Promise Keepers and False Revival
August 1, 1996
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
The September 1996 issue of the Promise Keepers official magazine, New Man, contains an article subtitled "Hope Is Rising for a Coming Revival." When we examine this coming "revival," though, we find that it is more akin to ecumenical humanism than a genuine revival of biblical truth and spirituality. Most of the Promise Keepers supporters who write to me urge me to "look at the fruit of Promise Keepers." They think that the fruit of the movement proves that it is of God. I think just the opposite.

What is the fruit of Promise Keepers? It is producing a tremendous amount of RELIGIOUS ENTHUSIASM, but this in itself is not evidence that the movement is pleasing to God. The Jews of Paul's day had a zeal of God, but it was not "according to knowledge" (Romans 10:2). God must be worshipped not only in spirit, but also in TRUTH (John 4:24). A man who strives for masteries in the service of Christ will not be crowned "except he strive lawfully" (2 Timothy 2:5). That which is not done according to the Word of God does not please God.

One of the chief fruits of Promise Keepers is to exalt unity above doctrinal purity. It causes men to look lightly upon doctrine, because to exalt doctrine results in disunity; and it causes them to be somewhat careless toward error, because to rebuke error also results in disunity. Consider the following letter which I received recently. It illustrates the attitude of many of the Promise Keepers I have heard from:

"I am a Free Methodist and associated with Promise Keepers. I couldn't disagree more with your analysis of the movement. ... I view Catholics as Christian brothers with a different view. No, I don't agree with them on many doctrinal points, but if they trust in the Lord, we should find our common ground and 'love one another'. ... If you spent time looking closer at the work being done by PK, you would find that each denomination, yes including Catholics, has an opportunity to strengthen the faith of their flock in the Lord Jesus Christ through the PK promises. ... Personally, I sponsor a group in my home and can attest that it has strengthened our Christian beliefs and reminded us of our responsibilities to God. ... I would like you to know that the revival in our Lord Jesus Christ through PK is real and I have, through the group meetings, been inspired to witness more than ever before" (Promise Keepers supporter, July 18, 1996).

This man's testimony shows me that the "revival" through Promise Keepers IS NOT REAL in any biblical sense. He does not have spiritual discernment between truth and error. He doesn't know the difference between a true Gospel and a false gospel. Further, he doesn't even care about the difference, and he glories in his spiritual ignorance! The man says he is inspired to witness more than ever before, but he doesn't have enough discernment of the biblical Gospel to understand that the Roman Catholic Church preaches a false one. He doesn't know the difference between a true Christian and a false one. What "gospel," therefore, is he preaching, and what "christ" is he witnessing for? It is impossible to tell. Almost two thousand years ago Paul warned the churches of false christs and false gospels and false spirits (2 Corinthians 11:1-4), and the Bible tells us that this spirit of error which was introduced even in the days of the Apostles will increase through the centuries, and that these last days before the return of Christ are to be characterized by multitudes of false teachers (Matthew 24:24). Promise Keepers is a last-days movement, but it is not carefully training men to have discernment between false christs and the true Christ, or between false gospels and the true Gospel, or between false spirits and the true Holy Spirit. It is teaching men, basically, to accept everything that calls itself Christian and to not test things carefully by the Scriptures and to not cause any divisions and to mock those who attempt to stand for all of the truth of the Word of God. You see, one of the doctrines of the Word of God is separation from error, and when a man tries to obey the Word of God in that area, Promise Keepers attacks him as an evil person and a God-hater and a troublemaker.

This is not revival. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of TRUTH (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13: 1 John 4:6), and where the Spirit of God is in power He leads men into Truth, and He leads them to exalt Truth. What is truth? Jesus Christ said the Word of God is truth (John 17:17). But Promise Keepers does not have zeal for all the truth of the Word of God, nor does it have zeal to rebuke error. The sweet Psalmist of Israel had revival. The Spirit of God was upon David when he extolled the Word of God in Psalm 119. Here is what the Holy Spirit produced in David's life -- "Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way" (Psalm 119:128). This is not the fruit we see in Promise Keepers. The PK paraphrase might be something like this: "Therefore I esteem most of thy precepts to be right (except those about separation and other hard things), but I don't believe we should be so dogmatic about every jot and tittle that we cause divisions, and I don't hate every false way because that would be judgmentalism and it would cause disunity, which we must avoid at all cost."

This is certainly not the spirit which was in the Apostles. Here is how the Apostle Paul dealt with error: "Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?" (Acts 13:9-10).

I do not believe Promise Keepers is a biblical revival. I believe it is end-times confusion which is helping prepare the way for the religious harlot of Revelation 17.

- Receive these reports by email


Sharing Policy: Much of our material is available for free, such as the hundreds of articles at the Way of Life web site. Other items we sell to help fund our expensive literature and foreign church planting ministries. Way of Life's content falls into two categories: sharable and non-sharable. Things that we encourage you to share include the audio sermons, O Timothy magazine, FBIS articles, and the free eVideos and free eBooks. You are welcome to make copies of these at your own expense and share them with friends and family. You may also post parts of reports and/or entire reports to websites, blogs, etc as long as you give proper credit (citation). A link to the original report is very much appreciated as the reports are frequently updated and/or expanded. Things we do not want copied and distributed are "Store" items like the Fundamental Baptist Digital Library, print editions of our books, electronic editions of the books that we sell, the videos that we sell, etc. The items have taken years to produce at enormous expense in time and money, and we use the income from sales to help fund the ministry. We trust that your Christian honesty will preserve the integrity of this policy. "For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward" (1 Timothy 5:18). Questions?

Goal:Distributed by Way of Life Literature Inc., the Fundamental Baptist Information Service is an e-mail posting for Bible-believing Christians. Established in 1974, Way of Life Literature is a fundamental Baptist preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. Brother Cloud lives in South Asia where he has been a church planting missionary since 1979. Our primary goal with the FBIS is to provide material to assist preachers in the edification and protection of the churches.

Offering: Offerings are welcome if you care to make one. If you have been helped and/or blessed by our material offerings can be mailed or made online with with Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or Paypal. For information see:

Bible College
Way of Life Literature
Publisher of Bible Study Materials
Way of Life Literature
Publisher of Bible Study Materials
Way of Life Bible College