“And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired you that he may sift as wheat.”
The disciples were gathered together with Jesus for the eating of the Passover meal. After the meal was over and Judas had left the table, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples and when He had taken the cup and gave thanks, He gave it to them and told them to drink. He then took the bread and, giving thanks, He broke it and gave it to them to eat. This signified His impending death and immediately there arose strife among them, once again, as to which of them should be accounted greatest. This time Jesus turns the attention to the fact that it was He who washed their feet and gave them the cup and the bread, in other words, He was serving them, yet He was greater, being the fullness of the Godhead. He then told them that they, like the type of the children of Israel, had a kingdom already appointed unto them because the Father had appointed it unto Him; no conditions or stipulations, the children of the King are heirs of the Kingdom because they are the children of the King. Then He turns to Simon Peter with a most wonderful revelation of the events which were to be revealed unto him in his life. They were not pleasant nor were they anything to be proud of or to boast about. He was about to deny His Lord before all men.
It is common place to have the well meaning religionists write and speak of Satan in a most abstract manner. The conjectures of the superstitions of man have presented this being in many diverse manifestations, with a wide range of powers and an almost appealing, if not noble, agenda. The testimony of the scriptures gives a much different description of this creature, his authority and the labours he has been assigned.
Satan is a created being which the hand of God formed in the beginning. He is completely within the purpose of God and, according to the power of the good pleasure of the perfect will of Yehovah God, Satan performs every labour that has been assigned unto him. He was fashioned in such a manner so that he was beautiful in appearance with all things necessary to complete the mission he was given without any possibility of failure. He is sealed up and established proportionate to his station in God’s creation, given such fullness of wisdom as decreed necessary and, devoid of truth, the perfection of his beauty was the foundation of his pride (Ezek. 28:12-17).
He was created the most subtle beast of the field (Gen. 3:1) and was placed in the garden of the Lord in the beginning to entice and beguile Eve (II Cor. 11:3). He has no truth in him, for he was created the father of all lies. He has not the Spirit of God within him therefore he is none of the household of grace. Although he has been assigned the station as the ‘god of this world’ (II Cor. 4:4) and the ‘prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience’ (Eph. 2:2), he is not God yet his nature causes him to esteem himself as God. He is given to ascend unto the throne, striving to be like God and to have enmity with God and His children (Ezek. 28:2). This desire is of an arrogant pride and inveterate hatred for the light, even though he is the ‘light bearer’ (Lucifer – Is. 14:12). He is the ‘son of the morning’ (being created in the beginning) and the ‘covering cherub’ of Yehovah. His labour is to roam to and fro upon the face of the earth, walking up and down in it (Job 2:2), while being transformed into a messenger of light along with his ministers (II Cor. 11:14) and, like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (I Pt. 5:8), he earnestly and passionately is the accuser the brethren in their struggle. His job is to withstand the Beloved (I Chron. 21:1) and to reveal the inability in the natural man while calling the justice of God into question. This he did in the garden with Eve, saying; “Has God truly said you cannot eat of every tree in the garden?” (Gen. 3:1) Therefore he also withstood Joshua (Yehovah’s salvation) in His filthy garments when He became the sin of His people, for he is the adversary of salvation (Zech. 3:1).
He is the ‘wicked one’ whose end is the eternal torment of the Lake of Fire. Here he and his seed shall behold, forevermore, in that place, afore prepared, where the flame is never quenched and the worm never dies (Mark 9:44), the beauty of the Holiness of God and the rest of the Beloved (Luke 16:23). He is the king of the abyss and his name is ‘Destruction’ and the ‘Destroyer’ (Abaddon & Apollyon - Rev. 9:11) for unto such has he been assigned. He is the ‘prince of the rock’ (Tyrus – Ezek. 28:2) who has ‘made demands’ (desired) for a ‘stone’ (Simon) that he may agitate him (sift) as wheat.
Jesus presents this to Simon Peter in anticipation of that which was soon to transpire. Peter was about to enter into the most trying time of his life when he would deny his Lord before all men, swear an oath upon the temple in opposition to Messiah and spend three days and three nights in anguish, weeping bitterly. This was not a test to see if Peter was worthy to be called a child of grace nor was it his entrance exam into the fraternity of the brotherhood of apostles. God had dispatched the Destroyer to agitate one who had been planted an incorruptible seed, grown into maturity in the grace and knowledge of His will and was now manifested as wheat. The seed had been planted in the ground afore prepared for it by the Master of the field as wheat and the climate conditions, required sunlight and necessary care had been provided for this seed to bring forth the allotted fruit. He was wheat from the beginning and shall always be wheat. This adversary, with all his cunningness and subtilty could not make a tare into wheat by agitating him any more than he could change wheat into tare but the fullness of time had come that the outer shell of this wheat needed to be threshed, beaten off and shaken to reveal the precious fruit inside.
“Son of man, say unto her, you are the land that is not clean, nor rained upon in the day of indignation” (Ezek. 22:25).
The adversary was not sent to clean up this land of desolation nor was he dispatched to assist in the production or quality of the fruit being produced. The land in which the seed was planted is corrupt in Adam and the law in the members of man is by nature sinful and unclean. This law wars against the inner man, the eternal seed of God, which delights after the law of God. The ‘wicked one’ is not sent to dig and dung about the plants, that is the labour of the Lord of the Harvest, he is sent forth to shake and discomfort the outer shell, which is Edom. The Master has dug His vineyard and prepared His vine and He knows them that are His, yet He has decreed a necessary application of trials and tribulations upon the field to cause the creature within to groan waiting to be delivered from the bondage of this corruption when the Sons of God shall be manifested. There is a drought upon this land, of hearing the word of God (Amos 8:11).
Simon, whose name means ‘heard’ (Heb. – Simeon) heard directly from the Son of God that the Adversary had made a demand against him. He did not understand what this meant nor did he question the Lord for an explanation. His response indicated, once again, that the conclusion of the natural mind is not only contrary to the way of God but also presumptuously arrogant. He assured Jesus that he was ready to follow Him “both in prison and to death” in a flamboyant gesture of bravery and, since the disciples just finished an argument about who would be greatest in the kingdom; this was a demonstration for the others to see. Simon was grandstanding before his captive audience in hopes that he might obtain the right to eat and drink at the Master’s table and sit upon one of the twelve thrones judging Israel.
“And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem;but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day” (Judges 1:21).
Jesus told Simon (stone) that the prince of the rock (Tyrus) had made demands upon him as an evident token of the love of God upon him. When the children left the wilderness, God made manifested through Joshua the inheritance of Israel. They did not earn this inheritance for they were a stiff-necked and rebellious people from the beginning. They had not kept the law of God as their father’s had. Not that the fathers had perfectly observed the types and foreshadows and were therefore righteous; Not in the least bit, for if Abram had done anything to earn the favour of God then he has somewhat wherein to glory, but not before God (Rms. 4:2). No! Abram believed God and it was accounted unto him righteousness not having received the handwriting of ordinances, Isaac was offered up in sacrifice before the Lord to shew forth that Yehovah would provide Himself a sacrifice in testimony to the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world and Jacob, the supplanter, was the child of promise whom Yehovah loved with an eternal love. These kept the law of God the same manner that every child of grace keeps it today. They did not follow after the ministration of death and they were not justified by the deeds of the Law; this is the ministration of condemnation. They love Yehovah God with all their heart, and with all their soul and with all their might (Deut. 6:4) because the love of God was shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost which was given unto them (Rms. 5:5) They loved Him because He first loved them (I John 4:19) and they loved their neighbours (of the pasture) as they loved themselves.
This was not a testimony to their abilities in Adam nor was it a condition whereupon the inheritance of the promise was based. Joshua crossed the Jordan after the forty years of wandering in manifestation of that which was already a reality; God had given them the inheritance. Joshua further demonstrated the fulfillment of this when he subdued the land and utterly destroyed the inhabitants thereof. He fulfilled the Word of God in all that he did as the type of the Anointed One who should come and manifest that which was finished before the foundation of the world. And when the inheritance was completely manifested, the children of the tribes where assigned their allotment and given the same commandments as Joshua; to utterly destroy the inhabitants of the land. There was to be no alliances, no covenants and no intermingling with the people of the low lands for they would draw the children of Israel away after their gods. These things came to pass when the children of Israel were drawn away after the lusts of the flesh and they forgot Yehovah God.
The house of Benjamin was no different. They occupied the land given unto them but they quickly began to openly manifest that they could not, after the arm of their flesh, do the work which Joshua had done. They were prohibited by the decree of God from utterly destroying the Jebusites and from driving them out of Jerusalem. Yehovah God promised them that He would drive them out and utterly destroy them as the captain of the Hosts appeared unto Joshua and thus he did. But in testimony to the weakness of the flesh and the vanities of this world, He left these nations among the children of Israel.
Judah could not drive out the Jebusites (Josh 16:53) and Benjamin could do no better because (Jebusi) ‘My threshing place’ is necessary unto the children while they are partakers of flesh and blood. These Jebusites do not dwell in Jerusalem which is from above, the mother of the Beloved in Christ, but rather Jerusalem which now is, Hagar and her children in bondage. The natural Jerusalem, or the coming forth of peace, is the handwriting of ordinances and the ministration of condemnation where in no flesh shall be justified. This is the demonstration of the nature of Adam wherein he will fashion his apron of fig leaves and present himself before God full well expecting to be acceptable in His sight. This attitude and these actions are inherent to man and are manifest tokens of the outer man which perishes and the law in his members. The presence of the ‘threshing place’ is where every child of grace is shaken, beaten and agitated by the Destroyer for the destruction of the earthen vessel as a demonstration of the chastening hand of God. This privilege is not for the children of this world or for the seed of the serpent for it is the open manifestation of the love of God for His people; “for whom the Lord loves, them also He chastens” (Heb. 12:6).
“But I have prayed for you that your faith fail not and when you are converted, strengthen your brethren” (Luke 22:22).
Jesus did not intend to create confusion here with His remarks. He was not saying that he was going to see what he could do concerning this matter nor did He intimate that he was extending a special unction unto Simon. He said that even though the ‘accuser of the brethren’ had made demands upon Simon, He, the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah had desires for His children that were far greater than anything Satan could have. Jesus said that he “longed after” this ‘stone’ because they were bound together, fastened and chained together. He was under obligation for this precious ‘stone’ for Simon had been hewn from that great Rock and that Rock is anointed. The prince of the rock, Tyrus, was dispatched of God to agitate the stone (Peter) for the dislodging of the outer shell but The Rock had His delight in His Beloved in whom there was neither spot nor blemish.
After the flesh, Simon was bone of bone and flesh of flesh in Adam, which was formed from the dust of the earth. Therefore he was dead in the trespasses and sin of Adam even though he had not manifested this after the similitude of Adam. Sin had entered into the world by one man’s act and death by sin for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Simon could not deny his heritage in Adam and everything he did in this life manifested that he was a child of the dust.
But not as the offence the gift of God is unto life. The Beloved is the eternal seed of God and bone of My bone and flesh of My flesh in the Son of God. Therefore she is the generation of Jesus Christ, the house of the first-born and the Bride of the Anointing. As Adam could not deny Eve in the garden nor separate himself from her deeds for she is of him (woman) so Christ cannot deny Himself. His union in the Godhead is all inclusive and inseparable and His Bride, like Eve, was ever in Him. Nothing she can do can ever bring reproach upon her Head nor blemish her fine linen, clean and white, for this is the imputed righteousness of Messiah, the righteousness of the saints. His love is not contingent upon her actions nor His blessings upon her obedience. She is “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ” (I Pt. 1:2) and nothing done in this life can have any effect upon that which the Lamb of God finished before time every began.
Jesus did not promise Peter that if he was only to surrender this unto Him He would halt the proceedings. He did not instruct Peter to take this to the altar and leave it with Him and He certainly did not tell Simon to go to his closet and put on the whole armour of God to prepare him for the upcoming encounter. He promised Peter that this event was certain yet He was not abandoning him to find his own way or do the best he could.
Jesus told Simon that his faith would not fail. He had given many lessons throughout His ministry in demonstration of the fact that there is no faith in Adam and He humbled the disciples time and again with the proof of this fact in numerous clear and open examples. He rebuked Peter in his attempt to dissuade Him from going to Jerusalem to die, calling him the adversary and He constantly brought him into elements wherein he presumed himself competent only to lovingly shew the impotence of the arm and intent of man.
Simon Peter lived as a child of grace in the habitation of an earthen vessel by the faith of the Son of God who loved him and gave Himself for him (Gal. 2:20). He, being of the children of the Israel of our God, walked in the light of Yehovah by the Spirit which dwelt in him. He delighted in the law of God after the inward man and his desires were upon heavenly things. This was not according to the flesh, for the natural man is of the earth, therefore his deeds are dark and his desires are carnal. This was after the inner man, that spiritual man who is renewed daily as the outward man perishes. The ‘adversary’ is assigned the job of shaking the outer, perishing man to remove him from the inner man inside just as the refiner’s Fire is to consume the wood, hay and stubble of Edom; so that no residue shall remain (Ob. 18). The absence of Edom is complete in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah and thus the children are seated together with Him in the heavenlies; yet during the time of this habitation,“beloved it does not yet appear what we shall be” (I John 3:2). This manifestation of the finished work shall be revealed in the adoption, when the time of this habitation is over and this tabernacle is laid down; then shall be the manifestation of the sons of God who shall see Him as He is and they shall be as Him.
“Knowing that the trying of your faith works patience”(James 1:3).
Faith is the fruit or evidence of the indwelling Spirit. It cannot be discerned by the faculties of man nor replicated by his imagination. Many walk in the false representation of what they call faith but true faith is the evidence of that which cannot be seen and the substance of the hope within. This faith needs no improvement and it does not grow by the attentions or influences of the things of this habitation. Faith is a gift of God whereby His children are given to believe in the hope of glory, The Anointed Salvation of Yehovah, and they are delivered by that hope (Rms. 8:24).
The trying or proving of this faith is the manifest token of the love of God for His children and a testimony that they are born from above. The chaff is cast into the fire and it is consumed but the gold, silver and precious stones are refined from the wood, hay and stubble which reveals their precious nature and the beauty of their worth. This proving is unto the praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Christ even though, now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations (I Pt. 1:6).
And thus the ‘wicked one’ is ordered of the Lord God Omnipotent to withstand the Beloved for good. He is authorized of the Father to perform his assignments to shew forth that His Beloved is “perfect and upright, one who fears God and eschews evil” (Job 1:1). God has left the sons of Jebus in the stronghold of the confidence of the flesh to manifest that with man it is impossible to be delivered and “to prove Israel by them”.
This proof is by the scent that is indigenous to the children of the Kingdom of God. It is the sweet smelling savour of life in Christ that ascends before the throne of God (II Cor. 2:15). The walls of His Jerusalem, which is the peace of God upon His Beloved being justified by His faith, is always before Him (IS. 49:16) and those walls are His salvation (Is. 60:18). The deliverance of His people is the sole purpose of God which by His immutable will has been finished from the foundation of the world. The savour of that perfect sacrifice for sin is the incense of the altar wherein the prayers of the saints come before God (Rev. 5:8). These prayers are not the constant begging or harassing of God for the needs of the flesh or the satisfaction of the lusts thereof; they are the anticipation of the good from the hand of their loving Father, the returning to Jerusalem which is from above and the deliverance from the body of this death. They are the earnest cry of the child for the love and presence of the Father, the plea for mercy as the Spirit reveals their filthiness in Adam and the praise unto His name for He alone is worthy; “till we all come to the unity of faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13). This will not be manifest until this outer shell be shaken off, the husks be removed by agitation, the chaff be delivered to the fire by threshing, that is, when these earthen vessels be laid aside and the habitation of this tabernacle be put off to return to the dust from whence they were formed. “Knowing that shortly I must put off my tabernacle, even as our Lord has shown me. Moreover I will endeavour that you may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance; for we have not followed after cunningly devised fables when we made known unto you the power and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye witnesses of His majesty” (II Pt. 1:14ff).
“And I fell at his feet to worship him and he said unto me, see not, for I am your fellow servant and of your brethren that have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophesy” (Rev. 19:10).
Prophesy is the divinely inspired declaration of the experience of the common salvation of the Israel of our God. This is for the edification of the body through the like precious faith of God because of the common experience which they all endure. If the experience is not identical, then the testimony is different but since the fullness of the Godhead, which is immutable, dwells bodily in the Messiah then the experience and the testimony must be one. The fellow servants and brethren are all members in particular yet they are one in the body, wherein there is no faction, schism or division and no shadow of turning. He is the same yesterday, today and forever and His Word is true, therefore every child has the same testimony of the trials and tribulations which the Father has assigned because He loves His children.
If anyone comes with another testimony other than the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah and the absolute depravity and wretchedness of man, then they come with another gospel, which is no gospel. The gospel of Jesus Christ is life and peace in Him and the loathing and sorrow in the vanity and corruption of Adam.
When Peter was completely turned about through all that he had experienced by the teaching of the Holy Spirit he was enabled to cause the brethren to be established firm in hope; “looking for and hastening unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved and the element shall melt with fervent heat. Nevertheless we, according to His promise look for a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness” (II Pt. 3:12). Everything he experienced was absolutely necessary to the development of the man and the work he was given to do. He spoke as he was given of the Spirit and he taught through his experiences. This is prophesying unto edification and exhortation and comfort (I Cor. 14:3).
Peter is not unique in this encounter; this encounter is such as is common unto all of the seed of Adam. It is the manifest token of the righteous judgment of God that His children might be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God, for which they suffer. Seeing a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; and you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God and that do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power; when he shall come to be glorified in His saints and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day (II Thes. 1:5ff).
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
February 7, 2016