Only Knowledge of the Six Kinds of Corrupt Dispositions Is True Self-Knowledge
What is the purpose of man’s faith in God? (To be saved.) Salvation is a perennial topic of faith in God. So how can salvation be attained? (By pursuing the truth and always living before God.) That’s one kind of practice. What is to be gained by always living before God? What is the aim? (To build a normal relationship with God.) (To fear God and shun evil, and to understand the truth and achieve the true knowledge of God.) What else? (To seek the truth, to make the truth our life.) These things are often said during sermons, they are spiritual phrases. What else? (To experience being pruned and dealt with by God, along with His judgment and chastisement, and His trials and refinement in order to come to reflect on and know ourselves and seek the truth to resolve our corrupt dispositions during this process, as well as to attain true knowledge of God, finally becoming someone who is possessed of the truth and humanity.) It seems you have understood much from the past several years of sermons. So, can these things you understand be used in your experiences to solve certain real problems and difficulties? Incorrect thoughts and ideas, and occasional negativity and weakness, for example, as well as certain issues to do with notions and imaginings: can these things be quickly solved? Some people might be able to solve a few minor problems, but they may still struggle with major, root-cause problems. Based on the level of understanding you have of the truths today, would you be able to stand firm if you were faced with the same kind of trials as Job? (We would resolve to stand firm, but we do not know what our true stature would be if something really were to happen to us.) But should you not know what your true stature is, even when nothing has happened to you? To not know this is perilous! Do you know what the practical aspects of these oft-repeated spiritual sayings and set phrases are? Do you understand the true implication of each of these phrases? Do you understand just what the truth in them is? If you know, and have experienced these things, then this proves you understand the truth. If you are only able to repeat a few spiritual sayings and phrases, but they are of no use to you when you actually experience something, and they are incapable of solving your troubles, then this proves that after all these years of believing in God, you still do not understand the truth, and have not had any real experiences. What is the meaning of My saying this? Having made it this far in their belief in God, people understand a little more of the truth than religionists or unbelievers, they understand some of the visions of God’s work, and are able to abide by a few regulatory matters, and can be said to have a certain understanding and appreciation of, and to have a few true insights into, God’s sovereignty—but have these things brought change to their life disposition? Each of you can, on the whole, talk a little about often-heard truths that relate to visions: the visions of God’s work, the purpose of God’s work, and God’s will for mankind; and the knowledge you speak of is much higher than that of the religionists—but can all this bring about a change in your disposition, or even a partial change in your disposition? Are you able to measure this? This is of critical importance.
We recently fellowshiped on how exactly to know the God on earth, how to interact with the God on earth, and how to establish a normal relationship with God. Are these not the most practical questions? These are all truths related to the aspect of practice, and the aim of fellowshiping on these things is to inform people how to believe in God, and how to interact with God and build a normal relationship with God in their daily lives. In terms of the truths related to practice, of all the truths you have heard, understood, and are able to put into practice, are they able to change your disposition? Can it be said that if people put the truth into practice in this way, and truly strive to achieve this, then they are practicing the truth; and that if they have made these truths their reality, they are able to achieve changes in their disposition? (It can.) Many people are blind to what changes in disposition are. They think that being able to repeat many spiritual doctrines, and understanding many truths, represents changes in disposition. This is wrong. From the point of understanding a truth, to putting this truth into practice, and then on to changes in disposition, is a lengthy process of life experience. How do you understand changes in disposition? In all that you have experienced up to this point, have there been any changes in your life disposition? You may be unable to see into these things, and all this is problematic. The word “change” in “changes in disposition” is not actually very hard to understand, so what is “disposition”? (The law of human existence, the poison of Satan.) What else? (What is natural in man, what is in the essence of life.) You keep bringing up these spiritual terms, but they are all doctrines and outlines, and they don’t contain any detail. This is not understanding the essence of the truth. We often talk of changes in disposition, and such topics are always being discussed right from the start of people’s faith in God, whether they are attending a gathering or listening to a sermon; these are the things that people should try to figure out when they believe in God. But as for just what exactly changes in disposition are, whether there has been a change in their own disposition, and whether it is possible to achieve change—many people are ignorant of these things, they have never thought about them, nor do they know from where to start thinking about them. What is disposition? This is a major topic. Once you have understood this, then you will more or less understand questions such as whether or not there has been a change in your disposition, to what degree it has changed, how many changes there have been, and whether there has been a change in your disposition after you have experienced certain things. To discuss changes in disposition, you must first know what disposition is. Everyone knows the word “disposition,” everyone is familiar with it. But they don’t know what disposition is. Just what exactly disposition is cannot be explained clearly in just a few words, and it cannot be explained as a noun, as this is too abstract and not easily comprehensible. I’ll give an example that’ll make you understand. Sheep and wolves are both animals. Sheep eat grass, and wolves eat meat. This is determined by their nature. If, one day, sheep ate meat and wolves ate grass, would their natures have changed? (No.) If a sheep didn’t eat grass, it would grow very hungry. Give it some meat, and it will eat it, but the sheep will still be very docile toward you. This is disposition, it is the essence of the sheep’s nature. In what respect does a sheep’s docility exhibit itself? (It doesn’t attack people.) That’s right—this is a docile disposition. The disposition exhibited in a sheep is pliancy and obedience. It is not vicious, but docile and kind. Wolves are different. Its disposition is vicious and it eats all kinds of small animals. Encountering a hungry wolf is very dangerous, it could try to eat you even if you don’t provoke it. A wolf’s disposition is not docile or kind, but cruel and fierce, without a shred of sympathy or pity. Such is the disposition of a wolf. The dispositions of wolves and sheep represent the essence of their natures. Why do I say this? Because the things that are revealed in them naturally show themselves regardless of context, without human input or incitement; they are naturally revealed, without any need for additional human input. The ferocity and cruelty of wolves is not forced out of them by humans, nor is the kindness and docility of sheep instilled in them by humans; they were born with these things, these are things revealed naturally, they are their essence. This is disposition. Does this example give you some understanding of what disposition is? (Yes.) This is not a conceptual matter, we are not explaining some noun. There is truth in this. So, what is the truth here? Human disposition is related to human nature. Human disposition and human nature are both of Satan, they are antagonistic and hostile to God. If people do not receive God’s salvation and do not change, then what people live out and naturally reveal would be nothing but evil, negative, and in violation of the truth—of this there is no doubt.
We just spoke of the dispositions of sheep and wolves. These are two completely different animals: They each have their own dispositions and things that are revealed in them. But what is the connection to human disposition? Looking again at what exactly human disposition is through this example, what kinds of corrupt dispositions are there? (We can generally know what kind of disposition people have by interacting with them. For example, while talking to someone, we might feel that they speak in a roundabout way, that they’re always equivocating, such that others can’t tell what they really mean, which means they have a crafty disposition in them. We can get a general idea from what they usually say and do, from their actions and behavior.) You can see certain problems of disposition from interacting with people. It looks as if, after hearing this example, you have a general idea about what dispositions are. So which corrupt dispositions do all people have? Which dispositions are people unaware of, and unable to feel, yet are, without doubt, corrupt dispositions? Say, for example, some people are highly sentimental, and God says, “You are highly sentimental. When it comes to someone you like or something to do with your family, no matter who tries to understand their situation or what’s really going on, you won’t give away anything about them, and keep covering for them. This is sentimentality.” They hear this, and they understand it, acknowledge it, and they accept it as fact. They acknowledge that God’s words are right, that God’s words are the truth, and they give thanks to God for revealing this to them. Can their disposition be seen from this? Is it evident that they accept the truth, accept the facts, do not resist, and are obedient? (No. It depends on how they act when faced with problems, and whether what they say and what they do are the same thing.) You’re not far off. At the time, they are accepting—but later, when such a thing happens to them, there is no change in how they act. This represents one kind of disposition. What disposition? They were listening at the time, then they thought about it and said to themselves, “How could I not know I am sentimental after having heard so many sermons? I am sentimental, but who isn’t? If I don’t cover for my family and the people I’m close to, who will? Even an able man needs the support of three other people.” This is what they really think. When the time comes to act, what they are thinking and planning in their heart, and their attitude toward God’s words, is all determined by their disposition. What is their attitude? “God can say and reveal whatever He wants, and I will accept whatever I am supposed to when I am before Him, but my mind is made up, and I have no intention of putting my emotions aside.” Is this their disposition? Their disposition has shown itself and their true face has been exposed, right? Are they someone who accepts the truth? (No.) So what is this? This is recalcitrance. Before God, they say Amen and feign acceptance. But their heart remains unmoved. They do not take God’s words seriously, they do not take them to be the truth, and much less do they put them into practice as the truth. This is one kind of disposition, is it not? And is a disposition such as this not the revelation of a certain kind of nature? (Yes.) So what is the essence of this kind of disposition? Is it intransigence? (Yes.) Intransigence: this is one kind of human disposition, and it is found in all people. Why do I say this is a disposition? This is something that springs from the essence of people’s nature. You don’t have to think about it, others don’t have to teach you or work on your thoughts, nor does Satan have to trick you; it is naturally revealed in you, and it springs from your nature. There are some people who, no matter what bad things they do, always blame Satan. They always say, “Satan put the idea in my head, Satan made me do it.” They put everything bad on Satan, and never admit to problems within their own nature. Is this correct? Have you not been profoundly corrupted by Satan? If you don’t admit this, then how is it that the disposition of Satan is revealed in you? Of course, there are also the times when Satan is disruptive, including when people are duped and put up to something by someone wicked or by an antichrist, or when an evil spirit works and sends them thoughts—but these are just exceptions; most of the time people are directed by their satanic nature and they reveal all manner of corrupt dispositions. When people act according to their own preferences and inclinations, when they do things by their own means, according to their own notions and imaginings, then they are living by their own corrupt dispositions, and when they live by these things, they are living by their own nature. These are indisputable facts. When people are governed by their satanic nature, when they live by their satanic nature, everything that is revealed in them is their own corrupt disposition; this can’t be pushed onto Satan, you can’t say that these are thoughts sent by Satan. Because people have been profoundly corrupted, they belong to Satan, and because people are no different from Satan, and they are living demons, living Satans, you therefore must not push everything satanic that is revealed within you onto Satan. You’re no better than Satan, and that is your corrupt disposition.
What kind of state is there inside people when they have an intransigent disposition? It is mainly that they are stubborn and self-righteous. They always stick to their own ideas, they always think that what they say is right, they are utterly inflexible, and they are opinionated. This is the attitude of intransigence. They are like a broken record, not listening to anyone, remaining unalterably fixed on one course of action, insisting on going through with it, regardless of whether it is right or wrong; there is some unrepentance in this. As the saying goes, “Dead pigs don’t fear boiling water.” People know full well what is the right thing to do, and yet they do not do it, they steadfastly refuse to accept the truth. This is one kind of disposition: intransigence. In what kinds of situations do you reveal an intransigent disposition? Are you often intransigent? (Yes.) Very often! And since intransigence is your disposition, this accompanies you in every second of every day of your existence. Intransigence stops people from being able to come before God, it stops them from being able to accept the truth, and it stops them from being able to enter the reality of the truth. And if you are not able to enter the reality of the truth, can change occur in this aspect of your disposition? Only with great difficulty. Has there now been any change in this aspect of your disposition that is intransigent? And how much change has there been? Say, for example, you used to be extremely stubborn, but there has now been a little change in you: When you encounter some issue, you have some sense of conscience in your heart, and say to yourself, “I have to practice some truth in this matter. Since God has exposed this intransigent disposition—since I have heard it, and now I know it—I must therefore change. When I encountered these kinds of things a few times in the past, I went along with my flesh and failed, and I am not happy with this. This time I must practice the truth.” With such an aspiration, it is possible to practice the truth, and this is change. When you have experience in this way for a time, and you are able to put more truths into practice, and this brings about greater changes, and your rebellious and intransigent dispositions become ever more diminished, has there been a change in your life disposition? If your rebellious disposition has visibly become ever more diminished, and your obedience to God has become ever greater, then there has been real change. So, to what extent must you change to achieve true obedience? You will have succeeded when there is not the slightest intransigence, but only obedience. This is a slow process. Changes in disposition do not happen overnight, they take extended periods of experience, maybe even a lifetime. Sometimes it is necessary to suffer many great hardships, hardships akin to dying and coming back to life, hardships more painful and difficult than having poison scraped from your bones. So have there been any changes in your intransigent disposition? Are you able to measure this? (Before, I believed that certain things should be done a certain way. When people offered a different point of view, I did not listen, and it wasn’t until I hit real setbacks that I came around. Now I’m a little better. I push back when people put forward different views, but am able to accept some of what they say later.) An alteration in attitude is another kind of change; this means there has been a little change. It is not like before, where the person knew that the other person was right, but rejected it and refused to accept it, still sticking to their own inclinations; this is not the case now. There has already been a reversal in their attitude. How much have they changed when they have changed this much? Not even 10%. 10% change means that at the very least, after the other person has stated their differing viewpoint, you do not have any feelings of opposition or thoughts of resistance; you have a normal attitude. Although it still doesn’t sit right with you in your heart, you do not have an intransigent attitude, you can discuss this with the person, there is some obedience when you practice, and you do not only do things according to your own ideas. Afterward, there are times when you stick to your own ideas, and times when you are able to accept what other people say. Changes in disposition go back and forth. You must experience untold setbacks to achieve a little change, and untold failures to be successful, and so it is not easy for your disposition to change without experiencing several years of trials and refinement. Sometimes, when people are in a good state of mind, they are capable of accepting correct things that others say, but when they are feeling low, they do not seek the truth. Does this not delay things? Sometimes, when you are not getting along well with your partner, you do not seek principles of the truth, and you live by the philosophies of Satan. Sometimes when you are cooperating with others and their caliber is better than yours and they are better than you, you feel constrained by them, and you don’t have the courage to uphold principles when you encounter an issue. Sometimes you are better than your partner, and they act stupidly, and you look down on them and are unwilling to fellowship the truth with them. Sometimes you wish to practice the truth but are governed by the emotions of the flesh. Sometimes you covet the pleasures of the flesh, and though you may wish to, you are not able to turn your back on the flesh. Sometimes you listen to a sermon and understand the truth, yet are unable to put it into practice. Are these problems easy to solve? By yourself, they are not easy to solve. God can only subject people to trials and refinement, making them suffer greatly and eventually feel emptiness within themselves without the truth, and as if they cannot live without the truth. This refines people to develop faith and makes them feel as if they must strive for the truth, that their heart will not be at ease until they put the truth into practice, and that they will experience great torment if they cannot obey God. Such is the effect achieved by trials and refinement. This is how difficult changes in disposition are. Why do I tell you they are not easy? Could it be that I am not afraid you will grow negative? It is to let you know how important changes in disposition are. I wish for you to all pay attention to this, to stop pursuing those unrealistic, hypocritical, and falsely spiritual images, to stop always following those fanciful spiritual doctrines, practices, and rules; doing so will harm you and not benefit you at all.
We just spoke of one aspect of disposition: intransigence. Intransigence is often a kind of attitude that is hidden within the depths of people’s hearts. Generally, it is not clear from the outside, but when it is obvious , it will be easy to detect, and people will say, “They’re recalcitrant! They don’t accept the truth at all—they are so intransigent!” Those with an intransigent disposition fixate on one approach, and only stick to one thing, never letting go. So is this the only side of people’s disposition? Of course not—there are many others. See if you can tell what kind of disposition I am describing next. Some people say, “In the house of God, I do not submit to anyone except God, because only God has the truth; people do not have the truth, they have corrupt dispositions, nothing they say can be relied upon, so I only submit to God.” Are they correct in saying this? (No.) Why not? What kind of disposition is this? (An arrogant and conceited one.) (The dispositions of Satan and the archangel.) This is an arrogant disposition. Do not always say it is the disposition of Satan and the archangel, this way of speaking is too broad and is vague. Satan and the archangel’s corrupt dispositions are too numerous. Talk of the archangel, demons, and Satan all together is too general and not easy for people to understand. Just saying this is an arrogant disposition is more specific. Of course, this isn’t the only kind of disposition they reveal, it’s just that an arrogant disposition reveals itself so obviously. By saying this is an arrogant disposition, people will be able to understand easily, so this way of speaking is most suitable. Some people have some skills, some gifts, some minor aptitudes, and have done a number of deeds for the church. What these people think is, “Your faith in God involves spending all day reading, copying, writing, memorizing the word of God like some spiritual person. What’s the point? Can you do anything real? How can you call yourself spiritual when you don’t do anything? You do not have life. I have life, everything I do is real.” What disposition is this? They have some special skills, some gifts, they can do a little good, and they take these things to be life. As a result, they obey no one, they are not afraid of lecturing anyone, they look down on everyone else—is this arrogance? (Yes.) This is arrogance. Under what circumstances do people generally reveal arrogance? (When they have some gifts or special skills, when they can do some practical things, when they have capital.) That is one kind of situation. So are people who are not gifted or don’t have any special skills not arrogant? (They are arrogant, too.) The person we just spoke of will often say, “I obey no one but God,” and hearing this, people will think to themselves, “How obedient to the truth this person is, they obey no one but the truth, what they say is right!” In fact, within these seemingly correct words is a kind of arrogant disposition: “I obey no one but God” clearly means that they don’t obey anyone. I ask you, are those who say such words really able to obey God? They could never obey God. Those who are liable to utter such words are undoubtedly the most arrogant of all. On the outside, what they said seems right—but in fact, this is the most conniving way in which arrogant disposition is manifested. They use this “but God” to try to prove that they are reasonable, but really, that is like burying gold and sticking a sign on top saying “No gold buried here.” Is this not foolish? What do you say, which kind of person is the most arrogant? What things can people say that make them the most arrogant? Perhaps you have heard some arrogant things before. What is the most arrogant of these? Do you know? Does anyone dare to say, “I don’t obey anyone—not even Heaven or earth, not even the words of God”? Only the great red dragon demon dares to say this. No one who believes in God would say this. However, if those who believe in God say, “I obey no one but God,” then they are not much different from the great red dragon, they’re tied for world number one, they are the most arrogant of all. What do you say, people are all arrogant, but is there any difference in their arrogance? Where do you make the distinction? Corrupt human beings all have arrogant dispositions, but there are differences in their arrogance. When a person’s arrogance has reached a certain degree, then they have lost all sense. The distinction is whether there is sense to what someone says. Some people are arrogant yet still possess a little reason. If they are able to accept the truth, then they still have hope of salvation. Some are so arrogant that they have no sense—there is no limit to their arrogance—and such people could never accept the truth. If people are so arrogant that they have no sense, then they lose all sense of shame and are only foolishly arrogant. These are all revelations and manifestations of an arrogant disposition. How could they say something like “I obey no one but God” if they did not have an arrogant disposition? They certainly would not. Without doubt, if someone has an arrogant disposition, then they have the manifestation of arrogance, and the person will undoubtedly say and do arrogant things, lacking any kind of sense. Some people say, “I do not have an arrogant disposition, but such things are revealed in me.” Do such words hold water? (No.) Others say, “I can’t help myself. As soon as I stop being careful, I come out with something arrogant.” Do these words hold water? (No.) Why not? What is the root cause of these words? (Not knowing oneself.) No—they know they are arrogant, but hearing others mocking them, saying, “How are you so arrogant? What are you so arrogant about?” they feel ashamed, which is why they say such things. Their sense of pride can’t stand it, they are looking for an excuse to cover it up, to disguise it, to package it, and to let themselves off the hook. So their words do not hold water. When your corrupt disposition has yet to be resolved, you are arrogant even when you do not speak. Arrogance is in people’s natures, it is hidden in their hearts, and can emerge at any time. And so, as long as there is no change in disposition, people remain arrogant and self-righteous. I’ll give an example. A newly elected leader arrives at a church and discovers that the way the people look at him and the expression on their faces is rather unenthusiastic. In his mind, he thinks to himself, “Am I not welcome here? I am the newly chosen leader; how could you treat me with such an attitude? Why aren’t you impressed by me? I was chosen by the brothers and sisters, so my spiritual caliber is greater than yours, is it not?” And so as a result, he says, “I am the newly elected leader. Some people might not accept me, but no matter. Let’s have a competition to see who has memorized more passages of God’s words, who is able to fellowship the truths of visions. I will give the position of leader to anyone who can fellowship truths more clearly than me. What do you say?” What kind of tactic is this? When people are indifferent to him, he is discontent and wants to give them a hard time and get back at them; now that he is a leader, he wants to dominate people—he wants to be on top. What disposition is this? (Arrogance.) And is an arrogant disposition easy to resolve? (No.) People’s arrogant dispositions reveal themselves very frequently. To some people, hearing others fellowship new enlightenment and understanding is galling: “Why do I have nothing to say about this? This will not do, I have to think and come up with something better.” And so they spew a load of doctrine, trying to outdo others. What disposition is this? This is vying for name and gain; it is also arrogance. In matters of disposition, you could be sitting still, not saying or doing anything, but the disposition will still exist within your heart and within your thoughts, and even your expression could reveal this. Even if people try to come up with ways of suppressing it, or controlling it, and are ever so careful to stop it from being revealed, is this any use? (No.) Some people immediately realize when they’ve said something arrogant: “I’ve revealed my arrogant disposition yet again—how humiliating! I must never say anything arrogant again.” But swearing you’ll keep your mouth shut is of no use, this is not up to you, it is up to your disposition. Therefore, if you do not want your arrogant disposition to reveal itself, you must fix it. This is not a matter of correcting a few words, or of putting right one of the ways you do things, much less is it a case of abiding by some rule. It is a matter of resolving the problem of your disposition. Now that I have spoken on this topic of what exactly disposition is, do you not have a deeper and more penetrating understanding of yourselves? (Yes.) Knowing oneself is not a matter of knowing one’s outward-facing character, temperament, bad habits, ignorant and foolish things one has done in the past—it is none of these. Rather, it is knowing one’s own corrupt disposition and the evils one is able to do in opposition to God. This is key. Some people say, “I have an explosive temper, and there’s nothing I can do to change it. When can I change this disposition?” There are others who say, “I’m terrible at expressing myself, I’m not a good talker. Everything I say ends up offending people or hurting their feelings. When will this change?” Are they correct in saying this? (No.) Where is their mistake? (This is not recognizing the things within one’s nature.) That’s right. Character does not determine nature. No matter how good someone’s personality is, they can still have a corrupt disposition.
I just talked about two aspects of disposition. The first was intransigence, the second arrogance. We don’t need to say too much about arrogance. Every person reveals much arrogant behavior, and you just need to know that arrogance is an aspect of disposition. There is also another kind of disposition. Some people never tell anyone the truth. They deliberate on and polish everything in their minds before they speak to people. You can’t tell which of the things they say are true, and which are false. They say one thing today and another tomorrow, they say one thing to one person, and something else to another. Everything they say contradicts itself. How can such people be believed? It’s very difficult to get an accurate grasp of the facts, and you can’t get a straight word out of them. What disposition is this? It is deceitfulness. Is a deceitful disposition easy to change? It’s the most difficult to change. Anything that involves dispositions relates to a person’s nature, and nothing is harder to change than things to do with one’s nature. The saying, “A leopard can’t change its spots,” is absolutely true! No matter what they’re talking about or doing, deceitful people always harbor their own aims and intents. If they do not have any, they will say nothing. If you try to understand what their aims and intents are, they will clam up. If they do accidentally let something true slip, they’ll go to any length to think of a way to twist it around, to confound you and stop you from knowing the truth. No matter what deceitful people are doing, they will not let anyone know the whole truth about it. No matter how much time people spend with them, no one knows what’s really going on in their minds. Such is the nature of deceitful people. No matter how much a deceitful person speaks, other people will never know what their intents are, what they’re really thinking, or exactly what they are trying to achieve. Even their parents have a hard time knowing this. Trying to understand deceitful people is extremely difficult, nobody can figure out what is on their minds. This is how deceitful people speak and act: They never speak their minds or convey what is really going on. This is a type of disposition, is it not? When you have a deceitful disposition, it does not matter what you say or do—this disposition is always within you, controlling you, making you play games and engage in trickery, toy with people, cover up the truth, and put up a front. This is deceitfulness. What other specific behaviors do deceitful people engage in? I will give an example. Two people are talking, and one of them is speaking about their self-knowledge; this person keeps talking about how they have improved, and tries to make the other person believe this, but they do not tell them the real facts of the matter. In this, something is being concealed, and this indicates a certain disposition—that of deceitfulness. Let us see if you can discern it. This person says, “I’ve experienced some things recently, and I feel that over these years my belief in God has been in vain. I haven’t gained anything. I am so poor and pathetic! My behavior hasn’t been too good recently, but I’m ready to repent.” Yet a while after they say this, an expression of repentance is nowhere to be seen in them. What is the problem here? It is that they lie and trick others. When other people hear them say those things, they think, “This person did not pursue the truth before, but the fact that they can say such things now shows that they have truly repented. There’s no doubt about it. We mustn’t look at them as we used to, but in a new, better light.” That is how people ponder and think after hearing those words. But is that person’s current state the same as they say it is? The reality is that it is not. They have not truly repented, but their words give the illusion that they have done so, and that they have changed for the better, and that they are different from before. This is what they want to achieve with their words. By speaking in this way to trick people, what disposition are they revealing? It is deceitfulness—and it is very insidious! The fact is that they are not at all aware that they have failed in their belief in God, that they are poor and pitiful. They are borrowing spiritual words and language to trick people, to achieve their aim of making others think well of them and hold a good opinion of them. Is this not deceitfulness? It is, and when someone is too deceitful, it is not easy for them to change.
There is another sort of person that is never simple or open in how they speak. They are always hiding and concealing things, gleaning information from people at every turn and sounding them out. They always wish to know the whole truth about other people, yet they do not say what is in their own hearts. Nobody who interacts with them can ever hope to find out the whole truth about them. Such people do not want others to know their plans, and they share them with no one. What disposition is this? It is a deceitful disposition. Such people are extremely shrewd, they are unfathomable to everyone. If one possesses a deceitful disposition, they are without a doubt a deceitful person, and they are deceitful in nature and essence. Does this sort of person pursue the truth in their belief in God? If they do not tell the truth in front of other people, are they capable of speaking the truth before God? Certainly not. A deceitful person never tells the truth. They may believe in God, but is theirs true belief? What sort of attitude do they have toward God? They will certainly have many doubts in their heart: “Where is God? I can’t see Him. What proof is there that He is real?” “God is sovereign over everything? Really? Satan’s regime is frantically oppressing and arresting those who believe in God. Why doesn’t God destroy it?” “How exactly does God save people? Is His salvation real? It’s not so clear.” “Can a believer in God enter the kingdom of heaven or not? Without any confirmation, it’s hard to say.” With so many doubts about God in their heart, can they sincerely expend themselves for Him? It is impossible. They see all these people who have forsaken all they have to follow God, who are expending themselves for God and performing their duties, and they think, “I need to hold something back. I can’t be as foolish as they are. If I offer everything to God, how will I live in the future? Who will look after me? I need to have a contingency plan.” You can see how “astute” deceitful people are, how far ahead they think. There are some who, when they see others in gatherings opening up about their knowledge of their corruption, offering up the things hidden within their hearts in fellowship, and truthfully saying how many times they have committed fornication, think, “You fool! Those are private things; why would you tell them to others? You couldn’t beat those things out of me!” This is how deceitful people are—they would rather die than be honest, and they tell no one the whole truth. Some people say, “I’ve transgressed and done some bad things, and I feel a little ashamed to tell people about them face-to-face. They are private things, after all, and they are shameful. But I can’t hide or conceal them from God. I should tell these things to God, nakedly and openly. I wouldn’t dare tell other people my thoughts or private matters, but I have to tell God. No matter who else I keep secrets from, I can’t keep secrets from God.” This is the attitude an honest person takes toward God. Yet deceitful people are guarded toward everyone, they do not trust anyone, and they do not speak honestly with anyone. They tell the whole truth to no one, and no one can figure them out. These are the most deceitful people of all. Everyone has a deceitful disposition; the only difference is in how severe it is. Though you may open your heart and fellowship your problems in gatherings, does that mean that you do not have a deceitful disposition? It does not, you have one as well. Why do I say this? Here is an example: You may be able to open yourself up in fellowship about things that do not touch on your pride or vanity, things that are not shameful, and things that you will not be pruned and dealt with for—but if you had done something that violates the principles of the truth, something that everyone would loathe and be revolted by, would you be able to fellowship openly about it in gatherings? And if you had done something unspeakable, it would be even harder for you to open up and reveal the truth about it. Were someone to look into it or try to assign blame for it, you would use all means at your disposal to hide it, and you would be terrified that this matter might be revealed. You would always be trying to cover it up and get away with it. Is this not a deceitful disposition? You may believe that if you do not say it out loud, no one will know of it, and that even God would have no way to do anything to you. That is mistaken! God looks upon people’s innermost being. If you cannot perceive this, you do not know God at all. Deceitful people do not merely trick others—they even dare to try to trick God and use deceitful means to resist Him. Can such people attain God’s salvation? God’s disposition is righteous and holy, and deceitful people are what He loathes most. So, deceitful people are those for whom it is hardest to attain salvation. People with a deceitful nature are those who lie the most. They will even lie to God and try to trick Him, and they are obstinately unrepentant. This means that they cannot attain God’s salvation. If someone only reveals a corrupt disposition every now and then, if they lie and trick people but are simple and open with God and repent to Him, then this kind of person still has hope of attaining salvation. If you are truly a person with sense, you should open yourself up to God, speak to Him from the heart, and reflect and know yourself. You should not lie to God anymore, you should not try to trick Him at any time, and even less still should you try to hide anything from Him. The fact is that there are some things people do not need to know about. So long as you are open with God about them, that is fine. When you do things, be sure not to keep secrets from God. You can say to God all those things that are not fit to say to other people. A person who does so is smart. Though there may be some things they feel no need to open up to others about, this should not be called deceitfulness. Deceitful people are different: They believe that they should hide everything, that they cannot tell anything to other people, especially when it comes to private matters. If it will not benefit them to say something, they will not say it, even to God. Is this not a deceitful disposition? Such a person is deceitful, indeed! If someone is so deceitful that they do not tell God the truth, and keep everything secret from God, are they even someone who believes in God? Do they have true faith in God? They are a person who doubts God, and in their heart, they do not believe Him. So, is their faith not false? They are a nonbeliever, a false believer. Do you have times where you doubt God and become guarded against Him? (Yes.) To doubt God and to be guarded against Him, what kind of disposition is this? This is a deceitful disposition. Everybody has a deceitful disposition, it is just a matter of severity. So long as you can accept the truth, you will be able to achieve repentance and change.
For some people, when something happens to them, they reveal a corrupt disposition, they have notions and ideas, they have prejudices about other people, and they make judgments about them and undermine them behind their backs. They can reflect on themselves and be completely open about these things, but when they do certain shameful things, they want to keep to themselves, and forever shut within their hearts. Not only do they not speak of these things with others, but they don’t tell God of them when they pray. They even try everything they can to come up with falsehoods to cover these things up or camouflage them. This is a deceitful disposition. When you have such thoughts, when you live in this kind of state, you should reflect on yourself, and see clearly that you are not someone honest, that nothing of what God describes as an honest person is expressed in you, that you are well and truly someone deceitful, and that even though you are stupid, of poor caliber, and slow-witted, you are still someone deceitful. This is what it means to know yourself. The very least you should be able to achieve in knowing yourself is being able to clearly see and discern the obvious corruption you reveal, and being able to seek the truth in order to address this. If you truly know your own deceitful disposition, you should often pray to God, reflect on yourself, discern and dissect your deceitful disposition in accordance with God’s word, and perceive its essence; then you will have hope of escaping your corrupt disposition of deceitfulness. Some people can’t clearly tell the difference between deceitful people and honest people—which means their caliber is too poor. Some people often use their poor caliber, foolishness, ignorance, clumsiness with words, awkwardness, and liability to be cheated as evidence of honesty. They’re always telling others, “I’m too honest, I often get the worst of it as a result, I don’t know how to take advantage of others—yet God likes me because I am an honest person.” Are these words right? Such words are ludicrous, they are designed to dupe people, they are barefaced and shameless. How could people who are foolish and stupid be honest? These are two different things. It is a major mistake to treat the stupid things you have done as honesty. Everyone can see that even fools are liable to be arrogant and conceited, to think highly of themselves. No matter how ignorant and lacking in caliber people are, they can still lie and deceive others. Is all this not fact? Do fools and people of poor caliber really never do anything bad? Do they really not have corrupt dispositions? They most definitely do. Some people also say they are honest and they open up about their lies to others, but they don’t dare open up about the shameful things they do. When the church deals with them for their problems, they are unable to accept it and do not submit at all, preferring to poke around behind the scenes and ease out the truth. This kind of deceitful person does not accept the truth at all, and they do not submit whatsoever, yet they still think themselves honest. Is this not absolutely shameless of them? This is utter foolishness! This kind of person is absolutely not honest, nor are they guileless. Stupid people are stupid people; fools are fools. Only guileless people who are not deceitful are honest.
How can deceitful people be discerned? What are the behaviors of deceitful people? No matter who they associate or engage with, they never allow anyone to probe at what is really going on with them; they are always wary of others, they are always doing things behind people’s backs, and they never say what they’re really thinking. They may sometimes speak a bit about knowing themselves, but they make no mention of the crucial points or key words, and they are terrified of letting something slip. They are very sensitive to these things, out of fear that others might spot their weak points. This is a kind of deceitful disposition. Also, some people deliberately put on a facade so that others think they are guileless, that they can endure suffering and not complain, or that they are spiritual and that they love and pursue the truth. They are clearly not this kind of person, but they insist on putting on this act for others. This is also a deceitful disposition. All that deceitful people say and do has an intent behind it. If they did not have any intents, they would not speak or act. There is a disposition inside them that governs them to do so, and that is the disposition of deceitfulness. When people have a deceitful disposition, is it easy to change? How much have you changed? Have you entered onto the path of the pursuit of honesty? (Yes, this is the direction we’re working toward.) How many steps have you taken? Or are you stuck at the stage of wanting to do it? (It’s still just something we want to do. Sometimes, it is only after we have done something that we realize that it involved deception, that we were trying to give people a false impression; only then do we realize we were being deceitful.) You realize this is being deceitful—but were you able to realize it is a kind of corrupt disposition? And just where do these deceitful things come from? (From our nature.) That’s right, from your nature. And do these corrupt things interfere with you? They are hard to get away from, hard to deal with, hard to escape—and very troublesome, too. What makes them troublesome? What about them pains you? (We want to change, but feel very pained when we don’t manage to.) That’s one aspect, but it doesn’t count as troublesome. When a person is controlled by a deceitful disposition, they can lie to and cheat others at any time or place, and no matter what happens to them, they will be thinking of how to tell lies to cheat and deceive people. Even if they want to control themselves, they are unable to, it’s involuntary. This is where the problem lies. This is a problem of disposition. In how many ways can a deceitful disposition reveal itself? In probing, deception, wariness, as well as suspicion, pretense, and falsehood. The disposition which such behaviors expose and manifest is deceitfulness. After fellowshiping these topics, do you have a clearer knowledge of the deceitful disposition? Are there still those of you who say, “I do not have a deceitful disposition, I am not a deceitful person, I am close to being an honest person”? (No.) There are many people who do not quite understand what an honest person is, exactly. Some say that honest people are those who are guileless and straightforward, who are bullied and excluded wherever they go, or who are slow and always speak and act half a beat behind other people. Some fools and ignorant people, who engage in such folly that others look down on them, also describe themselves as honest people. And all those uneducated people from the lower rungs of society, who feel themselves to be inferior, likewise say that they are honest people. Wherein lies their mistake? They do not know what an honest person is. What is the source of their misapprehension? The main reason is that they do not understand the truth. They believe that the “honest people” God speaks of are fools and idiots, that they are uneducated, slow of speech and tongue, bullied and oppressed, and easily duped and swindled. The implication is that the objects of God’s salvation are those brainless people at the bottom of society who are often pushed around by others. Who will God save if not these lowly, impoverished people? Isn’t this what they believe? Are those really the people God saves? This is a mistaken interpretation of God’s will. The people God saves are the ones who love the truth, who have caliber and the capacity to understand, they are all people who have conscience and sense, who are able to fulfill God’s commissions and do their duty well. They are people who are able to accept the truth and cast off their corrupt dispositions, and they are people who truly love God, obey God, and worship God. Although most of these people are from the bottom of society, from the families of workers and farmers, they are definitely not muddle-headed people, simpletons, or good-for-nothings. On the contrary, they are clever people who are able to accept, practice and submit to the truth. They are all righteous people, who would forsake worldly glory and riches to follow God and gain the truth and life—they are the wisest people of all. These are all honest people who truly believe in God and who truly expend themselves for Him. They can gain God’s approval and blessings, and they can be perfected into His people and the pillars of His temple. They are people of gold, silver, and precious jewels. It is those muddle-headed, foolish, absurd, and good-for-nothing people who will be cast out. What do the nonbelievers and absurd people view God’s work and management plan as? As a dumping ground, no? These people are not only of poor caliber, they are also absurd. No matter how many of God’s words they read, they cannot understand the truth, and no matter how many sermons they hear, they are incapable of entering reality—if they are this foolish, can they still be saved? Could God want this kind of person? No matter how many years they have been a believer, they still don’t understand any truths, they still talk nonsense, and yet they still consider themselves honest—do they have no shame? Such people do not understand the truth. They are always misinterpreting God’s will, and yet everywhere they go, they bang on about their misinterpretations, preaching them as truth, telling people, “It’s good to be bullied a little, people should lose out a bit, they should be a little foolish—these are the objects of God’s salvation and they are the people that God will save.” People who say such things are disgusting; this brings great humiliation upon God! It is so disgusting! The pillars of God’s kingdom and the overcomers that God saves are all people who understand the truth, and who are wise. These are the ones who shall have a share in the heavenly kingdom. All those who are foolish and ignorant, shameless and senseless, who do not have a shred of understanding of the truth, who are simpletons and fools—are they not all good-for-nothings? How could such people have a share in the heavenly kingdom? The honest people God speaks of are those who can put the truth into practice once they understand it, who are wise and smart, who open themselves up to God simply, and who act according to principle and obey God absolutely. These people all have hearts that fear God, they focus on doing things according to the principles, and they all pursue absolute obedience to God and love God in their hearts. Only they are truly honest people. If someone doesn’t even know what it means to be honest, if they cannot see that the essence of honest people is absolute obedience to God, fearing God and shunning evil, or that honest people are honest because they love the truth, because they love God, and because they practice the truth—then that kind of person is so foolish, and truly lacking in discernment. Honest people are absolutely not the guileless, muddle-headed, ignorant, and foolish individuals that people imagine; they are people with normal humanity, who have conscience and reason. What is clever about honest people is that they are able to listen to God’s words and be honest, and this is why they are blessed by God.
Nothing has greater significance than God’s request that people be honest—He is asking that people live before Him, that they accept His scrutiny, and that they live in the light. Only honest people are true members of the human race. People who are not honest are beasts, they are animals walking around in human clothing, they are not human beings. To pursue being an honest person, you must behave in accordance with God’s requirements; you must undergo judgment, chastisement, being dealt with and pruned. When your corrupt disposition is cleansed and you are able to practice the truth and live by God’s words, only then will you be an honest person. People who are ignorant, foolish, and guileless are absolutely not honest people. By demanding that people be honest, God is asking them to possess normal humanity, to cast off their deceitfulness and disguises, to not lie to or trick others, to perform their duty with loyalty, and be able to truly love and obey Him. Only these individuals are the people of God’s kingdom. God demands that people be the good soldiers of Christ. What are the good soldiers of Christ? They must be equipped with the reality of the truth and be of one heart and mind with Christ. At any time and any place, they must be able to exalt and testify to God, and able to use the truth to wage war with Satan. In all things, they must stand on God’s side, bear testimony, and live out the reality of the truth. They must be able to humiliate Satan and win marvelous victories for God. That is what it means to be a good soldier of Christ. The good soldiers of Christ are overcomers, they are those who overcome Satan. In requiring that people be honest and not deceitful, God is not asking them to be fools, but to rid themselves of their deceitful dispositions, achieve submission to Him and bring glory to Him. This is what can be achieved by practicing the truth. This is not a change in one’s behavior, it is not a matter of speaking more or speaking less, nor is it about how one acts. Rather, it is about the intent behind one’s speech and actions, one’s thoughts and ideas, one’s ambitions and desires. Everything that belongs to outpourings of corrupt disposition and to error must be changed at its root, so that it aligns with the truth. If one is to achieve a change in disposition, they must be able to see through to the essence of Satan’s disposition. If you can see through to the essence of a deceitful disposition, that it is Satan’s disposition and the face of the devil, if you can hate Satan and forsake the devil, then it will be easy for you to cast off your corrupt disposition. If you do not know that there is a deceitful state within you, if you do not recognize the outpourings of a deceitful disposition, then you will not know how to seek the truth to resolve this, and it will be hard for you to change your deceitful disposition. You must first recognize what things pour forth from you, and which aspect of a corrupt disposition they are. If the things that you reveal are of a deceitful disposition, will you despise it in your heart? And if you do, how should you change? You have to deal with your intents and correct your views. You must first seek the truth on this matter to resolve your problems, strive to achieve what God asks and satisfy Him, and become someone who does not try to trick God or other people, even those who are a little foolish or ignorant. Trying to trick someone who is foolish or ignorant is very immoral—it makes you the devil. To be an honest person, you must not trick or lie to anyone. To devils and Satan, however, you must choose your words wisely; if you do not, you are liable to be made a fool of by them and bring shame upon God. Only by choosing your words wisely and practicing the truth, will you be able to overcome and shame Satan. People who are ignorant, foolish, and stubborn will never be able to understand the truth; they can only be duped, toyed with, and trampled by Satan, and ultimately, devoured.
Next, let us speak of the fourth kind of disposition. During gatherings, some people can fellowship a little on their own states, but when it comes to the essence of issues, to their personal motives and ideas, they become evasive. When people expose them as having motives and aims, they appear to nod and admit to it. But when people try to expose or analyze anything deeper, they can’t stand it, they get up and leave. Why, at the crucial moment, do they slip away? (They do not accept the truth and are unwilling to face their own problems.) This is a problem of disposition. When they are unwilling to accept the truth in order to solve the problems within them, does this not mean they are sick of the truth? What kinds of sermons are some leaders and workers least willing to hear? (Sermons on how to discern antichrists and false leaders.) Correct. They think, “All this talk of identifying antichrists and false leaders, and about Pharisees—why do you go on about this so much? You’re stressing me out.” Hearing that there will be talk of identifying false leaders and workers, they find any excuse to leave. What is meant by “leave” here? This refers to slipping away, to hiding. Why do they try to hide? When other people speak facts, you should listen: Listening is good for you. Note down the things that are harsh or that you find hard to accept; then you should think on these things often, take them in slowly, and change slowly. So why hide? Such people feel that these words of judgment are too harsh and that they are not easy to hear, so resistance and antipathy develop within them. They say to themselves, “I am not an antichrist or false leader—why keep going on about me? Why not talk about other people? Say something about identifying evil people, don’t talk about me!” They become evasive and oppositional. What disposition is this? If they are unwilling to accept the truth, and always reasoning and arguing in defense of themselves, is there not the problem of a corrupt disposition here? This is a disposition of being sick of the truth. Leaders and workers have this kind of state, so what about ordinary brothers and sisters? (They do, too.) When everyone first meets, they are all so loving and quite happy to parrot words of doctrine. They all seem to love the truth. But when it comes to personal problems and real difficulties, many people go dumb. For example, some people are constantly constrained by marriage. They become unwilling to do a duty or pursue the truth, and marriage becomes their largest obstacle and greatest encumbrance. At gatherings, when everyone is fellowshiping on this state, they match the others’ words of fellowship against themselves and feel they are talking about them. They say, “I have no problem with you fellowshiping the truth, but why bring up me? Do you not have any problems? Why only talk about me?” What disposition is this? When you gather to fellowship the truth, you must dissect real issues and allow everyone to speak on their understanding of these problems; only then are you able to know yourselves and solve your problems. Why can’t people accept this? What disposition is it when people are incapable of accepting being pruned and dealt with, and cannot accept the truth? Shouldn’t you discern this clearly? These are all the manifestations of being sick of the truth—this is the essence of the problem. When people are sick of the truth, it is very difficult for them to accept the truth—and if they cannot accept the truth, can the problem of their corrupt disposition be fixed? (No.) So someone like this, someone who is incapable of accepting the truth—are they able to obtain the truth? Can they be saved by God? Definitely not. Do people who don’t accept the truth sincerely believe in God? Absolutely not. The most important aspect of people who truly believe in God is being able to accept the truth. People who cannot accept the truth absolutely do not sincerely believe in God. Are such people able to sit still during a sermon? Are they able to gain anything? They cannot. This is because sermons reveal people’s various corrupt states. Through the dissection of God’s words, people gain knowledge, and then, by going on to fellowship the principles of practice, they are given a path to practice, and in this way an effect is achieved. When such people hear that the state that is being revealed relates to them—that it relates to their own issues—their shame drives them into a fit of rage, and they may even get up and leave the gathering. Even if they don’t leave, they may start to feel irritated and wronged inside, in which case there is no point in them attending the gathering or listening to the sermon. Is the purpose of listening to sermons not to understand the truth and solve one’s own real problems? If you are always afraid of your own problems being exposed, if you are constantly fearful of being mentioned, why believe in God at all? If in your faith you can’t accept the truth, you don’t really believe in God. If you are always afraid of being exposed, how are you going to be able to resolve your problem of corruption? If you can’t resolve your problem of corruption, what is the point in believing in God? The purpose of faith in God is to accept God’s salvation, cast off your corrupt disposition, and live out the likeness of a true human being, all of which are achieved through accepting the truth. If you can’t accept the truth at all, or even being dealt with or exposed, then you have no way of attaining God’s salvation. So tell Me: In each church, how many are there who can accept the truth? Are those who cannot accept the truth many or few? (Many.) Is this a situation that really exists among the chosen ones in the churches, is it a real problem? All those who are unable to accept the truth and unable to accept being dealt with and being pruned, are sick of the truth. Being sick of the truth is a kind of corrupt disposition, and if this disposition cannot be changed, can they be saved? Certainly not. Today, many people have a hard time accepting the truth. It is by no means easy. To resolve this, a person has to experience some of God’s judgment, chastisement, trials, and refinement. So what do you say: What disposition is it when people are incapable of accepting being pruned and dealt with, when they do not compare themselves to God’s word or the states revealed during sermons? (A disposition of being sick of the truth.) This is the fourth corrupt disposition: being sick of the truth. How sick are they? (They do not wish to read God’s words, or listen to sermons, and do not wish to fellowship the truth.) These are the most obvious manifestations. When someone says, for example, “You truly believe in God. You have put aside family and career to perform a duty, and have suffered much and paid a considerable price over the past several years. God blesses such people. God’s word says that those who sincerely expend for God shall be greatly blessed,” you say amen and accept such truths. However, when the person goes on to say, “But you must keep striving for the truth! If people always have motives in what they do, and always run amok in accordance with their own intentions, then sooner or later they shall offend God and incur His loathing,” when they say things like this, you can’t accept it. Hearing the truth being fellowshiped, you are not only incapable of accepting it, but also grow angry, and in your mind, you retort: “You spend all day fellowshiping the truth, but I haven’t seen any of you go to heaven.” What disposition is this? (Being sick of the truth.) When talk turns to practice, when people get serious with you, there is exhibited in you the utmost aversion, impatience, and resistance. This is being sick of the truth. And how is the kind of disposition that is being sick of the truth chiefly manifested? In refusing to accept being pruned and dealt with. Not accepting being pruned and dealt with is one kind of state manifested by this kind of disposition. In their hearts, these people are especially resistant when they are dealt with. They think, “I don’t want to hear it! I don’t want to hear it!” or, “Why not deal with other people? Why pick on me?” What is the meaning of being sick of the truth? Being sick of the truth is when a person is completely uninterested in anything connected to positive things, to the truth, to what God asks, or to God’s will. Sometimes they have an aversion to these things, sometimes they are aloof to them, sometimes they are irreverent and indifferent, and treat them as unimportant, and they are insincere and cursory toward them, or take no responsibility for them. The chief manifestation of being sick of the truth is not just an aversion when people hear the truth. It also includes unwillingness to practice the truth, shrinking back when the time comes to practice the truth, as if the truth has nothing to do with them. When some people fellowship during gatherings, they seem very animated, they like repeating words of doctrine and making lofty statements to mislead and win others over. They seem full of energy and in high spirits as they do this, and they go on and on endlessly. Others, meanwhile, spend all day from morning to night busy with matters of faith, reading God’s words, praying, listening to hymns, taking notes, as if they cannot be apart from God for even a moment. From dawn till dusk, they busy themselves with the performance of their duty. Do these people really love the truth? Do they not have the disposition of being sick of the truth? When can their true state be seen? (When the time comes to practice the truth, they run away, and they are not willing to accept being pruned and dealt with.) Could this be because they don’t understand what they hear or is it because they don’t understand the truth that they are unwilling to accept it? The answer is neither of these. They are governed by their nature. This is a problem of disposition. In their hearts, these people know full well that God’s words are the truth, that they are positive, and that practicing the truth can bring about changes in people’s dispositions and make them able to fulfill God’s will—but they do not accept them or put them into practice. This is being sick of the truth. In whom have you seen the disposition of being sick of the truth? (The nonbelievers.) The nonbelievers are sick of the truth, that is very clear. God has no way of saving such people. So among the believers of God, in what matters have you seen people being sick of the truth? It may be that when you fellowshiped the truth with them, they did not stand up and leave, and when the fellowship touched upon their own difficulties and issues, they faced them correctly—and yet they still have the disposition of being sick of the truth. Where can this be seen? (They often hear sermons, but they don’t put the truth into practice.) People who do not put the truth into practice unquestionably have the disposition of being sick of the truth. Some people are occasionally able to put into practice a little of the truth, so do they have the disposition of being sick of the truth? Such a disposition is likewise found in those who practice the truth, just to varying degrees. Your being able to practice the truth does not mean you do not have a disposition of being sick of the truth. Practicing the truth does not mean your life disposition has changed immediately—that is not the case. You must resolve the problem of your corrupt disposition, this is the only way to attain change in your life disposition. Practicing the truth on one occasion does not mean you no longer have a corrupt disposition. You are capable of practicing the truth in one area, but you are not necessarily able to practice the truth in other areas. The contexts and reasons involved are different, but what’s most important is that a corrupt disposition does exist, which is the root of the problem. Therefore, once a person’s disposition has changed, all of their difficulties, pretexts and excuses involved in practicing the truth—these problems are all fixed, and all of their disobedience, defects, and faults are solved. If people’s dispositions do not change, they will always have difficulty practicing the truth, and there will always be pretexts and excuses. If you wish to be able to practice the truth and obey God in all things, there must first be a change in your disposition. Only then will you be able to solve problems at their roots.
What is the disposition of being sick of the truth mainly in reference to? Let us first discuss a type of state. Some people have a strong interest in listening to sermons, and the more they listen to fellowship on the truth the brighter their hearts become and the more elated they become. They have an attitude of positivity and proactivity. Does this prove they do not have the disposition of being sick of the truth? (No.) For example, some children aged seven or eight are interested when they hear about faith in God, and they always read God’s word and attend gatherings with their parents, and some people say, “This child does not have a disposition of being sick of the truth, they are very clever, they were born to believe in God, they were chosen by God.” They may well have been chosen by God, but these words are only half right. This is because they are still young, and the direction of their pursuit and their aims in life have yet to take shape. When their outlooks on life and society have yet to take shape, it can be said that their young souls love positive things, but you cannot say that they do not have a disposition of being sick of the truth. Why do I say this? They are of a young age. Their humanity is still immature, they lack any experience, their horizons are limited, and they do not understand, at all, what the truth is. They merely have a taste for positive things. You cannot say that they love the truth, much less that they are possessed of the reality of the truth. What’s more, children have no experience and so nobody can see just what is hidden within their hearts, what kind of nature and essence they have. Simply because they are interested in the faith in God and listening to sermons, people determine that they love the truth—which is a manifestation of ignorance and foolishness, because children have no knowledge of what the truth is, and so one can’t even mention the matter of whether they like the truth or are sick of the truth. Being sick of the truth mainly refers to a lack of interest and an antipathy toward the truth and positive things. Being sick of the truth is when people are able to understand the truth and know what positive things are, and yet still treat the truth and positive things with an attitude and state that is resistant, perfunctory, averse, prevaricating, and indifferent. This is the disposition of being sick of the truth. Does this kind of disposition exist in everyone? Some people say, “Even though I know the word of God is the truth, I still don’t like it or accept it, or at least, I can’t accept it right now.” What is the matter here? This is being sick of the truth. The disposition inside them does not allow them to accept the truth. What specific manifestations are there of not accepting the truth? Some say, “I understand all the truths, but I just can’t put them into practice.” This reveals that this is a person who is sick of the truth, and that they don’t love the truth, and so they can’t put any truths into practice. Some people say, “That I have been able to earn so much money is down to God. God has truly blessed me, God has been so good to me, God has given me great riches. My whole family is well-clothed and fed, and they want for neither clothes nor food.” Seeing that they have been blessed by God, these people thank God in their heart, they know that this was all governed by God, and that if they had not been blessed by God—if they had relied on their own talents—they would absolutely not have earned all this money. This is what they really think in their heart, what they truly know, and they truly give thanks to God. But a day comes when their business fails, when times are hard for them, and they suffer poverty. Why is this? Because they are greedy for comfort, and give no thought to how to perform their duty properly, and they spend their whole time chasing after riches, becoming slaves to money, which affects their performance of their duty, and so God strips this from them. In their heart, they know that God has blessed them with so much, and given them so much, yet they have no desire to repay God’s love, they do not wish to go out and perform their duty, and are timid and constantly fearful of arrest, and they are afraid of losing all these riches and pleasures, and as a result, God strips these things from them. Their hearts are clear as a mirror, they know that God has taken these things from them, and that they are being disciplined by God, and so they pray to God and say, “Oh God! You blessed me once, so You can bless me a second time. Your existence is eternal, and so Your blessings are also with mankind. I give thanks to You! Whatever happens, Your blessings and promise shall not change. If You take from me, still I shall obey.” But the word “obey” rings hollow from their mouth. Their mouth says they can obey, but afterward, they think about it, and something doesn’t sit right with them: “Things used to be so good. Why did God take it all away? Wasn’t staying home and doing my duty the same as going out to do my duty? What was I delaying?” They are always reminiscing about the past. They have a kind of resentment and dissatisfaction toward God, and constantly feel depressed. Is God still in their heart? What is in their heart is money, material comforts, and those good times. God has no place whatsoever in their heart, He is no longer their God. Even though they know it is a truth that “God gave, and God has taken away,” they like the words that “God gave,” and hate the words that “God has taken away.” Clearly, their acceptance of the truth is selective. When God blesses them, they accept it as the truth—but as soon as God takes from them, they cannot accept it. They cannot accept such arrangements from God, and instead they resist, and become disgruntled. When asked to perform their duty, they say, “I will if God gives me blessings and graces me. Without God’s blessings and with my family in such a state of poverty, how am I to perform my duty? I don’t want to!” What disposition is this? Though, in their heart, they personally experience God’s blessings, and how He has given them so much, they are unwilling to accept when God takes from them. Why is this? Because they cannot let go of money and their comfortable life. Though they may not have kicked up a big fuss about it, they may not have held out their hand to God, and they may not have tried to wrest back their former assets by relying on their own efforts, they have already become disheartened toward the actions of God, they are wholly incapable of acceptance, and say, “It is truly inconsiderate that God should act like this. It is beyond comprehension. How can I continue to believe in God? I no longer wish to acknowledge that He is God. If I do not acknowledge that He is God, He is not God.” Is this a kind of disposition? (Yes.) Satan has this kind of disposition, Satan denies God in this way. This kind of disposition is one of being sick of the truth and hating the truth. When people are sick of the truth to this extent, where does it lead them? It makes them oppose God and it makes them stubbornly oppose God to the very end—which means it is all over for them.
Just what is the nature of the disposition of being sick of the truth? People who are sick of the truth do not love positive things or anything that God does. Take God’s work of judgment during the last days, for example: No one wants to accept this work. Few people are willing to listen to sermons about God exposing people, condemning people, chastising people, testing people, refining people, chastening people, and disciplining people, yet they are happy to hear about God blessing people, encouraging people, and of His promises to people—no one rejects these things. It’s like during the Age of Grace, when God did the work of forgiving, pardoning, blessing and bestowing grace upon man, when He healed the sick and cast out demons, and made promises to people—people were willing to accept all that, they all praised Jesus for His great love of man. But now that the Age of Kingdom has arrived and God does the work of judgment, and expresses many truths, no one cares. No matter how God exposes and judges people, they do not accept it, and even say to themselves, “Could God do such a thing? Doesn’t God love man?” If they are dealt with and pruned, or chastened and disciplined, they have even more notions, and say to themselves, “How is this the love of God? These words of judgment and condemnation are not loving at all, I do not accept them. I’m not that stupid!” This is the disposition of being sick of the truth. Upon hearing the truth, some people say, “What truth? This is just a theory. It seems so noble, so mighty, so holy—but these are just nice-sounding words.” Is this not the disposition of being sick of the truth? This is the disposition of being sick of the truth. Is this kind of disposition in you? (Yes.) What state did I just mention that you are most likely to fall prey to, that you see most commonly, and have the deepest appreciation of? (Not wanting to encounter difficulty when performing our duty, not wishing to be judged and chastised by God, wanting everything to go smoothly.) Refusing God’s dominion, refusing God’s discipline and chastening, clearly knowing that God is doing good in this but still resisting in your heart: this is one kind of manifestation. What else? (Being happy when we have been effective in performing our duty, and being passive, weak, and incapable of actively cooperating when we haven’t.) What kind of manifestation is this? (Intransigence.) You must be accurate about this. Do not get confused and make blind assertions. Sometimes, people’s states are highly complex; they are not simply one kind, but two or three mixed together. How do you define it then? Sometimes, one disposition will reveal itself in two states, sometimes in three, but despite these states being different, at the end of the day this is still one kind of disposition. You must understand this disposition of being sick of the truth, and you should probe into what the manifestations of being sick of the truth are. In this way, you will be able to truly understand this disposition of being sick of the truth. You are sick of the truth. You know full well that something is right—it doesn’t necessarily have to be the words of God or the principles of the truth, and sometimes it is positive things, correct things, correct words, correct suggestions—yet you still say, “This is not the truth, these are simply the correct words. I don’t want to listen—I do not listen to the words of people!” What disposition is this? There is arrogance, intransigence, and being sick of the truth here—all these kinds of dispositions are present. Each kind of disposition can produce many kinds of states. One state can relate to several different dispositions. You must be clear about what kinds of dispositions these states are produced by. In this way, you will be able to discern the various kinds of corrupt dispositions.
Of the four kinds of corrupt dispositions on which we have just fellowshiped, any one of them is enough to condemn people to death—is it going too far to say that? (No.) How do people’s corrupt dispositions come about? They all come from Satan. People become imbued with all of the heresies and fallacies released by Satan, devils, and famous and eminent individuals, and thus these various corrupt dispositions come into being. Are these dispositions positive or negative? (Negative.) On what basis do you say they are negative? (The truth.) Because these dispositions violate the truth and resist God, and they are in hostile opposition to God’s disposition and all that God has and is, therefore, if one of these corrupt dispositions is found in people, they become a person that resists God. If every one of these four dispositions is found within a person, then this is troublesome and they have become an enemy of God, and they are destined for certain death. No matter what disposition it is, if you weigh it up using the truth, you will see that the essence each manifests is all directed against God, in resistance to God, and in enmity toward God. Therefore, if your dispositions do not change, then you will not be compatible with God, you will hate the truth and you will be an enemy of God.
Next let us talk about the fifth kind of disposition. I’m going to give you an example, and you can try to figure out just what kind of disposition this is. Imagine two people are talking, and one of them is overly direct in what they say, and so the other person takes offense. In their mind, they’re thinking, “Why are you being so hurtful to my pride? Do you think I let people pick on me?” and so a hatred develops within them. In reality, this problem is easy to resolve. If one person has said something to hurt another person, so long as the speaker apologizes to the listener, the matter will pass. But if the offended party can’t let this matter go and for them, “it is never too late for a gentleman to take his revenge,” what disposition is this? (Maliciousness.) That’s right—this is maliciousness, and this is a person with a vicious disposition. In the church, some people are pruned and dealt with because they don’t do their duty properly. The things said when pruning and dealing with a person often involve that person being reprimanded and perhaps even scolded. This will certainly upset them, and they will want to look for excuses and answer back. They say things like, “Although you dealt with me by saying things that are correct, some of what you said was really offensive, and you humiliated me and hurt my feelings. I’ve believed in God for all these years, working hard despite never making any contribution—how could I be treated like this? How come you don’t deal with anyone else? I can’t accept this and I’m not putting up with it!” This is a kind of corrupt disposition, is it not? (Yes.) This corrupt disposition is only manifesting through complaints, disobedience, and antagonism, but it has yet to reach its peak, it has not reached its zenith, though it is already showing some signs, and it has already begun to reach the point where it is about to break through. What is their attitude soon after this? They are recalcitrant, they feel irritated and defiant and start acting out of spite. They start rationalizing: “The leaders and workers aren’t always right when they deal with people. The rest of you might be able to accept it, but I can’t. That you can accept this is because you are stupid and wimpy. I don’t accept it! Let’s hash it out and see who’s right or wrong.” People then fellowship with them, saying, “Regardless of right or wrong, the first thing you must do is obey. Is it possible that the performance of your duty is not in the least bit tainted? Do you do everything right? Even if you do everything right, being dealt with is still helpful for you! We’ve fellowshiped on the principles with you so many times, but you never listened and chose to just blindly do as you pleased, causing disruptions to the church’s work and bringing about massive losses, so how can you not face being pruned and dealt with? The wording may be harsh, and it may be hard to hear, but that’s normal, isn’t it? So what are you arguing about? Should you just be allowed to do bad things without other people being allowed to deal with you?” But will they be able to accept being dealt with after hearing this? They won’t. They’ll just continue making excuses and resisting. What disposition did they reveal? Devilishness; it is a vicious disposition. What did they actually mean? “I don’t suffer people irritating me. No one should try and touch a hair on my head. If I show you that I’m not easy to mess with, you won’t dare deal with me in the future. Won’t I have won then?” How about it? The disposition has been exposed, right? This is a vicious disposition. People with vicious dispositions are not just sick of the truth—they hate the truth! When they are subjected to pruning and being dealt with, they either try to flee, or they ignore it—in their hearts, they are incredibly hostile. It’s not simply a case of them coming up with excuses. That’s not their attitude at all. They are uncompliant and resistant, they even argue back like some harpy. In their hearts, they think, “I understand that you are trying to humiliate me and deliberately embarrass me, and though I do not dare contradict you to your face, I will find the chance to get my own back! You think you can just deal with me and push me around? I’ll get everyone on my side, single you out, and then I’ll give you a taste of your own medicine!” This is what they’re thinking in their hearts; their vicious disposition has finally revealed itself. To achieve their aims and vent their spite, they do their utmost to come up with excuses that will allow them to justify themselves and get everyone on their side. Only then are they happy and mollified. This is malicious, is it not? This is a vicious disposition. When they have yet to be pruned or dealt with, such people are like little lambs. When they are subjected to being pruned and dealt with, or when their real self is exposed, they immediately change from a lamb to a wolf, and out comes their wolfishness. This is a vicious disposition, is it not? (Yes.) So why isn’t it visible most of the time? (They haven’t been provoked.) That’s right, they haven’t been provoked and their interests haven’t been endangered. It’s like how a wolf won’t eat you when it’s not hungry—could you then say it’s not a wolf? If you waited until it tried to eat you to call it a wolf, that would be too late, wouldn’t it? Even when it hasn’t tried to eat you, you should be vigilant at all times. The wolf not eating you does not mean it does not want to eat you, just that the time has not come yet—and when the time does arrive, its wolfish nature strikes. Being pruned and dealt with lays every kind of person bare. Some people think to themselves, “Why am I the only one being dealt with? Why am I always being picked on? Do they see me as an easy target? I’m not the kind of person you can mess with!” What disposition is this? How could they be the only ones being dealt with? This is not the way things really are. Who among you has not been dealt with or pruned? All of you have. Sometimes leaders and workers are wayward and reckless in their work, or else they do not carry it out according to work arrangements—and most of them are dealt with and pruned. This is done to protect the church’s work and to prevent people from going rogue. It is not done to target any specific individual. What they said is obviously a distortion of the facts, and this is also manifestation of a vicious disposition.
In what other ways is a vicious disposition manifested? How is it related to being sick of the truth? In fact, when being sick of the truth manifests itself in a serious way, bearing the attributes of resistance and judgment, this reveals a vicious disposition. Being sick of the truth includes a number of states, from lack of interest in the truth to a disdain for the truth, which progresses to judging God and condemning God. When being sick of the truth has reached a certain point, people are liable to deny God, to hate God, and to oppose God. These several states are a vicious disposition, are they not? (Yes.) Therefore, those who are sick of the truth have an even more serious state, and within this is a kind of disposition: the vicious disposition. For example, some people acknowledge that everything is ruled by God, but when God takes from them, and they suffer losses to their interests, they are not outwardly resentful or antagonistic, but inwardly they are without acceptance or submission. Theirs is the attitude of sitting passively and awaiting destruction—which is clearly the state of being sick of the truth. There is also another, even more serious state: They don’t sit passively and await destruction, but instead resist the arrangements and orchestrations of God, and resist God’s taking things away from them. How do they resist? (By disrupting and interfering with the work of the church, or else by sabotaging things, trying to set up their own kingdom.) That is one form. After some church leaders are replaced, they are always disrupting things and interfering in the church as they lead church life, they resist and disobey everything the newly chosen leader says, and they try to undermine them behind their back. What disposition is this? This is a vicious disposition. What they’re really thinking is, “If I can’t be a leader, then no one else can keep this position, I’ll chase them all off! If I force you out, I’ll be in charge like before!” This is not simply being sick of the truth, it is vicious! Jockeying for status, jockeying for territory, jockeying for personal interests and reputation, stopping at nothing for revenge, doing everything one can, employing all of one’s skills, doing everything possible to achieve one’s aims, to salvage one’s reputation, pride, and status, or else to satisfy one’s desire for revenge—all these are manifestations of viciousness. Some of the behaviors of a vicious disposition involve saying much that is meddlesome and disruptive; some involve doing many bad things in order to achieve one’s aims. Whether in their words or actions, everything such people do is at odds with the truth, and in violation of the truth, and it is all an outpouring of a vicious disposition. Some people are incapable of discerning these things. If the mistaken speech or behavior is not blatant, they can’t see it for what it is. But for people who understand the truth, everything that evil people say and do is evil, and could never contain anything that is right, or in line with the truth; these things these people say and do can be said to be 100% evil and are absolutely the outpourings of a vicious disposition. What are evil people’s motivations before they reveal this vicious disposition? What kinds of goals are they trying to achieve? How can they do such things? Can you discern this? I’ll give you an example. Something happens at somebody’s home. They are placed under surveillance by the great red dragon and can’t go back, which pains them greatly. Some brothers and sisters take them in, and seeing how nice everything is in their hosts’ home, they think to themselves, “How come nothing has happened to your home? How come it happened to my home? That’s not fair. This won’t do, I must think of a way to make something happen to your home, so you can’t go home. I’ll give you a taste of the same hardship I suffered.” Regardless of whether they do anything or not, or whether or not this becomes a reality, or whether they achieve their aims, they still have this kind of intent. This is a kind of disposition, is it not? (Yes.) If they can’t live a good life, they won’t let other people do so, either. What disposition is this? (Maliciousness.) A vicious disposition—this person is nasty! They are, as the saying goes, rotten to the core. This describes just how vicious they are. What is the nature of such a disposition? Have a go at dissecting what, when this disposition is revealed in them, are their motivations, intents, and aims? When they reveal this disposition, where does it originate from? What do they wish to achieve? Something happened at their own home, and they were being well provided for at their hosts’ home—so why would they want to mess this up? Are they only happy when they’ve messed things up for their hosts, so something happens at their hosts’ home and their hosts can’t go back, either? For their own sake, they should protect this place, stop anything from happening to it, and not harm their hosts, as harming them is the same as harming themselves. So just what exactly is their purpose in wanting to do this? (When things aren’t going well for them, they don’t want things to go well for anyone else, either.) This is called viciousness. What they’re thinking is, “My home has been destroyed by the great red dragon and now I don’t have a home. But you still have a nice warm home that you can go back to. This isn’t fair. I can’t stand to see you being able to go back home. I’m going to teach you a lesson. I’ll make it so you can’t go back home and you’re just like me. This’ll make things feel fair.” Is doing this not malicious and ill-intentioned? Of what nature is this? (Viciousness.) Everything that evil people say and do is done to achieve an aim. What kinds of things do they usually do? What are the most common things that people with vicious dispositions do? (They disrupt, interfere with, and wreck the church’s work.) (They try to curry favor when they are face-to-face with people, but then they try to undermine people behind their backs.) (They attack people, are vengeful and maliciously lash out at people.) (They spread rumors and slander.) (They malign, judge, and condemn others.) The nature of these actions is to disrupt and wreck the work of the church, and they are all manifestations of resisting and attacking God, all revelations of a vicious disposition. Those who are capable of doing these things are undoubtedly evil people, and all those who possess certain manifestations of a vicious disposition can be defined as evil people. What is the essence of an evil person? It is that of the devil, of Satan. This is no exaggeration. Are you capable of these actions? Which of these actions are you capable of? (Being judgmental.) So do you dare to attack or take revenge on people? (Sometimes I do have these kinds of thoughts, but don’t dare to act on them.) You just have these thoughts, but you dare not act on them. If someone of a lower status is hurtful toward you, would you dare take retribution? (Sometimes I would, I am capable of doing such things.) If this person were really formidable—if they were very articulate, and they hurt you—would you dare take retribution? Perhaps only a few would not be afraid to do this. People like this, people who pick on the weak but fear the strong, do they have vicious dispositions? (Yes.) No matter what kind of behavior it is, and who it is aimed at, if you are capable of performing the evil deed of retaliating against other brothers and sisters, this proves there is a vicious disposition within you. This vicious disposition doesn’t seem too different from the outside, but you must be able to distinguish it and you must be able to distinguish who you are targeting. If you are fierce toward Satan and you are able to subdue and humiliate Satan, is this considered a vicious disposition? It is not. This is standing up for what is right and being fearless in the face of one’s enemy. This is having a sense of righteousness. In what circumstances would this be considered a vicious disposition? If you were to bully, trample on, and humiliate good people or brothers and sisters, then this would be a vicious disposition. Therefore, you must be possessed of conscience and reason, approach people and matters with principles, be able to discern evil people and the devil, have a sense of righteousness, you must be tolerant and patient toward God’s chosen people and brothers and sisters, and you must practice in accordance with the truth. This is totally right, and in line with God’s will. People with vicious dispositions do not treat people according to principles like this. If someone, no matter who it is, does something that is hurtful to them, they will try and get their own back—this is viciousness. There is no principle to the way evil people act. They do not seek the truth. Whether it’s acting out of personal spite, or picking on the weak and fearing the strong, or daring to take retribution on anyone, all of these pertain to a vicious disposition, and all of these constitute a corrupt disposition. Of this there is no doubt.
What is the most obvious manifestation of a person with a vicious disposition? It is when they encounter a guileless person who is easy to pick on and they start to pick on them and toy with them. This is a common phenomenon. When a person who is relatively kindhearted sees a person who is guileless and cowardly, they will feel a sense of compassion for them, and even if they can’t help them, they won’t bully them. When you see that one of your brothers or sisters is guileless, how do you treat them? Do you bully them or tease them? (I’d probably look down on them.) Looking down on people is a way of seeing them, of viewing them, a kind of mentality, but how you act and speak toward them involves your disposition. Tell Me, how do you act toward people who are timid and cowardly? (I order them about and pick on them.) (When I see them doing their duty wrong, I discriminate against them and exclude them.) These things you mention are manifestations of a vicious disposition and relate to people’s dispositions. There are many more of these things, so there’s no need to go into detail about them. Have you ever come across such a person, someone who wished death upon whoever offended them, and even prayed to God, asking Him to damn them, to wipe them from the face of the earth? Although no man has such power, in their heart they think about how good it would be if they did, or else they pray to God and ask that God do this. Do you have such thoughts in your heart? (When we are spreading the gospel and encounter evil people who attack us and report us to the police, I feel hateful toward them, and have thoughts like “the day will come when you are punished by God.”) That’s quite an objective case. You were attacked, you suffered, you felt pained, your personal integrity and self-respect were utterly trampled on—in such circumstances most people would have a hard time getting over it. (Some people spread rumors about our church online, they make many allegations, and it makes me really angry when I read them, and there is a lot of hatred in my heart.) Is this viciousness, or is it hot-headedness, or is this normal humanity? (It is normal humanity. Not hating demons and God’s enemies is not normal humanity.) That’s right. This is the revelation, manifestation, and response of normal humanity. If people do not hate negative things or love positive things, if they have no standards of conscience, then they are not people. Under these circumstances, what actions can a person perform to develop into a vicious disposition? If this hatred and loathing morphs into a certain kind of behavior, if you lose all reason, and your actions cross a certain red line for humanity, if you are even liable to kill them and break the law, then this is viciousness, it is acting in a hot-headed way. When people understand the truth, and are able to discern evil people, and they despise wickedness, this is normal humanity. But if people handle things in a hot-headed way, they are acting without principles. Is this any different from committing evil? (Yes.) There is a difference. If a person is extremely bad, extremely vicious, extremely wicked, extremely immoral, and you feel great antipathy toward them, and this antipathy reaches the point that you ask God to curse them, then this is okay. But is it okay if God does not act after you have prayed two or three times and you take matters into your own hands? (No.) You can pray to God and express your views and opinions, then search for the principles of the truth, in which case you will be able to handle things correctly. But you should not demand or try to force God to exact payback on your behalf, much less should you allow your hot-headedness to make you do stupid things. You should approach the matter rationally. You should be patient, await the time of God, and spend more time praying to God. See how God acts with wisdom toward Satan the devil, and in this way, you can be patient. Being rational means entrusting all of this to God and letting God act. This is what a created being should do. Do not act out of hot-headedness. Acting out of hot-headedness is not acceptable to God, it is condemned by God. At such times, the disposition revealed in people is not human weakness or passing anger, rather it is a vicious disposition. Once it is determined to be a vicious disposition, you are in trouble, and not likely to be saved. That’s because when people have vicious dispositions, they are liable to act in violation of conscience and reason, and they become highly disposed to breaking the law, and violating the administrative decrees of God. So how can this be avoided? At a minimum, there are three red lines that must not be crossed: The first is not doing things that are in violation of conscience and reason, the second is not breaking the law, and the third is not violating God’s administrative decrees. Additionally, do not do anything extreme or anything that will disrupt the work of the church. If you abide by these principles, at the very least your safety will be assured, and you will not be cast out. If you viciously resist when you are being pruned and dealt with because you committed all kinds of evils, then that’s even more dangerous. You are likely to directly offend God’s disposition and be cleared out or expelled from the church. The punishment for offending God’s disposition is much more severe than for breaking the law—it is a fate worse than death. Breaking the law entails a prison sentence at most; a few hard years and you’re out, that’s it. But if you offend God’s disposition, you will suffer eternal punishment. Therefore, if people with vicious dispositions have no rationality, they are in extreme danger, they are liable to commit evil, and they are sure to be punished and suffer retribution. If people have a little rationality, are able to seek and submit to the truth, and can refrain from committing too much evil, then they absolutely have hope of being saved. It is crucial for a person to have rationality and reason. A person with reason is likely to accept the truth and handle being pruned and dealt with in a correct way. A person without reason is in danger when they are pruned and dealt with. Say, for example, someone is very angry after being dealt with and pruned by a leader. They feel like spreading rumors and attacking the leader, but do not dare to for fear of causing trouble. Such a disposition already exists in their heart, however, and it is hard to say whether they would act on it or not. As long as this kind of disposition is in someone’s heart, as long as these thoughts exist, then although they might not act on it, they are already in danger. When circumstances permit—when they get the chance—they may well act. So long as their vicious disposition exists, if it is not resolved, then sooner or later this person will commit evil. So what other situations are there in which a person reveals a vicious disposition? Tell Me. (I was perfunctory in my duty and didn’t get any results, and then I was replaced by the leader in accordance with the principles, and I felt somewhat resistant. Then when I saw that he revealed a corrupt disposition, I thought of writing a letter to report him.) Does this idea come out of thin air? Absolutely not. This was produced by your nature. Sooner or later, the things in people’s natures are revealed, there is no knowing in what instance or context they will be revealed and acted out. Sometimes people do nothing, but that is because the situation does not permit it. If they are someone who pursues the truth, however, they will be able to seek the truth to resolve this. If they are not a person who pursues the truth, they will do as they please, and as soon as the situation permits, they will commit evil. Therefore, if a corrupt disposition is not resolved, it is extremely likely that people will get themselves into trouble, in which case they will have to reap what they have sown. Some people do not pursue the truth and are constantly perfunctory in the performance of their duties. They don’t accept it when they are pruned and dealt with, they never repent, and eventually they are ostracized for the purpose of reflection. Some people are cleared out of the church because they constantly interfere in church life and they have become rotten apples; and some people are expelled because they perform all kinds of evil. Therefore, no matter what kind of person they are, if someone frequently reveals a corrupt disposition and does not seek the truth to resolve this, they are liable to commit evildoing. Mankind’s corrupt disposition does not consist of arrogance alone, but also wickedness and viciousness. Arrogance and viciousness are just common factors.
So how should this problem of revealing a vicious disposition be solved? People must recognize what their corrupt disposition is. Some people’s disposition is particularly vicious, malicious, and arrogant, and they are totally unscrupulous. This is the nature of the wicked, and these people are the most dangerous of all. When such people hold power, the devil holds power, Satan holds power. In God’s house, all wicked people are exposed and cast out because of their performance of all kinds of evil acts. When you try to fellowship the truth to the wicked, or to prune them and deal with them, there is a high chance that they will attack you, or judge you, or even take revenge on you, which are all consequences of their dispositions being so malicious. This is actually very common. For example, there could be two people who get along very well, who are very considerate and understanding of each other—but they end up divided over a single thing concerning their interests, and they cut ties with each other. Some people even become enemies and try to take revenge on each other. They are all highly vicious. When it comes to people doing their duty, have you noticed which things that are manifested and revealed in them fall under a vicious disposition? These things certainly exist, and you must root them out. This will help you to discern and recognize these things. If you do not know how to root them out and discern them, you will never be able to discern evil people. After being misled by antichrists and falling under their control, some people’s lives are harmed, and it is only then that they know what an antichrist is, and what a vicious disposition is. Your understanding of the truth is too superficial. Your understanding of most truths stops at the spoken or written level, or you only understand words of doctrine, and these do not match up at all with reality. After hearing many sermons, there seems to be understanding and enlightenment in your heart; but when faced with reality, you still can’t discern things for what they really are. You all know, theoretically speaking, what the manifestations of an antichrist are, but when you lay eyes on a real antichrist, you are unable to discern them as an antichrist. This is because you have too little experience. When you have experienced more, when you have been hurt by antichrists enough, you will well and truly be able to discern them for what they really are. Today, though most people listen to sermons conscientiously during gatherings, and want to strive for the truth, once they have heard the sermon, they only understand the literal meaning, they don’t get any further than the theoretical level, and they are incapable of experiencing the reality of the truth. Therefore, their entry into the reality of the truth is very superficial, which means they lack discernment of wicked people and antichrists. Antichrists have the essence of evildoers, but apart from antichrists and evildoers, do other people not have vicious dispositions? In reality, there are no good people. When nothing’s wrong, they are all smiles, but when they are faced with something that harms their own interests, they turn ugly. This is a vicious disposition. This vicious disposition can be revealed at any time; it is involuntary. So what exactly is happening here? Is it a matter of being possessed by evil spirits? Is it a matter of demonic reincarnation? If it is either of these two things, then the person has the essence of an evildoer and they are beyond help. If their essence is not that of an evildoer, and they just have this corrupt disposition, then their condition is not terminal, and if they can accept the truth, there is still hope for them to be saved. So how is a vicious, corrupt disposition to be resolved? Firstly, you must often pray when you encounter matters and reflect on what motivations and desires you have. You must accept God’s scrutiny and keep your behavior in check. Moreover, you must not reveal any evil words or behavior. If a person finds themselves with incorrect intents and malice in their heart, wanting to do bad things, they must seek the truth to resolve it, they must find the relevant words of God to understand and resolve this matter, they must pray to God, ask for His protection, swear to God, and they must curse themselves when they do not accept the truth and commit evil. Fellowshiping with God in this way grants protection and stops a person from doing evil. If something happens to a person and evil intentions emerge, but they pay it no heed, and just let things play out, or take it for granted that this is the way they should act, then they are an evil person, and they are not someone who genuinely believes in God and loves the truth. Such a person still wants to believe in God and follow God, and to be blessed and enter the heavenly kingdom—is that possible? They’re dreaming. The fifth kind of disposition is viciousness. This is also an issue related to corrupt dispositions, and that’s more or less it for this topic.
You should also be familiar with the sixth kind of corrupt disposition: wickedness. Let us start with when people preach the gospel. Some people reveal a wicked disposition when they preach the gospel. They do not preach according to principle, nor do they know what kind of people love the truth and are possessed of humanity; they only ever look for a member of the opposite sex that they click with, who they like and get on with. They don’t preach to people they don’t like or who they don’t get on with. It doesn’t matter whether a person aligns with the principles of spreading the gospel—if it’s someone they’re interested in, they won’t give up on them. Other people might tell them that the person does not fit with the principles for spreading the gospel, but they still insist on preaching to them. There is a disposition inside them controlling their actions, making them satisfy their lascivious desires and achieve their own aims under the banner of spreading the gospel. This is nothing short of a wicked disposition. There are even those who know full well that they are wrong in doing this, and that doing so offends God and violates His administrative decrees—yet they do not stop. This is a kind of disposition, is it not? (Yes.) This is one of the manifestations of a wicked disposition, but not only should the outpouring of lascivious desires be described as wicked; the scope of wickedness is broader than just the lust of the flesh. Have a think: What other manifestations of a wicked disposition are there? Since it is a disposition, it is more than just a way of acting, it involves many different states, manifestations and outpourings, that is what defines it as a disposition. (Following along with worldly trends, not letting go of things related to the trends of the world.) Not letting go of wicked trends is one kind. Being attached to the wicked trends of the world, chasing after them, being preoccupied with them, pursuing them with great passion. There are some who never let go of these things regardless of how the truth is fellowshiped, no matter how they are pruned and dealt with; it even reaches the point of infatuation. This is wickedness. So when people follow along with evil trends, what manifestations indicate that they have a wicked disposition? Why do they love these things? What is involved in these evil worldly trends that brings them psychological satisfaction, that satisfies their needs, and satisfies their predilections and desires? Say, for example, they like movie stars: What is it about these movie stars that drives this obsession and makes them follow them? It is the panache, flair, looks, and celebrity of these people, as well as the kind of extravagant life that they long for. All of these things they follow along with—are they all wicked? (Yes.) Why is it said that they are wicked? (Because they run counter to the truth and positive things, and they are not in line with what God asks.) This is doctrine. Have a go at analyzing these celebrities and movie stars: their lifestyle, their demeanor, even the public persona and outfits that everyone worships so much. Why do they lead such a life? And why do they inspire others to follow them? They put a lot of effort into all this. They have makeup artists and personal stylists to create this image of theirs. So what is their aim in creating this image of themselves? To attract people, to mislead them, to make them follow them—and to benefit from this. And so, whether people worship these movie stars’ fame, or their looks, or their lives, these are truly stupid and absurd actions. If a person were to be possessed of rationality, how would they worship devils? Devils are things which mislead, trick, and harm people. Devils do not believe in God and they have no acceptance of the truth whatsoever. Devils all follow Satan. What are the goals of those who follow and worship devils and Satan? They want to emulate these devils, to model themselves on them, in the hope that one day they will become a devil, just as beautiful and sexy as these devils and celebrities. They like to enjoy this feeling. No matter which celebrity or eminent individual a person worships, the ultimate goal of these stars is the same—to mislead people, to attract people, and to make people worship and follow them. Is this not a wicked disposition? This is a wicked disposition, and it could not be more obvious.
Wicked dispositions are also manifested in another way. Some people see that gatherings in the house of God always involve reading God’s word, fellowshiping the truth, and discussions of self-knowledge, the proper performance of duty, how to act in accordance with principles, how to fear God and shun evil, how to understand and practice the truth, and various other aspects of the truth. Having listened for all these years, they begin to get more fed up the more they listen, and they begin to complain, saying, “Isn’t the purpose of faith in God to gain blessings? Why are we always talking about the truth and fellowshiping on God’s word? Does it ever end? I’m sick of it!” But they don’t want to return to the secular world. They think to themselves, “Faith in God is so dull, it’s boring—how can I make it a little more interesting? I must find something interesting,” so they go around asking, “How many believers in God are there in the church? How many leaders and workers are there? How many have been replaced? How many are young university students and graduate students? Does anyone know the number?” They treat these things and this data as the truth. What disposition is this? This is wickedness, commonly referred to as “vileness.” They’ve heard so many truths, but not one of them has inspired sufficient attention or focus in them. As soon as someone has some gossip or internal news, their ears immediately prick up, they’re afraid of missing it. This is vileness, is it not? (Yes.) What characterizes vile people? They don’t have the slightest interest in the truth. They are only interested in external matters, and tirelessly and rapaciously seek out gossip and things that have no bearing on their entry into life or on the truth. They think that figuring out this stuff, all this information, and holding it all in their head, means that they possess the reality of the truth, that they are well and truly a member of God’s house, that they will surely be praised by God and able to enter God’s kingdom. Do you think that is really the case? (No.) You can see through this, but many new believers in God can’t. They are fixated on this information, they think knowing these things makes them a member of God’s house—but in fact, God despises such people the most, they are the most vain, superficial, and ignorant of all people. God has appeared in the flesh in the last days to do the work of judging and purifying people, the effect of which is to give people the truth as life. But if people do not focus on eating and drinking of God’s word and are always trying to find out gossip and trying to find out more about the internal affairs of the church, are they pursuing the truth? Are they people that do proper work? To Me, these are wicked people. They are not believers. People like this could also be called vile. They only ever focus on hearsay. This satisfies their curiosity, but they are despised by God. These are not people who truly believe in God, much less people who pursue the truth. They are, quite simply, the servants of Satan, who come to disrupt the work of the church. More than that, people who are always examining and investigating God are the servants and minions of the great red dragon. God hates and is disgusted by these people most of all. If you believe in God, why do you not trust in God? When you examine and investigate God, are you searching for the truth? Does searching for the truth bear any relation to the family into which Christ was born or the environment in which He grew up? People who are always putting God under the microscope—are they not disgusting? If you constantly have notions about things to do with Christ’s humanity, you should spend more time pursuing the knowledge of God’s words; only when you understand the truth will you be able to resolve the problem of your notions. Will examining Christ’s family background or the circumstances of His birth allow you to know God? Will this allow you to discover the divine essence of Christ? Absolutely not. People who truly believe in God devote themselves to God’s words and the truth, only this is conducive to knowing the divine essence of Christ. But why are those who constantly scrutinize God constantly engaging in vileness? These trashy people who do not understand spiritual matters should hurry up and get out of God’s house! So many truths have been expressed, so much has been fellowshiped during gatherings and sermons—why must you still scrutinize God? What does it mean that you are always scrutinizing God? That you are extremely wicked! What’s more, there are even those who think that learning all this trivial information gives them capital, and they go around showing it off to people. And what happens in the end? They are despicable and disgusting to God. Are they even human? Are they not living demons? How are they people who believe in God? They devote all their thoughts to evil and the crooked way. It’s as if they think that the more hearsay they know, the more they are a member of God’s house, and the more they understand the truth. People like this are utterly absurd. In the house of God, no one is more despised than them.
Some people constantly focus on unrealistic things in their faith. For example, some people are always examining what the kingdom is like, where the third heaven is, what the underworld is like, and where hell is. They are always examining mysteries instead of focusing on entry into life. This is vileness, it is evil. No matter how many sermons and fellowship they hear, there are those who still don’t understand just what the truth is, nor are they aware of how they should put it into practice. Whenever they have time, they probe into God’s word, poring over the wording, searching for some kind of sensation, and they are also always scrutinizing whether God’s words have been fulfilled. If they have, they believe that this is the work of God, and if they haven’t, they deny that this is the work of God. Are they not absurd? Is this not vileness? Are people always able to see when God’s words have been fulfilled? People are not necessarily able to see when some of God’s words have been fulfilled. Some of His words, to people, don’t seem to have been fulfilled, but to God they have been. People have no way of seeing these things clearly; they’re lucky if they can comprehend even 20%. Some people spend the whole time studying God’s word but pay no attention to practicing the truth or entering its reality. Is this not disregarding one’s proper duties? They have heard so many truths yet still do not understand them, and they are constantly searching for proof of prophecies being fulfilled, treating this as their life and motivation. For example, when some people pray, they say things like, “God, if You wish me to do this, make me wake up at six o’clock tomorrow morning; if You do not, let me sleep until seven.” This is often the way they act, they use this as a principle of theirs, practicing it as if it were the truth. This is called vileness. In their actions they always rely on feelings, focusing on the supernatural, relying on hearsay, and other unrealistic things; they are constantly focusing their energy on vile things. This is wickedness. No matter how you fellowship the truth with them, they think the truth has no use, and is not as accurate as relying on feelings or validation through comparison. This is vileness. They don’t believe that God governs and arranges people’s fates, and though they say they acknowledge that God’s words are the truth, in their hearts they still do not accept the truth, they never see things through God’s words. If someone well-known says something, they believe it is the truth, and go along with it. If a fortune-teller or face-reader tells them they will be promoted to manager next year, they believe them. Is this not vileness? They believe in divination, fortune telling, and supernatural things, and these vile things alone. It’s just like how some people say, “I understand every truth, it’s just that I can’t put them into practice. I don’t know what the problem is.” Now we have the answer to this question: They are vile. It does not matter how you fellowship the truth to such people, it will not get through to them, nor will you see any effect. These people are not only sick of the truth, but also possessed of a wicked disposition. What’s the most important manifestation of being sick of the truth? It’s that a person understands the truth, but they do not put it into practice. They do not want to hear it, they resist and resent it. They know that the truth is right and good, but they don’t put it into practice, they are not willing to take this path, nor do they wish to suffer or pay a price, much less suffer any losses. Wicked people are not like this. They think that wicked things are the truth, that that is the right way, and they chase after these things, and try to emulate them, and constantly focus their energy on them. God’s house often fellowships the principles of prayer: People can pray whenever or wherever they wish to, without any time constraints, they simply need to come before God, speak the words in their heart, and seek the truth. These words should be heard often and they should be understood easily, but how do evil people put this into practice? Every morning during the dawn chorus, they unfailingly face south, get down on both knees, and put both hands on the ground, prostrating themselves in prayer before God as much as they can. They think that only at such times will God be able to hear their prayer, because this is when God isn’t busy, He has time, and so He listens. Isn’t this ridiculous? Isn’t it wicked? There are others who say that the most effective time to pray is at one or two o’clock at night, when all is quiet. Why do they say this? They, too, have their reasons. They say that at that time everyone is asleep; God only has time to deal with their affairs when He is not busy. Isn’t this absurd? Isn’t it wicked? No matter how you fellowship the truth with them, they refuse to accept it. They are the most absurd people and they are incapable of understanding the truth. There are others who say, “When people believe in God, they must do good things and be kind, and they must not kill or eat meat. To eat meat is to kill, to sin, and God does not want people who do this.” Do these words have any basis? Has God ever said any such thing? (No.) So who said this? This was said by an unbeliever, by an absurd type. In fact, the people who say this don’t necessarily not eat meat—or it may be that they don’t eat it in front of other people, but they eat a lot of it in private. These people are really good at pretending, and spread fallacies everywhere they go. This is wickedness. Such people are so vile. They treat these heresies and fallacies as commandments and rules, and they even practice and stick to them as if they were the truth, or God’s demands, energetically and shamelessly teaching others to do the same. Why do I say that these people’s way of doing things, their way of phrasing things, and the means by which they pursue, are wicked? (Because these have no connection to the truth.) So anything not connected to the truth is wicked? Such an interpretation is highly problematic. There are things in people’s everyday lives that are unconnected to the truth. Does it not twist the facts to say that they are wicked? That which is not condemned by God cannot be said to be wicked, only that which is condemned by God can be described as wicked. It would be a major mistake to define everything unconnected to the truth as wicked. The details of life’s necessities—eating, sleeping, drinking, resting, for example—are these connected to the truth? Are these things wicked? These are all normal needs, they are part of people’s daily regimen, they are not wicked. So why were the actions I just mentioned classed as wicked? Because those ways of doing things take people onto a path that was wrong and ludicrous—it takes them onto the path of religion. Their practicing in this way and their teaching others to act in this way takes people onto the path of evil. This is an inevitable result. When people worship evil worldly trends and walk the path of evil, how do they end up? They become depraved, they lose reason, they have no shame, and ultimately, they are completely carried away by the trends of the world, and they walk to destruction, no different from the unbelievers. Some people not only regard these heresies and fallacies as rules to be followed or commandments to be obeyed, but they also hold onto them as the truth. This is an absurd person utterly lacking in spiritual understanding. Ultimately, they can only be cast out. Could the Holy Spirit work in anyone whose understanding of the truth is so skewed? (No.) The Holy Spirit does not work in these people, in which case the evil spirits do, because the path these people walk is the path of evil, they are hastening along the path of the evil spirits—which is precisely what these evil spirits need. And the result? These people are possessed by evil spirits. Before, I said that “The devil Satan, like a roaring lion, stalks abroad, searching for people to devour.” When people walk the crooked and evil path, they will inevitably be snatched away by the evil spirits. There is no need for God to give you to the evil spirits. If you do not pursue the truth, you will not be protected, and God will not be with you. God will not care about you if He cannot gain you, and the evil spirits will take this opportunity to slide in and possess you. This is the consequence, is it not? All those who are sick of the truth and who constantly condemn the work of God’s incarnation, and who go along with worldly trends, who blatantly misinterpret God’s words and the Bible, who spread heresies and fallacies—all these things they do are born of wicked dispositions. Some people pursue spirituality, and because their understanding is skewed, they concoct many fallacies to mislead people, and they become utopians and theorists, which is also committing vileness. They are wicked people. Like the Pharisees, everything they did was hypocritical, they didn’t practice the truth and misled people into looking up to them and worshiping them. When the Lord Jesus appeared to work, they even crucified Him. This was evil and in the end, they were cursed by God. Today, the religious world not only casts judgment on and condemns the appearance and work of God but, what is most loathsome is that it also stands on the side of the great red dragon, joining with evil forces in persecuting God’s chosen ones and standing as an enemy of God in tandem. This is wicked. The religious community has never hated the wicked forces of Satan, it does not hate the wickedness of the country of the great red dragon, but instead prays for and blesses them. This is wicked. Any behavior that is linked to or cooperating with Satan and evil spirits can collectively be called wicked. Those ways of practicing that are truly deviant, evil, extreme, and immoderate—these are wicked, too. Some people constantly misunderstand God, and these misunderstandings cannot be cleared up no matter how the truth is fellowshiped to them. They are always preaching their own reasoning, insisting on their own fallacies. And is there not a little wickedness to this, too? Some people have notions about God; after the truth has been fellowshiped to them multiple times, they say they understand, and that their notions have been cleared up, yet afterward they still stick to their notions, are always negative, and cling tightly to their own excuses. This is wicked, is it not? This, too, is a kind of wickedness. In sum, anyone who has done something unreasonable and refuses to accept it no matter how the truth is fellowshiped to them is vile, and is somewhat wicked. It is not easy for these people who have wicked dispositions to be saved by God, because they cannot accept the truth and refuse to let go of their wicked fallacies; there really is nothing that can be done for them.
We have just fellowshiped a total of six dispositions: intransigence, arrogance, deceitfulness, being sick of the truth, viciousness, and wickedness. Has dissecting these six dispositions given you a new knowledge and understanding of changes in disposition? Just what are changes in disposition? Does this mean getting rid of a certain flaw, rectifying a certain behavior, or changing a certain character trait? Absolutely not. So are you now a little clearer about just what disposition refers to? Can these six dispositions be described as the corrupt dispositions of man, as the nature and essence of man? (Yes.) Are these six dispositions positive things or negative things? (Negative things.) They are, quite simply, the corrupt dispositions of man, they are the main facets of man’s corrupt dispositions. Not one of these corrupt dispositions is not hostile to God and the truth, and not one of them is something positive. Therefore, these six dispositions are six aspects, which are collectively referred to as corrupt disposition. Corrupt dispositions are the nature and essence of man. How can “essence” be explained? Essence refers to the nature of man. The nature of man means the things that man relies on for their existence, the things that govern how they live. People live by their natures. No matter what you live out, what your goals and direction are, what rules you live by, your nature and essence do not change—this is inarguable. And so, when you do not possess the truth, and you live by relying on these corrupt dispositions, everything you live out is against God, contrary to the truth, and at odds with God’s will. You should understand this now: Can people attain salvation if their dispositions do not change? (No.) That would be impossible. So, if people’s dispositions do not change, can they be compatible with God? (No.) It would be extremely difficult. When it comes to these six dispositions, regardless of which one it is, and irrespective of the extent to what is manifested or revealed in you, if you are not able to free yourself from the constraints of these corrupt dispositions, then regardless of what the motives or aims of your actions are, and whether you are acting deliberately or not, the nature of all you do will inevitably be against God, and will inevitably be condemned by God—which is an extremely serious consequence. Is being condemned by God what everyone who believes in God ultimately wishes for? (No.) And since this is not an outcome that people wish for, what is most important for them to do? They should know their own corrupt disposition and corrupt essence, understand the truth, and then they should accept the truth—gradually, bit-by-bit, freeing themselves from these corrupt dispositions in the settings created for them by God, and attaining compatibility with God and the truth. This is the path to changes in one’s disposition.
Previously, there were those who viewed changing their dispositions as very easy and straightforward. They believed that “As long as I force myself to not say things in opposition to God or do anything that will disrupt or interfere with the work of the church, and as long as I have the right perspective, my heart is right, and I understand a little more of the truth, put in more effort, suffer more, and pay more of a price, then after a few years I will definitely be able to achieve a change in my disposition.” Do these words hold water? (No.) Where is their mistake? (They have no knowledge of their corrupt disposition.) What is the aim of knowing your corrupt disposition? (To change.) And what is the outcome of this change? To gain the truth. Measuring whether there has been a change in your disposition requires looking at whether your actions are congruent with the truth or in violation of the truth, whether they are born of human will or of satisfying the will of God. To see the extent to which your disposition has changed is to look at whether you can reflect on yourself, and forsake your flesh, motives, wild ambitions, and desires, when you reveal a corrupt disposition, and whether you can practice in accordance with the truth when you do this. The extent of your ability to practice in accordance with the truth and God’s words and whether your practice is completely in line with the standards of the truth prove how great the change in your disposition has been. This is proportional. Take the intransigent disposition, for example: At the start, when there hadn’t been any change in your disposition, you did not understand the truth, nor were you aware that you had an intransigent disposition, and when you heard the truth, you thought to yourself, “How can the truth always lay bare people’s scars?” After hearing it, you felt that God’s words were right, but if, after one or two years, you have not taken any of them to heart, if you have not accepted any of them, then this is intransigence, is it not? If, after two or three years, there has been no acceptance, if there has been no change in the state within you, and though you have not fallen behind in performing your duty, and you have suffered much, your intransigent state has not been resolved at all or lessened in the slightest, then has there been any change in this aspect of your disposition? (No.) Then why are you running about and working? Regardless of the reason you do so, you are running about and working blindly, because you have run about this much and worked this much, and yet there has not been the slightest change in your disposition. Until a day comes when you suddenly think to yourself, “How is it that I am unable to speak even a single word of testimony? My life disposition hasn’t changed at all.” At this time you feel just how serious this problem is, and you think to yourself, “I am truly rebellious and intransigent! I am not a person who pursues the truth! I hold no place for God within my heart! How can this be called faith in God? I have believed in God for several years yet still do not live out the image of man, nor is my heart close to God! I have not taken God’s words to heart, either; nor do I have any sense of reproach or inclination to repent when I do something wrong—is this not intransigence? Am I not a son of rebellion?” You feel troubled. And what does it mean that you feel troubled? It means that you wish to repent. You are aware of your own intransigence and rebelliousness. And at this time, your disposition begins to change. Without realizing it, there are certain thoughts and desires within your consciousness that you want to change, and you no longer find yourself at an impasse with God. You find yourself wanting to improve your relationship with God, to no longer be so intransigent, to be able to put God’s words into practice in your everyday life, to practice them as the principles of the truth—you have this consciousness. It is good that you are conscious of these things, but does it mean you will be able to change straight away? (No.) You must go through several years of experience, during which time you will have an ever clearer awareness in your heart, and you will have a powerful need, and in your heart you will think to yourself, “This isn’t right—I must stop wasting my time. I must pursue the truth, I must do something proper. In the past I’ve been neglecting my proper duties, only thinking about material things like food and clothing, and I was only pursuing name and gains. As a result, I’ve gained no truth at all. I regret this and I must repent!” At this point, you embark on the right path of faith in God. So long as people begin to focus on practicing the truth, does this not take them a step closer to changes in their disposition? No matter how long you have believed in God, if you can sense your own turbidity—that you have always just been drifting along, and that after several years of just drifting along, you have gained nothing, and you still feel empty—and if this makes you feel uncomfortable, and you begin to reflect on yourself, and you feel that not pursuing the truth is wasting time, then at such a time you will realize that God’s words of exhortations are His love for man, and you will hate yourself for not listening to God’s words and for being so lacking in conscience and sense. You will feel regret, and then you will want to conduct yourself anew, and to truly live before God, and you will say to yourself, “I cannot hurt God anymore. God has spoken so much, and every word has been for the benefit of man, and to point man on the right way. God is so lovely, and so worthy of man’s love!” This is the beginning of people’s transformation. It is such a good thing to have this appreciation! If you are so numb that you don’t even know these things, then you are in trouble, aren’t you? Today people realize that the key to faith in God is reading more of God’s words, that understanding the truth is most important of all, that understanding the truth and knowing oneself is crucial, and that only being able to practice the truth and make the truth their reality is entering the right track of faith in God. So how many years of experience do you think you must have in order to have this knowledge and feeling in your heart? People who are shrewd, who are insightful, who have a strong desire for God—such people may be able to turn themselves around in one or two years and begin entry. But people who are muddleheaded, who are numb and dull-witted, who lack insight—will pass three or five years in a daze, unaware that they haven’t gained anything. If they perform their duties with enthusiasm, they may pass more than ten years in a daze and still make no obvious gains or be able to speak on their experiential testimonies. It is not until they are sent away or cast out that they finally wake up and think to themselves, “I really don’t have any realities of the truth. I really haven’t been a person who pursues the truth!” Is their awakening not a little late by this point? Some people drift along in a daze, constantly hoping for the day of God to come but not pursuing the truth at all. As a result, more than ten years pass without them making any gains or being able to share any testimony. It is only once they are harshly pruned, dealt with, and warned that they finally feel God’s words pierce their heart. How intransigent their hearts are! How is it okay for them not to be dealt with, pruned, and punished? How is it okay for them not to be severely disciplined? What must be done to make them aware, for them to react? Those who don’t pursue the truth won’t shed a tear until they see the coffin. It is only once they’ve done a great deal of demonic and evil things that realization comes to them and they say to themselves, “Is my faith in God over? Does God not want me anymore? Have I been condemned?” They begin to reflect. When they are negative, they feel that all these years of believing in God have been a waste, and they are full of resentment, and are inclined to give up on themselves as hopeless. But when they come to their senses, they realize that “Am I not just hurting myself? I must get back on my feet. I was told I do not love the truth. Why was I told this? How do I not love the truth? Oh no! Not only do I not love the truth, but I can’t even put the truths I do understand into practice! This is a manifestation of being sick of the truth!” Thinking this, they feel somewhat remorseful, and somewhat afraid, too: “If I carry on like this, I will surely be punished. No, I must quickly repent—God’s disposition must not be offended.” At this time, is their level of intransigence reduced? It is like a needle has pierced their heart; they feel something. And when you have this feeling, your heart is stirred, and you start to feel interested in the truth. Why do you have this interest? Because you need the truth. Without the truth, when you are pruned and dealt with, you cannot submit to it or accept the truth, and you cannot stand firm when you are tested. If you were to become a leader, would you be able to refrain from being a false leader and from walking the path of an antichrist? You would not. Can you overcome having status and being praised by others? Can you overcome the situations you are put in, and the tests you are given? You know and understand yourself all too well, and you will say, “If I do not understand the truth, I cannot overcome all of this—I am trash, I am capable of nothing.” What kind of mentality is this? This is needing the truth. When you are in need, when you are at your most helpless, you will only want to depend on the truth. You will feel that nobody else can be depended on, and that only depending on the truth can solve your problems, and allow you to make it through being pruned and dealt with, and trials, and temptations, and help you make it through any situation. And the more you depend on the truth, the more you will feel that the truth is good, useful, and of the greatest help to you, and that it can solve all your difficulties. At such times, you will begin to yearn for the truth. When people reach this point, does their corrupt disposition start to diminish or change little by little? From when they begin to understand and accept the truth, the way people see things begins to change, following which their dispositions also begin to change. This is a slow process. In the early stages, people are not able to perceive these tiny changes; but when they truly understand and are able to practice the truth, there begin to be essential changes, and they are able to feel such changes. From the point when people begin to have a longing and hunger for the truth, and wish to seek the truth, to the point when something happens to them and, based on their understanding of the truth, they are able to put the truth into practice and satisfy God’s will, and not act according to their own will, and are able to overcome their motives, and overcome their own arrogance, rebelliousness, intransigence, and traitorous heart, then bit-by-bit, does the truth not become their life? And when the truth becomes your life, the arrogant, rebellious, intransigent, and traitorous dispositions within you cease to be your life, and can control you no more. And what guides your comportment at this time? The words of God. When the words of God have become your life, has there been a change? (Yes.) And afterward, the more you change, the better things get. This is the process by which people’s dispositions change, and achieving this effect takes a long time.
Just how long changes in disposition take depends on the person; there is no set time frame for this. If it is someone who loves and pursues the truth, then changes in their disposition will be seen in seven, eight, or ten years. If they are of average caliber, and also willing to pursue the truth, it may take around fifteen or twenty years before changes are seen in their disposition. What’s key is the person’s determination to pursue the truth and how insightful they are, these are the determining factors. Every kind of corrupt disposition exists in every person to varying degrees, they are all the nature of man, and they are all deeply rooted. However, by pursuing and practicing the truth, and by accepting God’s judgment and chastisement, by being dealt with and pruned, and by accepting the trials and refinement of God, varying degrees of change can be achieved in every disposition. Some people say, “If that’s the case, are changes in disposition not just a matter of time? When the time comes, I will know what changes in disposition are, and I will be capable of entry.” Is this the case? (No.) Absolutely not. If time is all it takes to achieve changes in disposition, then all those people who have believed in God their whole lives should have achieved changes in their disposition as a matter of course. But is this how things really are? Have these people gained the truth? Have they achieved changes in their disposition? They have not. People who believe in God are as numerous as hairs on an ox, but those whose dispositions have changed are as rare as unicorns. For people’s dispositions to truly change, they must rely on pursuing the truth to achieve this; they are made perfect by relying on the work of the Holy Spirit. Changes in disposition are achieved through pursuing the truth. On the one hand, people must pay a price, they must pay a price when it comes to pursuing the truth, and no amount of hardship in order to gain the truth is too small. In addition, they must be validated by God as the right kind of person, a person who is kindhearted, and a person who truly loves God, for the Holy Spirit to work and make them perfect. People’s cooperation is indispensable but gaining the work of the Holy Spirit is even more crucial. If people do not pursue or love the truth, if they never know to heed God’s will, much less to love God, if they have no sense of burden toward the work of the church, and no love toward others—and if, in particular, they have no devotion when performing their duty—then they are not beloved of God, and can never be made perfect by God. So people must not make blind assertions, but must understand God’s will. Regardless of what God says or does, they must be able to obey, and to protect the work of the church, their hearts must be right, and only then can the Holy Spirit work. If people wish to pursue being perfected by God, then they must have a heart that loves God, a heart that obeys God, a heart that fears God, and when performing their duty they must be loyal to God, and bring satisfaction to God. Only then will they be able to gain the work of the Holy Spirit. When people have the work of the Holy Spirit, they are enlightened when they read God’s words, they have a path to practice the truth and principles in the performance of their duty, God guides them when they are in trouble, and their hearts are joyous and at peace no matter how much they suffer. As they undergo the guidance of the Holy Spirit in this way for ten or twenty years, without even noticing it, they will change. The sooner the change, the sooner the peace; the sooner the change, the sooner they can become happy. Only when people’s dispositions change can they find true peace and joy, only then can they lead truly happy lives. Those who do not pursue the truth have no spiritual peace or joy, their days grow ever more empty, and ever harder to bear. For those who believe in God but do not pursue the truth, their days are filled with pain and suffering. And so, when people believe in God, nothing is more important than gaining the truth. To gain the truth is to gain the life, and the earlier the truth is gained, the better. Without the truth, people’s lives are empty. To gain the truth is to find peace and joy, to be able to live before God, to be enlightened, guided, and led by the Holy Spirit’s work, there will be more and more light in their heart, and their faith in God will grow ever greater. So now, is the truth relating to changes in disposition clearer to you? (Yes, we understand now.) If this is truly clear to you, then you have a path, and you know how to be effective in pursuing the truth.
April 28, 2017