While taking great care to properly interpret the meaning of Revelations which has been the fodder for much written and cinematic fiction, Christians have pretty much settled on a theme which they agree upon. The key components are well known, in no particular order; "The sign of the Beast", "Armageddon", "The anti-Christ", "The Rapture", "the Second Coming of Christ" and other elements which have evolved over the ages to create a well understood and accepted Christian narrative which foretells the "End Times".
There is an often quoted yet obviously much ignored verse in Revelations which has little to do with this narrative but in my view of things is far more important since it has to do with what Christians are supposed to be seeking, the nature of God. I know that is not nearly as satisfying to human nature as evangelizing but it is far more important. The verse is found in the twenty second chapter, thirteenth verse and says simply:
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.Like most of the Book of Revelations indeed much of the New Testament this verse is just an updating of Old Testament words and prophecy to the new audience and the new beginning brought into the equation by the entrance of Christ, The Old Testament version of this would be found in several places such as Isaiah 41:4:
Who has done this and carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD--with the first of them and with the last--I am he."or Isaiah 46:10
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.There are more, but you get the idea, or do you? I say that these much quoted verses are ignored but in reality they are just "explained" away. You see these verses and others state rather clearly that God has known the end from the beginning. The reason they have to be explained away is simple, if God has known the end from the beginning then where does that leave man's precious free will in the grand scheme of things ?
Since man's alleged free will is not the topic I wish to pursue here I'll just say that in order to explain this seeming contradiction Christianity has theologically created what I like to call GOD THE GREAT FORTUNE TELLER theory. The God who created everything knows how everything is going to end but apparently has very little input into how it gets there. Well except when He works through people, but people make their own choices, but in the end they are going to make choices that will lead to the end that God has determined from the beginning. Got it?
I know, I know it is all very confusing, well at least it is if you don't want to believe that God is in charge of everything form beginning to end and everything in between which Christian Bibles plainly state but which Christians are not quite ready to accept. But that as I said is for another day...or is it?
Charles Krauthhammer has written a wonderful article on the recent potentially Universe changing scientific discovery. He writes:
I am talking about something far more important. Which is why it made only the back pages of your newspaper, if it made it at all. Scientists at CERN, the European high-energy physics consortium, have announced the discovery of a particle that can travel faster than light.
Neutrinos fired 454 miles from a supercollider outside Geneva to an underground laboratory in Gran Sasso, Italy, took less time (60 nanoseconds less) than light to get there. Or so the physicists think. Or so they measured. Or so they have concluded after checking for every possible artifact and experimental error.
If verified the significance of this will be beyond big, it will be, excuse the pun, a quantum leap in our understanding, or rather, our lack of understanding of how the universe works. As Krauthammer puts it:
And that’s the problem. It has to be impossible because, if not, if that did happen on this Orient Express hurtling between Switzerland and Italy, then everything we know about the universe is wrong.Yet this is precisely what this group of scientist have potentially done, they have defied the speed of light and all the theories tied to it. What really caught my attention in the article was his description of what this finding would mean as a practical (?) matter. He explained it this way:
The fundamental axiom of Einstein’s theory of relativity is the absolute prohibition on speed faster than light. Einstein’s predictions about how time slows and mass increases as one approaches the speed of light have been verified by a mountain of experimental evidence. As velocity increases, mass approaches infinity and time dilates, making it progressively and, ultimately, infinitely difficult to achieve light speed. Which is why nothing does. And nothing ever has.
To oversimplify grossly: If the Gran Sasso scientists had a plate to record the arrival of the neutrinos and a super-powerful telescope to peer (through the Alps!) directly into the lab in Geneva from which they were being fired, the Gran Sasso guys would have “heard” the neutrinos clanging against the plate before they observed the Geneva guys squeeze the trigger on the neutrino gun.Think about that, we may have found something which redefines what we know as time. If such physical mechanics actually are at work within the dynamics of the universe then it is possible that an effect could be know prior to its cause. Which would be a very good definition for "knowing the end from the beginning."
One of the most amazing facts that I have ever read, is that just over a century ago scientist believed that the universe was comprised of about a million stars. Today's best estimate is that the universe is comprised of a billion galaxies each containing about a billion stars. I do not even know how to calculate the factor of the increase of how much larger creation (God) is than what we believed just a century ago.
Was God (creation) smaller a century ago? Of course not, man's ability to see the universe he lived in was just inadequate to see that creation. But those countless billions of stars were there all the time, give or a take a few million due to the ever expanding universe we now know we live in. It is not God and His/Her laws and creation which changes, it is our understanding and cognizance of them that does.
If those neutrinos actually do travel faster than the speed of light, then they always have. The way God's creation works is still a mystery to us, perhaps a bigger mystery than we ever imagined because there is something out there in the physical realm which can call forth the end from the beginning and time as we know it is irrelevant which when you are talking about infinity makes sense.... if only in the Spirit.
Those flabbergasted scientist in Europe may have reason to be, they may have just shaken hands with God.