Dangers of the “Deep Fake”
In 2018, a new technology emerged on the scene. This technology started as a hobby but now poses a threat to the very nature of truth in our society. A person using this technology has the ability to create confusion, spread false information, tarnish reputations and even start wars if we are not careful. This new technology has a name: Deep Fake.
If this term is new to you, “deep fakes” use a form of artificial intelligence called “deep learning” (Hence the DEEP fake) to make images or videos of fake events. All you need is a picture to change someone’s face in a video or manufacture a fake speech! The deep fake is dangerous. However, it is not as dangerous as the spiritual deep fake. Satan is the originator and master of the spiritual deep fake. How do we combat his methods?
The Battlefield of the Mind
In week one of our series we learned that we are in a spiritual battle, not against flesh and blood, but against unseen spiritual forces. Picture them as evil computer programmers of the spiritual world—they are the ones working the spiritual deep fakes behind the scenes. They are trying to imitate God in a way that will deceive us. How does Paul tell us to respond?
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God […]” (Ephesians 6:13, ESV)
Don’t just put on the Armor of God look in the mirror and say, “Man, that armor look good on me! I am rockin’ that armor!” No! The phrase, “take up,” means we are to use the armor in battle. We have to STAND TOGETHER in this battle against Satan and his DEEP FAKE spiritual programmers! That brings us to the first battlefield: THE MIND. That is where our first weapon comes in …
“Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth […] (Ephesians 6:14a, ESV)
Truth begins with the mind. It begins with our fundamental understanding of reality and truth in this world. The Greek word for truth is, “Aletheia.” It has two senses. First, the objective truth of the Gospel and Christian Doctrine. Second, it has a subjective sense of living honestly and with moral integrity. Satan attacks both senses. He wants us to believe the Gospel is untrue and he wants to us believe that moral integrity doesn’t matter. Both attacks begin in the mind. This is why we need the Belt of Truth. How do we use the Belt of Truth?
First, recognize Satan’s device: chaos and confusion. Satan sows this at an individual level, primarily through “self-talk.” He loves to get us alone and talking to ourselves. He also attempts to sow collective chaos and confusion. The battlefield of the mind is a battlefield of ideas. Where do you see chaos and confusion in society today?
Second, you have to lean into God’s remedy: order and truth. God is not a God of confusion but of peace (1 Cor. 14:33). So if there is confusion and chaos in your life—be on the lookout for the enemy. You might be getting deep faked!
The Battlefield of the Heart
So, the first battlefield begins in the mind. It is battle over truth, which is why we need the belt. However, it does not stay here—it becomes a narrative in the HEART. I really think this is how Satan attack us. He starts with truth; he seeks to confuse our minds and thinking. Once he sows seeds of intellectual doubt, he then moves to the heart where he sows seeds of emotional doubt. Those are far, far more powerful. That is why we need the next piece of the armor …
“Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness […]” (Ephesians 6:14, ESV)
In Paul’s day, a soldier’s breastplate was a layer of metal or tough leather, which covered the soldier from his neck to his naval, front and back. It was a key defensive piece of the armor. Rob Ventura describes it this way: “The breastplate was a chief piece of defensive armor for a soldier because it protected his vital organs during battle, and it serves the same function for us spiritually in our battle with Satan.”
To understand how important the breastplate was both physically and metaphorically, you need to understand the Biblical idea of the heart. In Paul’s day, people thought the heart and liver were the center of our affections (It is crazy they thought the liver had emotions—it is a filtration system!). Ancient people thought emotions like joy and anger came from these organs. While that understanding may be unscientific, it is important to understand the spiritual lesson he is teaching us: GUARD YOUR HEART! (And you liver!)
This brings us to our modern battlefield. Today’s war is fought in the heart. That is where the deep fake happens. Satan confuses our minds, he makes us doubt the truth, and then he gets us talking to ourselves so that we create an emotional narrative. We stop thinking logically. Emotions drive our words, our beliefs, and our actions if we are not careful.
The Gospel Turn
We need the breastplate on the battlefield of the heart. Satan will shoot his arrows in an attempt to lodge them in our lives. He is an accuser (Rev. 12:10). We fight back by making the Gospel Turn. We trust in the imputed righteousness of Christ. That is, the righteousness of Christ that has been transferred to us through his sacrifice. In that security, we live out imparted righteousness through holy living, which does not leave room for Satan to accuse us (Eph. 4:25-28).
How do we do this? By constantly making the Gospel turn. We get our eyes off ourselves and look up to Jesus every day. When you are tempted to focus on your sin and selfishness—ask yourself three questions this week: What did Jesus do? He died on the cross for you. What does Jesus say? There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Where is Jesus? He is with you always and he is seated at the right hand of the Father interceding for you.
Trust his righteousness as you wear his breastplate. When you do that—you will easily see Satan’s attempt to deep fake you in life.