The past week has been full of questions concerning time travel. Can it happen? Has it happened? Will we ever be able to? Perhaps a juvenile question to ask, perhaps not. After all, it did happen in the Bible. I want to take the time to talk about a Biblical perspective on time-travel and sort fact from fiction.
John is the most famous time traveler. Without him, we wouldn't have our account of the end times and the book of Revelation. Movies tend to portray time travel as some sort of device that transports you to a certain place. Because time travel is God-ordained and not man-made, or able to be replicated, it is God-induced. One minute John is on the island of Patmos, the next minute he's in another world! He constantly says that he was "taken up in the Spirit." At other times, he turns around and is suddenly in a new place (Revelation 1:10). He has no recollection at times of how he goes from one place to the next. Another interesting thing to notice about John's time travel is that he is able to see the future without actually participating in it. Notice how movies portray time travel to be something you actively participate in, perhaps for fun or to alter the future. This is not so in Revelation. John watches events unfolding in the future, without them actually happening in the present time. He's an innocent bystander watching the future. Although he may be addressed by the angels, he isn't participating in the future events (Revelation 10).
In all instances of "time travel" within the Bible, God is the one who picks a specific person to see the future to notify everyone else about what will happen. It has a purpose. It's not done just for fun or to even change the future, rather to warn. God does it to warn the rest of the world. And God is the one who ordains time travel. No machine could ever manipulate a way into the future. God has to be in control of time travel for it to work.