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Lesson Eight - The Valley of Humiliation and The Tree Life


 Reading: Pp. 55 ~ 59


     In lesson Eight, we learn that we must always speak the truth and follow what is right. Never give in to what other people want you to do or think. In this lesson, Christian meets upon Apollyon, who insists that Christian must return to the City of Destruction. Christian tells Apollyon what he thinks of the city and they engage in a fight. Christian wins because he has the Lord on his side. Janna Qiao

 Main Subjects:

  1. The Valley of Humiliation, where he meets and battles Apollyon (pp. 55-59) and the Tree of Life (p. 59) where he is healed.

  2. Verses

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1. Whom does he encounter there?

    • What does this character insist on?
    • What do you take to be the significance of his appearance?
    • What does Christian reply to his claims?
    • What enables Christian to prevail in the battle that ensues? How does Christian recover from his wounds? --back to top--

  • It is in the Valley of Humiliation that Christian encounters Apollyon, a monstrous beast. Apollyon insists that Christian return to where he came from and remain under is service and threw at Christian the wrongdoings that he had committed on his journey to convince Christian to turn back. I believe that Apollyon’s appearance represents a dragon or serpent or anything that may signify Satan and all his evil ploys and attempts to turn a good Christian off the right path and onto the wrong one. Christian replies that the Lord’s promises, wages, company, and country are all better than his. He says that he, himself is the Lord’s servant and will continue to follow him. Through the battle with Apollyon, he prevails and finds victory through the love, faith, and forgiveness of the Lord our God and not falling for the temptations that Apollyon throws at him. Christian recovers from his wounds from receiving a hand of leaves from the Tree of Life that healed his wounds immediately. Emily Lu
  • In the Valley of Humiliation, he encounters Apollyon, which means Destroyer, who insists that Christian is his subject, by citizenship and by “employment” in the City of Destruction. If it weren’t for his plan to make Christian serve him further, Apollyon says, he would have “struck [Christian] down to the ground” for running away. Apollyon insists that Christian should return to his “employment,” and offers better “wages.” In addition, to persuade Christian to come back, Apollyon says that Christian wouldn’t receive any good wages otherwise, since he had committed many sins. His appearance is significant in showing the evil and strength that he represents, a hideous monster that conquers through fear. His fishlike-scales represent a tough defense; wings represent mobility; bear feet represent strength in standing strong, unable to be upset; fire and smoke coming out represent consummation and destruction; and a lion’s mouth representing a savage and devouring appetite not easily controlled. In reply to Apollyon’s claim that Christian was his subject, Christian says “I did what other thoughtful people ought to do, and that is seek for better employment.” To Apollyon’s request that Christian come back, Christian replies that he has already sworn his loyalty to someone else, and he couldn’t return to Apollyon without being a traitor. When Apollyon says that that was exactly what Christian did to him, Christian replies that that was when he was still an immature youth, that he liked the conditions of God better, and that he regarded God as able to forgive him of what he did to Apollyon. In response to Apollyon’s claim that Christian had committed many sins, Christian openly admits his sins, but says that he knows that God would forgiving and merciful and would pardon him from his sins. Thus, from there, Apollyon decides to attack Christian, and, after a fierce battle, Apollyon has a sword-less Christian pinned to the ground, about to make the last blow. As God would have it, however, just as Apollyon was about to strike, Christian nimbly picks up his sword and thrusts his sword through Apollyon to create a fatal wound, and Apollyon retreats, winning him the battle. Therefore, Christian won the battle with the help of God. This represents that, in real life, Christians can accomplish seemingly difficult things with the help of God. To recover from his wounds, Christian finds the Tree of Life, where he is healed instantly with leaves from the tree. There, he also eats bread and drinks to refresh himself, all the while with his sword drawn in case of future battles. Joshua Ma
  • When Christian reaches the bottom of the Hill of Difficulty, he encounters the character, Apollyon. This confrontation is a result of Christian’s need for humility, which he lacks (so far in this pilgrimage). Apollyon literally means “destroyer”, and it is very clearly shown that the character, Apollyon, is eager to destroy anyone who is loyal to Jesus Christ.
    • This character insists that Christian should stop being such a faithful pilgrim to God, and instead turn his allegiance toward him (Apollyon). He also supports his point by giving several examples of how Christian had previously disobeyed God.
    • What I take to be the significance of his appearance is that Christian is immediately frightened by Apollyon’s appearance. Apollyon is believed to be a representation (in appearance) of Satan. Anyhow, Christian is frightened by Apollyon’s appearance, but is later discouraged from fleeing due to the vulnerability of his “unprotection”.
    • Christian replies to his claims by refusing to join Apollyon and stays true to God. He admits his errors, but does not seek to betray God.
    • Christian was enabled to prevail in the battle that ensues by way of angelic assistance and his two-edged sword.
    • Christian recovers from his wounds through providential means of grace. From the Tree of Life. Vicki Shen
  • He encounters Apollyon, a terrible demon. Apollyon wants Christian to do more services from him, or else he would strike Christian at one blow to the ground. Since Apollyon had scales like a fish, wings like a dragon, feet like a bear, a mouth like a lion, and fire and smoke from his belly, he would represent the devil. Apollyon was like a mixture of many fierce, dangerous creatures (except for the fish.) Christian basically replies that he would always be faithful to the Lord. Christian gives Apollyon a deadly thrust with his sword, giving Apollyon a mortal wound. A hand came out, holding leaves from the Tree of Life, which Christian took and applied it to his wounds, healing him immediately. Jennifer Lee
    • Apollyon tries to persuade Christian to return to his City (of Destruction).
    • His appearance gives the thought of viciousness and abnormality.
    • Christian insists that his lord (which is the Lord our Father), is who he is destined to follow. Apollyon persists to say that this land is the best, the place where Christian should go, but Christian disagrees.
    • Christian wins the battle when he reaches for his sword. Miraculously, he reaches it and the sword enables him to make the mortal blow.
    • Christian’s wounds are healed from a hand that reaches to him with a few leaves from the Tree of Life. He places these on his wounds and is healed instantly. Janna Qiao
  • In the Valley of Humiliation, he meets Apollyon. Apollyon insists that Christian turn back and remain under his services. I think that Apollyon’s appearance signifies his evil intent to scare Christian and mislead him onto the wrong path. Christian claims that the Lord’s promises and services were better than Apollyon’s. In the battle, God’s love and forgives gives Christian bravery to defeat the evil Apollyon. His wounds were healed by a hand with leaves from the tree of life. Samuel Lu
  • Christian meets Apollyon whose appearance has scales covered throughout his body, wings like a dragon, feet like a bear, a mouth as a lion’s, and fire and smoke coming out of his belly. Apollyon insists that Christian is to do him more service to him and asks him questions. Christian tells him that he was under the service of the Lord. Then Apollyon broke out that he was an enemy to the Lord and started throwing fiery darts at Christian. Before Apollyon could kill him, Christian leapt up and thrust his sword unto Apollyon. (Apollyon had Christian on the ground while they were wrestling.) Afterwards, a hand came to Christian and in it was some leaves from the Tree of Life. Christian rubbed these leaves on the wounds and the wounds healed instantly. Michelle Lee

Verses For The Pilgrim’s Progress pgs 55-59 Michelle Lee --back to top--

  • Romans 6:23—For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  • Micah 7:8—Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.

  • Romans 8:37—No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

  • 2 Timothy 4:17—But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it.

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Last updated: October 22, 2005