Speaking on Revelation to an overflow crowd at a Los Angeles Temple Visitors’ Center fireside Feb. 26, Richard Draper, Biblical scholar and BYU professor emeritus of Ancient Scriptures, spoke as a guest scholar of the John A. Widtsoe Foundation.
The heart of Lucifer’s evil design is to “seek the misery of all humankind” and the blueprint for much of that dark work is in the book of Revelation, said Richard Draper, a biblical scholar and Brigham Young University professor emeritus of ancient scripture.
Speaking on "Uncovering the Book of Revelation" in the New Testament to an overflow crowd at the Los Angeles Temple Visitors' Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Feb. 26, as a guest scholar of the John A. Widtsoe Foundation, Draper said the adversary’s work can be easily identified by any means that “take people and turn them into property” whether it is a shop owner who knowingly overcharges for services, or the global spread of drugs, sex and human trafficking in the 21st century.
Draper unmasked the adversary’s two assistants, one acting to supply the organization, funding and muscle, and the other to supply the propaganda that blinds good people into doing wrong things. He emphasized their work is to destroy the eternal ordinance of marriage, “overprize the present” with material wealth, and establish Babylon the Great, or the “church of the selfish.”
During a lifetime of study and research into the Revelation of St. John the Divine, Draper said he had a powerful insight while working with co-author Michael Rhodes on "The Revelation of John the Apostle," the latest book in BYU Studies' 18-volume New Testament Commentary Series, of which the Widtsoe Foundation is a publication sponsor. He came to understand that evil would be allowed to rule for a period of time, but followers of Jesus Christ should not be troubled.
In Revelation 14:12, the King James Version refers to the “patience” of the saints during the trials and tribulations of the last days. In the new translation of the Greek, Draper and Rhodes believe the phrase “steadfast endurance,” not patience, more accurately defines what will be needed to withstand “the pressure that will come from the intolerance of the world toward righteousness.”
There will be casualties and tough times, but the followers of Christ are promised they will get through it, said Draper.
Followers of Christ should “stay away from Babylon” at all costs because she will take down everyone and everything in her path, and the fall will be “hard and fast,” he said.
There are actually two warnings regarding Babylon — to those who refuse to come out of the great city and to those who have fully embraced Babylon’s offerings. Draper likened this to the example in the New Testament of the wise and foolish virgins.
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John also has powerful messages for the righteous, such as in Revelation 7 and 21.
Draper summarized the key roles for the followers of Jesus Christ in the last days: to be prepared, to exercise faith, to stand their ground (or endure) and pray.
The Lamb will “shepherd them and lead them to living springs of water and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. The job of the true Lamb, Jesus Christ, is to protect the righteous. God and Christ are in charge. We need to have the eyes to see,” said Draper.