The Parts of Man, by Witness Lee


Because man is of three different parts, he is able to contact three different worlds. First of all, there is the physical world with so many material things. We contact the physical world by our physical body through the five senses of hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, and feeling. Then there is the spiritual world. Is it possible for us to contact the spiritual world by the five senses of the body? Of course not. The spiritual world can only be contacted by our spirit. In our spirit we have a spiritual sense by which we can sense God and spiritual things. There is also a psychological world which is neither physical nor spiritual. Suppose someone gives you a gift and you are very happy. Does this happiness belong to the physical or to the spiritual world? Neither. Experiences such as happiness, joy, and even sorrow, belong to the psychological world. The English word "psychological" comes from the root of the Greek word that means "soul." Thus, the psychological world is of the soul, in which are the things pertaining to the soul.

Man has been created in three parts in order to contact the three different worlds: the physical, the spiritual, and the psychological.


As man was made by God in three parts to contact the three different worlds respectively, so we must use the corresponding part of our being to contact each one. To contact the things of the physical world, we must use the body. To contact the things of the psychological world, we must use the soul, the psychological part of our being. If we would contact the things of the spiritual world, we must use our spirit. We can only touch the things of a certain world with a certain organ of our being.

The substance of everything requires the proper organ to substantiate it. If you would substantiate sound, you must exercise your ears, the hearing organ. For color, you need your eyes, the seeing organ. If you exercise your ears to listen to color, you cannot substantiate it, for you are using the wrong organ. To taste food, you must use your tongue. Each substance must be substantiated with the proper organ.

What kind of substance is God? John 4:24 tells us that God is Spirit (ASV, margin). Can we contact God by our physical body? No! This is the wrong organ. Can we contact God by the psychological organ, the soul? No! This is also the wrong organ. We can only contact God by our spirit, because God is Spirit. John 4:24 not only tells us that "God is Spirit," but also that "they that worship Him must worship in spirit." This is a very important verse, in which are covered two spirits. The first is the divine Spirit, God Himself. The second is our human spirit. Since God is Spirit, we must worship Him in our spirit. We cannot worship Him in our body or in our soul. Since God is Spirit, we must worship Him, contact Him, and fellowship with Him in our spirit and by our spirit.


John 3:6 says, "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit." The two spirits are here mentioned again. They are related to our being born again. To be born again is to have our spirit regenerated by the Spirit of God. That which is born of the Spirit, the Spirit of God, is spirit, our human spirit. We are not born again in our body or in our soul, but in our spirit. The Spirit of God comes into our spirit and regenerates us in our spirit. Then He dwells in our spirit and mingles Himself with our spirit.

Romans 8:16 says, "The Spirit [the Spirit of God] Himself beareth witness with our spirit." Here are the two spirits again—the Holy Spirit of God bearing witness with our human spirit. This proves that God’s Spirit is in our spirit, and these two spirits are working together. Therefore, 1 Corinthians 6:17 says, "He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit." These two spirits are mingled together as one spirit. We are one with the Lord in the spirit. This is why it is difficult to distinguish in many New Testament verses whether the Holy Spirit of God or our human spirit is referred to. These two spirits are mingled together as one. This is exceedingly vital.

(The Parts of Man, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)