Commentary on the movie 'Knowing'

Recently I was able to watch the movie "Knowing" [1], starring actor Nicholas Cage. I noticed a few things in this movie that were rather interesting from a Christian perspective. It seems this movie either coincidentally or intentionally used several ideas taken from Biblical imagery and prophecy, as well as possible Occultic symbolism, and so here I discuss the similarities and possible meaning behind it.

Basic Plot (Contains Spoilers)

The movie is basically about an astrophysicist John Koestler (played by Nicolas Cage) whose son receives a letter out of a time capsule which was written by a girl 50 years earlier. However, this letter is just a string of numbers and letters which make no sense, until Koestler realizes that they are dates and locations that tell disasters where people were killed. He is more perturbed when he sees that only three disasters are remaining in the future. Throughout his investigation, his son has visions of strangers who seem to be watching or following the boy, and the boy starts to hear strange whispers in his head. Koestler eventually finds Diana, who is the daughter of the girl who wrote the original letter, and Diana's daughter soon also sees the strangers and hears voices. Finally Koestler and Diana discover the meaning of the last disaster, which points to the end of all life on earth. They discover the final disaster is a coming solar flare which may wipe out everyone on the planet. In a series of car chases and excitement, the children are abducted by the strangers and taken to a remote location predicted in the original letter. Koestler follows, and when he arrives, discovers that the strangers are in fact aliens, who have come to save certain chosen children from the coming disaster and relocate them on another planet. The movie ends with the earth being destroyed, and the children are resettled on a beautiful alien planet to start over.

Similarities to Biblical Prophecy

At first I thought this was just a typical disaster movie, however when it reached the ending I saw several "coincidences" that seemed to draw from the Bible or Biblical prophecy. These are listed here below:

  • There is a prediction that the earth will end. In the movie this is done through a letter written by a girl who hears strange voices telling her the future. In the Bible, there are many prophecies about the end of the world - mostly in the books of Revelation, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Zechariah.
  • Certain people are destined to be "saved" from the disaster. In the movie, it is only the specific children who have "heard the call" of the strange aliens. However, in various books of the Bible, it describes an event often referred to as the Rapture, where the Christians who believe in Jesus will be mysteriously saved and taken to heaven before horrible world disasters begin. Some scholars believe that all children may also be taken to heaven at this point, because they have not yet had the chance to be responsible for their beliefs. This idea is somewhat shown in the movie, where the aliens refuse to take Koestler, and only take his son because the children are not "accountable" (or some similar phrase).
  • The aliens change from human form to their real form, and appear to be glowing, beautiful creatures with almost wing-like wisps of light behind them. This I found was rather intriguing, as it is said that Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). One theory I have heard is that in the future, the Antichrist may try to convince people that the Rapture was really caused by aliens either coming to rescue people from disaster, or to remove them because they no longer "belong" on earth, or some other similar reason. And by seeming to portray these aliens as similar to angels, it is rather different than usual depictions of aliens in science-fiction.
  • When the children arrive at the alien planet, they are dressed in white and are seen running through a field towards a large tree. This reminded me of the "tree of life" which is often described as being in the garden of Eden, and will also be in heaven (Genesis 2:9, Revelation 22:14, Revelation 22:19). The children are wearing white which is often used in the Bible as a symbol for innocence. In Revelation the people who are saved by believing in Jesus are shown as wearing white robes (Revelation 7:9,13-15). So this imagery seems to be the same as used to describe heaven in Revelation.

Similarities to the Occult

In this movie there are also several things which are somewhat disturbing because of their relation to typical Occult practices. Here are some of the interesting things I noticed:

  • The first girl who writes the letter seems to be harassed and scared by the voices she hears. She doesn't want to hear them, and is compelled to write the disasters they tell her about. After writing the letter, she disappears and is found madly scratching at a door until her fingers are bloody. Later in the movie it is told that she moved out to the wilderness and became obsessed with these predictions, and eventually killed herself because of them. This does not match with the girl being inspired by God, and seems closer to her either being somewhat possessed or harassed by demons.
  • Koestler's son also hears the voices and goes into a semi-trance while beginning to write more dates on some paper while alone in his room. Koestler finds him and has to shake him out of his trance. This is similar to the practice of automatic writing, where sometimes occult practicers will write while channeling a supposed "spirit". The practice of talking to spirits is strongly warned against in the Bible, and showing the boy doing this either could indicate again he is being possessed by a demon similar to the first girl.
  • The appearance of mysterious "crystals" or stones near the strange aliens or the children. Occultists sometimes use crystals or stones to try to discern the future or to achieve knowledge. These stones are never explained in this movie, but could possibly indicate that the strange aliens are related to the Occult. The aliens also land at a spot that has millions of these crystals on the ground.

A much more thorough analysis of the Occultic ideas in this movie can be found here [2].

Why Does it Matter?

Now maybe all this is just a coincidence, but it could also show a more disturbing trend.

One theory is that Satan (through the media and filmmakers) is trying to promote ideas to the public so that the public will accept them more easily. Seeing something in a fictional movie is much easier to accept than to go listen to a lecture on Occultism. Also, I said earlier, there is a theory that the Antichrist may use aliens as an excuse to explain where all the Christians go during the future Rapture. Perhaps this movie is the start of getting the idea into the public's heads, so that it will be more easy to convince everyone when it does happen. This article [3] is a pretty good summary of this theory.

Also, the subtle hints of Occultism in the movie could be used perhaps to subconsciously promote its philosophies to a wider audience. It also tries to indicate that these are positive things, as hearing the whispers leads the children to be rescued. However, the Occult is not something to introduce to children, and definitely will not lead to someone being saved. In Revelation 21:8, it clearly says that anyone who practices witchcraft will be thrown into hell. Talking with spirits is forbidden multiple times in the Bible (Deuteronomy 18:10-11, Leviticus 19:26).

Conclusion

So this movie seems to be trying to promote two things: an alternate explanation for a "rapture" type event, and also the use of occultic practices. Both of these seem to indicate that Satan is trying hard to lead people away from God and to have a backup plan to deceive the world when the Rapture does happen. Either way, the fact that sci-fi is getting very religious/spiritual could be a disturbing trend for the future, as it will most likely lead people further from God. This movie is a good example of how people could confuse the Occultic aspects with the Biblical ones when ideas from both are blended together. As Christians, we need to be on the lookout for this, and to be ready to inform people of God's truth so that they are not deceived by what is shown in the media.

[1] "Knowing" (2009) on the Internet Movie Database
[2] http://peacebringer7.wordpress.com/2009/04/11/guest-movie-commentary-knowing
[3] http://www.eternal-productions.org/PDFS/articles/Rapture%20-%20A%20Counterfeit%20Explanation.pdf

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