N. On How to Pursue Dispositional Change and Perfection by God

504. The transformation of the disposition of man is achieved through many different kinds of God’s work; without such changes in his disposition, man would be unable to bear testimony to God and to be after God’s heart. The transformation of man’s disposition signifies that man has freed himself from Satan’s bondage and from the influence of darkness, and has truly become a model and specimen of God’s work, a witness of God, and one who is after God’s heart. Today, God incarnate has come to do His work on earth, and He requires that man achieve knowledge of Him, obedience to Him, testimony to Him, to know His practical and normal work, to obey all of His words and work which do not accord with the notions of man, and to bear testimony to all the work He does to save man, as well as all the deeds He accomplishes to conquer man. Those who bear testimony to God must have knowledge of God; only this kind of testimony is accurate and real, and only this kind of testimony can shame Satan. God uses those who have come to know Him through undergoing His judgment and chastisement, dealing and pruning, to bear testimony to Him. He uses those who have been corrupted by Satan to bear testimony to Him, and so too does He use those whose disposition has changed, and who have thus gained His blessings, to bear testimony to Him. He does not need man to praise Him with his mouth, nor does He need the praise and testimony of the ilk of Satan, who have not been saved by Him. Only those who know God are qualified to bear testimony to Him, and only those who have been transformed in their disposition are qualified to bear testimony to Him. God will not allow man intentionally to bring shame upon His name.

Excerpted from “Only Those Who Know God Can Bear Testimony to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

505. People cannot change their own disposition; they must undergo the judgment and chastisement, and suffering and refinement, of God’s words, or being dealt with, disciplined, and pruned by His words. Only then can they achieve obedience and faithfulness to God, and no longer be perfunctory toward Him. It is under the refinement of God’s words that people’s dispositions change. Only through the exposure, judgment, discipline, and dealing of His words will they no longer dare to act rashly but instead will become steady and composed. The most important point is that they are able to submit to God’s current words, and to His work, even if it is not in line with human notions, they are able to put these notions aside and willingly submit. In the past, talk of changes in disposition mainly referred to being able to forsake oneself, to allowing the flesh to suffer, disciplining one’s body, and ridding oneself of fleshly preferences—which is one kind of change in disposition. Today, everyone knows that the real expression of change in disposition is obeying the current words of God and truly knowing His new work. In this way, people’s prior understanding of God, which was colored by their own notions, can be expunged, and they can attain true knowledge of and obedience to God—only this is a genuine expression of a change in disposition.

Excerpted from “People Whose Dispositions Have Changed Are Those Who Have Entered Into the Reality of God’s Words” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

506. Changing man’s disposition starts with knowledge of his essence and through changes in his thinking, nature, and mental outlook—through fundamental changes. Only in this way will true changes be achieved in the disposition of man. Man’s corrupt disposition stems from his being poisoned and trampled upon by Satan, from the egregious harm that Satan has inflicted upon his thinking, morality, insight, and sense. It is precisely because the fundamental things of man have been corrupted by Satan, and are utterly unlike how God originally created them, that man opposes God and does not understand the truth. Thus, changes in man’s disposition should begin with changes in his thinking, insight, and sense that will change his knowledge of God and his knowledge of the truth.

Excerpted from “To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

507. In his life, if man wishes to be cleansed and achieve changes in his disposition, if he wishes to live out a life of meaning and fulfill his duty as a creature, then he must accept God’s chastisement and judgment, and must not allow God’s discipline and God’s smiting to depart from him, in order that he may free himself from the manipulation and influence of Satan, and live in the light of God. Know that God’s chastisement and judgment is the light, and the light of man’s salvation, and that there is no better blessing, grace or protection for man. Man lives under the influence of Satan, and exists in the flesh; if he is not cleansed and does not receive God’s protection, then man will become ever more depraved. If he wishes to love God, then he must be cleansed and saved. Peter prayed, “God, when You treat me kindly I am delighted, and feel comfort; when You chastise me, I feel even greater comfort and joy. Although I am weak, and endure untold suffering, although there are tears and sadness, You know that this sadness is because of my disobedience, and because of my weakness. I weep because I cannot satisfy Your desires, I feel sorrow and regret because I am insufficient for Your requirements, but I am willing to attain this realm, I am willing to do all I can to satisfy You. Your chastisement has brought me protection, and has given me the best salvation; Your judgment eclipses Your tolerance and patience. Without Your chastisement and judgment, I would not enjoy Your mercy and lovingkindness. Today, I see all the more that Your love has transcended the heavens and excelled above all other things. Your love is not just mercy and lovingkindness; even more than that, it is chastisement and judgment. Your chastisement and judgment have given me so much. Without Your chastisement and judgment, not a single person would be cleansed, and not a single person would be able to experience the love of the Creator.”

Excerpted from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

508. If you wish to be perfected, then you must first be favored by God, for He perfects those whom He favors and who are after His own heart. If you wish to be after God’s own heart, then you must have a heart that obeys His work, you must strive to pursue the truth, and you must accept God’s scrutiny in all things. Has all that you do passed under God’s scrutiny? Is your intent correct? If your intent is correct, then God will commend you; if your intent is wrong, this shows that what your heart loves is not God, but the flesh and Satan. Therefore, you must use prayer as a way to accept God’s scrutiny in all things. When you pray, although I am not standing in front of you in person, the Holy Spirit is with you, and it is both Myself and the Spirit of God to whom you are praying. Why do you believe in this flesh? You believe because He has the Spirit of God. Would you believe in this person if He were without the Spirit of God? When you believe in this person, you believe in the Spirit of God. When you fear this person, you fear the Spirit of God. Faith in God’s Spirit is faith in this person, and faith in this person is also faith in the Spirit of God. When you pray, you feel the Spirit of God is with you and that God is before you, and therefore you pray to His Spirit. Today, most people are too afraid to bring their actions before God; while you may deceive His flesh, you cannot deceive His Spirit. Any matter that cannot withstand God’s scrutiny is at odds with the truth, and should be cast aside; to do otherwise is to commit a sin against God. So, you must lay your heart before God at all times, when you pray, when you speak and fellowship with your brothers and sisters, and when you perform your duty and go about your business. When you fulfill your function, God is with you, and so long as your intent is correct and is for the work of God’s house, He will accept all that you do; you should sincerely devote yourself to fulfilling your function. When you pray, if you have love for God in your heart and seek God’s care, protection and scrutiny, if these things are your intent, your prayers will be effective. For example, when you pray at meetings, if you open your heart and pray to God and tell Him what is in your heart without speaking falsehoods, then your prayers will surely be effective. If you earnestly love God in your heart, then make an oath to God: “God, who is in the heavens and on earth and among all things, I swear to You: May Your Spirit examine all that I do and protect and care for me at all times, and make it possible for all that I do to stand in Your presence. Should my heart ever cease to love You or should it ever betray You, then chastise and curse me severely. Do not pardon me in either this world or the next!” Do you dare make such an oath? If you do not, this shows you are timid, and that you still love yourself. Do you have this resolve? If this is truly your resolve, you should make this oath. If you have the resolve to make such an oath, then God will fulfill your resolve. When you swear an oath to God, He listens. God determines whether you are sinful or righteous by the measure of your prayer and your practice. This now is the process of perfecting you, and if you truly have faith in being perfected, then you will bring all that you do before God and accept His scrutiny; if you do something outrageously rebellious or if you betray God, then He will bring your oath to fruition, and thus no matter what happens to you, be it perdition or chastisement, this is your own doing. You made the oath, so you should abide by it. If you make an oath, but do not abide by it, you will suffer perdition. Since yours was the oath, God will bring your oath to fruition. Some are afraid after they pray, and lament, “All is over! My chance of debauchery is gone; my chance to do wicked things is gone; my chance to indulge my worldly cravings is gone!” These people still love worldliness and sin, and they are certain to suffer perdition.

Excerpted from “God Perfects Those Who Are After His Own Heart” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

509. There is a rule to God’s perfection of people, which is that He enlightens you by using a desirable part of you so that you have a path to practice and can separate yourself from all negative states, helping your spirit attain release, and making you more able to love Him. In this way, you are able to throw off the corrupt disposition of Satan. You are artless and open, willing to know yourself and to put truth into practice. God will certainly bless you, so when you are weak and negative, He enlightens you doubly, helping you know yourself more, be more willing to repent for yourself, and be more able to practice the things that you should practice. Only in this way can your heart be peaceful and at ease. A person who ordinarily pays attention to knowing God, who pays attention to knowing himself, who pays attention to his own practice, will be able to frequently receive God’s work, as well as His guidance and enlightenment. Even though such a person may be in a negative state, he is able to turn things around immediately, whether due to the action of conscience or the enlightenment from God’s word. The change of a person’s disposition is always achieved when he knows his own actual state and the disposition and work of God. A person who is willing to know himself and open himself up will be able to carry out truth. This kind of person is a person who is loyal to God, and a person who is loyal to God has understanding of God, whether this understanding be deep or shallow, meager or plentiful. This is God’s righteousness, and it is something that people attain; it is their own gain. A person who has knowledge of God is one who has a basis, who has vision. This kind of person is certain about God’s flesh, and is certain about God’s word and God’s work. Regardless of how God works or speaks, or how other people cause disturbance, he can stand his ground, and stand witness for God. The more a person is this way, the more he can carry out the truth that he understands. Because he is always practicing God’s word, he obtains more understanding of God, and possesses the resolve to forever stand witness for God.

Excerpted from “Only Those Who Focus on Practice Can Be Perfected” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

510. In believing in God, if people desire transformation of their disposition, then they must not detach themselves from real life. In real life, you must know yourself, forsake yourself, practice the truth, as well as learn the principles, common sense, and rules of self-conduct in all things before you are able to achieve gradual transformation. If you only focus on the theoretical knowledge and only live among religious ceremonies without going deep into reality, without entering into real life, then you will never enter into reality, you will never know yourself, the truth, or God, and you will forever be blind and ignorant. God’s work of saving people is not to allow them to live normal human lives after a short period of time, nor is it to transform their erroneous notions and doctrines. Rather, His purpose is to change people’s old dispositions, to change the entirety of their old way of life, and to change all of their outdated ways of thinking and mental outlook. Focusing only on church life will not change people’s old life habits or change the old ways in which they have lived for a long time. No matter what, people must not become detached from real life. God asks that people live out normal humanity in real life, not just in church life; that they live out the truth in real life, not just in church life; and that they fulfill their functions in real life, not just in church life. To enter into reality, one must turn everything toward real life. If, in believing in God, people cannot come to know themselves through entry into real life, and if they cannot live out normal humanity in real life, then they will become failures. Those who disobey God are all people who cannot enter into real life. They are all people who speak of humanity, but live out the nature of demons. They are all people who speak of the truth, but live out doctrines instead. Those who cannot live out the truth in real life are those who believe in God, but are detested and rejected by Him. You have to practice your entry in real life, know your own deficiencies, disobedience, and ignorance, and know your abnormal humanity and weaknesses. That way, your knowledge will be integrated into your actual condition and difficulties. Only this kind of knowledge is real and can allow you to truly grasp your own condition and achieve dispositional transformation.

Excerpted from “Discussing Church Life and Real Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

511. Eating and drinking of God’s words, practicing prayer, accepting God’s burden, and accepting the tasks He entrusts to you—all of this is so that there may be a path before you. The more the burden of God’s entrustment weighs on you, the easier it will be for you to be perfected by Him. Some are unwilling to coordinate with others in service to God, even when they have been called upon; these are lazy people who wish only to revel in comfort. The more you are asked to serve in coordination with others, the more experience you will gain. Due to having more burdens and experiences, you will gain more opportunities to be perfected. Therefore, if you can serve God with sincerity, then you will be mindful of God’s burden; as such, you will have more opportunities to be perfected by God. It is just such a group of people that is currently being perfected. The more the Holy Spirit touches you, the more time you will devote to being mindful of God’s burden, the more you will be perfected by God, and the more you will be gained by Him—until, in the end, you will become a person whom God uses. At present, there are some who carry no burdens for the church. These people are slack and sloppy, and only care about their own flesh. Such people are extremely selfish, and they are also blind. If you cannot see this matter clearly, you will not carry any burden. The more mindful you are of God’s will, the greater the burden He will entrust to you. The selfish are unwilling to suffer such things; they are unwilling to pay the price, and, as a result, they will miss opportunities to be perfected by God. Are they not doing themselves harm? If you are someone who is mindful of God’s will, then you will develop a true burden for the church. In fact, instead of calling this a burden you bear for the church, it would be better to call it a burden you bear for your own life’s sake, because the purpose of this burden you develop for the church is to have you use such experiences to be perfected by God. Therefore, whoever carries the greatest burden for the church, whoever carries a burden for entering into life—they will be the ones who are perfected by God. Have you seen this clearly? If the church you are with is scattered like sand, but you are neither worried nor anxious, and you even turn a blind eye when your brothers and sisters are not normally eating and drinking of God’s words, then you are not carrying any burdens. Such people are not the kind in whom God delights. The kind of people in whom God delights hunger and thirst for righteousness and are mindful of God’s will. Thus, you should become mindful of God’s burden, here and now; you should not wait for God to reveal His righteous disposition to all humanity before growing mindful of God’s burden. Would it not be too late by then? Now is a good opportunity to be perfected by God. If you allow this chance to slip through your fingers, you will regret it for the rest of your life, just as Moses was unable to enter the good land of Canaan and regretted it for the rest of his life, dying with remorse. Once God has revealed His righteous disposition to all peoples, you will be filled with regret. Even if God does not chastise you, you will chastise yourself out of your own remorse. Some are not convinced by this, but if you do not believe it, just wait and see. There are some people whose sole purpose is to fulfill these words. Are you willing to sacrifice yourself for the sake of these words?

Excerpted from “Be Mindful of God’s Will in Order to Attain Perfection” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

512. The Holy Spirit has a path to walk in each person, and gives each person the opportunity to be perfected. Through your negativity you are made to know your own corruption, and then by throwing off negativity you will find a path to practice; these are all ways in which you are perfected. Further, through the continuous guidance and illumination of some positive things inside of you, you will proactively fulfill your function, grow in insight and gain discernment. When your conditions are good, you are especially willing to read the word of God, and especially willing to pray to God, and can relate the sermons you hear to your own state. At such times God enlightens and illuminates you within, making you realize some things of the positive aspect. This is how you are perfected in the positive aspect. In negative states, you are weak and passive; you feel that you do not have God in your heart, yet God illuminates you, helping you find a path to practice. Coming out of this is attainment of perfection in the negative aspect. God can perfect man in both positive and negative aspects. It depends on whether you are able to experience, and on whether you pursue being perfected by God. If you truly seek being perfected by God, then the negative cannot make you suffer loss, but can bring you things that are more real, and can make you more able to know that which is lacking within you, more able to grasp your real state, and see that man has nothing, and is nothing; if you do not experience trials, you do not know, and will always feel that you are above others and better than everyone else. Through all this you will see that all that came before was done by God and protected by God. Entry into trials leaves you without love or faith, you lack prayer and are unable to sing hymns, and without realizing it, in the midst of this you come to know yourself. God has many means of perfecting man. He employs all manner of environments to deal with the corrupt disposition of man, and uses various things to lay man bare; in one regard, He deals with man, in another He lays man bare, and in another He reveals man, digging out and revealing the “mysteries” in the depths of man’s heart, and showing man his nature by revealing many of his states. God perfects man through many methods—through revelation, through dealing with man, through man’s refinement, and chastisement—so that man may know that God is practical.

Excerpted from “Only Those Who Focus on Practice Can Be Perfected” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

513. At present, what you should chiefly seek is to be perfected by God in all things, and to be perfected by God through all people, matters, and things with which you are faced, so that more of what God is will be wrought into you. You must first receive the inheritance of God on earth; only then will you become eligible to inherit more, and greater, blessings from God. These are all things that you should seek, and which you should understand before all else. The more you seek to be perfected by God in all things, the more you will be able to see the hand of God in all things, as a result of which you will, through different perspectives and in different matters, actively seek to enter into the being of God’s word and enter into the reality of His word. You cannot be content with such passive states as merely not committing sins, or having no notions, no philosophy for living, and no human will. God perfects man in a multitude of ways; in all matters lies the possibility of being perfected, and He can perfect you not only in positive terms but also in negative terms, to make what you gain more abundant. Every single day there are opportunities to be perfected and occasions to be gained by God. After experiencing thus for a time, you will be greatly changed, and will naturally understand many things of which you were previously ignorant. There will be no need for instruction from others; unbeknownst to you, God will enlighten you, so that you will receive enlightenment in all things and enter into all your experiences in detail. God will surely guide you so that you veer not to left or right, and you will thus set foot upon path to being perfected by Him.

… If you wish to be perfected by God, you must learn how to experience in all matters, and be able to gain enlightenment in everything that happens to you. Whether it be good or bad, it should bring you benefit, and should not make you negative. Regardless, you should be able to consider things while standing on the side of God, and not analyze or study them from the perspective of man (this would be a deviation in your experience). If you experience thus, then your heart will be filled with the burdens of your life; you will live constantly in the light of God’s countenance, not readily deviating in your practice. Such people have a bright future ahead of them. There are so many opportunities to be perfected by God. It all rests on whether you are someone who truly loves God and whether you possess the resolve to be perfected by God, to be gained by God, and to receive His blessings and inheritance. Mere resolve is not enough; you must have much knowledge, else you will always be deviating in your practice. God is willing to perfect each and every one of you. As it stands now, although most people have already accepted the work of God for a very long time, they have limited themselves to merely basking in the grace of God, and are only willing to allow God to give them a little comfort of the flesh, yet are unwilling to receive more, and higher, revelations. This shows that the heart of man is still always on the outside. Even though the work of man, his service, and his heart of love for God have fewer impurities, as far as his inner substance and his backward thinking are concerned, man still constantly seeks the peace and enjoyment of the flesh, and cares nothing for what the conditions for and purposes of God perfecting man may be. And so, the lives of most people are still vulgar and decadent. Their lives have not changed in the slightest; they simply do not regard faith in God as a matter of importance, it is as if they just have faith for the sake of others, going through the motions and getting by any old how, adrift in a purposeless existence. Few are those who are able to seek to enter into the word of God in all things, gaining more and richer things, becoming people of greater wealth in the house of God today, and receiving more of God’s blessings. If you seek to be perfected by God in all things, and are able to receive what God has promised on earth, if you seek to be enlightened by God in all things and do not let the years slip idly by, this is the ideal path to enter actively. Only thus will you become worthy and eligible to be perfected by God.

Excerpted from “Promises to Those Who Have Been Perfected” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

514. The Holy Spirit not only works in certain people who are used by God, but, furthermore, in the church. He could be working in anyone. He may work in you during the present time, and you will experience this work. During the next period, He may work in someone else, in which case you must haste to follow; the more closely you follow the present light, the more your life can grow. No matter what manner of person someone is, if the Holy Spirit works in them, then you must follow. Take in their experiences through your own, and you will receive even higher things. In so doing you will progress more quickly. This is the path of perfection for man and the means by which life grows. The path to being made perfect is reached through your obedience to the work of the Holy Spirit. You do not know through what kind of person God will work to perfect you, nor through what person, occurrence, or thing He will allow you to gain or see things. If you can set foot upon this right track, it shows that there is great hope for you to be perfected by God. If you cannot, it shows that your future is bleak, devoid of light. Once you embark upon the right track, you will gain revelation in all things. No matter what the Holy Spirit reveals to others, if you proceed on the basis of their knowledge to experience things on your own, then this experience will become a part of your life, and you will be able to supply others out of this experience. Those who supply others by parroting words are people who have not had any experiences; you must learn to find, through the enlightenment and illumination of others, a way of practice before you can begin to speak of your own actual experience and knowledge. This will be of greater benefit to your own life. You should experience thus, obeying all that comes from God. You should seek the will of God in all things and learn the lessons in all things, that your life may grow. Such practice affords the fastest progress.

Excerpted from “Those Who Obey God With a True Heart Shall Surely Be Gained by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

515. Are you truly willing to be perfected? If you are truly willing to be perfected by God, then you will have the courage to cast aside your flesh, you will be able to carry out God’s words, and you will not be passive or weak. You will be able to obey all that comes from God, and all of your actions, whether done in public or in private, will be presentable to God. If you are an honest person, and practice the truth in all things, then you will be perfected. Those deceitful people who act one way in front of others and another way behind their backs are not willing to be perfected. They are all sons of perdition and destruction; they belong not to God but to Satan. They are not the kind of people chosen by God! If your actions and behavior cannot be presented before God or looked upon by the Spirit of God, this is proof that there is something wrong with you. Only if you accept the judgment and chastisement of God, and care about the transformation of your disposition, will you be able to set foot upon the path to being perfected. If you are truly willing to be perfected by God and to do the will of God, then you should obey all of God’s work, without a single word of complaint, without presuming to evaluate or to judge the work of God. These are the minimal requirements for being perfected by God. The necessary requirement for those who seek to be perfected by God is this: Act with a heart that loves God in all things. What does it mean to act with a heart that loves God? It means that all of your actions and behavior can be presented before God. And because you have the right intentions, whether your actions are right or wrong, you are not afraid to show them to God or to your brothers and sisters, and you dare to swear an oath before God. You must present your every intention, thought, and idea before God for His scrutiny; if you practice and enter in this way, then progress in your life will be swift.

Excerpted from “Those Who Obey God With a True Heart Shall Surely Be Gained by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

516. If you want to be used and perfected by God, then you must be possessed of everything: the will to suffer, faith, endurance, obedience, and the ability to experience the work of God, grasp His will, be considerate of His sorrow, and so forth. Perfecting a person is not easy, and every single refinement that you experience requires your faith and love. If you want to be perfected by God, it is not enough to merely rush ahead on the path, nor is it enough to merely expend yourself for God. You must possess many things to be able to become someone who is perfected by God. When you face suffering, you must be able to lay aside concern for the flesh and to not make complaints against God. When God hides Himself from you, you must be able to have the faith to follow Him, to maintain your previous love without allowing it to falter or dissipate. No matter what God does, you must submit to His design and be prepared to curse your own flesh rather than make complaints against Him. When you are faced with trials, you must satisfy God, though you may weep bitterly or feel reluctant to part with some beloved object. Only this is true love and faith. No matter what your actual stature is, you must first possess both the will to suffer hardship and true faith, and you must also have the will to forsake the flesh. You should be willing to endure personal hardships and suffer losses to your personal interests in order to satisfy God’s will. You must also be capable of feeling regret about yourself in your heart: In the past, you were unable to satisfy God, and now, you can regret yourself. You must not be lacking in any of these regards—it is through these things that God will perfect you. If you cannot meet these criteria, then you cannot be perfected.

Excerpted from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

517. Transformation in disposition mainly refers to the transformation of a person’s nature. The things of a person’s nature cannot be seen from external behaviors; they are directly related to the worth and significance of his existence. That is, they directly involve a person’s outlook on life and his values, the things in the depths of his soul, and his essence. If a person cannot accept the truth, he will undergo no transformation in these aspects. Only by experiencing God’s work, fully entering the truth, changing one’s values and one’s outlooks on existence and life, aligning one’s views with God’s, and becoming capable of completely submitting to and being devoted to God, can one’s disposition be said to have transformed. You may appear to put forth some effort, you may be resilient in the face of hardship, you may be able to carry out work arrangements from the Above, or you may be able to go wherever you are told to go, but these are but minor changes of behavior and are not enough to count as the transformation of your disposition. You may be able to run down many paths, suffer many hardships, and endure great humiliation; you may feel very close to God, and the Holy Spirit may do some work on you. However, when God asks you to do something that does not conform to your notions, you still might not submit; rather, you might look for excuses, rebelling against and resisting God, even to the point that you criticize and protest against Him. This would be a serious problem! It would show that you still have a nature that resists God, and that you have not undergone any transformation whatsoever.

Excerpted from “What Should Be Known About Transforming One’s Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks

518. Achieving transformation in one’s disposition is not a simple matter; it does not mean just having a few changes in behavior, gaining some knowledge of the truth, being able to talk a bit about one’s experience with every aspect of the truth, or changing some or becoming a little obedient after being disciplined. These things do not constitute transformation in one’s life disposition. Why do I say this? Though you may have changed somewhat, you are still not truly putting the truth into practice. Perhaps because you are in a suitable environment for a while, and a favorable situation, or your current circumstances have compelled you, you behave in this way. In addition, when your state of mind is stable and the Holy Spirit is at work, you are able to practice. If you were undergoing trials, and suffering through them like Job did, or like Peter whom God asked to die, would you be able to say, “Even if I died after getting to know You, it would be alright”? Transformation in disposition does not happen overnight, and once you understand the truth you cannot necessarily put it into practice within every environment. This involves man’s nature. Sometimes it might seem as though you are putting the truth into practice, but in reality, the nature of your actions does not show that you are doing so. Many people have certain outward behaviors, such as being able to cast aside their families and careers and fulfill their duties, and therefore they believe they are practicing the truth. However, God does not recognize that they are practicing the truth. If everything you do has a personal motive behind it and is adulterated, then you are not practicing the truth; you are simply exhibiting superficial conduct. Strictly speaking, your conduct will probably be condemned by God; it will not be praised or remembered by Him. Dissecting this further, you are doing evil and your conduct is in opposition to God. From the outside, you are not interrupting or disturbing anything and you have not done real damage or violated any truth. It appears to be logical and reasonable, yet the essence of your actions pertains to doing evil and resisting God. Therefore, you should determine whether there has been a change in your disposition and whether you are putting the truth into practice by looking at the motives behind your actions in light of God’s words. It does not depend on a human view of whether your actions conform to the human imagination and human intentions, or whether they are suited to your taste; such things are not important. Rather, it depends on God saying whether or not you are conforming to His will, whether or not your actions possess truth reality, and whether or not they meet His requirements and standards. Only measuring yourself against God’s requirements is accurate. Transformation in disposition and putting the truth into practice are not as simple and easy as people imagine. Do you understand this now? Do you have any experience with this? When it comes to a problem’s essence, you might not understand it; your entry has been overly superficial. You run about all day long, from dawn until dusk, rising early and going to bed late, yet you have not achieved transformation in your life disposition, and you cannot grasp what such a transformation involves. This means your entry is too shallow, does it not? Regardless of how long you have believed in God, you might not sense the essence and deep things to do with achieving transformation in disposition. Can it be said that your disposition has changed?

Excerpted from “What Should Be Known About Transforming One’s Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks

519. People can behave well, but that does not necessarily mean they are possessed of the truth. Having fervor can only make them abide by doctrine and follow rules; those who are without the truth have no way of resolving essential problems, nor can doctrine take the truth’s place. People who have experienced a change in their dispositions are different; they have understood the truth, they are discerning on all issues, they know how to act in accordance with God’s will, how to act in accordance with the truth principle, and how to act to satisfy God, and they understand the nature of the corruption they exhibit. When their own ideas and notions are revealed, they are able to be discerning and forsake the flesh. This is how a change in disposition is expressed. The main thing about people who have undergone a change in disposition is that they have come to clearly understand the truth, and when carrying things out, they put the truth into practice with relative accuracy and they do not exhibit corruption as often. Generally, those whose dispositions have transformed appear to be particularly reasonable and discerning, and due to their understanding of the truth, they do not exhibit as much self-righteousness or arrogance. They can see through and discern much of the corruption that has been revealed in them, so they do not give rise to arrogance. They are able to have a measured grasp on what man’s place is, on how to behave reasonably, on how to be dutiful, on what to say and what not to say, and on what to say and what to do to which people. This is why it is said that people like these are relatively reasonable. Those who have undergone a change in their dispositions truly live out a human likeness, and they possess the truth. They are always able to speak and see things in accordance with the truth, and they are principled in everything they do; they are not subject to the influence of any person, matter, or thing, and they all have their own views and can uphold the truth principle. Their dispositions are relatively stable, they do not blow hot and cold, and no matter what their circumstances, they understand how to do their duties properly and how to behave to God’s satisfaction. Those whose dispositions have actually changed are not focused on what to do to make themselves look good on a superficial level; they have gained internal clarity on what to do to satisfy God. Therefore, from the outside, they may not seem to be so enthusiastic or to have done anything very great, but everything they do is meaningful, is valuable, and yields practical results. Those whose dispositions have changed are certain to possess a lot of truth, and this can be confirmed by their perspectives on things and their principled actions. Those who do not possess the truth have absolutely not achieved any change in disposition. A change in disposition does not mean having a mature and seasoned humanity; it primarily refers to instances in which some of the satanic poisons within a person’s nature change as a result of attaining knowledge of God and an understanding of the truth. That is to say, those satanic poisons are cleansed, and the truth expressed by God takes root within such people, becomes their life, and becomes the very foundation of their existence. Only then do they become new people and, as such, experience a transformation of disposition. A transformation in disposition does not mean that people’s outer dispositions are meeker than before, that they used to be arrogant but now can communicate reasonably, or that they used to listen to no one but now can listen to others; such external changes cannot be said to be transformations in disposition. Of course, transformations in disposition do include such states and expressions, but the most crucial ingredient is that internally, their life has changed. The truth expressed by God becomes their very life, the satanic poisons within have been eliminated, and their perspectives have completely changed—and none of them is in line with that of the world. These people can see the schemes and poisons of the great red dragon clearly for what they are; they have grasped the true essence of life. Thus, their life values have changed, and this is the most fundamental sort of transformation, as well as the essence of a change in disposition.

Excerpted from “The Difference Between External Changes and Changes in Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks

520. If you wish to be purified of corruption and undergo a change in your life disposition, then you must have a love for the truth and the ability to accept the truth. What does it mean to accept the truth? Accepting the truth indicates that no matter what sort of corrupt disposition you have, or which of the great red dragon’s poisons are in your nature, you acknowledge it when it is revealed by God’s words, and submit to these words; you accept them unconditionally, without making any excuses or trying to pick and choose, and you come to know yourself based on what He says. This is what it means to accept God’s words. No matter what He says, no matter how much His utterances might pierce your heart, and no matter what words He uses, you can accept them as long as what He says is the truth, and you can acknowledge them as long as they conform to reality. You can submit to God’s words regardless of how deeply you understand them, and you accept and submit to the light that is revealed by the Holy Spirit and fellowshiped by your brothers and sisters. When such a person has pursued the truth to a certain point, he can obtain the truth and achieve a transformation of his disposition. Even if those who do not love the truth may be of decent humanity, when it comes to the truth, they are muddleheaded and do not take it seriously. Though they may be capable of a few good deeds, and can expend of themselves for God, and are capable of renunciation, they cannot achieve a change in disposition.

Excerpted from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks

521. The key to achieving a change in disposition is to know one’s own nature, and this must happen in accordance with revelations from God. Only in God’s word can one know one’s own hideous nature, recognize in one’s own nature Satan’s various poisons, realize that one is foolish and ignorant, and recognize the weak and negative elements in one’s nature. After these are fully known, and you are truly able to hate yourself and forsake the flesh, consistently carry out God’s word, and have the will to absolutely submit to the Holy Spirit and to the word of God, then you will have embarked on the path of Peter. Without the grace of God, and without enlightenment and guidance from the Holy Spirit, it would be difficult to walk this path, because people do not possess truth and are unable to betray themselves. Walking Peter’s path of perfection primarily rests on being resolved, having faith, and relying on God. Furthermore, one must submit to the work of the Holy Spirit; in all things, one cannot do without God’s words. These are the key aspects, none of which can be violated. Getting to know oneself through experience is very difficult; without the work of the Holy Spirit, it is very hard to enter it. To walk the path of Peter, one must concentrate on knowing oneself and on transforming one’s disposition. Paul’s path was not one of seeking life or focusing on self-knowledge; he particularly focused on doing work and its influence and momentum. His motivation was to gain God’s blessings in exchange for his work and suffering, and to receive rewards from God. This motivation was wrong. Paul did not focus on life, nor did he place any importance on achieving a change of disposition; he focused only on rewards. Because he had the wrong goals, the path on which he walked was, of course, also wrong. This was brought about by his arrogant and conceited nature. Clearly, Paul did not possess any truth, nor did he have any conscience or reason. In saving and changing people, God primarily alters their dispositions. The purpose of His words is to achieve in people the outcome of possessing transformed dispositions and the ability to know God, submit to Him, and worship Him in a normal way. This is the purpose of God’s words and of His work. Paul’s way of seeking was in direct violation of, and in conflict with, God’s will; it ran completely counter to it. However, Peter’s way of seeking was completely in accord with God’s will, which is precisely the outcome that God desires to achieve in human beings. Peter’s path is therefore blessed and receives God’s praise. Because the path of Paul is in violation of God’s will, God therefore loathes and curses it.

Excerpted from “To Know Oneself Is Primarily About Knowing Human Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks

522. If people’s knowledge of themselves is too shallow, they will find it impossible to solve problems, and their life dispositions simply will not change. It is necessary to know oneself on a profound level, which means knowing one’s own nature: what elements are included in that nature, how these things originated, and where they came from. Moreover, are you actually able to hate these things? Have you seen your own ugly soul and your evil nature? If you are truly able to see the truth about yourself, then you will start to loathe yourself. When you loathe yourself and then practice God’s word, you will be able to forsake the flesh and have the strength to carry out truth without difficulty. Why do many people follow their fleshly preferences? Because they consider themselves to be pretty good, feeling that their actions are right and justified, that they have no faults, and even that they are entirely in the right, they are therefore capable of acting with the assumption that justice is on their side. When one recognizes what one’s true nature is—how ugly, how despicable, and how pitiful—then one is not overly proud of oneself, not so wildly arrogant, and not so pleased with oneself as before. Such a person feels, “I must be earnest and down to earth, and practice some of God’s word. If not, then I will not measure up to the standard of being human, and will be ashamed to live in God’s presence.” One then truly sees oneself as paltry, as truly insignificant. At this time, it becomes easy for one to carry out truth, and one will appear to be somewhat like a human should be. Only when people truly loathe themselves are they able to forsake the flesh. If they do not loathe themselves, they will be unable to forsake the flesh. Truly hating oneself comprises a few things: First, knowing one’s own nature; and second, seeing oneself as needy and pitiful, seeing oneself to be extremely small and insignificant, and seeing one’s own pitiful and dirty soul. When one fully sees what one truly is, and this outcome is achieved, one then truly gains knowledge of oneself, and it can be said that one has come to know oneself fully. Only then can one truly hate oneself, going so far as to curse oneself, and truly feel that one has been corrupted profoundly by Satan such that one does not even resemble a human being. Then, one day, when the threat of death appears, such a person will think, “This is God’s righteous punishment. God is indeed righteous; I really should die!” At this point, he will not lodge a complaint, much less blame God, simply feeling that he is so needy and pitiful, so filthy and corrupt that he should be wiped out by God, and a soul like his is not fit to live on earth. At this point, this person will not resist God, much less betray God. If one does not know oneself, and still considers oneself to be pretty good, then when death comes knocking, this person will think, “I have done so well in my faith. How hard I have sought! I have given so much, I have suffered so much, yet ultimately, God is now asking me to die. I don’t know where God’s righteousness is. Why is He asking me to die? If even a person like me has to die, then who will be saved? Won’t the human race come to an end?” First of all, this person has notions about God. Secondly, this person is complaining, and not showing any submission whatsoever. This is just like Paul: When he was about to die, he did not know himself, and by the time God’s punishment was nigh, it was too late to repent.

Excerpted from “To Know Oneself Is Primarily About Knowing Human Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks

523. When people set foot on the path to perfection, it becomes possible for their old dispositions to change. Further, their lives continue to grow, and they gradually enter more deeply into the truth. They are able to loathe the world and all those who do not pursue the truth. They especially loathe themselves, but more than that, they clearly know themselves. They are willing to live by the truth and they make it their goal to pursue the truth. They are unwilling to live within the thoughts generated by their own brains, and they feel loathing for man’s self-righteousness, haughtiness, and self-conceit. They speak with a strong sense of propriety, handle things with discernment and wisdom, and are loyal and obedient to God. If they experience an instance of chastisement and judgment, not only do they not become passive or weak, but they are grateful for this chastisement and judgment from God. They believe that they cannot be without God’s chastisement and judgment, that it protects them. They do not pursue a faith of peace and joy and of seeking bread to satisfy hunger. Neither do they pursue fleeting fleshly enjoyments. This is what occurs in those who are perfected.

Excerpted from “The Inside Truth of the Work of Conquest (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

524. If one can satisfy God while fulfilling one’s duty, is principled in one’s words and actions, and can enter truth reality in every aspect of the truth, then one is a person who is perfected by God. It can be said that the work and the words of God have been completely effective for such people, that God’s words have become their life, they have obtained the truth, and they are able to live in accordance with God’s words. After this, the nature of their flesh—that is, the very foundation of their original existence—will shake apart and collapse. After people possess God’s words as their life, they will become new people. If the words of God become their life, if the vision of God’s work, His requirements of humanity, His revelations to humans, and the standards for a true life that God requires them to meet become their life, if they live according to these words and truths, then they are perfected by the words of God. Such people are reborn, and have become new people through God’s words. This is the path by which Peter pursued the truth; it was the path of being perfected, perfected by God’s words, and gaining life from the words of God. The truth expressed by God became his life, and only then did he become a person who obtained the truth.

Excerpted from “How to Walk the Path of Peter” in Records of Christ’s Talks

525. If people have a genuine understanding of God’s disposition, and can give heartfelt praise to His holiness and righteousness, then it means they truly know Him and possess the truth; only then do they live in the light. Only once a person’s view of the world and of life changes does one undergo a fundamental transformation. When one has a life goal and comports oneself according to the truth, when one submits absolutely to God and lives by His words, when one feels peaceful and illuminated to the depths of one’s soul, when one’s heart is free of darkness, and when one can live entirely free and unrestrained in God’s presence, only then does one lead a genuine human life, and only then has one become a person who possesses the truth. In addition, all the truths in your possession have come from God’s words and from God Himself. The Ruler of the entire universe and all things—God Most High—approves of you as a real person living a true human life. What could be more meaningful than God’s approval? This is what it means to be in possession of the truth.

Excerpted from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks

526. If, in man’s belief in God, he is not serious about matters of life, does not pursue entry into the truth, does not pursue changes in his disposition, much less pursue a knowledge of the work of God, then he cannot be made perfect. If you wish to be made perfect, then you must understand God’s work. In particular, you must understand the significance of His chastisement and judgment, and why this work is carried out upon man. Are you able to accept? During chastisement of this kind, are you able to achieve the same experiences and knowledge as Peter? If you pursue knowledge of God and of the work of the Holy Spirit, and if you pursue changes in your disposition, then you have the opportunity to be made perfect.

For those who are to be made perfect, this step of work of being conquered is indispensable; only once man has been conquered can he experience the work of being made perfect. There is no great value to only performing the role of being conquered, which will not render you fit for use by God. You will have no means of playing your part in spreading the gospel, for you do not pursue life, and do not pursue change and renewal in yourself, and so you have no actual experience of life. During this step-by-step work, you once acted as a service-doer and as a foil, but if ultimately you do not pursue to be Peter, and your pursuit is not according to the path by which Peter was made perfect, then, naturally, you will not experience changes in your disposition. If you are someone who pursues being made perfect, then you will have borne testimony, and you will say: “In this step-by-step work of God, I have accepted God’s work of chastisement and judgment, and though I have endured great suffering, I have come to know how God makes man perfect, I have gained the work done by God, I have had the knowledge of the righteousness of God, and His chastisement has saved me. His righteous disposition has come upon me and brought me blessings and grace; it is His judgment and chastisement that has protected and purified me. If I had not been chastised and judged by God, and if the harsh words of God had not come upon me, I could not have known God, and nor could I have been saved. Today I see: As a creature, not only does one enjoy all things made by the Creator, but, more importantly, all creatures should enjoy the righteous disposition of God and His righteous judgment, because God’s disposition is worthy of man’s enjoyment. As a creature that has been corrupted by Satan, one should enjoy God’s righteous disposition. In His righteous disposition there is chastisement and judgment, and, moreover, there is great love. Although I am incapable of completely gaining God’s love today, I have had the good fortune to see it, and in this I have been blessed.” This is the path walked by those who experience being made perfect, and this is the knowledge of which they speak. Such people are the same as Peter; they have the same experiences as Peter. Such people are also those who have gained life, who possess the truth. When they experience until the very end, during God’s judgment they will surely completely rid themselves of the influence of Satan, and be gained by God.

Excerpted from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

527. What I want are people like Peter, people who pursue being made perfect. Today’s truth is given to those who yearn for and seek it. This salvation is granted to those who yearn to be saved by God, and is not only meant to be gained by you. Its purpose is that you may be gained by God; you gain God in order that God may gain you. Today I have spoken these words to you, and you have heard them, and you should practice according to these words. In the end, the time when you put these words into practice will be the moment when I have gained you through these words; at the same time, you will have also gained these words, which is to say, you will have gained this supreme salvation. Once you are made clean, you will have become a real human being. If you are incapable of living out the truth, or of living out the likeness of one who has been made perfect, then it can be said that you are not a human, but a walking corpse, a beast, because you are without the truth, which is to say that you are without the breath of Jehovah, and thus you are a dead person that has no spirit! Although it is possible to bear testimony after being conquered, what you gain is but a little salvation, and you have not become a living being possessed of a spirit. Although you have experienced chastisement and judgment, your disposition is not renewed or changed as a result; you are still your old self, you still belong to Satan, and you are not someone who has been cleansed. Only those who have been made perfect are of value, and only people such as this have gained a true life.

Excerpted from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

528. In your future path of service, how can you fulfill God’s will? One crucial point is to pursue entry into life, pursue a change in disposition, and pursue deeper entry into the truth—this is the path to achieving being perfected and being gained by God. You are all recipients of God’s commission, but what kind of commission? This relates to the next step of work; the next step of work will be greater work that is carried out throughout the entire universe, so today, you should pursue changes in your life disposition, that in the future you may truly become the proof of God gaining glory through His work, making you into exemplars for His future work. Today’s pursuit is entirely for the sake of laying the foundation for future work, so that you may be used by God and can bear witness to Him. If you make this the goal of your pursuit, you will be able to gain the presence of the Holy Spirit. The higher you set the goal of your pursuit, the more you can be perfected. The more you pursue the truth, the more the Holy Spirit works. The more energy you put into your pursuit, the more you will gain. The Holy Spirit perfects people according to their inner state. Some people say that they are not willing to be used by God or perfected by Him, that they just want their flesh to remain safe and not suffer any misfortune. Some people are unwilling to enter into the kingdom yet willing to descend into the bottomless pit. In that case, God will also grant your wish. Whatever you pursue, God will make it happen. So what are you pursuing at present? Is it being perfected? Are your present actions and behaviors for the sake of being perfected by God and being gained by Him? You must constantly measure yourself thus in your daily life. If you put all your heart into the pursuit of a single goal, God will assuredly perfect you. Such is the path of the Holy Spirit. The path on which the Holy Spirit guides people is attained by means of their pursuit. The more you thirst to be perfected and gained by God, the more the Holy Spirit will work within you. The more you fail to seek, and the more negative and retrogressive you are, the more you deprive the Holy Spirit of opportunities to work; as time goes on, the Holy Spirit will abandon you. Do you wish to be perfected by God? Do you wish to be gained by God? Do you wish to be used by God? You should pursue doing everything for the sake of being perfected, gained, and used by God, so that the universe and all things can see God’s actions manifested in you. You are the master among all things, and in the midst of all that there is, you will let God enjoy testimony and glorification through you—this is proof that you are the most blessed of all generations!

Excerpted from “People Whose Dispositions Have Changed Are Those Who Have Entered Into the Reality of God’s Words” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

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Introduction

In the Age of Kingdom, God uses words to usher in the new age, to change the means by which He works, and to do the work of the entire age....

On the Life of Peter

Peter is an exemplar that God introduced to mankind, and he is a well-known personage. Why is it that such a humble man was set up as an exemplar by God and has been praised by later generations?

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