ch11     Pilgrim's Progress Chapter 11               
Updated: February 11, 2015

Chapter 11
The Battle with Apollyon

First Read p 141-146

Christian, who entered the Palace Beautiful a weak, backward, and untrained new convert, leaves much wiser and stronger. He is equipped with God’s armor and ready for any foe. Little does he realize how quickly he will need all of the armor that he is wearing.
His friends at the Palace Beautiful escort him down the hill Difficulty into the Valley of Humiliation, where they say goodbye to him, and he is left alone. Soon, however, he is confronted by one of the most fearsome creatures imaginable. A giant figure looms across his path. The fiend has scales like a fish, feet like a bear, a mouth like a lion, and wings like a dragon. Fire belches from his mouth. His name is Apollyon.


Watch Pilgrim's Progress Scene 9 The Battle With Apollyon 6min video


At this point, review with the students the various ways in which Apollyon attacks Christian, referring as necessary to the text of the allegory.

Emphasize especially Apollyon’s
• Claim upon Christian as one of “his” subjects
• Attempt to scare Christian with tales of the deaths of Christians
• Reminder of Christian’s times of weakness and failure

Note the following lesson: Satan throws temptation in our path (e.g., the Slough of Despond, Mr. Worldly Wiseman, or the lions) and when we fall, he is the first to accuse us of being unworthy of God’s goodness! For this reason, Satan is called “the accuser of our brethren”

(Rev. 12:10).

10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:

“Now have come the salvation and the power
    and the kingdom of our God,
    and the authority of his Messiah.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
    who accuses them before our God day and night,
    has been hurled down.

Christian’s answer to Apollyon is simple: Christ is merciful and ready to forgive. Besides, “I was a worse sinner when I was under your dominion!”
Apollyon is infuriated. With rage, he straddles the road and throws a flaming dart at Christian. He screams, “Prepare yourself to die. I swear by my infernal den that you will go no further. Here I will spill your soul.”
Summarize the battle and the symbolism of the events and the weapons involved.
Following the flight of Apollyon after the battle, Christian looks to heaven and smiles. Bowing his head, he prays and gives thanks to God for delivering him from the enemy. An angel ministers to him, and soon he is well and on his way again.

The Reality of Satan (TCA 11) 1 2  3
It doesn’t take much imagination to see that Apollyon is none other than the Christian’s dread enemy, Satan. I Peter 5:8 warns, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
His Origin and Purpose
Q: From where did Satan come? What is he really like? (Discuss answers to these questions briefly before offering the following points.)
A: Satan was originally known by the name Lucifer, which means “the light bearer, the brilliant one, the shining one.” In Ezekiel 28:11–13, we discover why he was so named. The prophet says, “Take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus [Satan] and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; you seal up the sum [you are the sum total], full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.” The verses that follow describe his beauty as being as radiant as sparkling jewels.
1. He Was Created (Ezek. 28:13)
Verse 13 concludes that the workmanship of his tabrets and pipes was prepared in him the day that he was created. Verse 15 repeats this conclusion.
God alone is eternal; everything and everyone else comes from Him. Colossians 1:16 adds, “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers [a reference to Satan and the demons]: all things were created by him, and for him.”
2. He Was Created to Worship and Serve God
Satan was not created as the arch fiend and monster that he now is. As a creature of God, he was to worship and serve his Creator.
Ezekiel 28:14 calls him “the anointed cherub that covereth.” The cherubim were special angels created to bring praise and honor to God. The ark of the covenant had two cherubim made of gold covering the ark. God told Moses that He would dwell between the covering cherubim and speak to Moses from between these two cherubim, who covered the ark with their wings.
This is a picture of Satan’s original position in heaven. He was a covering cherub, that is, it was his blessed privilege to spread forth his wings about the Lord in worship and praise.
Note also that he was the anointed cherub, which indicates power and authority. Lucifer was the head of the angels. He was anointed over all of the angelic beings. He saw that the angels performed their services to the God of the universe in an orderly and complimentary fashion.
His Characteristics
Such a high position reasonably requires high qualifications. Therefore, when God created such a lofty creature, He gave him everything necessary to bring God praise, glory, and honor. Note the tools that God gave to Satan.

1. Brilliance (v. 12)
He was full of wisdom! Never has their been a wiser creature than Satan. Einstein was a fool in contrast to Satan. Satan knows more and has more wisdom of how to use that knowledge than any other created being in history.
2. Beauty (vv. 12–13)
He was perfect in beauty! He glittered and sparkled in the presence of God. God, who is light, was revealed in every possible brilliant hue as Satan reflected His beauty all over heaven.
3. Great Musical Ability (v. 13; Isa. 14:11)
Tabrets refers to percussion instruments (i.e., drums, cymbals, etc.). Pipes refers to flutes and other wind instruments. Viols refers to lutes or other stringed instruments.
Satan was equipped with the greatest musical talent that the world has ever known. He was an orchestra himself. He could sing and extol God’s glory as no other creature in history, either in heaven or on earth. He did not have to learn to play instruments; he was an instrument.
His Fall
Lucifer didn’t have to look for someone to accompany him on an instrument so that he could sing the doxology; he was the doxology! The beauty of God that was reflected through him brought praise and glory to God. He sparkled as he stood before the Lord and sang praises to His name. He was called Lucifer, “the shining one,” “the light bearer.” No other angel could reflect the glory of God the way that Lucifer did as he sang praises to his Creator.

Q: What happened? How could such a wonderful creature become what he is today? (Discuss)
Ezekiel 28:17 tells the story. (Read this verse aloud.) Lucifer said, in effect, “Why should I waste all of this beauty, wisdom, and talent on the Lord? Am I not the most gorgeous creature in the universe? Am I not the wisest? Am I not the most talented? The angels should serve me, not God!
Isaiah 14 says that Satan said, I will be like the most high God. He then led a rebellion, and, sadly, hundreds of other angels followed him.
God cast Satan out of heaven, but for some reason, He allowed him continued access to heaven. Although Satan doesn’t live in heaven today, he can enter heaven any time he pleases and accuse us of sin (Rev. 12:10).
The Determination of Satan
When Satan turned his heart against God and said, “I will be like the most high,” he meant it. He is determined to turn all creatures away from God. When God created the earth and placed man upon it, Satan immediately seized the opportunity to gain that creature’s allegiance. He entered the garden of Eden and won his first skirmish with man. As a result, all men are born sinners, estranged from God. Therefore, Satan is called “the god of this world [age]” (2 Cor. 4:4), and he uses every means possible, including the following, to keep man in subjection to himself.

Deceit (Rev. 12:9)
Satan deceived the angels in heaven. (Revelation 12:4 might indicate that Satan deceived and carried with him one–third of the angels of heaven.) He deceived Eve. Revelation 12:9 says that he “deceiveth the whole world.” Second Corinthians 4:4 teaches that he deceives the sinner. First Timothy 4:1 tells us that he sends deceptive teachers who will set up false churches.
Satan takes the truth and twists it so that it comes out a lie. For example, Satan has perverted Romans 1:26–27, which is a clear condemnation of homosexuality. In our modern American culture, however, those who call homosexuality sin are called “intolerant” and “morally wrong.” Those who promote homosexuality are called “courageous.” The Bible says “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20). The world has perverted the truth.
Satan has perverted our morals. He is teaching a new morality. As long as it feels good and both parties agree, what’s wrong with it? No one is harmed! These arguments are presented despite God’s clear teaching on the subject.
Satan also perverts the truths concerning the will of God. Some people go their merry way, heading for secular work while at the same time saying, “But if God wants me, He can have me.” That is a perverted view of God’s will! God already has you! He means for every Christian to seek to serve Him first. Every teenager should head first for Christian service. Then, if God desires and so directs, He can turn the Christian to what might be termed “secular” work. But every Christian should be giving God, not Satan, the benefit of the doubt.
Satan perverts the will of God by telling teens that if they follow God, they will have to give up too much. This type of perversion kept the rich young ruler from following the Lord. Satan perverts the will of God by telling us, “The will of God is too expensive.”
Imitation (2 Cor. 11:13–15)
Satan has fake preachers, fake teachers, and fake churches. You can always tell a satanic church or preacher; he cannot and will not consent to preach the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 John 2:22). If you’re in such a church, get out of it now; it’s Satan’s imitation, and it’s deceiving people and leading souls to hell.
Rebellion (2 Thess. 2:1–12)
Satan is determined to thwart God’s plan for man. During the Tribulation, Satan will bring his plan to a climax, introducing to the world a great leader. The Bible calls him “the man of sin,” “the son of perdition,” or “the lawless one.” During this time, Satan’s purpose will be to turn the whole world into lawless chaos. He will cause men to rebel against the rule of God. Instead, men will worship this great leader and even Satan himself!

However, Satan is not waiting until the Tribulation; he is already at work. Today, he is responsible for the rebellious attitudes of teens. He is in charge of your life when you rebel against your parents, the will of God, and the rules of your school.
Entrapment (1 Peter 5:8)
Satan does not release his subjects easily (as Apollyon tells Christian). The very fact that God snatches a sinner from Satan’s hands causes him to unleash all of his wrath against that child of God. He pursues and stalks every Christian like a lion stalks its prey. He is looking for a weak, unguarded moment to pounce on you! Therefore, the Bible admonishes us to be “sober” (serious minded) and “vigilant” (watchful, alert).
Q: When does Satan roar? (Discuss)
A: Not while he is stalking you. Not just before he pounces on you. That would warn you and allow you to escape his attack. A lion roars after his victory! Satan roars with every victory over a Christian. He wants all of heaven to hear how he has deceived you and led you astray.
Q: How often have you given him cause to roar? How often has his roar reverberated throughout heaven, telling God that once more someone has become Satan’s victim?
The Defeat of Satan
Although Satan is real and he is determined, thanks be to God, he has been defeated by the Cross and need not gain the victory over us. Christian won his battle by prayer, the sword (the Word of God), and the armor of God.
Challenge the students to be aware of Satan’s methods, to arm and equip themselves to oppose him, and to seek the Lord’s strength and discernment to give God, not Satan, the benefit of the doubt.

student work

Every Christian has slightly different experiences in life. That’s also the way it is in The Pilgrim’s Progress with Christian and his wife, Christiana. To Christian, the descent from the hill Difficulty to the Valley of Humiliation is difficult and dangerous. The valley (when he gets there) becomes the site of one of the fiercest battles he has in the course of his journey to the Celestial City.

Yet, this valley is not perilous to all pilgrims. In part two of The Pilgrim’s Progress (not included in your textbook), Christiana describes it as a fruitful place, “the best and most fruitful piece of ground in all these parts.” It consists of meadow-lands and green valleys, “beautiful with lilies; filled with sheep, and resounding with the pastoral songs of the shepherds; and its chiefest glory is, that it was the chosen dwelling place of Jesus, the Lord of all.”

But to Christian, the Valley of Humiliation is a place of awful conflict. If one studies Christiana’s experience, Christian seems to have wandered into a danger-ous part of the valley called Forgetful Green, where he is exposed to the assault of the great foe, Apollyon.

Lesson: When we get our eyes off of the Lord, and forget momentarily what He has done for us, we become vulnerable (as a defenseless lamb) to the lion (Satan), who goes about “seeking whom he may devour.”

The Valley of Humiliation

From the great heights of the hill Difficulty, Christian goes down to the Valley of Humiliation. God has both the high ways and the low ways for the Christian. The high ways encourage us to press forward; the low ways keep us from thinking that we can make it in our own strength.

Someone has said that humility is produced by a vision of God. Christian has just learned much about his Lord in the Palace Beautiful, and this knowledge humbles him because it reminds him of his own weaknesses, his own sinful nature, and his own total dependence upon God’s Help

Some people think that the man who claims friendship with the God of the uni-verse should never walk in humility. They say that he should lift his head high and feel as though he has been exalted above most other men. Perhaps this is exactly what Christian does. He steps out of the Palace Beautiful “heady.” He thinks that no one can whip him. Therefore, he soon forgets his great God. He will soon learn an unforgettable lesson.

Humility is evidenced by the following four proofs.


The first step of humility is a reverence for and a holy awe of God. At this point, Christian does not have this reverence, although he loves the Lord. His suit of armor and his new knowledge of the Word are all that he needs—or so he thinks. He will emerge from this valley with a new reverence for God.

Confession of Sin

When one reveres God in all of His power, glory, and holiness, he automatically sees his own sinfulness and begins confessing his sin. Christian has at times admit-ted his sinfulness:

1. Before he was saved, he spoke of his awful burden of sin.

2. He admitted his sin to the porter, confessing, “I would have been here sooner, but, wretched man that I am, I slept in the arbor that stands on the hillside.” However, the vision of God that gave him this attitude has now slipped from his mind.

Lowly Mindedness

• Humble souls express the thought of the pilgrim when he said to Goodwill about Pliable, “I don’t think there’s any difference between him and me in that regard.” Again, at the wicket–gate, the pilgrim is amazed that they would receive someone like him. He had truly obeyed Philippians 2:3, which states, “…but in _lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves_.”


Someone has said, “Gratitude is the flower of which humility is the root.” Christian has shown gratitude numerous times, including the following.

1. At the Wicket–Gate“What a favor it is that I’m still admitted entrance here.”

2. At the Arbor upon Finding His Lost Roll“He thanked God for directing his eye to the spot where the roll lay…. ”

3. At the Palace Beautiful“But, thank God, I’m here. Thank you for receiving me.”

• He once more returns to a humble attitude and falls on his knees after the encounter with Apollyon. What does he say that shows his humil-ity by way of a grateful spirit? _I'll give thanks right here to Him who has delivered me from the mouth of the lion, to Him who helped me against Apollyon, Therefore to Him let me give lasting praise._ And thank and bless His holy name always.”


Watch Protestant Reformation k 5 min video



Augustine said, “Well nigh the whole substance of Christian discipline is humility.” If one is to live a disciplined life for his Master and Lord, he must be humble. This truth can easily be seen when we apply the following four elements of humility.

1. If one does not revere, respect, and fear God, he will not discipline himself to follow Him.

2. If one is not aware of his own sinfulness and total need of Christ to fight for him, he will not follow the Lord.

3. If one is not lowly minded (i.e., if one thinks himself to be something great), he will not discipline himself to follow his Lord. He thinks, Why do I need Him? I can make it on my own!”

4. If one is not grateful to God for what He has done for him, he will have no motive or inward urging to follow the Lord.

Thus, Christian discipline is impossible apart from humility.


His Identity

• Read Revelation 9:11. Describe who Apollyon is according to the passage:• His position— _" the angel of the bottomless pit"

• He was king over what creatures
(Rev. 9:1–11)? _locusts who tormented men as scorpions_

• His name in Hebrew is _Abaddon_.

• His name in Greek is _Apollyon

Thus, this part of The Pilgrim’s Progress depicts a conflict with the powers of hell and with Satan himself.

His Description

The name Apollyon means “the destroyer.” Thus, we see that side of Satan that seeks to destroy the testimony, influence, and—if possible—the life of a Christian.

Describe Apollyon according to the story.

• His Clothing— _scales like those of a fish

• His Wings— _like a dragon__ indicating his speed of attack.

• His Feet— _like those of a bear_ (for softness of tread, allowing him to attack by surprise, and for strength and power to injure)

• His Mouth— _like that of a lion  to kill and to devour.

• His Breath— _fire and smoke came from his belly  representing the inner fire that burns within the breast of the fallen Lucifer.

His Tactics

• Apollyon doesn’t begin his attack with a shocking, crushing, lightning–fast blow, like the Nazi blitzkrieg of early World War II, but with tempt-ing questions that raise doubts in one’s mind. Note how he did the same with Adam and Eve in Genesis 3. What was his first question of Eve? _Yea, hath God said, you shall not eat of every tree in the garden?

• His sole purpose in asking this question was to get her to doubt God. He tries the same tactic on Christian in the Valley of Humiliation. What does he first ask Christian? _Where did you come from? Where are you going?

• His purpose is to convince the pilgrim that he belongs to him. It’s the old temptation that Satan still uses: “You’re not good enough to be God’s child. Why don’t you quit pretending. Look at all of your failures. You’ll never be like those saints. Give up and forget it. Get back to your home where you belong.” He reminds the pilgrim of his many sins as evidence that he has no business trying to act like a Christian. What sins does he recall to the pilgrim? _falling into Slough of Despond; trying to get rid of his burden in all the wrong ways instead of waiting for the Prince to remove it; sleeping and losing his roll; etc.

• Here, as is stated in Revelation 12:10, we see Satan enjoying his role as the _accuser of the brethren_. His tactic is always the same. First, he seeks to get a Christian to doubt God’s Word or his own salvation. Failing there, he flies into a rage and seeks by wrathful means to accomplish the same purpose.


Two great characteristics are prominent in Christian in this episode: his faith and his courage.

His Faith

• At first, Christian starts to run from Apollyon. This initial reaction is further evidence that he has temporarily forgotten his Lord. Still thrilled with the blessings of the Palace Beautiful, he has not “come back down to earth” and is jolted by the realization of his weakness by the sudden appearance of Satan (Apollyon). However, he soon recovers and defends his Lord against the lies of Satan. He then states boldly, “I believe that the Prince _whom I now serve is able to clear me of that crime and, yes, even to grant me full pardon for what I did in your service_.”

• Apollyon then reminds him of the hundreds of Christians who have been killed trying to follow the Lord, yet God did not save any of their lives. Instead, He let them be slaughtered! What does Christian answer to this accusation that shows his faith? _My king delays to deliver them because He’s testing their love to determine if they will cleave to Him right up until the bitter end. As for the bad end you say they come to, that’s an excellent thing on their account. They don’t expect deliverance now because they endure hardship for a later glory.

• Apollyon begins the actual attack by throwing a flaming dart at Christian’s chest. How does Christian fend it off? _with a shield_

• According to Ephesians 6:16 what does that represent? _the shield of faith_

His Courage

Christian’s courage is rooted in his faith. If he had not had faith in the power and watchcare of his God, he would not have had the courage required to face such an awesome foe.

Courage consists of the following three characteristics.

1. Resolution—A Determination to Press on at All Costs

• At the first sight of Apollyon, Christian is afraid. Yet, upon further thought concerning the greatness of his God, he “determined to _take his chances and stand his ground_.”

• We see the same resolution to go on regardless of the danger as he neared the top of the hill Difficulty and was warned by Timorous and Mistrust about the two lions. At first, he was afraid, but he determined to venture on, and eventually he got past them unharmed.

2. Fearlessness Though Afraid

• Someone has said, “Real courage is not the absence of fear but the cour-age to go ahead when you are afraid.” Anyone can move forward when he or she is not afraid. It is showing fearless conduct outwardly when one is fearful inside that is the true sign of courage. Christian frankly admitted his fear of the lions, but he pressed forward anyway. Apollyon, too, frightens Christian, yet note his fearless words: “Apollyon, beware what you do _ because I'm in the King's highway, the way of holiness_. So watch yourself!”

What brave, courageous words! And his heart was beating ninety miles an hour for fear!

3. Fortitude (Endurance)

• Endurance is stored courage. Christian—although he was wounded, flung to ground, weak from bleeding, and having lost his sword—did not give up! His courage is seen in his nimbly grabbing his sword and giving Satan a decisive thrust. What words from Romans 8 does he then quote as he wins the battle? _Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerers through Him who loved us_

• Thus, his courage, firmly rooted in his deep faith in the power of God, wins the day. “May God give you the faith and courage to stand,” as Ephesians 6:11 says, “against the _Wiles of the devil__.”

• Remember, it was by the sword that Satan fell. As we hide God’s Word in our heart, record it, and then quote it back to Satan when he attacks us, we have victory.
What does Psalm 17:4 say about this? _By the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer_

notes from the teacher’s lesson  (TCA 11)

Memory Verse #1 from Creation lesson #1

 Memory Verse # 2 from Creation lesson # 3

Hebrews (11:6) But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Memory Verse # 3 from Creation lesson # 5

1 Corinthians 13:12  Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

Memory Verse # 4 from Creation lesson # 6

Genesis 1:1–2 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”

Memory Verse # 5 from Creation lesson # 7

1 Corinthians 15:21–22

For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive .

Memory Verse # 6 from Creation lesson # 9

Romans 3:4 ....let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written:

“That You may be justified in Your words,

And may overcome when You are judged.”

Memory Verse # 7 from Pilgrim's Progress lesson ch1 Don't worry

Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say to you,do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?...

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Memory Verse # 8 from Pilgrim's Progress lesson ch3

Proverbs 29:1 Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy

Memory Verse # 9 from Pilgrim's Progress lesson ch5

Romans 3:20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

Memory Verse # 10 from Pilgrim's Progress lesson ch7

Acts 14:22 strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said

Memory Verse # 11 from Pilgrim's Progress lesson ch 9 James 1:12 

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.


Memory Verse # 12 from Pilgrim's Progress lesson ch 11

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves


application activities

1. Read C. S. Lewis’s little book The Screwtape Letters. List the various methods that the character Screwtape suggests will help his nephew Wormwood suc-cessfully tempt his Christian victim. Make another list of the practical lessons that you learn from reading this book.

2. Read, Don Hawkins’ modernized takeoff on C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters. List the methods of temptation included in that book. Then list the lessons you can apply to your own life from that book.

3. Using a commentary and a concordance, conduct a study of Ephesians 6:10–18 and share your findings with the class either orally or in writing.

4. Divide a sheet of paper into two columns. In the column on the left, list the ways in which Satan most frequently tempts you. In the column on the right, list ways by which you may resist those temptations. Include Scripture references that you can use in your resistance program.

Quiz—Lesson 11
The Battle with Apollyon
Name____________________________________________ Date ______________ Score_________

Circle the T or the F to indicate your answer.
T F 1. Apollyon tried at first to reason with Christian and thereby to convince him to return under his authority.
T F 2. After the battle, an angel appeared and healed Christian’s wounds by applying the balm of Gilead to them.
T F 3. Every Christian will have the same spiritual experiences in life.

Short Answer
4–7. List the four evidences of humility in a believer’s life______________________

Multiple Choice
Choose the best answer to complete each of the following statements.
8. Satan’s name in Greek is Apollyon; in Hebrew it is
A. Adoniah
B. Beelzebub
C. Abaddon
D. Diablo
9. Apollyon was clothed with
A. Scales like a fish
B. Leather
C. Armor
D. Fur like a bear
10. The name Apollyon means
A. Beautiful one
B. Bad dude
C. The dragon
D. The destroyer

11–15. List and discuss the five methods by which Satan tries to keep man in subjection to himself._


Lesson Objectives:

1. To establish the reality of Satan and to describe his original state and responsibility

2. To demonstrate Satan’s determination to hinder believers and to offer examples of the means he uses to do so

3. To encourage the students to resist Satan’s attacks with the realization that God has already defeated Satan and that God is in control

1. read p 141-146

2. watch scene 9 video

3. go over student work p 146-154


Student Book PDF
World view study guide

Text PDF

Video whole movie:

1st Part
2nd Part