Quick Thoughts: What is the “Seven Mountains Mandate”?

Lyndon Unger of Mennoknight, who also blogs for The Cripplegate, has written an excellent piece on the Seven Mountains Mandate (SMM).  This is a subject we’ve reported on many times to remind people of the unbiblical nature of this so-called mandate.  Still, a large number of professing evangelicals are unaware that SMM is the brainchild of the New Apostolic Reformation false teachers who like to think of themselves as modern-day “apostles” and “prophets.”  Because the NAR is steeped in Eastern Mysticism it is considered a cult-like group.

Unger states the obvious: NAR leaders are after people’s money so that they can wield power and influence in the seven spheres and evangelize the world with their false gospel.  What concerns him is that two men who didn’t even believe in the sufficiency of Scripture started SMM and these same men foolishly “gained propositional revelation from a vision and based a rather large component of their lives on it.”

So – now to Unger’s piece:

NAR's Seven Mountains

If you’ve heard of the New Apostolic Reformation, you’ve heard of many strange ideas.  One of those may be the “Seven Mountains Mandate.”  What is that exactly?  Well, the Seven Mountains Mandate is an idea that originates in a vision that Loren Cunningham (founder of YWAM) and Bill Bright (founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, or Cru, and author of The Four Spiritual Laws) both had in 1975 (read about it here and here and here and here). The idea was that there are seven spheres (circles of cultural influence) that were the key to world evangelism; if a person could “reclaim” each sphere, they would establish Christianity across the globe and finish the great commission (and as a side benefit, usher in the second coming). Cunningham was told (by God, no less), that he had to infiltrate each sphere to successfully evangelize the world.

What were those seven spheres?7m-Row

The spheres were:

1) Family.

2) Church.

3) Education.

4) Media.

5) Celebration (i.e. whatever culture celebrates – entertainment, sports, etc).

6) Economy.

7) Government.

Cunningham claims he got the term “sphere” from 2 Cor. 10:13-16, but the rest of it was from God.  Cunningham then told all the young people under him to enter those “spheres” as missionaries. He then talked about how Caleb requested the “mountain” in Joshua 14:12, so the “spheres” were re-named “mountains”.  Loren Cunningham then opened a university in 1978 to attempt to train people to conquer those seven mountains. YWAM alone is currently training over 25,000 people a year to take over these “mountains”.

Here’s a little video that summarizes the idea: View the video and continue reading


Cold Hard Facts On Cults by Marsha West

Cults & Heretical Teaching research links–On Solid Rock Resources

See our White Paper on the New Apostolic Reformation

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9 Responses to Quick Thoughts: What is the “Seven Mountains Mandate”?

  1. Timothy Kobernik January 6, 2020 at 11:52 pm #

    i am looking for more scripture to support or refute, but you seem to be bringing emotions and divisiveness instead. What do you have to encourage followers of Jesus?

  2. COMALite J October 28, 2020 at 10:28 am #

    There is only one place in the Bible where the two-word phrase “seven mountains” appears: Revelation 17:9, which reads:“And here is the mind that hath wisdom: the seven heads [of the Scarlet-Coloured Beast mentioned in verse 3] are seven mountains on which the woman [Whore of Babylon as shown in earlier verses] sitteth.”

    Funny they should use that metaphor to describe their “holy” mission.

  3. Aloysius December 16, 2020 at 11:31 am #

    Daniel, Kings of Israel, Joseph, The Judges Have impacted/influenced all the Seven mountains/systems in Major ways.. If the saints of the old testament did this how much more should “the more glorious covenant” people do?

  4. Hopefully Devoted March 9, 2021 at 7:06 am #

    Seems to me, given the strong delusion that we are now in, that the seven mountains are indeed showing themselves one and the same with the 7 heads (mountains) of Revelation’s first beast. Which one suffers a seemingly mortal head wound? The world economy? Then miraculously revived by a new order based on blockchain total oppression?

  5. David L July 8, 2021 at 10:03 am #

    There is a big difference between being the salt and light in theses areas and thinking we can control these areas. The USA was founded by people who understood the difference and expected Christians to influence government and society.

    Tragically, many Christians don’t understand the two OT Biblical words commonly translated as sanctify or consecrate.

    The Nazirite (nazir H5144) is about separating FROM. It was an outward act that was to reflect the inward, but it did not change the heart – Sampson. These separations were usually temporary.

    Qadash (H6942) is about separating TO. The word Holy, qodesh (H6944), comes from Qadash. Your marriage is holy when you are faithful to your spouse, not because you don’t have friends of the opposite sex.

    We are commanded to love (agapao G25) everyone like we love our self (Matt 22:39). It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict of sin. (John 16:7-11).

    We are salt and light when people are attracted to the Spirit of God who lives within us. His transformational power can make us different in a way that draws people to us, just like the way they were drawn to Jesus.

  6. Greg August 8, 2021 at 5:59 pm #

    They identified seven REALMS of influence in society. Looks like a pretty comprehensive list to me. Instead of attacking them over how they received their insight, why not look at the fact that they accurately named the places where the Lost can be found and they went out and found them. I challenge you to show me where in the Bible organized evangelization is forbidden.

    Heretic hunting is so ugly. If you can prove someone’s doctrine, theology, dogma, practices. etc., are truly heretical and not just different than reformed doctrine/dogma, then please show your work. Simple differences in interpretation are not heresies or errors. Just different. And if it does no damage to the gospel, what is that to you?

    Twice in the OT God told us to take him to the world. Apparently he had to come into the world and die to get our attention. It is much better to seek the lost than it is to trash Yahweh’s image on the internet. An evangelist friend once wisely advised, “We should take care how we talk about the Lord’s kids.”

  7. Greg August 9, 2021 at 1:03 am #

    And also, you named Bill Bright with the NAR. Bill Bright was with the Lord long before the NAR existed. You have maligned a man you know nothing about. This article is not only sloppy and irresponsible, it is flat sinful and you should repent and do a little homework next time.

    • Greg Robertson August 30, 2021 at 2:55 pm #

      Bill Bright died in July 2003. According to “prophet” Cindy Jacobs, “the apostles must all be in place” by the turn of the century, three years before. The false prophecies of the time were that Jesus was supposed to return and rule the nations through the restored office of apostle.
      C. Peter Wagner and Pablo Deiros put together a book with many authors in 1998. It is called “The Rising Revival” and speaks much about the “apostles,” so it was obviously around before Bright died.

  8. Greg Robertson August 30, 2021 at 2:46 pm #

    Although the strategy is really a man-made thing and not really founded in biblical revelation, it might be a good thing if it was carried out right. In the first place, Loren Cunningham’s claim that Isaiah 33:22 shows God pointing to American government, it does not. The verse says: “For the LORD is our judge; the LORD is our lawgiver; the LORD is our king; he will save us.” America is not a theocracy with God at the top. It never has been. The recognition of human sinfulness has put into the American system of government checks and balances so that evil and corrupt human beings cannot reform the old system of a king at the top and the rest being his subjects.
    Something I noticed, even when in YWAM (1973-1979) was that the communists do not sleep in their zeal to take over the nations. How do they do it? A cornerstone of the plan was to get control of “the robes of culture.” The robes of influence in culture can be compared to the “seven mountains” or “seven spheres” of the Cunningham “revelation.”
    The big question comes in, “What did Cunningham do with his ‘revelation’?” Well, he established schools. The communists did not establish schools. If they did, they would not have gotten very far. Instead, they went into law, religion (even infiltrating the Christian church), government, family, entertainment, psychology, media and every area of influence. So now, although YWAM’s University of the Nations has trained multiple thousands of students, their influence is nil and America and the nations have lost ground to Marxist ideology.
    We are supposed to be wise as serpents! The communists and Marxists are! Instead, we retreated into a corner and virtually turned our possible influence for the gospel over the enemy. I say this as a member of the conservative Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. The Lutheran church has acted as wise as a serpent and has the second largest number of parochial schools in America, sending people out into the various influential spheres of society, the Roman Catholic schools having the most. Incidentally, President Biden is not a YWAM trained person, but he is an apostate Roman Catholic who is more aligned with a Marxist’s worldview than he is a Christian worldview.
    So, while we have these Cunningham-style “apostles” out getting “revelation from God” about how to influence the nations, the Lutherans, the Catholics, and the Marxists who are present in both Catholic and Lutheran churches, are influencing the nations with common-sense biblical Christianity without giving head to voices outside of Scripture claiming to reveal God’s plans.

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