The Soul Anchor [Hebrews 6:19] - July 1, 2023
If you are unfamiliar with the concept of deepfakes, Wikipedia describes them as synthetic media that have been digitally manipulated to replace one person's likeness convincingly with that of another. While the act of creating fake content is not new, deepfakes leverage powerful techniques from machine learning and artificial intelligence to manipulate or generate visual and audio content that can more easily deceive. In other words deep fakes are really good fakes designed to get you to believe something that isn’t true
Some recent deepfake videos include one showing a likeness of former president Trump being arrested. Another, likely spread by the Russians showed a lookalike of Ukrainian President Vladimer Zelensky calling for his people to lay down their arms and surrender. Yet another depicts Hillary Clinton endorsing Ron DeSantis for President. Some are so good that it is hard to tell what is true and what is not. Sometimes it seems that reality is up for grabs.
It should come as no surprise that Satan is a deepfake artist. Jesus proclaimed that he is the light of the world. In 2 Corinthians 11:14-15, Paul writes, “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.”
The truth is that deepfakes are about deceit and deceit is as old as humanity itself. The serpent deceived Adam and Eve. Cain murdered and tried to hide it. Abraham lied about Sarah. Jacob deceived his father and brother and so on and so on. In nearly every biblical story, deceit weaves its way through the narrative. Satan’s tactics don’t ever seem to change. If he can get us to doubt God’s word, he can get us to doubt God. The deep fake videos I referenced were quickly exposed and the effects of their deceit minimized. What about the effects of Satan’s deepfakes? A lie deceptively placed in our hearts can have long lasting and deep spiritual impacts.
Someone with training and experience with the technology can spot a deepfake but how do we identify Satan’s attempts to fool us as an angel of light? 1 John 4:1-3 says, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” In 1 John 1:5-7 John talks more about the light. This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. Satan masquerades as light – Jesus is the light of the world.
We stay close to the light by study the Bible individually and with like-minded believers, praying regularly and pursuing a deep relationship with the God of the Bible and not hiding your own light under a bushel but letting it shine for all the world to see.