long note, it's just amazing to see someone with the book. I googled Roy A. Kemp and found you. Thanks for the review. I think I'll go drag out the old book and investigate if Jesus is coming this week....or January 20! ha!!! Thanks Richard
I would love to purchase Dr.Kemps Book on Revelation "The Path Ahead" Is it still availablePlease answer.The Time is short. Dr.Bobby Clark

HAHAHA TOO LATE!!

Yrs sincerely, the Antichrist.

I have a copy of Dr. Kemp's book Golden Dawn. It is available at www.amazon.com.
I have searched the internet and cannot find this book. Where can I purchase it?

Katie, there is at least one copy on sale at http://used.addall.com/

I was fortunate to have grown up knowing Dr. Kemp,as a dear and personal friend from about the age of 3. When Dr. Kemp had this book printed, my mother Lou and father Garland went to the publishers office with Doc. to see the Binding of the book.He was sooooooo excited about it. he took the first copy that had come out of the binding machine (it only had the front cover attached to it) and asked mom to open it and teach the first chapter to him as she would do with her Sunday school class. to see how easy it could be taught, he signed the book and gave mom the very first edition ever published of this book. my sister is still teaching with it and i taught my children using it. P.S. we still have all the flannel graph teaching tools that came with it too. many thanks to Dr. Kemp & Alice and even Miss Tucket who bit me.

I suppose it would be wrong of me to point out that the "Rapture" isn't truly Biblical and was tacked on later as an interpretation by (I think) Scofield.

So I won't.

Tucket was a green parrot.My sister & I used to knock on the door and tucket would say come in come in come in.Each was more urgent than before.

If there were a prize for most opaque comment ever left here, you'd win. Wear the honour with pride.

Yeah, but no links? And what it posted seems to be unique, at least according to Google. So, WTF.

All of that is true. My guess is, the source file is something offline, maybe the transcription of a specific book. But even Google Books comes up empty. Hmmm.

Actually, read the comment from "randy" again, then the Tucket one actually makes sense, more or less. Read out of context, though, whoosh!

No, I think this is a member of the Kemp family explaining the Tucket reference in randy's post, simple as that.

My mother passed march 2.Sitting in her chair,I saw an old blue book in her case.Prayer asking and receiving by John R.Rice.1948.My father was named John Rice Kemp.I always knew about the name as Dad-aw as we called him told me years ago.There was a picture of my grandfather from the path ahead.Also a family picture from 1946 taken in Sunset Tx.was there.To Dr.Roy A.Kemp in Christian Love.John R Rice.When I had my 2nd son, I named him John Roy after his great grandfather.My wife Rhonda got to name our 3rd son.Moses.I asked my Dad-aw what he thought about the name? He looked at me and said,We'll what can I say about that?The inflection said it all.Moses has a large tattoo on his arm of Moses.I know he would be proud of his selection of Moses to be with him forever.I don't go here often as I should,as I am still new at this.

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