Only by Practicing the Truth Can One Cast Off the Shackles of a Corrupt Disposition (Part Two)

Is pursuing the truth as complicated or as difficult as pursuing a branch of scholarship? It is actually not that difficult, it just depends on whether or not a person loves the truth. Pursuing the truth is not difficult in and of itself; it requires less effort than studying a specialized field of science—it is even easier than making a living. Why is that? The reality of the truth is what those with normal humanity should live out and possess. It relates to people’s normal humanity, so it is not disconnected from their thoughts and ideas, from everything that they think, from all of the actions and behavior that they engage in during their everyday lives, or from their minds. The truth is not a theory, nor is it a field of academia, nor is it a profession. The truth is not empty. The truth is closely related to normal humanity—the truth is the life that a person with normal humanity ought to possess. It can correct all of your flaws, your bad habits, and your negative and incorrect thoughts. It can transform your satanic disposition, it can become your life, it can enable you to possess humanity and rationality, it can normalize your thoughts and your mindset—it can make every part of you normal. If the truth becomes your life, then what you live out and all of your outpourings of humanity will be normal. So, the pursuit and practice of the truth is not an obscure, unfathomable thing, nor is it something especially difficult. Right now, although you love the truth a little and are willing to strive to become better, you have not yet touched on the path at all. The first step is always the hardest. As long as you can put the truth into practice and taste its sweetness, you will think that pursuing the truth is an easy matter.

If a person does not take the truth as their life and always lives within a corrupt disposition, how does that manifest? When a person has not gained the truth, they naturally have no way to cast off the constraints and fetters of their satanic nature. The corrupt dispositions they reveal are naturally arrogance and conceit, being a law unto themselves, arbitrariness and recklessness, lying and cheating, insidiousness and deceit, grasping for prestige and interests, seeking nothing but profit, and selfishness and vileness. Furthermore, in their dealings with other people, they are prone toward mistrusting, judging, and attacking others. They always speak and act based on their preferences; they always have personal intents and aims, and they always have preconceived ideas about others. They always become negative when faced with setbacks or failure. Sometimes, they are beyond arrogant; sometimes, they are so negative that they could bury themselves in a hole in the ground. They always go to the extremes—if they are not bearing their fangs and brandishing their claws, they are negative and trying to act pitiful. They are never normal. This is the state that you are in now. You are willing to suffer and pay a price, and you are full of resolve and determination, but you do not have the truth reality. If a person takes the truth reality as their life, how will that manifest? First of all, they will be able to submit to God, and to live out human likeness; they will be an honest person, someone whose life disposition has changed. There are several characteristics of change in life disposition. The first characteristic is being able to submit to things that are right and conform to the truth. No matter who offers an opinion, whether they are old or young, whether you are able to get along with them or not, whether you know them or not, whether you are familiar with them or not, whether your relationship with them is good or bad, so long as what they say is right, conforms to the truth, and is beneficial to the work of God’s house, you will be able to listen to, adopt, and accept it, without being influenced by any other factors. To be able to accept and submit to things that are right and conform to the truth is the first characteristic. The second characteristic is being able to seek the truth when something happens; it is not only about being able to accept the truth, it is also about practicing the truth, and not handling matters based on your own will. No matter what happens to you, you will be able to seek when you cannot see things clearly, and look at how to handle the issue, and how to practice in a way that conforms to the truth principles and satisfies God’s requirements. The third characteristic is considering God’s will no matter what issue you face, rebelling against the flesh to achieve submission to God. You will consider God’s will no matter what duty you are performing, and you will perform your duty according to God’s requirements. Whatever requirements God has for this duty, you will act according to those requirements while performing it, and act in order to satisfy God. You must grasp this principle, and perform your duty responsibly and loyally. That is what it means to consider God’s will. If you do not know how to consider God’s will or satisfy God in a certain matter, then you must seek. You should compare yourselves to these three characteristics of dispositional change, and look to see if you possess these characteristics or not. If you have practical experience and paths of practice in these three areas, then you will be handling matters with principles. Regardless of what befalls you or what problem you are dealing with, you must always seek on what the principles of practice are, and on what details are included within each truth principle, and on how to practice without violating the principles. Once you have gained clarity on these issues, you will naturally know how to practice the truth.

When all is well, some people seem to not reveal any obvious corrupt dispositions, and because of this, they think that they are good, that they have changed, and that they have the truth reality. But when temptations or important matters involving the truth principles befall them, their corrupt disposition reveals itself. They fall into negativity and confusion, not knowing the appropriate way to practice, beset by difficulties. For example, to be an honest person and to speak truthfully is to practice the truth. When you try to speak truthfully, what difficulties do you face? What obstacles do you face? Which things constrain and bind you, and prevent you from speaking truthfully? Pride, status, vanity, as well as your feelings, and personal preferences—all of these things can arise at any moment, and they hold people back and constrain them from practicing the truth. These things are corrupt dispositions. No matter what situation you are in, corrupt dispositions can cause your state to become abnormal, producing all kinds of negative things, constraining and controlling you in every way, holding you back and making it difficult for you to practice the truth and serve God. This will all make you feel incredibly tired. On the surface, people appear to be free, but they are actually tightly bound by their corrupt, satanic dispositions. They do not have any freedom of choice, it is extremely difficult for them to take even a single step, and they live exhausting lives. Oftentimes, it takes a lot of effort for them to speak truthfully or do anything practical. They cannot do their duties well or be loyal to God, though they may want to, and if they wish to practice the truth or testify for God, it will be even more difficult. How exhausting! Are they not living in the cage of their corrupt, satanic dispositions? Are they not living under the dark influence of Satan? (They are.) Then how can people cast it off? Is there another path aside from practicing the truth and gaining life entry? There absolutely is not. Can the knowledge of traditional culture save people and free them from Satan’s influence? What about an understanding of the knowledge of the Bible? How about being able to speak spiritual doctrines? No, none of these things can save people and free them from Satan’s influence. Only by accepting God’s work and all of the truths that God has expressed can the problem of corrupt dispositions be resolved; only then can people attain an understanding of the truth, obtain the truth, and be free of Satan’s influence. If someone strives to be a good person and does not do anything bad, but they do not change their disposition, can they be free of Satan’s influence? Can a person obtain the truth by studying the Tao Te Ching, Buddhist scripture, or traditional culture? Can they come to know God? Can their corrupt disposition be cleansed if they cling to traditional culture and do not pursue the truth? Can they attain God’s salvation? People who do so are deceiving themselves, and they cannot solve any of their problems. There are lots of people who have believed in God for many years, but their belief is still muddled. They have no interest in pursuing the truth; they are satisfied with just doing their duty. They think that as long as they do no evil, or do less evil, and as long as they do more good and charitable things, as long as they do more to lovingly help others, as long as they never leave the church or betray God, that will please other people, and please God, and they will have a share in the kingdom of God. Does this idea hold any water? Can being a good person enable a person to cast off their corrupt disposition? Can they achieve salvation this way? Will they have a share in the kingdom? You can all see, there are many so-called “good people” in the world who speak high-minded words—although on the surface, they do not seem to have committed any great evil, they are actually especially deceitful and slippery. They are very good at steering wherever the wind blows, speaking smoothly and slickly. They are false good people and hypocrites—they are merely pretending to be good. Those who walk the middle path are the most insidious people of all. They offend no one, they are smooth and slick, they are good at playing along in all situations, and no one can see their faults. They are like living Satans! Are there people like this among you? (Yes.) Do you not think that living this way is tiring? (Yes, it is tiring.) Then have you thought of a way to change? How do you change? Where should the breakthrough begin? (By practicing the truth.) Do not say “by practicing the truth,” or “by understanding the truth,” or “by entering into the truth reality.” This is big talk, and it is beyond the reach of man, so these words seem empty. We must start with the details, instead. (By being an honest person.) That is a concrete practice. Be an honest person, or to go into a bit more detail: Be a simple and open person, who does not cover anything up, who does not lie, who does not mince words, and be a direct person who has a sense of justice, who can speak truthfully. People must achieve this first. Say that there is an evil person who does something that disturbs the work of the church, and a leader comes to you to better understand the situation. You know who did it, but because you have a good relationship with that person, and you do not want to offend them, you lie and say that you do not know. The leader asks for more details, and you beat around the bush, making up an excuse to cover for the evil person. Is that not deceitful? You did not tell the leader the truth about the situation, and hid it instead. Why would you do this? Because you did not want to offend anyone. You put protecting interpersonal relationships and not offending anyone first, and you put speaking truthfully and practicing the truth last. What are you being controlled by? You are being controlled by your satanic disposition, it has sealed your mouth and prevented you from speaking truthfully—you are only able to live by your satanic disposition. What is a corrupt disposition? A corrupt disposition is a satanic disposition, and a person who lives by their corrupt disposition is a living Satan. Their speech always carries temptation within it, it is always roundabout, and never direct; even if they were being beaten to death, they would not speak truthfully. This is what happens when a person’s corrupt disposition becomes too severe; they completely lose their humanity and become a devil. Many of you would prefer to offend and cheat God in order to protect your relationships with others, and the status and reputation that you hold among other people. Does a person who acts in this way love the truth? Are they someone who pursues the truth? They are someone who cheats God with their eyes wide open, who has not even the slightest bit of a God-fearing heart. They dare to cheat God; their ambition and rebelliousness must be truly great! Such people usually still think that they love and fear God, and often say: “Every time I think of God, I think of how immense, how great, and how unfathomable He is! God loves mankind, His love is so real!” You may speak nice-sounding words, but you would not expose an evil person if you saw them disturbing the work of the church. You are people pleasers, you only protect your own fame, gain, and status, instead of protecting the interests of God’s house. When you know the true state of affairs, you do not speak truthfully, you beat around the bush, protecting evil people. If you were asked to speak truthfully, it would be very difficult for you. You speak so much nonsense, just to avoid telling the truth! When you speak, you go in so many circles, you expend so much thought, and live in such a tiring way, all to protect your own reputation and pride! Is God pleased by people who act this way? God detests deceitful people above all. If you want to be free of Satan’s influence and achieve salvation, then you must accept the truth. You must first start by becoming an honest person. Be frank, tell the truth, do not be constrained by your feelings, cast off your pretense and trickery, and speak and handle matters with principles—this is an easy and happy way to live, and you will be able to live before God. If you always live according to satanic philosophies, and always rely on lies and trickery to get through your days, then you will be living under the power of Satan, and you will be living in darkness. If you live in Satan’s world, you will only become more and more deceitful. You have believed in God for so many years, you have listened to so many sermons, but your corrupt disposition has not yet been cleansed, and now you are still living by your satanic disposition—do you not feel disgusted by this? Do you not feel ashamed? No matter how long you have believed in God, if you are still like an unbeliever, then what is the point of you believing in God? Can you really attain salvation by believing in God like this? Your life goals have not changed, nor have your principles and methods; the only thing you have that an unbeliever does not is the title of “believer.” Although you follow God outwardly, your life disposition has not changed at all, and in the end you will not achieve salvation. Are you not getting your hopes up for nothing? Can this kind of belief in God help you to obtain the truth and life? Absolutely not.

Today we have fellowshipped about the three characteristics of dispositional change. Summarize those three characteristics. (The first characteristic is the ability to accept and submit to things that are right and that conform to the truth. The second characteristic is the ability to seek the truth and put it into practice when something happens to you, and to not handle matters based on your own will. The third characteristic is the ability to give thought to God’s will, to rebel against the flesh and achieve submission to God, no matter what befalls you.) You should all contemplate and fellowship on these three characteristics. You should compare yourselves to them in your real lives, and train yourselves to practice and enter into them—that way, you will be able to obtain the truth and achieve a change in disposition. No matter what aspect of the truth is being fellowshipped on, it would be easy for those who love the truth to accept it. Those who are willing to put the truth into practice will be able to obtain the truth, and those who obtain the truth will be able to achieve a change in disposition. Those without conscience or reason, who do not love the truth, cannot accept or practice the truth, so they will not be able to obtain it. Whether or not a person can obtain the truth, or achieve a change in disposition, depends on their personal pursuit.

August 16, 2015

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