We now come to see the ninth main point in the knowledge of life—the three lives and four laws. This is a truth of extreme importance in the Bible. If we want to clearly know the condition of our inner spiritual life, or if we desire to lead an overcoming life free from sins, a thorough understanding of this basic truth is necessary.


The Definition of the Three Lives

The three lives spoken of here are the three lives that are within every saved one—man’s life, Satan’s life, and God’s life.

Ordinarily, men think that there is only one life within man, that is, the human life, which is obtained from their parents. But the Bible shows that due to the fall of man, besides the human life, there is also in man the life of Satan. Therefore, Romans 7:18 and 20 say that in man, that is, in the flesh of man, there sin also dwells. Sin here refers to the life of Satan. This flesh, which contains the life of Satan, according to Galatians 5:17, continues to remain within man after he is saved and often lusts against the Spirit. Therefore, after a person is saved, he still has Satan’s life in him.

Moreover, John 3:36 says, “He who believes into the Son has eternal life.” First John 5:12 also says, “He who has the Son has the life,” that is, the life of God. This shows that one who believes into the Son of God and is saved has not only his own original human life and the life of Satan obtained through the fall but also the eternal life of God.

The Origin of the Three Lives

The Bible says that when God created Adam, He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; thus, Adam obtained the created life of man. Then God put man in the garden of Eden before two trees, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. According to the revelations given later in the Bible, the tree of life signifies God, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil signifies Satan, and Adam represents mankind. Hence, that day in the garden of Eden—that is, in the universe—a situation developed that involved three parties—man, God, and Satan.

Satan is the opponent of God, and the focus of his struggling with God is man. Both Satan and God wanted man. God desired man for the accomplishment of His will, whereas Satan wanted man for the fulfillment of his evil desire. The method of both Satan and God in gaining man was through life. God’s intention was for man to eat the fruit of the tree of life and thus obtain His uncreated life and be united with Him. However, Satan enticed man to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thus causing man to obtain his fallen life and be mixed with him.

On that day Adam, deceived as he was by Satan, ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Henceforth, Satan’s life entered into man, causing him to become corrupted. Thus, besides his own original created life, man also obtained the fallen life of Satan.

In the New Testament time God put His life in His Son to be manifested among men so that by believing in His Son and receiving Him, man may obtain His life. Thus, besides our original created human life and the life of Satan obtained through the fall, we also obtain the life of God.

Therefore, the three lives within us who are saved are obtained through creation, the fall, and salvation, respectively. Coming forth from the creating hands of God, we obtained the created human life. Passing through Adam, we became fallen and obtained the fallen life of Satan. Getting into Christ, we are saved and obtain the uncreated life of God.

The Location of the Three Lives

According to scriptural revelations, the three different lives of man, Satan, and God entered respectively into our soul, body, and human spirit—the three parts of our being. When God formed man from the dust of the ground, He breathed into him the breath of life, and “man became a living soul” (Gen. 2:7). This means that the human life obtained through creation is in man’s soul. When man was enticed by Satan and fell, he ingested into his body the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which signifies Satan. Therefore, the life of Satan obtained by man through the fall is in the human body. When man receives the Lord Jesus as Savior and is saved, the Spirit of God, bringing with Him the life of God, enters into the human spirit. Hence, the life of God obtained by man through salvation is in the human spirit. Thus, a person who is saved has the life of God in his spirit, the human life in his soul, and the life of Satan in his body.

In order to understand more clearly the three parts wherein the three lives are located, we will spend a little time to discuss the consciousness of these three parts. The body, our outermost, physical part, is visible and touchable; it includes all the members of our body and has the five senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching in order to contact the physical world. Therefore, the consciousness of the body is called the worldly sense or physical sense.

The spirit, our innermost and deepest part, includes the conscience, intuition, and fellowship. The conscience is the organ for distinguishing right and wrong; and, according to the principle of right and wrong, it causes us to sense what is right and accepted in the eyes of God and what is wrong and rejected in the eyes of God. The intuition enables us to sense the will of God directly, without the need of anything as a means. The fellowship part enables us to communicate and fellowship with God. Although it is the fellowship part that causes us to contact God, yet it is both the conscience and the intuition that cause us to sense God and spiritual matters, that is, to contact the spiritual world. The sense of these two parts is the sense in the spirit; hence, it is called the spiritual sense, or the sense of God.

The soul, which is situated between the spirit and the body, is our inner, psychological part and includes the mind, emotion, and will. The mind is the organ for thinking and considering; the emotion is the organ for pleasure, anger, sorrow, and joy; and the will is the organ for formulating opinions and making decisions. Although the soul consists of three parts, only two—the mind and the emotion—have consciousness. The sense of the mind is based on rationalization, whereas the sense of the emotion is based on likes and dislikes. The two senses in our soul enable us to sense man’s psychological part, that is, man’s ego or self, and to contact the psychological world; hence, they are called psychological senses or self-consciousness. Ordinarily, man’s consciousness refers to the sense of likes and dislikes in the emotion of the soul. Although this sense can be affected by the mind of the soul, the five senses of the body, and the conscience of the spirit, or even slightly affected by the intuition of the spirit, as in the case of a spiritual man, yet it is mainly constituted of the sense of likes and dislikes in the emotion of the soul.