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Delve into a relatable message with Pastor Gary Caudill from the pulpit of Washington Heights Baptist on the morning of 11-5-2023. Explore the life journey of Apostle Peter, paralleled with the humble process of preparing wheat from harvest to table. Through stages like Selection, Security, Shelving, Sifting, and Serving, this sermon unfolds how life’s lessons and challenges shape us for serving God and each other better. With down-to-earth teachings, Pastor Gary breaks down complex spiritual truths, showing the value of life’s trials in preparing us for meaningful service. "The Secret is in the Sifting" is now available on demand, offering a treasure of insights from a Sunday morning filled with inspiring takeaways. Revisit the sermon to unearth the secret in the sifting and embrace the divine process that refines us for God’s glorious work. To listen, simply hit the play button at the top of your screen.  Feel free to follow along with the notes as you listen and download the notes below for your convenience.

"The Secret is in The Sifting"

by Gary Caudill
Washington Heights Baptist Church
11-5-2023, Sunday Morning Service

Luke 22:31-34

Luke 22:31  And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
32  But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
33  And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.
34  And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.

The Process of Preparation for Impactful Service….

I. Selection (Think Harvest)
  • Matthew 4:18  And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
    19  And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
II.    Security (Think Bundling as Sheaves are Bundled, type of placing in the Church)
  • Matt. 16:16  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
    17  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
    18  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 
    19  And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 
III.  Shelving (As Wheat is dried out before it can be sifted.  Doctrinal Teachings “Dry Out” what needs to die in us!!)
  • *Note:  Before his denial prophecy, Peter spent a considerable amount of time traveling with Jesus, witnessing His miracles, and absorbing His teachings. This period can be viewed as a form of preparatory "shelving," where Peter was being equipped for his later ministry.

    *Note:  Instances like Peter's rebuke by Jesus for not discerning divine matters (Matthew 16:23, where Peter objected to and denied that Jesus would be put to death, this immediately after the “upon this rock I will build my church” revelation),

    OR his impulsive reaction during the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:4, he wanted to build a monument instead of recognizing this was a MOVEMENT!), all signify moments of pause and correction which are needful and serve as a form of "shelving" that requires preparation, reflection and growth.
IV.  Sifting
  • The prophecy of Peter's sifting by Jesus (Luke 22:31-34) and later his denial of Christ (Luke 22:54-62) are strong representations of this stage, showing Peter's faith being tested and refined.

    Threshing: This is the step where the wheat grains are separated from the stalks. This could be seen as a form of 'crushing' as traditionally it involved beating the stalks to loosen the grains. This could be done by hand, by animals trampling over them, or later, with the use of machinery.  TESTING is OUR Threshing.
    Winnowing: After threshing, the mixture of wheat and chaff is tossed into the air, allowing the wind to blow away the lighter chaff while the heavier grains fall back to the ground.  TYPIFIES the WORK of The HOLY SPIRIT, blowing away all impurities through His movement in our lives.  Chaff is typically what is “driven away” as the wicked who will not stand a chance in the Presence of Almighty God.
    Sifting: Any remaining impurities or unwanted material are further separated from the wheat through sifting. This is typically done using a sieve (pronounced sive like live) to sort the wheat from any remaining debris.
    HEARING:  Some farmers who “Sift” can “hear” the wheat dropping through the sieve, and they know the process is complete when they can no longer hear the wheat dropping.

    *WHAT is God listening for in YOUR life? Is the SIFTING producing PURE WHEAT to the ears of our Master?
V.  Serving
  • At Peter’s restoration by Jesus (John 21:15-17), he affirms his love for Jesus three times, mirroring his earlier three denials, and is then commissioned to FEED Jesus’ sheep. This symbolizes Peter being prepared and then served into ministry to nourish others in their faith.

    Luke 22:32b “…when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

    We see then, in the book of Acts, Peter stepping into his apostolic role, preaching boldly, healing, and leading the early church (e.g., Acts 2:14-41, Acts 3:1-10, Acts 4:8-12).


  • Matthew 3:12
    The following verse is part of John the Baptist's proclamation about Jesus. John describes Jesus as one who will separate the righteous (wheat) from the unrighteous (chaff), with the latter facing divine judgment symbolized by unquenchable fire...
  • "Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
  • Jesus is Gathering His Wheat, and the process has already begun!
  • Luke 12:49  I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? 

Attention Preachers, Teachers, and all Bible Students 

I welcome you to download this sermon outline if The Holy Spirit directs you to use any of this material to help you in your personal Bible study and/or to prepare for teaching and preaching in your respective ministries.  All I ask is that you do so without any sacrifice to your own need for personal study and seeking God for yourself.  Blessings to you all. ~ Pastor Gary Caudill

NOTE:  If you are a pastor who may be interested in your own Corner Stone Keynotes platform by which to anchor all of your teachings to the KJV Bible text with digital "footnotes" as is illustrated in this page (click on Luke 22 below and scroll down to verse 31 for the complete visual / loop), contact me for more info.
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