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BROKEN IFs and BREACHING THENs
Environment News Service, March 19, 2002
The Larsen B ice shelf is not the only thing which is being broken. Regions of the giant Ross ice shelf, says Scambos of the University of Maryland, "are just a few degrees Celsius away from being overtaken by the same processes that have destroyed the Larsen." Should this occur, says the Environment News Service, in a March 19 2002 report, "it has the potential to release ice equal to a five metre (19 ft) sea level rise", citing Scambos once more.
Such reports have been proliferating in the past weeks, right to the present.
The report indicates that the affected Antarctic region has warmed 2.5 degrees in just 50 years, and that the Larsen B shelf in particular, on their view, has been reduced "to a size not seen for some 12,000 years" - that, it is some ... cycle!
If icy environment may be said to be hotting up, this is it, in time span and temperature rise! This is allied, according to the report, to the fact that evidence has been found that "warming of the ocean below floating ice" when it is "even one of two tenths of a degree" makes "a significant difference."
Some of the mechanisms for acceleration are shown in the document.
To be sure, the ice which is already floating does not raise sea levels, but its rapid removal is significant. Why ? It is for this reason: to the degree the icy outpost of the land acts in its impacting, surrounding like a skirt the continent and like a hand the outflows, then it might stop or restrain glacier entry into the ocean. When however the glacier derivatives are no longer so restrained, but rather come to be released into the ocean, this input might well raise it. It is like a stopper from a flask. It is not so significant as is its stopping capacity. Remove it and there is a result that may be entirely disproportionate.
To lose the 'ocean frontage' is a release for glaciers that could spell the global oceanic rises*1. So prodigious are the figures for the ice concerned, that the result above, in feet to which the world may become liable, while in no way defining a flood (which incidentally is divinely excluded - II Peter 3), would constitute a massive input into coastal city areas, of which the world is possessor of many. As to these, they are both significant and large.
With this, even in a far smaller degree of result, there is the normal type of heat action and tempestuousness which has been shown not a little already; and if the heating indeed proceeds as so many believe and warrant, seeking scientific polices from governments as a result, and citing cumulative evidences, then the water and the energy combined look like increasing the already difficult situation faced by many. Tempests and cyclones are not now small; increase may become a peril accentuated by man's love of the seaside city.
But though this is an interesting symptom, it is merely part of a global syndrome.
Consider the time of Christ, when it was only Jerusalem which was to be destroyed (where they actually slew Him, Luke 19:42ff.), and only Israel which was facing early exile (in terms of Leviticus forecast of the results of successive vagrancies and rebellions, the slaughter of their own King, incarnate God, being the utmost possible).
What were the projections, predictions then ?
WHAT IF it had NOT been predicted that Jerusalem would be destroyed to the uttermost ? or had not been asserted that the slaying of Christ was just a beginning to the horrors to come (Luke 23:28-31) ? … or that the world would degrade, if left to itself, to the point of auto-destruction (Matthew 24), or that its numerous false christs would molest it spiritually, its teams of false prophets delude it grossly, or even that these would be not least from among the very people calling themselves churches (as in II Peter 2) ?
What if it had NOT been predicted that Israel would kill Christ, or the date predicted had been out by centuries, instead of being precise ? What if it had been prophesied that He would of course be received, and that Israel would thus be commended and prosper ? (Cf. SMR Ch. 9, esp. pp. 886ff.) From Moses on, the facts are the opposite, for these were the VERY predictions extensively and repeatedly made; and in history, the events which in fact came, these cohere with the prediction like hands being clasped in greeting. Welcome history, you have been most obedient, though your course is not blessed, but the product of foreseen sin!
WHAT IF, indeed, it HAD been predicted that the world would become safer, and better, more moral and more thirsting for the living God, would become a place of dreams fulfilled, glory expressed, in its own right and by mere human power, that the Jews would stay where they were, or GO and NEVER COME BACK! But nothing of this was predicted, not at all. What WAS predicted is precisely, constantly, and before our eyes in this century, coming as it was spoken by Christ, as earlier by the prophets who were sent before He Himself should come, these indeed giving the data and details of what HE would do WHEN He came.
All of these things are now abundantly fulfilled, so that not one jot or tittle has ever been shown amiss, of the enormous scope of the specific data given.
Even our vast Antarctic meltings and their potential, the Pacific Island troubles over rising waters, the feast and fiesta of global warming indications (see esp. Pitter-Patter ... Ch. 6, esp. *3), the vast international pressure to REDUCE EMISSIONS - resisted so vigorously by the USA, for example, because of the peril to the results of ozone depletion, including of course cancer: all of this is just part of the scenario. Thus Luke 21:25 takes it a step further, showing what is to come, the very thing feared by large numbers of scientists, and reluctantly being admitted by more, as more symptoms follow relentlessly, remorselessly. There we see what many have, in various ways in Pacific Islands, in enormous storms seen happening already in part; but it will rise to further heights.
WHAT IF, instead of increasingly evincing an irrational passion for death, in murder, suicide or other violence (cf. Revelation 6), it had been predicted that man would become more stable, that spiritual graces would grow like flowers on a well-established bush, that his torrents of wars would subside, that his efforts for peace would be blessed, all without the return and rule of Christ ? But this was not predicted, not a bit of it. On the contrary, what was predicted in all these things was just the feckless recklessness, the inveterate squabbling, the international tensions in a realm of psychological fear and distress, as both Luke and Matthew so clearly outline (21, 24 respectively).
WHAT IF it had been foretold that the Middle East would become a thing of beauty, the peaceful place to commemorate the region of the Saviour's wonderful act, His strange act of self-denial and mercy that makes infinity a thing to be sought for, to begin to comprehend it ? What if it were foretold it would enshrine the power of God in the peace of Christ ?
Nothing such is found, but most profoundly, the exact and entire opposite. In Zechariah 12, you see, as in Ezekiel 38-39, in Micah 7 as in Isaiah 66, as shown each in its place (cf. Ch. 3 above, references), that there is to be a succession of enormities, a travesty of tragedies, as if they cannot because they will not stop, lust and licence, war and destruction, inhabiting the globe like close friends. It is precisely so.
It is more than that, the mounting grotesqueness of false religions and implacable hate, hopes of some glory from murdering Jews and the like, all points to what is still to come, including Armageddon (Revelation 16), and the war (Rev. 19:19) against God Himself. It broods like a schizophrenic in his downward moments, unlustrous, unlively, dark and gloomy. It is like a mood swing, that knows no UP!
So it was to be; so it also is.
Thus when President Bush declares that Israel MUST stop doing (what in fact he is doing), namely continuing to seek after the lairs of the terrorists which afflict that nation, he is adding fuel to it all. The intention may be other; but the thing is inconsistent. The terrorists qua terrorism, are not different. (Cf. Ch. 1 above, where the concept is analysed.)
The flares multiply, the needs proliferate, the passions continue, the disregard of Israel is increasing as the flames of terrorism lead to more intensity at its immensity. What appears to be driving much of it ? The USA MUST not be further hurt; the Moslem alliance MUST be pursued. If so ? then there are as always results in the wing. In that case, Israel ? it MUST be subdued ? It is a matter not of terrorism ? oh quite! It is just a question of bombing people in pizzerias, in buses, children, infants, in droves, two a day incidents if necessary, in depth, in breadth, by the sea, on holy days, constantly, that is all. So Jerusalem as predicted is a heavy stone, and who can lift it ? Only the truth can make it other; and as to that, ALL Parties have to learn it, its integrity, its spirit, its peace and its reverence to the word of God.
Since they WILL not do that, since passion in false prophets and passion for security alike, can make people move astray, then the conflagration to come in that area, is being blown by many winds. So it was to be; and so it is. The red heart of blood-thirstiness, the dead heart of programmatic unenlightenment, these continue their unmitigated romance, the most sordid perhaps of all romances, and its offspring, they are better not seen!
WHAT IF it has been foretold that the Church would become a stable entity, free and void of all invasion, disloyalty, insurgencies, fraudulent pretences ? What havoc with the facts that would have created, since the inglorious follies of sects, from Romanism to the multitude which seems ever to grow in distortion of the biblical premises and promises, is in its increase, a symptom of our tumultuous Age! (cf. II Peter 1, II Timothy 3, I Timothy 4, Matthew 24, Jude, Acts 20:28).
WHAT IF, on the other hand, it has been predicted that there would be no church, that faith would become absent in the Body of Christ (Romans 12 specifies it thus, for the church's designation), that it would fall ? This too would have been falsified, for though the huge and financially significant ecclesiastical powers are tending to go astray, with this compromise, that rebellion, the other adaptation of the Bible to their own requirements (cf. Stepping out for Christ Ch. 1, and see Unity in index), and their name is legion, yet the continuation of Bible believing Christians, ready in this Age, at any cost, against all foes, despite all ridicule from the religiously rioting, as was Noah's lot before the flood, is as surely attested as is their suffering.
All this was to be, and when you compare Revelation 12:11 with the Russia of the greater part of the 20th century, and the China of its last part and of this century, to mention no more, there is a parallel that is like railway lines into the distance. They pay; but they stay. Thus is Christ's attestation of Matthew 16 being fulfilled at cost, continually. The rock is Christ (I Corinthians 10:1-4, Psalm 62, Deuteronomy 32), and there is no other. Faith in Him as Lord and Saviour remains the criterion. Christ Himself as so believed in, precisely along the exemplary lines of Peter, is the ground and being of the saving faith which leads to the knowledge of God and eternal life. Nothing moves the rock, or what is upon it. What is not upon it, is moved already (cf. John 3:18-19).
ALL of that IFs which could be imagined, the things that MIGHT have been inaccurately predicted, and were not, these lie broken. None, not one can be invented even by the most febrile imagination, to show ANYTHING which might have been predicted which does not fail, when it breaches the facts, to find equally a place in the Bible. Make it wrong, and it did not happen. Keep it right to the text, and it does.
ON THE OTHER HAND: keep to it, and it does. This is that text, the Bible, exhibiting its force: all the things predicted come inexorably. They do not spare. They come with the assurance upon which disbelief must yet focus; for once they were there in the text (and they are so till this day; but now they are facts. History may choke, but facts they are and have become. They breach this world's peace. It cannot stay for man minus God. The words effect movement among men: it is the provison for folly, like bacterial infection when the virus is done. Have the infection, and then face the facts: results can accrue. Without mercy, what else would they do!
These DO accrue, until their acme is reached at the time when the "man of sin", that bloated egotism, that arrant humanist who cannot even distinguish between himself and GOD, "as God in the temple of God showing himself that he is God" (II Thess. 2).
is to come; but much of its type has come, Hitler and Stalin not least,
with Mao in their grandiose absurdities and crude philosophies.
And that ? The return of the slain Prince of peace, whose masterful wisdom ensured that what seemed tragedy, became triumph, in that the death, being predicted, has purpose and point, to allow HIM to constitute an availing offering to cover sin, having it instead imputed to Himself. This coming return, so clearly announced in Acts 1:7-11, as in II Thessalonians 1 and 2, Revelation 19, and Matthew 24, is going to give the world a taste of truth.
Even where it continues without taste FOR IT, it will find the taste OF it.
Psalm 2 is full of the situation to come. God is loving, but not lost; it is man who is lost. The loss of Christ is the loss of peace and power, wisdom with truth, for as many as consent to His despatch by despatching Him from their own hearts in His saving, God-restoring capacity. It is this however that provides hope, and has assured end for those who so receive the pardon and provisions of the living God; but there is no hope for the alienated world, which apparently would rather die than accept. Die ?
This it will of course do (Isaiah 51:6, Matthew 24:35), but not until righteousness reigns and truth rules before its very face, however much it is now averted (Habakkuk 2:14, Psalm 73, Revelation 20, Psalm 67, Psalm 2, 110, Isaiah 2, Micah 4 and so on). Some seem excessively tender on this divine intention*2, so multiply stated in so many manners; but the LORD is not mocked, and if man cannot because he will not find the peace and purity of truth in this world, being rather inclined to follow the fashions and passions of his inner being, and social aggrandisements, of his empty visions and ludicrous philosophic mannerisms, then GOD WILL SHOW IT.
Yes, it is shown already, but only where suffering mounts as one on wings, and truth being assailed, responds in more depth, peace being rifled is yet from infinite treasures restored to those who will receive it, and joy, though immersed in the tar of sordid unspiritual lusts, wells up where it belongs, in the hearts of those who know God, and would happily see this world depart, since it is bent on its own corruption, rather than miss one moment with the Lord. HE it is who made it, made man and made peace, having published it, which man seeks to sever. He may do it consciously, or merely stubbornly, in dire determination not to ‘yield’, as if a flower would not yield to water and fertiliser!
So be it: but remember this, that the last BREACH comes in the heart and soul of man. The world is to be judged, of course; but so is the individual - the nations, but also their citizens (cf. Matthew 25, Acts 17:31). There is no escape. It is not a flood this time, but a fire; yet far worse than the mode of the predicted end of this world, to come later than the end of this Age, because of the return to rule, first of Christ personally (as in Acts 1, Zechariah 14), is what affects each individual.
Very well: the structure goes, but what of the participants ? The stage is to be withdrawn, but what of the players ? The action is to stop, but what of those who cannot stop, being seized by woes intolerable, passions immiscible with peace ? These all find their place. If it seems lugubrious to mention the ultimate environment of predatory pollution, internal insistence on disloyalty to the Maker, and divorce from His ways, then it is still necessary.
Hell must be understood, to be sure; but it is still coming. It is to be realised that the worst feature is the objective contemptibility of its denizens, sinning, as if this were not enough in their self-oriented ways, and also sinning in their remorseless refusal to come in repentance, to objectivity from the delusions of mis-spent imagination. Judgment is according to truth (Romans 2). The truth, when it is not your friend, does, will and must hurt. It is not so bad to suffer; but if it is in the pangs of truth that you do so, because of your wilful perversion of purity, in heart, in spirit, or in body, what then ?
the final THEN breaches, the wall is broken: and stubbornness
in the face of the love of God and His righteousness, becomes the unlovely
commemoration to a living tomb.
IF IT STOPPED NOW, IN JUSTICE,
JUDGMENTS WOULD RESUME
Interesting, in addition to the recent report, in a reflection from the INSURANCE industry, found in The Australian, March 20-23, 1997. Britain's Assistant General Manager of General Accident, Dr Dlugolecki is reported to this effect, that "the insurance business is still reeling from a series of financial shocks from natural disasters and it was getting more difficult to dodge the conclusion that this was because human activity was having a malign effect on traditional weather patterns."
He cited, amidst the arguing factions, that scientists on the "United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change" were of the view that "human influence was now clear, and governments must unite to stop it."
This has led on to the various international endeavours to propose new standards for emissions of the gases adverse to the continuance of the ozone layer, to President Bush's insistence on special consideration and a different METHOD of meeting the crisis, and displeasure from the many other nations involved in the Kyoto Accord.
Dlugolecki conceded that the question of changing weather PATTERNS was being argued, yet this is merely one component of the changes being measured, itemised and described (as in *3 above).
The view expressed in this way, in 1997, is interesting because of later developments. The finding attributed to the UN IPCC was that "increased temperature would cause havoc with the climate"; and it was in view of this that it sought to reduce emissions. Melting polar ice would raise sea levels, submerging low-lying areas, Traditional agriculture would be severely affected by untenable temperatures and severe storm frequency. The insurance expert, sensitive no doubt through loss, pointed to "a series of monster storms over the last 10 years, including an unprecedented hurricane in south east England nad north-west France ... " The cost to insurers was listed US $2.5 billion, Hurricane Andrew in Florida costing US$16.5 billion in 1992, and Hurricane Opal, in 1995 #US2.1 billion.
Also cited is the head of geoscience research at Munich Reinsurance, Dr Gerhard Berz, whose conclusion was that disaster loss would continue to rise drastically in dimension and frequency.
The problem was deemed to be compounded by increasing global population, and increasing concentration of people and commercial values in select spots.
His assessment in view of the varied inputs ? "It is to be feared that climate change will produce in nearly all regions of the world new extreme values of many insurance-relevant parameters that will lead to natural disasters of unprecedented severity and frequency." While some might over-state the case, yet he declared the insurance industry under threat from the changes attested; for in fact (as noted also by Professor Scambos above), small changes, as current in the Antarctic, and measured, can (and there do, for example) for good reason, have large effects!
The reluctance, occasionally met in these areas, reminds one of the days when tobacco companies were making the most preposterous counter-claims relative to the evidence. All sorts of complexities may be indulged in, when the reality is that even measured heatings do not arise from small causes, when a whole continent is visibly at stake! Nor do widespread and consistent findings in many fields, come by some sort of perversity in Nature. The pattern proceeds, the ice melts, the rate amazes some, the results are declaring themselves, rather as lung cancer did, and they do not go away. Rather, as attested in the Antarctic, the fields are becoming more normal, when found in the range of the abnormal. That is the way of the thing.
When that happens, it is time to re-define normal: in this case, not from the past, but from the present! It is safer that way... although for quite other reasons, the future is NOT safe. How could it be in any case, whatever the weather, the wars, the diseases or the famines! It is never safe to perform rearguard actions against God, which is the cause beyond all system, of the deformities permitted in this and that, making this present world a threat to itself and its denizens. It provokes its scene and creates its scenario; but judgment is not to be forgotten. Freedom has its play and its place; but so does truth. In all truth, freedom is to be assessed.
Remorseless in energy, in hatreds innumerable, in power plays, in satanic strategies, in exploitations like lice in the hair, the world proceeds so that even if, for a time, new hope should dawn, the angers of the heart and the agonies of the unjustly afflicted would combine to call once more to heaven, that judgment would sit.
It will do so. It is all in its time.
As to time, read II Corinthians 6:1-2.
Note that on the topic of the extent of global warming in terms of global dimming and its implications, there is reference at
Impossible to Man, Open to God Ch.1.
See for example SMR pp. 506ff., Sparkling Life in Jesus Christ Ch. 10 , and both indexes.