Question: "What is the seven mountain mandate, and is it biblical?"
Answer: The seven mountain (7-M) mandate or the seven mountain prophecy is an anti-biblical and damaging movement that has gained a following in some Charismatic and Pentecostal churches. Those who follow the seven mountain mandate believe that, in order for Christ to return to earth, the church must take control of the seven major spheres of influence in society for the glory of Christ. Once the world has been made subject to the kingdom of God, Jesus will return and rule the world.
Here are the seven mountains, according to the seven mountain mandate: 1) Education 2) Religion 3) Family 4) Business 5) Government/Military 6) Arts/Entertainment 7) Media
These seven sectors of society are thought to mold the way everyone thinks and behaves. So, to tackle societal change, these seven “mountains” must be transformed. The mountains are also referred to as “pillars,” “shapers,” “molders,” and “spheres.” Those who follow the seven mountain mandate speak of “occupying” the mountains, “invading” the culture, and “transforming” society.
The seven mountain mandate has its roots in dominion theology, which started in the early 1970s with a goal of “taking dominion” of the earth, twisting Genesis 1:28 to include a mandate for Christians to control civil affairs and all other aspects of society. The New Apostolic Reformation, with its self-appointed prophets and apostles, has also influenced the seven mountain movement, lending dreams and visions and other extra-biblical revelations to the mandate.
The seven mountain mandate says that it is the duty of all Christians to create a worldwide kingdom for the glory of Christ. Teachers in the movement use Isaiah 2:2, which mentions mountains, in an attempt to support their view: “In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.” The principal goal of dominion theology and the seven mountain mandate is political and religious domination of the world through the implementation of the moral laws—and subsequent punishments—of the Old Testament.
Lance P. Wallnau coined the term seven mountain mandate and is its most prominent teacher. Wallnau adapts the missionary mandate of Jesus to His disciples to “go and make disciples” of all the nations into a mandate to effect social transformation. He reasons that, since churches already have a presence in every nation in the world, we need to now concentrate on influencing the systems (the “mountains”) within these nations. The problem, according to Wallnau, is that Christians are not currently influencing society outside the church. Christians have left the mountains susceptible to the “gates of hell,” which are spiritual portals over the “kings” (influence-shapers) of those mountains.
Wallnau’s teaching is loosely based on the Abrahamic Covenant, which promised Abraham a seed and a lasting inheritance. Also, Israel was promised in Deuteronomy 28:12–14 to be the “head and not the tail” among the nations. Proponents of the seven mountain mandate infer that the church, not Israel, is the entity to claim that promise. It is now up to believers to move in proximity to the “gates of hell” and position themselves to exert the greatest amount of influence. The church then needs to be dissected into “micro components” and infiltrate the mountains. Since every Christian can’t position himself at the top of every mountain, each individual is to find his particular smaller peak and be a leader in that realm.
The leading edge of the seven mountain mandate is the New Apostolic Reformation, which teaches that the church of the 21st century will be ruled by apostles and prophets. The movement is not governed by a specific denomination but by the alleged apostles and prophets who, of course, claim to receive direct revelation from God. In lending credence to modern-day prophets and apostles, the NAR denigrates the Bible and sola scriptura, emphasizes experience-oriented theology, and promotes mysticism.
The NAR and proponents of the seven mountain mandate have abandoned biblical teaching on the end times, choosing to believe that Christians must set the stage for Jesus’ second coming by achieving dominion over the world’s systems. According to 7-M theology, Jesus will only return to a world that mirrors the kingdom of God. This idea parallels the New Age teaching that anticipates a cosmic spiritual shift when man becomes a co-redeemer of Planet Earth.
Christians are called to be lights in the world (Matthew 5:14). There is no biblical requirement, however, to take the helm of all the world systems in order to usher in Christ’s kingdom. The Bible says that the world will grow worse, not better, in the last days (2 Timothy 3:1, 13; 2 Peter 3:3).
The theology associated with the seven mountain mandate is dangerous, and it sheds a terribly negative light on Christians everywhere. The 7-M teaching puts a tremendous burden on believers to perform, make progress in their relative spheres of influence, and set the stage for Jesus’ return to earth—all without a definite end point. Little emphasis is placed on the gospel message of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ; the movement is more about staking claims and taking control. The seven mountain mandate is a movement led by false prophets, and it should be avoided and exposed whenever Bible-believing Christians encounter it.