The year 2018 has been extraordinary in many respects. Consider the homegoing of Billy Graham, the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, the 70th anniversary of the nation of Israel and the moving of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. The year isn't over yet and holds more surprises, transitions, breakthroughs, promotions and victories.
Those with a gospel mandate and mindset know 2018 is and has been a time of fresh strategies, new doors and fields and territory, new strategic relationships and abundant harvest. For saints called to the marketplace, this is a kairos time to develop and implement plans to increase kingdom influence over the seven mountains of cultural influence: government, education, media, religion, arts, family and business.
As God's leaders develop strategies and pathways to expand territory in these spheres, however, it is important to remember that success depends upon how familiar they are with the mountain of the Lord, also known as the eighth mountain. It has been almost 43 years since August 1975, when Loren Cunningham, Bill Bright and Frances Schaeffer received separate but nearly identical visions of the seven mountains. Yet in over four decades, significant and sustainable societal transformation has not yet happened. Why is that?
Cultivate a Kingdom Mentality
For decades, the church and many theologians have been asking a one-dimensional question: Are you rapture ready? The result has been a church that has largely viewed heaven as a place reserved for the future. Thankfully, that attitude and mindset has begun to change in recent years, in part through the teachings of Rick Joyner, Bill Johnson, Lance Wallnau, Johnny Enlow, Kathy Walters, Kat Kerr, Shawn Bolz and others, and media ministries such as those of Patricia King, Steve Schultz, Steve Strang and Sid Roth.
Today's church has also viewed and treated culture, the marketplace and government as dangerous, secular and tainted. The prevailing attitude has been that culture is to be tolerated and endured, and contact or involvement with it is to be avoided or minimized.
Raise up Cultural Champions
Not surprisingly, culture has experienced a significant spiritual deterioration and moral decline in the last 60-75 years. The church has lost influence and relevance in the eyes of society. We need cultural champions because God is not one-dimensional, and neither is His kingdom or the world. Where are the Martin Luthers, the George Washingtons, the William Wilberforces, the Abraham Kuypers, the Abraham Lincolns, the Harriet Tubmans and Martin Luther King Jrs. of this age? Thankfully, God is actively raising up cultural champions from within the church, bringing Western culture back to its roots of Judeo-Christian heritage and values.
Discover Your Competitive Advantage
We can have a real and personal relationship with God now just as Jesus did during His earthly life and as saints throughout history have done, including Job, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Esther, David, Mary, the mother of Jesus, and the early apostles. A strong, vibrant relationship with the living God is the basic right and responsibility of every kingdom citizen. Effective spiritual leaders know God in an intimate way rather than simply knowing about God on an intellectual or emotional level. Those who walk in a close relationship with God will have a competitive advantage in transforming the culture.
Communing with God is part of our basic stewardship, birthright and inheritance as children of God and joint heirs of grace, salvation, eternal life and the kingdom of heaven. Just as Abraham and Enoch were known as friends of God, David was called a man after God's own heart, and the Lord God walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, we need to develop and cultivate our own intimate relationship with God.
Look to the 8th Mountain
Mountains in Scripture refer to kingdoms, authority, rule and dominion. Micah 4 and Isaiah 2 both speak of the mountain of the Lord being exalted—above the dominions of the earth. The mountain of the Lord is "the chief of the mountains," the governing mountain.
"Then it will be in the latter days, the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established as head of the mountains, and will be lifted up above the hills; and people will stream to it" (Mic. 4:1).
Amos 4:13 says, "The One who forms the mountains and creates the wind, who reveals His thoughts to man, who turns the darkness into dawn and strides on the heights of the earth—the Lord, the God of Hosts, is His name." Just as Mount Everest is the highest point on earth, the eighth mountain—the mountain of the Lord—is the highest point in the universe, and is heaven itself.
Meet God on His Mountain
Our success and the transformation of culture depend upon our relationship with the Lord. Spending time on the eighth mountain will transform, empower and equip those called to exercise influence over the seven mountains. We will love our neighbors as ourselves and practice the Golden Rule.
Ascending the eighth mountain means we have a growing love for the Father, are developing the mind of Christ, and are listening to and obeying the Spirit's prompting. On the eighth mountain, we will encounter God through His Word, body, prayer, worship, experiences, revelation, prophetic words and intimacy. We will develop humility, favor, character, discernment and discipline. We will expand our spirits with the fruits and gifts, and joyfully learn to walk in our identity. We will learn how to exercise and steward influence in our assigned spheres, and encounter fellowship with other mountain climbers who have joined us for this eternity-long journey.
Abide in God's Presence
I believe the mountain of the Lord is now being exalted above the seven mountains of culture—and all the hills as well. Around the globe, several kings and leaders have now reportedly submitted to heaven their nation and their leadership or rulership. Sheep nations are now arising (Matt. 25:32-33).
For at least 20 years in South Africa, Graham Power—founder and chairman of Global Day of Prayer and Unashamedly Ethical—and a diverse coalition of leaders have made ongoing efforts toward this goal. Shalom Ministries' Angus Buchan, star of the book and film Faith Like Potatoes, has crowds of more than 300,000 annually attending his prayer events. I have heard that the presidents of several nations, such as Samoa, Tonga, Uganda and Burundi, have publicly dedicated their nations to God.
President Trump and Vice President Pence have proclaimed the United States a Christian nation, returning it to its godly heritage. Such public pronouncements are a first step, along with repentance, in the larger process outlined in 2 Chronicles 7:14. The key is to abide in or on the eighth mountain of God's presence and to be empowered and transformed in the process.
I am convinced that the eighth mountain, and the divine wisdom it represents, will now begin releasing breakthrough solutions to disease, food and water shortages, weather changes, civil conflict, corruption, injustice, pollution, greed, family breakdowns, educational lethargy, economic systems, corporate cultures, governments and more!
Do Greater Works
What will happen when God's glory is poured out upon a people group (the ekklesia) and not just one man (Solomon) or one nation (Israel)? We will see Isaiah 60 fulfilled. Kings will come from afar, bringing their wealth and seeking our wisdom and counsel. It is time for the global body of Christ, to rise up, suit up, show up and grow up into the fullness of Christ so we can demonstrate His incomparable glory and wisdom to the world.
The "greater works" of John 14 are simply the works you and I do today. We, the church, are His hands and feet on earth, and He has delegated authority to us. An "abundant life" means a life well lived in service, influence, purpose, destiny and legacy.
We must live with boldness, faith and confidence as we do greater works by climbing the eighth mountain. Daniel 11:32b (NKJV) says, "the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits." To know God and spend time with Him is to be changed and empowered. A new breed of mountaineers is arising who will settle for nothing less. Once again, those "who have turned the world upside down" (Acts 17:6b, MEV) will be found in the earth and in the church.
Bruce Cook, Ph.D., is co-founder and chairman of Kingdom Congressional International Alliance, founder and CEO of Venture Advisers, co-founder of 8thMountain.com, the Pacific Northwest HUB leader for Global Reformers in the Courts of Heaven and a prelate with POTUS Shield. His latest book is The 8th Mountain: How the Mountain of the Lord Transforms and Empowers Leaders to Influence the 7 Mountains of Culture.
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