Knowing One's Disposition Is the Foundation of Changing It (Part One)

Mankind is so deeply corrupted by Satan that all of them have a satanic nature and an arrogant disposition; even fools and idiots are arrogant, and think they’re better than other people and refuse to obey them. It is clear to see that mankind is so deeply corrupted and that it is very difficult for them to submit to God. Because of their arrogance and self-righteousness, people have become completely lacking in reason; they won’t obey anyone—even if what other people say is right and conforms to the truth, they won’t obey them. It is because of arrogance that people dare to judge God, condemn God, and resist God. So, how can an arrogant disposition be resolved? Can it be resolved by depending on human restraint? Can it be solved by merely recognizing and acknowledging it? Absolutely not. There is only one way to resolve an arrogant disposition, and that is to accept God’s judgment and chastisement. Only those who are able to accept the truth can gradually cast off their arrogant dispositions; those who do not accept the truth will never be able to resolve their arrogant dispositions. I see many people who let it go to their head when they show some talent in their duty. When they show they have some abilities, they think they are very impressive, and then they live off these abilities and do not push themselves further. They do not listen to others no matter what they say, thinking that these small things they possess are the truth, and that they are supreme. What disposition is this? This is an arrogant disposition. They are far too lacking in reason. Can a person perform their duty well when they have an arrogant disposition? Can they submit to God and follow God to the very end? This is even more difficult. To fix an arrogant disposition, they must learn how to experience God’s work, His judgment and chastisement while performing their duty. Only in this way can they truly know themselves. Only by seeing your corrupted essence clearly, seeing the root of your arrogance clearly, and then discerning and dissecting it can you truly know your nature essence. You must dig up all of the corrupt things inside of you, and hold them up against and come to know them based on the truth, then you will know what you are: Not only are you filled with a corrupt disposition, and not only do you lack reason and submission, but you will see that you are lacking in too many things, that you have no truth reality, and how pitiful you are. Then, you will be incapable of arrogance. If you do not dissect and know yourself in this way, then when you perform your duty you will not know your place in the universe. You will think you are great in every way, that everything about others is bad, and that only you are the best. Then, you will show off to everyone all the time, so that others look up to you and worship you. This is completely lacking in self-awareness. Some people are always showing off. When others find it distasteful, they criticize them as being arrogant. But they do not accept it; they still think they are talented and skilled. What disposition is this? They are too arrogant and self-righteous. Are people who are this arrogant and self-righteous capable of thirsting for the truth? Can they pursue the truth? If they are never able to know themselves, and do not cast off their corrupt disposition, then can they perform their duty well? Certainly not.

Many people perform their duty however they please and never listen to the suggestions of others. If someone gives them a plan, they will write it down at the time and agree to do it, but afterward they will put it in the back of their mind and continue to do whatever they want. What kind of disposition is this? (A self-righteous and arrogant disposition.) Is there any intransigence in this? (Yes.) Intransigence and arrogance can be found in every person. When people hear someone else say something that is right and reasonable, if they were to approach the matter with conscience and reason, they would think that it should be accepted, but would they be able to put this into practice? (Not necessarily.) What kind of attitude is needed in order for them to practice it? First of all, they must have the right attitude: They must let go of their own imaginings, judgments, or fallacious understandings, and then ponder on that person’s good suggestion and seek the truth, and if they determine that their suggestion is right and conforms to the truth principles, they should accept and obey it. Isn’t this the attitude they ought to have? Is there any arrogance in this attitude? There isn’t any arrogance in it; it is a serious, responsible attitude, an attitude of accepting the truth, and an attitude of loving positive things. If, when you hear someone else make a good suggestion, a suggestion that you think conforms to the truth principles, you say that you accept it in order to save face or out of a momentary understanding, but when it comes time to do something, you just act based on your own will, do whatever you want, and set aside that suggestion which your heart acknowledged as right, what kind of person are you? Is this an attitude of accepting the truth? What kind of disposition is this? This is arrogance and rebelliousness, it is not accepting the truth, it is prioritizing one’s own will, and letting one’s own opinions and ideas dominate, and putting the truth principles, positive things, and the word of God in the back of one’s mind. There are other people who make nice promises in person, but when something happens, they’re unwilling to carry them out, and they make their own calculations: “If I do this according to the principles, I’ll have to fellowship on the truth clearly, and I’ll have to reverse people’s notions, and that’ll be very hard. I’ll have to do a lot of talking and I’m worried that I may not speak clearly, which will be a waste of time and energy and too troublesome! In order to save trouble, I have to do it this way, and everyone must listen to me even if they don’t agree, I’ll have the last say on this.” What kind of attitude is this? This is a treacherous attitude. When they made their promises, they seem sincere, faithful, obedient, and pious, and capable of accepting the opinions of others and the truth, but when it comes time to act, they are completely different and their attitude changes. Why does it change? Why does their attitude do a complete 180-degree turn? What prompts this? They feel that acting in this way is too physically taxing and too troublesome, so they are reluctant and unwilling to suffer that hardship. The vows or promises they made before no longer matter to them, and neither does handling things according to the truth principles. The most important thing to them is satisfying their flesh, that comes first, and they push God’s commission to the back and don’t take it seriously. Is this a responsible person? Is this a person of integrity? Is it a person who loves the truth? No. There are also people who promise others that they will handle a matter properly when they are face-to-face with them, and make those people feel thoroughly at ease, but when they encounter difficulties in the process of handling it, they just set it aside and give up. Is this a trustworthy person? Is this a principled way of doing things? Especially when performing one’s duty and doing things for God’s house, they must adhere to the truth principles even more, and defend the interests of God’s house even if it means sometimes suffering loss and humiliation, and they must never allow the work of the church to suffer. People who do this are honest, they are attentive to God’s will, and they think of God’s house at every turn. Those who are deceitful constantly think of their own interests while performing their duty, and are never willing to suffer the slightest loss in anything they do; they would rather let the interests of God’s house suffer than lose out themselves. God knows whether a person is performing their duty in accordance with the truth principles or not—God scrutinizes people’s thoughts and ideas. If God detects that a person’s heart is deceitful and wicked, that they act out of greed for their fleshly interests, that they don’t love the truth and are averse to the truth, He will give up on that person as soon as He scrutinizes those things. So, will that person themselves be able to sense all this? (No.) Why won’t they be able to sense it? (Because when a person’s nature controls their actions, as long as their fleshly interests are satisfied, they won’t examine themselves. Consequently, they won’t sense that doing things in this way does not align with the truth.) So, what is it that man survives on, internally? It is Satan’s corrupt disposition. The essence of man is the essence of Satan, and man lives by his satanic disposition, defending only his own vanity, pride, and fleshly interests. This kind of selfish and despicable thinking has become people’s nature, so they feel it is very strenuous and laborious to practice the truth, to submit to God, to absolutely listen to God’s words, and to act according to the truth principles and God’s standards. What is the problem here? It is that man is bound and controlled by a satanic disposition, and there are too many negative things in his heart, so practicing the truth feels too hard and not easy at all. If people’s corrupt dispositions are cleansed, and they are able to understand the truth and be attentive to God’s will, then they will face no obstacles or difficulties in practicing the truth, and it will not feel laborious.

If a person does not yearn for the truth at all, and does not want to accept it, then they have nothing of merit within them, and whenever something befalls them, they will just live by Satan’s philosophies, appearing incredibly poor, pathetic, and blind. In other words, they are destitute and have nothing within them; they have no capacity to overcome sin, no ability to rebel against their own flesh, no motivation to practice the truth, no determination to change their own views, and no resolve to completely submit to God. They are simply poor, pitiful, and blind, and they are nothing. When it comes to willfully running amok they have a great deal of energy, but they are incapable of acting according to God’s requirements and the truth principles. If you look at how they appear, some of these people are articulate, they are educated and have a few gifts and strengths, and they are capable people, so why do I say that they are poor and pitiful? How is that measured? Someone who possesses no truths at all is poor and pitiful. Can education and knowledge, or gifts and talents stand in for the truth? Can they help someone understand the truth and get through difficult times? Can they make someone stand firm in their witness and gain God’s approval? Absolutely not. People like to act based on their own preferences, desires, notions, and imaginings, no matter what they do, and they feel very happy, pleased, and relaxed about this. And yet, if they were to practice the truth and submit to God, they would feel powerless and completely uninterested in doing so, or even as if they were paralyzed. What is going on there? Where are their hearts? Whom do they serve? Why is it that when people do things using their gifts and knowledge, and according to their good intentions and preferences, they’re very capable, they have many tricks, and simply possess boundless energy, but when they’re asked to practice the truth, enter into truth reality, and do things according to truth principles, no matter how prominent a figure they are, they become helpless and powerless? What is at the root of this? Why is it that in practicing the truth and seeking the truth principles, people are like idiots, so poor and pitiful, and yet they boast and brag, and think that they’re better than everyone else, and refuse to obey anyone? Why is this? (People don’t know themselves.) Not knowing themselves is one aspect of this—the main reason is that people have corrupt dispositions. Before they come to understand the truth, this is their ugly state, their character, and their pitiful appearance—they are nothing. Those who don’t possess the truth are all like this; no matter how elevated their knowledge or status, all that they display is an ugly state and an impoverished appearance. Before God and the truth, this is how poor and pitiful man is, possessing nothing and being nothing. I’ve come into contact with some people, and when I talk with them and work with them, I see their apathetic, dull-witted, poor, and pitiful appearance. They can talk a little about external things, but when something involves the truth principles, their views are slanted either to the left or the right, or they have no views on it at all. When someone has believed in God for so long, has read so much of God’s word, has listened to so many sermons, and lives a spiritual life every day, how can they be so apathetic, dull-witted, poor, and pitiful? When something happens, why don’t they have the right viewpoint? Why does their perspective on things never change? (They haven’t accepted or practiced the truth.) That is correct. They’ve heard a lot of sermons, but all they’ve heard are doctrines; they’ve read quite a lot of God’s word, but they’ve only understood doctrines from it; they’ve gone to quite a few gatherings, but what they’ve obtained are only some literal things and regulations. What is this related to? Why are these the things they obtain? What God provides to man is the truth, the life, and the truth reality, so why are those the fruits that are borne in these people? Have you ever pondered on this question? This is a serious problem, a big problem. So, how can this problem be solved? You must eat and drink the word of God and take it into your heart and let it become your reality; you must change your inner condition and state, and have the right view and the right attitude toward everything you encounter. Isn’t this the path that you should practice? Isn’t this the direction in which you should seek? Think about it, how can you embark upon this path? What do you all think? (God, I feel that when things befall me, I have to reflect on my own intents, motives, and the revelations of my corrupt disposition, and then consciously rebel against my wrong intents and revelations of corruption, and act according to the truth in God’s word.) This is the right path, but in the process of carrying it out, are you able to discover your own problems? (Sometimes I can discover them, but sometimes not.) This requires you to pray to God, reflect on yourself, and examine your own actions frequently. The Holy Spirit will enlighten people about the things that they don’t understand, and once you have the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment, won’t your problems be solved? When one relies on God, there are no problems that cannot be solved.

I’ll give an example for you all to analyze and see if you know how to reflect on yourselves, and if you can recognize your own issues through the problems of others. I once spent time with someone, and at first, he was careful and cautious, asking what My intentions were when doing anything, and whatever I said, he’d nod and bow and listen carefully. He had an internal boundary: “You’re God, I can’t offend You, I can’t cross this boundary, I’ll listen to what You say, I’ll do whatever You tell me to do.” Basically, there were no problems to be seen in him. But after we spent a certain amount of time together, and had some exchanges, he became used to My manner of speech and tone of voice—these things became familiar to him, and he thought, “Although the two of us aren’t equals, and our identities and status are not the same, I’m comfortable talking to You, I don’t have to hide anything, I can say whatever I want.” Over time, the relationship between man and God was broken, and he thought, “I know what kind of character You have, I know what kind of person You are. I know what things won’t anger You and make You prune me, and I’ll avoid doing the things that You’ll prune me for. Even if I do them, I won’t let You see or learn of it. In order to prevent You from finding out, I won’t even tell the people close to You what I’m doing behind Your back. That way, You won’t find out about it, right? If You don’t find out about it, You won’t prune me, will You? I won’t have to lose face and suffer for it, will I? That’s great! I’ll do whatever else You tell me to do, and I’ll submit, but I have to have relative freedom.” Has a problem not emerged here? (Yes.) What problem has emerged? Is there not the deceitfulness of man’s heart here? (There is.) Whether it is before other people or before God, people always try to hide the things deep in their hearts that they don’t want to tell others, and this state of mind and disposition is that of deceitfulness, which every person possesses. There’s another disposition here—arrogance. Where does arrogance manifest here? This person thought to himself, “So, You chat and talk like this too. There’s nothing so impressive about how You talk, You can just say these things, and if I get to know You better, I’ll be able to say them even better than You. That’s how You dress? I have a better dress sense than You, I’m more attractive than You, You just possess more truths than I do. So, over time, after I get to know You better, I’ll dare to blurt out whatever I want to say, and I won’t be misspeaking.” Is this not arrogance? (Yes.) These are two dispositions. There’s another hidden disposition, have you discovered it? When someone reveals arrogance, deceit, and hypocrisy before God, do they have any awareness of this deep in their heart? (Yes.) When they do have this awareness, what do they do with it? Do they restrain themselves? Do they refrain? Do they reflect on themselves? (No.) What kind of disposition is it when a person knows that they have revealed an arrogant disposition but still doesn’t reflect on or try to know themselves, and if someone points it out to them, they still don’t accept it and they instead try to defend themselves? (Intransigence.) That’s right, this is intransigence. No matter how this kind of intransigent disposition manifests before other people, and regardless of the contexts in which such an attitude is revealed, this is a person with an intransigent disposition. No matter how cunning and disguised people are, this intransigent disposition is easily exposed. Because people don’t live in a vacuum, and no matter if they are in front of other people or not, all people live before God, and every person is under God’s scrutiny. If someone is usually willful, dissolute, unrestrained, and has these inclinations, and these revelations of corruption, and if, even when they sense this, they don’t turn back, and when they recognize it, they don’t repent, open up to fellowship, or seek the truth to solve this problem, this is intransigence. In terms of the manifestations of intransigence, there are two different kinds: “obstinacy” and “hardness.”[a] “Obstinacy” means being very stubborn, not reversing one’s course, and not being soft. “Hardness” means that other people don’t dare to brush up against it, and feel pain when they do so. Usually people are unwilling to come into contact with those who have an intransigent disposition, just as people are unwilling to come into contact with hard things and will feel uncomfortable when they do so; people like soft things, the texture of soft things makes people feel comfortable, and it brings pleasure to them, while intransigence is exactly the opposite. Intransigence makes people display an attitude, and this attitude is pigheadedness and stubbornness. What disposition is at play here? It is the intransigent disposition. This means that, when a person encounters something, although they are aware or have a faint feeling that this attitude of theirs is not good and not right, they are prompted by their intransigent disposition to think, “So what if someone finds out? This is how I am!” What kind of attitude is this? They deny the issue, they do not think that this attitude is bad, or rebellious against God, that it comes from Satan, or that it is a revelation of Satan’s disposition; they do not sense or realize how God sees it and how God detests it—that is the severity of this problem. Is the disposition of intransigence good or bad? (It’s bad.) It is a satanic disposition. It makes it difficult for people to accept the truth, and it makes it even more difficult for them to repent. All satanic dispositions are negative things, they all are hated by God, and none of them are positive things.

The three kinds of dispositions that I just mentioned, deceitfulness, arrogance, and intransigence, are all deadly things. If you reveal arrogance, deceitfulness, or intransigence to other people, you merely have a bad disposition or poor humanity; if you reveal arrogance, deceitfulness, or intransigence to God, this is a manifestation of resisting God, and it is liable to offend His disposition—if you do not repent, it will be very dangerous. If you reveal these dispositions before other people, they don’t take it seriously; if you reveal these corrupt dispositions in the same way before God, then you will be resisting God and offending His disposition. Although it will not be intentional or deliberate, you will do this involuntarily under the domination of your satanic nature. Therefore, when your corrupt disposition is revealed, if you cannot reflect on yourself and resolve it with the truth, sooner or later it will become a disease, and as soon as this old disease recurs, it will be very troublesome. If you repeatedly offend God’s disposition, you will certainly be eliminated.

In the example I just gave, what other disposition does that person display? (Being averse to the truth.) Which part shows that he is averse to the truth? Outwardly, he loves the truth, he feels that it is incumbent on him to do whatever God requires, whatever is his duty, and whatever falls within the scope of the work of the church, so how can he be said to be averse to the truth? (He never sought the truth.) He never sought the truth; that is clear evidence. So, in terms of details, what manifestations show that he is averse to the truth? (When what God required conflicted with his own will, he chose to follow his own will instead of seeking God’s.) Those are the details. How does the disposition of being averse to the truth mainly manifest in people? When they see a positive thing, they don’t measure it by the truth—what do they use to measure it? They use Satan’s logic to measure it and to see if this thing is done with style, what its form is, and how impressive it is. They measure everything with the methods that Satan uses to evaluate people, that is, the principles and methods that unbelievers use to evaluate people. They don’t seek the truth when doing things, and the starting point for all of their actions is to measure them using their own imaginings and viewpoints, and the philosophies for worldly dealings and knowledge that they have grasped, casting the truth aside—that’s how they do everything. They use human points of view and Satan’s logic as their measure, and after measuring and measuring, they find that, in their eyes, no one else is ever as good as them—they are the best. Do they have God’s requirements for mankind in their hearts? Are there any principles of the truth there? No, there are none. They don’t see God’s requirements for mankind, they don’t see that the truth is the reality of all positive things, they don’t see that the truth is above all things, so they naturally look down on the incarnate God, and they always have notions about the manner of dress, and the speech and deportment of God’s incarnation. And so, after extended contact, they think, “You are not as dignified, majestic, and profound as I imagined, and You don’t even have as much class as I do. As I stand here, don’t I have the class of a great figure? Although You speak the truth, I don’t see anything about You that looks like God. You always talk about the truth, You always talk about entering into reality, why don’t You disclose some mysteries? Why don’t You speak a bit in the language of the third heaven?” What kind of logic and viewpoint on things is this? (It is Satan’s viewpoint on things.) This comes from Satan. How do you think I approach these things? (You loathe this kind of person and You are unwilling to interact with them.) You are wrong. On the contrary, when I encounter such a person, I will draw near to them and fellowship with them normally, and I will provide what I can and help how I can. If they are obstinate and stubborn, I’m not only able to get along with them normally, I will also discuss things with them as much as possible. I’ll say, “Do you think it works to do things this way? Use whichever of these methods you feel is appropriate, and if you feel that none of them are appropriate, think of your own way to solve this problem.” The greater this kind of person thinks they are, the more I get along with them in this manner; I won’t put on airs before anyone. If there are two stools, one higher and one lower, I will let them sit on the high one, and I will sit on the low one. I will talk to them with My head tilted upward, and finally make them feel ashamed, and make them realize, little by little, that they possess no truths, that they are impoverished and pitiful, numb and dull-witted. What do you think of this method? (It is good.) So, if I were to brush them off, would that be good for them? Actually, there’s nothing wrong with that, but it won’t do them any good. If they believe in God with some sincerity, possess some humanity, and they can be saved, then it is alright for Me to interact with them. Eventually, one day, if they understand the truth, they themselves will choose to sit on the lower stool, and no longer be proud. If I brush them off, they will remain this ignorant and foolish forever, saying and doing stupid things, and they will always be a foolish person, impoverished and pitiful—that is the ugly state of people who don’t pursue the truth. People look down on and despise positive things, and when they see someone who is honest, loving, and who always practices the truth but sometimes lacks wisdom, they disdain them from their hearts. They think that such a person is useless and a good-for-nothing, while they themselves are shrewd, good at calculating, adept at plotting and scheming, have means and gifts, and are capable and well-spoken. They think that this makes them the object of God’s salvation, but it is actually the opposite—this is the kind of person that God abhors. This is the disposition of disliking and being averse to the truth.


a. The original text does not contain the phrase “there are two different kinds: ‘obstinacy’ and ‘hardness.’”

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