The Path of Practice Toward Changing One’s Disposition
What is dispositional change? Most people don’t quite understand this. Dispositional change is the principal vision for believers in God. Achieving dispositional change is no simple matter. This is because God is not saving newly-created humans who are uncorrupted by Satan, but a group of humans who have been deeply corrupted by it, filled with satanic poisons and satanic dispositions, who are just like Satan, and are resisting and rebelling against God. Transforming a person’s corrupt disposition is like treating someone with cancer. That’s a complex process, isn’t it? It requires surgery, long-term chemotherapy, and re-examination after a period of time. The process is truly complex. So, do not regard dispositional change as a simple matter. It is not the change in behavior or character that people imagine. It is not something that people achieve just because they want to. There are many processes involved in dispositional change—processes that are explained very clearly in God’s words. Therefore, from the very first day that you come to believe in God, you must understand how God saves people and the effect that He wants to achieve by saving them. If you want to pursue the truth and achieve dispositional change, you must change your erroneous views on belief in God. Believing in God does not require you to be a well-behaved, good person, or a law-abiding person, or to do many good deeds that win the approval of others. In the past, people thought that believing in God and pursuing dispositional change meant being a people-pleaser—to outwardly have some human likeness, some culture, some patience, or else to have some superficial piety and love for other people, to help others and to give alms. In other words, to be what is considered a good person within human notions and imaginings. Everyone has such notions and things in their hearts—this is one aspect of satanic poisons. In the past, no one who believed in God could explain clearly the issue of dispositional change. They were unfamiliar with matters of faith—it wasn’t something that they innately understood, or that they could understand after a few years of belief in Christianity. This is because God had not yet performed this aspect of His work, nor had He communicated this aspect of the truth. That’s why many people, based on their notions and imaginings, considered faith to be a matter of making some changes to their superficial behavior and practices, and of changing some of their obviously erroneous viewpoints. Some even believed that having faith was about enduring greater hardships, not eating good food, or not wearing fancy clothes. Just like the Catholic nuns in Western countries in the past, who believed that faith in God simply meant enduring more hardship and enjoying fewer good things in their lives—to give money, when they had it, to the poor, or to do more good deeds and to help others. All their lives, they placed emphasis on suffering. They did not eat any good food; they did not wear any nice clothes. When they died, their clothes were worth only a few dollars. Their deeds may have been reported in the news around the world. What does this mean? It means that, in people’s minds, only people such as these are good and virtuous; that only these people are considered by the religious world to have done good things and good deeds, that only they have undergone transformation and truly have conviction. And so, you all may be no exceptions, perhaps you also believe that faith in God must mean being a good person—someone who doesn’t hit or insult others, who doesn’t use bad language or do bad things, someone that, on the outside, people can see is a believer in God and someone who can glorify God. This is a mental state possessed by those who have just started to believe in God. They believe that this is dispositional change, and that this is the kind of person who is pleasing to God. Is this viewpoint correct? Only people who have just started out in their faith have such naive thoughts. Once one has understood some truths, these kinds of thinking will soon disappear. No matter how deeply this viewpoint was rooted in your heart before, you have not yet uncovered its errors and deviations. No matter how many years you have believed in God, these erroneous viewpoints have not been thoroughly resolved. From this, it is clear that few people truly understand what dispositional change is, nor do they understand what it means to truly believe in God, how to be a real person, what kind of person is pleasing to God, or what kind of person God finds acceptable, and what kind of person God wants to gain. If you don’t understand these things, it shows that you haven’t laid a solid foundation on the true way. Those human notions, imaginings, and subjective thoughts still dominate your thinking and your viewpoints.
Some people say: “I feel that I still haven’t changed. I get angry if my child is disobedient, or if my husband does something that I don’t like. When I see unbelievers not believing in God, I despise them. Are these not still revelations of corruption and a lack of dispositional change?” Is this statement correct? (No, it isn’t.) What’s wrong with it? It only focuses on outward behavior. Tell Me, when God speaks of dispositional change, does He mean a change in a person’s character or temperament? Absolutely not. Some people believe that dispositional change is just a change in character, and think that being particularly patient and never losing one’s temper is dispositional change, but this is a grave mistake. Most people cannot see the issue of dispositional change clearly. They think that they are now closer to God and compatible with Him in some areas, and that although sometimes they cannot submit and lose their temper when encountering things that do not conform to their notions and imaginings, as they are able to reflect on this later, to come to know it, and to pray and repent to God, this means that they have changed. Do you think this sort of change represents a change in disposition? How would you discern this kind of state? What does dispositional change entail? What states and manifestations occur in someone whose disposition has changed? (Dispositional change is accepting the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, coming to know our own corrupt essence, changing our views on things, and gradually achieving compatibility with God. It isn’t never becoming angry, or being able to restrain ourselves so that we lose our tempers less often. This has nothing to do with dispositional change.) This is a pretty pure understanding. I will first ask you a question, and you can ponder on it: If your disposition has changed, and you understand the truth, then your view on things will be compatible with God. When your view on things is compatible with God, will you still be compatible with corrupt humanity? You won’t. You’ll be able to hate Satan and devils in your heart, and you will feel opposition, aversion, and loathing toward corrupt humanity who resists and betrays God; you will be able to despise all kinds of negative things, you will be even more unwilling to associate with those who are of the devils, and you will be able to love what God loves and hate what He hates. These are the results achieved by understanding the truth. If you can truly know yourself and see through to your own nature essence, then you’ll be able to see through to the common essence of corrupt humanity, and naturally loathe those corrupt humans who resist God. When you see their erroneous and absurd views, you’ll be unwilling to associate with them, and will feel disgusted by and reject them. Especially when you see the religious world’s mad condemnation of the incarnation and their extreme hatred and loathing of the truth, you’ll naturally come to loathe these antichrist forces and totally reject them. If you genuinely understand the truth and know God, you will naturally loathe those who are hostile to God, who disobey, renounce, and betray Him. How could you possibly still be compatible with those people? Therefore, if your life disposition has changed, you will be particularly disgusted by and loathe unbelievers, and all those who resist God. However, because we currently live among corrupt humans, we can only endure, and live based on wisdom. We can’t detest, reject, and keep our distance from them, ignore them, or pick quarrels when we see them just because we understand the truth and our disposition has changed. We must not do these things, we must be wise. There is another issue that you still don’t quite understand—some of you think that dispositional change and being compatible with God means having no temper at all, and being gentle and kind and smiling pleasantly even toward the devils and Satans, that this is a change in disposition. Is this a correct understanding? (No, it is not.) This is a grave misunderstanding. But why is it incorrect? God wants to save people, and He has spoken many words and done much work, but what sort of person does He want people to become? He wants people to become someone whose thoughts are led by the truth, who takes the truth as their motto in life. He doesn’t want them to be devoid of thought, like a numbskull, much less does He want them to have no temper or normal emotions, like a person in a vegetative state. He wants them to become a person who understands the truth and can listen to His words and obey Him, a normal person who loves what He loves and hates what He hates, who likes what He likes, and loathes and rejects that which He loathes. Now you should be clear on what God wants to change in people’s dispositions. God has spoken so many words and expressed so many truths; He wants to save people and change every person with His words. Have you ever thought about what likeness God wants the people He makes complete to have? I hear many brothers and sisters say, “I’ve believed in God for such a long time, but I’m still constrained by many external matters.” Some sisters say, “I want to wear the clothes I see unbelievers wearing, and to steal a few more glances at whomever I see dressed up beautifully.” Some brothers say, “I see wealthy, well-off families, and I want to make money too. When I see a pretty girl, I want to take another look at her, and I feel like getting angry whenever I see anything that displeases me. These corrupt dispositions of mine still have not changed, and when things befall me, I always let my imagination run wild. How can I control these things? When will I be able to change?” It is these ideas that led Me to say that you do not understand what dispositional change is. You’re merely restraining yourselves in terms of your behavior, your outward actions, and your temper and character. It is not possible to achieve dispositional change this way. Which of God’s words say that you should not speak freely, or show your emotions when you feel like it, or get angry, and so on? Is this what God’s word says? His words simply reveal a great deal about man’s corrupt essence, and tell people how to recognize their corrupt dispositions, how to cast them off and achieve dispositional change, emerge from under Satan’s influence, and then act based on God’s requirements, and become someone who conforms with and satisfies God’s will. Once you understand the issue of what dispositional change is, will you still make a fuss over these outward actions? Will you still get entangled in all these external affairs? (No.) If you do not understand what dispositional change is, you will never grasp its essence or achieve it. In particular, for some of those who have just converted from religion, their views on belief in God still have not transformed from the ideas and notions of religion. They still seek to be a spiritual, pious, humble, and patient person, a loving people-pleaser, and a good Samaritan, but this is a grave error! If you seek to be this kind of spiritual person and people-pleaser, then you are someone who doesn’t understand spiritual matters. Can a people-pleaser understand the truth? Can they achieve self-knowledge and cast off their corrupt disposition? Definitely not. People who seek to be people-pleasers will never attain the truth, never be able to know themselves and achieve dispositional change, and never obtain God’s approval. Therefore, if you want to achieve dispositional change, you must first understand what it is, and what true belief in and submission to God are. Only then will you be able to embark on the path of pursuing the truth.
Dispositional change lies not in changes in rituals or regulations, and must less in changes to one’s external appearance or outward behavior, character, or temper. It is not about transforming a slow temperament into a quick temperament, or vice-versa, nor is it about transforming an introvert into an extrovert, or someone talkative into someone taciturn. This is not the way, this is very far removed from God’s requirements, and so far off! When someone first begins to believe in God, because they don’t understand the truth, they always do things according to their notions and imaginings. This results in them straying from the right path, and wasting several years of their time without gaining anything real. At that time, they don’t know that they should walk the path of pursuing the truth in their belief in God. This leads to them following wrong turns for several years, before realizing that the most important thing in believing in God is understanding the truth and entering into reality to achieve salvation, and that this is the most crucial thing. Only then do they understand that the dispositional change that God speaks of does not refer to changes in outward behavior, and that God is instead asking people to understand themselves and their own corrupt essence, to put in effort and find the root cause with regard to understanding man’s nature essence, and to then cast off their corrupt dispositions, put the truth into practice, and be able to obey and worship God. This is what it means to change one’s life disposition. Are you now aware of the root cause behind why you have believed in God for years without achieving any dispositional change? It’s because you don’t understand what dispositional change is, and you don’t know what results and standards God wants to achieve by saving people. Some people might not accept this aspect of the truth, and say: “I know what dispositional change is, but I just can’t control myself. I always do things I like to do, and things that I think are right.” Overall, no matter how you phrase it, this way of speaking proves that you still don’t understand what dispositional change is, which is why you have produced all kinds of notions and imaginings. The more that dispositional change is spoken of, the farther away it feels from you, the more it feels beyond your reach, and the greater you seem to fall short of it. The more that dispositional change and revealing mankind’s nature essence is discussed, do you not feel even more that your disposition has not changed at all, and that you must keep working hard? Why do I ask you about dispositional change? Actually, I know you won’t be able to answer. Some people will say, “Well, aren’t You just making things difficult for us? Why ask us if You know that we cannot answer?” I am not making things difficult for you. With every question I ask, I am hoping that you will take them to heart. Don’t simply think about every sentence or topic that I fellowship on and consider the matter closed once you seem to understand them. Every sentence, and every aspect of content that I fellowship on now is a process that you will have to go through in the future. No part of it can be omitted, and these are all things that you fundamentally do not possess. I ask you in the hope that you will reflect on yourselves, and examine whether you have any human notions and imaginings in your hearts. You should carefully reflect on whether you have any human notions or any erroneous thoughts and ideas in your approach to belief in God. In reality, people all have their own minds and thoughts, and matters concerning belief in God are no exception. So, you must examine the essence of these thoughts and notions. Right now, we do not go through formalities in our gatherings like people do in the religious world: reading the Bible, praying, listening to sermons, and that’s the end of it. Can it be that simple? Of course not. The topics we discuss now are the highest of all human topics, and more important than any other, because the topics we speak of now concern humanity’s future destination, and the requirements that God, the Ruler of all things, has for man. We explore these sorts of topics and fellowship on them daily, but perhaps even now there are those who don’t quite understand them. We haven’t finished fellowshiping on these topics, and not a single one of them can be fully described or explained. Matters of life, therefore, are not as simple as people imagine. It’s not just a case of listening to more sermons, reading more of God’s word, making more notes, and then memorizing some famous phrases, and using those things to fellowship with brothers and sisters at gatherings. It’s not that simple. You must pay attention, you must understand every aspect of the truth that God speaks of, and these are also truths that everyone who seeks to attain salvation must equip themselves with. If you understand why God requires people to achieve dispositional change, then you’ll pay attention to this in your heart and strive for the truth. If you can’t see clearly what dispositional change is all about, then you won’t love or pay attention to the truth. On the contrary, you’ll have no interest in the truth, so you will never be able to obtain it. God enlightens those who thirst for the truth, and hides from those who do not pursue it. If you have a longing, seeking heart, then God will enlighten you, work on you, and, little by little, make you understand all aspects of the truth clearly. Do you think that the topic of dispositional change is important? (Yes, it is important.) It’s definitely important, because you urgently need to understand this aspect of the truth right now. You fear that you don’t have the truth, that you haven’t changed, and that you will be abandoned when the disasters strike, and you fear that you will fall into the disasters, and suffer therein. Of course, some people fear that they understand too little of the truth right now, and that when God tests them in the future they will stumble and not be able to stand firm, wasting all of their previous efforts. Because this is the last stage of God’s work to save mankind, if people cannot achieve salvation at this stage, then their belief in God will have totally failed, their life of faith in God will be over, and they will ultimately be destroyed.
If you want to achieve dispositional change, you must first understand what it is. I spoke just now about what some people imagine dispositional change to be in their notions, and you all agreed that these people’s statements and views are incorrect, mistaken, and incompatible with the dispositional change that God requires. So, how should you understand dispositional change? How should you attain it? Achieving dispositional change is no simple matter. You must first possess the ability to eat, drink, and apprehend God’s words. If you do not possess this quality, you will be unable to understand the truth or know yourself, and thus be unable to achieve dispositional change. If you want to achieve such a change, you must have knowledge of your own corrupt disposition, and discern your various erroneous thoughts, perspectives, behaviors, and manifestations based on God’s words. You must then hold your state against God’s word for comparison, and come to understand your own corrupt disposition. Once you can see clearly that the essence of this corrupt disposition is something which resists and betrays God, and is something which He hates, then you will be able to throw off your corrupt disposition and gradually achieve dispositional change. Tell Me, as mankind has been so deeply corrupted, will they be able to understand their corrupt dispositions if they don’t accept the truths which God expresses? Will they be able to see the reality of mankind’s profound corruption? Corrupt people all advocate for education, they all accept and compete for knowledge, yet the human world gets progressively darker and eviler. And who is it that can save mankind from this influence of darkness? It is totally impossible, therefore, to achieve dispositional change and to live out human likeness if you depart from God’s word, and do not accept His judgment and purification. Some people say: “I don’t want to read God’s words about judging and exposing people, because reading these things pierces me to the heart and makes me uncomfortable.” Will they be able to know themselves by approaching God’s words in this way? Will it be easy for them to achieve dispositional change? It’s okay if you don’t like reading God’s words that judge and chastise mankind, as God’s house has hymns of God’s word, as well as experiential testimony videos, for you to watch, and learn. Sing those hymns more, as they are set to melodies, which makes them easy to learn and memorize. Learning to sing these hymns of God’s word in this way will bring results, and it will be easy for you to remember some of His words. Begin sparking your interest in the truth with these words. Needing to spark people’s interest even when it comes to eating and drinking God’s word—tell Me, how removed is mankind from God’s requirements, that people must have their interest sparked through hymns? This proves that mankind really doesn’t love the truth! God’s words are spoken so well, and no matter what aspect of the truth is being fellowshiped on, they are of benefit to man, from beginning to end, but people still don’t like to eat and drink them. Mankind is really too far removed from God’s requirements! So, what’s to be done about this situation? First, you must pray to God every time you eat and drink His words, saying: “Oh God, I wish to strive for dispositional change and gain a good destination, because I fear falling into the disasters. I also want to eat and drink Your words more, but those that judge and expose people are too harsh, they pierce me to the heart, so I’m unwilling to read them. Please, enlighten me, help me, enable me to understand Your words, and to see that Your words are all that my life needs, and that they are the life that I should attain.” If you sincerely pray in this way, then God will work in you without you even realizing it, and gradually lead you to understand more of His words, in an increasingly profound way. Some people say: “I very much like eating and drinking God’s words, and have already read them from beginning to end, but I don’t know which truths are the most important to understand, and which truth realities are most important to enter into, or how I should pursue in order to achieve dispositional change.” How can this problem be solved? First, you must put a lot more effort into God’s words. It’s not enough to merely read them a few times. You must read them carefully many times, ponder and fellowship on them often, and practice them in your life, until you have actual experience. Only then can you understand the truth. In addition, if you cannot fellowship clearly on some topics, just fellowship to whatever extent you can. Set aside the topics which you really cannot fellowship clearly on for now; first choose to fellowship, from shallow to deep, on those which are easier for you to understand, and which your current level of experience can reach. Life entry is not a simple matter, and it’s impossible to enter deeply after believing for just three or five years. It’s the same as the process of becoming an adult: growing little by little from childhood, cumulatively, until you finally become an adult after 20 or 30 years. Believing in God also requires this many years of experience, and as for the truths about obeying and loving God, it takes a whole lifetime to experience them. Some people say: “I eat and drink God’s words in this way, but how exactly can I gauge if I have made any changes to my disposition?” Many brothers and sisters are concerned about this question. Tell Me, when a baby has just been born, and his mother feeds and looks after him, does the baby care about when he will grow into an adult? Of course not, because he doesn’t understand. So, you don’t need to ask this question. Just wait until you’ve grown in stature, then you’ll naturally understand, and when the time comes that you ought to change, you will naturally do so. God will do some things in every stage and period you go through, arranging some environments or people, matters, and things to make you learn lessons. Think back on your belief in God, from its beginning until now, compare what kind of views you had when you first believed in God to your views now, and you’ll know if you’ve changed. Right now, the most important thing for you to do is to eat and drink more of God’s words, to fellowship more, to listen to more sermons, and to work harder on God’s words. This is crucial, and it is the primary condition for achieving dispositional change. Can you achieve results if you don’t read God’s words or fellowship on the truth, but only focus on how to feel the Holy Spirit’s touch, how to live within the spirit, and be spiritual? There’s no point always focusing on these things, as they’re all secondary. So, what is the most important thing? Eating and drinking God’s words more. If you do not carefully eat and drink His words, then even if you gather daily or conduct religious ceremonies well, you won’t be able to understand the truth, let alone put it into practice. This is because the truth is all contained within God’s words, and you will never gain it if you do not eat and drink His words. All truth comes from God’s words, and if you leave His words, that is tantamount to leaving God. If you depart from eating and drinking God’s words, then you are not believing in God, and you are one of the unbelievers. Then, no matter how good your behavior may be, you’ll never be able to achieve salvation. Therefore, to those who believe in God, eating and drinking His words is the most important thing. If you work hard at God’s word, you’ll gain as much as you put into it. There’s no need for you to look into, weigh up, let alone care about precisely how big these gains are. This isn’t your responsibility. God will do His work, and God will give you an explanation, enlighten you, and let you know. So, if someone asks again in the future: “When will God test me? Will I be able to stand firm? How much has my disposition actually changed? Can’t God give me a definite answer?” this is outrageous and unreasonable. There’s no need for you to concern yourself with such things. When you one day have stature, and your disposition has really changed, you’ll be able to overcome a situation that befalls you and handle it correctly, using the methods that God requires. Then you will know that you have changed. This is not an external change, but an internal change, and it is a change in disposition and essence.
Dispositional change isn’t something that happens overnight, or something that can be achieved after several years of experience. Some people often fail and stumble when they begin to change their bad habits, and think: “I’m done. I’m hopeless. Dispositional change is not for me, it’s impossible for me to change. If it’s so hard for me to change even these small flaws or bad habits, then surely it will be even more difficult to change my disposition?” They become negative, feel like they have no hope, and they are unwilling to eat and drink God’s words for a long time. Whenever anyone prunes and deals with them, they feel annoyed and negative, they are unwilling to perform their duties, and totally uninterested in the truth. What state is this? This is a serious problem. Have you ever had this kind of experience? Are you afraid that, in the process of your life experience, you’ll always be negative, weak, failing, and stumbling? Regardless of whether you’re afraid or not, it is a fact that dispositional change does not happen overnight. This is because dispositional change begins from the very root of mankind’s corrupt nature, and it is a radical and total transformation. It is like when someone gets cancer and grows a tumor: They must be operated on to remove the tumor, they must endure a lot of suffering, and it is a very complex process. In the process of dispositional change, you may go through many things before understanding a little bit of the truth or achieving an aspect of dispositional change, or you may experience many people, matters, things, and different environments, and make many wrong turns, before you finally achieve a little change. This change is precious, no matter how big it is, and it is cherished and commemorated in God’s eyes because you have suffered much and paid a great price for it. God examines the depths of people’s hearts, knows their thoughts and desires, and their weaknesses, but most of all God knows what they need. To follow the practical God, we must have this resolve: No matter how great the environments we encounter, nor what kind of difficulties we face, and no matter how weak or negative we are, we cannot lose faith in our dispositional change or in the words that God has spoken. God has made a promise to mankind, and this requires people to have resolve, faith, and perseverance to bear it. God does not like cowards; He likes people with resolve. Even if you’ve revealed a lot of corruption, even if you’ve taken the wrong path many times, or committed many transgressions, complained about God, or from within religion resisted God or harbored blasphemy against Him in your heart, and so on—God doesn’t look at all that. God only looks at whether someone pursues the truth and whether they can one day change. In the Bible there is a story about the return of the prodigal son—why did the Lord Jesus use this parable? It was to make people understand that God’s intention to save mankind is sincere, and that He gives people the opportunity to repent and change. Throughout this process, God understands man, knowing well their weaknesses and the degree of their corruption. He knows that people will stumble and fail. Just like a child learning to walk, no matter how physically strong they are, there will always be times where they fall and stumble, and times when they knock into things and trip over. God understands every person in the way that a mother understands her child. He understands each person’s difficulties, their weaknesses, and their needs. Even more than that, God understands what difficulties, weaknesses, and failures people will face while entering into the process of changing their disposition. These are the things that God understands best. This means that God surveys the depths of people’s hearts. No matter how weak you are, as long as you don’t renounce God’s name, or leave Him and this way, then you’ll always have the chance to achieve dispositional change. If you have this chance, then you have hope of surviving, and therefore of being saved by God. When we understand what dispositional change is, and what kind of process is needed for it, then we should not be afraid, but should have faith, and pray before God: “Oh God! I am so deeply corrupt. I don’t even know what the truth is, much less what dispositional change is. I really need Your salvation, and for You to help and provide for me, so that I may know how to understand and put Your words into practice, and gain knowledge and experience from them, and thus bring Your words into my life, and have Your enlightenment and guidance in my every word and action, my each and every move, in all of my intentions, and in everything I do. I hope for this, I thirst for this, I long to live out normal humanity and true human likeness to satisfy You. But I cannot yet achieve this, my corruption is still so great that I don’t even realize it myself. Please expose me, help me, and provide for me. This is what I need right now.” You should have this kind of prayer, and this kind of resolve. After praying like this, your heart and your life will change without you even knowing it, because how you pray and seek is mirrored in your resolve, and in how God fulfills your resolve. It won’t do if you’re always afraid of failure, and, in fact, becoming scared before anything actually happens to you just proves that you lack resolve and faith when it comes to the matter of dispositional change. First, you must understand that dispositional change does not happen overnight. Do you think that mankind was so deeply corrupted by Satan overnight? No, people have been corrupted by Satan for millennia, their satanic nature has already been thoroughly exposed, and advanced to a degree where they cannot control it, and where their natural outpourings can only exceed those of Satan. They’ve reached the level of being enemies of God, and the point where they feel uninterested, repulsed, and loathing whenever they hear that something is the truth, or the word of God, or from God. People are corrupt and numb to such an extent, so it’s not easy for them to understand the truth, let alone achieve dispositional change. Changing one’s disposition is not as simple as changing one’s behavior. We must therefore have a correct understanding of this matter of dispositional change, and approach it with the correct attitude. We cannot indulge in wild fantasies and say, “I believe in God, and I have been eating and drinking His words all along. Won’t I change if God just does a bit more work, and performs some signs and wonders?” This is an unrealistic view, and it is a human imagining. If we followed human notions and imaginings, there would be no need for God to do His work of judgment, nor for Him to express so many words revealing mankind’s corruption, let alone for Him to test and refine people. Tell Me, in God’s management plan, does He save mankind in order to defeat Satan, or does He fight Satan in order to save mankind? (God fights Satan in order to save mankind.) That’s right. We must have an accurate understanding of God’s management plan. So, in the future, do not utter the foolish statement: “Why doesn’t God just destroy Satan?” Without Satan’s corruption, would God express so many truths in order to save us? Would we have gained so many truths by now? Without Satan’s corruption, God’s management plan to save mankind would never have arisen, nor would God have planned to perfect this group of people in the last days to become those who remain. God battles Satan in order to save mankind and gain a group of people. It can also be said that it was entirely for the sake of perfecting our group of people that God became flesh to fight Satan. Therefore, we have seen God’s will, and the goal and core of His management plan is to gain a group of true people. This is God’s management plan. So, you can see how important it is to achieve dispositional change in one’s belief in God, and be able to fully become a true person whom God loves and wishes to gain!
Do you have a path for achieving dispositional change? Do you know what things will change? Do you usually fellowship on this aspect of the truth? Just now, we fellowshiped on how dispositional change doesn’t refer to changes in outward behavior and conduct, or in rules, nor does it refer to changes in one’s personality. So, what exactly is it? Have you ever considered this? First, we must discover and understand which dispositions and things God wants us to change. Dispositional change is not a change in behavior or personality, much less a change whereby people become more knowledgeable or learned; God wants to change every person’s thoughts and views through His words, and enable them to understand the truth, so that they can achieve a transformation in how they see things. This is but one aspect, while another is to change the principles underpinning how people conduct themselves, which is a change in their outlook on life; yet another is to change the deep-rooted satanic nature and disposition which is revealed in people. In general, dispositional change encompasses these three aspects.
Let us initially discuss the first aspect of dispositional change—the way people view things. People’s thoughts and views are, namely, the way they see everything. Man has been so deeply corrupted by Satan that many of these thoughts and views are wrong and absurd, and God saves people by first changing the way they view things. Take a simple example: What is your understanding of knowledge? Of science? Are knowledge and science the truth? Can they solve people’s corrupt disposition, and enable them to live out human likeness? Can they rescue people from Satan’s influence? Can they lead people to know and obey God? Can they lead to salvation, and obtaining a good destination? They certainly cannot. What use is knowledge in a person’s life? What can it bring to them? Some people think that knowledge is a precious thing in this world, and that the more knowledge they have, the greater their status and the better they are, the more distinguished and cultured, so they cannot do without knowledge. Some people think if you study hard and enrich your knowledge then you’ll have it all. You’ll have status, money, a good job and a good future; they believe that without knowledge it’s impossible to live in this world. If someone has no knowledge, then everyone looks down on them. They’d be discriminated against, with no one willing to associate with them; those without knowledge can only live on the lowest rungs of society. Thus do they worship knowledge, and regard it as extremely lofty and important—even more so than the truth. Someone might say: “Without knowledge, am I able to understand God’s words? Does He not also speak through knowledge and words?” These are two quite different things. The knowledge I’m speaking of now refers to human history, geography, politics, literature, modern science and technology, or certain skills or subjects and so on. People think this is all part of humanity’s strength, and that those with knowledge have everything and can stand firm in this world, and so everyone regards knowledge as phenomenally important. In short, however you look at it, this is one aspect of human thoughts and views. There is an ancient saying: “Read ten thousand books, travel ten thousand miles.” But what does this mean? It means that the more you read, the more knowledgeable and prosperous you’ll be. You’ll be highly regarded by all groups of people and will have status. Everyone harbors these kinds of thoughts in their heart. If someone is unable to gain a college diploma due to unfortunate family circumstances, they will regret it for their entire life, and be determined that their children and grandchildren should study more, earn a university degree, or even go study abroad. This is everyone’s thirst for knowledge, and how they think, view, and handle it. Many parents, therefore, will spare no effort or expense to nurture their children, even going so far as to squander the family fortune, and all so their children go study. And what of the lengths some parents go to in disciplining their children? Only three hours of sleep permitted a night, continual forced study and reading, or making them emulate the ancients and tie their hair to the ceiling, denying them sleep altogether. These kinds of stories, these tragedies, have always happened from ancient times to the present, and they are the consequences of mankind’s thirst for and worship of knowledge. You may find these words distasteful, as there are those among you with impressive knowledge and academic qualifications. Of course, I’m not saying that it’s bad for you to be educated, but you must treat this matter correctly. That is, you must now have a correct way of dealing with satanic things, and a correct way to understand and recognize them. I’m not forbidding you to study, let alone preventing you from nurturing your children by having them earn a degree and land a good job. I’m not saying this. I’m not restricting you. I’m only speaking My opinion, and exposing the degree to which corrupt humanity reveres knowledge. Regardless of your current level of knowledge, or how advanced your degrees and academic qualifications are, I’m now speaking about humanity’s views on knowledge and My views on knowledge. Do you know what God thinks about knowledge? Someone might say that God wishes developed science for mankind, and for them to understand more scientific knowledge, as He doesn’t want man to be too backward, ignorant and uncomprehending. This is correct, but God uses these things to do service, and doesn’t approve of them. No matter how wonderful these things are in the eyes of man, they are neither the truth nor a substitute for the truth, so God expresses the truth to change people and their dispositions. Although God’s words can occasionally touch on views or ways of looking at knowledge like Confucianism or social sciences, they’re only representative of such views. Reading between the lines of God’s words, we should see that He hates human knowledge. Human knowledge not only contains basic sentences and simple doctrines, but also some thoughts and views, as well as human absurdity, prejudices, and satanic poisons. Some knowledge can even deceive and corrupt people—it is the poison and tumor of Satan, and once someone has accepted this knowledge and understands it, Satan’s poison will grow into a tumor in their heart. This tumor will spread to their whole body, inevitably resulting in death if they are not healed by God’s words and cured by the truth. So, the more knowledge people gain, the more they grasp, then the less likely they are to believe in God’s existence. Instead, they will actually deny and resist Him, as knowledge is something they can see and touch, and is mostly related to things in their lives. People can study and gain a lot of knowledge in school, but they are blind to the source of knowledge and its connection with the spiritual world. Most of the knowledge that people learn and grasp goes against the truth of God’s words, with philosophical materialism and evolution in particular belonging to the heresies and fallacies of atheism. It is undoubtedly a load of fallacies which resist God. What will you gain if you read history books, well-known authors’ works, or biographies of great people, or perhaps study certain scientific or technological aspects? For example, if you study physics you will master some physical principles, Newtonian theory or other doctrines but, when learned and taken to heart, these things will take over your mind and dominate your thinking. When you then come to read God’s words, you’ll think: “How come God doesn’t mention gravity? Why isn’t outer space discussed? Why isn’t God talking about whether the moon has an atmosphere, or how much oxygen there is on earth? God should reveal these things, as they’re the things that really need to be made known and told to mankind.” If you harbor these kinds of thoughts in your heart, then you’ll regard the truth and God’s words as secondary, instead elevating to the fore all your knowledge and theories. This is how you will treat God’s word. At any rate, these intellectual things will give people the wrong idea and cause them to stray from God. It doesn’t matter if you believe it or not, or whether you can accept it today—the day will come when you will admit this fact. Do you truly understand how knowledge can lead people to destruction, to hell? There are some who may not be willing to accept this, because there are some highly educated and very knowledgeable people among you. I’m not mocking you or being sarcastic, I’m simply stating a fact. Neither am I asking you to accept it right here and right now, but to gradually come to an understanding of this aspect. Knowledge causes you to use your mind and intellect to analyze and deal with everything God does. It will become a hindrance and obstacle to you knowing God and experiencing His work, and lead you to stray from and resist God. But you have knowledge now, so what do you do? You have to differentiate between knowledge which is practical, and that which comes from Satan and belongs to heresy and fallacy. If you only accept atheistic, absurd knowledge, it can obstruct your belief in God, disrupt your normal relationship with Him and your acceptance of the truth, and block your entry into life. This you need to know, for it is correct, and you should properly comprehend this topic. I know that some brothers and sisters are highly educated, and I’m not attacking, mocking, or sidelining you. This topic suddenly came up today, and these are just a few words to warn you, not to intentionally cause trouble for those of you with high academic qualifications or some knowledge and culture. It’s not to make you negative or depressed, that’s not the aim at all. So, can you properly comprehend it? (Yes, we can.) If you can, then I am relieved, and can breathe a bit easier.
After fellowshiping this much, you can see now that achieving dispositional change isn’t a simple matter. It’s not something that’s achieved by merely understanding doctrines and following rules. You must first come to understand yourself, be able to reflect on your thoughts and views, and dig out which of those exist in your heart that deny and resist God, as well as those things that God hates and abhors. Do you really have any understanding about your own satanic nature, or of the various satanic dispositions you usually reveal? Are you really able to dissect them? Corrupt human beings all have satanic dispositions, and all have deeply-rooted erroneous thoughts and ideas. Everyone is the same, with some corruption within them that is hostile to the truth and resistant to God. None of it is compatible with the truth, and most people can accept this. Just now, I talked about how to understand human knowledge, and why I say that much of it is absurd and wrong. Some of you might feel uncomfortable when you hear this, like you’ve been poked in a sore spot, but it had to be said. Many of your mistaken views are derived from knowledge, and this incorrect and absurd knowledge generates erroneous thoughts and views, which become deeply rooted in your hearts. If you don’t resolve these misguided views, it will be difficult for you to accept the truth, let alone put it into practice. I hope, therefore, that you can accept God’s words, and all the truths He expresses. Even if you are unwilling, you should still learn, and try to accept. In this way, your hearts will become closer to God’s, and you will become closer to His requirements. If you don’t practically experience God’s words in this way, putting the truth into practice, then your belief in God will always be mere lip service, and it will be impossible to enter into the truth reality. Is it not this way? Today I’ve spoken a little about knowledge, which may have made you feel awkward. If you do feel uncomfortable then I am sorry, but you have to face these realities as there is no avoiding them. If you avoid them, then when will you be able to know which things within your thoughts and views are right and which are wrong? You can’t know. You will have to one day face these facts; like the unbelievers say: “An ugly wife will eventually meet her in-laws.” Now that you believe in God, if you want to accept His chastisement and judgment, if you want to have life entry, achieve dispositional change and be saved, you have to face these facts, learn your lessons, and endure some torment and suffering. You wish to pray to God in your heart but you lack the right words, so you are left speechless, and the next time you encounter such a thing you’ll again be uncomfortable for several days, and again be left speechless, but the following time you encounter it, you’ll unconsciously discover that there really are some things in your thoughts and views which resist God; you will be able to nod your head and admit—honestly and seriously admit—that everything God has said is true, without any falsehood, and that truly God knows mankind best, and understands best the things that exist in everyone’s heart. The day will come when you have this level of experience, and then you’ll be on the right path of believing in God, and the right path of changing your life disposition. At that time, because you won’t contradict every word God says, you won’t feel uncomfortable when you hear them, and you’ll be able to accept every fact that God reveals without aversion, and without running away. You will face it properly, and this will prove that you have already entered into the word of God. We’ve made but a small beginning today, conducted a small experiment. You may have felt a little uncomfortable, a little awkward, but that doesn’t matter. I don’t mind, and I hope you don’t mind either, because God’s words of judgment are much harsher than these. If God really wants to judge you, His words will be much more severe. Do you think that God will speak in a kindly manner when He sees a corrupt mankind without normal humanity, unreasonable, with eyes wide open yet still denying, condemning, and resisting God? Could God’s attitude be good when exposing man? Of course not. God’s words would definitely be pretty severe, profound, and to the point! If you can accept the few facts on which we’ve fellowshiped today, then this proves you’ve made a good start on accepting God’s word and His chastisement and judgment. On this first aspect, we’ve talked about the problem of thoughts and views, with a little example which you all know, looking at the topic of knowledge. I didn’t fellowship on this topic very much in the fear that it’d make some people uncomfortable, so I’ve only spoken a little in consideration of their feelings, though imperfectly and briefly. I hope that you can gradually figure it out through your experience, slowly seek the truth in this area, and experience what knowledge can bring to people. Perhaps we’ll fellowship more on this topic in the future, and I hope that you won’t feel uncomfortable at that time, and won’t think, “Is this something against me? Is this aimed at me?” None of those thoughts or ideas. But for now, we’ll conclude our fellowship on the first aspect here.
Now we’ll fellowship on the second aspect of dispositional change—outlook on life. What is yours? What are the principles by which you live? Do you have any understanding? Are there even any principles? Do you have any idea? That is, what sort of person do you want to be? What is your outlook on life, your life’s direction? (To be someone God likes.) (To follow God to the end for the rest of my life.) (To know God.) (To escape my corrupt disposition and be saved by God.) Everything you’ve said is excellent, and proves that all your hearts are hard at work in the pursuit of the truth and you are determined to follow God to gain the truth, and that you have a correct goal and direction for your conduct, which shows that, in your belief in God, your heart is not empty and you’re not just wasting time. You’ve made some progress during this time, and this is change; at the very least you won’t say, like the unbelievers, “Life is just about eating and dressing.” If you hear someone saying such things, you’ll dislike them, and detest and reject them. No matter how far you’ve entered the truth, you should have the will to follow God well. You should know in your hearts, “Since God has revealed to us the goals and mysteries of His management plan, and His intention to save mankind, and since we’ve seen His promises and blessings, then if we remain passive and inconsiderate of God’s will, we would really be letting Him down and we would be so indebted to Him!” Having this kind of heart proves that your spirits have already awakened and have begun to change. In any case, judging by your efforts to perform your duty, you’re all striving toward the direction and goals required by God, and this is correct. No matter what differences there are in your viewpoints about pursuit, they are all quite practical and not imaginary or empty. Do you think that we should have the view of seeking to be someone who truly obeys and worships God? Should we not have an outlook on life where we no longer resist God, no longer make Him loathe or be angry at us, constantly furious, but where God’s heart is comforted and we are, like Abraham, true worshipers? This is the outlook on life that people should have. When this sort of outlook on life and these kinds of thoughts have taken root in your heart, and you pursue in this direction, then will not the temptation and seduction of worldly riches, status, fame and profit be lessened? When you work hard, practice, and experience in this direction, without even realizing it, God’s words will become your motto for life in your heart, and the foundation of your existence; before you know it, God’s words will become your life, become your life path within you. At that time, won’t everything in the world just be unimportant to you? Therefore, it is also important what your outlook on life is. In what direction are you pursuing, in your belief in God? Is it the right direction? Is it the right path? How far are you from God’s requirements? If you pursue on the basis of God’s requirements, then you’re going in the right direction. It doesn’t even matter if you go a little astray, or are a little weak, or have some failures; God won’t remember, and will always support you until your life grows. What kind of people do you think God likes? God likes those who pursue the truth, are determined, and are honest. He is not worried by your ignorance, your weakness, or your lack of wisdom; but He loathes it if you do not pursue the truth, or if you understand the truth but do not put it into practice, or if you live without reading His words, like soulless animals, with no goal or direction for your life—God hates it if you have this attitude of believing in Him. To achieve dispositional change through belief in God, therefore, quality of outlook on life is very important. Some people say, “My goal in life is to be someone of great use to God, someone who can serve Him.” Is this a good pursuit? It may be good, but human stature is limited and people’s qualities and conditions are different, so your pursuit of this goal is right, but it might not be suitable for you. People’s outlook on life should be to become someone with truth, humanity, conscience, and reason who worships God—that is, a real person. This is the most proper pursuit. Someone might say: “Are we not now real people?” Outwardly you are, as you have noses and eyes, and a human form, but based on your essence, you have still not become a real person. You still lack too much and understand too few truths. To be a real person, someone who possesses the truth and has humanity, someone who fears God and shuns evil, who follows His will and worships Him, you must pursue and obtain the truth. This is a matter of personal practice.
The third aspect of dispositional change is one’s satanic nature. This we must understand and grasp the most, as this is the most important aspect related to dispositional change. Satanic nature is humanity’s corrupt disposition and corrupt essence, and this topic makes up a lot of God’s words which expose this aspect the most. God’s words on this aspect are also the strictest, with many different styles: Some directly expose and judge, while others find a more tactful turn of phrase lest people cannot accept it. But no matter how it’s said, or what style or tone is used, it is true that what God reveals is the essence of man. God reveals the most typical aspect of satanic nature in two chapters. What is the typical essence of satanic nature? Do you know? (A betraying nature.) The betraying nature revealed in God’s words “A Very Serious Problem: Betrayal (1)” and “A Very Serious Problem: Betrayal (2)” is the typical representation of satanic nature. Other aspects like humanity’s self-righteousness, arrogance, and deceit, or mankind’s wickedness and resistance—these are all mentioned somewhat in every chapter, but there isn’t a single chapter in which the truth of these aspects is especially expounded upon. Only on the topic of “betrayal” has God spoken two full chapters. From this we can see that in God’s eyes, human betrayal is exceedingly serious, and that it directly offends His disposition, and is what He hates most, and what He curses. How does God dissect and deal with the essence of human betrayal? Of course, God dislikes human betrayal. He despises and loathes it, and loathes those who betray Him. Betrayal is archetypical of satanic nature. Where does the root cause of the nature of human betrayal come from? It comes from Satan. We must, therefore, understand this aspect of disposition. The root cause of betrayal is Satan, Satan’s nature is betrayal, and the disposition people reveal by the things they do is seen as betrayal by God. Why does God discuss this matter at such length? It is because human betrayal is constant, irrespective of place or time and, no matter how someone behaves, something deeply rooted in human nature opposes God. Some people say: “I don’t want to oppose or resist God!” But you will, as within you is a betraying nature, which means you cannot obey God, cannot follow Him to the end, and cannot completely accept God’s words as your life. How should you understand the problem of betrayal? No matter how long you’ve believed in God, or how many of His words you’ve eaten and drunk, or how much understanding you have of Him—so long as your nature betrays God, and you haven’t accepted His words as your life, and you have no entry into the truth of His words, then your essence will forever betray God. That is to say, if your disposition hasn’t changed, you’re someone who betrays God. Some people say: “I can comprehend God’s words, and understand everything He says. I’m also willing to accept them, so how can I be called someone who betrays God?” Just because you’re willing to accept doesn’t mean that you’re able to live out God’s words, let alone that you’ve already been made complete by them. The truth of mankind’s betraying nature is deep, and if you want to understand this aspect of the truth, then you might need a period of experience. In God’s eyes, everything that every person who believes in God does is at odds with the truth, incompatible with God’s word, and hostile to Him. You might not be able to accept this either, and say: “We serve God, worship God, do our duty in God’s house. We’ve done so much, all according to God’s words and requirements, and in line with work arrangements. How can it be said that we resist and betray God? Why do You always knock our enthusiasm? We gave up our family and careers with huge difficulty, and were determined to follow God, so how can You speak about us like this?” The aim of speaking thus is to ensure that everyone understands: It’s not the case that someone who behaves quite well, or gives something up, or suffers some hardships, will change their betraying nature. No way! Suffering is necessary, as is performing your duty, but just because you can suffer, or perform, doesn’t mean that your corrupt disposition no longer exists. This is because there has been no real change in life disposition within anyone, and everyone is still far from satisfying God’s will and meeting His requirements. People’s belief in God is too adulterated, their corrupt dispositions revealed too much. Although many leaders or workers serve God, they also resist Him. What does this mean? It’s that they intentionally go against God’s words and don’t practice according to His will. They intentionally violate the truth, insist on acting according to their own will, to achieve their own designs and aims, to betray God and establish their own independent kingdom, where what they say goes. This is the meaning of serving God but also resisting Him. Do you understand now?
Let us fellowship no more on “betrayal” now. There is still a crucial problem, which is the arrogance and conceit that is characteristic of satanic nature. Mankind’s arrogance is revealed and displayed everywhere, and cannot be restrained even if they want to. It is revealed and bursts forth from time to time, and there’s nothing people can do about it. After it bursts forth, they’ll regret it, and after regretting it they’ll firmly resolve never to let it happen again, never to reveal it again, but they still won’t be able to control it. Why is this? It is because people’s disposition hasn’t changed, and their corrupt disposition is still there. This will never just automatically disappear from inside them, and when something happens their corrupt disposition will naturally be revealed. This is all caused by mankind’s arrogant and conceited disposition. When you understand more of the truth, can put it into practice and grasp the truth principles, and when your understanding of the truth is more and more practical, and you have knowledge of God and are closer to His requirements, when your views on things have changed—then your arrogant disposition will gradually lessen, slowly disappear, and your life disposition will begin to change. At that time, the problem of your betrayal can be considered completely resolved, and only then will you be someone who has truly been saved.