Matthew 6:19-24 King James Version (KJV)
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Just to recap a bit, we have been addressing mind manipulation inside the Matrix. We talked about the Matrix being this computer programmed existence that we treat as real, but is it real? Into this world, we addressed the following principles:
Life Without Understanding; (2) Realization You Are Unfulfilled; (3) Seeking Truth; (4) Rebirth and Cleansing; (5) Training & Discipleship; (6) Adversity & Conflict; (7) Victory.
We last ended talking about principle (3) Seeking Truth. I referenced the following scripture from Philippians 3:7-16
7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss [c]in view of the surpassing value of [d]knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, [e]for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and [f]the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;11 [g]in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on [h]so that I may lay hold of that [i]for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are [j]perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16 however, let us keep [k]living by that same standard to which we have attained.
So the question now is, how do we get to this truth? I would argue that the common-sense response to this question would be, YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN. We have used the commercial movie, The Matrix as our guide through these lessons, and in the movie, there is an interesting scene where we find our protagonist Neo, plugged into this death existence (could we say his real former life that looks a lot like hell) and he is submerged in fluid, in a womb-like cradle connected to the mechanisms of his former life, which are dark and machine like…think like the inner workings of a computer. He is hairless, naked and confused; he realizes he is a prisoner of the mechanism. He tries to pull one of the plugs out on his own, but he cannot do it in his own strength. He gazes at his environment and it is overwhelmingly dark, cold, damp and unappealingly. Suddenly, a piece of machinery appears to strangle him by the neck; it appears like it has come to do Neo grave harm. Instead, the machine actually is keeping Neo still enough so it can extract the main plug out of him, and from that, all the other plugs that were keeping him bound are automatically released. From this point, Neo immediately sinks into a sort of amniotic fluid and is straightway, forced through a channel that is like going down a water slide at an amusement park. As the slide ends, Neo is submerged again, but this time it is clean water. Struggling to stay afloat, Neo looks up and sees three lights (could it be Father, Son, Holy Spirit) and then a panel opens, light appears (Christ), and a crane is sent down to keep Neo from drowning. We now see Neo being lifted out of the water by this crane, going through the panel into the marvelous light, and the panel being closed behind him, leaving the screen completely dark.
So, what am I saying here? Seems like the movie is depicting a dying to self and to this material, computer based existence we are currently living in, and being reborn into a new existence; in the same way a newborn baby must feel like, being freed from his/hers mother’s womb, and going into a new life. While in the mother’s womb of the world’s existence, which by the way, is the Matrix, we were nourished on energy in the same way a battery is recharged. In fact, the movie at one point, refers to Neo as a coppertop…being nourished off the unhealthy energy of a world that is materialistic and fake…yet seeming to be the only reality that we have. I tell you the truth my Beloved, most people never escape this existence…in fact many never know there is a need for escape at all. This is a very sad commentary and we pray right now, that as many people as possible, get to a place where they realize there is a new existence that needs to be obtained, and this existence can only be realized through and in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
This takes us to a familiar passage of scripture in the New Testament. Let’s read from John 3:1-7:
3 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
, 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Understand this, there is no Christian experience without a rebirth that requires water and Spirit. For the sake of time, let me get right to the point. The water represents a cleansing. Notice in our story of Neo, he was taken from the unhealthy worldly amniotic fluid of the Matrix, and submerged in cleansing water. That water removed any elements of his past connection to the machine naturally but that could not be the end of the process, because he would also need a mind and spiritual renewal as well, to be complete, wouldn’t he? Along with that cleansing comes a spiritual regeneration by way of the Holy Spirit. Let’s focus on a few passages in scripture to get more context and prove my point:
Ezekiel 11:18-20 King James Version (KJV)
18 And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence.
19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:
20 That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
Titus 3:1-6 King James Version (KJV)
3 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
And check this last reference out. I am using it because it addresses not only our subject matter, but also is in line with the instructions the Apostle Paul gave to husbands and wives, or a better way of putting it, Paul was giving counsel on how husbands and wives should reflect the true church; living in holy communion with GOD:
Ephesians 5:19-27 King James Version (KJV)
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Wow! Compare these words of scriptures to some of the tomfoolery we witness all the time. Only by the grace of GOD I tell you, can a man or woman be “genuinely” reborn again in these crazy times. Let’s revisit John 3 where it goes further into Jesus’ exchanged with the bewildered Jewish teacher, Nicodemus:
John 3:19-21 King James Version (KJV)
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Our protagonist Neo; to find TRUTH, had to come out of the darkness of his mundane existence, where everything ran like clockwork, where he was living an unfulfilled life. He had to unplug from his coppertop nutrition of cybercrime and other unhealthy lifestyle practices, go through the purification process by literally seeing his death existence through the prism of the Matrix, and realizing that once he was cleansed in the sanctified waters of the Holy Spirit, then, and only then, would his life start over again. Nicodemus was not being smart with Jesus when he stated, could a man re-enter his mother’s womb? No, he took the context of what Jesus had shared with him, to get a clearer, more concise answer to his question.
Jumping up and down and doing physical gymnastics does not mean one is born again. Sadly, many of these practices are taught in the church, without a clear understanding of what being born again is all about. One can never be the same, when they have received this glorious new life. In closing, I used to think something was wrong with me because I was not acting like the rest of my reborn friends. However, I knew the Spirit was alive and well in me; not because I stopped doing the worldly things that got me in so much trouble to begin with. No, I knew when my first thoughts changed from worrying about my self-absorbed issues; to then focus towards my Father in heaven; how I could better serve Him, how I could love the so called unloveable(s) of this world, and pray sincerely for those who chose to be my enemies. Now here is the shock! On paper, this would have happened to me in 1991 when I publicly received Christ…in reality, my true rebirth happened in 2012, when GOD sent me “my Nathan,” to expose my ignorance of GOD, and re-introduce me to TRUTH through the cleansing of my mind, heart, body, soul and spirit. Since 2012, I have been a truly changed man…not perfect mind you, but pressing forward with a renewed understanding on my Savior, Lord and King, and my role in HIM.