Dealing with Our Inward Parts for the Growth in Lifeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
The soul is of three parts—the mind, the will, and the emotion. This is clearly and definitely proved by the Word of God. Proverbs 2:10 gives us the spiritual ground to prove that the mind is a part of the soul. This verse says, “Wisdom will enter your heart, / And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.” Because knowledge is a matter of the mind, this proves that the mind is a part of the soul. Proverbs 19:21 and 24:14 also indicate that knowledge and wisdom are related to the soul. In addition, Psalm 139:14 says, “My soul knows it well.” Since to know is a matter of the mind, this also proves that the mind must be a part of the soul. Psalm 13:2 speaks of bearing concern in the soul. This concern must be something considered in the mind. Lamentations 3:20 says, “My soul remembers them well,” indicating that the soul can remember things. By these verses we can be clear that the mind as the organ to know, to consider, and to remember is a part of the soul.
The second part of the soul is the will. Job 7:15 says, “My soul would choose,” and 6:7 says, “My soul refuses.” To choose and to refuse are both decisions and functions of the will. These passages prove that the will must be a part of the soul. First Chronicles 22:19 says, “Now set your heart and your soul to seek after Jehovah your God.” Just as we set our mind to think, this verse says that we set our soul to seek. This is, of course, to make a decision. That the soul makes a decision also proves that the will is a part of the soul. Numbers 30:2 says, “When a man vows a vow to Jehovah or swears an oath to bind himself by pledge...” The term to bind oneself, which occurs eleven times in this chapter, literally means “to bind one’s soul.” To bind the soul is to make a decision. This chapter in Numbers deals with vows made to the Lord. Since we must make a decision to bind our soul to vow to the Lord, this also proves that the will must be a part of the soul. It would be good for the brothers and sisters, especially the young ones, to remember all these verses. They should pick up the burden to learn this.
The emotion comprises many things, including love, hatred, joy, and grief. Song of Songs 1:7 and Psalm 42:1 show us that to love is a function of the soul. This proves that within the soul there is the organ, the function, of the emotion. Second Samuel 5:8, Psalm 107:18, and Ezekiel 36:5 show us that hating, loathing, and despising are also in the soul. Despising in the soul is the hatred of the soul. Since these are emotions, this also proves that the emotion must be a part of the soul.
Joy is a great part of the emotion. Isaiah 61:10 and Psalm 86:4 tell us that joy is in the soul. This again proves that the emotion is a part of the soul. Deuteronomy 14:26 and Jeremiah 22:27 tell us that the soul desires. According to the better translations and Strong’s or Young’s concordances, desire in Jeremiah 44:14 and set their heart in Ezekiel 24:25 are literally lift up the soul. These verses tell us that the desire of the emotion is something in our soul. In addition, 1 Samuel 30:6, Judges 10:16, and Job 30:25 speak of bitterness, misery, and grief in the soul.
The verses of the Scriptures above are the ground to say that within the soul there are three parts—the mind as the leading part with the will and the emotion. These are the best verses to prove this, but they are not the only ones. If we study the entire Scriptures, it is hard to find anything other than these three parts in the soul. These three parts comprise all the functions of the soul.
Now we come to our human spirit. With God there are three persons, with man there are three parts, and with the soul there are also three inward parts. In addition, the spirit is of three parts, or functions. According to the Scriptures, the tabernacle and the temple were of three parts. In the building of God, three is a basic figure. The ark of Noah had three stories, and in the tabernacle there are many threes. The width of a standing board, for example, was one and a half cubits; two boards in a pair were a whole measurement of three cubits. This proves that we can never be independent. We always need another half, just as the Lord Jesus sent His disciples two by two. By ourselves we are one and a half, but two together make three cubits, a whole unit. By this we can see that the number three is a whole unit in God’s building.
The three functions of the spirit are the conscience, the fellowship, and the intuition. It is easy to understand what the function of the conscience is, which is to know right and wrong and to condemn or justify before God. It is also easy to know what the fellowship is, which is for us to commune with God, to contact God. Within our spirit there is a function, or a part as an organ, which we have so that we can fellowship with God, commune with God, and contact God, or simply put, touch God. It is not as easy, however, to know what the intuition is. It is a direct sense or a direct knowing. In our spirit there is such a part that many times has a direct sense, regardless of the reason, circumstance, background, or environment. We call this organ, or this function, the intuition of the spirit, with a direct sense and direct knowledge from God.
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