How would society be if, in the next 40 years, societal values and norms remain uninfluenced by the ambassadors of the Church of Jesus Christ? And where would society be in the next 40 years, if believers intentionally permeate the strategic ‘spheres of influence’ with the commitment to properly and effectively disciple people with biblical values and standards of the Kingdom of God?
One only needs to gaze at the wretched state of the Church and be able to contrast it with the state of our society. The overlapping difficulties and woes of society are very real and tragic: abortion, homosexuality, poverty, war, elitism, racism, drugs and substance abuse, just to mention a few are all on the rise. The family unit instituted by God to glue society together is frequently under attack and disintegrating at an escalating rate.
The failure of the family unit has terribly affected governance not only at the community level but also at the corporate national level. This is a common global challenge.
The Church of Jesus Christ is, however, the most powerful institution on earth. It is the only spiritual institution on earth granted diplomatic immunity wherever it is established. The sad reality is that, a very small percentage of the church is truly equipping their people to become effective representatives of the Kingdom in their respective communities. This is as much a leadership problem at the core of the matter as well as an ignorance concern which can terribly cost the next generation if unresolved.
With the current state of society and the influence it has had on the Church/reborn believers, there is a desperate necessity or need or to go back to the original intention of God for His Church.
Jesus Christ strategically positioned his Church in the world to be the light and pillar of any society according to the great commission. There is therefore a desperate necessity to re-establish this divine mandate. To re-establish in this context means to return to, to begin again or to return to the original mandate. [1: Mathew 28:16–20 the Great Commission is the instruction of the resurrected Jesus Christ to his disciples to expand his kingdom to all the nations of the world]
Jesus Christ-the head of the Church appeared on the world scene with these words; “repent for the Kingdom of God is near.” To repent is the Greek word “metanoia” (strongs 3341) it literary means to return to one’s original state of mind. [2: “Metanoia” Mark 1:15 (Strongs 3341) literary means to return to one’s original state of mind but conversion’ and ‘reformation’ may best approximate its connotation. ]
It is therefore fair to state that the chief intention/Purpose of the existence of the Church of Jesus Christ in the world today never changed: to call people or nations back to their original intention and to transform them into disciples of Jesus Christ.
To strategically disciple nations effectively, we recognize that every Society has been classified by seven spheres or mountains. Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade, first gave reference of the seven mountains concept in 1975. These mountains are so powerful that whosoever occupies these spheres of influence can, in reality, transform a society and gradually a nation for the good or bad.
The Church of Jesus Christ has erroneously been classified as one of the ‘religions’ of the world, and Christians who have pushed in the 7 mountains movement have conceded to this misconception worldwide. I have always asked, why would believers be comfortable with such an identity?
In this paper I carefully examine religion, its origin and its true nature in contrast to what Christ truly established and mandated his disciples to carry on. I also outline what this misconception has done in obscuring and hindering the efforts of making disciples in the modern day society.
Because of a lack of true identity; countless Christian institutions have spent a lot of money and energy focusing on the “religion sphere” and waste time performing man-made religious rituals within the four walls instead of actively influencing society.
The majority of the Christian institutions have literally forsaken their responsibility to the rest of the nations that Jesus commanded to disciple and transform.
Churches have focused on preaching and filling up the pews and have done less of making disciples of ALL “nations” through teaching and active demonstration of the Kingdom of God. The former aspect is brilliant but the latter aspect is much critical.
The following triangular shapes is a representation of the ‘widely accepted’ spheres of influence of any society: Government, Arts and Entertainment, Business, Religion, Education, Family, and Media Mountain. Deep at the heart of ALL of these ascribed Spheres of Influence is a yearning for power, influence or control. In truth, trapped in every human being created in the image of God in any of these spheres are worshipers trapped by an erroneous philosophy of life.
Every human being is searching for some kind of purpose and success and the majority are searching for such fulfilment in all of the wrong things except their CREATOR of the heart.
In this paper, I endeavour to establish my thoughts through fairly thorough research on how believers can begin to see the Church of Jesus Christ as a key pillar of influence and how believers can enforce the church as a Pillar of Influence. This paper chiefly aims at refocusing our efforts back to kingdom philosophy and kingdom living and dealing away with a religious mind which has been a major interference to societal transformation.
THE ULTIMATE HUMAN SEARCH
For centuries men have magnificently established numerous human systems that are used as escape mechanism for ‘the search’ of fulfilment and purpose. In reality every human being is searching for fulfillment and a reason for living whether they confess it or not. I was once in this trap just like everyone else is. Though deep in the recess of my heart I knew that there was something or someone missing and whatever or whoever it was, deep inside, I knew that it was not of this world.
For many people; in search for this “fulfillment” they experiment with drugs, sex, cults, sports, political power, religion and the list is endless. In my search for fulfillment and answers to the meaning of life, I found religion fascinating and it was very close to what I thought I needed in light of the hopes that it offered.
In that season of my life, the only religious individuals I could relate with were the Jehovah witnesses. Due to their zeal for evangelism they frequently visited my house and conducted bible studies. Their ideology of the Kingdom of God was so fascinating, to the intent I decided to research more about their doctrine. It was only two weeks down that I understood that their doctrine is not in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 6:4). One year later I was saved and baptized with the Holy Spirit and I confidently say that my search for fulfillment was over.
All religions are thirsty for something greater than rituals and myths. Although we don’t take time to think about what people are truly searching for, the truth of the matter is that we all lost the same thing and until we ask the real question we won’t get the real answer. [3: 1 Timothy 6:4 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing..]
RELIGION IS A “SEARCH” NOT “THE DISCOVERY”
So what are the people in any society truly searching for? What drives all of us to wake up every morning to do what we do? After years of searching for identity and purpose, I came to an indisputable conclusion that; all men under the face of the earth are searching for the same thing. All humans are looking for the same answers to the same questions. The difference is the method and system we develop and implement in the search.
Religion is the ultimate search method for God, it is however not the discovery. Religion is defined as “a cultural system of designated behaviours and practices, morals, worldviews, ethics, and human organisations that relates to humanity to spiritual elements.” Mankind has practiced religion since the fall (of Adam) from Dominion over the earth. The prince and ruler of the world system, the Devil is the real architect behind the creation of all world religions. In fact it was the religious system under the Roman Empire that instigated the arrest and the brutal murder of Jesus Christ. The religious leaders of his day claimed to know God and Abraham, but Jesus the Son of God referred to them plainly as the offspring of the Devil full of lust for bloodshed (John 8:44). [4: 2 Corinthians 4:4] [5: John 8:44]
I want the reader to truly see the spirit of religion and how the church has been comfortable identifying herself with it. The deceptive spirit behind the religions of the world have diverse manifestations and forms but it is the same spirit.
For instance, there are countless societies worldwide that have been built around the Islamic ideology. Islam is one religion after Christianity that has successfully influenced politics on the global scale, economics and engulfed cultures of some of the wealthiest nations in the world. Similar Religions of the East have effectively permeated society through manipulation and control of people using their religious myths.
One great example of religions that have successfully used the name of Jesus Christ to gain control and world power is the Roman Catholic religious Organization. The Roman Catholic organisation or “church” as they are known, is the oldest institution in the western world. With over 1.3 Billion baptized Catholics as of 2017 worldwide, it is indeed the mother of the “Christian religion”. This religious organization is one of the ruling powers in the world which has used its seat of power for political control, religious influence, monetary acquisition and global dominance. It’s politically motivated crafted doctrines established in Nicaea instigated the bloodshed of millions of ambassadors of Christ who discovered the TRUTH.
Religion acts as a blindfold in the search for TRUTH. Religion is not the discovery of the TRUTH itself. Religion imprison people so much that people have not died for political causes as much as they have for their religion. Nevertheless, religion can never reform mankind because most religious rituals are the waste form of human slavery and the perversion of true spirituality.
The devil is evidently not anti-religion he is however anti-Christ. Christ is not the religious epithet of Jesus, it’s however a political description of Jesus which stand for “the anointed one” The one true King. Satan is obviously anti-Christ, because Christ came into His world system (kingdom) to destroy his works, and Satan’s best and greatest craft are false Christ’s invested in the religions of the world system.
God never called Abraham to start a religion called Judaism, neither was Moses instructed to start any religion. God promised to make both of them a great nation of people living harmoniously under Gods laws. Any individual that come to believe in Christ, becomes a seed of Abraham, and an heir of what Christ owns (Galatians 3:29). Believers in Christ are therefore not the seed of “religion”, there is no reference for believers joining any religion in scripture including the Christian religion as it is accepted worldwide.
Religions may offer rituals but not citizenship and national rights. Scripture is very clear that we are citizens of a Kingdom, living on earth as ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:21). [6: Galatians 3:29 – If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.] [7: 2 Cor. 5:20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. ]
THE FALL OF MAN FROM KINGDOM / DOMINION
To restore mankind from what he lost in the beginning, we need to examine carefully what Adam truly lost. Adam was put on earth with both a creation and a cultural mandate. I will dive deeply into the cultural mandate later when describing the seven mountains of culture. Traditionally scholars have agreed that Genesis 1:26 is mankind’s purpose and authorization for engaging both the creation and cultures established in the earth. [8: Genesis 1:26 ‘And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion..”]
Doug Kelly writes in Creation and Change, Only because mankind was created in the image of God was it appropriate to grant him the awesome responsibility of dominion over the entire created order.
We learn from Genesis that that mankind fell from dominion and rulership over the created earth not ‘over heaven’. God created and placed man on the earth as a ruler over all creation and we fell from that responsibility. When Lucifer fell from heaven, he caused man to fall from his position of rulership. This is why religion has abandoned earth in its theology, and in its philosophy neglected the earthly mandate.
Isn’t it therefore obvious enough to understand why almost all religions focus on either going to heaven or reincarnation? Whatever the promise of the afterlife, it is obvious that the spirit behind All religious promises are not from the Creator of man.
The command of the creator for mankind was rulership and dominion over the earth. Because Heaven belongs to the King and the earth was created for his children, the sons of men (Psalms15:17). The word dominion in Genesis 1:26 translates the Hebrew word, radar (Strongs H7287) which means to rule and reign over as king. Radar also denotes “kingdom’ or ‘sovereign rule’ or “government”. [9: Psalms 15:17 The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.] [10: Strongs H7287 radar – to rule and reign over as king]
THE ORIGINAL MANDATE / COMMANDMENT
The first command given to man by his creator was to establish a ‘government’ on the earth so as to terminate chaos and to maintain order. Gods Government was from its inception the solution to disorder. In fact the main function of the light that God spoke into the darkness was to bring order on earth and put things back into their original estate (Psalms 104:30). [11: Psalm’s 104:30 You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the ground.]
Man needs a government, not a religion. To remedy the search for purpose, reason and significance, God sent a king, who personified a Kingdom which is the answer to the Quest of all of mankind’s efforts in religion. Jesus Christ did not represent a religion neither did his disciples. His message was clearly that of a Kingdom. He first of all taught the Kingdom and demonstrated its power over nature and all other earthly circumstances.
It is hence fair to conclude that Religion has brutally failed. And we need to understand what the human spirit truly desires, the True focus of our faith which is Gods Kingdom and its dominion over the earth.
ONLY TWO MASTERS IN ANY SOCIETY
‘No one can serve two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24). Before I can lay a good foundation of a synopsis of the spheres that run and control the progression of any culture or society on earth, it is crucial to understand the statement of Jesus in the above scripture.
If we could carefully examine all systems in society; we can reduce them all to the same energetic forces that drives them. Jesus, Creator of the human heart concluded that all men in the world are either serving God or money. In this respect it is also crucial to understand that what one serves, it is what that particular person worships. All the ideological teachings and philosophies of man shouldn’t full us.
Jesus made it very clear; there are only two masters that control the actions mankind in any culture. Religion will say that it is the devil, it is not the devil, it is money.
What makes prostitutes to sell their bodies? It is obviously money not the devil. What makes educated people seat in the administrative office of government to do corruption? It is evidently money not the devil. And what cause medical doctors to practice lengthening sick lives instead of releasing cures that already exist? It is apparently the devil not money.
In fact Paul the Apostle wrote under the influence of the Holy Spirit that the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10). The Love of money in our society is the root, of all compromise, moral degradation and lawlessness. The Love of money is not fruit of evil, it is at the very core and source of people’s behaviour in society.
Every action of all of mankind is either pursuit of money or service to God. Money is not in itself evil, but the love of money is a source of all evil. Wealth is ethically neutral just as the earth is neutral; however, when money begins to control people, that’s when society collapses and the earth in turn affected with pollution, deforestation and list is endless. [12: 1 Timothy 6:10 – “For the love of money is the root of all evil..”]
THE PURPOSE OF THE KINGDOM IN SOCIETY
There is a huge difference between the world and the earth. The physical earth (the planet) is good and it is the LORDS; but it is the world or understated by the Greeks as the order or government system that are in the earth that are either good or evil. The system active in society therefore determines the environment on earth. The world that Jesus was sent to die for in John 3:16 stands for the people that are in the systems that form up society and nations of the world.
Jesus Christ made it clear to his disciples that the position of power that Adam lost was redeemed and he gave it back to man. Firstly, the great commandment was handed down to the Apostles who turned the known world (systems) of their day upside down with the Gospel of the Kingdom.
W. S Mcbirnie writes in The Search for the twelve Apostle’s, Within the life time of the Apostles the Gospel of Christ had spread to such far places as Gaul and Britain to the northwest, Alexandria and carthage on the coast of Africa to the south, Scythia and Armenia (the former soviet Union) to the north, and Persia and India to the east.
There was no place or system of the Roman Empire that the early disciples did not reach and influence greatly which led to massive persecution. In Genesis 1:26 God delegated rulership for man to subdue and replenish the earth; in other words we are to develop our gifting’s on the earth by building godly cultures and communities, build education facilities, build cities, discover technologies and govern under Gods authority. Therefore whatever happens in any field of society, it is suitably man’s responsibility, because that power to rule over culture was given to mankind. Believers were commanded by Jesus Christ to enact heavenly laws on earth and make disciples as a priority. Jesus never instructed any of his disciples to build their faith around the doctrine of escapism into heaven.
Matthew 10: 7 “As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.” The Word Kingdom is an Ancient Greek word – Basileia meaning: [13: G932 Strongs Greek Word Basileia – Kingdom]
- The person that dominate the territory
- Kingdom sovereignty
- Royal power
The purpose of the gospel is therefore not about Salvation or Going to heaven. The Kingdom is about a heavenly Government influencing and guiding the nations of the earth to their destiny which is ultimately the Kingdom of God infiltrating earthly societies. In a democratic society, it is dangerous to live our futures up to those who you are given the right to decide what happen to our lives. Avoiding the engagement with the powers that design and plan our time and change is to surrender to another man’s values, morals, and standards. The number one deficiency or fault of modern day believers it is lack of involvement in the planning of the nation. The folly of the church has been a preoccupation of planning for heaven and not for earth. The church has planned itself completely out of the earth. Its theology has become one of the abandonment of the earth and the world.
- Mcbirnie W. S. (1973), “The search for the twelve apostles.” Carol Stream, Illinois. Tyndale House Publishers.
- Edwards G. (1992), “The early Church.” Goleta, Calif, USA. Christian Books Publishers
- Billheimer P. E. (1978), “Destined for the Throne.” Santa Ana, USA Christian Literature Crusade
- The History of the 7 Mountains (2019) [online]. Available at: https://www.the7mountains.com/history-of-the-7-mountains
- Wallace, Anthony F.C. 1966. Religion: An Anthropological View. New York: Random House. (pp. 62–66) [online]. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion
- Douglas Kelly [online]. Available at: https://www.amazon.com/Creation-Change-Changing-Scientific-Paradigms/dp/1857922832
- Vatican, Central Statistics Office (2007). Annuario Pontificio (Pontifical Yearbook). Libreria Editrice Vaticana. [online]. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church