Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word “It Is Very Important to Establish a Proper Relationship With God” （III）
Now, we will read a passage of God’s words: “Only if your heart is at peace before God will your pursuit of the truth and of changes in your disposition bear fruit. Because you come burdened before God, and you always feel that you are lacking too much, that there are many truths that you need to know, much reality that you need to experience, and that you should give every care to God’s will. These things are always on your mind, it is as if they are pressing down on you so hard that you can’t breathe, and thus you feel heavy of heart (but not in a negative state). Only people such as this are qualified to accept the enlightenment of God’s words and be touched by the Spirit of God. It is because of their burden, because they are heavy of heart, and, it can be said, because of the price they have paid and the torment they have suffered before God that they receive the enlightenment and illumination of God, for God does not give anyone special treatment, He is always fair in His treatment of people, but He is also not arbitrary in His provision to people, and does not give to them unconditionally. This is one side of His righteous disposition.” Those who seek truth are ready in this respect: They are qualified to gain enlightenment from the Holy Spirit. Understand? There are those who say, “How does one go about seeking truth and a change in one’s disposition? What is seeking truth and what is a change in one’s disposition? Is a change in disposition a change in personality?” Are there many who do not understand the meaning of a change in disposition? I will tell you in the most honest of words, a change in disposition is the change in essential nature of one who has been corrupted by Satan. It is a change in the satanic disposition which resides inside a person, which resists God, which resents truth. It is the internal change that takes place in such a person’s corrupt disposition that loves the flesh, loves comfort, loves pleasure, dislikes truth and dislikes God. This change represents the meaning of a change in disposition. A change in disposition is not a change in personality; personality is something ordained by God. A person’s personality cannot change; however, a person’s life disposition can, through judgment and chastisement from God, through trial and refinement, and with time and experience, change for the better. Is this clear? A change in one’s life disposition is not a change in personality. The two are not in the least bit connected. Remember, a person’s personality does not change, personality and a corrupt disposition have nothing to do with each other. Personalities can be outgoing or introverted; a person who understands truth will not experience a significant change in personality, they will simply have gotten a grasp on the principles for practicing the truth. Some people’s personality is outgoing, open minded, talkative, and this will not change. Some are quiet and reticent, and this may change a little, because those who know the truth are principled when they do things. They will speak when they need to communicate; yet, however such a person changes, they won’t suddenly become as one who has been talkative their whole life; they won’t change to such a degree. Those who are frank and straight talking will still be so after understanding the truth. After growing, maturing in life and gaining experience they will still be frank and straight talking. However, the nature of such frankness as it manifests later, after such a person understands the truth, will be different to that of the frankness he expressed before he knew the truth. The frankness of his elder self will diverge from that of his younger self. But what will be the discrepancy? He is older, more mature, his nature is more stable, but he still speaks frankly and directly; however, he does not do childish things, he does not speak childish words. Personality doesn’t change. Although as a person comes to understand the truth they speak and carry out tasks in a principled manner, and while as they age, understand the truth, and as they mature and become experienced their personality may, on the outside, seem to change a little, over all their fundamental personality does not change; it is just that they are more mature and experienced, that is all. A change in life disposition means that before one did not love truth, whereas now they do; this is one aspect of it. It also means before they did not love God, whereas now they do; this is the most important aspect of it. Before, one would always apply one’s own notion and imagination to things, living according to one’s corrupt disposition. Now, one can search for truth, can obey the truth, can obey God; this is a change in the essence of one’s disposition. Before, one only pursued their own future and fate, their own fame and position and pleasures of the flesh; now, this person pursues truth, pursues a life of meaning. Before, Satan’s philosophies filled their heart, they were controlled by Satan; but now? Now, their heart is filled with God’s word, the truth, it has filled their whole person, so their opinion of matters, their outlook on life and their values have changed. This is an expression of their disposition changing, it is the evidence, is that clear? So, what is a change in disposition? Can you explain it, now? No matter whether or not you can, when you know in your heart, you will gradually be able to express it in words.
A change in disposition means a person now loves truth and they are honest. This person will obey truth and their outlook on life and their values have changed; this is proof that their disposition has changed. It is according to these factors that we can measure such change. If a person’s disposition has changed there will be some expression of such change. Then, has this person been made perfect by God? A person who shows proof of, and expression of, a change in disposition is one who has been made perfect by God, that is correct; he is now qualified to be used by God. Now, what say you of my outlook on life and my values, have they changed? You all say they’ve changed. You can see that my way of looking at things is different to that of the average person, is it not? Whatever I speak with you, go to search God’s words and see if my opinions are in any way at odds with His teachings. If your way of looking at things has truly changed, if it truly adheres to God’s words, then you can preach, then you can witness God. Those whose disposition has truly changed can preach without preparation, they speak and the words come, they can speak at any time, for hours if they wish, anytime, anywhere. Such a person’s outlook on life and values have changed, he has the reality of the truth, he sees things correctly. So, how can we assess the words which such a person speaks and the sermons which he gives? If at the time you listen and such a person’s words are not consistent with your opinion, then later a day will come when you are reading a passage of God’s words and you realize, “Oh, I understand. I have finally found this passage of God’s words; the words which the brother from above spoke last time were in line with the words of God! When he speaks, he does so without preparation; he doesn’t need to re-analyze, re-study, re-read and speculate on God’s words or to summarize and write a sermon. He speaks whatever he thinks of and it is all in line with God’s words.” Without testimony of a change in disposition, without real change in disposition, can one simply open their mouth and preach in such a way? Can they give sermons in such a way? Is this how it is? So, right now, if we choose a person who has believed in God for ten years, or twenty years and ask them to give a sermon to us, if we put forward a topic, would such a person be able to speak on it? They would say, “No, I have not prepared preaching materials on this. I must first read the related passage and seek out the truth within. I must seek enlightenment and illumination from the Holy Spirit and make note of it, then in accordance with what I learn I can speak of this issue. I need two or three days of preparation or else I cannot give a sermon.” Does this person have the reality of truth? They do not. Those who have the reality of truth can simply give common sermons or sermons on most issues, at the drop of a hat. Then, those who have the reality of truth have really changed in opinion, they have a true outlook on life and true values. Ask them any question and they will be able to sermonize on it; only such a person is one who has the reality of truth. If a person still needs to consult books, needs to summarize, speculate and search, if they need several days’ preparation before they can preach on an issue, the moment will pass. Can such a person, be it in any place or any church where they may come in contact with any type of person, solve problems immediately after they discover them? They cannot. Those who have the reality of truth can see your problem when they hear you speak. From what some do and communicate in the church, they can tell if such people are devoid of truth. So, if such a person speaks and solves problems, they can do so in the moment without preparation; this is having the reality of the truth. Is this not the way of things?
Do you know which type of person is used by God? Those who have truly entered the reality of the truth; those whose viewpoints have changed, who are principled in what they do. This kind of person is eligible to be used by the Holy Spirit. But you do not need to achieve the same level as me. For example, someone might ask, what is meant by peace before God? So, you speak and communicate with this person discussing your own experience and understanding of being quiet before God. You speak at length of their issue for five, maybe ten hours, and you solve this person’s problem. Some may question this, saying, “I cannot talk for five or ten hours, two or three hours is about right.” This could be enough, after all two or three hours is about the length of a regular get-together, is it not? So do you think those who really understand the truth and who have the reality of the truth have had a change in the way they see things? Has this kind of person’s life disposition truly changed? His expenditures for God are not restrained by any person or anything, nothing can obstruct his path in expending effort for God. His heart is sincere toward God, and nobody can stop him. This person is one who loves God, one who obeys God, one who acts in accordance with God’s will; this is one who will obtain God’s approval. Do you understand? If someone believes in God and seeks the truth, but when Satan comes to deceive, to meddle he backs away; if someone puts themselves out for God, but when their family falls upon hard times they back away, they stop putting themselves out for Him; if a person dedicates themselves to God, if they spread the gospel and witness God, but when confronted with matters such as finding a partner, or work related issues, they go out into the world and become consumed with the latest trends, will such a person be used by God? They will not. Why not? Because such a person can, on a whim, betray God. On a whim, they will quit their task and give up; they will not fulfil their duty. From this point of view, does this person seem like one whose life disposition has changed? His disposition has not changed. On a whim, he would betray God; his likelihood to betray Him is certain. Is this not a great problem? If such a person was allowed to witness God and God agreed to use them, after a few days they would betray Him; would this not bring shame to God? This would humiliate God, and so He does not do such a foolish thing. If a person cannot give their heart to God, if they cannot sincerely put themselves out for God, and do not obey Him absolutely even unto death, then God will not use them, lest they cause God to be humiliated and accused by Satan.
What does it mean to be made perfect by God? It means that one’s life disposition has truly changed. If a person is loyal to God and is not controlled by any person or thing, and at any time will truly expend themselves for God, this is one whose life disposition has changed and is therefore one who has been perfected by God. Even though this person may, occasionally, express corruption, this is not a true representation of their essential nature; it is only an occasional thing, is it not? Only when such conditions are met, when contributions to God are sincere, when one is loyal to Him even in death, when in one’s heart they love God, and in practice they fear Him and shun evil, can a person be considered one who has been perfected by God. It doesn’t matter whether this person preaches well or badly, it doesn’t matter if they are a gifted speaker or not, they are one who loves God, they are one whose disposition has changed, and this is a fact. Do you understand? Paul probably preached well, this is a possibility, but he wasn’t complete in the truth; he didn’t truly bear witness to God and understand Him. He may have been skilled at speaking, he may have had some knowledge, but is what he said true witness to God? It is not. Of what he said, there is little which is of truth and witness to the Lord Jesus; probably not even a third. Instead, more than half of what he said is merely revealing of his own self, witness to his own self. This is not good, is it?
In achieving a change in life disposition, the most important thing is peace before God. Peace before God takes many forms, but it means what comes from the heart, not what comes from the flesh: kneeling, prostrating or lying, it does not mean this. Sometimes, while kneeling in prayer one may find peace before God; sometimes, while lying on one’s bed, one may find peace before God; sometimes, when walking, when cooking, when working or when fulfilling one’s duty to Him, one may find peace before God. As soon as the chance arises, one’s heart can pray to God at any moment, can commune with Him, and then one can live before Him. One who finds peace before God may sometimes speak of external matters, of disasters in the outside world or other issues and see to what extent God’s words have come true, to see where the cause of such matters lies. Although this is regarded as speculation on external issues, of current affairs, he who is quiet before God does not diverge from His words, in his heart he still reveres God. So, it does not matter what such a person discusses or does, when he prays he will bear fruit. On the outside, it may seem he speaks of external issues, but at any time he can return to God as if it were as easy as walking home. There are some who leave God and cannot return; there are some who run a hundred paces and then, whoosh, they backtrack one step and they are where they should be; there are some who run two paces, but cannot backtrack even one step. What does this mean? If, within a person’s heart, God’s position is high and he reveres God, then even if he runs off a hundred paces, in actuality his heart has not moved from God even a single stride, don’t you agree? But, if a person does not revere God in his heart, even if he runs out just a single pace, he is locked outside, and he cannot return even if he wishes. This is the difference, is it not? Do you understand these words?
If one’s communion with God in spirit is lacking, can he understand a little of God’s will with regard to certain matters? He cannot figure out God’s will with regard to any matter, in fact he cannot figure out with certainty God’s will with regard to anything. Does such a person have any understanding of the truth? If a person communes with God and as such is able to understand His will and His meaning with regard to many things, and if he can use God’s words to prove it, can use God’s words to prove such matters, it shows that he understands much truth. Is this one who truly quiets his heart before God? Is he one who lives before God? People who can figure out God’s will with regard to many things can therefore understand the truth in many things. For example, with regard to traditional customs, why is it said that indulgence in them is wrong? “God despises such things because they take over a man’s heart!” If you seek out God’s words with regard to customs you will see, “Oh it is so, God truly did say this!” You understand thoroughly God’s will, so you understand the truth of such things. Another example is, why is it not good for one to become too close with others? “People are part of corrupt humanity; they do not have truth. Communicating with them is not unprincipled, but those who believe in God need to quiet their hearts before God and communicate with Him the most, for this is of benefit to them!” One can now understand the truth with regard to this question. So, why should we discern those antichrists and false leaders? “This is God’s will. If you cannot recognize those antichrists and false leaders, it is difficult to come before Him, and it is easy for those antichrists and false leaders to deceive, manipulate and control you. So it is that on the path to faith in God the easiest mistakes to make are those of worshiping man and following man; but these are the greatest taboos!” One’s faith should attain the level where “in one’s heart they do not worship any man and recognize only Christ to be the truth, the way, and the life, where they seek truth in God’s words and pray to God in all things, and only listen to the man used by the Holy Spirit in all works of the church.” If one abides by these principles, they will be gained by God, they will be perfected by God.