Is God’s Reign Today More Than a Spiritual Reality?

March 23, 2023
Faithfulness, Kingdom, Spiritual Intimacy

Scripture recounts two distinct times in history when a multitude of people lived under God’s reign and were called the Kingdom of God. The Old Testament relates how the first people focused mainly on natural life and the New Testament shares how the renewed call focused primarily on spiritual life, matters of the heart. (a) [See endnotes for Scriptures]

Both historical times included many variables that resulted in countless blessings and misfortune. While God’s Kingdom (governing influence) in the earth has never been a picture of perfection, it is not intended to focus on the natural ‘or’ the spiritual. Kingdom life involves spiritual experiences that affect our natural lives. So we ask, is God’s reign today more than a spiritual reality?

Call into Kingdom Life

Abraham is called the “father of the faithful. (b) Consequently, every faithful believer is a real child of Abraham. The “child of promise” (c) spoken to Abraham is a spiritual truth that became a physical reality in the life of Isaac. The promise was also revealed in the physical life of Jesus Christ. Real truth in this world is not just a spiritual or natural reality; it includes both our inner and outer beings.

The Old Testament calls the first gathering of faith “My People, Israel.” As a people, they were called to be the Kingdom of God in the earth. These people were a mixed multitude of the slaves in Egypt. There were so many people that if we assigned each of the 600,000 men of war (d) a wife and 2 children, there were at least 2 ½ million people. This was a major call into Kingdom life!

God commissioned this motley crew to function under His guidance as a “kingdom of priests.” (e) They were to be responsive spiritually and naturally. When the people refused to personally interact with God’s presence, (f) their focus remained primarily on natural issues. Similar to the error of Adam and Eve, they ignored God as their primary source of wisdom and turned to focus on the wisdom gained from this world’s ‘good and evil’ experiences. (g)

Mercifully, God provided a natural tabernacle to remind them of His presence among them. (h) God also set aside a priesthood to be devoted to ministering to Him. (i) As a nation, Israel functioned for the first 500 years with no king, central government, or two-class system. They were a ‘middle class’ type of society, electing for each tribal region elders and judges to settle disputes and correct bad behavior. The Kingdom experience functioned much like today’s republics with individual States.

Kingdom life involves spiritual experiences that affect our natural lives.

A Renewed Focus

As the first experience of God’s reign in and among people was in decline, a renewal was prophesied. “For a child will be born, a son will be given, and the government will rest on His shoulders…and there will be no end to the increase of His government…from then on and for evermore.” (j) 

During old Israel’s captivity, God gave King Nebuchadnezzar a dream. Daniel recalled the dream and interpreted it. “God will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed… and not be left for another people…it will itself endure forever.” (k) This reality would endure and never cease to be experienced. Following the life of Jesus Christ, God’s influencing reign became a fresh reality in multitudes.

Later, Daniel saw a vision that added a few details. “One like a Son of Man coming…and to him was given dominion…which will not pass away…which will not be destroyed.” (l) The New Testament clarifies Jesus Christ was “the coming one.” This Kingdom experience focused on what the first gathering rejected: a personal response to God’s guiding and anointing presence, during this life.

The invitation to live as a “kingdom of priests” was repeated to this second calling. (m) God renewed His call to live as Kingdom people, writing His lawful ways on hearts. Natural people would learn to respond to God’s guidance and live a more meaningful natural life. (n) Jesus said this Kingdom reality actually began with John the Baptist and people were energetically entering into its experience. (o)

We must remember the newness that began with Jesus Christ, became an ongoing reality for the rest of time. Jesus even said his influencing presence would “always” (p) be with us. The New Testament declares we can partake of this fresh sense of his coming presence into our situations every day.

The New Testament declares we can partake of this fresh sense of his coming presence into our situations every day.

“Greater Works”

The call to believe and have faith in God is an appeal to every person. Everyone is invited to have faith in God, to receive His insightful guidance, and to be faithful to His way of life. While our response to God begins as a spiritual experience, it is intended to influence our natural life as well. 

God invites us to function together as the interactive body of “My People Israel.” This term speaks of an enlarged response to His guidance. Jesus even said interacting believers would do “greater works(q) than what was seen in his life. The greater works are realized and seen in our interactive function under God’s guiding influence. All things are possible in God’s Kingdom reign. (r)

At the end of his earthly life, Jesus instructed what became known as The Great Commission: “Go into the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (s) Another Gospel records this instruction as: “Go and make disciples of all the nations.(t) While we are to declare (preach) the Good News (Gospel) to each person, we are to make followers (disciples) of all groups of people (nations).

The function of believers under God’s guidance is illustrated in our fellowships, communities and nations as the greater works. Groups of people responding to God’s guiding Spirit are also called the “Body of Christ” (u) which is the visible Kingdom of God. His influencing oversight adjusts our perceptions and natural activity. Our response to God’s guidance is as spiritual ‘and’ natural people.

For over 2000 years the Kingdom of God has been experienced as the presence of God-in-Christ among us, infusing spiritual life into our natural lives. All who “seek and knock” (v) find this life-enriching experience. While this clarity is not proclaimed often, Paul emphasizes its reality:

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify (cleanse and make uncommon) you entirely (within and without); and may your spirit (zoe spiritual life) and soul (consciousness) and body (bios natural life) be preserved complete (as one), without blame at the coming (in the presence) of our Lord Jesus Christ. (w)

All who respond to God’s guidance actually partake of His influencing presence and experience God’s Kingdom reign, today. How well are we interacting with our heavenly Father and seeing the improvement in your everyday life?

All things are possible in God’s Kingdom reign.

a) Hebrews 10:16; b) Romans 4:9-13, 16; c) Romans 9:6-9; d) Exodus 12:33-38; 19:6 e) Exodus 19:5-6;  f) Deuteronomy 4:12; 5:1-4, 22-27; Exodus 20:19; g) Genesis 3:6; 2 Corinthians 11:3;1 John 2:16; h) Exodus 25:8; i) Exodus 28:1-4; 29:44; j) Isaiah 9:1-7; k) Daniel 2:34-35, 44-45; l) Daniel 7:13-14;  m) 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6; n) Galatians 5:16, 13-14, 22-25; o) Luke 16:16; p) Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5; q) John 14:12; 5:20; r) Matthew 19:23-24, 26; s) Mark 16:14-18; t) Matthew 28:18-20; u) 1 Corinthians 10:16; Ephesians 4:12-16; v) Luke 11:9-13; Matthew 7:7-11;  w) 1 Thessalonians 5:23

Keith Carroll, “The Relationship Guy”
Relational Gospel Founder
Created To Relate author

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