Which Kingdom?
Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

The early church was quickly taken over by the Judaizers who quickly set up their own hierarchical system enforcing the old levitical law on the believers.   Next, with the inclusion of Gentile believers into the fold a little later,  alternative systems were soon deployed, imposing their own brand of rules and regulations on the church in order to control the people.

However,  it was not until the third century when Constantine nationalized the church, for political and financial reasons, that universal dominance gained sway over the masses.

Rome, who was losing Her empire in a rapid decline, quickly seized the ecclesiastical benefits of the popular spread of Christianity capitalizing on the claim she was now the Church she once desperately and ruthlessly tried to stamp out of existence.  The majority thought ... "Wow, the system has now changed.  Because it is now Christian it will be kind to us.  Therefore, as its leaders are now Christian we must now follow them as God's mouth piece!"

Result ... rejection and atrocity to the degree never known before, for anyone not bowing to this new brand of "Christianity".

It wasn't long before this new Roman/Latin version was exported across Europe arriving in Britain as a replacement for the informal Saxon and Celtic varieties already there, by imposing submission to clergy, and compliance to its bigger and better building programmes etc.

Then after centuries of suppression (known as the medieval times) the Reformers came wielding the scriptures in defiance of elitist priesthood and in defence of religious liberty.  This resulted in a mass resistance against Roman clerical oppression and papal dominance, as well as acting as a cloak to hide Protestantism's new agenda of making merchandise of their followers.

The Dark Ages were over, but 'twas in practice only one form of monopoly replacing another, with its own system of torture and execution, for those who would not yield to its new practice of reform.

As more enlightenment came to the masses, due to the Bible being no longer  hidden away in medieval abbeys, or burnt in public, the opportunity soon arose to exploit and market it, and sell it as a public commodity.   This way every break-away group could become more camouflaged and subtle about the way they went about doing ritual and observances, like replacing the kingdom with Sabbath day culture, "going to church", as well as establishing their own sub-kingdom practices.

This refined variety by the way, was exported around the globe as Britain (and its European rivals) were busy empire building, and sending out missionaries who taught denominationalism and imposed their own Christianized culture on the aboriginal locals, in the name of civilizing them. 

Conversion meant coming to a European "Jesus" and doing things their "refined", "cultivated" and "enlightened" way.  Like being baptized into the "legitimate" church and exchanging their loincloths for holyday apparel; while coming to church beautifully on Sunday.  Or whatever the Sabbath was!  If native culture and tradition could not be suppressed (for appearance sake), it could be observed in private or taken out of mothballs to entertain guests and dignitaries on special occasions.  In latter times ...  for enterprisers or tourists, waving the mighty dollar!

The way was now open for the Great Export Drive.

Next came America with its dominance on the world scene, exporting its hi tech big business, multi-million sky-scraping showmanship.  In the name of Jesus, to add religious credence as well as making it sound relevant for the time.  Sounded great, but 'twas all part of the import/export religious business trade, "Christian" culture, empire building, money making ventures, and all that guff.

Through it all the Lord was keeping and raising a remnant, who would not be hoodwinked by the promises of heaven, through yielding to the demands of the clergy and the entrapments of their fraternities.  To the non conformists (of whom the remnant were termed in those days) truth was not religious bait, but revelation they embraced, practised, and lived; outside the mainstream camp and beyond the closely guarded traditions and doctrines of men.

This was the kingdom of God coming not with grand processions, fancy dress codes, ringing and dinging bells, and magnificent edifices.  But being hidden from the world and revealed only to the contrite and broken.  The realm that one can only see upon being spiritually regenerated (born again) and experienced as God's eternal kingdom and place of dwelling.  There is no short cuts to this reality.  Bottom line ...  you wont see and experience it, unless you have first renounced the world and embraced God's free gift, to those who would call on His name.

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