(A Biblical View)
by Richie Cooley
Richie Cooley (2017)
Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International
Old Testament Scripture is taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE® (NASB), copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
New Testament Scripture is taken from the Analytical-Literal Translation of the New Testament: Third Edition (ALT3). Copyright © 2007 by Gary F. Zeolla of Darkness to Light ministry. Previously copyrighted © 1999, 2001, 2005 by Gary Zeolla.
Before getting started, let’s review a few notes that will help make sense of this booklet…
*This work mostly uses British spelling, except for the quoted material, which often employs U.S. spelling.
*Unless otherwise stated, the Old Testament quotes are from the NASB and the New Testament quotes are from the ALT3.
*“LORD” or “Jehovah” signifies the personal name of God.
The ALT3 distinguishes between singular and plural second person pronouns by means of an asterisk ().
*Divine pronouns are normally not capitalized, unless they appear that way in Bible versions or other quotes.
*Words that appear in brackets within quotes are not found in the original texts, and were added by the translators or are my personal comments, etc.
…But as I listened, I heard as if from down below in the valley the howling of many wolves. The Count’s eyes gleamed, and he said—
“ Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!” -- Bram Stoker
I. The Isle of Nod
The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells conveys the fictitious story of a man named Prendick. After some unfortunate events at sea, he ends up on a remote island, inhabited by a small number of odd-looking people. Over time he explores his surroundings and realizes that there are many hideous creatures, all of whom have been manufactured by a mad scientist. Fearing himself to be the next victim of the doctor’s experiments, he tries to flee. Moreau gives chase and is able to calm Prendick down, convincing him to return to the safer portion of the island.
The doctor then launches forth into the explanation of these creatures. They are not—as Prendick assumed—mutilated humans; they are rather animals that have been transformed into people through the process of vivisection [i.e., experimental surgeries]. (Although this was a work of fiction, it goes to show the ridiculous optimism and ignorance of a committed Darwinist concerning the simplicity of biology and anatomy.)
After talking about the subject in general terms, Moreau begins describing his first efforts at forming a human out of animals…
…I took a gorilla I had; and upon that, working with infinite care and mastering difficulty after difficulty, I made my first man. All the week, night and day, I moulded him. With him it was chiefly the brain that needed moulding; much had to be added, much changed. I thought him a fair specimen of the negroid type when I had finished him, and he lay bandaged, bound, and motionless before me…I spent many days educating the brute…I taught him the rudiments of English; gave him ideas of counting; even made the thing read the alphabet….1
On a footnote, I want to point out that the idea of turning a gorilla into a “negroid” shows another disturbing side of a typical Darwinist. Throughout the history of this pseudo-science there has been persistent racism levied against African people. Moving on…
I rested from work for some days after this, and was in a mind to write an account of the whole affair to wake up English physiology. Then I came upon the creature squatting up in a tree and gibbering at two of the Kanakas who had been teasing him. I threatened him, told him the inhumanity of such a proceeding, aroused his sense of shame, and came home resolved to do better before I took my work back to England. I have been doing better. But somehow the things drift back again: the stubborn beast-flesh grows day by day back again.
This underscored the problem that would continually plague Moreau’s work. No matter how far he advanced a beast, it would eventually revert back into something very animalistic…
So for twenty years altogether—counting nine years in England—I have been going on; and there is still something in everything I do that defeats me, makes me dissatisfied, challenges me to further effort. Sometimes I rise above my level, sometimes I fall below it; but always I fall short of the things I dream. The human shape I can get now, almost with ease…But it is in the subtle grafting and reshaping one must needs do to the brain that my trouble lies. The intelligence is often oddly low, with unaccountable blank ends, unexpected gaps. And least satisfactory of all is something that I cannot touch, somewhere—I cannot determine where—in the seat of the emotions. Cravings, instincts, desires that harm humanity, a strange hidden reservoir to burst forth suddenly and inundate the whole being of the creature with anger, hate, or fear. These creatures of mine seemed strange and uncanny to you so soon as you began to observe them; but to me, just after I make them, they seem to be indisputably human beings. It’s afterwards, as I observe them, that the persuasion fades. First one animal trait, then another, creeps to the surface and stares out at me.
In the end, Prendick is able to escape from the doomed island and return home. The novel closes with the gentle suggestion that the civilization he returns to is actually very much like Moreau’s community of animals.
This work (along with many others!) has helped further the idea that everything in the past—including religion—was simply a product of the evolution of carnal animals. We have improved and become enlightened, and so can safely leave such superstitions behind us.
A good example of how the book helped influenced bias against religion can be seen in the 1968 film, Planet of the Apes. In particular, note the similarities between the escape scene—where Heston’s character is hiding behind a funeral service which features an ape eulogizing a dead comrade—with the concept of “Big Thinks” in the novel of Wells. The drum that has been steadily beaten for the better part of two centuries now is that mankind is finally arising from his animalistic past, having become self-aware, self-capable, and self-determined.
In contrast, there has always been a sharp distinction between animals and humankind according to the Bible. Moderns are very comfortable with the idea that we’re merely spawns of monkeys. This gives us a license for our carnality and an excuse for our villainy; God however has provided a record of our origins which points in the opposite direction…
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. -- Genesis 1:26-27
The members of the Godhead created men and women to be in their image and to have dominion over all the lesser creatures. This cannot be overstated: it is absolutely vital for us to be aware of our lofty calling and our lofty origins. Whoever says man is an animal is nigh unto blasphemy. Moreover, human life has been endowed with a sanctity that is to be treated with as much sacerdotal sentiment as is possible to reasonably maintain. We are to treat human life as a Levite would treat the Ark of the Covenant.
It is equally important to understand that all races [more accurately, “ethnic groups”] of people are of exactly the same calibre. No nation or tribe lacks any intellectual, physical, or spiritual component in comparison to another. Money, skin-colour, family name, nationality—or any other such point of conflict—means absolutely nothing in the sight of God (apart from the eternal promise he made to the Jews). Does it mean absolutely nothing to us?
None of these points are being well-received by this generation. Racism is growing worse. Corporate tainting of the environment is growing worse (I’m not talking about the silly quest for “carbon,” but rather the reckless and dangerous contamination of fresh water, etc.), along with worker exploitation. Scientists treat “embryos” [more accurately, “prenatal humans”] with less respect than a child treats a box of Lego. Doctors, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies would have to check their bank accounts before deciding if they could afford to spit on a burning patient. Most disturbing of all perhaps is that the wall between animal and human is beginning to crumble in lab after lab…
In a remarkable—if likely controversial—feat, scientists announced today that they have created the first successful human-animal hybrids. The project proves that human cells can be introduced into a non-human organism, survive, and even grow inside a host animal, in this case, pigs [fittingly enough!]…
…The team created what’s known scientifically as a chimera: an organism that contains cells from two different species.
In the past, human-animal chimeras have been beyond reach. Such experiments are currently ineligible for public funding in the United States (so far, the Salk team has relied on private donors for the chimera project). Public opinion, too, has hampered the creation of organisms that are part human, part animal.
But for lead study author Jun Wu of the Salk Institute, we need only look to mythical chimeras—like the human-bird hybrids we know as angels—for a different perspective.
“In ancient civilizations, chimeras were associated with God,” he says, and our ancestors thought “the chimeric form can guard humans.” In a sense, that’s what the team hopes human-animal hybrids will one day do.2
Dare I say, I think it’s almost poetic justice that something bizarre has been going on for the last few decades in North America? The ship is steaming through very cold seas! Specifically, there have been numerous reports of strange, canine-like creatures. They are large, sometimes ferocious, and always terrifying. “Werewolf” probably isn’t an accurate way to describe them, but given our search-engine-driven world, it’s probably the most prudent way.
Join me as I seek to briefly describe what has been going on. After quickly reviewing this phenomenon, I will then seek to delve into the Bible’s only salvific duality: the Divine Messiah. I wish to leave the reader with hope in God through his Son, Jesus Christ. It is through faith alone in his punitive substitution that we can be imputed immediately with his everlasting righteousness, and thus have God’s sustaining, gracious protection against all things that seek to harass and terrify.
II. Survey of the Dogged
The mingling of the human with the canine is not a totally new concept. After all, with the enormous amount of information we have available to us these days, if you search hard enough you’d probably be able to uncover ancient depictions of people being mingled with potatoes. There are a couple of famous examples however that I’d like to draw attention to.
The first appears in one of the oldest recorded documents, the Epic of Gilgamesh from Babylonia. In this part of the story, Gilgamesh, a survivor of the great Flood, is addressing Ishtar…
There was Tammuz, the lover of your youth, for him you decreed wailing, year after year. You loved the many-coloured roller, but still you struck and broke his wing; now in the grove he sits and cries, “kappi, kappi, my wing, my wing”…You have loved the shepherd of the flock; he made meal-cake for you day after day, he killed kids for your sake. You struck and turned him into a wolf; now his own herd-boys chase him away, his own hounds worry his flanks…^3^
Readers of the Old Testament will be aware of many religious references in this short text. First, mention is made of “wailing” for “Tammuz.” It was something supposedly “decreed.”
In the book of Ezekiel, God takes the prophet on a supernatural trip to Jerusalem. At that time many from Judea had been taken captive by Babylon. This empire—under Nebuchadnezzar—had become dominant. It went to war with many kingdoms in the Middle East and North Africa.
Ezekiel was shown the various pagan practices that were flourishing in the Temple precincts among the survivors…
Then He brought me to the entrance of the gate of the LORD’S house which [was] toward the north; and behold, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz. He said to me, “Do you see [this,] son of man? Yet you will see still greater abominations than these” … -- 8:14-15
The reference may seem obscure, but Tammuz represents the backbone of an ancient pagan culture that wielded tremendous influence for a very long time. The Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary says…
In the early third millennium BC, the Mesopotamians developed the sacred marriage rite, as an essential element of their religious faith and ritual. The rite involved a priestess who represented Inanna (or Ishtar), the goddess of love, and a king who represented the dying and rising god Dumuzi (or Tammuz). This ritual was performed on New Year’s Eve and was informed by the belief that the union of gods and goddesses would increase the fertility of land, people, and beasts. In the high temple of some ziggurats was found a bedchamber in which sacred marriage ceremonies took place. This sacred “prostitution” was celebrated all over the ancient Near East for about two thousand years.4
Also from the text in Gilgamesh we see reference to grain and animal sacrifices, which also feature prominently in the patriarchal religion of the Old Testament. Of course, the most interesting aspect of the quote for our purposes is the statement, “You struck and turned him into a wolf.”
Whether a wolf or jackal—or some other canine—was originally intended doesn’t really matter. After all, no witness of modern “werewolves” would care to be adamant about the exact species that they see. I’m simply trying to underline the fact that in this very important document we already see a glimpse of pagan mythology, dogs, and people, being mingled together.
On a footnote, it’s often been stated that Nebuchadnezzar himself could have been subjected to this sort of treatment by the true God (see Daniel 4). This is slightly inaccurate. Daniel records that the king was transformed into something that resembled a bird, and not a wolf (see also Daniel 7:4). It is certainly possible though that the legend of Ishtar’s power to turn people into animals was what God drove at. Nebuchadnezzar’s idols had no such power; however, the God of Israel did.
The next popular reference I’d like to cite simply reinforces the above. In the histories of Herodotus, he states…
For the eastern region of Libya, which the nomads inhabit, is low-lying and sandy as far the Triton river; but the land west of this, where the farmers live, is exceedingly mountainous and wooded and full of wild beasts. In that country are the huge snakes and the lions, and the elephants and bears and asps, the horned asses, the dog-headed and the headless men that have their eyes in their chests, as the Libyans say, and the wild men and women, besides many other creatures not fabulous.5
Of course no one is going to take such an account too seriously, but it does underscore the prominence of such folklore. There have been many such references made of a similar import, found everywhere from paintings in Asia Minor to the strange depictions of the Egyptians. A news article published back in 2001 expounds this fact succinctly…
They were created to trigger our most primitive fears—by depicting half-human, half-animal monsters that hunted the living.
But these horrific creatures differed in one crucial way from the warped humanoid beasts that fill the high school corridors of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the werewolves and blood-sucking monsters that populate horror books. These creatures were painted by Stone Age peoples more than 10,000 years ago and represent some of the world’s oldest art.
The surprising discovery that werewolves are as old as humanity is the handiwork of researchers who have carried out a major analysis of the world’s ancient rock art sites: in Europe, Africa and Australia.
“We looked at art that goes back to the dawn of humanity and found it had one common feature: animal-human hybrids,” said Dr Christopher Chippindale, of Cambridge University’s museum of archaeology and anthropology. “Werewolves and vampires are as old as art, in other words. These composite beings, from a world between humans and animals, are a common theme from the beginning of painting.”
Chippindale’s research—carried out with Paul Tacon of the Australian Museum in Sydney—involved surveys of rock art painted on cliffs in northern Australia, on ledges in South Africa and inside caverns in France and Spain. These are the world’s principal prehistoric art sites.
Nor are they made up of crude daubs of paint or charcoal. Many were executed with breathtaking flair.6
Of course, I don’t fully buy into the “10,000 years ago” line—but I digress.
This article leads us smoothly into our next point of interest. Perhaps one of the most influential people to bring werewolves to the modern world was a gifted artist from Ireland: Bram Stoker.
He was a prolific author, but is mostly known for his classic novel, Dracula. Although this book has been seen as a source of modern interest in vampires, it often goes unnoticed that wolves featured just as prominently. Wolves are seen throughout the story as working in tandem with the vampires. Let’s look at a few examples, for they demonstrate the mingling of wolves with the occult very nicely.
The novel begins with Jonathan Harker’s journal entry, describing his visit to Count Dracula. Jonathan was working for a solicitor’s office and was supposed to meet Dracula to discuss the purchasing of land. Jonathan had to travel far to meet him; the end of the journey involved a strange carriage driver who brought him through a forest to the castle of the Count. This is where wolves first appear…
The baying of the wolves sounded nearer and nearer, as though they were closing round on us from every side. I grew dreadfully afraid, and the horses shared my fear. The driver, however, was not in the least disturbed. He kept turning his head to left and right, but I could not see anything through the darkness.
Suddenly, away on our left I saw a faint flickering blue flame. The driver saw it at the same moment. He at once checked the horses, and, jumping to the ground, disappeared into the darkness.7
This scene stretches out for a wee while. The driver keeps investigating supernatural lights (in order to look for treasure) while the wolves get closer and closer. It’s also during this scene that it becomes obvious the wolves are working with Dracula (spoiler: he is the driver). They are under his control. Once when the driver spends a while away from the carriage to investigate a light, the wolves close in on Harker. Dracula appears just in time…
How he came there, I know not, but I heard his voice raised in a tone of imperious command, and looking towards the sound, saw him stand in the roadway. As he swept his long arms, as though brushing aside some impalpable obstacle, the wolves fell back and back further still.7
Later in his ordeal, Jonathan ventures outside of his room to explore the large castle that only the Count seems to inhabit. He falls asleep, against the warning of Dracula to never sleep outside of his room. In his slumber, female spirits—perhaps demons, vampires, or both—come near to seduce him and attack him. The Count arrives just in time…
His face was deathly pale, and the lines of it were hard like drawn wires. The thick eyebrows that met over the nose now seemed like a heaving bar of white-hot metal. With a fierce sweep of his arm, he hurled the woman from him, and then motioned to the others, as though he were beating them back. It was the same imperious gesture that I had seen used to the wolves. In a voice which, though low and almost in a whisper seemed to cut through the air and then ring in the room he said,
“How dare you touch him, any of you? How dare you cast eyes on him when I had forbidden it? Back, I tell you all! This man belongs to me! Beware how you meddle with him, or you’ll have to deal with me.”8
So first we see the wolves in connection to ghost lights. Then we see that these demon-women are obedient to the Count in a manner similar to the wolves, implying that the wolves are spiritual as well. Now obviously Dracula is not historic, nor is it Holy Scripture, yet Stoker relays a lot of accurate depictions of folklore concerning vampires, werewolves, and demons.
Some of these can be seen recapitulated with contemporary wolf-men accounts. For example, the “wolf-pack” sightings from Palmyra, Maine, included many strange lights being seen in connection with the advent of monstrous canines. The case of what happened to this respectable New England couple was even featured in the Syfy Channel’s acclaimed Paranormal Witness series (albeit, the network apparently embellished some points for the sake of dramatic effect and/or laziness).
I could continue on for some time going through the novel, but it would seem a bit disproportionate. Let’s just look at one more example.
There’s often been the portrayal in movies and cartoons—and various such things—of vampires changing into bats. This is found in Stoker’s work. However, Dracula also features the Count changing into a wolf…
[The following speech is meant to be in imperfect English, spoken by a foreign doctor]…A year ago which of us would have received such a possibility, in the midst of our scientific, sceptical, matter-of-fact nineteenth century? We even scouted a belief that we saw justified under our very eyes. Take it, then, that the vampire, and the belief in his limitations and his cure, rest for the moment on the same base. For, let me tell you, he is known everywhere that men have been. In old Greece, in old Rome, he flourish in Germany all over, in France, in India, even in the Chermosese, and in China, so far from us in all ways, there even is he, and the peoples [fear him] at this day. He have follow the wake of the berserker Icelander, the devil-begotten Hun, the Slav, the Saxon, the Magyar…
…The vampire live on, and cannot die by mere passing of the time…
…Even friend Jonathan, who lived with him for weeks, did never see him eat, never! He throws no shadow, he make in the mirror no reflect, as again Jonathan observe. He has the strength of many of his hand—witness again Jonathan when he shut the door against the wolves, and when he help him from the diligence too. He can transform himself to wolf, as we gather from the ship arrival in Whitby, when he tear open the dog, he can be as bat, as Madam Mina saw him on the window at Whitby, and as friend John saw him fly from this so near house, and as my friend Quincey saw him at the window of Miss Lucy.9
Before leaving the historical section, one may wonder just where Stoker received all this information concerning ancient folklore. The short answer is that the Middle Ages were very keen on this sort of enterprise. There are many strange tales of supposed werewolves in Medieval Europe; and consequently, there were many attempts at trying to oust any suspect individuals from society. Both witches and werewolves were hunted.
It’s impossible at this point in history to really examine these tales objectively. The descriptions of medieval werewolves often sound more like a cannibalistic serial killer; yet there’s always a canine twist to the story. It’s hard to know exactly what can be believed. Just to afford you an example, the following quote comes from a Newsweek article. They featured a quiz a few years back, asking the reader to spot the difference between actual serial killers and young adult fiction. There was a description given and then an answer detailed whether the account was from the genre of fiction or of an actual criminal. One of the real serial killers featured was a medieval werewolf…
[*1) *]There’s a werewolf on the loose in the town of Dole.
Farmers have seen it silhouetted against the night sky, stalking its prey through the fields. A group of workers traveling home one evening came across it feasting on a recent kill, and barely escaped with their lives. Children are going missing, and when they’re found, huge ragged bites are left in their thighs and bellies.
The most recent victim, a little girl, escaped the werewolf. Now she’s fighting for her life, battling the wounds he left her with. And the moon is waxing…
ANSWER: Serial Killer; Gilles Garnier
In the past century or two, the idea of a serial killer motivated by lust and perversion, incapable of normal human emotions, has become well-known to the point of being almost cliché. In the 16th century, however, the idea that a man (or woman) would torture, kill and, in Garnier’s case, eat the flesh of child victims was hard to comprehend. In a pre-Nietzsche world, with God very much still living, these gruesome crimes could only be explained one way: as the literal work of the devil.
Garnier was just one of several serial killers tried—and convicted and executed—on charges of lycanthropy, or changing into a werewolf. Lycanthropy trials were held into the 18th century in some parts of Europe.
At trial, Garnier claimed the devil gave him an ointment that would allow him to change into a wolf in order to hunt his prey. Other famous werewolves, however—including Peter Stumpp, the “Werewolf of Bedburg,” whose trial became a kind of entertainment for the aristocracy—were tortured extensively before they “confessed” to transforming into a killer wolf.
Incidentally, one little girl did escape Garnier. He’d already bitten and clawed her savagely, however, and she eventually died from her wounds.10
So again, these things—and many others beside—are what have made up the legend of supernatural wolves in the past. Now, what about the present?
III. Modern Wolf-men
The era of contemporary wolf-lore can probably be traced to a single newspaper article. It was written by Linda Godfrey over 25 years ago (in December of 1991). It was republished online by the newspaper in December of 2016 to commemorate the 25th year anniversary. We’ll look at some snippets from the long article momentarily, but first let’s set the stage.
It started with a fresh spate of beastly sightings in southern Wisconsin back in the 80s and 90s. Many people from various walks of life claimed to see a very large creature which resembled a bear and wolf hybrid, laced with intelligence and hostility. Linda’s article and subsequent books helped get the ball rolling, and eventually many news and entertainment outlets would feature the story.
So here’s some of the original article…
…The rumors floated around town for two years or so before I heard them. A wolfish-looking creature that ran on two legs and had been seen around the Bray Road area, stealing chickens, eating roadkills and scaring the daylights out of locals who (sometimes literally) ran into it…
The logical place to start was the county humane officer, Jon Fredrickson. It turned out Fredrickson has a manila folder in his files marked “Werewolf,” filled with note cards detailing six or seven such “sightings.” One referred to unusual tracks, another to a hairy, pointy-eared creature seen chasing down a deer on two legs.
Another described a Burger King employee who saw a manlike creature running in mid-November. The employee allegedly said he could not believe what a fast and powerful runner the thing was.
Fredrickson’s best guess is that the mysterious beast is actually a coyote or even a wolf, both of which have been unofficially reported in the area.
There are at least two people, however, who would disagree with Fredrickson…I’ll call them Barbara and Pat…
Here are their stories in their own words:
Barbara: I was driving home one night on Bray Road, and I saw this thing on the side of the road. As I came up to it in my car, its back was to me so I saw it had ears and the whole bit. It was kneeling!
Its elbows were up, and its claws were facing out so I knew it had claws. I remember the long claws. And it was eating road kill or something, and as I drove by and I saw all this, it looked right at me and didn’t run. It didn’t get spooked or anything…
He was brownish-gray… and he had big teeth and fangs. And he looked at me. He turned his head to look at me.
It was about the size of an average man, 5-foot-7 maybe, about 150 pounds. It was holding the thing it was eating palms up, with the real long claws and the pointed ears. He had a big, long nose and a long chin, like this on this picture (she pointed to a drawing of a “werewolf” from a library book)…
Pat: It was October this year, on Halloween. I was going down Bray Road, and it was kind of smoggy out, and my front tire got lifted off the ground. I’d hit something. So I kept going about 50 or 60 feet, right before Sitler Road, and then I got out of the car.
…I walked to the end of the car, and here comes this thing, and it’s just running up at me!
You could see the chest of this thing because it was big, and it was hairy. It was fast…
The way it was running, you could suggest that it was on two legs because you could see the chest so well and it was pulsating as it was coming toward me…
It was bigger than any dog I’ve seen around here…And he had more hair…You could see the hair; dark colored. It wasn’t black, though. Long straight hairs.
Coyotes don’t get that big. I’ve seen a coyote…^11^
Right, I’ll have to leave it at that—unfortunately. Yet there’s still more to come from Linda Godfrey. As I said, she got the ball rolling and it’s picked up a lot of steam over the years. Not only has Bray Road been the subject of a plenitude of reporting, but similar cases throughout North America have been chronicled. She has detailed many of these cases in several books (published by Penguin, no less).
There was one case in particular that I found to be of chief interest. It’s a nice segue into the next section which focuses on the Bible. It comes from the book, Real Wolfmen: True Encounters in Modern America.12
This story actually predates all of the fervour surrounding Bray Road, having taken place in the 1930s. It seemed to foreshadow what would happen decades later in Wisconsin. The location this time is the place of residence for people with mental struggles.
…The pastoral St. Coletta campus probably seemed like a very safe place to serve as a security guard in 1936.
The night watchman’s main duty was to make quiet surveillance of the 174-acre grounds embellished with gardens, orchards, and religious statuary. The school’s acreage had been groomed for sacred purposes by others long before it belonged to St. Coletta. The land was dotted with ancient Native American burial mounds, and also lay only five or six miles southeast of the site that is now Aztalan State Park, famous for its mysterious, flat-topped earthen pyramids.
One evening, movement on a mound behind the main building drew the sharp-eyed watchman’s attention as he observed what appeared to be a large animal digging furiously atop the raised earth. The creature was roughly man-size, covered in dark fur, and knelt in a way that should have been physically impossible for a four-footed beast…And it fled on two feet rather than four as soon as it noticed Schackelman’s presence.
The flummoxed watchman examined the mound the next day and saw that the earth had been torn by what looked like big claw marks, with raking slashes in sets of three.
That wasn’t the only time this creature appeared within the purview of the security guard. The following night he saw it again, and had the opportunity to note many of its features in detail…
…The creature was there again, digging in the mound near midnight. This time, however, it rose up on its hind legs and faced Schackelman. It stood about six feet tall—eyeball to eyeball with the six-foot-one-inch Schackelman—and it reeked of rotten meat.
…Although it was covered in fur, Schackelman could make out powerful arms that ended in “hands” with thumbs and pinky fingers that were much smaller than the middle three digits, explaining the triple slashes in the dirt. It had a muscular torso and a canid head with a muzzle and pointed ears. Perhaps most surprisingly of all, the creature made a growling vocalization that Schackelman later described as a “neo-human voice,” and that sounded to him like three syllables, “ga-dar-rah.” The creature continued to make fearless eye contact with Schackelman, who felt he was in imminent and mortal danger. His instincts told him to pray. And as Schackelman stood there beseeching God for deliverance, the creature turned and walked into the night—still upright.
Of course one could claim to be unimpressed with such stories because there is a lack of objective evidence. It’s just one person’s account. That would be a fair recrimination, yet similar stories are told throughout North America. Many of them come from credible witnesses, who are not interested in money, and who seem very timid and embarrassed when they speak. None of the witnesses exude the typical qualities of perpetual liars. Moreover, Schackelman refused to speak of the incident except to close family; and even then, he didn’t tell his son until he was on his deathbed. I don’t believe in calling people liars simply because I don’t like what they have to say. There are no red-flag hallmarks of deception or misidentification.
Linda Godfrey continues to comment on this account for several pages. She undercovers the links to many supernatural occurrences, reporting on the possibilities without necessarily crowning a favourite.
One such line of thought involved rumours of a nasty exorcism that was supposed to have happened in the area years before. She continues by thoughtfully noting something from the Bible that had a similar ring to the word spoken by the wolf-man.
While mentioning all the talk of demons she goes on to speculate…
…It ties in weirdly with what Mark Schackelman thought he heard the creature say: “Gadarrah.”
That sound could also be spelled “Gadara”—the name of a region of ancient Judea six miles south of the Sea of Galilee. This is near where, according to Matthew in the New Testament, two men possessed by demons lived in some seaside caves used as tombs. (Other New Testament books tell the same story with minor variations.) The men were so violent that people were afraid to go near them…
…The demons speaking through the men begged Jesus to cast them into a nearby herd of pigs, and Jesus did so. The swine ran to the sea and drowned themselves…
IV. The Theanthropic Messiah
Now let’s recall the article beforementioned where a scientist was trying to justify combining animals with human beings…
“In ancient civilizations, chimeras were associated with God,” he says, and our ancestors thought “the chimeric form can guard humans.” In a sense, that’s what the team hopes human-animal hybrids will one day do.
This is the height of confusion. Pagan cultures celebrated the mingling of animals, and these religions were the source of uncanny superstitions, fears, and debauchery. The Bible doesn’t picture a literal hybrid as a guardian of mankind; rather, it tells the story of our Redeemer who was, is, and shall always be, both fully God and fully man.
Israel became obsessed with the false, pagan gods of the nations. Their disobedience eventually led the Lord to hand them over to Babylon. This empire subjugated the land of Judah, destroyed many cities, and took captives back to Babylon. Daniel was one such captive.
Daniel was a young man when he arrived at Babylon. He had a rare reverence for the God of Israel and sought to be faithful to him while in this foreign land. There are many famous stories of his heroic faith, as his refusal to deny the Lord was often a cause of friction with those around him. Without a doubt, this faithful believer must have been flabbergasted by all the bizarre idolatrous images, practices, and beliefs…
The city of Babylon was founded by Nimrod soon after the Flood (Gen. 10:8-10; 11:1-9). Idolatry was born there. Babylon reached its peak and greatest splendor in the days of Nebuchadnezzar…
It was spanned by a spectacular bridge. On one side of the bridge stood an enormous temple dedicated to Belus and filled with numerous golden idols. On the other side stood Nebuchadnezzar’s grand palace.
…In the center of the city, 150 pillars, each 88 feet high, supported the chapel of Baal. Inside was a colossal golden image of Baal…
Undoubtedly, the city of Babylon was magnificent. The renowned Ishtar Gate, built by Nebuchadnezzar, made lavish use of blue glazed bricks with molded relief figures of lions, bulls, and dragons for decoration.13
The art and literature of Babylon surely helped to colour the book of Daniel. God sometimes used the symbolism of Chaldea to depict holy truths. The best example of this perhaps can be seen in Daniel’s 7th chapter. This section begins with the prophet being shown a dream of strange creatures, each representative of world empires to come.
The first animal was a lion with eagle’s wings. This represented Babylon. As Keil and Delitzsch pointed out in their commentary…
At the entrance to a temple at Birs Nimrud there has been found…such a symbolic figure, viz., a winged eagle with the head of a man. There have been found also images of winged beasts at Babylon…These discoveries may be referred to as evidence that this book was composed in Babylon, and also as explaining the Babylonian colouring of the dream…
At the end of this parade of ghastly creatures a different scene is depicted; the throne of God comes into view…
I [Daniel] kept looking until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days took [His] seat; His vesture [was] like white snow and the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne [was] ablaze with flames, its wheels [were] a burning fire. A river of fire was flowing and coming out from before Him; thousands upon thousands were attending Him, and myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; the court sat, and the books were opened. -- 7:9-10
Having given this magnificent description of God’s holy habitation, Daniel goes on to describe someone exalted among humankind…
Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking [i.e., the Antichrist of the last kingdom]; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire. As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time. I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and [men of every] language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed. -- 7:11-14
So God shows Daniel that he will swipe away the power of these heathen kingdoms, taking the authority from these chimeras and placing it solely in the hands of the Son of Man for eternity. But who is this Son of Man?
Just as Daniel was shown comfort and mercy in the midst of his captivity, so the apostle John would receive a similar ethereal tiding. While sent to a Roman penal colony on the Island of Patmos, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared and instructed him to record the book of Revelation. The description of the Messiah in the first chapter of Revelation, when he appears to John, is one of the greatest passages in the Bible to boldly declare and portray the divinity of Jesus.
After an introduction which places the Christ alongside the Father and the Holy Spirit (verses 4-6), he then appears to John in person. The sketch of his glory is incredible. We’ll just look at the first four verses. The following is my own translation (as are the subsequent passages from this chapter), based upon Maurice Robinson’s Byzantine Textform…
And I turned there to see the voice which was speaking with me; and having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands. And in [the] midst of the seven lampstands [was one] resembling [the] Son of Man, having clothed himself [or, “having been clothed”] in a full-length robe, and having been girt around the chest [with] a golden sash. And his head and hair [were as] white as white-wool, like snow; and his eyes [were] as a flame of fire. And his feet [were] resembling bronze, as in a furnace having been fired; and his voice [was] like [the] sound of many waters. -- verses 12-15
Notice what the Holy Spirit was expressing to John. Jesus Christ is depicted here as a combination of the two exalted figures from Daniel 7. Remember the above passage…
I [Daniel] kept looking until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days took [His] seat; His vesture [was] like white snow and the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne [was] ablaze with flames, its wheels [were] a burning fire.
The “Ancient of Days” clearly is meant to be a description of Jehovah God. Similarly, Jesus Christ is said to have hair that is blazing white. Moreover, instead of having a burning throne, the fire of the Messiah is coming forth from his very eye-sockets.
Yet John says he is also resembling “[the] Son of Man.” This is a reference to the second cited portion of the vision from Daniel…
I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and [men of every] language might serve Him.
Now there is a bit of a debate as to how to properly translate John’s phrase, “son of man.” It could be as I have it, “[the] Son of Man,” or it could simply be, “a son of man,” or, “a son of humanity,” etc. After Daniel published his prophetic book, believers seized on the prophecy concerning this “son of man,” and it became a Messianic title. Paige Patterson in the New American Commentary series says…
Though the “son of man” title has been much debated as to both its origin and its significance, clearly Jesus used the term to describe himself (Matt 8:20; 9:6; Mark 2:28; Luke 21:27). Undoubtedly John, through his use of that terminology here, intends to identify this Son of Man he now beholds as the resurrected, glorified Christ.
Furthermore, the similarity of what follows as a description of the “son of man” with Daniel’s rehearsal of his own encounter with the Ancient of Days (Dan 7:8-14) is arresting. The author of the Revelation is giving notice of an exalted Christology, which is the warp and woof of the book of Revelation.14
This is how the title is used in apocalyptic writings which post-date Daniel…
In subsequent Jewish literature, the “one like a son of man” from Dan. 7 becomes quite active, appearing to be a development of the static image who is “given authority, glory and sovereign power” (Dan. 7:14). In 1 En. 37-71, a text that dates from the last half of the first century BC to the first half of the first century AD, the “Son of Man” is seated upon his throne and will judge “the kings and the mighty” who have persecuted faithful Israel (46:4-8; 62:5). At that point, the faithful ones (i.e., the holy, righteous, and chosen) will be formed into a new congregation…^15^
In addition, just as Daniel’s “son of man” features him being shrouded in clouds and testifies that all nations will be answerable to him, this is the very description John uses before recording the above theophany…
Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him (even [those] who pierced him); and all the peoples of the earth will smite [themselves in grief] on account of him… -- Revelation 1:7
It’s clear that Daniel is describing two figures who are really one. It’s not that the Father is just a figment of theology’s imagination; rather, Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and yet also represents the Father in physical form. After all, Ezekiel (another afflicted exile blessed with visions of God) saw Jehovah God enter into his Temple during the Messianic Age, and the portrayal sounds familiar…
Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing toward the east; and behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the way of the east. And His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory. -- Ezekiel 43:1-2
I could go further with all this, for to provide a more complete picture of divine appearances the Christ as Angel of Jehovah inevitably should be discussed at length (including the consideration of Revelation 1:16 and 18:1 alongside Ezekiel 43:2, just for starters); yet I’ll forbear, as that’s not really the focus of this writing. The focus is simply to demonstrate how God lifts us up to dizzying heights, as opposed to modern science, which is hell-bent on dragging us down.
All around us scientists want to corrode or explode the barrier between humans and animals. Scientific philosophers want to give animals legal rights on par with humans, while scientific practitioners want free reign to combine the DNA of people and beast. God however did not take unto himself the form of an animal, but the form of a man. He doesn’t want to drag us down to wallow in more primal selfishness and brutality, but seeks to raise us up to the heights of his throne. This is why Jesus Christ is described in Revelation 1 as…
… The one loving us and who bathed us from our sins in his blood; and he made us a kingdom—priests to his God and Father… -- verses 5-6
Civilization is sinking, with their being the exponential increase in violence and malice at every turnaround; Jesus rather suffered violence to his own flesh to lift us from such beastliness and give us a portion in heaven’s eternal priesthood. All we have to do to receive the gift of forgiveness and transcendent beneficence is to cry out to God in repentance and faith. We must repent of having sinned against him and must have faith that Jesus Christ died for these sins. Not only so, but when we embrace the Lord Jesus through faith, his perfect standing is imputed to us. In the sight of God we are righteous and accepted eternally, despite being miserable sinners. (I want to particularly stress the fact of imputed righteousness, for I’ve come to realize this doctrine is being attacked in a major way; be wary of such things as the “New Perspective on Paul,” and its greater and lesser advocates [such as N.T. Wright and Paul House, etc.] Through the Gospel we are made heavenly creatures…
See what great love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God! [cp. Gal 4:5-7] For this reason the world does not know you*, because it did not know Him. Beloved, we are now children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we will be. But we know that when it [or, He] shall be revealed, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is! -- 1 John 3:1-3
V. Messianic Comfort
So what about these wolf-men? What do I think is going on? In short, I think it’s divine judgment. Reputable people are seeing things that can’t be explained through modern materialistic approaches. As a society we’ve gone full steam ahead away from God and are adding to the icy depth of our apostasy each and every day. God therefore is allowing the demonic world to rumble in order to remind us of our humble place in the universe. He is reminding us of our tremendous need of his protection and power.
Also, these wolf-men prove the failed theory of philosophical evolution. Recall what I wrote at the beginning, how works like The Island of Dr. Moreau and The Planet of the Apes (68’) like to pretend that religion is nothing more than childish ignorance that we’ve grown out of, thanks to our scientific sophistication. Yet the wolf-men pose a challenge to this paradigm. If the people in the Middle Ages (even though surely they took matters to a silly excess) weren’t wrong about werewolves, where does this leave us? If the ancients actually had good reason to fear hairy demons and we’re coming to the place where we realize that we shouldn’t have laughed at them and discredited them so quickly, could society also be just as wrong about the omnipotent God and his heavenly hosts?
In the end, there’s an increasing amount of things to be frightened about in the world. Indeed, it’s important to understand that—as with UFOs—demons have the power to do things physically; people are often surprised by this. There is a notion that spiritual creatures are all like mirages and can’t really have any physical effects. This is wrong. It’s obvious that normally the spirit world is physically passive, yet angels in the Bible were able to eat dinner and grab Lot by the arm.
If you study the Bible you’ll read about fallen spirits and demons with tremendous power. Yet it’s also very clear from these Scriptures that these creatures are in complete subjugation to God. Thus, if you have God on your side, you have absolutely nothing to fear from even the most hideous monster in the night…
And when He came to the other side, to the region of the Gergesenes [this is the same general region as Gadara, and is a manuscript issue ], [there] met Him two [men] being demon-possessed [or, oppressed by demons] coming out from the tombs, very fierce, with the result that no one was able to pass over by that way. And listen! They cried out, saying, “What to us and to You [fig., What have we to do with You], Jesus, Son of God? Did You come here before [the] time to torment us?” Now [there] was at a distance from them a herd of many pigs being fed. So the demons began calling on Him, saying, “If You cast us out, permit us to go away into the herd of pigs.” And He says to them, “Be going!” So having come out, they went into the herd of pigs. And look! The whole herd of pigs stampeded down the steep bank into the sea and died in the waters. -- Matthew 8:28-32
“Animal rights” activists have often looked upon this passage with horror. If this really happened, then why did Jesus allow the destruction of all these innocent animals? Well first of all, they’re animals, and aren’t either innocent or guilty (I’ve often wondered why vegans are allowed to eat plants, since they too are evolutionary kin according to Darwinists). Second of all, we see here a tremendous demonstration. If we find it acceptable to test the effects of chemicals or surgical procedures on animals, then likewise we have such a great test here. Jesus Christ demonstrated to us the reality of demons (for people could always say that Biblical demons were nothing more than mental illness, but this wouldn’t explain what happened to the pigs), and also demonstrated to us their destructive nature. They want to drive all life to the pit of death.
Finally, I encourage you not to be like the people of Gadara. Even after they were rid of their demonic pests, the beastliness of their sinful heart was just as menacing as ever…
Then the ones feeding [the pigs] fled; and, having gone into the city, they reported all [things] and the [matter] of the ones being demon-possessed [or, oppressed by demons]. And look! The whole city came out to meet Jesus; and having seen Him, they implored [Him] that He would depart from their borders. -- Matthew 8:33-34
These people didn’t really want saved. They preferred destructive demons to Jesus Christ. The world is as Gadara, and the pigs are as the hoards that will soon run headlong to the battle of Armageddon. Be saved from this wicked generation! As many writers from every walk of life have warned, man is never truly self-aware, self-capable, nor self-determined…
In a solitude of the sea
Deep from human vanity,
And the Pride of Life that planned her, stilly couches she.
Steel chambers, late the pyres
Of her salamandrine fires,
Cold currents thrid, and turn to rhythmic tidal lyres.
Over the mirrors meant
To glass the opulent
The sea-worm crawls — grotesque, slimed, dumb, indifferent.
Jewels in joy designed
To ravish the sensuous mind
Lie lightless, all their sparkles bleared and black and blind.
Dim moon-eyed fishes near
Gaze at the gilded gear
And query: “What does this vaingloriousness down here?” …
Well: while was fashioning
This creature of cleaving wing,
The Immanent Will that stirs and urges everything
Prepared a sinister mate
For her — so gaily great —
A Shape of Ice, for the time far and dissociate.
And as the smart ship grew
In stature, grace, and hue,
In shadowy silent distance grew the Iceberg too…^16^ -- Thomas Hardy
1Wells, H.G. Complete Works of H.G. Wells. Hastings, East Sussex: Delphi Classics, 2015. (from chapter 14)
2Erin Blakemore. “Human-Pig Hybrid Created in the Lab—Here Are the Facts.” www.nationalgeographic.com; January 26, 2017.
3Sandars, N.K. (Translator). The Epic of Gilgamesh. London: Penguin Books, 1972. (pg. 86)
4Longman III, Tremper (Editor). The Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Publishing Group, 2013. (pg. 1006)
5Herodotus. Complete Works of Herodotus. Hastings, East Sussex: Delphi Classics, 2015. (pg. 307; from book 4)
6McKie, Robin. “Stone Age man’s terrors still stalk modern nightmares.” www.theguardian.com; November 25, 2001.
7Stoker, Bram. Complete Works of Bram Stoker. Hastings, East Sussex: Delphi Classics, 2014. (pgs. 430-431; from chapter 1)
8Ibid. (pgs. 452-453; from chapter 3)
9Ibid. (pgs. 629-630; from chapter 18)
10Gagnon, Jilly. “Quiz: Young Adult Fiction? Or Real-Life Serial Killer?” www.newsweek.com; October 11, 2015
11Godfrey, Linda. “Bray Road sightings: Monster or mirage?” Walworth County Today (gazettextra.com). Reprinted: December 18, 2016.
12Godfrey, Linda. Real Wolfmen: True Encounters in Modern America. New York: Penguin Books, 2012. (pgs. 13-22)
13Phillips, John. Exploring the Book of Daniel: An Expository Commentary. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel Publications, 2004. (pgs. 78-79)
14Patterson, Paige. The New American Commentary: Revelation. Nashville, Tennessee: B&H Publishing Group, 2012. (pg. 45)
15Longman III, Tremper (Editor). The Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Publishing Group, 2013. (pg. 2658)
16“The Convergence of the Twain.” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/47266; (Accessed: June 2017)