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     Chapter 1 - This City  (below)                     Chapter 8 - Coming Together Where It Counts

     Chapter 2 - Watchmen of Zion                    Chapter 9 - An Essential Lesson

     Chapter 3 - One Voice in This City              Chapter 10 - Romans 14

     Chapter 4 - After the Noise                         Chapter 11 - Who Are the Elders?

     Chapter 5 - Costly, Yet Free                       Chapter 12 - Free Men

     Chapter 6 - Our Work Or His?                     Chapter 13 - Reliable

     Chapter 7 - A Holy Nation    



          Chapter 1                   THIS   CITY                                    


             The city where we live may be a sprawling metropolitan area with

         millions of souls speeding along its freeways and subway tubes. Or it

         may be a valley tucked away in a mountain chain far from the throbbing

         crowds. But even this valley or this deserted railroad junction, or

         this lonely fishing cove where we make our home is part of a city in

         the sense that it fits into a system in which vast numbers of human

         beings are tied together by common concerns, common fears, prejudices

         and desires. We turn on the T.V. and hear the weather for our city.

         We pick up a newspaper and read about the men and women who govern our

         city. We freeze together if the power fails.


             Yet followers of Jesus in this city manifest no unity. The

         Republicans in our city know each other. The Democrats fit in and work

         together. The business community, labor groups, musicians, revolution-

         aries, and even garden enthusiasts are aware of each other in their

         common bond. But those who claim to be branches on a single Vine live

         in a hundred different worlds.


             There are those who consider this normal. They point to the

         corruption that seems to set in wherever the church in any given area

         is structurally unified. Better that believers should be scattered and

         weak than formed into some ecumenical monster. Looking back over the

         history of the church or even observing the activity of any large

         mainline denomination one cannot argue with those who view appeals

         for unity with a skeptical eye. When the Kingdom of God is turned into

         an enterprise that bears more resemblance to General Motors than to the

         apostolic community, it is hardly the Kingdom, even though it uses the

         name of Jesus in its literature and calls itself a church. And this

         can happen even to churches that confine themselves to a single geo-

         graphical area. Money, power, numbers, buildings, broadcasts, telecasts,

         and large quantities of incoming mail can quickly corrupt a fellowship

         of believers that began as something heavenly.


             And yet there is every indication that the time has come for the

         church in our city, wherever that city is, to come into a unity which

         is quite different from any unity we have known or imagined in the

         past. Believers across the earth are hearing the call of the Spirit

         to “come out” of all those things which have, up to now, divided them

         from brothers and sisters. We are being caused to see as unclean areas

         of our “religious” life which we heretofore regarded as holy. Unclean

         because they have been dominated by a smugness and a self-righteousness

         which have estranged us in our very hearts from men and women who are

         meant to be flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone in the Body of the

         Lord. Just as truly as a husband’ s prayers are hindered by his lack of

         love for his wife, the prayers of the church are hindered by this un-

         willingness in our hearts to fit in with those who are fellow heirs with

         us in the coming glory.


             An organism is now being brought forth in each of our cities which

         pays little attention to the religious organizations of which we are

         all a part. While we continue to fulfill our responsibilities in our

         local assemblies, we know that we also have a responsibility to come

         together before the throne of God with all our brothers and sisters in

         this city where God has put us and give him true worship. We hear the

         Spirit warning us that the walls we have raised between us must come

         down. We see the harvest waiting for a church that is whole and clean

         and harmonious to come and reap. It will not be reaped until the

         saints in our city are fitting in with each other in the common work.

         Beneath all this is the evidence, appearing daily, that those saints

         who refuse to fit in will be left behind to be absorbed perhaps in a

         “church” also emerging, which is headed by the anti-Christ.


             There is no time left to speculate about these things as if they

         belonged to the future, We are involved whether we like it or not in

         the present judgment, cleansing, and quickening of the church in this