Several well-known prophets in the Body of Christ have proclaimed 2018 as an extraordinary year of turnaround, open gates, restoration, recovery, harvest, fulfillment and abundance. I share this word as a confirmation of what lies before us and to encourage and strengthen the Body of Christ globally, and especially Christian entrepreneurs, business and financial leaders, government leaders and church leaders.
Those with a Gospel mandate know that this is a time of new strategies, new fields and planting for harvest. For those saints called to the marketplace, this is the time for developing plans to increase Kingdom influence over the 7 Mountains of cultural influence – arts & entertainment, business & economy, education, family, government & law, media and religion.
However, as God's leaders develop strategies and pathways to expand territory in their mountains or spheres of influence, it is important to remember that ultimate success depends upon how familiar they are with the Mountain of the Lord, also known as the 8th Mountain. It has been almost 43 years since August of 1975 when Loren Cunningham, Bill Bright, and Frances Schaeffer received separate but nearly identical visions of the 7 Mountains. Yet, in over four decades, significant and sustainable societal transformation has not yet happened. Why is that?
Relevance vs. Rapture Focus
"An "abundant life" means a life well lived: a life of service to others, a life of influence and purpose, and destiny."
For decades, the Church and many theologians have been asking and teaching a one-dimensional question: Are you rapture ready? The result has been a Church that, to a large extent in modern times, has viewed and focused on Heaven as something exclusively reserved for the future and not available to us in the present as well. Fortunately, that attitude and mindset has begun to change in recent years, in part through the writings and videos of Rick Joyner, Bill Johnson, Lance Wallnau, Johnny Enlow, Kathie Walters, Kat Kerr, Shawn Bolz and many others, and media ministries such as those of Patricia King, Steve Shultz, Steve Strang and Sid Roth.
Moreover for the most part with a few notable exceptions, the modern Church has 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 as a necessary evil, and contact or involvement with it is to be avoided or minimized as much as possible.
Where are the Cultural Champions Today?
Not surprisingly, modern culture has experienced a significant spiritual deterioration and moral decline over the last 75 years, and the Church has lost influence and relevance in the eyes of society and cultural elites. God is not a one-dimensional being, and neither are His Kingdom and the world we live in one-dimensional. Where are the Martin Luthers, the George Washingtons, the William Wilberforces, the Abraham Kuypers, the Abraham Lincolns, the Harriet Tubmans, the Martin Luther King Jr's of this age?
Fortunately, God is raising up cultural champions from the Church, and beginning to reverse this trend and bring Western culture back to its roots of Judeo-Christian heritage and values.
Yahweh is a Personal God and Desires Intimacy
We can have a real and personal relationship with God now, while on earth, just as Jesus did during His earthly life, and just as other saints throughout history have done, including Job, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Daniel, Esther, David, Elijah, Mary the mother of Jesus, and the early apostles. (Photo via Pexels)
A strong, vibrant relationship with the living God is a basic right and responsibility of every Kingdom citizen and spiritual son and daughter of the King of kings and Lord of lords. Effective spiritual leaders know God in an intimate way rather than just knowing about God on an intellectual or emotional level. Those who walk in this reality will have a competitive advantage over others and make a crucial difference in transforming the culture.
Knowing God and 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 with our elder brother Jesus. 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 in the cool of the day, so you and I need to develop and cultivate our own intimate relationship with God.
The Chief of the Mountains
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 mountains and hills – that is, above the kingdoms and dominions of the earth. The Mountain of the Lord is "the chief of the mountains" – the governing mountain above all others.
"And it will come about in the last days that the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established as the chief of the mountains. It will be raised above the hills, and the peoples will stream to it." (Micah 4:1, NASB)
Amos 4:13 says, "He who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals His thoughts to man, He who turns dawn to darkness, and treads the high places of the earth—the Lord God Almighty is His name" (NIV).
God not only rules the mountains, He formed and created them. Just as Mount Everest is the highest point on earth, the Mountain of the Lord – the 8th Mountain – is the highest point in the universe, and is Heaven itself.
How Do We Climb the Mountain of the Lord?
The success of all that we are and do, along with transformation of the culture, depends upon the foundation of our relationship with the Lord. Spending time on the 8th Mountain will transform, empower and equip those who are called to exercise influence over the 7 mountains of culture. We will love our neighbors as ourselves and practice the golden rule to those around us. Equity and justice will become the norm, as will peace between nations, for those who know the Lord.
Climbing or ascending the 8th Mountain means that we: have a passionate hunger and growing love for the Father, develop the mind of Christ, listen to and obey the Spirit's prompting on a daily basis, and are mature sons of God in the process of becoming friends of God.
"Those with a Gospel mandate know that this is a time of new strategies, new fields and planting for harvest."
There are many things to learn from the Mountain of the Lord. We will encounter God through His Word, Spirit, Body, prayer, worship, experiences, revelation, prophetic words, communion and intimacy. We will develop and cultivate humility, honor, faith, favor, love, giving, character, discernment, worship, prayer, intercession, forgiveness, reconciliation, rest, influence, intimacy, wisdom, understanding and discipline.
We will expand our spirits with the spiritual fruits and gifts, and joyfully learn to walk in our true identity as God sees us. We will learn how to exercise and steward influence in our assigned spheres of cultures. We will also encounter fellowship with other Mountain climbers who have joined us for this eternity-long journey.
What Happens When the 8th Mountain is Exalted?
I believe that the Mountain of the Lord, or the 8th Mountain, is now being exalted above the 7 Mountains of Culture and all of the hills as well. Around the globe, several kings and leaders of nations have now submitted both their nation and their leadership and/or rulership to Heaven. Sheep nations are now arising (Matt. 25:32-33) in the earth. The key is for us to abide in or on the 8th Mountain of God's presence and to be transformed and empowered in the process.
I am convinced that the 8th Mountain and the divine wisdom that it represents, will now begin releasing or downloading breakthrough solutions to disease, food shortages, water shortages, weather changes, civil conflict, corruption, injustice, pollution, greed, family breakdowns, educational lethargy, economic systems, corporate cultures, governments and more!
Isaiah 60 Will Be Fulfilled
So, 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)? The results will be noteworthy and extraordinary and will cause Isaiah 60 to be fulfilled; whereby kings from the nations will be attracted to the brightness of our rising and will come from afar bringing their wealth and seeking our wisdom and counsel. That day is now here, and it is time for the Church, the global Body of Christ, to rise up, suit up, show up, and grow up into the fullness of Christ so that His incomparable, surpassing glory and wisdom can be demonstrated through us to the world. (Photo via Freegreatpicture)
The "greater works" mentioned in John 14, in my opinion, are simply the works you and I do today, since Jesus ascended to Heaven after being resurrected from the dead and is seated at the right hand of God. You and I are His hands and feet on earth, and He has delegated authority to us as His sons and daughters – the Church. An "abundant life" means a life well lived: a life of service to others, a life of influence and purpose, and destiny and legacy.
This is the most exciting time to be alive since the dawn of creation. It is time to live in boldness, faith and confidence as we do the greater works. The key to that is climbing the 8th Mountain. Daniel 11:32 says, "The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits." To truly know God and come into and spend time in His presence is to be changed and empowered.
A new breed of mountaineers is arising who will not settle for anything less. Once again, in our own time, those "who have turned the world upside down" (Acts 17:6) will be found in the earth and in the Church.
I bless you and decree and declare divine grace, courage, wisdom, strength, understanding, discernment and favor over you and in you to ascend and abide in the Mountain of the Lord. (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)
Dr. Bruce Cook maintains an active schedule of ministry as well as being a tent-maker in business in the marketplace, and is a sought after speaker at conferences, seminars and churches, and is a spiritual father to many sons and daughters in the body of Christ. He is a commissioned apostle and prophet in the Body of Christ, and is the co-founder and Chairman of Kingdom Congressional International Alliance (KCIA), the Founder and CEO of Venture Advisers Inc., the co-founder of www.8thMountain.com, the Pacific Northwest HUB Leader for Global Reformers in the Courts of Heaven, a Prelate with POTUS Shield, and serves on several boards of directors. He and his wife live in the Seattle-Tacoma, Washington area, and are surrounded by many friends. He became a Christian in 1964 and was ordained in Christian ministry in 1985 and commissioned in 2002, 2006 and 2015.
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