John says of Jesus:

Mat 3:12  Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

While Jesus says of Satan:

Luk 22:31  And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

Did Jesus and Satan do the same work of God by sifting the saints?

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    Not sure why there's a downvote - it's a valid question. Is Satan always at cross-purposes with God or does God in His sovereignty use Satan as He uses other creatures, despite their own evil intent? Paul also tells the Corinthians to "hand this [incestuous] man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord" (1 Cor. 5:5). Sounds like topic worth discussing. That said, since the answer probably involves a theological decision between determinism and free will, it might be better asked on Christianity SE. Commented May 23, 2018 at 14:37
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    Christ seems to be sifting evildoers (by separating them from the faithful). Satan's seems to be sifting the faithful (by seeking to destroy them).
    – Lucian
    Commented May 24, 2018 at 1:26

1 Answer 1


There was a difference of the kind of sieve being used. The ancient Israelite had two kinds of sieve, one was called "Kebara" (Amos 9:9) which had bigger slots so larger substances such as rocks and chaff remained. Another was called "napa" (Isaiah 30:28) had smaller slots so dusts would gone and grains remained.

Matthew 3:12 Jesus was blowing the chaff to the floor and kept the wheat in his sieve. Luke 22:31 Satan was sifting the wheat to the floor and kept the rocks and chaff in his sieve.

So Jesus give trial (sieve) to us wanted to keep our righteousness (wheat) and remove our sin (chaff); whereas Satan wanted to remove our righteousness and keep our sin.

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