Words on How to Resolve Corrupt Dispositions (Excerpt 58)

What do you know about changes in disposition? Changes in disposition are different in essence from changes in behavior, and they are also different from changes in practice—they are all different in essence. Most people place special emphasis on behavior in their belief in God, as a result of which certain changes occur in their behavior. After they have begun to believe in God, they stop smoking and drinking, and they no longer contend with others, preferring to exercise patience when they suffer a loss. They undergo some behavioral changes. Some people feel that once they believe in God they understand the truth by reading God’s word; they’ve experienced the work of the Holy Spirit, and they have true enjoyment in their hearts, making them particularly fervent, and there is nothing that they cannot forsake or suffer. Nevertheless, after having believed for eight, ten, or even twenty or thirty years, because there has been no change in their life dispositions, they end up sliding back into old ways; their arrogance and conceit grow more pronounced, they begin to compete for power and gain, they covet the church’s money, they envy those who have taken advantage of God’s house. They become parasites and vermin within God’s house, and some are even revealed and eliminated as false leaders and antichrists. And what do these facts prove? Mere behavioral changes are unsustainable; if there is no alteration in people’s life dispositions, then sooner or later, they will show their true colors. This is because behavioral changes have their source in fervor, and coupled with some work by the Holy Spirit at the time, it becomes extremely easy for them to be fervent or to have good intentions for a short time. As the nonbelievers say, “Doing one good deed is easy; what’s hard is doing a lifetime of good deeds.” Why are people incapable of doing good deeds throughout their entire lives? Because by nature, people are wicked, selfish, and corrupt. One’s behavior is directed by their nature; whatever one’s nature is, so is the behavior that one reveals, and only that which is revealed naturally represents one’s nature. Things that are fake cannot last. When God works to save man, it is not to adorn man with good behavior—the purpose of God’s work is to transform people’s dispositions, to make them reborn into new people. God’s judgment, chastisement, trials, and refinement of man all serve to change their disposition so that they may achieve absolute submission and loyalty to God, and come to worship Him normally. This is the aim of God’s work. Behaving well is not the same as submitting to God, much less does it equal being compatible with Christ. Changes in behavior are based on doctrine and born of fervor; they are not based upon true knowledge of God or upon the truth, much less do they rest upon guidance from the Holy Spirit. Even though there are times when some of what people do is enlightened or guided by the Holy Spirit, this is not a revelation of their life. They have not yet entered into the truth realities, and their life disposition has not changed at all. No matter how good a person’s behavior is, it does not prove that they submit to God or that they put the truth into practice. Behavioral changes do not represent changes in life disposition and they cannot be counted as revelations of life. So, when you see some people able to do something for the church during their periods of fervor, and even able to give up some things, don’t praise or flatter them, don’t say they are people who possess truth reality or people who love God. To say so is wrong, misguiding, and harmful to them. But also, don’t dampen their spirits; only guide them toward the truth and the path of pursuing life. Those who are often fervent usually have the desire to advance and determination. Most of them long for the truth and are the ones God has preordained and chosen. Those with a fiery heart who willingly expend for God are mostly sincere believers in God. Those who are not sincere in expending for God and are not willing to do their duty are not sincere believers in God. Those who are lukewarm in their faith and easily become negative mostly cannot stand firm. When encountering a bit of difficulty, they retreat, and when facing persecution and tribulation, they flee and renounce their faith. Only those with great faith and fervor can persevere for a long time, seek the truth to solve problems, and gradually enter onto the right track of believing in God. But those with little faith and lack of fervor find it hard to follow God until the end.

If a person has many good behaviors, it does not mean they possess the truth realities. Only by practicing the truth and acting according to principles can you possess the truth realities. Only by fearing God and shunning evil can you possess the truth realities. Some people have enthusiasm, can speak doctrine, follow the regulations, and do many good deeds, but all that can be said about them is that they possess a little humanity. Those who can speak doctrine and always follow regulations cannot necessarily practice the truth. Although what they say is correct and sounds like it is free of problems, they have nothing to say in matters concerning the essence of the truth. Therefore, no matter how much doctrine someone can speak, it doesn’t mean they understand the truth, and no matter how much doctrine they understand, they can’t solve any problems. Religious theorists can all explain the Bible, but in the end, they all fall, because they do not accept the whole truth that God has expressed. 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 intentions, 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 reveal. When their own ideas and notions are revealed, they are able to be discerning and rebel against the flesh. This is how a change in disposition is manifested. The main manifestation of 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 reveal 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 reveal 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 place they should take and what things they should do that are reasonable, 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. Thus, people whose dispositions have changed are relatively reasonable, and only such people truly live out a human likeness. Because they understand the truth, they are 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, event, or thing, and they all have their own views and can uphold the truth principles. 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 changed are not focused on what to do externally to make others think well of them; 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 important, 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 realities, and this can be confirmed by their perspectives on things and their principles of action. Those who have not obtained the truth have absolutely not achieved any change in life disposition. How exactly is a change in disposition achieved? Human beings have been deeply corrupted by Satan, they all resist God, and they all have the nature of resisting God. God saves people by turning those who have the nature of resisting God and who can resist God into those who can submit to and fear God. This is what it means to be someone whose disposition has changed. No matter how corrupt a person is or how many corrupt dispositions they have, as long as they can accept the truth, accept God’s judgment and chastisement, and accept various trials and refinements, they will have a true understanding of God, and at the same time they will be able to clearly see their own nature essence. When they truly know themselves, they will be able to hate themselves and Satan, and they will be willing to rebel against Satan, and completely submit to God. Once a person has this determination, they can pursue the truth. If people have true knowledge of God, if their satanic disposition is purified, and God’s words take root within them, and have become their life and the basis of their existence, if they live by God’s words, and have completely changed and become new people—then this counts as change in their life disposition. A change in disposition does not mean having a mature and seasoned humanity, nor does it 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 a bit; such external changes cannot be said to be transformations in disposition. Of course, transformations in disposition do include such manifestations, but the most crucial ingredient is that internally, their life has changed. This is entirely because God’s words and the truth have taken root inside them, rule within them, and have become their life. Their views on things have also changed. They can see straight through what is going on in the world and with mankind, how Satan corrupts humankind, how the great red dragon resists God, and the essence of the great red dragon. They can hate the great red dragon and Satan in their hearts, and they can completely turn to and follow God. This means their life disposition has changed, and they have been gained by God. Changes in life disposition are fundamental changes, while changes in behavior are superficial. Only those who have achieved changes in life disposition are those who have obtained the truth, and only they have been gained by God.

All corrupt humans live for themselves. Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost—this is the summation of human nature. People believe in God for their own sake; when they forsake things and expend themselves for God, it is in order to be blessed, and when they are loyal to Him, it is in order to be rewarded. In sum, it is all done for the purpose of being blessed, rewarded, and entering the kingdom of heaven. In society, people work for their own benefit, and in the house of God, they perform a duty in order to be blessed. It is for the sake of gaining blessings that people forsake everything and can withstand much suffering: There is no better evidence of man’s satanic nature. People whose dispositions have changed are different, they feel that meaning comes from living by the truth, that the basis of being human is submitting to God, fearing God and shunning evil, that accepting God’s commission is a responsibility that is perfectly natural and justified, that only people who fulfill the duties of a created being are fit to be called human—and if they are not able to love God and repay His love, they are unfit to be called human. They feel that living for oneself is empty and devoid of meaning, that people should live in order to satisfy God, to perform their duties well, and live lives of meaning, so that even when it is their time to die, they will feel content and not have the slightest regret, and that they have not lived in vain. In comparing these two different situations, one can see that the latter is one of people whose dispositions have transformed. If a person’s life disposition has transformed, their outlook on life has certainly changed, too. Now having different values, they will never again live for themselves, and they will never again believe in God for the purpose of gaining blessings. Such a person will be able to say, “Knowing God is so worthwhile. If I die after having gotten to know God, then that would be great! If I can know God and submit to God, and I can live a meaningful life, then I will not have lived in vain, nor will I die with any regrets; I will have no complaints.” This person’s outlook on life has transformed. The main reason for a change in one’s life disposition is because one possesses the truth reality, one has gained the truth, and has knowledge of God; one’s outlook on life is therefore changed, and one’s values are different from before. The transformation starts from within one’s heart, and from within one’s life; it is certainly not an external change. Some new believers, after they have begun to believe in God, leave the secular world behind. When they later encounter nonbelievers, these believers have little to say, and they rarely contact their nonbelieving relatives and friends. The nonbelievers say, “This person has changed.” The believers then think, “My life disposition has transformed; these nonbelievers are saying I’ve changed.” Has such a person’s disposition actually transformed? No, it hasn’t. What they manifest are merely external changes. There has been no real change in their life, and their satanic nature remains rooted within their heart, completely untouched. Sometimes, people are gripped by fervor because of the work of the Holy Spirit; some external changes might occur, and they might do a few good deeds. However, this is not the same as achieving a transformation of disposition. If you do not possess the truth and your view of things has not changed, even to the point of being no different from that of nonbelievers, and if your outlook on life and your values have not altered, either, and if you do not even have a God-fearing heart—which is the very least that you should possess—then you are nowhere close to having achieved a change in disposition. To achieve a change in disposition, the most key thing is that you must pursue understanding of God and have a true understanding of Him. Take Peter for example. When God wanted to hand him over to Satan, he said, “Even if You give me to Satan, You are still God. You are almighty, and everything is in Your hands. How can I not praise You for the things You do? But if I could know You before I die, wouldn’t that be better?” He felt that in people’s lives, knowing God was most important; after knowing God any kind of death would be fine, and any way God handled it would be fine. He felt that knowing God was the most critical thing; if he didn’t obtain truth, he could never be satisfied, but neither would he complain against God. He would only hate the fact that he didn’t pursue the truth. Given Peter’s spirit, his earnest pursuit to know God shows that his view of life and values had changed. His deep longing to know God proves he truly had known God. Hence, from this statement, one can see that his disposition had changed; he was a person whose disposition had transformed. At the very end of his experience, God said that he was the one who knew God the most; he was the one who truly loved God. Without the truth, one’s life disposition can never truly change. If you can truly pursue the truth and enter the truth reality, only then can you achieve a change in your life disposition.

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