Who Let the Dogs Out?
                                                                         [Hounds of Heaven]²

"Who let the dogs out?" literarily known as
The Hounds of Heaven². God did!  "The poet Francis Thompson brings
back one of the most well-known descriptions of the Hounds. His metaphorical epic,
The Hounds of Heaven,
describes the awakening of the Domini Canes, the Dogs of God. These hounds do the bidding of heaven, and hunt
for the souls of men, who run from truth. Indeed, the Hounds of Heaven are messengers of Heaven, seeking to run
down those who are lost".  God is seeking the remaining lost, He desires to bring into His Kingdom of God on Earth,
before the Day of Wrath commences.  The
Hounds of Heaven is a (figurative) literary expression for God's
relentless pursuit of those He believes will receive His Son as Lord, Savior, and Master.   

Apostate religious orders abound and are maneuvering to garner market share [sic], several popular evangelical
'christian television' broadcasts seem more intent on fleecing the flock of financial gifts than spreading the Gospel,
and many denominational churches are rushing in increase membership through becoming more casual and
seeker friendly, to younger generations. The faithful church should/must now be spiritually attuned to the nighness
of the Harpazo ('catching away' - 1 Th. 4:17).  The valley of decision
(3) is close at hand, and is not a place where
mankind has one last opportunity to choose between God and the world, that decision has been made before man
walks into the valley.  However, we hear many a congregant relate, "our pastor never mentions the 'rapture', so it
must not be immanent".  The 'Rapture' seems to be a sort of nemesis in many denominations, in that they believe
the congregants will stop giving their tithes and offerings, if they preach the 'catching away' is close to being at the
door.

We read in 1 Th. 5:2-3a - "
For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the
night. For when they say,
"Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them". Well then, who are
the 'them', they are the unbelieving, unregenerate, and unprepared secular humanity who are destined to reap the
fruit of God's
Time (day) of Wrath and attempt to endure the Great Tribulation Period.  They are sheeple, without a
Shepherd, who follow whatever nuevo-trend is prevalent in today's search for an existential meaning of life,
religious expression, secular purpose for being, and unbridled indulgences.  Those faithfully watching for His
appearing will not be caught off guard by "sudden destruction", when He comes for his bride-in-waiting (the
Church).   

As one visits various Christian churches, denominations, and religious enclaves it is utterly amazing how few are
even concerned with, much less in discussion, the outworking of God's endtime scriptural scenarios and prophetic
forethoughts. Expositive sermons e.g., involving Samuel, David, and King Saul (1 Sam. 8-), which never even
reference an exegesis interpretation that
God gives the people and nations the kings they deserve, are bewildering.
 To the casual observer, it appears America is in a state of mixed-denial as to its immediate vulnerabilities and
envisioned implosions, be they: financial, social-moral, religious, civil unrest/protest, and/or terrorist related.   

A reminder of recent points of reference e.g., Jimmy Carter's utter ineptness in foreign policy negotiations (Iran
hostages), Nixon's Watergate criminal break-in, Clinton's blue-dress, and W's military adventurism.  It does not
require a rocket-surgeon to discern God's hand in placing 'kings' in the White House, which America deserves, as a
consequence for her moral, ethical, religious, and governance shortcomings. Those four examples are relatively
easy in assigning blame, and measuring the aftermath of wrongful judgments and decision-making.  It is when we
come to "It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma;" (Churchill characterizing Russia) that we become
perplexed in assessing the present Executive Branch of government.  How's that
'Hopey-Changey-Thingy' working
out for most Americans?   The slogan "
yes we can" now begins to sound like, "should we allow this to happen
again
" for another four years. There is a prohibition, in many Christian denominations, to not commingle "religion
and politics", however, in these endtime-days they are becoming inexorably joined at the hip, as latent prophecies
become revealed - even if they are denied studied examination.

The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) gaggling is viewed, by many, as a sophomoric attempt to copycat a Middle
Eastern Arab Spring-type protestation (even though their objectives differ significantly). An unexpected turn in this
set of events has been the Executive Branch's apparent laissez faire posture to such a remonstrance against the
financial centers in NYC, as well as other business-orientated establishments and local government across
America.  The OWS mantra of
we are the 99% and the other one percent is the problem, has worn thin as the
'movement' appears, at the present, unable to move beyond "sour grapes" and "we are owed/entitled".  The
present feigned class-warfare rhetoric of the current Administration, its redistribution of wealth hyperbolae, gnarly
immigration policies, malingering healthcare legislation, foreign nation building, and attempts to remove God from
the Public Square have/are all contributing to America's slide down a slippery slope into a national malaise.     

America has admittedly become politically bipolar (51/49); utterly partisan, mired down in congressional gridlock,
and all but entrenched in seeming irreconcilable ideologies.  Will year 2012 usher in any significant change agents,
other than the ever-present garden-variety political elixirs, that essentially maintain the status quo?  Year 2012 can
expect to experience what has been termed "
the suddenlies" of God, and the outworking of his eschatological
timetable.  The bipolarization of America will be rudely disrupted by various geothermal, geological, fierce climatic,
quirky political, civil disobedience events and mainland terrorist attacks. America, most regrettably, is snared by
ever-increasing immigration woes, a faltering economy, rapid social/secularization, and at the present, tepid
external threats (Iran, China, and DPRK) towards our national security.  These are signs of the times
(8).

"
What a difference a day makes" ¹, and what a difference a year can make, as well.   As year 2012 dawns on
the horizon of time, we may expect it to be a seminal one, which will bring atypical and unexpected events, some
welcome and others calamitous.  The pagan/secular world is chanting the Mayan calendar prediction of world's end,
while biblical eschatologists are prognosticating great Religio-seismic upheavals in and around the Middle East,
especially involving Israel.  Biblical prophecies set out in
Psalms 83, Isa. 17, and Ezek. 38 & 39  appear to be
knocking at tomorrow's ephemeral door.

God The Father, and The Holy Spirit are preparing the bride-in-waiting [the faithful body-of-Christ, the Church] for
The Son of the Living God. There is much conjecture and speculation as to just when Christ will appear to gather
His bride unto Himself, if she is to be spared the rigors of the
Day of His Wrath(4) to come, thus a pre-tribulation
ingathering seems scripturally justified.  Whatever the time interval, we can be confident the figurative
hounds of
heaven
will relentlessly pursue those destine to be brought into the Kingdom, as well as those still requiring further
cleansing, purging, purification, and sanctification.  The times of the Gentiles (to be fulfilled) may not be too far into
the near future.
(10)

Be thankful for the Hounds of Heaven, for without Christ's faithful ministry of continued encouragement, many of us
would never make it across the threshold of the Open Door
(5), which leads to the marriage of The Lamb.  Mankind
has metaphorically immortalized literary dogs e.g., Shakespeare's Julius Caesar quotation, by Marcus Antonius,
"
Cry "Havoc!" and let slip (loose) the dogs of war", once such 'dogs' are released, there is no calling them back until
they have treed their quarry.  The Middle East is preparing for an all-out military attack on Israel
(9), and once it
commences, it will not end until God vanquishes the nefariously driven aggressors.  Without Christ Jesus as our
Lodestar (North Star/Bright Morning Star)
(6) we are but naïfs in the wilderness, listening to the howling of nature, for
God's creation is surely groaning
(7).   Fear not the hounds of heaven, for it is the proverbial lions which seek to
destroy.  "
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he
may devour
".(11)   Maranatha!

                                                      
Jon D. Hannum, Ph.D.
Amen Ministries of Austin
amen_ministries@hotmail.com
www.aamen.org

(1) Lyrics by Cullum

(2) Hound(s) of Heaven
'The name is strange. It startles one at first. It is so bold, so new, so fearless. It does not attract, rather the reverse.
But when one reads the poem this strangeness disappears. The meaning is understood. As the hound follows the
hare, never ceasing in its running, ever drawing nearer in the chase, with unhurrying and imperturbed pace, so
does God follow the fleeing soul by His Divine grace. And though in sin or in human love, away from God it seeks to
hide itself, Divine grace follows after, unwearyingly follows ever after, till the soul feels its pressure forcing it to turn
to Him alone in that never ending pursuit.- 'The Neumann Press Book of Verse, 1988.

We run from the Hounds of Heaven out of fear and avoidance of what they mean. It is easy to make a habit out of
shying away from our own truths, large and small, in the interest of preserving our own world-views. C.S. Lewis said
that he could not give advice on pursuing God, having never had that experience. 'It was the other way round; He
was the hunter (or so it seemed to me) and I was the deer. '" If one were to turn and face the terrible Hounds of
Heaven, they would be revealed not as vicious destroyers but bringers of life, ready to lead the soul back home.
The poet Francis Thompson brings back one of the most well-known descriptions of the Hounds. His metaphorical
epic, "The Hounds of Heaven," describes the awakening of the Domini Canes, the Dogs of God. These hounds do
the bidding of heaven, and hunt for the souls of men, who run from truth. Indeed, the Hounds of Heaven are
messengers of Heaven, seeking to run down those who are lost.

(3) Joel - Vs. 3:14  the valley of decision. The same as the valley of Jehoshaphat (v. 2), where God will decide
about men, not where men decide about God.

(4) 1 Th. 5:9 -  "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, .."
This verse also serves as a word of encouragement for believers. We are not appointed unto "wrath" (used
eschatologically throughout 1 Thessalonians; cf. 1:10). This text would seem to support the view that believers will
be excluded from the tribulation (i.e., the "day of the Lord" or "the wrath to come"). This position is known as
pretribulationalism and sees the church being "raptured" or taken out of the world prior to the time of God's wrath
(see chart, "The Rapture and Return of Jesus Christ Compared," 1 Thess. 4:14). Thus, the rapture of the church
and the return of Christ to the earth are separated as to their chronology and content. Though they are related
aspects of the eschaton, they must be viewed as distinct and separate events.

(5) Matthew 25:1-13

(6) Rev. 22:16 - "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and
the offspring of David, and the Bright and Morning Star."

(7)  Rom. 8:22 - We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the
present time.

(8)  Matt. 16:3

(9) Psalm 83)

(10) Luke 21:24

(11) 1 Pet. 5:8