Only by Pursuing the Truth Can One Achieve a Change in Disposition
Only by pursuing the truth can one achieve a change in disposition: This is something people must comprehend and understand thoroughly. If you do not have sufficient understanding of the truth, you will easily slip up and go astray. If you want to grow in life, you must seek the truth in everything. No matter what you are doing, you should seek out how to behave in order to be in line with the truth, and discover what taints exist within you that violate it; you must have a clear understanding of these things. Regardless of what you are doing, you should consider whether or not it aligns with the truth, and whether it has value and meaning. You can do things that align with the truth, but you cannot do things that do not. With regard to things that you could either do or not do, if they can be let go, then you should let them go. Otherwise, if you do these things for some time and later find that you should let them go, then make a swift decision and let them go quickly. This is the principle you should follow in everything you do. Some people raise this question: Why is seeking the truth and putting it into practice so very difficult—as though you were rowing a boat against the current, and would drift backward if you stopped rowing forward? And yet, why is it actually much easier to do evil or meaningless things—as easy as taking a boat downstream? Why is it like that? It is because humanity’s nature is to betray God. Satan’s nature has taken a dominant role within humans, and this is an antagonistic force. Humans with a nature that betrays God are, of course, very liable to do things that betray Him, and positive actions are naturally difficult for them to perform. This is decided entirely by humanity’s nature and essence. Once you really understand the truth and begin to love it from within yourself, you will find it easy to do things that conform to the truth. You will do your duty and practice the truth normally—even effortlessly and joyously, and you will feel that doing anything negative would require a great amount of effort. This is because the truth has taken a dominant role in your heart. If you really understand the truths about human life, then you will have a path to follow in regard to what kind of person to be, how to be an aboveboard and straightforward person, an honest person, and someone who bears witness for God and serves Him. And once you understand these truths, you will never again be able to commit evil acts that defy Him, nor will you ever play the role of a false leader, a false worker, or an antichrist. Even if Satan deceives you, or someone evil eggs you on, you will not do it; no matter who tries to coerce you, you still will not act that way. If people gain the truth and the truth becomes their life, they will become able to loathe evil and to feel an internal disgust for negative things. It would be difficult for them to commit evil, because their life dispositions have changed and they have been perfected by God.
If, in your heart, you truly understand the truth, then you will know how to practice the truth and obey God, and will naturally embark on the path of pursuing the truth. If the path you walk is the right one, and in line with God’s will, then the work of the Holy Spirit will not leave you—in which case there will be less and less chance of you betraying God. Without the truth, it is easy to do evil, and you will do it despite yourself. For example, if you have an arrogant and conceited disposition, then being told not to oppose God makes no difference, you can’t help yourself, it is beyond your control. You would not do it on purpose; you would do it under the domination of your arrogant and conceited nature. Your arrogance and conceit would make you look down on God and see Him as being of no account; they would cause you to exalt yourself, constantly put yourself on display; they would make you scorn others, they would leave no one in your heart but yourself; they would rob you of God’s place in your heart, and ultimately cause you to sit in the place of God and demand that people submit to you, and make you venerate your own thoughts, ideas, and notions as the truth. So much evil is done by people under the dominance of their arrogant and conceited nature! To resolve the problem of doing evil, they must first resolve their nature. Without a change in disposition, it would not be possible to bring a fundamental resolution to this problem. When you have some understanding of God, when you can see your own corruption and recognize the contemptibility and ugliness of arrogance and conceit, you will then feel disgusted, sickened, and distressed. You will be able to consciously do some things to satisfy God and, in doing this, will feel at ease. You will be able to consciously read the word of God, exalt God, bear witness for God, and, in your heart, you will feel enjoyment. You will consciously unmask yourself, exposing your own ugliness, and by doing this, you will feel good inside and feel yourself to be in an improved state of mind. The first step of seeking a change in your disposition is to seek to understand God’s words and to enter into the truth. Only by understanding the truth can you attain discernment; only with discernment can you understand things thoroughly; only by understanding things thoroughly can you truly know yourself; only once you truly know yourself can you forsake the flesh and thus put the truth into practice, gradually leading you toward obedience to God, and step by step, you will be on the right track with your belief in God. This is connected with how resolute people are when pursuing the truth. If someone is truly resolved, then after six months or a year they will begin to be on the right track. Within three or five years, they will see results, and will feel that they are making progress in life. If people believe in God but do not pursue the truth, and never focus on practicing the truth, then they could believe for ten or twenty years without experiencing any change. And in the end, they will think that that’s what faith in God is; they will think it is pretty much the same as how they were living in the secular world previously, and that being alive is meaningless. This truly shows that without the truth, life is empty. They may be able to speak some words of doctrine, but they will still feel uncomforted and uneasy. If people have some knowledge of God, know how to live a meaningful life, and can do some things to satisfy God, then they will feel that this is real life, that only by living in this way will their lives have meaning, and that they have to live this way in order to bring satisfaction to God, repay God, and feel at ease. If they can consciously satisfy God, put the truth into practice, forsake themselves, abandon their own ideas, and be obedient and considerate toward God’s will—if they are able to do all these things consciously—then this is what it means to accurately put the truth into practice, and to genuinely put the truth into practice. It’s not like before, merely relying on imaginings and following rules, and thinking that this is practicing the truth. In fact, relying on imaginings and following rules is very tiring, not understanding the truth and doing things without principles is also very tiring, and blindly doing things without goals is even more tiring. When you understand the truth, you will not be constrained by anyone or anything, and you will truly have freedom and release. You will act in a principled way, and be relaxed and happy, and you will not feel that this takes too much effort or causes too much suffering. If you have this kind of state, you have the truth and humanity, and you are someone whose disposition has changed.
In the process of life experience, no matter what happens, you must learn to seek the truth, and ponder the matter thoroughly according to God’s words and the truth. When you know how to do things that are completely in line with God’s will, you will be able to let go of the things that come from your own will. Once you know how to act in accordance with God’s will, you should simply act that way, as if going with the natural flow. Doing things this way feels very relaxed and easy, and this is how people who understand the truth do things. If you can show people that you are truly effective when you perform your duty, and that there are principles to how you do things, that your life disposition has indeed changed, that you have done many good things for God’s chosen ones, then you are someone who understands the truth, and certainly have the image of man; and sure enough, there is an effect in your eating and drinking the words of God. Once someone genuinely understands the truth, they will be able to discern their various states, they will be able to see complex matters clearly, and so they will know how to practice appropriately. If a person does not understand the truth and cannot discern their own state, then if they want to forsake themselves, they will not know what or how to forsake. If they want to abandon their own will, they will not know what is wrong with their own will, they will think their own will is in line with the truth, and may even regard their own will as the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. How will such a person abandon their own will? They won’t be able to, and much less will they be able to forsake the flesh. Therefore, when you don’t understand the truth, you can easily mistake things that come from your own will, things that align with human notions, kindness, love, suffering, and paying a price as being correct and in line with the truth. How, then, could you forsake these human things? You don’t understand the truth, and you don’t know what it means to practice the truth. You are completely in the dark and you can’t possibly know what to do, so you can only do what you think is good, and as a result, you make deviations in some things. Some of these are because of following rules, some because of enthusiasm, and some because of the disruption of Satan. This is how people who don’t understand the truth are. They are highly erratic when they do things, and unfailingly deviant, without any accuracy at all. People who don’t understand the truth see things in an absurd way, just like the unbelievers. How could they possibly practice the truth? How could they possibly solve problems? Understanding the truth is not a simple matter. No matter how high or low one’s caliber is, even after a lifetime of experience, the amount of truth that they can understand is limited, and the amount of God’s word they can understand is also limited. People who are relatively more experienced are people who understand some truths, and at most they can stop doing things that resist God, and stop doing obviously evil things. It’s impossible for them to act without any adulteration of their own intentions. Because human beings have normal thinking and their thoughts may not always conform to God’s word, adulteration from their own will is inevitable. What is important is to have discernment of all the things that come from one’s own will and go against God’s word, the truth, and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. This requires you to work hard to understand God’s word; only when you understand the truth will you have discernment, and only then can you ensure that you will not do evil.
In seeking to change your disposition, you must put effort into knowing yourself, and then reach a certain depth, whereby you can discover the satanic poisons that lie within your own nature. You must know what it means to defy God, as well as what it means to rebel against God, and you must learn what kind of practices are in conformity with the truth in all matters. You must also gain some understanding of God’s will and His requirements of humanity. You must be possessed of conscience and reason before God, you must not speak boastfully or cheat God, and you must no longer do anything to resist God. Thus, you will have changed your disposition. Those whose dispositions have transformed feel reverence for God, and their rebelliousness against God gradually lessens. Moreover, in the fulfilling of their duties, they no longer need others to worry about them, nor does the Holy Spirit always need to do disciplinary work on them. They can basically submit to God, and their views on things conform with the truth. This all amounts to having become compatible with God. Suppose someone hands over some work to you. You do not need anyone to manage you, to supervise you. You can complete this work with only the word of God and prayer. During this work, you are not perfunctory or arrogant or self-righteous, nor do you do things your own way; you do not constrain anyone else, and you are able to compassionately help others. You can help everyone obtain provision and benefit, and you can guide people to enter onto the right track of believing in God. Furthermore, during this work you do not seek your own status or interests, do not take anything for yourself that you did not earn, do not speak up for yourself, and no matter how anyone treats you, you treat them properly. You will then be someone with a relatively good stature. It is not a simple matter for someone to take up some work and bring God’s chosen people into the reality of His word. It cannot be done without the reality of the truth. There are many who rely on great gifts in work who fall down and fail. People who do not have the truth are absolutely unreliable, even more so if they have not changed their dispositions. What is your stature now? How should you treat someone who flatters you? If someone has opinions of you or looks critically at you, how will you treat them fairly and reasonably? Are you able to promote and choose people without relying on your emotions, entirely according to God’s requirements? Are you able to really do these things with your stature as it now stands? If the majority of people do not have a great assessment of you after you have worked in a given place for several years, this means you do not do your duty well enough and are not fit for God’s use. If the majority of people see what you do as being good and appropriate, then you are basically fit to be used. If you do not have the truth, it is impossible for you to reach a stage where you are fit for God’s use; you must obtain the truth to be fit.
In pursuing life, you must pay attention to two things: first, understanding the truth within God’s words; second, understanding yourself within God’s words. These are the two most fundamental things. There is no life or truth outside of God’s word. If you do not seek the truth within God’s word, where then can you go to seek it? Where is there truth in the world? Do the newspapers and media of the world report the word of God? Do the world’s political parties bear witness to God? Is openly spreading God’s word in any country of the world a viable thing to do? Absolutely not. This is why there is no truth in the world, why Satan, the devil, rules in the world, and why the world is dark and evil. Where is there even one iota of truth? The most important parts of understanding the truth in God’s words are: understanding God within His words, understanding human life within His words, truly understanding oneself and discovering the meaning of human existence within His words, and other aspects of the truth. All truth is within God’s words. You cannot enter into the truth except through the word of God. Only by experiencing and practicing God’s words can you achieve an understanding of the truth, and truly understanding the truth means understanding God’s words. This is the most fundamental thing. Some people work and preach, but, despite superficially appearing to be fellowshiping on the word of God, they are only discussing the literal meaning of His words, and nothing substantial is mentioned. Their sermons are like teachings from a language textbook—arranged item by item and aspect by aspect, and when they are done, everyone sings praises, saying, “This person possesses reality. He preached so well and in such detail.” After such people are done preaching, they tell others to compile their sermons and send them out within the church. In doing this, they become deceivers of men. They quote God’s words in sermons, and it sounds as though their sermons conform to the truth, but they quote things out of context and give strained interpretations which go against principles. With more careful discernment, you will see that they are nothing but the words and letters of doctrine, human imaginings and notions, as well as some things that delimit God. Does this kind of fellowship and preaching not amount to an interruption of God’s work? This is service that resists God. A reasonable person must set limits on the scope of their own speech—they should know which kinds of words they should say, which pertain to the doing of their duties, and which kinds of words can only be spoken by God. Man must not stand and speak in God’s place. No one can fathom how God works, so how then can anyone define God? Man is not qualified to define God. This must be understood to avoid doing anything unreasonable. As a reasonable person, you must know your place, know the right things to say, and you must not say anything you shouldn’t say. Even if God told you something before, you must not repeat it to others. If you have faith, if you acknowledge that God’s word is the truth, then you should put it into practice. Just talking about it does no good. Would it not be arrogant to always wish to have others listen to you, to obey what you say? As to God’s affairs, if you don’t understand them, you just don’t understand them. Never pretend to understand them or be a know-it-all—that is too repulsive! You always want to stand in God’s place and show off, as if you understood everything, wanting to hog the limelight. You also wish to wave God’s flag while doing this or that. Is that the rationality of a normal person? Is that practicing the truth? Do you know God’s thoughts? Do you possess God’s wisdom? People themselves do not understand the truth—much less are they equipped with it. They cannot bear witness to God, nor can they even submit to God. Yet they want to speak and act while waving God’s flag. Everyone has this ambition, which is a most shameful and unreasonable thing.
Now, people from all over the world are coming to seek the true way, so how should you bear witness for God? If you have no reason, if you are arrogant, conceited, capricious, and running amok, are you not then defying God and blaspheming against Him? This is not doing your duty, and even less is it bearing witness for God. This is actually revealing your satanic image. Those who have truly been conquered must learn how to speak sincerely and bear some actual witness. Sharing your life experiences is better than anything else. Boasting and talking of great theories—what use is this? Having experienced several years of God’s work, people are still not well-behaved. Based on their identities, people are unworthy to bear witness for God. Unreasonable and arrogant people still wish to bear witness for God—are you not shaming and blaspheming against God? You do not understand God. Moreover, your disposition still defies God. Is there not a repugnant taste about your bearing witness? So man is not worthy to bear witness for God. If someone says: “Could you testify to us about the work of God on the Chinese mainland?” and you say: “We have experienced several years of God’s work, so I think we are qualified to bear witness for God,” isn’t this a problem? Once again, this is unreasonable. Man is not worthy to bear witness for God. You should just say: “We are not worthy to bear witness for God. Yet God has saved us and shown us grace. We have obtained some grace and have experienced some of God’s work, so we can engage in fellowship, but we cannot really consider bearing witness for God. We can only speak of our own experiences.” It is fine for you to fellowship about how you yourself were conquered by God, which corruptions you showed forth at the time, how you were arrogant, what kind of outcome came about in the end after you were conquered, and what kind of resolve you had. In fact, talking about real experiences to bear witness for God is most in conformity with God’s will, and is what God requires. Wishing to take up a station to bear witness for God is a great mistake—you are both without reason and arrogant. You should say: “I will talk about some of my experiences, but I am not worthy of bearing witness for God. I will fellowship on something first. Why was God incarnated in China? You probably do not quite understand this. We have understood this from God’s work. We Chinese, born where the great red dragon lies coiled, grew up in a filthy place. We have been corrupted most deeply by Satan, we lie more than anyone, our humanity is most lacking, we have the lowest integrity, without any semblance of humanity. In comparison with God’s chosen people from all other nations and regions, we are the most inferior, the filthiest and the most corrupted of people. This is why we are unworthy of bearing witness for God, and yet we have been brought into God’s great salvation and have obtained God’s great love, so we must speak of the testimonies of our personal experiences. We cannot stifle God’s grace.” Saying something like this is more reasonable. After humans are conquered by God, they should at the very least be possessed of the rationality to be sure not to speak arrogantly. It would be best for them to assume lowly status, “as dung upon the ground,” and say some things that are true. Especially when bearing testimony for God, if you can say something of substance from the heart, with no empty or tall talk and no fictitious lies, then your disposition will have truly changed; this is the change that should occur once you have been conquered by God. If you cannot possess even this amount of reason, then you are truly without any semblance of humanity. In the future, when God’s chosen people from all nations and regions have returned before God, and have been conquered by His words, if at a huge gathering in praise of God you begin to act arrogantly again, constantly boasting and showing off, then you will be thoroughly scrapped and cast out. Men must always behave properly, recognize their status and position, and not relapse into their old ways. Satan’s image most classically manifests in human arrogance and conceit. Unless you change this aspect of yourself, you will never have the likeness of a human, and you will always possess the visage of Satan. Resolving arrogance and conceit is the most difficult thing, and merely having a bit of knowledge of your arrogance and conceit will not allow you to attain a complete transformation; you will still need to endure multiple refinements. Without being judged and chastised, dealt with and pruned, you will still be in danger in the long run. In the future, when God’s chosen people from around the world accept His work and say: “We were enlightened long ago that God had gained a group of overcomers in China,” when you hear this, you will think: “We have nothing to brag about, all is given by God’s grace. We do not deserve to be called overcomers.” But over time, as you start to see yourself being able to say something, and that you have a bit of reality, you will ponder: “Even the foreigners have gained the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment, and they say God has made a group of overcomers in China, so we should be deemed overcomers.” You will silently permit this acknowledgment in your hearts now, and you will simply make a public acknowledgment later on. Humans cannot bear to be praised or to be tested by status. If you are always being praised, then you will be in danger. Those whose disposition has not changed cannot stand firm in the end.
The hardest problem for corrupt mankind to fix is that of making the same old mistakes. To prevent this, people must first be aware that they have yet to obtain the truth, that there has not been a change in their life disposition, and that although they believe in God, they still live under the dominion of Satan, and have not been saved; they are liable to betray God and stray from God at any time. If they have this sense of crisis in their hearts—if, as people often say, they are prepared for danger in times of peace—then they will be able to hold themselves in check somewhat, and when something does happen to them, they will pray to God and depend on Him, and will be able to avoid making the same old mistakes. You must see clearly that your disposition has not changed, that the nature of betrayal against God is still deeply rooted in you and has not been expelled, that you are still at risk of betraying God, and that you face the constant possibility of suffering perdition and being destroyed. This is real, so you must be careful. There are three most important points to keep in mind: First, you still don’t know God; second, there have not been any changes in your disposition; and third, you have yet to live out the true image of man. These three things are in line with the facts, they are real, and you must be clear about them. You must be self-aware. If you have the will to fix this problem, then you should choose your own motto: For example, “I am the dung upon the ground,” or “I am the devil,” or “I often fall into my old ways,” or “I’m always in danger.” Any one of these is fit to serve as your personal motto, and it will help if you remind yourself of it at all times. Keep repeating it to yourself, reflect on it, and you may well be able to make fewer mistakes, or stop making mistakes. Nevertheless, what is most important is to spend more time reading God’s words, to understand the truth, to know your own nature, and to escape your corrupt disposition. Only then will you be safe. Another thing is to never take the position of “a witness of God,” and never call yourself a witness of God. You can only speak of personal experience. You may speak about how God saved you, fellowship about how you were conquered by God, and talk about what grace He bestowed upon you. Never forget that you are the most deeply corrupted of people; you are manure and garbage. Being able to accept God’s work of the last days now is entirely thanks to Him uplifting you. It is only because you are the most corrupt and filthy that you have been saved by God incarnate, that He has granted you such tremendous grace. You therefore have nothing worth bragging about, and can only praise and thank God. Your salvation is purely due to God’s grace. Why is it said that you are the luckiest people? You are called lucky not because you have certain advantages or good qualities—it is only because you were born in China and were corrupted and defiled by Satan the most. God followed His management plan, first saving the filthiest, most corrupt human beings of the land in which the great red dragon is coiled, first completing a batch of models, or specimens. That is why He chose all of you; you are the people God predestined and chose. If God hadn’t had this plan, you would have been sinking through eternity. Thus, it could be said that you are the luckiest of people. Nevertheless, you have nothing to be proud of, and you certainly cannot boast.
Experiencing the judgment and chastisement of God’s words brings you gains and real experiences—so you should bear testimony to God. When bearing testimony for God, you should mainly talk about how God judges and chastises people, and what trials He uses to refine people and change their dispositions. You should also talk about how much corruption has been revealed in your experience, how much you have suffered, how many things you did to resist God, and how you were eventually conquered by God. Talk about how much real knowledge of God’s work you have, and how you should bear witness for God and repay Him for His love. You should put substance into this kind of language, while putting it in a simple manner. Do not talk about empty theories. Speak more down-to-earth; speak from the heart. This is how you should experience things. Do not equip yourselves with profound-seeming, empty theories in an effort to show off; doing so makes you appear quite arrogant and senseless. You should speak more about real things from your actual experience, and speak more from the heart; this is most beneficial to others, and most appropriate for them to see. You used to be people who opposed God the most, who were least inclined to submit to Him, but now you have been conquered—never forget that. You should ponder and think about these matters more. Once people understand them clearly, they will know how to bear testimony, otherwise, they will be liable to commit shameful and senseless acts, which is not bearing testimony for God, but rather bringing shame upon God. Without genuine experiences and an understanding of the truth, it is not possible to bear testimony for God. People whose faith in God is muddled and confused will never be able to bear testimony for God.