Hold Up Your Hand And Take A Close Look
If you hold up your hand and examine it closely, you can learn some practical principles of the five fold. In past blogs we have seen that each finger has its own distinct fingerprint although from a distant all fingers look the same. Each fingerprint is distinctively different in their own unique way, yet must rely on the other fingers to be effective as part of the hand. Missing any one of the fingers causes one to have a “crippled” hand.
As a child, I remember going down the Midway of the York Fair listening to one of the Carnies boasting that one could come into his tent to see “The Claw Man”, a man who had lobster claw hands. I understand, that the man who you paid to see actually looked like he had claws because he had a disease where his four fingers were fused together as one with only a movable thumb. He was considered a “freak” in the Freak Show Midway. God designed for a hand to have five moveable parts that worked together, now fingers fused, nor one extremity being alone. Hands were never designed to be only movable thumbs.
Unfortunately this is how the Church has looked in the last couple centuries. The fingers have fought to be separate entities, separate from the other fingers. In I Corinthians 1:10-13 Paul writes: I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says I follow Paul”; another “I follow Apollos”; another ”I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you?
The evangelist and prophetic were lining up behind Paul; the teacher aligned with Apollos; the pastoral shepherd stood behind Cephas, all three claiming to be apostolic. Is Christ divided? Unfortunately, historically, the answer has been yes! The Church has been a “freak show” in the Midway of history, for it has not seen the fulfillment of Jesus’ Priestly Prayer for the Church and his believers as recorded in John 17 yet. I believe that fulfillment is still coming as the five fold continues to be reinstituted in the Church as originally planned: for the purpose to mature the saints into the image of Jesus as well as bringing unity in the Body.
The hand needs all its fingers to operate independently, yet corporately with each other. If you have only one finger in use, it is difficult to pick up anything. With all fingers working together it is a simple task, even picking up the minutest thing. If all fingers work together, they can “grasp”. In order to “grasp” the wisdom and knowledge of Jesus Christ in his fullness, all five fingers need to be working independently yet together. If all five fingers of the five fold as outlined in Ephesians 4: 11 work together, then “the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (vs.12-13). The fullness of Christ is the hand of God.