And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. Genesis 3:4-5
Computer hacking and hackers in general are subjects not unfamiliar to our world. The advent of Internet-accessible computer systems that crunch, transmit and store personal and financial data has birthed a dark and slithery offspring known as cyber crime. It is estimated that in this year (2019) the cost of global cyber crime will reach $2.1 trillion. As the numbers indicate, someone is being hacked.
The purpose of this post is not about data breaches or computer system vulnerabilities. Rather to bring to light the fact that one of the most guarded and secretive places we think we possess – our heart, is not impervious to inspection or as sanctified as we might believe.
Our human hearts are hack-able, by either good or evil. There is a backdoor (if you will) embedded in each of our hearts that is open for inspection by our Creator and by evil. Let’s dive into this a little bit.
Impersonation – Satan’s Most Lethal Weapon
“If I can impersonate the data, I own the data” were words spoken by a cyber-security expert at a computer data security conference. Before the room’s acoustics had time to smother and extinguish the word’s last echo, it came immediately apparent there was a deeper meaning to be gleaned here and the reason for choosing the training session.
The point the speaker was making is a computer hacker’s goal is to construct his malicious code in a manner that an innocent host computer will be fooled into “believing” (if you will) that its insidious, destructive payload is benign. The computer under attack accepts the foreign code (i.e., malware) as if it belongs, accepting it as its own. When this happens nothing can stop the impersonated data from taking total control over the computer and adjoining computer systems.
Applying this concept on a spiritual level, If the devil can implant a thought of his into your heart, he can takeover and commandeer your heart. He now has access. Your heart has been hacked. The thought that was initially foreign to your established neural pathways has now made you think that his wicked thought is now your thought. This is what happened to Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Talking Serpents Anyone?
From reading the Genesis account of Eve’s interaction with the serpent one might conclude this was not the first encounter she had with him. Why? When was the last time you engaged in dialogue with a talking serpent? The Bible up to this point gives no indication that any of the other animals or living creatures possessed vocal qualities, particularly a language understood by both Adam and Eve.
So the assumption is Eve could have been acquainted with this one-of-a kind creature many times in the past, who unlike all of God’s other creatures, had an uncanny ability to verbally communicate. In any event, her dialogue with the serpent was no surprise to her. The serpent somehow eroded her apprehensions and assuaged any fear concerning his strangeness. Sounds like things have not changed much on that frontier. Let’s move along.
The modus operandi of the hacker is to work slowly, stealthily, and persistently in stages until the target’s vulnerabilities are discerned and numbed into accepting a malicious payload.
The serpent’s first hurdle was to trick Eve into believing that talking creatures were not so strange after all. He apparently succeeded on that front. His next plan of attack was to inject Eve’s heart with lies to produce doubt concerning her own faith, which snowballed into calling her husband’s integrity into question and ultimately the authority of God’s word.
What were Eve’s vulnerabilities? The same ones we battle daily. Her flesh:
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. Genesis 3:6
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1 John 2:16
Eve was deceived by lies and then both she and Adam became offended and shamed in the process:
And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 1 Timothy 2:14
Eve’s heart was hacked by impersonation, an impostor hacked her heart with lies. And the hacker has not missed a day’s work since. Anyone whose heart and mind has not been enlightened by the light, hope and truth of the gospel is living with a heart hacked by the god of this world:
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. II Corinthians 4:3-4
Wounds of Offense
And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men. Acts 24:16
This verse always seemed perplexing and left one wondering of its full meaning as it is another one of the Apostle Paul’s amazing, thought-provoking and spirit-inspired passages.
While sitting in Bible school several years ago, the instructor (a well-established pastor who is invited to speak internationally, so he knows his subject matter) quoted this very verse and proceeded to unravel its meaning in a profound way. In a nutshell, this is what was conveyed.
The Greek word ‘conscience’ here is συνείδησις (suneidēsis) which means: co-perception. This concept of co-perception is very important.
Suneidēsis is a prolonged form of συνείδω (suneidō) which is broken down as:
Sun: denoting union; with or together + eidō: to see, to know: – be aware, behold, perceive, understand.
In essence, the coalescing of a thought in our mind operates like a reverse prism by bringing together two (the ‘co’) converging reference points – our thoughts or perceptions and another reference to determine how we reach a final conclusion on a matter.
This is where offenses come into the picture. An offense is defined as: (1) a thing that constitutes a violation of what is judged to be right or natural, (2) annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult or disregard for oneself or one’s standards or principals. (source: New Oxford American Dictionary)
How is this ‘offense-free’ conscience Paul speaks about attained? Well you guessed it, God’s Word:
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Psalms 119:165
When our mind uses the Word of God (law) as the reference point in that thought prism, our perception at that point is pure, untainted and Holy. However, when something else replaces or personifies God’s Word (either evil or fleshly, carnal thoughts/ patterns – strongholds) we forfeit peace and become offended.
This is what happened to Eve. Satan impersonated God’s Word (truth) with lies, she then believed Satan’s word was her own and likewise caused her to become offended, shamed and doubt God’s word.
It is the work of impersonation. It is the work of an impostor; a foreign agent has infiltrated enemy lines, donned himself with the familiar garb of its unsuspecting citizens who have graciously granted him mental asylum.
The enemy is a master of disguise and deception. We know this from the scriptures:
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. II Corinthians 11:14
This is evidence of the crafty, stealthy, transformed angel of light impostor.
This is why one must search the scriptures to hide and protect God’s word:
Psalms 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23
In where? In the heart.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Ephesians 6:17
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
The impostor attempted to execute the same hacking campaign against Jesus that he successfully leveled against Eve:
And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. Matthew 4:3
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4
Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Matthew 4:7
Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him. Matthew 4:10 -11
He failed. The word of God is the hacker’s greatest enemy and will stop him in his tracks every time.
Coming up next: Heart Hacked – By Good. Instead of being hacked by a lie, we will look into being hacked by something far greater and more powerful – Hacked Heart’s by God’s love.