The Spirit and the Body, by Witness Lee

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The anointing and the sealing are the earnest, the foretaste, the guarantee. The Greek word for earnest has an interesting background. When an ancient Greek purchased a parcel of land, the seller gave the buyer a box of soil from that land. That box of soil was called the earnest or guarantee. It assured the buyer that he was not purchasing poor land. By receiving a sample of the soil, he could be assured that the land was rich and fertile. The sample, the foretaste, was the guarantee that all the land was exactly like the soil in the box. It was the guarantee of receiving a good parcel of land. God is our inheritance, our parcel of good land. We have not yet possessed the whole of this land. What we are enjoying today is simply the box of soil, the foretaste. This foretaste is the earnest, the guarantee, assuring us that the day is coming when we shall receive our inheritance.

The whole of our inheritance will be the same as the foretaste, just as the whole piece of land was the same as the soil in the box. Hence, the foretaste is the guarantee that the full taste is coming; it is the guarantee of the whole inheritance, which is God Himself. An illustration of the foretaste of the Spirit is seen in cooking. Before sisters serve a meal, they often enjoy a foretaste of that meal in the kitchen. The day will come when we shall inherit God in a full way. What we are enjoying of Him today is the same in element, in taste, and in substance as what we shall enjoy in the future as the full taste. The difference is only in quantity, not in quality. We are enjoying the foretaste, and we are looking forward to the full taste. Although the anointing we enjoy today is rich and wonderful, it is simply the foretaste; the full taste is yet to come.

The anointing brings us the divine element, the sealing gives us the divine image, and the foretaste gives us the divine taste. Now we have the divine element, the divine image, and the divine taste. How wonderful! Day by day the all-inclusive, life-giving Spirit brings us the divine element. At the same time it gives us the divine image and the divine taste. Now we are tasting our God, who is our inheritance.


This foretaste is the firstfruit mentioned in Romans 8:23. We all have this firstfruit of the Spirit. Suppose you have a peach tree in your yard. Although the tree may be full of fruit, only a few of the peaches will ripen first. These are the firstfruit. Today the Spirit of God within us is the firstfruit. The harvest will take place when we are raptured. At that time, we shall enjoy God as our full crop, our full harvest. But today we are enjoying Him as the firstfruit.

(The Spirit and the Body, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)