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Who did Satan want to sift?

by Theodore Wright.

So how about it? Did Satan want to sift just Simon Peter? Here is the Bible’s own answer said by our Lord Jesus Christ…

And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” – Luke 22:31-32 (NKJV)


Well, you read it yourself. Yet the answer is actually, NO. Satan did NOT want to sift just Simon. Satan asked to sift all the apostles.
Surprised at this? Read this passage more distinctly from the Authorized Version (King James Version) Bible…

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
– Luke 22:31-32 (KJV)


In old English, the word “you” is always plural. If Satan had simply asked to sift Simon Peter, Jesus would have said, “Satan that desire to have thee”. Yet, Jesus said “to have you”. Satan wanted to sift all the disciples. Yet Jesus said to Simon, “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not”. Simon Peter received a special prayer from our Lord which was unique from the other disciples. Do you doubt this? Then get a New Testament text in the original Greek language!

  you (singular) you (plural)
nominative thou ye
accusative thee you
genitive thy your

Sifting wheat is threshing. This is the primary step to loosen inedible chaff from edible grain in the process to create flour. In ancient times wheat was spread on a stone or hard surface then beaten with a flail.

One time, I heard a preacher base the premise of his entire message on the theme that Satan want to sift merely Simon Peter. He had the congregation excited as he preached with enthusiasm and even danced a bit during the message. I just hung my mouth open in shock of the ignorance. The preacher was using the King James Version Bible during the message. Didn’t he know?

After the message, I spoke to one of the elders about the preacher’s error in his message. The elder replied, “Well, that doesn’t mean that they didn’t receive.” So I responded, ”That they didn’t receive what?”

It was not just Peter who was sifted when he denied the Lord Jesus three times. All the disciples were sifted…

And they all forsook him, and fled. And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him: And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked. – Mark 14:50-52 (KJV)

Simon Peter was sifted regarding his faith when he and all the other disciples fled when the Lord Jesus was captured by the Roman soldiers. Yet the matter was more than just that. He was also sifted of his clothes when he and the other disciples forsook the Lord. Bless the Lord that the Son of God prayed for Peter specially that his faith would not fail.

It is recommended that you do your homework before you preach.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. – 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)





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