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I know the title isn’t very creative, but this article in itself is. It was written by Dr. Andrew Root, a professor at Luther Seminary. The basic consideration is how God’s timeline is separate from ours. This meaning that when miraculous things happen in our timeline it is God’s future breaking into our timeline. Dr. Andrew explains so much better than I, here is an exerpt followed by a link to the rest of the article

When someone is healed then the community can give thanks and praise, for they have experienced the in-breaking of God’s time into conventional time, it is a witness and foretaste of what will one day be, living fully in God’s time.  Now it is only a gift and one that can’t be assumed to be normative or last forever, (those healed will eventually again get sick, old, and die), for conventional time continues to bear on us.  We live in conventional time, but sometimes, in mystery, God’s future breaks in and reveals itself in the fullness of healing.  But it must be remembered this is a different timeline and can’t be confused as regular life or able to be possessed or grasped.  Our hope is not in learning special prayers or accruing spiritual power, but in the future fulfillment of God’s timeline.

Death is the loss of our being in conventional time, but death has no power in God’s timeline, for God’s timeline breaks in from the future and therefore reverses death.  Death only has power because it determines our future by keeping our present from unfolding into something new.  But when God breaks in from the future, from the new, death is obliterated because the future is already determined for us in the embrace of God.  Therefore death has no power to end anything, for God has become all in all in the future.  When our being is taken up into God’s timeline death is no more.  Though we are gone from conventional time and our destiny has been determined in the absence of a continual reaching for a future out ahead of our present, through the resurrected humanity of Jesus our humanity finds its place in God’s future, not as ever reaching but as arrived. 

The transfiguration in Mark 9 may itself be a witness to God’s future timeline beyond death.  For Moses and Elijah are human, and in conventional time are dead, but upon this mountain God has appeared in the fog and God’s timeline is penetrating.  Peter, James, and John are men of conventional time but they are witnessing God’s time, a time where the faithful live with God.  Just as Charlie on Lost penetrates one timeline because he is alive on another and therefore can communicate with Hurley, so Moses and Elijah penetrate the timeline of conventional time because they are alive and with God on God’s timeline.



6 Responses to “God’s Future Breaking into Our Timeline”

  1. on 28 Jun 2008 at 1:49 amWolfgang

    Dear Kyle,

    seems to me that this author is trying to write a fancy article explaining something he really doesn’t understand as simple as is stated in the Scriptures, and in doing so is using terminology in a rather confusing manner.

    Where is there ever stated in Scripture that there are two such “timelines”, like “man’s (our) timeline” and “God’s timeline”? Does the author perhaps redefine what one would normally understand the term “timeline” to mean?

    I do not find this manner of interpretation as displayed by this author as very helpful to gaining a better understanding of the Scripture records he mentions


  2. on 04 Jul 2008 at 1:43 pmTim

    Here is something else to think about. Can God’s future enter our past? Is the author describing something akin to time travel? Fans of the Terminator series may find this particularly interesting.

    If time travel is true in “God’s timeline”, then 1 Peter 3:18-22 begins to make sense. The resurrected Christ (i.e., not the pre-existent Jesus), once he sat down at the right hand of God in heaven, traveled back in time to preach to the “spirits” who were alive in Noah’s time.

    If time travel is possible, then maybe pre-existence is not so difficult after all? Maybe there is no debate after all …

  3. on 04 Jul 2008 at 5:12 pmMark

    I think it’s unfortunate that Dr. Root uses the idea of a timeline to explain God’s intervention. The idea of the power of the age to come breaking into this present evil age is indeed something that Jesus spoke of. Although he most often spoke of the Kingdom of God as a future reality, in which his disciples would sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would rule the twelve tribes of Israel, etc., he at times made reference to the power of that coming Kingdom being tasted in this age.

    When Christ cast out a demon in Matthew 12:28 (also in Luke 11:20), he declared that if a demon is cast out, “The Kingdom of God is come upon you.” Jesus instructed his disciples to heal the sick and say to them, “The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you” (Luke 10:9-11). In Luke 17:21 Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is in your midst.”

    It’s true that if there is miraculous healing in this age, it is only temporary, and complete healing will only come about in God’s coming Kingdom. But this is not because of a difference in timelines. It is simply because, as Jesus and Paul both tell us, the power of the age to come may be seen in a foretaste in this day and age.

    I take particular exception to the idea that “Moses and Elijah penetrate the timeline of conventional time because they are alive and with God on God’s timeline.” Moses and Elijah are dead, not with God in another timeline. They will be resurrected in the future of this timeline, when Christ returns. They were seen by those at the Transfiguration because it was a vision (Matt. 17:9). They weren’t really there. It was a preview of Christ’s coming, as Peter describes in II Peter 1:16-18.

    As for I Peter 3:18-20, it says Jesus preached to the spirits that were in prison. It doesn’t say they were in prison in the past, it says they were in prison for something they did in the past.

    “By which he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.”

    They were imprisoned then, and are still in prison. Jude 6 says that they are “kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day.” There is no time travel needed and we would do well to keep things simple and let the Bible speak for itself.

  4. on 12 Jul 2008 at 1:41 pmPatty

    While itis true that we do well if we keep things simple but we cannot help but wonder about these things. God is not confined to our time. He inhabits eternity. What is time perhaps an illusion I dont know. When God communicates to us he is limited in his explanation because we are limited in our ability to receive. Try explaining the computer and what it can do to people who lived 500 years ago. We are primitive in our understanding but it is fun to try to grasp models that might help us peek ever so tiny into the true reality of God.

  5. on 12 Jul 2008 at 10:49 pmMark


    I agree it is fun at times to speculate on things which the Bible doesn’t tell us explicitly. But God has revealed to us quite a lot that most people don’t even realize. The things that I was commenting on are things which the Scriptures do tell us, and which were not as clearly communicated by Dr. Rood’s theory.

  6. on 13 Jul 2008 at 11:26 amPatty

    Mark , I agree I dont think that Dr Roods theory can explain accurately all, However I appeciate the attempt to think outside of our usual frame of reference, and it would be helpful for us and others to do like wise.


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