24. How to resolve one’s corrupt dispositions and attain purification
Words of Almighty God of the Last Days
After several thousand years of corruption, man is numb and dull-witted; he has become a demon that opposes God, to the extent that man’s rebelliousness toward God has been documented in the books of history, and even man himself is incapable of giving a full account of his rebellious behavior—for man has been profoundly corrupted by Satan, and has been led astray by Satan such that he knows not where to turn. Even today, man still betrays God: When man sees God, he betrays Him, and when he cannot see God, so too does he betray Him. There are even those who, having witnessed God’s curses and God’s wrath, still betray Him. And so I say that man’s sense has lost its original function, and that man’s conscience, too, has lost its original function. … Born into such a filthy land, man has been severely blighted by society, he has been influenced by feudal ethics, and he has been taught at “institutes of higher learning.” The backward thinking, corrupt morality, mean view on life, despicable philosophy for living, utterly worthless existence, and depraved lifestyle and customs—all of these things have severely intruded upon man’s heart, and severely undermined and attacked his conscience. As a result, man is ever more distant from God, and ever more opposed to Him. Man’s disposition becomes more vicious by the day, and there is not a single person who will willingly give up anything for God, not a single person who will willingly obey God, nor, moreover, a single person who will willingly seek the appearance of God. Instead, under the power of Satan, man does nothing but pursue pleasure, giving himself over to the corruption of the flesh in the land of mud. Even when they hear the truth, those who live in darkness give no thought to putting it into practice, nor are they inclined to seek out God even if they have beheld His appearance. How could a mankind so depraved have any chance of salvation? How could a mankind so decadent live in the light?
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. The root cause of corrupt dispositions arising in man is Satan’s deception, corruption, and poison. Man has been bound and controlled by Satan, and he suffers 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 cannot accept 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. Those who were born in the most deeply corrupted of all lands are even more ignorant of what God is, or what it means to believe in God. The more corrupted people are, the less they know the existence of God, and the poorer their sense and insight. The source of man’s opposition and rebelliousness against God is his corruption by Satan. Because of Satan’s corruption, man’s conscience has grown numb; he is immoral, his thoughts are degenerate, and he has a backward mental outlook. Before he was corrupted by Satan, man naturally submitted to God and obeyed His words after hearing them. He was naturally of sound sense and conscience, and of normal humanity. After being corrupted by Satan, man’s original sense, conscience, and humanity grew dull and were impaired by Satan. Thus, he has lost his obedience and love toward God. Man’s sense has become aberrant, his disposition has become the same as that of an animal, and his rebelliousness toward God is ever more frequent and grievous. Yet man still neither knows nor recognizes this, and merely opposes and rebels blindly. Man’s disposition is revealed in expressions of his sense, insight, and conscience; because his sense and insight are unsound, and his conscience has grown supremely dull, thus his disposition is rebellious against God. If man’s sense and insight cannot change, then changes in his disposition are out of the question, as is conforming to God’s will. If man’s sense is unsound, then he cannot serve God and is unfit for use by God. “Normal sense” refers to obeying and being faithful to God, to yearning for God, to being absolute toward God, and to having a conscience toward God. It refers to being of one heart and mind toward God, and not deliberately opposing God. Having an aberrant sense is not like this. Since man was corrupted by Satan, he has come up with notions about God, and he has had no loyalty to God or yearning for Him, to say nothing of a conscience toward God. Man deliberately opposes God and passes judgments on Him, and, furthermore, hurls invective at Him behind His back. Man passes judgment on God behind His back, with clear knowledge that He is God; man has no intention of obeying God, and merely makes blind demands and requests of Him. Such people—people who have aberrant sense—are incapable of knowing their own despicable behavior or of regretting their rebelliousness. If people are capable of knowing themselves, then they have regained a little of their sense; the more rebellious against God people who cannot yet know themselves are, the less are they sound of sense.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God
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.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. People Whose Dispositions Have Changed Are Those Who Have Entered Into the Reality of God’s Words
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.”
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment
In the course of experiencing the work of God, no matter how many times you have failed, fallen down, been pruned, dealt with, or exposed, these are not bad things. Regardless of how you have been pruned or dealt with, or whether it is by leaders, workers, or your brothers or sisters, these are all good things. You must remember this: No matter how much you suffer, you are actually benefiting. Anyone with experience can attest to this. No matter what, being pruned, dealt with, or exposed is always a good thing. It is not a condemnation. It is God’s salvation and the best opportunity for you to get to know yourself. It can bring your life experience a change of gears. Without it, you will possess neither the opportunity, the condition, nor the context to be able to reach an understanding of the truth of your corruption. If you truly understand the truth, and are able to unearth the corrupt things hidden in the depths of your heart, if you can clearly distinguish them, then this is good, this has solved a major problem of life entry, and is of great benefit to changes in disposition. Becoming able to truly know yourself is the best opportunity for you to mend your ways and become a new person; it is the best opportunity for you to obtain new life. Once you truly know yourself, you will be able to see that when the truth becomes one’s life, it is a precious thing indeed, and you will thirst for the truth, practice the truth, and enter into reality. This is such a great thing! If you can grab this opportunity and earnestly reflect upon yourself and gain a genuine knowledge of yourself whenever you fail or fall down, then in the midst of negativity and weakness, you will be able to stand back up. Once you have crossed this threshold, you will then be able to take a big step forward and enter the truth reality.
If you believe in God’s sovereignty, then you have to believe that everyday occurrences, be they good or bad, do not happen at random. It is not that someone is deliberately being hard on you or targeting you; this was all arranged and orchestrated by God. Why does God orchestrate all these things? It is not to reveal you for who you are or to expose you and cast you out; exposing you is not the end goal. The goal is to perfect you and save you. How does God perfect you? And how does He save you? He starts by making you aware of your own corrupt disposition, and by making you know your nature essence, your shortcomings, and what you lack. Only by knowing these things and having a clear understanding of them can you pursue the truth and gradually cast off your corrupt disposition. This is God providing you with an opportunity. This is God’s compassion. You have to know how to seize this opportunity. You should not oppose God, butt heads with God, or misunderstand Him. In particular, when faced with the people, matters, and things that God arranges around you, do not constantly feel that things are not as you wish them to be; do not constantly wish to escape them or always blame and misunderstand God. If you are constantly doing those things, then you are not experiencing God’s work, and that will make it very difficult for you to enter the truth reality. Whatever you encounter that you cannot fully understand, when a difficulty arises, you must learn to submit. You should begin by coming before God and praying more. That way, before you know it, a shift will occur in your internal state, and you will be able to seek the truth to resolve your problem. As such, you will be able to experience God’s work. As this happens, the truth reality will be wrought within you, and this is how you will progress and undergo a transformation of the state of your life. Once you have undergone this change and possess this truth reality, you will also possess stature, and with stature comes life. If someone always lives based on a corrupt satanic disposition, then no matter how much enthusiasm or energy they have, they still cannot be considered to possess stature, or life. God works in every single person, and no matter what His method is, what kind of people, matters, and things He makes use of in His service, or what kind of tone His words have, He only has one end goal: saving you. And how does He save you? He changes you. So how could you not suffer a bit? You are going to have to suffer. This suffering can involve many things. First, people must suffer when they accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words. When God’s words are too severe and explicit and people misinterpret God—and even have notions—that can be painful, too. Sometimes God raises up an environment around people to expose their corruption, to make them reflect on and know themselves, and they will suffer a little then, too. Sometimes, when they are directly pruned, dealt with, and exposed, people must suffer. It is as if they are undergoing surgery—if there is no suffering, there is no effect. If every time you are pruned and dealt with, and every time you are laid bare by an environment, it arouses your feelings and gives you a boost, then through this process you will enter the truth reality, and will have stature. If, every time you are subjected to being pruned and dealt with, and to being exposed by an environment, you feel no pain or discomfort whatsoever, and feel nothing at all, and if you do not come before God to seek His will, neither praying nor seeking the truth, then you really are so numb! God does not work in you when your spirit feels nothing, when it does not react. He will say, “This person is overly numb, and has been corrupted too deeply. No matter how I discipline him, deal with him, or try to keep him in check, I still cannot move his heart or awaken his spirit. This person will be in trouble; he is not easy to save.” If God arranges certain environments, people, matters, and things for you, if He prunes and deals with you and if you learn lessons from this, if you have learned to come before God, learned to seek the truth, and, unknowingly, are enlightened and illuminated and attain the truth, if you have experienced a change in these environments, reaped rewards, and made progress, if you begin to have a little comprehension of God’s will and you cease to complain, then all of this will mean that you have stood firm in the midst of the trials of these environments, and have withstood the test. As such, you will have gotten through this ordeal. How will God regard those who withstand the test? God will say that they have a true heart and can endure this kind of suffering, and that, deep down, they love the truth and want to gain the truth. If God has this kind of assessment of you, are you not then someone with stature? Do you not then have life? And how is this life attained? Is it bestowed by God? God supplies you in various ways and uses various people, things, and objects to train you. This is as if God is personally giving you food and drink, personally delivering various foodstuffs before you for you to eat your fill and enjoy; only then can you grow and stand strong. This is how you must experience and comprehend these things; this is how to submit to everything that comes from God. This is the sort of mindset and attitude you must possess, and you must learn to seek the truth. You should not be constantly looking for external causes or blaming others for your troubles or finding faults with people; you must have a clear understanding of God’s will. From the outside, some people might seem to have opinions about you or prejudices against you, but you should not see things that way. If you see things from this kind of standpoint, the only thing you will do is make excuses, and you will not be able to attain anything. You should see things objectively and accept everything from God. When you view things in this way, it will be easy for you to obey the work of God, and you will be able to seek the truth, and grasp the will of God. Once your viewpoint and state of mind are rectified, you will be able to attain the truth. So, why do you not just do it? Why do you resist? If you stopped resisting, you would gain the truth. If you resist, you will not gain anything, and you will also hurt God’s feelings and disappoint Him. Why will God be disappointed? Because you do not accept the truth, you have no hope of salvation, and God is not able to gain you, so how could He not be disappointed? When you do not accept the truth, this is tantamount to pushing away food that has been personally offered to you by God. You say that you are not hungry and that you do not need it; God tries again and again to encourage you to eat, but you still do not want it. You would rather go hungry. You think that you are satiated, when actually, you have absolutely nothing. People like this are so lacking in sense, and so self-righteous; truly, they don’t know a good thing when they see it, they are the most impoverished and pitiful of people.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. To Gain the Truth, One Must Learn From the People, Matters, and Things Nearby
If you wish to be cleansed 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 means that no matter what sort of corrupt disposition you have, or which of the great red dragon’s poisons—Satan’s poisons—are in your nature, when God’s words reveal these things, you should admit to them and submit, you can’t make a different choice, and you should know yourself according to God’s words. This means being able to accept God’s words and accept the truth. No matter what God says, no matter how severe His utterances are, 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, they can obtain the truth and achieve a transformation of their disposition. Even if people who don’t love the truth have a bit of humanity, can do some good deeds, and can forsake and expend for God, they are confused about the truth and don’t treat it seriously, so their life disposition never changes. You can see that Peter had similar humanity to the other disciples, but he stood out in his fervent pursuit of the truth. Regardless of what Jesus said, he pondered it in earnest. Jesus asked, “Simon Barjona, do you love Me?” Peter answered honestly, “I only love the Father who is in heaven, yet I have not loved the Lord on earth.” Later he understood, thinking, “This is not right, the God on earth is the God in heaven. Is it not the same God both in heaven and on earth? If I only love God in heaven, then my love is not real. I must love God on earth, for only then will my love be real.” Thus, Peter came to understand the true meaning of the word of God from what Jesus had asked. To love God, and for this love to be real, one must love the incarnate God on earth. Loving a vague and invisible God is neither realistic nor practical, whereas loving the practical, visible God is truth. From Jesus’ words, Peter gained the truth and an understanding of God’s will. Clearly, Peter’s belief in God had only been focused on pursuing the truth. Ultimately, he achieved a love of the practical God—the God on earth. Peter was especially earnest in his pursuit of the truth. Each time Jesus counseled him, he pondered Jesus’ words in earnest. Perhaps he pondered for months, a year, or even years before the Holy Spirit enlightened him and he understood the essence of God’s words. In this way, Peter entered the truth, and as he did so, his life disposition was transformed and renewed.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. How to Know Man’s Nature
To resolve a corrupt disposition, one must first be able to accept the truth. To accept the truth is to accept God’s judgment and chastisement; it is to accept His words that expose the essence of man’s corruption. If you come to know and analyze your outpourings of corruption, your corrupt states, and your corrupt intentions and behaviors on the basis of God’s words, and you are able to uncover the essence of your problems, then you will have gained knowledge of your corrupt disposition, and you will have set in motion the process of resolving it. On the other hand, if you do not practice in this way, not only will you be unable to resolve your intransigent disposition, you will also have no way to eradicate your corrupt dispositions. Every person is possessed of multiple corrupt dispositions. Where should one begin resolving them? Firstly, one must resolve their intransigence, as intransigent disposition hinders people from drawing close to God, seeking the truth, and submitting to God. Intransigence is the greatest stumbling block to man’s prayer and fellowship with God; it is what interferes most with man’s normal relationship with God. After you have resolved your intransigent disposition, the others will be easy to resolve. Resolving a corrupt disposition begins with self-reflection and self-knowledge. Resolve whichever corrupt dispositions you are aware of—the more of them you gain knowledge of, the more you can resolve; the deeper your knowledge of them, the more thoroughly you can resolve them. This is the process of resolving corrupt dispositions; it is done by praying to God, and by reflecting on and knowing oneself and analyzing the essence of one’s corrupt disposition through God’s words, until one is able to forsake the flesh and practice the truth. Knowing the essence of your corrupt disposition is no simple task. Knowing yourself is not saying, broadly, “I’m a corrupted person; I’m a devil; I’m the offspring of Satan, the descendant of the great red dragon; I’m resistant and hostile toward God; I’m His enemy.” Such talk does not necessarily mean that you have true knowledge of your own corruption. You may have learned those words from someone else and not know much about yourself. True self-knowledge is not based in man’s learning or judgments, it is based in God’s words—it is seeing the consequences of corrupt dispositions and the suffering that you have experienced as a result of them, feeling how a corrupt disposition harms not only you, but also other people. It is seeing through to the fact that corrupt dispositions originate in Satan, that they are Satan’s poisons and philosophies, and that they are entirely inimical to the truth and to God. When you have seen through this problem, you will have come to know your corrupt disposition. After some people acknowledge that they are the devil Satan, they still do not accept being pruned and dealt with. They do not admit that they have done anything wrong or violated the truth. What is the matter with them? They still do not know themselves. Some people say they are the devil Satan, yet if you were to ask them, “Why do you say that you are the devil Satan?” they would be unable to respond. This goes to show that they do not know their corrupt disposition, or their nature essence. If they could see that their nature is the devil’s nature, that their corrupt disposition is Satan’s disposition, and admit that they are therefore the devil, Satan, they would then have come to know their own nature essence. True self-knowledge is achieved through the exposure, judgment, practice, and experience of God’s words. It is achieved through understanding the truth. If a person does not understand the truth, then no matter what they say about their self-knowledge, it is hollow and impractical, because they cannot find or grasp those things that are at root and essential. To know oneself, one must acknowledge which corrupt dispositions they have revealed in specific instances, what their intent was, how they behaved, with what they were adulterated, and why they could not accept the truth. They must be able to state these things clearly, only then can they know themselves. When some people are faced with being pruned and dealt with, they admit that they are sick of the truth, that they have suspicions and misunderstandings about God, and that they are guarded against Him. They also acknowledge that all of God’s words that judge and expose man are factual. This shows that they have a bit of self-knowledge. But because they do not have knowledge of God or His work, because they do not understand His will, their self-knowledge is quite shallow. If someone only acknowledges their own corruption but has not found the root of the problem, can their suspicions, misunderstandings, and guardedness surrounding God be resolved? No, they cannot. This is why self-knowledge is more than just a mere acknowledgment of one’s corruption and problems—one must also understand the truth and resolve the problem of their corrupt disposition at its root. That is the only way to see through to the truth of one’s corruption and achieve true repentance. When those who love the truth come to know themselves, they are also able to seek and understand the truth to resolve their problems. Only this sort of self-knowledge yields results. Whenever a person who loves the truth reads a phrase of God’s words that reveals and judges man, before anything else, they have faith that God’s words that reveal man are real and factual, and that God’s words that judge man are the truth, and that they represent God’s righteousness. Lovers of the truth must, at least, be able to recognize this. If someone does not even believe God’s words, and does not believe that God’s words exposing and judging man are facts and the truth, can they know themselves through His words? Certainly not—even if they wished to, they could not. If you can be firm in your belief that all of God’s words are the truth, and believe them all, no matter what God says or His manner of speaking, if you are able to believe and accept God’s words even if you do not understand them, it will be easy for you to reflect on and know yourself through them. Self-reflection must be based in the truth. That is beyond doubt. Only God’s words are the truth—none of man’s words and none of Satan’s words are the truth. Satan has been corrupting mankind with all kinds of learning, teachings, and theories for thousands of years, and people have become so numb and dull-witted that they not only lack the slightest knowledge of themselves, but they even uphold heresies and fallacies and refuse to accept the truth. Humans like these are irredeemable. Those who have true faith in God believe that only His words are the truth, they are able to know themselves on the basis of God’s words and the truth, and thereby achieve true repentance. Some people do not pursue the truth; they base their self-reflection only on man’s learning, and they admit to nothing more than sinful behavior, and all the while, they are unable to see through to their own corrupt essence. Such self-knowledge is a futile endeavor and it yields no results. One must base their self-reflection on God’s words, and after reflecting, gradually come to know the corrupt dispositions that they reveal. One must be able to measure and know their deficiencies, their humanity essence, their views on things, their life outlook and values, based on the truth, and then come to an accurate assessment and verdict on all these things. In this way, they can gradually attain knowledge of themselves. But self-knowledge grows ever deeper as one experiences more in life, and before one has gained the truth, it will be impossible for them to see entirely through to their nature essence. If a person truly knows themselves, they can see that corrupted human beings are indeed the offspring and embodiments of Satan. They will feel that they do not deserve to live before God, that they are unworthy of His love and salvation, and they will be able to completely prostrate themselves before Him. Only those who are capable of such a degree of knowledge truly know themselves. Self-knowledge is a precondition for entering the truth reality. If someone wants to practice the truth and enter reality, they must know themselves. All people have corrupt dispositions and, despite themselves, they are always fettered and controlled by these corrupt dispositions. They are unable to practice the truth or obey God. So if they wish to do these things, they must first know themselves and resolve their corrupt dispositions. It is only through the process of resolving a corrupt disposition that one can understand the truth and gain knowledge of God; only then can one submit to God and bear witness for Him. That is how one gains the truth. The process of entering the truth reality is that of resolving one’s corrupt disposition. So, what must one do to resolve their corrupt disposition? Firstly, one must know their corrupt essence. Specifically, this means knowing how one’s corrupt disposition arose, and which of Satan’s lies and fallacies they accepted gave rise to it. Once one fully comes to understand these root causes on the basis of God’s words and has discernment of them, they will no longer be willing to live by their corrupt disposition, they will want only to submit to God and live by His words. Whenever they reveal a corrupt disposition, they will be able to recognize it, reject it, and forsake their flesh. By practicing and experiencing in this way, they will slowly cast off all of their corrupt dispositions.
—The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth I. What It Means to Pursue the Truth (1)
You should discern the most prominent and obvious things that are in your corrupt dispositions, such as arrogance, or deceitfulness, or evil. Beginning with these corrupt dispositions, reflect, analyze, and gain knowledge of yourself. If you can achieve true self-knowledge and hatred of yourself, it will be easy for you to shed your corrupt dispositions, and it will be easy for you to put the truth into practice. So, how is this to be practiced, specifically? Let us fellowship simply about this, using the example of an arrogant disposition. In your daily life, when speaking, conducting yourself and handling matters, performing your duty, fellowshiping with others, and so on, whatever the matter at hand is, or where you are, or what the circumstances are, you must focus at all times on examining what kind of arrogant disposition you have poured forth. You must excavate all the outpourings, thoughts, and ideas that come from your arrogant disposition that you are aware of and can perceive, as well as your intents and goals—in particular, always wanting to lecture others from on high; not obeying anyone; seeing yourself as better than others; not accepting what others say, no matter how right they may be; making others accept and submit to what you say, even when you are wrong; having a constant tendency toward leading others; being uncompliant and offering justifications when leaders and workers prune and deal with you, condemning them as false; always condemning others and elevating yourself; always thinking that you are better than everyone else; always wishing to be a renowned, eminent person; always loving to show off, so that others regard you highly and worship you…. Through the practice of reflecting on and analyzing these outpourings of corruption, you can come to know how ugly your arrogant disposition is, and you can loathe and abhor yourself, and hate your arrogant disposition even more. You will thus be willing to reflect on whether or not you have poured forth an arrogant disposition in all matters. One part of this is reflecting on what arrogant and self-righteous dispositions pour forth in your speech—what boastful, arrogant, senseless things you say. The other part is reflecting on what absurd, senseless things you do while acting according to your notions, imaginings, ambitions, and desires. Only this kind of self-reflection can yield self-knowledge. Once you have gained true knowledge of yourself, you should seek the paths and principles of practice for being an honest person in God’s words, and then practice, perform your duty, and approach and interact with others according to the paths and principles indicated in God’s words. When you have practiced in this way for a while, perhaps a month or two, you will feel a brightness of heart about it, and you will have gained something from it and gotten a taste of success. You will feel that you have a path for becoming an honest, sensible person, and you will feel much more grounded. Though you will not yet be able to speak of a particularly deep knowledge of the truth, you will have gained some perceptual knowledge of it, as well as a path of practice. Though you will not be able to express it clearly in words, you will have some discernment of the harm that an arrogant disposition does to people and how it distorts their humanity. For instance, arrogant, conceited people often say boastful, wild things, and tell lies to trick others; they speak high-sounding words, shout slogans, and spout lofty harangues. Are these not various manifestations of an arrogant disposition? Is it not quite senseless to pour forth these arrogant dispositions? If you are able to truly understand that you must have lost your normal human reason to pour forth such arrogant dispositions, and that living within an arrogant disposition means that you are living out devilishness rather than humanity, then you will have truly recognized that a corrupt disposition is a satanic disposition, and you will be able to hate Satan and corrupt dispositions from your heart. With six months or a year of such experience, you will be capable of true self-knowledge, and if you pour forth an arrogant disposition again, you will immediately be aware of it, and you will be able to forsake and renounce it. You will have begun to change, and you will be able to gradually cast off your arrogant disposition, and get along normally with others. You will be able to speak honestly and from the heart; you will no longer tell lies or say arrogant things. Will you not then possess a little reason and some likeness of an honest person? Will you not have gained that entry? This is when you will begin to gain something. When you practice being honest in this way, you will be able to seek the truth and reflect on yourself no matter what sort of arrogant disposition you pour forth, and after experiencing being an honest person in this way for some time, you will unconsciously and gradually come to understand the truths and relevant words of God about being an honest person. And when you use those truths to dissect your arrogant disposition, in the depths of your heart there will be the enlightenment and illumination of God’s words, and your heart will begin to feel brighter. You will see clearly the corruption that an arrogant disposition brings to people and the ugliness that it makes them live out, and you will be able to discern each of the corrupt states that people find themselves in when they pour forth an arrogant disposition. With more analysis, you will see Satan’s ugliness all the more clearly, and you will hate Satan even more. It will thus be easy for you to cast off your arrogant disposition.
—The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth I. What It Means to Pursue the Truth (2)
To achieve true repentance, one must resolve their corrupt dispositions. So, how, specifically, should one practice and enter in order to resolve their corrupt dispositions? Here is an example. People have deceitful dispositions, they are always lying and cheating. If you realize that, then the simplest and most direct principle of practice to resolve your deceitfulness is to be an honest person, to tell the truth and do honest things. The Lord Jesus said, “But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no.” To be an honest person, one should follow the principles of God’s words. This simple practice is the most effective, it is easy to understand and to put into practice. However, because people are so deeply corrupted, because they all have satanic natures and are living by satanic dispositions, it is quite difficult for them to practice the truth. They would like to be honest, but they cannot. They cannot help but tell lies and engage in trickery, and though they may feel remorse after recognizing this, they will still be unable to cast off the constraints of their corrupt disposition, and they will go on lying and cheating as they did before. How should this problem be resolved? Part of it is knowing that the essence of one’s corrupt disposition is ugly and despicable, and being able to hate it from one’s heart; another part is training oneself to practice according to the truth principle, “But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no.” When you are practicing this principle, you are in the process of resolving your deceitful disposition. Naturally, if you are able to practice according to the truth principles while resolving your deceitful disposition, that is a manifestation of you turning yourself around and the beginning of your true repentance, and God approves of it. This means that when you turn yourself around, God will change His mind about you. In fact, God doing this is a sort of pardon for man’s corrupt dispositions and rebelliousness. He forgives people and does not remember their sins or their transgressions. Is that specific enough? Have you understood this? Here is another example. Say you have an arrogant disposition, and no matter what happens to you, you are very willful—you always want to call the shots, have others obey you, and do what you want them to do. The day then comes when you realize that this is caused by an arrogant disposition. Your admission that it is an arrogant disposition is the first step toward self-knowledge. From there, you should seek out a few passages of God’s words that expose arrogant disposition against which to compare yourself, and reflect on and know yourself. If you find that the comparison is completely apt, and you admit that the arrogant disposition that God exposes exists in you, and then you discern and uncover where your arrogant disposition comes from, and why it arises, and which of Satan’s poisons, heresies, and fallacies govern it, then, having seen to the heart of all these questions, you will have dug down to the root of your arrogance. This is true self-knowledge. When you have a more precise definition of how you reveal this corrupt disposition, it will facilitate deeper and more practical knowledge of yourself. What should you do next? You should look for the truth principles in God’s words, and understand what sort of human comportment and speech are manifestations of normal humanity. After you find the path of practice, you must practice according to God’s words, and when your heart has turned around, you will have truly repented. Not only will there be principles to your speech and actions, you will also be living out human likeness and gradually shedding your corrupt disposition. Others will see you as a new person: You will no longer be the old, corrupt person you once were, but one reborn in God’s words. Such a person is one whose life disposition has been changed.
—The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth I. What It Means to Pursue the Truth (1)
To pursue dispositional change, one must first be able to recognize their own corrupt disposition. Truly knowing oneself involves seeing through and thoroughly dissecting the essence of their corruption, as well as recognizing the various states a corrupt disposition gives rise to. It is only when someone clearly understands their own corrupt states and corrupt disposition that they can hate their flesh and hate Satan, which only then brings about dispositional change. If they cannot recognize these states, and fail to make the connections and match them up to themselves, can their disposition change? It cannot. Dispositional change requires one to recognize the different states their corrupt disposition produces; they must reach a point of not being controlled by their corrupt disposition and putting the truth into practice—only then can their disposition begin to change. If they cannot recognize the origin of their corrupt states, and only constrain themselves according to the words and doctrines they understand, then even if they have some good behavior and change a bit on the outside, it cannot be considered as dispositional transformation. Since it cannot be considered as dispositional transformation, what, then, is the role that most people play during the course of performing their duty? It is the role of a service-doer; they merely exert themselves and busy themselves with tasks. Although they are also performing their duty, most of the time they are only focused on getting things done, not seeking the truth but just exerting effort. Sometimes, when they’re in a good mood, they’ll put in extra effort, and sometimes when their mood is bad they’ll hold back a bit. But afterward they’ll examine themselves and feel remorse, so they’ll put in more effort again, believing this to be repentance. Actually, this is not true change, nor is it true repentance. True repentance begins with knowing oneself; it begins with a shift in behavior. Once someone’s behavior has shifted, and they can forsake their flesh, put the truth into practice, and in terms of behavior, appear to be aligned with principles, this means there has been genuine repentance. Then, bit by bit, they reach the point of being able to speak and act according to principles, completely conforming to the truth. This is when a change in life disposition begins.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only Self-Knowledge Is of Aid in Pursuing the Truth
If you reveal corruption in a matter, can you immediately practice the truth once you realize it? You cannot. At this stage of understanding, others prune you and deal with you, and then your environment compels you and forces you to act in accordance with the truth principles. Sometimes, you’re still not reconciled to doing so, and you say to yourself, “Do I have to do it like this? Why can’t I do it how I want? Why am I always being asked to practice the truth? I don’t want to do this, I’m tired of it!” Experiencing God’s work requires undergoing the following process: from being reluctant to practice the truth, to willingly practicing the truth; from negativity and weakness, to strength and the capacity to forsake the flesh. When people reach a certain point of experience and then undergo some trials, refinement, and ultimately come to understand God’s will and some truths, then they will be somewhat happy and willing to act in accordance with the truth principles. At the outset, people are reluctant to practice the truth. Take devotedly fulfilling one’s duties as an example: You have some understanding of fulfilling your duties and being devoted to God, and you also have some understanding of the truth, but when will you be able to completely devote yourself to God? When will you be able to fulfill your duties in both name and deed? This will require a process. During this process, you could suffer many hardships. Some people might deal with you, and others might criticize you. Everyone’s eyes will be on you, scrutinizing you, and only then will you begin to realize that you are in the wrong and that you are the one who has done poorly, that lacking devotion in the fulfillment of your duty is unacceptable, and that you must not be careless or perfunctory! The Holy Spirit will enlighten you from within, and reproach you when you make a mistake. During this process, you will come to understand some things about yourself, and will know that you have too many impurities, harbor too many personal motives, and have too many immoderate desires when fulfilling your duties. Once you have understood the essence of these things, if you can come before God in prayer and have true repentance, you can be cleansed of those corrupt things. If, in this manner, you frequently seek the truth to resolve your own practical problems, you will gradually set foot upon the right path of faith; you will begin to have true life experiences, and your corrupt disposition will start to be gradually purified. The more your corrupt disposition is purified, the more your life disposition will transform.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. What Should Be Known About Transforming One’s Disposition
If people’s corrupt dispositions are not resolved, they cannot enter into the truth reality. If they do not know which corrupt dispositions they have, or what their own satanic nature essence is, then are they able to truly admit that they themselves are corrupt humans? (No.) If people are unable to truly admit that they are satanic, that they are members of the corrupt human race, then can they truly repent? (No.) If they cannot truly repent, then might they not often think that they are not so bad, that they are dignified, high in station, that they have status and honor? Might they not often have such thoughts and states? (Yes.) So why do these states appear? It all comes down to one sentence: If people’s corrupt dispositions are not resolved, then their hearts are always disturbed, and it is difficult for them to have a normal state. That is to say, if your corrupt disposition is not resolved in some aspect, it is very difficult for you to be free of the influence of a negative state, and very difficult for you to walk out of that negative state, such that you might even think that this state of yours is right, correct, and in line with the truth. You will hold to it and persist in it, and naturally become trapped in it, so it will be very difficult to walk out of it. Then one day, once you understand the truth, you will realize that this kind of state leads you to misunderstand and resist God, and leads you into conflict with and judgment of God, to the point that you doubt God’s words are the truth, doubt God’s work, doubt that God is sovereign over all, and doubt that God is the reality and origin of all positive things. You will see that your state is very dangerous. This severe consequence was brought about because you did not truly have knowledge of these satanic philosophies, ideas, and theories. Only at this time will you be able to see how sinister and malicious Satan is; Satan is quite capable of deceiving and corrupting people, causing them to take the path of resisting God and betraying Him. If corrupt dispositions are not resolved, the consequences are severe. If you are capable of having this knowledge, this realization, it is entirely the result of you understanding the truth, and of God’s words enlightening and illuminating you. People who do not understand the truth cannot see through how Satan corrupts people, how it deceives people and makes them resist God; this consequence is especially dangerous. As people experience God’s work, if they do not know how to self-reflect, discern negative things, or discern satanic philosophies, then they have no way to be free of Satan’s deception and corruption. Why does God require people to read more of His words? It is so that people will understand the truth, come to know themselves, see clearly what gives rise to their corrupt states, and see where their ideas, viewpoints, and methods of speaking, behaving, and dealing with matters come from. When you become aware that these viewpoints to which you hold are not in line with the truth, that they are in conflict with all that God has said, and that they are not what He wants; when God has requirements of you, when His words come upon you, and when your state and mentality do not allow you to submit to God, nor be submissive to the circumstances He has arranged, nor cause you to live free and liberated in the presence of God and satisfy Him—this all proves that the state to which you hold is wrong. Have you run into this kind of situation before: You live by the things that you think are positive, that you think are the most useful to you; but unexpectedly, when things happen to you, the things that you think are most correct often have no positive effect—on the contrary, they cause you to have doubts about God, leave you without a path, give you misunderstandings about God, and give rise to conflict with God—have you had such times? (Yes.) Of course, you would certainly not hold to those things you think are wrong; you only keep holding to and persisting in the things you think are right, always living in such a state. When one day you understand the truth, only then do you realize that the things you hold to are not positive—they are totally erroneous, things that people think are good, but which are not the truth. How much of the time do you realize and become aware that the things you hold to are wrong? If you are aware that they are wrong the majority of the time, but you do not reflect, and you have conflict in your heart, are unable to accept the truth, are unable to correctly face these things, and you also reason on your own behalf—if this kind of erroneous state is not turned around, it is very dangerous. Always holding to such things makes it very easy for you to come to grief, easy for you to stumble and fail, and additionally, you will not enter into the truth reality. When people always reason on their own behalf, it is rebellion; it means that they have no sense. Even if they do not say anything out loud, if they hold it in their hearts, then the root problem still has not been resolved. So at what times are you capable of not coming into conflict with God? You must turn your state around and resolve the roots of your problems in this regard; you must be clear on where exactly the mistake is in the viewpoint you hold to; you must probe at this, and seek the truth to resolve it. Only then can you live in the right state. When you live in the right state, you will have no misunderstandings about God, and you will not have any conflict with Him, much less will notions arise in you. At this time, your rebelliousness in this regard will be resolved. When it is resolved, and you know how to act in line with God’s will, will your actions at this time not be compatible with God? If you are compatible with God in this matter, then will all you do not be in line with His will? Are courses of action and practice that are in line with the will of God not in line with the truth? As you stand firm in this matter, you are living in the right state. When you live in the right state, that which pours out of you and which you live out is no longer a corrupt disposition; you are able to live out normal humanity, it is easy for you to put the truth into practice, and you are truly submissive.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only Resolving One’s Corrupt Disposition Can Bring About True Transformation
Related Experiential Testimonies
I Know the Way to Resolve Corrupt Disposition
How to Accept the Truth