Matrix - A Cyberpunk Parable?
B. THE PARABLE
TRAINING: Conscription, Concepts, and Conditioning
3c. A History Lesson
|M = The Matrix Story
|S = Spiritual Parallels
|M. Neo learns that he has entered into a war
humans vs. machines.
|S. A new Christian realizes he has stepped into a war
raging between God, Satan, and their respective angels. "We do not wrestle against
flesh and blood (i.e., the people in the world) but against
spiritual forces of
wickedness in heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12). Again, there is no neutral ground.
Just as a lost man is by default a slave of sin and Satan, a saved man is both a son and a
soldier of God in the great war.
|Neo sees that the war is waged in two dimensions
inside the Matrix (Agents) and outside the Matrix (the ghastly machines serving as
'doctor-bots', 'harvesters', 'squiddies'/'sentinels'). As the verse said, there is a great
war in the heavenly places. For example, in the Old Testament, an angel dispatched to
answer Daniel's prayer fought a demon for three weeks before getting through! (Daniel
chapter 10). And within the world system, in the 'natural' realm, the war rages as people
are tempted and manipulated by Satan and his forces, while God and His angels strengthen
the Christian, convict the sinner, and shape world events.
|(For the curious, a paragraph of commentary on the war
between God and Satan: Satan was once the angel Lucifer, created by God, given incredible
power, and given free will. Lucifer became prideful and wanted to be "like the Most
High" God (Isaiah 14:12-16) and started a rebellion. Therefore God cast Lucifer and
his cohorts out of heaven. God is all-powerful, and Satan as a created being is no power
contest for His Creator. But God, in His sovereign will, is allowing Satan to function in
a limited way for a time, just as God also gives sinful man a free choice and does not
kill him the instant he sins. For example of Satan's limited power: Satan will tempt, but
God in turn will not allow a Christian "to be tempted above what he is able, but with
the temptation will provide the way of escape also..." (1 Corinthians 10:12). If
Satan were not limited by God, he would probably destroy mankind quickly (see Job 1 and
2.) Satan also has legal right to unbelieving sinners. He and his demons can harm or
possess them physically if God allows. As for the Christian, Satan was utterly defeated at
the cross (Colossians 2:14,15). Those who become God's children by receiving Christ in
faith (John 1:12) are freed from Satan's power; but Satan can still attempt to deceive
them. As with a sinful man, Satan's days of limited ability are numbered read
Revelation chapter 20 sometime!)
|M. Neo learns that man, marveling in his own
magnificence, created A.I. (artificial intelligence) which became his enemy. The A.I.
spawned a machine race that turned against man and destroyed civilization.
|S. There are several fascinating angles of allegory
1. Man's arrogant
fallen wisdom destroys him. Computers only operate how they are programmed to operate
(like Y2K! smile). The A.I. was simply human logic in coded form man's
wisdom personified. And that wisdom destroyed civilization. "There is a way that
seems right to a man, but the end is the way of death
" (Proverbs 14:12).
"The wisdom of this world is foolishness before God
" (I Corinthians 3:19).
"Professing to be wise, they became fools
" (Romans 1:22).
2. If a man looks at
himself honestly, he will see that he is a fallen creature, worthy of the justice of God's
wrath against his sin. Computers, devoid of pride but given logic, examined the data
regarding their programmers and found mankind damnable. The collective knowledge of man
concluded that he deserved death! We often won't condemn ourselves for sin, because pride
blinds us. But given an unbiased observer and honest set of data, the fair judgment is
|M. In his effort to destroy his rebellious product, man
"scorched the sky", which destroyed life from the planet surface
|S. Man's effort to save himself not only failed, but
also probably killed billions of humans in the process as civilization was annihilated by
war and nuclear winter! Such failure underscores the need for a Savior who is unlike us,
the need for an outside Source of rescue. Can a stain make itself clean? No, it must be
washed away by an external cleanser (the pure blood of Christ).
|As an illustration, if you mix poison (representing
sin) into clear water (a life of good works), does adding more water remove the poison?
No, the mixture is still contaminated. The best solution is to dispose of it and get a
fresh glass of water! Likewise, the contaminated lost person is 'crucified and buried with
Christ (emptied of the old self)' when he trusts in Jesus. He is then raised a new
creature in the eyes of God, filled with a new nature and the Spirit of God (a fresh glass
of living water). Sin can only be disposed of by death either the death of the
sinner (perhaps like the scorching of the sky and killing of many people in order to kill
the machines too) and subsequent 'second death' in eternal fire, or by the substitutionary
death of the Savior, made freely available to every seeking sinner through faith in
Christ. Somebody has to die. The unbelieving sinner, or Christ in the believer's place.
|M. Morpheus says, "We have been dependent on
machines to survive. Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony." Morpheus means
that the roles are now reversed: machines are now enslaving and using humans.
|S. Old saying: "First, you feast on sin. Then sin
feasts on you."
|M. Morpheus says that the machines "liquefy the
dead so they could be fed intravenously to the living."
|S. This hints at several principles: 1. Sin is
hereditary (Romans 5). 2. Humanity continually passes the cumulative dead weight of fallen
culture from one generation to the next. Children are born into a world already polluted
from all prior degraded cultures (for example: pornography, corrupt political systems,
etc.) 3. People feed off the spiritual death given by the fallen world and Satan, thus
nourishing the illusions of the spiritual sleep that enshrouds lost humanity.
|M. As the history lesson finishes, Neo sees the
horrifying spectacle of a little baby punctured with hideous cables and inserted into the
|S. Every human being is "born into bondage"
of sin and the fallen world system. Every human is enslaved from birth to a sin nature,
like his parents. As even king David said, "I was brought forth in iniquity, and in
sin my mother conceived me." (Psalm 51:5). "...the intent of man's heart is evil
from his youth..." (Genesis 8:21).
|M. Morpheus summarizes the Matrix as
|S. A lost man is indeed controlled by at least four
things his own sin, death, the fallen world system, and the harassment of Satan.
God breaks all four of these chains when a sinner trusts in Christ. A Christian has been
set free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2), severed from the fallen world system
(Galatians 6:14) and torn away from Satan's grip and placed irrevocably in the hand of God
(Colossians 1:13, John 10:28).
|M. Neo is devastated at the grim reality of the war.
Morpheus says, "I didn't say it would be easy, Neo. I just said it would be the
truth." Neo demands, "Let me out!"
|S. A Christian's first grasp of the war is numbing. He
feels the weight of dying, lost humanity. He sees his own inability to save them, and
learns the sad truth that few will choose to be saved anyway. He sees the trials that
await him as he finishes his earthly course as a soldier. "All who desire to live a
godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted!" (2 Timothy 3:12). To focus on these
things alone can bring depression, a desire to run from the war. "Let me out!"
But a Christian must focus on the fact that some indeed will be saved as a result of God
using his life, and that "the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be
compared to the glory that is to be revealed..." (Romans 3:18). Indeed, when the war
is over, 'Zion' will be a quite a 'party' - see Revelation chapter 21!
|M. Neo wakes later and asks, "I can't go back, can
I?" Morpheus wisely replies, "No. But if you could would you really want
to?" This scene mirrors the moment in Trinity's car when Neo looked down the road and
realized the empty death of that way.
|S. Salvation is a one-way process. A butterfly cannot
return to the cocoon and exit as the former caterpillar. A Christian can be dismayed at
the difficulty of walking the "narrow way", but when he thinks about the
alternative of death especially eternal death - the price is worth it. In the old
testament, when things were difficult for the Israelites, some impulsively wanted to
return to Egypt, not remembering that in Egypt they were miserable, beaten slaves. The key
is not to look to the past for it was death. Nor to look down at the road
for it is difficult. But to look to the destination with Christ for it is delight.
"Christ...who for the joy set before him endured the cross..." (Hebrews 12:2).
|M. Morpheus says, "We never free a mind once it's
reached a certain age."
|S. (See comments on when Morpheus later walks Neo
through the false Matrix simulation.)
|M. Morpheus says, "As long as the Matrix exists
the human race will never be free." Neo finds that he will soon be reinserted back
into the Matrix to: 1) help save humanity and 2) fight the enemy.
|S. The Christian must realize and accept his mission!
For Neo to flee to Zion would be relief for himself, but selfish toward the humans still
trapped in the Matrix. The Apostle Paul said, "I have the desire to depart and be
with Christ [in heaven], for that is very much better, but for me to remain on in the
flesh is more necessary for your sake
it will mean fruitful labor
(Philippians 1:21-24). Jesus the Son asked God the Father that Christians be left in the
world to continue His work of bringing men to God, knowing that it also means warfare
against the enemy. "I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them
from the evil one
as You sent Me into the world (to seek and save the lost
Luke 19:10), I also have sent them
" (John 17:15-21). To enter this war means to
fight the spiritual enemy. "We do not wrestle against flesh and blood
against spiritual forces of wickedness
" (Ephesians 6:12).
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