THE ANOINTING, THE SEALING,
AND THE PLEDGE OF THE SPIRIT
When the cross has been working through us, this working brings in resurrection. Therefore, 1:21-22 says that God has anointed us, has sealed us, and has given us the pledge, the foretaste, of the Spirit. If we are going to minister something of Christ to others, we have to experience Christ by the working of the cross, and the working of the cross is for the anointing, the sealing, and the pledge of the Spirit. The ministry comes out of this experience. We are now in Christ and Christ is our portion, but we experience Christ by the working of the cross. We need the working of the cross because we have the anointing, the sealing, and the foretaste, the pledge, of the Spirit within us. If we have not been brought to an end, it will be very difficult for us to take care of the inner anointing and the inner sealing. It will be hard for us to enjoy the inner pledge of the Spirit. The working of the cross is for the experience of the inner anointing, the sealing, and the inner enjoyment of the pledge of the Spirit. We all need the working of the cross so that we may enjoy the pledge of the Spirit and so that we may experience the anointing and the sealing of the Spirit.
The anointing is first, the sealing is second, and the pledge is third. God has anointed us with Himself. Anointing is like painting. The more a painter paints, the more the paint gets onto the thing that he is painting. Today God is the divine Painter. He paints us with all the elements of Himself. The more He paints us with His divine elements, the more these elements of God will be wrought into us. Thus, God’s anointing us is His imparting of all His divine elements into us. When we were unbelievers, we did not have the divine elements. We only had the human element. Since we have become believers, God is anointing Himself into us in order that we may have the divine elements dispensed into all our inward parts. God’s anointing of Himself into us is so that we may be absolutely mingled with Him, with His divine elements, to be fully one with Him.
The anointing imparts God’s elements into us, and the sealing forms the divine elements into an impression to express God’s image. If I take a seal and seal a piece of paper with it, the same figure of the seal is left on the paper. The sealing gives us the figure or the image. God has not only anointed us with all of His elements, but He has also sealed us with His own image. The more we are sealed by God, the more we will have the image of God.
Finally, we have the pledge of the Spirit. The pledge of the Spirit is the foretaste of God as a sample and guarantee of the full taste of God. God has put Himself into us as a kind of down payment or foretaste so that we can taste Him within.
We must be impressed that God has anointed us with all His elements, has sealed us with His own image, and has put Himself into us as a kind of down payment for our enjoyment. We must learn how to realize the inner anointing, how to cooperate with the inner sealing, and how to enjoy the inner pledge, down payment, earnest, foretaste, of the Holy Spirit. We do this by the working of the cross. The cross has to bring us to an end. Then we can say, “Lord, now I have the sentence of death. I am despairing of my life. I am through. I am finished.” Immediately, we will sense the inner anointing, the inner sealing, and even the inner pledge of the Spirit. Through these three experiences of the Spirit as the anointing, the sealing, and the pledge, with the experience of the cross, the ministry of Christ is produced. By the working of the cross with the inner anointing, sealing, and foretaste or pledge, we will have the adequate experience of Christ. Then we will have the ministry which the Body desperately needs today. May the Lord be merciful to us so that we might be brought into the realization of how much we need the working of the cross to bring us to an end and of how much we need to experience the inner anointing, sealing, and pledge of the Spirit that we may have a real ministry for the Body of Christ.
(Autobiography of a Person in the Spirit, An, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)