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Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

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To Seek And To Save

 Sifted As Wheat

Luke 22.31-38
(Resourced in part from Adrian Rogers)

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[Our Lord, after spending his last meal with His apostles in the upper room, instituting the Lord’s Supper, washing the apostle’s feet, is now walking with His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane.  He has correct their debate about who would be the greatest in our Lord’s kingdom by teaching them that the greatest in his kingdom must learn to be the servant of all.  Now, our Lord turns to Simon Peter and states, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:” (vs 31) What a shocking statement this must have been for Simon Peter.] 

[The truth is that our Lord’s message for Peter is the same message He has for you and I today.  Perhaps with a far greater emphasis in these end times.  Since the times immediately preceding the end of this Dispensation of Grace will be perilous times indeed, which we will find fully revealed in Scripture as we work our way through this message today.] 

[Clearly, our Lord’s words to Peter were words intent upon reminding Peter of the spiritual warfare raging about him and the relentless spiritual battle that he would grapple with throughout His Christian life.] 

[There is a relentless, raging battle being wagged in our world today.  It is a spiritual battle, but is a battle none-the-less.  The words of our Lord in this passage remind us that we must be fully engaged in this battle.  Christians cannot, they dare not, try to remain neutral in this warfare for if they do they will place themselves right in between these two warring armies, and in that place they will find themselves standing in the crossfire.  You must choose sides, and you must join yourself to the battle.] 

A.     Satan is a Decided Fact (vs 31) [– And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you,”] 

1.      The Devil and His Personality (1 Pet 5.8) 

[1 Peter 5:8 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: ]

[Illustration: If you were walking through a jungle full of ravenous lions, wouldn’t you be alert, wouldn’t you be watching.  The devil is just like a ravenous lion.  You need to be alert.]

[Satan is a person.  He is the bitterest enemy against the saints of our Lord. ]

[If you want a blessing think of the names of Jesus, if you want a warning think of the names of the devil.  The devils names include:]

a.       [The deceiver (Rev 12.9)]

b.      [A liar (John 8.44)]

c.       [A murderer (John 8.44)]

d.      [The accuser of the brethren (Rev 12.10)]

e.       [The tempter (Matt 4.3)]

f.        [The prince of the power of the air (Eph 2.2)]

g.       [The devourer (1 Pet 5.8)]

h.       [The evil one (Matt 6.13)]

[If you do not recognize that the devil is real you will not prepare a ready defense against him.  The devils greatest ruse is to convince people that he does not really exist.]

[People make fun of the devil in our day.  We call cakes devils food cake.  We make deviled eggs.  We call football teams the devils.  We like to laugh at the thought of a devil.  We make light of the devil.  We like to make the devil some sort of comical character like Rudolf the Red Nosed Rain Deer and we laugh.]

[There are some in our day who believe the devil is real but that he is in hell.  The devil is not in hell yet.  He is in our world.]

[There are others who believe that the devil will reign in hell.  He will not rule in hell he will be incarcerated in hell.  He will be tormented in hell.  But the devil is not in hell yet.]

2.      The Devil and His Position (Eph 6.12; Rev 16.13-14; 2 Cor 4.4) 

[Ephesians 6:12 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ]

[Our battle is not with flesh and blood.  We are not at war with the drug pushers, prostitutes, thieves, liars, can men, politicians, and other human beings for these are all flesh and blood.  We fight against Satan and his demons.] 

[At one time Lucifer (Satan) was a high angle.  He covered the throne of God in heaven.  He was a glorious and powerful angel. But he rebelled against God and a third of the angels in heaven followed him in his rebellion and they fell from heaven.  These fallen angels are called demons and Satan is the lord of these demons, he is called the prince of the power of the air.] 

[The devil through his demon spirits can control people and nations.  The devil has his influence in the United Nations and in the relationships between nations.] 

[People sometimes ask how is the battle of Armageddon going the come to pass.  John saw a vision.  He said,] 

[Revelation 16:13-14 13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. ]

[These are demon spirits influencing and controlling world kings.] 

[2 Corinthians 4:4 4 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. ]

[The devil is not against religion, he is behind religion.  One of the cruelest things in our day is religion without Christ.  The devil has always wanted to be worshipped.] 

3.      The Devil and His Power (Acts 26.18) 

[The devil has great power.  It is folly to snear at the power of the devil or to underestimate the power of the devil.] 

[Jesus taught His disciples to pray for deliverance from the evil one.  Why do we need deliverance, because the devil is so powerful.] 

[Acts 26:18 18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. ]

[Satan has supernatural, dark, unholy, killing power.] 

B.     Satan Is A Destructive Foe (vs 31) – “. . . that he may sift you as wheat:” 

1.      The Devil and His Plan (Eph 6.11) 

[The devils chief weapon is deception.  He deceives that he might deprave, that he might destroy, that he might dam.  When you think about the devils plan consider what the bible says,] 

[Ephesians 6:11 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.]

[The word wiles here is the word we get our English word method from.  The devil is methodical in all that he does.  He is willing to wait.  He will let you succeed that you might that you might further fall.  He is willing to fall back two steps that he might move forward three steps.  He will lead you to feel like you are getting away with sin or even being prospered by sin that your sin might greatly entrap you and destroy you.] 

[The devil really does desire to sift Christians as wheat.  To be sifted refers back toe the threshing floor in the days of Christ.  When the wheat was harvested it would be brought to the sifting floor where a farmer and his hands would first beat the wheat vigorously against the floor to knock the seeds loose.  They would then take what appeared to be a large pitch fork and would throw the wheat stalks into the air.  The wind would then blow through the stalks and would blow the leaves and stalks aside leaving only the seed.] 

[Jesus in telling Peter that Satan wanted to thresh him meant that he wished to beat him and throw him around.  This exactly what your adversary wishes to do to you.] 

2.      The Devil and His Purpose (Isa 14.12-15; Eph 4.14) 

[The unholy ambition of the devil has been to pull God from His throne.  The devil is a rebel in revolt against God.  He wants to overthrow God.] 

[Isaiah 14:12-15 12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. ]

[By his pride, Lucifer the Son of the morning became Satan the father of the night.  His purpose is the overthrow God, and he thinks he can do it.  He can’t, but he thinks he can.] 

[Satan has found it difficult to do anything against God, so he instead attacks those whom God loves, you and I.  He attacks us by threshing us, confusing us, disorienting us, discouraging us and thing he can do to toss us around.  The Bible warns us,] 

[Ephesians 4:14 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;]  

3.      The Devil and His Promotion (Deut 18.10-13; Rev 9.21; 1 Tim 4.1; 2 Cor 11.14-15; Ezek 28.13) - [The Bible teaches that in the last days there would be a resurgence of demonic power.  What are the forms of demonic power?] 

a.       [There is the great revival of the occult – In many book stores it is hard to find books on the good old Christian faith, but there are many sections on the occult such as Astrology, Witchcraft, and Demonism.  Why are these books growing in popularity?  Because the offer power, a knowledge of the future, and contact with the dead.  When you dabble in this spiritual demonism you are dealing with the devil. Of these God says,] 

[Deuteronomy 18:10-13 10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer [contact with the dead]. 12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. 13 Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. ]

b.      [There is the explosion of drug abuse – This is a form of Satanism.  The addicts do not realize this, but the Bible warns against drugs abuse and addictions.  It will be one of the chief sins of the last days.] 

[Revelation 9:21 21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts. ]

[Notice the big four (4) of the End Times – Murder, Sorceries, Fornication, and Thefts.] 

[Sorcery - farmakeia pharmakeia (gk) - 1) the use or the administering of drugs 2) poisoning 3) sorcery, magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it 4) metaph. the deceptions and seductions of idolatry] 

[It is the word we get our word pharmacy from.  It is dealing with drugs.]

c.       [There is the permeation of false doctrine – The devil is the father of mankind’s religious systems.] 

[1 Timothy 4:1 1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; ]

[When you look for the devil never fail to look in the pulpits.  The Bible says,] 

[2 Corinthians 11:14-15 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. ]

[The preach from another Bible.  The preach another Christ.  People receive another spirit other than the Holy Spirit.  The devil is the father of religion.] 

d.      [There is the presentation of the media – Satan uses our worldwide media systems to sing out to the masses of the world with his alluring deceptions.] 

[Ezekiel 28:13 13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. ]

[Lucifer’s deceptive voice is beautiful and alluring and he calls out with his spiritually powerful voice to all that will listen through our worldwide broadcasting system.] 

[What are some the media of choice that the devil uses in our day?  Dungeons and dragons, Dark Tower, Sorcerers Apprentices to name a few games, that are not greatly enhanced through computer graphics and the electronic media of our day.  What about the ever popular Harry Potter and his warlock arts.  Harmless or the devil’s tool.] 

[Illustration: If I were the Devil By Paul Harvey]

[I would gain control of the most powerful nation in the world;]

[I would delude their minds into thinking that they had come from man's
effort, instead of God's blessings;]

[I would promote an attitude of loving things and using people, instead of the other way around;]

[I would dupe entire states into relying on gambling for their state revenue;]

[I would convince people that character is not an issue when it comes to

[I would make it legal to take the life of unborn babies;]

[I would make it socially acceptable to take one's own life, and invent
machines to make it convenient;]

[I would cheapen human life as much as possible so that life of animals are valued more than human beings;]

[I would take God out of the schools, where even the mention of His name was grounds for a lawsuit;]

[I would come up with drugs that sedate the mind and target the young, and I would get sports heroes to advertise them;]

[I would get control of the media, so that every night I could pollute the
minds of every family member for my agenda;]

[I would attack then family, the backbone of any nation. I would make
divorce acceptable and easy, even fashionable. If the family crumbles, so
does the nation;]

[I would compel people to express their most depraved fantasies on canvas and movies screens, and I would call it art;]

[I would convince the world that people are born homosexuals, and that their lifestyles should be accepted and marveled;]

[I would convince the people that right and wrong are determined by a few who call themselves authorities and refer to their agendas as politically correct;]

[I would persuade people that the church is irrelevant and out of date, the
Bible is for the naive:]

[I would dull the minds of Christians, and make them believe that prayer is not important, and that faithfulness and obedience are optional;]


C.     Satan is a Defeated Foe (vs 32) [– “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” – Christians need to understand that they already have the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  We are not fighting for victory, we are fighting from victory.]  In order to walk in victory you must be: 

1.      Converted (1 John 4.4) [- Born Again – “. . . and when thou art converted, . . .” – To be converted has little to do with ones religious practices, but much to do with ones relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  We cannot defeat the devil in our own strength or my the strength of our will.  But in Christ we have already overcome our adversary. ] 

[1 John 4:4 4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. ]

[Apart from the Lord Jesus Christ you will be and are mastered by the power and authority of the devil, but through the Lord Jesus Christ you are delivered from the grasp of the devil and are now an overcomer.  Before his conversion Peter his in a room with the other disciples.  After his conversion Peter preached the gospel and multitudes came to a saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.  The difference was the empowering presence of God in Peter’s heart and life.] 

2.      Churched (Eph 4.11-16) [– “. . . strengthen thy brethren.” – Many Christians think that once they accept Christ that they have done all they can do for their Lord.  The truth is that once you become a Christian then you need to become an active serving part of a local Church brethren.  It is through the Church that Christians will realize the truth’s presented in this passage.  A bon again Christian can never be complete apart from the body of Christ, which is the Church of Christ.] 

[Ephesians 4:11-16 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. ]

[Christians need to be an active part of a Bible believing Church so that they can receive the stabilizing spiritual support that only their Church can give them in this world.  Just any church won’t do, you need to be a part of the true Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.] 


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