In the Kingdom of God, is time travel possible? Yes. Is it necessary? Not always. Did it ever happen? Yes. But it isn’t quite the way we’ve expected it to happen.
What is Time-Travel?
When we think of time travel, we often see it as an object or a person moving either faster than the predetermined pace of time into the future, or going backwards into history. But often, as Christians, we do not consider the other complications that will come with this type of time travel in light of the Heart of God nor the Bible. We’d go with the flow with secular thought experiments and lamenting on the negative implications of the butterfly effect or the multi-verse theory. But when we dive into the Word of God, we realise that the reality of time-travel isn’t far from the Heart of God. In fact, time-travel is a form of divine intervention.
The Heart of God and Conventional Understanding of Time-Travel
Before we dig into the topic of time travel, I think it is important to first square away some fundamental understandings of God’s salvation plan. We know that God wants everyone to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the Truth (1 Timothy 2:4). We also know that we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10a, NIV) and that there will be nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open (Luke 8:17, NIV). Understanding this makes the desire to travel back in time to alter history appear questionable. If God will judge us for all that we do, do you think we will be given the liberty to return back in time to mend the wrongs we’ve done? Or do you think we can return to Eden to prevent the serpent from tempting Eve? So we understand that the arrangement of time is essential in God’s salvation plan and it was never His intention for any object, let alone a human being, to travel back to any given point in history.
How about going forward into the future, you may ask? Here’s my stand on the matter. If God the Son Himself said that He did not know the Hour of His Return (Matthew 24:36, NIV), what makes us think we can surpass Him, venture into the future, and visit the Hour of His coming? So the initial conclusion of the matter is this. It was never in the Heart of God for us to time-travel in the way we’d want to.
Time-Travel in the Bible
However, at this juncture, I’d like to propose that God do support time-travel. He’s even executed them. It just didn’t appear the way we’ve been exposed to in sci-fi movies and science fiction novels.
Throughout the ministry of Christ all till the Apostolic Period of the Church, the Bible is littered with traces of Time Travel. Here are some of the occurrences of time travel in the Bible:
- Jesus’ Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-13, NIV)
- The boat the apostles were on immediately reached the shore (John 6:16-21, NIV)
- Philip’s teleportation from the desert road towards Gaza to Azotus (Acts 8:39-40, NIV)
Sun Stood Still — Is that Time-Travel?
Just a quick note before I go on though. I was in a long discussion with several church leaders regarding time travel and one brought up the incident whereby the Sun stood still for Joshua (Joshua 10:12-14, NIV). During this passage, we note the temporal stop in planetary rotation. However, this stop in planetary rotation does not equate to the stopping of time and hence time-travelling. Time, in this instance, went on regardless of planetary motion. The armies fought till it avenged itself (Joshua 10:13, NIV). Hence, this should not be confused with the time-travelling that we are talking about. When we speak of time-travel, we speak of the deliberate bending of space-time in order to accomplish task(s) that will otherwise be impossible due to the limitations of space-time.
Making Sense of Teleportation
In both cases of teleportations (the boat incident and Philip’s incident), we notice that space-time was bent in a way to ensure travel between places without the need for time. In these two incidences, the order of time did not change. Rather, there was only a sudden change in physical locations, nothing else. In layman terms, they were at the centre of the lake at 8pm. And at 8:00:01pm, they were at the shore. Likewise for Philip’s case. They did not appear in the future neither did they in the past. If they did, there will be two accounts of their stories for the same period of time. Other characters in the Bible will be equally confused as we are. We did not get that. Hence, we know that that did not happen.
You might ask, how is teleportation time-travel? In a previous post, I’ve written about Einstein theory’s of relativity in relation to the gospel, I wrote about the speed of causality and how we can understand the empowerment of the Holy Spirit through Einstein’s famous E=MC^2. Building on this, we understand that the speed of causality is the speed in which one part of the universe can influence the other. This speed is the speed of light. Now, if time is needed for something in the universe to visibly influence another object of the universe, instantaneous travel will seem unlikely unless we can tap into a seemingly infinite source of energy so as to transport an item or a person faster than the speed of light.
Consider this though, if there is an infinite source of energy available for us to tap on to so that we may travel (in a straight line) faster than light, we are still bound by time. But if we were to travel faster than the speed of light in one direction to a faraway place, we will look back at our point of origin to our past. Now, if we travel faster than the speed of light from this far away place back to our point of origin, we’d have returned further back into our past. That’s time-travelling. But that did not happen to the apostles neither did it happen to Philip. When they looked back at their point of origin, they did not see their past. They are in the present.
Now, if they did not travel faster than the speed of light, how did they reach their destination in the blink of an eye? To answer this, we’d need to look to the physical and higher dimensions of realities in related passages within the Bible.
Cross-Dimensional Intervention as a Means to Bend Space-Time
We all know about the story of the Transfiguration. But often, we do not consider it as a form of time-travelling. Here’s the thing about this story. Elijah did not die. He is with the Lord. For the case of Moses, though the Bible stated that God personally buried him, we do not know if he was taken up or not. But this we know, he too is in the Lord. Now, if they’re in the Lord, we know that they’re born-again (John 3:3). If they’re with God, they will be like angels (Matthew 22:30, NIV). Naturally, they’re in a higher dimension.
However, when the transfiguration takes place, we notice a transformation of substance. Something that isn’t supposed to be bound by the confines of space-time appearing to be interacting with elements of the physical universe; Peter, James, and John, saw them. At that instance, something that is trans-time interacted with time and manifested itself in a form that allowed them to interact in accordance with the order of time. I’m not suggesting that Peter, James, and John time-travelled during the Transfiguration. However, I’m proposing that a similar occurrence of cross-dimensional exchanges allowed the apostles boat and Philip to teleport. In other words, a trans-time Being (either the angels or the Holy Spirit) broke into the physical 3-dimensional reality to allow timeless transportation without affecting the order of time.
A Modern Time-Travel Testimony
Can this happen in modernity? Why not! Several months ago, I’ve heard a testimony from a pastor who shared a testimony from a person she ministered to. According to the pastor, this person from her church was driving along a two-lane highway. While trying to overtake a vehicle, she went onto the opposite lane. At that moment, she saw a vehicle approaching her, fast. She had no time to react and she prayed to God has she grabbed onto the steering wheel for dear life. Next thing she knew, the vehicle was gone and she was still on the opposite lane. She swerved back to the lane she’s supposed to be on, confused. Later on, she reasoned that it must’ve been God who saved her.
We do not know what happened in its entirety. Did God make the car simply disappear? Did God picked her out from the physical 3-D reality temporarily and dropped her somewhere safe? We do not know. But one thing is for sure, the hands of God is busy at work, reaching out to faithful believers who are in distress, and saving them out of these problems; sometimes through supernatural means — like teleportation and cross-dimensional travel.