” satan has demanded to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you…” -{Luke 22:31-32.}

The DANGER of IGNORANCE; Some of us live in lands where perceptions of “satan,” are like some perverse small cartoon red figure with cape, horns and a pitch fork, and that is as far as it goes. Others live in lands who need no convincing of the presence and activity of demonic presence and mayhem in the lives of individuals. Some cultures are so deceived to deny such evil because they have been lulled to complacency where life is deduced to the pursuit of materialism and pride of possession as the great end of the pursuit and value of a life.

IGNORANCE that they have been lulled to spiritual sleep, deceived by a false pursuit of things rather than the pursuit of God through Jesus Christ! Deceived into thinking of anything but their eternal destiny either Heaven or Hell. Deceived into thinking of anything but eternity, as the evil one has blinded their eyes to eternal realities ! Some deceived into believing knowledge is everything and gives them the craved status they crave and expect. In pursuit of education we have educated our head but the heart is left ignorant as the things of God are neglected to irrelevant in many cases and so in many cases we have people puffed up with human knowledge, even Doctorates behind their names, but in truth they are ” Doctorates of Ignorance” without the knowledge of God as their authority for rule of life-that can neither show them or help others with the knowledge of God and how to be right with God and know the One who is the Way to Heaven, and live to love Him and others and pursue Him and promote His kingdom by sharing and the spreading of it. How tragic! There is nothing wrong with wealth, indeed Deut 8 says God “gives the capacity to make wealth” and elsewhere He says He “gives wealth without sorrow.” He does in 1 Timothy 6 say to “warn those who are rich in this world not to be conceited…”. Material wealth can breathe arrogance and false security in wealth rather than Christ! Paul tells Timothy to teach the wealthy  and to share what they have. My point is not there is something evil with wealth BUT for those whose goal, labor and aim is wealth then there is a spiritual problem with the heart, and these dear ones must be prayed for and encouraged through His Word, to “set your affections on things above where Christ is.”-{Col 3:1-3}. For wealth has wings that flies away easily. You never see a U-Haul attached to a hearse, filled with their money, possessions when someone dies. For by this stage they have departed to their eternal destiny by themselves, Heaven with Jesus Christ or Hell. Either one or the other!

 Knowledge in itself can be wonderful in specific areas, for example a surgeon, we want to know before he cuts on us that he is well trained and knows what he is doing. But what I am speaking of is that which Paul speaks against in Colossians 2:8.“See to it that no one takes you CAPTIVE through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental forces of this world rather than Christ.” Paul says there are those “professing to be wise they became fools.”– {Romans 1:22.}. They rejected the One who is The Creator of the world and them. They suppressed the truth about God and their own sinful condition. The world system lives by its own codes, offering up it’s own view of success, failure and lauds certain individuals while looking down on others. They do so because they live as though there is no God. And if there is, He is irrelevant or if they so choose, when a  crisis comes for them, then to call out, to demanding He does as they believe He should. They live as though He is their servant. A Puppet for personal use when needed!

Pride is twisted, perverted thinking that shows in these cases the heart is spiritually bankrupt- and in need of true salvation through repentance towards God and faith in Christ Jesus! Satan is subtle and doesn’t mind how he keeps a man, woman, boy, girl, thinking and living for anything or anyone other than God. These are spiritual captives, slaves to unrighteousness. 2 Tim 2:24-26 says they “… are held captive by the evil one to do his will.” Think on that verse for a while. People you see may be well educated in this world, academically, athletically treasured, socially accepted and lauded, financially secure and seemingly without any cares,”BUT GOD…” shows us they “… are held captive by the evil one to do his will.” They are to be pitied, prayed for and shared with the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Satan has them, while they think they are in control. Ignorant of God, His Word and ways, prisoners of war- spiritually captives! Many will die in their sin, the worst thing a person can die of is to die in their…sin! Satan has deluded them, deceived them. The father of lies, they have embraced. My God, how terrible it is! God help us to awaken from our slumber and playing with our toys and be diligent to seek the welfare of the soul’s of people! I met a  man once while speaking at a conference on the coast of South Carolina. He was maybe in his thirties. He shared with me how he had nearly died and since that event his advice to people now was, “..to slow down and smell the roses.” Then he said something I have never forgot,”…when I retire I would like to do what you do, as a hobby.” At that moment I wondered was the sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ a secondary thing, something we would get around to at a convenient time. Did he say with his lips what is true in my life, yours, That the Gospel is a secondary issue, a Hobby ? 

William Booth wrote, “Not called!’ did you say? ‘Not heard the call,’ I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face — whose mercy you have professed to obey — and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world.”  People are dead in their sin, dying by the millions and we who profess to have the truth consider the Gospel as a Hobby, a secondary issue! The cross was no Hobby. The souls that die without Christ and spend eternity in a devil’s hell is no hobby. Jesus Christ is nobody’s hobby, is He to you? Whether seduced by wealth, education, fast cars, career, peoples affections, attention are fixated on the here and now to the exclusion of eternal realities. They are as we once were,”…held captive to do his {satan’s} will!”

But as we see from this passage in Luke the believers are not above the attack of the evil one. He cannot have our souls, so he tempts with discouragement, doubts, distress, to divert the believer’s thoughts of the Lord and act independent. His attack is on our faith. For this is the core of our being, trusting God, His Word, His character, His promises. Resting in His love and sufficiency. So  satan sows “seeds” of questions and doubts regarding God’s Word and character as he did with Eve in the garden. He is a fierce, loveless, hateful being, who hates God and His people. The disciples were in his eye view and Peter in particular. The leaders of the Lord Jesus who would pass on the truth from one generation to another. His desire was to sift them like wheat, violently so. Seeking to destroy them.

 Jesus does not paint the picture of such a cartoon character to Simon when he says ” Simon, Simon satan has desired to ,”sift you as wheat…”

Note: 1,- The REALITY of Satan.  Jesus acknowledges his existence. The name “satan,”means “Adversary.” (opponent of God and His people.) as is revealed in {Job 1-2; Zach 3:1-2.} The New Testament give him several titles including,

  • “Devil”- means “slanderer,” -“accuser,” of the brethren”- (Rev 12:9-10);

  • “Apollyon,”- means,”Destroyer,”- ( Rev9:11);

  • “The Tempter”- (Mat 4:1)

  • “The evil one”- (1 john 5:18-19)

  • He is the father of lies, all deceitfulness and falsehood (John 8:44).

  • He is a murderer.

  • He is the deceiver…tempter  who fooled Eve in the Garden( Rev 12:9).

  • He is wicked, evil,full of malice, cruel against God, His people and Truth.

  • Satan appears as “an angel of light.” (2 Cor 11:14)

  • He is compared to a ” roaring lip seeking to devour”- ( 1 Peter 5:8.).

  • These are some ways the LORD describes this evil being. He is not almighty, neither can he be everyplace at one time. Jesus defeated him as The Perfect Man. satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire eventually ( Rev 20:10).

It is this one, the opponent of God, His ways, and whom Jesus speaks to Simon ( Peter) about!

2. – THE DESTRUCTIVE AIM OF SATAN – is the ruination of an individual as his end.

“sift you as wheat…” wheat was put into a basket like means and violently shaken to sift the chaff from the wheat. Simon would have been familiar with this and so Jesus says ” Simon , Simon,” twice calls him this to see the seriousness the reality that satan himself, not one of his demons undertakes to seek to utterly DESTROY him! The word, ” you” is in the plural, satan sought permission to destroy all of the apostles!

But Peter needed to know that behind the scenes of what he could see was the spiritual realm of the unseen as real as what could be seen. The reality of demons, angels, Heaven, Hell. Satan… whose hatred for God, The Word of God, the souls of people and God’s people. Since he cannot have their soul’s he seeks to DESTROY them, dishearten them, seek to create doubts in their mind, deceive, depress, devour them, tear them apaprt! Tempt them to act independent of God. Fears, discouragement are part of his vicious armor! Jesus said  of him, ” The thief comes to steal, kill, destroy.” He demanded to be able to destroy Simon and the other disciples!

Gill writes,

“Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you; not only Peter, but all the apostles; for the word  “you”, is plural: Satan, the enemy of the woman’s seed, the accuser of the brethren, the wicked one, and the tempter, desired, asked leave of God, for he can do nothing without permission; that he might have these disciples under his power, and in his hand; just as he got leave to have the goods, and even the body of Job in his hand, and fain would have had his life, and soul too, could he have obtained it; and he would have the lives and souls of others; for he goes about, seeking to devour whom he may; and he had now an evil eye upon the apostles, and wanted an opportunity to gratify his malice and envy: his end in desiring to have them in his power was, that he may sift you as wheat; not to separate the chaff from the wheat, but to make them look like all chaff, by covering the wheat of grace with the chaff of sin and corruption; or to destroy the wheat, was it possible; or to toss them to and fro as wheat is in a sieve; that is, to afflict and distress them; see Amos 9:9 by scattering them both from Christ, and one another; by filling them with doubts about Jesus being the Messiah and Redeemer: and by frightening them with the fears of enemies and of death, which end he obtained; see Matthew 26:56.”


He demands of Jesus to be able to destroy Simon. It is not a tug of war between satan and God like some see-saw game, where one minute God is winning but then satan has wrestled authority of Him and satan is winning. God is God. Jesus is God and satan is a created being who rebelled against God and was cast down out of Heaven. One day he will utterly be cast into Hell bound forever never again to torment, destroy! In the temptation of Job, he had to have permission of God. he accuses Job to God saying he was only following God because of his wealth inherited from God. Here also he seeks permission indeed demands for himself to destroy Simon. Jesus is LORD- Master, all things including satan are under His authority. satan desired to destroy Simon. Indeed the word, “you” is plural he desired to destroy all the apostles but in particular Simon.


He didn’t tell Satan to leave him alone – which He could have. JESUS PRAYED for him. ” ..but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail…” Jesus is praying for you too, as your Advocate in your time of testing! How powerful are the Prayers of Jesus Christ! All His prayers are answered!


A.- satan is Simon’s Adversary

B. -Jesus is Simon’s Advocate– ” … I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.”

The attack is ultimately on Simon’s faith, reliance , dependence not in himself but Jesus is the satanic aim of his attack! So he seeks permission to tear him apart destroy him and only The Lord Jesus stands between him and Simon as his Advocate!!

 THE DANGER OF IGNORANCE; Is to be deceived Into believing and behaving ” I do not have an adversary. satan is not real. Eternal matters are unimportant. Jesus Christ and His claims upon my life are of little or no significance to me.”


Jesus affirms;

1.- satan is real

2.- satan is your adversary 

3.- satan desires to destroy you

4. -satan attacks your … Faith!

Jesus affirms to the believer

1.- I have prayed for you

2.- I am your Advocate!

3.- satan is under My Authority

4. – Jesus pre-warns of the danger!

We have a real evil Foe. He is a defeated foe. Jesus defeated him. I will share some thoughts next time on …The Danger of self reliance !

 Thank God that we have an ADVOCATE- Jesus our LORD who is PRAYING for …you and me!