Gary: Welcome to Search the Scriptures 24/7, a radio ministry of The Berean Call with T.A. McMahon. I’m Gary Carmichael. It’s great to have you with us. In today’s program, Tom begins a two-part series with guest Larry DeBruyn as they address the topic: What Is Quantum Spirituality? Here’s TBC executive director Tom McMahon.
Tom: Thanks, Gary. Today and next week, the Lord willing, I’ll be in conversation with Larry DeBruyn. Larry and I were speakers at two conferences in South Africa: Cape Town and Pretoria. And that was at the beginning of this year, 2016, and it was an experience neither of us will soon forget. The Lord’s grace abounded, and we were blessed and thrilled to experience it.
Larry’s a former pastor. He heads Guarding His Flock Ministry. He’s a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary’s Masters Program, and the author of Unshackled: Breaking Away from Seductive Spirituality. He writes articles for a number of biblical discernment websites, including Herescope and The Alliance for Biblical Integrity.
Larry, welcome back to Search the Scriptures 24/7.
Larry: Well, Tom, it’s really good to be with you again, but it was really fine to be with you in South Africa in ministry for those sessions in Cape Town and Pretoria. We had a great time together, and I think God honored His truth, and there was good interest, I believe, in the work that was being done there.
Tom: It really was impressive, Larry, and I mean, I’ve got so many things that I brought back with me – thoughts about the people there and what went on. So, give me some more details about your impression of how the Lord was working there in South Africa.
Larry: I was very impressed with John and Julie Leo, who run The Berean Call office there in Johannesburg. They were a fine couple and very deep spiritually and very knowledgeable in regards to Scripture. And I can remember walking to their home and then going back to my back bedroom and walking through the office and seeing all of Dave Hunt’s books and some of your books there, and some books by other authors. But they were very well stocked, and I think are carrying on a very, very fine ministry of literature distribution in that part of the world – in Africa.
Tom: Absolutely. For those who don’t know, we call it The Berean Call Outpost in South Africa.
Larry: Well, it is an outpost, that’s for sure.
Tom: Really. And, as you said, there were resource materials…but the reason it’s an outpost is because they actually print The Berean Call. We send them the material, and they print the newsletter there so we don’t have to go through the whole process of shipping the newsletter long distance, which is rather expensive for overseas. And it was a blessing – just like with you, Larry – it was a blessing for me to get to know them personally. Now I’m talking about Julie and John Leo. The other thing about that – not just John and Julie, but I met so many really committed Bereans. And you know, it’s not just necessarily people who follow The Berean Call. I mean, these were people who search the Scriptures.
Tom: They were as biblically oriented as any group – whether it was in Pretoria or down in Cape Town, it was amazing. Absolutely amazing.
Larry: Well, I felt the same way, and I was there, I think, in South Africa a little longer than you. I arrived a little earlier than you and stayed a little longer. And I was always set up in the evenings, and sometimes in the afternoons, for couples to come and discuss biblical matters because they were Bereans. They wanted to know what the truth of the Scriptures was concerning various subjects, and I gave them some of my thoughts on Bible prophecy and discernment and on many other issues. But always curious, and no-nonsense, get right to the point, and had many wonderful discussions and what I would call counseling sessions.
Tom: Absolutely. And one of the things that also impressed me to the point of praying for the people of certainly Cape Town, Pretoria, where we were. And in a bit you’ll talk a little bit about going up to Zimbabwe, but here was the thing that hit me. There were homes from the most modest to the middle class homes to what I would call 8-star, okay? But they had all this in common, as you know: they all had walls. They all had security cameras. They had electrified wire around them. It’s almost like – for as beautiful as the place was landscape-wise and everything – what could beat Cape Town? It was incredible. But each home, in effect, was a little prison. Oh, they could move out from there, and so on, but they needed all of that because of the protection issues.
When I got back, Larry, that was a concern to me, and I wanted to say, “Well, wait a minute. Was I just picking up on some things that weren’t necessarily universal with regard to the area?” Although I don't remember ever seeing a home, especially where we were, that wasn’t walled in and didn’t have the security that we’re talking about.
But I watched this documentary (and it was a secular documentary), and this young black man – he wasn’t living in a high end or even middle class, but his home was pretty much pieced together – but he worked as a security guard. And on this secular documentary, he’s explaining to the audience that he leaves at, like, 4 a.m. in the morning to go to his job, but he doesn’t leave there without praying for protection. And he made a big point of it. He repeated it over and over. And, Larry, that was a secular production! Why would I mention that? Because wherever we go, we have brothers and sisters in Christ, whatever they may be dealing with, whatever issues.
As you know, Larry, we were in Mongolia, and then, I just got back from Albania, and so on. But I see brothers and sisters in Christ dealing with issues, and I say, “Wait a minute! I’ve got to continue to pray for these people.” And we’re not dealing…or, I’m not even addressing some things like believers who are in Islamic countries, where just by turning to Christ they could set themselves up for being murdered, basically.
Larry: Well, I felt the same way, and, as you know, we had lunch with a man who was very important in the area – forensic investigation there near Pretoria – and one of the things he warned me about was [that] when I arrived at the airport at Tambo, an airport there in Johannesburg, I would be very discreet as to what taxicabs I would take or who I would ride with, because, of course in that environment, where the economy is so bad and the needs are so great, people will stoop to robbery and in some instances even murder to get the money that they need. He warned me, “Don’t take any rides.” So, I determined when I arrived at Tambo airport, I was going to stay there until my ride came. And if that meant staying overnight, staying overnight!
But I, too, was impressed by the fact that the people live with gated doors and gated entryways, sometimes double locked and bars over the windows. And, as you had mentioned, all of the walls and the electrical wire above the walls – it’s like they're in that country, and they’re not even free.
Larry: In fact, Julie Leo, who was our host there in Johannesburg, told me that one time she had pulled up to a stop sign, and someone threw something through a window and robbed her purse and then ran off. And, basically, the crime is so rampant that the police are almost impotent to try to find the people who were the perpetrators of it. And you may or may not know, but a couple streets over from where we were living with John and Julie, there was a house that was robbed.
And then also I spent some time in, I believe it was Pretoria, with a lady by the name of Ramona, and in speaking with Ramona, she was an American missionary, and her husband had just passed away. She related a story of how one night she woke up in the middle of the night and there were four invaders in her home. And she also had some young girls there, so they just remained as quiet and as separate as they could, but these invaders took every bit of electrical equipment that they had. And when the police came the next day, they had no idea who did it. So, crime literally, while it is detected, goes unpunished.
Tom: Yeah, well, that’s why private security agencies, as you said, the police are impotent to deal with it. Having said all that, because we know wherever you might be in the world, you may have issues, you may have problems – and I’m talking about believers now, so we’ve got to remember to pray for each other, to encourage each other. We’re not trying to keep people away from these countries, and so on…
Larry: Absolutely not.
Tom: …but just to be discreet and trust the Lord, but…on the one hand, you know, we can lay that out. That’s a matter of fact with regard to South Africa. On the other hand, the people are fantastic! Absolutely…
Larry: Sure are!
Tom: You’d almost put up with anything, even that kind of fear, to be with our brothers and sisters in Christ. And, at the same time, we need to continue to hold them up in prayer for their protection. Why not?
Larry: I would want to add this, too, Tom. Never, in any of my travels in South Africa that we took together, nor my travel around Zimbabwe, did I ever feel the least threatened by anyone.
Larry: In fact, what was interesting when I was in Zimbabwe, I had a couple of police officers in my class, and they were studying theology so as to get accreditation to be chaplains in the local police department. And they always stayed with me until my ride came. So they were very polite that way in watching out for me always! But I know that the Spirit of God watches out for us, too, and wherever we go, we need not fear, because greater is He that is in ourselves – in us – than is in the world. So I had no fear whatsoever when I was there.
Tom: Right. The other thing is, as you mentioned, I bailed out on you. I came back home because I had to get off a week later to Albania. But you went to Zimbabwe. Tell us about that.
Larry: Well, that was a very interesting time for me. I took a flight from Johannesburg to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, and three men picked me up there. The driver was Pastor Tom, and then there was Karl and then another man who picked me up at the airport, and on the way to the airport, they had run over a black mamba snake, so they were looking for that snake when we were riding back to the town.
At any rate, the first place that I went, Tom, was to a local hospital to visit a pastor who had esophageal cancer, and I went into a ward there, and Pastor Tom asked me to pray for this man, and so I prayed for this man and prayed that the Lord would bring healing and comfort and rest to his body, but it was a very, very (I could tell) uncomfortable circumstance for him. They don’t understand medical care like we understand medical care, but…
And then I went to another ward where there was a young mother who had just given birth to a little baby by the name of Zoe. So, my first experience in Zimbabwe was visiting hospitals. And I remember when I went to the ward where the pastor was who had esophageal cancer, after I finished praying for him, I looked at all of the other faces that surrounded him. There were probably about five or six beds in that ward, and each one of those individuals had something wrong, and my heart was broken, Tom, and I just said, “Would you all like me to pray for you, too?”
And all of them nodded their heads that they wanted me to pray for them. So I prayed for all of the people that were in that ward in that hospital that were sick. And I would say this: we need to be very, very thankful about the medical care that we have in the United States of America. Having visited scores and scores of people in hospitals over my years of ministry, I was quite impressed by those hospitals and the blessing that we have in our hospitals.
But that was my first experience. And then, I can remember riding with Pastor Tom in his car, and we got into the town of Bulawayo. It happened to be…I believe it was a Friday, it was, and that it was kind of “market day,” so people had open markets everywhere there. There’s 80 percent unemployment in Zimbabwe. The current ruler has left, really, the country in shambles. And even unemployment to the extent where these people don’t have jobs. I came across a number of beggars on the streets asking for money, and almost bowing – Tom, it was just a sight to behold, the needs of that country. And then to realize that that country was also going through a drought, and rumors had it that people who were in the rural areas and owned cattle were selling those cattle at $10 and $20 a head – these cattle that were worth $400-500, but because of the drought, they couldn’t feed them, they couldn’t take care of them. They’d sell them to the local meat processor for $10-20. The meat processor would process the meat, and then they would sell it for something like $240-280, and so people were making money off of these poor people in rural areas that were trying to take care of the cattle but just simply did not have the means to take care of them. That was a very, very sad story that I was told.
But the ministry there was really great. I taught at the southern African theological college and had about 50 students, I would say, off and on. Some would come, and some would go, but I would say as a total there was about 50 on and off, but the interest was just high level; the questions were great. It was the Spirit of God who was ministering in our midst and gave me freedom to communicate truth concerning eschatological matters, or matters of biblical prophecy, which then went hand-in-hand with discernment ministries. And all of it was very, very well received, and the students loved me, and I loved them, and we just had a glorious time in the Lord around His truth. It was a true Berean experience, Tom. It really was.
Tom: Well, you’ve learned this, I’ve learned it. You know, we think – because many of these trips are mission trips, yet, Larry – we think we’re coming there, maybe initially, we’re coming there to bless the people, and certainly that takes place, but you can’t out-bless them! In other words, they give you back so much that it’s an extraordinary experience. It’s wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.
Larry: And that’s exactly what I told them. I said, “You say that I have given you much. Let me tell you, I’ve taken away from Zimbabwe far more that you have given me. Far more. It was just a great experience there.
Tom: Now, Larry, we’re blessed that you’re going to be with us for our TBC conference this year, which is the last weekend of August, and so I want you to address some of the things that you’ll be talking about, and one of the things that’s increasing in its influence among Christians – especially those who are committed to the experiential, the subjective aspects of their Christianity; those who are into “signs and wonders” – is what has been referred to as “quantum spirituality.” Now, Larry, that sounds like a pseudo-science agenda meets the signs-and-wonders movement. That’s the only way I can describe it, but you, who really understand this better than anybody I know, can you give us an overview of what this is all about, and then let’s talk about some definitions. We can get to that in a bit.
Larry: Well, the way I see it, Tom, and, you know, I’ve studied it – perhaps there are other people who know more than I know, but let me say it at the outset that quantum physics is, above all else, a philosophy. And there’s some science - some pseudo-science involved with that, some true science involved with that. But above all else, it’s a philosophy; it’s a way of looking at reality; it’s a way of looking at our world. And we lived, perhaps, in the previous century, where there was something called Newtonian Physics that was the governing scientific ideology of the day, where the clockmaker made a clock and the clock was the universe, and it was running predictably. The solar system runs predictably. It almost mirrors like an atom. Everything was sunrise at a certain time, sunset at a certain time. It was very, very…you could count on the universe.
I remember the story about Isaac Newton, who had an atheist walk into his laboratory one day, and he saw a model solar system there, and the atheist said to Newton, “Well, who made that?”
And Newton looked at him, jokingly, and said, “Well, nobody.”
Because the universe was orderly. It was looked upon as created by God. Genesis 1, where God looked upon everything He had made, and said it was very, very good. There was order day one, day two…right on through day six, and then He rested on the seventh day – it just exudes order in Genesis 1. But then we have the emergence of what we would want to call the “New Quantum Physics” or the “Theory of Relativity,” as Einstein promoted it, and there were others who came before Einstein, and they didn’t see the universe as acting orderly anymore. They saw, at the very, very microscopic, subatomic level of things that the universe was acting disorderly. Randomly. That is called Chaos Theory.
So, suddenly, we’re introduced from a worldview that is promoting cosmos, that is, order (the word “cosmos” seems to mean, you know, just simply to put in order. It’s like when a lady would visit her cosmetologist – the order of it.) And so when they saw, then, that the universe was behaving randomly at the subatomic level, then that introduced a whole different dimension of understanding the universe. And instead of seeing it as orderly, they see it as disorderly. Then you’ve introduced chaos. And now, suddenly, God somehow has to become involved in this. How do you involve God in a universe that’s chaotic?
My answer simply would be that we not only have a cosmos that’s created in Genesis 1, but we also have a curse in Genesis 3. So the chaos is the result of the curse. That’s the way I see it scripturally. The problem is that people today are so fixated on the chaotic order of things that they use this to dismiss the idea that there’s an orderly God, and that’s the heart of the issue.
Tom: Larry, the thing that’s surprising – you talk about “quantum spirituality.” Now, unless I’m missing something here, many of those who are into the signs-and-wonders movement, they’re always looking for support, and they don’t go to the Bible for the support of what they’re doing, although some do, but they abuse the Scriptures, but they’re looking for whatever they can glean to give them a kind of a – not stability, but certainly promote a confidence in their views of signs and wonders. Now, how does that work?
Larry: Well, what I would call the New Apostolic Reformation is now peddling something that’s called a Second Pentecost.
Larry: The First Pentecost, as your listeners would know, was recorded in Acts 2, and it says, basically, there they were all filled with the Spirit, and Jesus had said in Acts 1, “You will be baptized not many days from now,” and then it says they were filled with the Spirit. The problem is that - not the problem for me, but the problem for these New Apostolic Reformation individuals - is that what they’re all about is power and the idea of signs and wonders, and so forth. And so, being all about power, they want to energize themselves. And they see that at the level of the quantum physical level of things, there is great power available. There’s something called the “zero-point energy field,” and some other things that perhaps would not be appropriate to go into right now, but there is a lot of power out there, and it’s pervasive in everything. And the Scripture recognizes this: in Colossians:2:8, for example, where it says, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit after the traditions of men and after the rudiments of the world.” That word “rudiments” – and, specifically, it’s the rudiments of the cosmos - it’s a very interesting word because in Galatians it can refer to “powers.” In other words, powers that inhabit the reality that perhaps is beyond ours, or sometimes comes in touch with ours. Those would be demons – spiritual powers.
But then also the word, “stoicheion” can mean (that is the word “rudiments”) can also mean “particles,” and that is used in that sense in 2 Peter 3, where it says, “the elements will melt with a fervent heat.” So, scripturally, we have this understanding that the essence of the universe is composed, number one, of powers, and number two, of particles. Now, what Scripture warns us about is adapting the Christian faith to this kind of worldview exclusively so that we then begin to ignore Christ, and we then become taken captive by this worldly system of thinking, and we’re not “after Christ,” as Paul puts it in Colossians:2:8.
So, this is a spirituality that wants more power, and they think that they’re going to find this power in having themselves – their abilities – wedded to the quantum physical powers of nature. They want to tap into that so that they can do extraordinary miracles, greater than what Jesus did, or miracles that have ever been performed because what it also is part of is the Manifest Sons of God movement within the New Apostolic Reformation. These Manifest Sons of God are desirous of doing miracles as did the Son of God, only greater than the Lord Jesus Christ, so that they can begin to attract a watching world and build God’s kingdom on earth here and now.
So the kingdom is not going to come through the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, but rather, the kingdom is going to come with the Second Pentecost - an empowering that takes place at the Second Pentecost, whereby the kingdom can be introduced. And that’s about as simple as I can put it.
Tom: Okay! Well, my guest is Larry DeBruyn, and, as I mentioned, Larry’s going to be at our conference in August, and, Larry, we’re out of time for this segment, but when we come back, we want to get into this a little more – but not too much, because you know who you’re dealing with here. I don’t want to get a brain cramp over this. But, Larry, and you know better than most, this is important stuff because it’s another ruse, another scheme, that the false signs and wonders promoters are latching onto to make a convincing argument that what they’re doing is biblical, but it’s based on, as you said earlier, it’s based on philosophy. So, again, Larry, thanks for being with us in this segment, and we look forward to having you back next week.
Larry: So do I!
Gary: You’ve been listening to Search the Scriptures 24/7 featuring T.A. McMahon, a radio ministry of The Berean Call. We offer a wide variety of resources to help you in your study of God’s Word. For a complete list of materials and a free subscription to our monthly newsletter, contact us at PO Box 7019, Bend, Oregon, 97708; call us at 800-937-6638; or visit our website at thebereancall.org. I’m Gary Carmichael. Thanks for joining us, and we hope you can tune in again next week. Until then, we encourage you to search the Scriptures 24/7.