City Harvest Church is called to engage culture for the kingdom of God, said Kong Hee in the fourth of the Arise & Build sermons.
At the fourth weekend in City Harvest Church’s Arise & Build campaign, senior pastor Kong Hee revived a teaching on how Christians should engage the seven mountains of society, using the story of Joseph.
“The anointing of God is not for your own enjoyment but to serve in the marketplace,” said Kong.
In 1 Samuel 10:5, the Philistines had built a stronghold around the mountain of God, so that His people could not go up. Kong explained that the “garrison” in this verse is symbolic of spiritual strongholds and that “mountains” and “hills” spoke of places of authority and influence in present day. Satan has built demonic strongholds around the seven mountains of society to prevent believers from influencing the world.
The seven mountains, or pillars, are: religion, family, business, education, government, arts and entertainment, and media. The Great Commission found in Matthew 24:14 exhorts Christians to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to all the nations. The Gospel of the Kingdom is God’s value system for living, and a nation refers not just to a physical place, but to a country and its culture. Hence, the Great Commission is not just to save souls but it is to spread God’s values in all countries and their respective cultures.
Kong received the revelation on the seven pillars of influence in the society 10 years ago. Coincidentally, at that time, an American preacher Lance Wallnau had been preaching on the seven mountains of society.
He says that there are only four ways to do missions.
- Church + Gospel – Culture = Fundamentalism
- Church – Gospel + Culture = Liberalism
- Gospel + Culture – Church = Parachurch
- Church + Gospel + Culture = Kingdom
CHC aims to be a Kingdom Church: a strong local church demonstrating the full gospel and engaging culture fully all at the same time, said Kong.
The senior pastor explained that doing missions is not just preaching the gospel to other countries. In Acts 9:15, which says, “But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel’”, “Gentiles” refer to non-Jews, “children of Israel” refer to Jews, and “kings” refer to those who occupy the high places of influence and authority in the seven pillars of society.
Back to the story in 1 Samuel 10:5-6, when God wanted to deal with the stronghold, He did not send a revival, He sent a carrier of revival—a man called Saul from the smallest tribe of Benjamin.
“In the same way, God has called you and sent you to a company or a campus. He has appointed and anointed you for the task!” declared Kong.
God instructed Saul through Samuel to worship and prophesy with a group of prophets. Likewise, in modern day, the Church exists to edify, educate, and empower the people of God. “The meeting place is the training place for the marketplace,” said Kong.
David loved the house of God because he understood his roles as the King, as well as a prophet and priest. He knew that the anointing he received in the house of God was for him to take down the garrisons of the Philistines.
Similarly, believers need to take on the role of a King to take territories for the Kingdom of God. Kong quoted Wallnau: “A marketplace believer is someone who gets an anointed strategy, sets himself apart for the Lord, gets as high as he can in the industry, blocks the purpose of Satan, and manifests the Kingdom of God.”
THE STORY OF JOSEPH
Joseph’s father Jacob falling in love with his mother Rachel. For seven years, he worked hard for his father-in-law in order to marry Rachel, but was deceived and married Leah instead. Jacob then served another seven years to marry Rachel.
Genesis 29:17 said that Leah’s eyes were delicate but Rachel was beautiful of form and appearance. Kong explained that women in the Bible were a type of the church. Leah speaks of a church with no vision, while Rachel speaks of a church that has smitten the heart of God.
Joseph, the first-born child of Jacob and Rachel, a child of Jacob’s age, speaks of the church in the last generation. “We are going to be Josephs that will take the world for Jesus Christ!” Kong said.
Joseph was a dreamer destined to do great things, but he was frequently encumbered by difficult circumstances. God’s favor, however, was constantly upon Joseph. This was evident in Genesis 39:2-3, where it says “The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand.”
Joseph was moving up the mountain of influence by simply leaning on the Lord. Eventually, Joseph’s masters, Potiphar and, later, Pharaoh, placed everything under Joseph’s control. Similarly, God wants to use His children to bless their companies and schools.
“Joseph’s time in prison being a time of prosperity changed my outlook. Even in the valley, Joseph grew in favor with the people. God never leaves during our down times, because He is always up to something greater and better. Joseph exemplified what someone with God’s favor looks like, and we can all experience the same favor because we are appointed and anointed,” said Wendy Yee, 21, an undergraduate.
Joseph had 14 years of training before he received the anointing of the Holy Spirit to move in faith and to prophesy the famine in Egypt. Pharaoh, a non-believer, even declared Joseph’s name to be “Zaphnath-Paaneah”, which means “God speaks and love”, and “savior of the world”. CHC exists to do missions, to raise up modern-day Josephs.
“Leadership is about influence”, said Kong.
Joseph had success in Potiphar’s house, was prosperous in prison, and became wealthy in Pharaoh’s palace. In good times and bad times, God provides good success.
In Deuteronomy 8:18, God said that He appoints and assigns His believers the responsibility to be successful and prosperous so that they can fund, and serve the purpose of His kingdom.
Kong closed his sermon with a quote from John Wesley: “Earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can.”
“It’s not about living our own lives, hiding within the four walls of the church, but being a Joseph or a Daniel, immersed in the culture of the marketplace, so that when the world sees us, even when they don’t know God, they know that our God is mighty and great,” said Wee Peixin, 26, a process engineer.