After the Lord healed my spiritual blindness (John 12:40, Isaiah 6:10, John 2:10) I've come to recognize many spiritual similarities in the movie The Matrix regarding actual life in the world today and what it means to live with or without God (Matthew 12:30, Luke 11:23).
The story begins with a citizen who has a nagging feeling that something is wrong with the world. He doesn’t like to be controlled and he progresses into very independent thinking. This thinking leads him as he comes across certain “coincidences” that he pursues with his inner intrigue and intuition. He sees events aligning in a certain progressive manner that is unexplainable, yet undeniable. One step after another, he follows his heart, bringing him to a place where he is faced with a very real acknowledgment of his “search” and a choice to commit and truly find the answers he’s been seeking for so long. He knows there is nothing for him without these answers; and therefore, pursues an evolution that frees him from his misconceptions about the state of the world (1st John 4:5, 15:9, 17:14).
I identify with this character as I have been through intense times of trying to make sense of the world. Searching and somehow believing there was something more out there to find. I even began to feel certain coincidences in my life leading my heart to what was my top priority, love. I always knew love was the most important thing in life and I’ve always had a strong pull to believe in love (even when I tried to convince myself it was something people can control). I ended up following my heart and believing something that I somehow knew deep down inside. I felt that all of life was somehow bound together in a sort of energy that connected everything. I knew that love was all encompassing and could transcend preconceived notions of physical boundaries. I had to believe whole-heartedly that love could arise anywhere at anytime in my pursuit. And it came to me at the least likely of times, when I least expected it, just like many people said it would. (Remember: God is Love (1st John 4:8) and works through love.)
Well, through this love, I’ve come to find a valuable new understanding in the world, which changes everything. Something that my fiancée introduced me to (just like the main character in The Matrix). It has brought death to things I thought were very much alive, and life to something lacking that was needed to evolve. The world under God and His Truth and Life being that place of evolution.
So as the movie’s Thomas Anderson found his way into an opportunity of learning the reality of the world, which he desperately needed to find, he first had to accept the mystery of the unknown, and things changed quite dramatically. There was another reality showing him that the world he was living in was not ultimately real. This cause was facilitated by his eventual wife, Trinity (which is what Christians call the triune God: Yehovah God the Father, Yeshua/Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit). And this process of evolution in understanding and awareness was not easy. Mr. Anderson felt a deeply conflicted inside and the resistance of his unbelief held him back at first. He felt unsure in a transition between worlds, and he was holding onto his old ways (the world’s ways) of thinking. He knew that what he needed to do to follow his heart, and the “signs” (that were undeniably beyond coincidence), seemed crazy and went against everything he knew was “normal.” This natural denial kept him perplexed; and, it wasn’t until he took a chance to go forward into the unknown, after contemplating the alternative of returning to a life he knew was lacking & embedded in this very search, that he fully let go. After he committed and began to learn the truth, there was no turning back, no matter how unappealing things might have seemed at first. It became clear to him that there was a reason for his searching and his problem with the world, and that his nagging intuition had been right all along. Everything he thought he knew about the world, needed to be adapted. Not only did he need to learn many new ways of thinking, but also to unlearn most of his old ways of thinking.
Mr. Anderson is even referred to early in the movie as Jesus Christ, by a menial character that referenced being “saved” by him (in a worldly way) and that he was his “savior.” Of course he goes on to become “the one,” who is destined to save the world. And in the “real world” there was a prophecy of his coming, as well as a reference to the original “one” who started the “resistance,” and could “change the matrix as he saw fit.”
This is very similar to Jesus Christ, whose life was prophesied; and, then also prophesied for a second coming (to save the world). Jesus performed miracles, and in many ways, changed the matrix of the physical world as He saw fit (as well as having Created the world as He saw fit). He was also the Beginner of a comparable “resistance,” in regards to opening a new way of God through the New Testament for people to escape the clutches of the system that the ruler of this world (Satan) has created. Essentially living by example and proclaiming “the way” toward true freedom, and sacrificing himself and taking the ultimate punishment for all the sin of man, while being completely innocent, and therefore redeeming anyone who will accept His sacrifice for us. There was even mention later in the movie to how the original matrix was designed to be perfect. Just as the world and Garden of Eden was designed to be perfect originally (of course the context in the movie is opposite in intent).
So then in Mr. Anderson’s evolution, the world becomes split into three. 1 – Those who have been freed and fight to live free and to free others and for what’s right for the human race. 2 – Those “agents” of the oppressive opposition that try to control humans and extinguish freedom (the Bible even refers to those serving the devil as agents of evil or servants of sin). 3 – Those who live in the world not understanding those underlying realities. There is even mention late in the movie, from an agent, of how marvelous and brilliant the world is, with “billions of people living out their lives completely oblivious” to the truth.
This is obviously relating to what the Bible calls the “world of man,” and those who live life without the knowledge of spiritual good and evil that is happening all around at all times. Then those who have been freed or saved are fighting to free the minds of the rest of the people. (John MacArthur in The Truth War says the battle over The Truth “is a fight for the mind.”) The agents want everyone to be busy and distracted from the truth. Like agents for Satan, they are controlling men and fighting to stop those who could be saved, as well as those who are trying to do the saving; all the while using the power of the ignorant people in their service to further their cause. In the movie, people are literally the energy source of the mechanical system (as their bodies are actually stationary in containment and engaged into machines that use the energy that the body creates, as the mind is plugged into a computer program, fulfilling an imaginary life of production). In real life, people that live without understanding God are denying His ways, in exchange for things that are visible—instead of a spiritual drive for God’s blessing of true peace and His spiritual righteousness, there’s a physical drive for satisfaction of physical desires, without concern for the more important, eternal, and spiritual, side of life.
In The Matrix, Morpheus talks of the ones still “plugged into the system,” and how “if you are still plugged into the system, you are still one of them” (an agent). Like a lesser aspect of the same cause, working for the system and against the truth. Also the agents can work through those deceived by their system (since they’re all connected by a computer and living in a computerized world, the agents can instantly become aware of what someone in the system is experiencing, and upload themselves into their position if needed). In different ways than how God works through those who have faith, the devil can be working through those who serve him (through his deep rooted influence and rule—the spirit of error, and his demons—fallen angels—agents, or through his own direct influence). Then those who have been “unplugged” in freedom still have to be very cautious about whom they approach and how they go about trying to free “the minds” of the people. In reality it is comparatively the minds (and hearts) that need to be freed through Christ. Morpheus speaks of how those who remain “plugged in,” are “so attached to the system that they will fight to keep it” (their hearts are hardened and their minds rooted in error—unwittingly serving the ruler of this world, Satan).
This is very much similar to those “plugged in” to the system of the world of man. They are very attached and usually very unwilling to let it go. This is the “way of man,” and those in the world of man, have come to not only depend on the system, but also strive to only be satisfied by its rewards. Which are always temporary and promote indefinite continuation. Being trapped in the deception that you are completely in charge of your life, you continue to follow your pride and do whatever you want, which is constantly leaving one ultimately unfulfilled (since God is the source of true fulfillment—not the satisfaction of immediate desires) that maintains the drive for more. This, plus its perpetuation by desiring acceptance from others, and so much more, is how living without salvation and God, is living in service of the Devil.
And so then there is the “system” of it all. Like a saying an old friend uses, “If you resist the system, the system will resist you.” I’ve always felt something involved with the system of the world; and fortunately now I’ve learned much about the ways the Devil sucks people into different systems and overwhelms them with the mainstream’s ways, to keep them closed off to the Truth that will set them free. Many different tactics of diversion and influence are being used to keep people blinded to the Truth. From working with a constantly unfulfilled desire for increase: from television, to radio, entertainment, and the Internet—that can heavily influence (consciously & subconsciously) in a variety of “worldly” ways, which increasingly detour from the spirit and its needs (the Bible says, “The flesh wars against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh” Galatians 5:17). These wicked ways constantly cross the lines of God’s laws, and continue to gain casual acceptance, drawing the world deeper and deeper into sin and away from God through increasing compromise. Without God, (in general) people live for themselves and all of their time is for their own satisfaction—in one way or another. And once someone is dedicated to themselves and accustomed to the immediate gratification of their physical desires, they are not easily swayed into giving up control and embracing self-sacrifice and suffering in the name of others and a spiritual life that is unseen.
The physical world revolves around what is seen, whereas the spiritual world is completely unseen. And when you live for the physical and disregard the spiritual, you are excluding God from your life and therefore limiting yourself to only what you can make for yourself; which is entirely limited to this one short life and totally restricts spiritual health and wealth, that is infinitely superior and unlimited. The ultimate consequence is complete disconnection from God in Hell, as opposed to living in perfect peace with a direct connection to Him forever. That’s the reality. Everyone wants to believe in Heaven, but no one wants to believe in Hell because it’s just so unappealing; and, would require a closer examination of the reasons for the parameters involved with each. This requires time, effort, thought, difficulty, discomfort, significant change and sacrifice of your entire way of life.
In The Matrix, Morpheus is constantly pointing out that he can only give someone a choice, or present a door in which to enter. Much like a pastor I watched “coincidentally” today, talk about people being faced with the door of God, and that one must choose to knock on that door for it to be opened. In similar ways, those freed offer Truth to those they would like to help save, and they know that it is all they can really do. For God is the only one capable of choosing to open the door to salvation; but people can be guided toward the door. And sometimes you have to patiently and persistently continue to knock until that door becomes open.
And so, Mr. Anderson followed the synchronistic signs towards his freedom, and what is ultimately real and true. In the movie, the signs were created by those who work for that freedom and the greater good, which I’m comparing to God and those who work for His ways of Truth and Light – men and angels. I too have felt my own symbolic understanding of distinctly clear signs that I think were presented to me by God and those He may have used (whether it be angels, those with the Holy Spirit, or just someone God enticed by His will) in my path toward what is ultimately real. Of course in the movie there is also a system of those with higher knowledge that are necessary counsel for “walking the path.” Which I’m likening to priests, preachers, pastors, and elders; or really anyone with deeper experience and a higher understanding—that is, a mature and strong relationship with the Father.
Mr. Anderson puts his trust in those with more experience and understanding—Morpheus and Trinity, and takes the plunge into the re-birthing process. Then between literally being unplugged, and his new life; there is a scene where he is fully submerged in water before being “saved” and brought out into the “real world,” naked and weakened to the point of near death. This signifies the end of his first life and the beginning of his new life. This is uncannily similar to the symbolism of baptism.
At this point, he is like a full grown newborn that first has to be nursed into health because his body has been contained for all of his life and never actually used. There is reference to how he has never used his eyes before—like when your eyes become opened (by God) to the actual reality of the state of the world—also there is a period of weak faith in the newly born-again Christian that needs to be spoon-fed and nourished with the milk of the Word to gain spiritual strength). And of course the transition is difficult to accept. There is a period of confusion and denial, before he can truly let go of deeply ingrained presuppositions regarding the state of the world and everything he thought was true. He makes some steps forward, and then has to take a step back. Then he must go through a process of preparing by learning the knowledge he needs to stand and fight against the agents of evil and their deceptive system.
At the point of the main characters re-birth, he assumes the name of whom he has been in his alternate life of working against the system, Neo, as opposed to the generic name for the generic life that was given to him in the system of the world, Thomas Anderson. The agents like to see everyone more like conformable numbers, as opposed to freethinking humans, who may break out of the system and fight. It is comparable to those whom God has changed their names once they become born-again.
After Neo is nursed into decent health, he is then required to assimilate the materials he needs to understand, in order to proceed in his new purpose. He is first given downloads of information that establishes the vital foundation of knowledge in his new world. Things are quick and easy as he simply plugs in and a programmer sends the knowledge of Jujitsu into the “mainframe” of his brain. But out in the reality of following the Lord, things work at His pace; which means we learn with great patience and long-suffering. Yet we must similarly take in the necessary knowledge of our new world by reading and listening to the materials (downloads) that further the foundation of our faith, and equip us for the challenges ahead. And if we truly hunger and thirst for the righteousness of the Lord, as Neo hungered and thirsted in his desire for truth, He will fill us. The beginning stage of this process is orientation; the rest is growing with experience and gaining strength—and faith.
There’s a scene where Morpheus is enlightening Neo about the reality of the world; and he shows the contrast between the world as he knew it, compared to the world that is. The “real world” for them is a destroyed shell of what once was. I also see this symbolically in two ways: 1 – it’s a perception of all that seems like abundant life today, actually being dead without faith and consumed by the ruler of this world; 2 – it’s the thought of the future and what could happen with God’s wrath and burning anger toward those He calls the “children of wrath.” As He has shown many times before, God uses different ways to extinguish the lovers of self and false gods over having reverence for Him.
And so the real world that Neo evolves into is something less than appealing to standards in the unreal world of man. It is not pretty or cute, or filled with nice pleasantries and extravagant luxuries. It is not an entertaining life for pleasure. It becomes an uncomfortable time and place where a greater purpose drives all life, overriding all circumstances. Neo and his crew had to eat the same tasteless slop everyday, and live in a confined, cluttered, and corroded mechanical ship called the “Nebuchadnezzar” (which is the name of a great king in the Old Testament who was unwittingly used as a servant of God, and eventually awakened to God’s Kingdom). They had worn and torn clothes, and life consisted of work and preparation, action and struggle. There rewards were freedom, victories against the enemy, fellowship, family, love, and a future of hope, truth and real fulfillment. Their home and last free city was also called “Zion”—which is God’s holy hill and sacred place of the city Jerusalem.
Finally there comes a time when Neo must take action in fighting the agents of evil. The scene in the movie is of he and Trinity inside a program where amid the blankness of computer space, racks of all variety of guns and weapons surround them in infinite measure. Here they assess their needs and choose their weapons to fight. This could symbolize the infinite stock of all the weapons we could ever need to combat evil, that are found in the Holy Bible. God tells us that our weapon is “the sword of the spirit” which is the Word of God. Just as Jesus repelled the devil by quoting scripture, we too must be equipped with these powerful weapons of God’s Words of Truth. Revelation prophecy gives us the image of a sword coming out of Jesus’ mouth, and it emphasizes the power of the Word (which is actually another name for Jesus). Instead of an arsenal of physical power, we build an arsenal of spiritual power; which, like in The Matrix, really comes down to a matter of how much you’re willing to carry.
The film also has a character named Cipher, who had been saved; but ultimately kept some of his old desires. He dulled his senses with moonshine, lusted after Trinity, and constantly looked back comparing the hardships of his new real life to the ease and enjoyment of his past one—even though it wasn’t real. He became jealous of Neo, and grew wicked in his thinking only of himself. Cipher compares to Judas as he then sought out an agent to make a deal where he could be reverted back into the world of physical satisfaction and ignorance of reality. This meant betraying his new family and “the one,” and of course his attempts were thwarted by the power of belief in the believers and that mysterious higher power that worked with them. Cipher perished in a gruesome death, as he deserved, and serves as our example of a born-again believer who holds on to the world, allowing it’s ways to be “reinserted” into his or her life, eventually overcoming the plantings of the good seed by the Lord with weeds and choking out what was good, resulting in death. This is what you call selling out your soul to the devil, and as with many paths to destruction, it starts with small increments.
And so I remember back when I first saw The Matrix, and how I felt something powerful in it that seemed somehow conducive to my destiny. I remember how I wanted to be involved in a fantastic fight against evil and how noble it would be to save people. I’ve always had a strong influence from the heroes of my time, and I felt deep down that I was made of that same fabric. I wanted to be “the one,” and I had to believe as did Neo in his growth toward superlative understanding. Well, in this evaluation Neo was to the movie what Jesus is to the world. And of course the heroism of Jesus is unique and truly inspiring, and from time everlasting to time everlasting. And Yeshua's ways are in me now and I know I will grow with Him as I follow His lead. Just as all who have Jesus know and follow.
The past desire to live in the movies was partially the consumption of the world of man and its temporarily fulfilling substitutions for the spiritual; and possibly that search for a real life way to fight for good over evil, and to have such a dramatic purpose. So now I see that I have become involved in just such a story. I have followed my heart through the divine signs and into the real Truth of understanding God's will. I have committed and graduated into the “real world.” I have been re-born and adapted my life to account for the agents of evil and the system in the world of man. I’ve accepted the reality that there are invisible forces of good and evil, and they have different mysterious ways in influencing man (and since the beginning of man). I have been given a new spirit and I am now constantly aware of the condition of the world around me. I have been blessed with Love and salvation that’s leading me into everlasting life with The Creator of all things. I know my true self and will follow my destiny with God’s purpose. I am involved in the good fight and live to lead by example. I am a part of the shining Truth and Light of God’s will, and I’ll fight the effects of evil. I shall not be afraid as even I can send the ultimate enemy, the prince of darkness, fleeing back into the shadows (with the power of Him who is within me - 1st John 4:4). I have even legally changed my name from Andy J. Johnson to Kanji D Christian. My reasons are similar to The Matrix; I’ve always had a problem with a generic name and I was named after, and by, a worldly man who was plugged into the system, living without God = for the devil. I’ve taken this step to emphasize the significance of the spiritual difference in being born-again, and shedding the old man and ways in being made new. (Obviously, this decision was made for reasons beyond their correlation to the The Matrix.)
This world is supernatural, with the ultimate fight for good and evil happening every second of every day. We do not need to find our fight in fictional movies. We do not need a desire to live in another world to get away from mundane life. Life is not mundane, when you have a clear desire for understanding of faith, hope and love. God and Jesus and our faith have the power to do all things. We can be a part of the real life story of good versus evil, true heroism, and the pursuit of goodness and rightness that has existed since near the beginning of mankind. The battle is being won by the devil for so many people, and we simply cannot allow it. We can communicate at any time with “The One” Jesus and our commander God in this fight against the world’s true super villain. It is our duty to take action in Jesus’ Name.
So now you see an example of a successful worldly movie and its extreme similarity to real life under God and the world as a Christian. Could it be, that this similarity is a factor in its success? Could it be that it is a more worldly version of what should be regarded as something spiritual? Like an idol—a visible substitute for what’s really invisible. The Matrix did have direct religious references laced throughout the story-line, along with an astoundingly coincidental biblical theme to its plot. Could these spiritual undertones of long established Truth, have reached a people who are ultimately hardwired to understand such things; but, were left short of realization because of the combination of its fashionable style, technologically amusing special effects, intriguing story-line, and their deep rooted resistance to acknowledging the Truth of spirituality? I feel so many people out there are trying to “fight the system” in a way other than with faith, because they do not know faith; and, they do not understand the Truth of the system—which is actually flourishing in everyone and everything that does not follow Christ. All of the people that are “searching for something more,” are really searching for God and the Truth in His salvation. Everyone who searches for something to believe in, or thinks that life is being lived as long as you “believe in something,” need to open their hearts and minds to find that there is only One thing you really need to find and believe—Jesus. Of course, the big hitch that prevents people from going there is the symbiotic relationship they have with their sins. In most cases, people will have to completely reestablish their worldview and subsequently their entire way of life, which is usually far from easy.
But, like Neo, there needs to be a time when you take the plunge & stop accepting selfish excuses. Then just take it from there, one step at a time, hand in hand with the very Source of all power and all things, following His legitimate “signs” and wonders with ever-increasing faith. When you are on His narrow path, He gives you the strength you need, as well as His peace in all circumstances.
I see so many people who don’t have faith and God, searching for what they unconsciously feel is the closest worldly thing to it. Even morally noble causes are incomplete without intertwining God’s will, because people will find their cause in freedom, or rights, or family, or exploration, or evolution; but, the most extreme pursuit of even these things, without faith, will never be enough (Romans 14:23). Not enough for the person, and not enough for God. True fulfillment comes only from the Creator of all things great: God, His Christ Jesus, and His Holy Spirit. Peace, joy, mercy and true loving kindness are blessings that are available for everyone (among so much more), yet so many people will not accept it? I pray for everyone separated from God, to simply make the connection. I pray they find themselves in the circumstances they need to see the signs beyond coincidence that can lead to living right, and contributing to the greatest fight of all time. The ultimate fight of good vs. evil, right vs. wrong, life vs. death, God vs. Satan.
May God Bless You with the capacity to Fight the Good Fight—for yourself, for others, and ultimately for God!