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Christiana: The Pilgrim's Progress Part II Critique

 Satan Has No Power?

The following is a transcription from the CHRISTIANA: PILGRIM'S PROGRESS PART II Tape 3 Side B: adapted and produced by Jim Pappas of Orion's Gate, copyright 1998. (Our comments are indented.)

The King James Bible mentions the word, "Orion" three times but never in connection with a gate. Jim Pappas chose to name his business Orion's Gate. New Age writer Barry Martin reveals the occult meaning of the gateway in Orion:

"It is through the gateway in Orion that we receive the higher light...we will understand why the ancient Egyptian texts refer to Ihm-'sk and why the Great Pyramid was aligned with Mintaka (delta), Alnilam (epsilon), and Alnitak (zeta) in Tak-Orion (Orionis). These are the central threshold controls for the region of 'positive programming' used by the Elohim Lords of Light to connect the many galaxies to our Father Universe. Within our galactic quadrant, these threshold controls are necessary in coordinating celestial navigation between universes. Through the energies of Orion, the Central Threshold Control, the higher beings of Light moved across the waters of the deep." (1) (bold emphasis added)

The passage cited for the purpose of critique begins with Greatheart and his band of pilgrims in the Valley of the Shadow of Death, which is the most dangerous part of the pilgrims' journey.  

John Bunyan's original book contains only one paragraph (and no dialogue) about the lion that is referred to in the following transcription. Jim Pappas invented dialogue that promotes these dangerous ideas:

 (1) Satan does not really have any power unless the Christian believes he does 

 (2) Satan and his kingdom is an illusion...a lie!  

Note: New Age music is played throughout Jim Pappas' Amplified Pilgrim's Progress.

Background on the characters:

Greatheart is the pilgrim's conductor, or leader to the Celestial City (heaven).

Christiana is Christian's wife, who is following in her husband's footsteps to Celestial City.

Mercy is Christiana's companion.

Matthew: Christiana's eldest son.

Samuel: Christiana's second oldest son.

Joseph: Christiana's third oldest son.

James: Christiana's youngest son.

After having defeated a foul fiend. . . 

Narrator: They went therefore on, as being a little refreshed, but they had not gone far before Mercy, chancing to cast a glance behind her saw what she thought to be. . . (Mercy gasped!) a great lion stalking them from behind.  

Christiana: What is it? 

Mercy: I don't know for sure.  But methinks it to be a great lion.

James: A lion?

Christiana: Nay, it cannot be!  (lion roars)  Or can it?

Joseph: I see him!

James: Aye, as do I.  (lion roars)  And a great one he truly is.

Mercy: Oh, my heart!  My heart, I know not how much more I can stand of these frights.

Christiana: Here, have three of these wonderful pills.  They impart courage to the soul as well as healing to the body.

Mercy: Thank you.  (lion roars)  Oh!

Christiana: Hurry!

Mercy: Yes, may I have some of the juice to wash it down?

Christiana: Here.

Mercy: Ah. . .

Christiana: Feel better?

Mercy: Aye, aye.  In fact, I think that with the sword of the spirit I could engage him myself.

Greatheart: As well you could but there is no need.  He is not real.

The roaring lion represents Satan in this portion of the story, and Satan is most definitely real according to the Word of God.  Greatheart, (who is a godly man and a pilgrim conductor for many years in the real Pilgrim's Progress) is teaching the lie that Satan is not real!

Mercy: What?  Not real? 

Greatheart: In the valley of the shadow of death everything is an attack upon your imagination.  

Again, Satanic attacks are being represented as unreal imaginings.

Mercy: (lion roars) But he draws close!

James: Crouching for the attack.  If this is not real, it is close enough to frighten me.

Greatheart: Watch.  Ho, vaporous lion!  Come against the word of God if you will.  (lion roars)  Well. . . (lion roars again)  that's all that thou canst do isn't it defeated foe?  Thou goest about like a roaring lion seeking whom you may devour!  But I know thee for what thou art, and I say to thee in the name of the Lord of the Hill, depart!  (lion roars)  In the name of the Lord! 

The listener is aware that the lion represents Satan. Satan is being presented as not being real. 

James: Did you see that?  He just melted! 

Joseph: Vanished away!

Greatheart: Aye.  Remember that in this valley not everything is what it seems to be.  It had better been named the valley of illusion.  Come lads, after me. 

Satan's attacks are being falsely presented as mere illusions. The original Pilgrim's Progress (the one that is biblical) shows the Valley of the Shadow of Death as the most dangerous part of the Christian's journey. The reason it is most dangerous is because in this Valley, Satan has the biggest stronghold.  Because of the numerous satanic attacks in this Valley, the Christians who traveled it were in the most precarious part of their journey.

As they walk on, Joseph asks Greatheart. . .

Greatheart: Watch for thy feet now.

Joseph: Greatheart?

Greatheart: Aye, Joseph?

Joseph: If. . . if so many things are illusions here why must we take such care of our feet?  Are not the snares also an illusion?

Greatheart: Yes and no. 

Joseph: Yes and no?  How can this be?

Greatheart: 'Tis a paradox that cannot be explained. The snares are an illusion unless they stumble thee, then they are real. 

Satan's snares are not real unless the Christian falls for them? This is not biblical and certainly not what John Bunyan ever taught! Satan's entrapments do not exist unless they cause a believer to stumble, and then they  suddenly become real? Jim Pappas is working hard through his adaptation (perversion) of Pilgrim's Progress to make Satan seem almost harmless.

Joseph: Then was the lion a paradox as well?

Greatheart: Aye. If we had yielded to our fear of him and given him the back, he would have devoured us.  

Yielding to fear is not the same thing as prudence. The Bible says clearly that one must "flee also youthful lusts!"  This is not yielding to fear, but rather, it is putting oneself out of the way of spiritual harm. The Bible commands believers to not make provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.  (Romans 13:14)

Satan devours those who give him permission to do so, not those who have a healthy fear of God and keep themselves from giving the devil place in their lives.

Joseph: I am confused. 

Greatheart: Paper giants lad!  Vaporous lions!  Overmastering temptation.  They are real only to he who gives in to them. To the eye of faith they are nothing. 

The real "eye of faith" believes the Holy Bible and knows these spiritual entities are real and work tirelessly to afflict men physically (Job 2:1-8, Mat. 9:32, 33; 12:22; Mark 1:26, 9:17, Luke 9:42, 13:11), mentally, and spiritually. (Judges 9:23, 1 Sam 16:14, 18:9-11, Matt. 4:24, 17:15; Act 16:16, 2 Cor. 11:3 to mention only a few verses.)

Matthew: Say more.

Greatheart: Well it is just like Satan himself.  A believer knoweth that he is a defeated foe. But to the unseeing eye, he hath great power. 

And exactly how was Satan defeated? He was defeated in the sense that he no longer could make certain the whole world remained in bondage to him to serve him, forever kept from being reconciled to God. The Lord Jesus Christ spoiled the principalities and powers in this manner, but in no way were they rendered powerless to harm the Christian IF the Christian willfully (or even ignorantly) gives place to them!

Matthew: Why?

Greatheart: Because men believe him to have great power.  And therefore, behave towards him as if he were indeed some great one.  But if we can take him out from the shadows and put him out in the blazing sunlight of Christ's victory, then his power over us melts away as quickly as did the foul fiend and vaporous lion.  

The Bible declares that God's people must not be ignorant of Satan's devices "lest he should get an advantage of us."  2 Cor. 2:11. Satan will definitely get an advantage over us if we believe that he has power only if we think he has power! Why does Jim Pappas want Christians to think Satan does not have any power? 

Jesus Christ had already risen from the dead and ascended to heaven when Paul penned these words:

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world." (1 Pet. 5:8, 9)  Satan must be resisted; there is no hint in the Bible that his power is only in the mind of his enemy, the Christian.

Matthew: Ah. 

Samuel: Then should we treat all of these things as illusions?

Greatheart: As dangerous illusions.  Remember that they are illusions only through the eye of faith.  If our faith in God grows faint then our belief in the illusion takes its place and it becomes as deadly as if it were real. 

This is dangerous, tricky twisting! The propaganda promoted in this statement is as follows: If we have faith in God then demons are illusions, but if our faith in God grows faint then we will believe the "illusion" that Satan and his demons exist. If we believe the so-called illusion that demons are real, then the illusion becomes just as deadly as if it were real.  

It is outrageous that Jim Pappas is getting away with promoting these lies in his highly praised "amplification" of Pilgrim's Progress!  Satan and his demons are definitely not illusions. They are supernatural beings that work night and day in real spiritual warfare against the saints of God.  Only Satan and his followers would want Christians to think that he and his demons are not real, and are merely harmless illusions!  

Are doctrines of demons illusions? (1 Tim. 4:1); Is passing one's sons and daughters through the fire to serve Ba'al an illusion? (2 Kings 17:17); Is witchcraft an illusion? (1 Sm. 15:23), Are sorceries illusions? (9:20), Is everlasting fire, created for the devil and his angels an illusion? (Matt. 25:41) Are the truths presented in the Holy Bible mere illusions? No, but Jim Pappas obviously wants Christians to believe that Satan and his devils are merely harmless illusions. 

Samuel: Hmmm.

Greatheart: Therefore watch thy feet.

Samuel: Yes sir.

After they are led through another great "illusion," Samuel exclaims to Greatheart. . .

Samuel: I see what you mean, Greatheart.  Satan's entire kingdom is a lie!   

Satan's kingdom is a real kingdom, (or sphere or realm in which Satan has authority over) which Christians are delivered out of when they come to saving faith in Jesus Christ: "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:" Col. 1:13

Kingdom means sphere of authority. The Bible refers to Satan as "the god of this world" because he has authority over all who have not yet been delivered from his control through the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians are commanded to exercise their spiritual authority over Satan by taking up the armor of God (obedience to God is required to take up this armor) and praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.

Christians wrestle against these real principalities and powers: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against power, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Eph 6:12 Only Christians of the falling away kind pretend that Satan and his demons do not exist!

Greatheart: Aye.  Therefore, when apparent impossibilities confront us we are to go forward.

Matthew: And when we do they will melt before us. 

Beings that melt do not have to be resisted or wrestled with, do they?  As a Christian advances in promoting the kingdom of God, Satan's realm will counter attack.  That is why Christians must wrestle against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. We must actively stand in the evil day. The evil entities will not melt before us!

Greatheart: Aye.  And now. . . on with us!

Some Bible verses for this critique were obtained from Diane Dew's Bible Study Outline: Satan, Demons & the Powers of Darkness


(1) Barry Martin, The Time Spiral, (It is not surprising this article was removed from the internet. You may read this documentation at We credit this insight to

Pilgrim's Progress Critique Part 2 Christiana: Bargaining With the Devil
Main index: Pilgrim's Progress Index

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