The Path of Resolving a Corrupt Disposition
No matter what you’re doing, you must learn how to seek and submit to the truth; no matter who is offering you advice, if it accords with the truth principles, then even if it comes from a small child, you must accept it and submit to it. No matter what problems a person has, if their words and advice completely accord with the truth principles, then you should accept them and submit to them. The results of acting in this way will be good and in accordance with God’s will. The key is to look at your motives, and the principles and methods by which you handle things. If your principles and methods for handling things stem from human will, from human thoughts and notions, or from satanic philosophies, then those principles and methods are impractical, and they are bound to be ineffective. This is because the source of your principles and methods is incorrect and does not accord with the truth principles. If your views are based upon the truth principles, and you handle things according to the truth principles, then you will undoubtedly handle them in the correct way. Even if some people do not accept the way that you handle things at the time, or they have notions about it, or they are resistant toward it, after some time, it will be validated. Things that are in accordance with the truth principles yield increasingly positive results, while things that are not in accordance with the truth principles lead to increasingly negative consequences, even if they fit with people’s notions at the time. People will all receive confirmation of this. You must not be subject to human constraints in anything you do, and you must not make your own determinations; you should first pray to God and seek the truth, and then explore and fellowship on the matter with everyone. What is the purpose of fellowshiping? It is so that you can do things in precise accordance with the will of God and act in line with God’s will. This is a somewhat grand way of putting it, and people will fall short of this. To put it in more concrete terms, it is so that you can do things in precise accordance with the truth principles. This is rather more tangible. When a person meets this standard, they are practicing the truth and following God’s will; they have the truth reality and there will be no objections from anyone.
When you encounter an issue, instead of arguing, you should first set aside your notions, imaginings and verdicts—this is the rationality that a person should have. If there is something that I do not understand, and it is not my area of expertise, I will consult someone who is familiar with the subject. After consulting them, I will have a basic conception of the matter. However, I must seek on how to handle the matter myself, I cannot completely listen to other people, nor should I approach the matter entirely based on my own imaginings. I must seek on how to act in a way that benefits the work of the church and accords with the truth principles. Is this not a rational way of dealing with things? Is it not the reason that a normal person should possess? Seeking and soliciting advice in this way is correct. Supposing you are knowledgeable in a certain area and I consult you about it, but afterward, you demand that I abide by what you have said and carry out your plan of action—what kind of disposition is that? It is an arrogant disposition. Now what would be a reasonable way for you to act? You should say: “I have a little knowledge in this field, but it is not related to the truth. You can just take this as a suggestion to consider, but for the specifics of how to act, you must seek more on God’s will.” If I seek advice from you and you really think you understand the matter, and you consider yourself extraordinary, then this is an arrogant disposition. An arrogant nature can bring about this kind of response and manifestation in you—when someone seeks advice from you, you immediately lose your rationality; you lose the reason of a normal person, and are unable to make correct judgments. When a corrupt disposition is pouring forth from someone, their reason is not normal. Therefore, no matter what befalls you, even if others seek your advice, you cannot be insolent and you must possess normal reason. What is the normal way to act? At this point, you must consider: “Although I understand this matter, I cannot be insolent. I must approach it with the reason of normal humanity.” Returning before God, you will possess the reason of normal humanity. Although, at times, you will reveal a certain sense of self-satisfaction, there will be restraint in your heart—the revelations of your corrupt disposition will be cut in half, and you will have much less of a negative influence on others. However, if you act according to your arrogant disposition, always believing you are right and consequently compelling others to listen to you, it shows an immense lack of reason. If the path that you point out to people is correct, things might be fine, but if it’s wrong, that will harm them. If someone seeks advice from you on a personal matter and you send them down the wrong road, you will only have harmed one person. However, if they ask you about a significant matter related to the work of the church and you steer them wrong, you will have harmed the church’s work, and the interests of God’s house will suffer losses. If the problem is of a severe nature and it offends God’s disposition, the consequences will be unimaginable.
Regardless of the circumstances, as soon as corrupt thoughts and ideas begin to arise in someone, and their corrupt disposition pours forth, it is no trivial matter. If they do not seek the truth to resolve their corruption, there will be no way for it to be purified. However, if they are able to rationally seek the truth and discern the root cause of their outpouring using God’s words, it will be easy for them to resolve the problem of their corrupt disposition. The more you return within your spirit to wait and seek, the easier it will be for you to find the relevant words of God to discern the essence of the problem. In this way, your outpourings of corruption will grow fewer and fewer, you will be able to submit to God, you will no longer speak or act based on notions and imaginings, and your humanity will become more and more normal. What is normal humanity? It is speaking and acting in a way that accords with the standards of normal humanity, conscience and reason, the truth principles, and the standards required by God—that is a manifestation of normal humanity. Therefore, no matter what befalls you, you should first calm down, quiet yourself before God, and pray to Him, seeking how to act in line with His will in that matter. People with normal humanity possess this rationality—they can restrain themselves and achieve this, it just depends on whether you are willing to practice in this way or not. If you are always trying to show off, to boast about yourself, to stand on up high and to establish yourself as an idol in the hearts of others, then you have already strayed from God. You will be unable to return before Him, and, in your heart, you are already set against Him. You always want to do things based on your own ideas, and after accomplishing something, you feel as if you have achieved some great feat, engaged in some grand venture, that you are capable, not some mere ordinary person, and you seek to become superhuman and some great individual. Acting in this way is troublesome and it is not walking the right path. People who do not pursue the truth are like this; they lack even the slightest bit of normal humanity and they are filled with a demonic nature. Those who truly believe in God are able to accept the truth, they are willing to strive for it, and they enjoy living out normal human likeness. This requires putting effort into the truth, reading God’s words often, and reading more of His words, allowing them to sink into your heart, and achieving an understanding of the truth. Your heart must be in a constant state of quietude, and when things befall you, you must not be rash, prejudiced, stubborn, radical, artificial, or fake, so that you are able to act with reason. This is the proper manifestation of normal humanity.
Nowadays, most people are incapable of being rational. They brighten up when others offer them a few words of praise and they start to believe they are not ordinary people. What kind of disposition are they revealing? Is it not an arrogant disposition? If you feel uncomfortable after someone deals with and prunes you a little, and wish to argue with them and refute what they’ve said, what kind of disposition are you revealing? This is also a revelation of an arrogant disposition. Say that, when everything you do goes smoothly for a while and people praise you, saying that you have performed well and shooting you admiring looks, you start to believe that you can do anything, and that you are superior to others. You feel pleased, and when you walk down the road, you feel as if you are being carried about on a sedan chair. And yet, when you encounter setbacks in the things you do, your mood sours, and you’re not able to summon any enthusiasm when speaking with other people. People like this are too willful and immature, and they lack normal humanity. What kind of manifestations do people with normal humanity display? When they suffer setbacks or are dealt with they do not become negative and they do not let it affect their duties. Even if they endure great suffering in the course of their duties or achieve significant results, they do not think themselves worthy of praise, or expect any rewards, nor do they demand the respect of others. They do not entertain such feelings. They are able to handle these matters correctly and they possess the reason of a normal person. This is what it means to have normal humanity. When people live according to their corrupt dispositions, they will sometimes become arrogant and conceited, losing themselves in their pride, and when they suffer failures and setbacks, they will give into despair, and their reason will become abnormal. Only by understanding the truth, casting off their corrupt disposition, and growing in life can a person’s humanity mature. Understanding the truth and conducting affairs with principles are the essential conditions that people must fulfill in order for their humanity to mature. If a person does not understand the truth and does not conduct their affairs with principles, they are liable to blow hot and cold, and to swing between extremes. When someone compliments them they will become arrogant, but if someone deals with and prunes them, they will become negative. This is a manifestation of immature humanity. Is this not the state that you are in? You are always blowing hot and cold, lacking the slightest bit of stability, never able to maintain a normal state. When you are in a good mood and feeling happy, you are filled with enthusiasm and you would even be willing to give your life for God. However, when faced with setbacks, failures, or being pruned and dealt with, you immediately become negative. You abandon yourself to despair, feeling that you are completely done for, and that you have no hope of attaining salvation, and your conscience, reason, and judgment are of no use to you at all. This is what happens when people do not possess the truth—they can only live according to their satanic dispositions, involuntarily living in sin. People cannot save themselves by relying on their own knowledge and intelligence; when people don’t have the truth, they do not possess the life—it is as if they have no souls. Therefore, gaining the truth is absolutely crucial. Now, when you are made to face Satan’s temptation, experience setbacks and failures, or encounter adversity, what lessons should you learn? What is God’s will? What does He want you to understand? He wants you to understand the truth and gain the life, thereby fundamentally resolving all of your problems. Right now, your understanding of the truth is too shallow and your stature is too small. As a result, you are consistently in an abnormal state and your disposition is unstable. When you are in a good state, you can move forward and progress a step further, but when you are in a bad state, you take two steps back and become negative for several days. This is your prevailing state, which is why you are progressing slowly. Frequently being weak and negative is the greatest obstacle to life entry, and this problem must be resolved in order for one to make progress in their life. Some people become pleased with themselves after getting just a few results in their duties, and they become arrogant after receiving compliments and look down upon others. These people are the most lacking in reason and they do not possess the slightest truth reality. Some people start enjoying the trappings of status as soon as they accomplish a little work. Regardless of what they do, they always want to be complimented and if they do not get any praise from others, they have no energy for performing their duties. They are constantly constrained by these things, and they only feel satisfied if they stand out from everyone else and are showered with praise. If they do not do something well, or they experience failure and stumble, they feel that they are too corrupt and beyond redemption. They always live between these extremes. If, no matter what duty you perform or what befalls you, you can always learn lessons, seek the truth to find the principles of practice, and put the truth into practice, then you have grown and no longer need to be guided and led by others. If, through eating and drinking God’s words, fellowshiping about the truth, and experiencing some things and the environments God has arranged for you, you can see where God’s hand is leading you, what God wishes you to learn, what areas He wants you to gain discernment in, and what experiential knowledge He wants you to acquire through these things and environments, and you are able to gain something through each of these experiences, then you have grown. If you always need support and assistance from others to move forward, if you become paralyzed and stagnant, or teeter between extremes, and you are liable to fall and be unable to get back up at any moment without anyone there to urge you on, guide you, or support you, these are all manifestations of having immature stature. Those with immature stature are not able to eat and drink God’s words on their own, and they cannot understand the truth through listening to sermons or fellowship. They only focus on following rules and believe that as long as they can adhere to the rules, they are doing well. They always need someone to lead the way, to guide them in everything, and to teach them and lead them by the hand in order for them to follow, and without the help and support of others, they become paralyzed, negative and weak. They are completely worthless, and sooner or later, they will be dead; they are trash, and they are incapable of attaining God’s salvation. Some ask: “Is there a way to resolve the issue of my small stature?” There is a way to resolve it. Regardless of what befalls you, be it a serious or trifling matter, or if it is a duty you are performing, you must remember one thing: Do not rely on fleshly feelings, your notions and imaginings, or your hotheadedness, instead, promptly seek the truth and find out what demands God has made of man. Only by understanding God’s intentions will you find a path forward.
How does acting based on one’s feelings manifest? The most common manifestation is when people always defend and stick up for anyone who has been kind to them, or that they are close with. For instance, say that your friend is exposed for doing something bad and you defend them by saying: “He wouldn’t do something like that, he’s a good person! He must have been framed.” Is this statement fair? (No.) This is acting and speaking based on one’s feelings. To give another example, suppose that you get into a bit of a conflict with someone and you come to dislike them, and when they say something that is correct and in line with the principles, you don’t want to listen, what is this a manifestation of? (Not accepting the truth.) Why can’t you accept the truth? You know in your heart that what they said was right, but because you have a bias against them, you don’t want to listen, even though you know that they’re correct. What problem is this? (Being dominated by one’s feelings.) This is laden with feelings. Some people are easily swayed by their personal preferences and emotions. If they do not get along with someone, no matter how well or correctly that person speaks, they won’t listen. And if they get along well with someone, they are willing to listen to whatever they have to say, regardless of whether it is right or wrong, or whether it accords with the truth. Is this not being easily swayed by one’s personal preferences and emotions? With such a disposition, can a person speak and act rationally? Can they accept the truth and submit to it? (No.) Because they are constrained by feelings and easily swayed by their emotions, it affects their adherence to the truth principles in their actions. It also affects them accepting and submitting to the truth. So, what is affecting their ability to practice and submit to the truth? By what are they constrained? Their feelings and emotions. It is these things that constrain and bind them. If you put personal relationships and self-interest first instead of the truth, then feelings are obstructing you from accepting the truth. Therefore, you must not act or speak based on feelings. Regardless of whether your relationship with someone is good or bad, or whether their words are gentle or stern, as long as what they say aligns with the truth, you should listen and accept it. This is the attitude of accepting the truth. If you say, “His fellowship accords with the truth and he also has experience, but he is too brash and arrogant, and it’s unpleasant and uncomfortable to watch. So, even if he is right, I won’t accept it,” what kind of disposition is this? Specifically speaking, it is a feeling. When you approach people and things based upon your own preferences and emotions, this is a feeling, and this all falls under the category of feelings. Things to do with feelings belong to corrupt dispositions. Corrupt human beings all have feelings, and they are all constrained by their feelings to varying degrees. If a person cannot accept the truth, it will be difficult for them to resolve the problem of feelings. Some people shield false leaders, protect antichrists, and speak up for and defend evildoers. There are feelings involved in all of these cases. Of course, in some cases, those people are just acting in that way due to their evil nature. These problems need to be fellowshiped about frequently in order for you to gain clarity on them. Some people may say, “I just have some feelings toward my family and friends, but not toward anyone else.” This statement is not accurate. If others show you even some small favor, you will develop feelings toward them. There will be varying degrees of closeness and depth, but they are feelings nonetheless. If people do not resolve their feelings, it will be difficult for them to practice the truth and achieve submission to God.
Let us now talk about notions and imaginings. Some notions and imaginings come from one’s family upbringing, some from social conditioning, and others come from one’s education in school. What are the manifestations of treating people and conducting affairs according to one’s notions and imaginings? Let Me give you an example. Take the case of a person who, after many years of believing in God, is able to forsake things and perform their duties with enthusiasm, and is later selected as a leader. After gaining this new status, they put even more energy into performing their duties and often hold gatherings to fellowship with people on the truth. When brothers and sisters have problems, they promptly resolve them and everyone has a good impression of them. However, after serving as a leader for a period of time, this person begins to work to preserve their status and power, showing off and flaunting themselves at every turn. Most grievously of all, they promote and cultivate evil people to serve as leaders and workers. Most detestably, they suppress and exclude brothers and sisters who pursue the truth. In the end, because they have performed a multitude of evil deeds and disturbed the church’s work, they are characterized as an antichrist and expelled. On hearing the news, some people blurt out: “That can’t be! We used to get along very well. We successfully spread the gospel to quite a few people together. How could he become an antichrist?” They form certain notions toward God’s house’s handling of the situation, believing it to have treated a good person unjustly. Tell Me, why do they defend this antichrist and complain about the supposed injustice done to him? Because they are familiar with him—they used to spread the gospel together. They never imagined that after becoming a leader, he would show his true colors, committing all kinds of evil and becoming an antichrist. They fail to accept that which they did not imagine. So, tell Me, are they not viewing this person based on their notions and imaginings? They conclude that he could not possibly have become an antichrist based upon the vague impression they have of him from the past. Is this a correct viewpoint? Why would they think this way and draw such conclusions? Why do they make these irresponsible remarks and careless determinations when they do not understand the reality of the situation? This is a kind of disposition. People approach and handle people, events, and things according to their imaginings—what kind of disposition is this? It is partly arrogance and partly intransigence. What you reveal in your everyday life, be it your thoughts and beliefs, your actions or the principles you abide by in your treatment of other people, all of these derive from your corrupt dispositions and you must hold them up against the truth for comparison. If, when you are asked to do this, you become confused, this is problematic; it means you do not have any knowledge of the truth. What effect does the truth have? (It can resolve one’s corrupt dispositions.) How does it resolve them? You must hold up the reality of your everyday thoughts, beliefs, words, and actions against the truth for comparison; once you find that they match up, you will be able to identify where your problems lie. If you are unable to identify your problems, or if you do not accept God’s words and the truth, and you make irresponsible remarks based upon your notions and imaginings, what kind of problem do you have? It is one of arrogance and irrationality, and this relates to your corrupt disposition. Without knowing the facts, you just speak carelessly based on your own imaginings, and even think, “You don’t know him, but I do—I understand.” What you really mean is that you can see more clearly and more accurately than anyone else. Is this not arrogance? Is this not self-righteous? This kind of disposition lies deep within you, so you always speak and act based upon your own notions and imaginings. For instance, say that the church wants to undertake some project and asks you how much it would cost, and, without having any actual understanding of the situation, you immediately blurt out, “That’ll cost you at least 100,000!” Everyone is shocked when they hear this, thinking that it could not possibly cost that much, and that you must be exaggerating. What consequences might the work of the church suffer as a result of your disposition of speaking carelessly and making irresponsible remarks? In reality, it would not take much at all to get the job done, yet you claim that it would cost 100,000—is this not speaking irresponsibly? Does this not cause harm to the church? Is this a reliable way to speak and handle affairs? No, it is incredibly unreliable. God’s house absolutely cannot use a person like this in its work. Is there a lesson to be learned from this situation? One should learn to be honest and speak true words—this is the key to performing one’s duty well. If someone is dishonest and makes irresponsible remarks, they are not suited to perform duties, nor do they deserve to perform duties in God’s house. Thus, to perform one’s duty well, one must learn to be an honest person, to take responsibility for everything one says, and refrain from speaking irresponsibly, without thinking, and based upon one’s own imaginings. One should be accurate in the way they speak and one’s words should align with the facts. This is one aspect of the reality of being an honest person.
Have you all realized that you have an arrogant disposition? (Yes, sometimes I exaggerate and say things that lack reason. I feel that I am very arrogant and that this is an aspect of my nature essence.) Once you have recognized that you have an arrogant disposition, how should you resolve it? You will not be able to resolve your arrogant disposition just because you have recognized and acknowledged it. To resolve your arrogant disposition, you must first accept the truth, accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, come to understand the many ways your arrogant disposition manifests as revealed by God’s words, and which satanic poisons are causing them, and identify which fallacies have deluded you and given rise to your arrogant disposition. These are the things you must come to understand. When resolving your arrogant disposition, you should take things one step at a time, resolving things as they are revealed—in this way, your arrogant disposition will gradually be resolved. The most common state seen among those living within an arrogant disposition is their tendency to speak based on their own imaginings and exaggerate—it is by first resolving this state of making exaggerated claims that their arrogant disposition can be diminished somewhat. Now, how can the problem of making exaggerated claims based on one’s imaginings be resolved? One must first clearly discern what it means to make exaggerated claims based upon one’s imaginings. First, one must figure out: “How do imaginings arise? Why do people constantly have imaginings? What do they base their imaginings on? Do these imaginings represent reality? Do these imaginings align with the truth?” Then, one must clearly discern the issue of making exaggerated claims—one must discern why and from what position they make these exaggerated claims, and the goal they are intent on achieving. Once answers to these questions are found and the problem is resolved according to the truth, this state of making exaggerated claims based on one’s own imaginings can be resolved somewhat. Consider, for instance, that a leader asks you to look into something, but because you’re busy with something else you forget to do so. Later, when the leader asks you about it, you just make something up, fearing that you will be dealt with. What kind of disposition does this reveal? There are two types of states at play here: Speaking carelessly based on your imaginings is one state; making something up because you are unable to come up with an answer and are afraid of being dealt with is another. If you’re not speaking carelessly, you’re telling lies, and if you’re not being arrogant and conceited, you’re being deceitful—all of these things spell trouble and must be examined. When speaking and acting, as soon as you realize that you are about to reveal your corrupt disposition, you must restrain yourself and pray to God in your heart. So, how should you act in order to be in accordance with the truth principles? This relates to one’s practice. (Speak honestly and only say what we know.) This is correct. If you do not know the answer, you should say, “I do not have knowledge of this matter, I haven’t looked into it yet.” Suppose that you think to yourself, “What if my leader asks me why I haven’t looked into the issue yet and deals with me, what should I do then?” Tell Me, how should you practice in this situation? (If we haven’t looked into the issue, we should just say so. We shouldn’t lie just because we’re afraid of being dealt with.) That’s right. If you wish to lie, to trick people, or to speak counter to the facts just because you are afraid of being dealt with, then you should pray to God, reflect on yourself, and practice being an honest person. In this way, your problem of speaking based upon your imaginings will dwindle. However, it is not enough just to resolve this problem of speaking based upon your imaginings—you must gain an even deeper understanding of yourself. Not only must you recognize your corrupt dispositions, you must also understand your satanic nature and the source of your arrogance. If you are able to achieve this, you will be more than half way to resolving your arrogant disposition. At the very least, you will not become arrogant and will be more humble in how you act. If you can go a step further and resolve your problem of telling lies and tricking others, if you can speak according to the truth and the facts, and be an honest person and say what is on your mind, you will more or less be living out human likeness. At the very least, you will speak and act in a more rational way. This shows that as long as people pursue the truth, submit to God’s work, and pray and rely upon Him, they will be entirely capable of casting off their corrupt dispositions. Those with an arrogant disposition often make exaggerated claims, always thinking they are better than others; they believe themselves to be lofty and imposing figures and that everyone else is beneath them, and they speak and act however they please. If they are also capable of using any means necessary to achieve their ends, frequently resorting to lying and tricking others, then these individuals are not only arrogant and conceited, they also possess a deceitful disposition. Resolving an arrogant and conceited disposition primarily depends on coming to know your own nature essence, and seeing that you have become arrogant and conceited due to being too thoroughly corrupted and living like the devil Satan. When you can see this matter clearly, you will feel that the more arrogant someone is, the more satanic they are. Alternatively, through experiencing failures and setbacks, you will become much better behaved. Is it easier to resolve an arrogant disposition or a deceitful disposition? In reality, neither is easy to resolve, but when compared with a deceitful disposition, an arrogant disposition is a little easier to resolve. Resolving a deceitful disposition will be much more difficult. This is because deceitful individuals are so full of evil motives and intents that their conscience and reason fail to restrain them. This is a problem with their nature essence. Yet, regardless of how difficult it may be, if one wants to resolve their deceitful disposition, they must start by practicing being an honest person. Ultimately, the simplest way to practice being an honest person is to simply tell things like they are, speak honest words, and speak according to the facts. As the Lord Jesus said, “But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no” (Matthew 5:37). Being an honest person requires practicing according to this principle—after training at this for a few years, you will certainly see results. How do you practice being an honest person now? (I do not adulterate what I say, and I do not trick others.) What does “not adulterate” mean? It means that the words you speak do not contain lies or any personal intents or motives. If you harbor trickery or personal intents and motives within your heart, then lies will naturally pour forth from you. If you have no trickery, or personal intents, or motives within your heart, then what you say will be unadulterated and will not contain lies—in this way, your communication will be: “Yes, yes; No, no.” The most crucial thing is to first purify one’s heart. Once one’s heart is purified, one’s arrogance and deceitfulness will be resolved. To be an honest person, one must resolve these adulterations. After having done so, it will be easy to be an honest person. Is being an honest person complicated? No, it is not. No matter what your internal state is or what corrupt dispositions you may have, you should practice the truth of being an honest person. You must first resolve the problem of telling lies—this is most important. Firstly, in speaking, you should practice speaking what is on your mind, speaking true words, telling it like it is, and refrain from lying completely; you should not even speak words that are adulterated, and you should ensure that everything you say throughout the day is truthful and honest. In doing so, you are practicing the truth and practicing being an honest person. If you find that lies or adulterated words pour forth from you, promptly reflect on yourself, and dissect and gain awareness of the reasons why you lie and what is commanding you to lie. Then, based on God’s words, dissect this underlying and essential problem. Once you gain clarity on the root cause of your lies, you will be able to rebel against this satanic disposition in your speech and actions. You will no longer resort to lies when faced with similar situations, and you will be able to speak according to the facts and no longer engage in deceptive speech. In this way, your spirit will be freed and liberated and you will be able to live before God. If you are able to live according to God’s words, you are living in the light. However, if you constantly engage in deceit, plotting and scheming, always hiding like a thief in dark corners, and conducting your affairs secretly, then you will not dare to live before God. Because you have secret motives, always want to trick others to achieve your own goals, and harbor too many shameful and unspeakable things in your heart, you constantly try to hide and conceal them, to package them up and disguise them, but you cannot conceal these things forever. Sooner or later, they will come to light. A person who has secret motives is unable to live in the light. If they do not practice self-reflection, analyzing themselves and laying themselves bare, they will be unable to break free from the control and bondage of their corrupt dispositions. They will remain trapped in a life of sin, unable to extricate themselves. Ultimately, in any situation, you must not lie. If you know that lying is wrong and does not accord with the truth, yet you insist on lying and tricking others, even making things up to conceal the facts and the reality of the situation in order to mislead people, then you are intentionally engaging in wrongdoing. Such a person cannot attain salvation. God bestows the truth upon people, but whether individuals can accept and practice the truth is ultimately their own business. Those who are able to accept the truth can attain salvation, while those who aren’t able to accept the truth and do not practice the truth cannot. Many people are aware that they live in their corrupt dispositions and recognize that those who live according to satanic dispositions resemble neither humans nor demons, and fail to live out normal human likeness. They are willing to practice the truth, but find themselves unable to do so, feeling simply powerless. In such a situation, one can only pray to God and rely on Him. If individuals do not cooperate at all, God will not work within them. Those who truly love the truth will certainly detest their deceitful disposition, all manner of personal intents, as well as lies and trickery. They would rather suffer losses by speaking honestly than resort to lying. They would choose to speak truthfully even if it leads to judgment and condemnation, rather than dragging out an ignoble existence telling lies. Those who can despise satanic dispositions in this way are naturally able to forsake the flesh, practice the truth, and succeed in becoming honest people.
How is your experience of being honest people going now? Have you achieved a few results? (Sometimes I practice being honest, but sometimes I forget.) Can you forget to practice the truth? If you can forget it, what kind of problem does that illustrate? Do you love the truth or not? If you do not love the truth, it will be difficult for you to enter into the truth reality. You must take practicing the truth and practicing being an honest person seriously. You should frequently contemplate how to be an honest person and what sense you ought to possess. God demands that people be honest, and they should pursue honesty as a matter of utmost importance. They should be clear on and understand what truths they need to possess and what realities they need to enter into in order to be honest individuals and to live out the likeness of Peter, and they must find a path of practice. Only then will they have any hope of becoming an honest person and someone that God loves. If you despise honest people, those who speak candidly, especially those who can accept and pursue the truth, if you always have disdain for such people, then you are not a positive character and you belong to the category of evil individuals. If you look down upon those who loyally perform their duties and those who are willing to pay a price to practice the truth, then you have become a negative character, and you are certainly not a positive character. The question of if an individual can attain salvation is related to whether or not they are a positive character. The key factor in determining whether someone is a positive character lies in their aspirations and the preferences they have in their heart. You must distinguish between positive and negative things, be able to draw clear boundaries, to take the right stance, and to stand on the side of God and the truth. If you can do this, your mindset will be completely normal and you will be a person with conscience and reason. If you always look down upon those who pursue the truth, are willing to pay a price, and sincerely expend themselves for God, then you are standing on the side of Satan and are a negative character. Some people are disdainful of honest individuals and look down upon them. They always hold those who are eloquent, manipulative, and skilled at deceiving others with flowery words, as well as those who preach lofty sermons from up high, in great regard. If that’s the case for you, you will not be able to be an honest person. Instead, you will be imitating the Pharisees and be unable to embark on the right path of pursuing the truth. You will belong to the category of hypocritical Pharisees. People pursue that which they prefer and desire. What is it that you currently desire in your hearts? I am afraid that even you are not clear about what you desire. The objects of your love and hatred are not clearly distinguished and you do not know on what matters you have aligned yourself with Satan. Sometimes, your words may align with the truth, but as soon as you act, you deviate from the truth. It shows that without the truth, you cannot stand firm and are constantly wavering, sometimes leaning to the left and sometimes to the right. Right after you finish listening to sermons, it seems like you understand the truth, and you are willing to walk the right path. However, after a period of time, darkness sets in within you and you deviate from the path again. Can such people choose the right path? Even if they can choose it, they cannot set foot upon it because they are in an abnormal state. They don’t understand any truths at all and are confused individuals that go around all day in a daze. They may say they like good people, but whenever they encounter any issues, they look down upon them. They may claim to like being honest, but when something befalls them, they behave deceitfully. They follow whoever leads them, be they good or evil—can God perfect such people? Definitely not, as they fall far short of the necessary requirements. Anyone who looks down upon good people, honest individuals, those who diligently perform their duties, and those who pursue the truth and are willing to pay a price and suffer for it, are not good people themselves. They lack even the slightest conscience and reason and are unable to attain salvation. People with kind hearts and a love for the truth like positive things and enjoy interacting with positive individuals, which brings them many benefits. On the other hand, those who do not have a love for positive things or positive individuals will not attain the truth even if they do believe in God. This is because their hearts do not love the truth, and they will not pursue it. Even if they wish to, they will not be able to gain the truth.
I have just fellowshiped on two points: feelings, and notions and imaginings. There is another—hotheadedness—which is also a manifestation of man’s corrupt disposition. All corrupt humans are hotheaded. What behaviors are displays of hotheadedness? Are there elements of feelings and emotions within hotheadedness? What about arrogance and self-righteousness? Hotheadedness includes all of these elements—these all relate to one’s disposition. What about “A tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye”—is this an example of hotheadedness? “If you are unkind to me, I’ll do wrong to you” and “Here’s a taste of your own medicine”—are these examples of hotheadedness? (Yes.) What other examples can you think of? (“I will not attack unless I am attacked; if I am attacked, I will certainly counterattack.”) These are all examples of hotheadedness. People do not just become hotheaded when they are angry, they also often display hotheadedness even when they are not angry. For instance, people live by their satanic dispositions, and often want to chide those who speak in a way they find unpleasant or who act in a way that is disagreeable to them, and want to take revenge on those who act in ways that are disadvantageous to them. Is this not hotheadedness? (Yes.) What other examples of hotheadedness can you think of? (Speaking or chiding others from a position of status.) When a person uses the advantage given to them by their status to do what they prefer, or to take out their anger on others by chiding them, these are also forms of hotheadedness. In fact, people quite often reveal hotheadedness. Most cases in which people’s words and actions do not accord with the truth arise due to their selfishness, desires, resentment, hatred, and anger—these things all come from hotheadedness. Revelations of hotheadedness do not only come from hatred, anger, or vengefulness, and a broad range of things touch on this, but we will not dive into the specifics today. Corrupt humans are all hotheaded and this hotheadedness derives from their satanic dispositions; hotheadedness does not accord with the reason of normal humanity, much less does it accord with the truth, so acting according to one’s corrupt dispositions is hot-headedness. Is requiting evil with evil not a form of hotheadedness? (Yes.) What about requiting good with evil? This is hot-headedness as well. What about being so angry that your hair stands on end? This is also hotheadedness. Hotheadedness is just responding to issues you encounter irrationally, thinking, “No matter what the situation may be, I’m just going to vent my personal grievances now. Regardless of the consequences, or what the principles are, or who my rage is directed at, I need to let off some steam first”—this is hotheadedness. In the final analysis, what exactly is hotheadedness? It is a corrupt disposition, it is a satanic disposition, and an utter lack of rationality. Hotheadedness is a kind of wildness, its essence is an eruption of beastly nature, and it lacks even the slightest sense of normal humanity. A display of irrationality entails losing one’s wits and self-control, and being unable to restrain and control oneself. This is hotheadedness.
To change your disposition, the most fundamental thing you must be able to do is recognize the ways in which your corrupt dispositions primarily manifest themselves in light of God’s words, and become conscious of what you are thinking and what your state is when you reveal your corrupt dispositions. In many instances, each state that arises in a person occurs due to a corrupt disposition—in some cases, one corrupt disposition can cause many different states in different circumstances. You must be able to discern all of this. It is not enough to just have gained a little bit of understanding from your discernment, you must also be able to analyze and know where the root of your problem is, in what circumstances your corrupt dispositions are revealed, and what kind of problem it is. After coming to understand all of this clearly, you will know the appropriate way to practice. Will you be able to practice something just because you know how you ought to practice it? (No.) Why is that? Because you have corrupt dispositions. If a corrupt disposition is preventing someone from practicing the truth, they must seek the truth, accept being dealt with and pruned by God, accept His judgment and chastisement, and resolve their corrupt disposition. If they do these things, it will become easy for them to practice the truth. Does the ability to practice the truth signify that someone has achieved transformation? It does not. Just because someone has resolved a corrupt disposition in one matter, that does not mean that it will not arise again. It will continue to appear, disturbing and obstructing that person’s practice of the truth, and in these circumstances they will still have to seek the truth to resolve this corrupt disposition. One may resolve a corrupt disposition in one matter, but after a period of time, it is possible that another corrupt disposition may arise in a different situation, and obstruct them from practicing the truth. What is the issue here? This indicates that corrupt dispositions are deeply rooted in people, and that they must still seek the truth and find answers to their problems in God’s words. Only through repeatedly resolving their corrupt dispositions will these dispositions gradually begin to subside. No corrupt disposition can be resolved in one go—that is not how it works—you must first come to understand the truth and learn to discern. You must ask yourself: “I am in an incorrect state now, how has this state arisen? Why would this kind of state arise within me? How do God’s words expose this state? What corrupt disposition has caused this state?” You must reflect on these questions to gain understanding, and discern them clearly. Once you have an understanding of your corrupt dispositions, you will be able to forsake them. In this way, the obstructions to your practice of the truth will be gradually resolved and it will be easier for you to put the truth into practice. Walking the path of pursuing the truth means constantly resolving your corrupt dispositions in this way. The path of practicing the truth will gradually widen and open up, and the obstructions to it will decrease; you will be capable of practicing all different aspects of the truth, and you will reveal fewer and fewer corrupt dispositions. However, this does not mean that you have completely and thoroughly rid yourself of corrupt dispositions. It is possible that you might still reveal a bit of a corrupt disposition in special circumstances, but they will no longer be able to obstruct you from practicing the truth. This is changing in a good direction. The path of life entry is long, that is, the path of pursuing the truth is long. In our real lives, we can all see how one kind of corrupt disposition can lead to a great variety of states in different circumstances. No matter if these states appear on the surface to be right or wrong, positive or negative and adverse, they can all take control of someone for a period of time, influence the way they speak and act, and impact their views on things, and how they treat people. So, how do these states arise? In reality, they all arise due to people’s satanic natures and corrupt dispositions. On the surface, it appears as though people are being influenced by states, but, essentially, it is their corrupt dispositions that control them. Consequently, people all live by their inner satanic nature and corrupt dispositions, which leads them to violate the truth and resist God. If you do not use the truth to resolve your corrupt dispositions and reverse your incorrect states, you will be unable to break free from the constraints and fetters of your satanic disposition. For instance, say that you are a leader, and there is a person in the church who is suitable for a certain duty, but you do not want to use him because you look down on him. You know that this is not a fair way of treating people, so how should you resolve this problem? You must ponder: “Why am I acting in this way? Why am I treating him unfairly? What is it that is exerting influence over me?” Does this not contain specific details? What is the problem here, with you not wanting to treat this person fairly? This is due to your biases, your preferences, and your dislikes. People have arrogant dispositions, so these things can arise within them. That is why this is without a doubt due to your arrogant disposition. Your arrogant disposition has caused these states to arise within you: looking down on this person in your heart, not wanting to say anything good about him, or to evaluate him in a fair and just way, and not wanting to select him for a duty even when he’s suitable for it—these are all consequences brought about by your arrogant disposition. People have arrogant dispositions, so they harbor darkness in their hearts, their vision is skewed, and their views on issues are biased. These problems must be resolved through reflecting on and coming to know oneself. If you have a clear view and grasp of your corrupt states and corrupt dispositions, and you can then seek the truth to resolve them, and treat people according to the truth principles, you will be able to reverse your biases toward and incorrect views on people, and come to treat people fairly. So, how can you reverse them? You must come before God to pray and seek the truth, see through to the essence of these problems, and attain an understanding of God’s will. You must have a willingness to cooperate and forsake yourself. You must say to yourself: “I will not act in this way going forward. His caliber may be a little lacking, but I must treat him as he should be treated. If he is suited to fulfilling this duty, then I should assign him to it. If I have a good relationship with someone else, but that person is not suitable for the duty, I will not use them. I will use him instead.” Has this state not been reversed? Is this not a form of practice? It is a form of practice. Now how were you able to practice in this way? If you had not cooperated, and had not forsaken your subjective intentions, would you have been able to attain this result? Certainly not. Thus, people’s cooperation is crucial. You must truly cooperate—that is, you must strive toward the truth, and strive toward God’s demands. If you do not choose to act in this way, if you do not strive toward the truth, then you are not cooperating. True cooperation is absolute submission to the truth. It is only by having an attitude and a resolve to submit to the truth that you can forsake your personal intentions, preferences, and reasoning. In this way, your incorrect state can be reversed. Treating people fairly means that you are able to accept and submit when someone else speaks correctly and in keeping with the truth, regardless of what that person’s situation is. If you always have biases toward a person, and look down on them, and don’t want to speak to them a lot even after using them, still looking down on them in your heart, with your state not being completely reversed, this shows that the rotten root of your corrupt disposition is still within you. One small, insignificant state can cause you so much suffering—is this a problem with your disposition? This is a problem with man’s nature essence. You must reverse this incorrect state. You should not delimit this person just because you have found that they have certain weaknesses—they definitely also have certain merits and strengths, and you ought to fellowship with them more and try to gain a deeper understanding of them. When you see their strengths and discover that they actually are suitable for the duty in question, you can gradually become aware of your own despicableness and shamefulness, and realize that assigning them to this duty and treating them in this way is fair and in keeping with the truth. Then, you will feel more at ease. When this person is brought up, you will feel at peace in your conscience, that you have not let God down, and that you have practiced the truth. As time goes on, your view of this person will change. How is this all achieved? It is God who does this—the truth works within you little by little, and this transforms and reverses your state. This, however, is merely the beginning. If you were to encounter the same issue again, you would not necessarily be able to use the same methods you used with the prior person to handle it. You might experience other, different states, or different environments, people, matters, and things may test how much you love the truth, and test your resolve to forsake your own corrupt dispositions and your own will. These are God’s trials. When, in all your dealings with other people, no matter who they may be, and regardless of whether your relationship is good or bad, whether or not they are close to you, whether or not they fawn on you, and regardless of their caliber, you are able to treat them fairly and correctly, your state will have changed utterly. When the way you treat others is not based on your imaginings, your feelings, or your hotheadedness, you will have gained this aspect of the truth. You’re not there yet. All the different corrupt dispositions within you are still controlling your behavior, controlling the way you think and your mind. These things within you have already become your nature, which controls you, and the truth has not yet become your life. You merely have some good behavior, but behind this good behavior, all the different states and thoughts that you reveal and which you harbor within your heart arise from your corrupt dispositions, and are at odds with the truth. When these states of yours and your thoughts all become rational and conform to the principles and the truth, your corrupt dispositions will no longer be able to control your thoughts or your behavior—then your disposition will have truly changed. You will no longer need to forsake your corrupt dispositions or restrain yourself. You will just be able to directly act in accordance with the truth principles. You will believe that this is just what you ought to do and think that practicing the truth is not strenuous at all. When this happens, the truth will have become your life. You are all not quite there yet—you still need to continue with your pursuit for a period. It’s no good just understanding a bit of doctrine and having a bit of enthusiasm; your stature is still too small. You must be able to experience God’s words, practice the truth, and talk about your experiential testimony and your true understanding—then you will have reality. This is what it means to have true stature. Right now, most people are incapable of bearing testimony—their experience is still too shallow, and they must read more of God’s words, listen to more sermons, and study more hymns. After experiencing many things, they will gain a true understanding of God’s words, and will feel that God’s words are so very practical, so able to serve as one’s life, that they are completely capable of making people live out true human likeness, and that they can be used in response to all manner of Satan’s temptations. Only people that achieve this understanding have stature and have truly become God’s people. Many people are unable to fellowship on the truth or talk about their experiential testimony. This is because the truth has not yet become their life, and, as a result, they live tiring and pitiful lives, they live in all kinds of ugliness, and their lives are tragic. What do corrupt dispositions bring to people? They bring suffering, hatred, resentment, negativity, as well as arrogance, self-righteousness, lies, deception, deceitfulness, and the belief that one is superior to all others. Sometimes they cause people to resign themselves to hopelessness, to speak with false reasoning, and to resist. Other times they lead people to think of how pitiful, and how alone and unsupported they are, and to display a miserable and sorry likeness. People believe in God for many years, but still do not understand the truth, they just speak nonsense, and they say that they are alone and unsupported. God is the truth, He is man’s support, but people don’t lean on Him, they stray from Him, they follow Satan, and live by satanic philosophies. Are people like this not so muddled? People who do not pursue the truth are all like this. Those that understand the truth become closer and closer to God—if you don’t understand and haven’t gained even a single bit of the truth, then you are very far away from God, and you may not even have a normal relationship with God. If you understand the truth and can practice the truth, and the truth has become the life within you, then God is in your heart. If you do not understand the truth and have failed to attain it, and you cannot practice the truth either, then God is not your God and He does not dwell within you. If the truth is not your master and does not dictate everything about you, then this is tantamount to God not dictating everything about you. It means that you have not given yourself to God, and you are still the one who is calling the shots. When you are calling the shots, who is really calling the shots? It is your corrupt dispositions; the truth is not in charge. When you no longer have to rack your brains considering your words, actions, conduct, handling of matters, your fulfillment of your duty, the way you treat people, and even your everyday life, what you eat, and how you dress, when you can handle all of your affairs according to God’s words and the truth principles, then you will be living out a true human likeness and have attained the truth.
Right now, practicing the truth is a matter of prime importance and whoever fails to practice the truth is ignorant and foolish. Those that do not practice the truth are incapable of experiencing God’s work—they think that you only need to believe in God in order to attain blessings, and that there is no need to practice the truth and pay a price. There are many people of this kind in the religious world. Within God’s house, most people know how God conducts His work and saves mankind, and God’s intentions and requirements for people. There are fewer and fewer people within God’s house who do not practice the truth. Right now, you all understand in terms of doctrine that you can only achieve dispositional transformation and attain salvation by pursuing and practicing the truth, but you are still a bit unclear when it comes to the path for how to practice the truth and enter into the truth reality. As a result, your life entry proceeds slowly. Practicing the truth is the key to entering into the truth reality—being unable to practice the truth is a big problem. Do you all still preach the words and doctrines? (Yes.) Then, after you have done so, can you put these words and doctrines into practice? If you cannot put them into practice, this proves that you still do not understand the truth, only doctrines, and that you still do not possess the truth reality. Some people know that they should be honest, but they cannot break free from the constraints of lying and trickery. Some people claim to be willing to submit to God, but when they are pruned and dealt with they are unable to submit. Other people speak about doctrines in a way that sounds right, and give the impression that they have reality, but they do not have true knowledge of themselves. Other people believe that they are very spiritual because they are able to speak about spiritual theory, but they are not capable of true self-knowledge, and they lack true submission, whether it is in their duties or when handling affairs. What is at the root of all these issues? It is that they are unable to accept the truth. If a believer in God doesn’t accept the truth, do they really believe in Him? If they cannot accept the truth, they won’t be able to resolve any of their problems. Only those that accept the truth are able to practice it and come to know themselves. Regardless of how many words and doctrines someone may recite, the key is being able to practice that doctrine, that is what is most important. The truths that one puts into practice are the reality—if one is unable to practice the truth, then they lack reality. Some people can preach very clearly about the words and doctrines, but they actually lack clarity on many truths, they are not able to discern some things, and they cannot see through to them, and the amount of truths they are able to practice is very limited. As a result, such people find it very hard to write experiential testimonies—they can only write a few words and doctrines, without any everyday language or practical experience. Do you have a path now for how this issue of reciting the words and doctrines should be resolved? To resolve this issue of reciting the words and doctrines, you must practice the truth—the more you practice the truth, the more you put effort into the truth and into your practice, the more words of experience and practice you will gain. The more words of experience and practice you possess, the less you will recite the words and doctrines. How does one attain reality? In the process of practicing the truth, people have some experiences and are exposed to some things, they reveal corrupt dispositions, produce all manner of states, and then they seek the truth, dissect their different corrupt states, and find the principles and path of practice. They come to understand and practice the truth. This is true life experience. If you do not pursue the truth and do not wish to practice it, you will not go through this process, and without this process you will fail to attain life entry. If you experience a lot in this process, you will attain a clear understanding of the truth, you will be capable of clearly discerning corrupt dispositions, and the path you must follow in practicing the truth will become increasingly clear. If you have not gone through this process of practice and experience, and just have a literal, doctrinal understanding and comprehension of God’s words, then everything you preach will only be doctrines, as there is a discrepancy between your literal understanding and your first-hand experience. How do doctrines arise? When one does not practice God’s words, and has no life experience, but merely understands, analyzes, and interprets the literal meaning of God’s words, and moreover preaches this, doctrines arise. Can doctrines become reality? If you do not practice or experience the truth, you will never understand it. Mere literal interpretations of the truth will forever be doctrines. If, however, you practice the truth, you will sense and feel that you are casting off some of your corruption, taking a step toward your salvation, and coming closer to God’s requirements. The knowledge, thoughts, ideas, feelings and so on thus produced will be practical. How is reality attained? It is attained through experience of practicing the truth; if one doesn’t practice the truth, they will never have reality. Perhaps some people will say, “I don’t practice the truth, but I can still preach practical sermons.” What you preach may sound correct and quite practical to others at the time, but they will still have no path of practice afterward. This proves that everything you understand is still doctrine. If you do not put God’s words into practice, and you have no practical experience or knowledge of the truth, when a state you have never considered before arises in someone else, you will not know how to resolve it. When one seldom practices the truth, it is impossible for them to truly understand it. Only by increasing their practice of the truth can they understand it truly, and only then can they grasp the principles of practicing the truth. If you have no experience of the truth, you will naturally only be able to preach doctrines. You will tell others to adhere to rules just as you do. Without true life experience, you will never be able to preach the reality of the truth. Practicing the truth is not the same as studying. Studying is about always putting effort into words and phrases; it is fine merely to take notes, memorize, analyze, and research. The practice of the truth is the exact opposite; you must rely on practical experience to attain the results of understanding the truth and of handling matters according to the principles. Anyone who is willing to practice the truth as soon as they understand it will be able to break free of their corrupt dispositions—the more truths they practice, the more corrupt dispositions they will be able to cast off. Those that understand the truth but do not practice it will never break free from their corrupt dispositions. Thus, seeking, understanding, and practicing the truth is the path to resolving corrupt dispositions.
December 11, 2017