26. What dispositional change is

Words of Almighty God of the Last Days

Dispositional change is the principal vision for believers in God. Achieving dispositional change is no simple matter. This is because God is not saving newly-created humans who are uncorrupted by Satan, but a group of humans who have been deeply corrupted by it, filled with satanic poisons and satanic dispositions, who are just like Satan, and are resisting and rebelling against God. Transforming a person’s corrupt disposition is like treating someone with cancer. That’s a complex process, isn’t it? It requires surgery, long-term chemotherapy, and re-examination after a period of time. The process is truly complex. So, do not regard dispositional change as a simple matter. It is not the change in behavior or character that people imagine. It is not something that people achieve just because they want to. There are many processes involved in dispositional change—processes that are explained very clearly in God’s words. Therefore, from the very first day that you come to believe in God, you must understand how God saves people and the effect that He wants to achieve by saving them. If you want to pursue the truth and achieve dispositional change, you must change your erroneous views on belief in God. Believing in God does not require you to be a well-behaved, good person, or a law-abiding person, or to do many good deeds that win the approval of others. In the past, people thought that believing in God and pursuing dispositional change meant being a people-pleaser—to outwardly have some human likeness, some culture, some patience, or else to have some superficial piety and love for other people, to help others and to give alms. In other words, to be what is considered a good person within human notions and imaginings. Everyone has such notions and things in their hearts—this is one aspect of satanic poisons. In the past, no one who believed in God could explain clearly the issue of dispositional change. They were unfamiliar with matters of faith—it wasn’t something that they innately understood, or that they could understand after a few years of belief in Christianity. This is because God had not yet performed this aspect of His work, nor had He communicated this aspect of the truth. That’s why many people, based on their notions and imaginings, considered faith to be a matter of making some changes to their superficial behavior and practices, and of changing some of their obviously erroneous viewpoints. Some even believed that having faith was about enduring greater hardships, not eating good food, or not wearing fancy clothes. Just like the Catholic nuns in Western countries in the past, who believed that faith in God simply meant enduring more hardship and enjoying fewer good things in their lives—to give money, when they had it, to the poor, or to do more good deeds and to help others. All their lives, they placed emphasis on suffering. They did not eat any good food; they did not wear any nice clothes. When they died, their clothes were worth only a few dollars. Their deeds may have been reported in the news around the world. What does this mean? It means that, in people’s minds, only people such as these are good and virtuous; that only these people are considered by the religious world to have done good things and good deeds, that only they have undergone transformation and truly have conviction. And so, you all may be no exceptions, perhaps you also believe that faith in God must mean being a good person—someone who doesn’t hit or insult others, who doesn’t use bad language or do bad things, someone that, on the outside, people can see is a believer in God and someone who can glorify God. This is a mental state possessed by those who have just started to believe in God. They believe that this is dispositional change, and that this is the kind of person who is pleasing to God. Is this viewpoint correct? Only people who have just started out in their faith have such naive thoughts. Once one has understood some truths, these kinds of thinking will soon disappear. No matter how deeply this viewpoint was rooted in your heart before, you have not yet uncovered its errors and deviations. No matter how many years you have believed in God, these erroneous viewpoints have not been thoroughly resolved. From this, it is clear that few people truly understand what dispositional change is, nor do they understand what it means to truly believe in God, how to be a real person, what kind of person is pleasing to God, or what kind of person God finds acceptable, and what kind of person God wants to gain. If you don’t understand these things, it shows that you haven’t laid a solid foundation on the true way. Those human notions, imaginings, and subjective thoughts still dominate your thinking and your viewpoints.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. The Path of Practice Toward Changing One’s Disposition

What does a transformation in disposition mean? It happens when a person who loves the truth, while experiencing God’s work, accepts the judgment and chastisement of His words and undergoes all manner of suffering and refinement. Such a person is cleansed of the satanic poisons within them and completely breaks free of their corrupt dispositions so that they can submit to God’s words and all of His orchestrations and arrangements, never again to rebel against Him or resist Him. This is a transformation in disposition. … A transformation in disposition means that a person, because they love and can accept the truth, finally comes to know their nature, which is disobedient to God and in opposition to God. They understand that humans are corrupted too deeply, they understand humankind’s absurdness and deceitfulness, and humankind’s impoverished and pitiful state, and they finally come to understand humankind’s nature essence. Knowing all this, they become able to deny and forsake themselves completely, live by God’s word, and practice the truth in all things. This is someone who knows God, and someone whose disposition has transformed.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. How to Know Man’s Nature

Dispositional change is not a change in behavior or personality, much less a change whereby people become more knowledgeable or learned; God wants to change every person’s thoughts and views through His words, and enable them to understand the truth, so that they can achieve a transformation in how they see things. This is but one aspect, while another is to change the principles underpinning how people conduct themselves, which is a change in their outlook on life; yet another is to change the deep-rooted satanic nature and disposition which is revealed in people. In general, dispositional change encompasses these three aspects.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. The Path of Practice Toward Changing One’s Disposition

Transformation in disposition mainly refers to the transformation of a person’s nature. The things of a person’s nature cannot be perceived from external behaviors. They are directly related to the worth and significance of their existence, to their outlook on life and their values, they involve the things in the depths of their soul, and their essence. If a person cannot accept the truth, they will undergo no transformation in these aspects. Only by experiencing God’s work, fully entering the truth, changing one’s values and one’s outlooks on existence and life, aligning one’s views on things with God’s word, and becoming capable of completely submitting to and being devoted to God, can one’s disposition be said to have transformed. Presently, you may appear to put forth some effort and be resilient in the face of hardship while performing your duty, you may be able to carry out work arrangements from the Above, or you may be able to go wherever you are told to go. On the surface, it may look like you are somewhat obedient, but when something happens that is not in line with your notions, your rebelliousness comes to the fore. For example, you do not submit to being pruned and dealt with, and you are even less submissive when disaster strikes; you even find it within yourself to blame God. Therefore, that little bit of obedience and change on the outside is just a small change in behavior. There is a little bit of change, but this is not enough to count as the transformation of your disposition. You may be able to run down many paths, suffer many hardships, and endure great humiliation; you may feel very close to God, and the Holy Spirit may do some work on you. However, when God asks you to do something that does not conform to your notions, you still might not submit, rather, you might look for excuses, rebel against and resist God, and on dire occasions even question and fight back against Him. This would be a serious problem! It would show that you still have a nature that resists God, that you do not truly understand the truth, and that you have had no change in your life disposition at all. After they are dismissed or cleared out, some people still find it within themselves to judge God and say God is not righteous. They even argue with God and fight back, disseminating their notions about God and dissatisfaction with God everywhere they go. People such as this are devils who resist God. People who have devilish natures will never change and should be abandoned. Only those who can seek and accept the truth in every situation, and submit to the work of God, have a hope of gaining the truth and achieving a change in disposition. In your experiences, you must learn to discern between states which outwardly appear normal. You may sob and cry during prayer, or feel that your heart loves God so much, and is so close to God, yet these states are only the work of the Holy Spirit and do not signify that you are someone who loves God. If you can still love and obey God even when the Holy Spirit is not at work, and when God does things that do not line up with your own notions, only then are you a person who truly loves God. Only then are you a person whose life disposition has changed. Only this is a person who has the truth reality.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. What Should Be Known About Transforming One’s Disposition

If a person’s life disposition has transformed, their outlook on life has certainly changed, too. Now having different values, they will never again live for themselves, and they will never again believe in God for the purpose of gaining blessings. Such a person will be able to say, “Knowing God is so worthwhile. If I die after having gotten to know God, then that would be great! If I can know God and submit to God, and I can live a meaningful life, then I will not have lived in vain, nor will I die with any regrets; I will have no complaints.” This person’s outlook on life has transformed. The main reason for a change in one’s life disposition is because one possesses the truth reality, one has gained the truth, and has knowledge of God; one’s outlook on life is therefore changed, and one’s values are different from before. The transformation starts from within one’s heart, and from within one’s life; it is certainly not an external change. Some new believers, after they have begun to believe in God, leave the secular world behind. When they later encounter unbelievers, these believers have little to say, and they rarely contact their unbelieving relatives and friends. The unbelievers say, “This person has changed.” The believers then think, “My life disposition has transformed; these unbelievers are saying I’ve changed.” Has such a person’s disposition actually transformed? No, it hasn’t. What they manifest are merely external changes. There has been no real change in their life, and their satanic nature remains rooted within their heart, completely untouched. Sometimes, people are gripped by fervor because of the work of the Holy Spirit; some external changes might occur, and they might do a few good deeds. However, this is not the same as achieving a transformation of disposition. If you do not possess the truth and your view of things has not changed, even to the point of being no different from that of unbelievers, and if your outlook on life and your values have not altered, either, and if you do not even have a God-fearing heart—which is the very least that you should possess—then you are nowhere close to having achieved a change in disposition.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three

The change in your disposition that you understood before was that you, who are quick to judge, have ceased to speak thoughtlessly through God’s discipline; but that is just one aspect of the change. Right now, the most critical point is following the guidance of the Holy Spirit: Follow whatever God says, and obey whatever He says. 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

Dispositional change lies not in changes in rituals or regulations, and must less in changes to one’s external appearance or outward behavior, character, or temper. It is not about transforming a slow temperament into a quick temperament, or vice-versa, nor is it about transforming an introvert into an extrovert, or someone talkative into someone taciturn. This is not the way, this is very far removed from God’s requirements, and so far off! When someone first begins to believe in God, because they don’t understand the truth, they always do things according to their notions and imaginings. This results in them straying from the right path, and wasting several years of their time without gaining anything real. At that time, they don’t know that they should walk the path of pursuing the truth in their belief in God. This leads to them following wrong turns for several years, before realizing that the most important thing in believing in God is understanding the truth and entering into reality to achieve salvation, and that this is the most crucial thing. Only then do they understand that the dispositional change that God speaks of does not refer to changes in outward behavior, and that God is instead asking people to understand themselves and their own corrupt essence, to put in effort and find the root cause with regard to understanding man’s nature essence, and to then cast off their corrupt dispositions, put the truth into practice, and be able to obey and worship God. This is what it means to change one’s life disposition.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. The Path of Practice Toward Changing One’s Disposition

Transformation in one’s disposition is not a change in behavior, nor is it a feigned outward change or a temporary alteration made out of zeal. No matter how good these changes are, they cannot take the place of changes in life disposition, because these outward changes can be achieved through human efforts, but changes in life disposition cannot be achieved through one’s own effort alone. Experiencing God’s judgment, chastisement, trials, and refinement is required to achieve this, as well as the perfection of the Holy Spirit. Although people who believe in God exhibit some good behavior, not a single one of them truly obeys God, truly loves God, or can do God’s will. Why is this? It is because this requires a change in life disposition, and a mere change in behavior is far from sufficient. A change in disposition means that you have knowledge and experience of the truth, and that the truth has become your life, that it can direct and dominate your life and everything about you. This is a change in your life disposition. Only people who possess the truth as life are those whose dispositions have changed. In the past, there may have been some truths that you could not put into practice when you understood them, but now you can practice any aspect of the truth you understand without obstacles or difficulty. When you practice the truth, you find yourself filled with peace and happiness, but if you can’t practice the truth, you feel pain and your conscience is disturbed. You can practice the truth in everything, live by God’s words, and have a foundation for living. This means that your disposition has changed. You can now easily let go of your notions and imaginings, your fleshly preferences and pursuits, and those things that you couldn’t let go of before. You feel that God’s words are genuinely good, and that practicing the truth is the best thing to do. This means your disposition has changed. A change in disposition sounds very simple, but it is actually a process that involves a lot of experience. During this period, people need to suffer many hardships, they need to subdue their own bodies and forsake their flesh, they also need to suffer judgment, chastisement, pruning, being dealt with, trials, and refinement, and they also need to experience many failures, falls, internal struggles, and torments within their hearts. Only after these experiences can people have some understanding of their own nature, but some understanding does not produce a complete change right away; they have to go through a long period of experience before they are finally able to rid themselves of their corrupt dispositions little by little.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. What Should Be Known About Transforming One’s Disposition

Achieving transformation in one’s disposition is no simple matter; it does not mean just having a few changes in behavior, gaining some knowledge of the truth, being able to talk a bit about one’s experience with every aspect of the truth, or having some changes or becoming a little obedient after being disciplined. These things do not constitute transformation in one’s life disposition. Why do I say this? Though you may have changed somewhat, you are still not truly putting the truth into practice. Perhaps because you are temporarily in a suitable environment, and the situation permits it, or your current circumstances have compelled you, you behave in this way. In addition, when you are in a good mood, when your state is normal, and when you have the work of the Holy Spirit, you can practice the truth. But suppose you are in the midst of a trial, when you are suffering like Job amidst your trials, or that you face the trial of death. When this comes, will you still be able to practice the truth and stand firm in testimony? Can you say something like what Peter said, “Even if I were to die after knowing You, how could I not do so gladly and happily?” What did Peter value? What Peter valued was obedience, and he regarded knowing God to be the most important thing, so he was able to obey until death. Transformation in disposition does not happen overnight; it takes a whole lifetime of experience to achieve. Understanding the truth is a little easier, but being able to practice the truth in various contexts is hard. Why do people always have trouble putting the truth into practice? In fact, these difficulties are all directly related to people’s corrupt dispositions, and they are all hindrances that come from corrupt dispositions. Therefore, you have to suffer much and pay a price to be able to put the truth into practice. If you didn’t have corrupt dispositions, you wouldn’t have to suffer and pay a price to practice the truth. Isn’t this an obvious fact? Sometimes it might seem as though you are putting the truth into practice, but in reality, the nature of your actions does not show that you are doing so. In following God, many people are able to cast aside their families and careers and fulfill their duties, and therefore they believe they are practicing the truth. However, they are never able to offer true experiential testimony. What is going on here, exactly? To measure them by man’s notions, they seem to be practicing the truth, yet God does not recognize what they are doing as practicing the truth. If the things you do have personal motives behind them and are adulterated, then you are liable to deviate from principles, and cannot be said to be practicing the truth; this is just a type of conduct. Strictly speaking, this type of conduct of yours will probably be condemned by God; it will not be praised or commemorated by Him. To go on dissecting this to its essence and root, you are someone who does evil, and these outward behaviors of yours constitute opposition to God. From the outside, you are not disrupting or disturbing anything and you have not done real damage. It appears to be logical and reasonable, yet within, there are human contaminants and intents, and its essence is that of doing evil and resisting God. Therefore, you should determine whether there has been a change in your disposition and whether you are putting the truth into practice using God’s words, and by looking at the motives behind your own actions. It does not depend on whether your actions conform to the human imaginings and human thoughts, or whether they are suited to your taste; such things are not important. Rather, it depends on God saying whether or not you are conforming to His will, whether or not your actions possess the truth reality, and whether or not they meet His requirements and standards. Only measuring yourself against God’s requirements is accurate. Transformation in disposition and putting the truth into practice are not as simple and easy as people imagine. Do you understand this now? Do you have any experience with this? When it comes to a problem’s essence, you might not understand it; your entry has been overly superficial. You run about all day long, from dawn until dusk, rising early and going to bed late, yet you have not achieved transformation in your life disposition, and you cannot grasp what dispositional transformation is. This means your entry is too shallow, does it not? Regardless of how long you have believed in God, you might not sense the essence and deep things to do with transformation in disposition. Can it be said that your disposition has changed? How do you know whether God praises you or not? At the very least, you will feel exceptionally steadfast regarding everything that you do, and you will feel the Holy Spirit guiding and enlightening you and working in you while you are fulfilling your duties, doing any work in God’s house, or in general. Your conduct will fit hand-in-hand with God’s words, and once you have gained a certain degree of experience, you will feel that how you acted in the past was relatively suitable. If, however, after gaining experience for a period of time, you feel that some of the things you did in the past were not suitable, and you are dissatisfied with them, and feel that they were not in accordance with the truth, then this proves that everything you did was done in resistance to God. It is evidence that your service was full of rebelliousness, resistance, and human ways of acting, and that you have utterly failed to achieve changes in disposition.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. What Should Be Known About Transforming One’s Disposition

Dispositions are things that are revealed from one’s nature, and a change in disposition means that one’s corrupt disposition has been purified and replaced with the truth. What is therefore revealed is then not a corrupt disposition, but a manifestation of normal humanity. After Satan corrupted man, man became an embodiment of Satan, and the sort of satanic thing that resists God and is entirely capable of betraying Him. Why does God require people to change their dispositions? Because God wants to perfect and gain people, finally making humans who possess a lot of additional realities of knowing God, and the realities of all aspects of the truth. People like this are completely in accordance with God’s will. In the past, people had corrupt dispositions, and would make a mistake or show resistance whenever they did something, but now people understand some truths, and can do many things that are in line with God’s will. However, this doesn’t mean that people don’t betray God. People still can do this. A part of what pours forth from their nature can be changed, and the part that can change is the part where people are able to practice in accordance with the truth. But just because you can now put the truth into practice doesn’t mean that your nature has changed. It is like how people used to always have notions about and demands of God, and now in many respects they don’t—but they might still have notions or demands in some matters, and are still able to betray God. You might say, “I can submit to whatever God does, and obey in many matters without complaint and without demands,” but you can still betray God in some matters. Although you don’t resist God on purpose, when you don’t understand His will you can still go against it. So, what is meant by the part that can change? It’s just that when you understand God’s will, you can obey, and when you understand the truth, you can put it into practice. If you don’t understand the truth or God’s will in some matters, then there is still a possibility that you could reveal corruption. If you understand the truth, but do not put it into practice because you are constrained by certain things, then this is betrayal, and this is something in your nature. Of course, there is no limit to how much your disposition can change. The more truths you gain, that is, the deeper your knowledge of God becomes, the less you will resist and betray Him. Seeking to change one’s disposition is mainly achieved by pursuing the truth, and understanding one’s own nature essence is achieved through understanding the truth. When one truly gains the truth, all of their problems will be resolved.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. People Make Too Many Demands of God

People who have experienced a change in their dispositions have understood the truth, they are discerning on all issues, they know how to act in accordance with God’s will, how to act in accordance with the truth principle, and how to act to satisfy God, and they understand the nature of the corruption they exhibit. When their own ideas and notions are revealed, they are able to be discerning and forsake the flesh. This is how a change in disposition is manifested. The main manifestation of people who have undergone a change in disposition is that they have come to clearly understand the truth, and when carrying things out, they put the truth into practice with relative accuracy and they do not exhibit corruption as often. Generally, those whose dispositions have transformed appear to be particularly reasonable and discerning, and due to their understanding of the truth, they do not exhibit as much self-righteousness or arrogance. They can see through and discern much of the corruption that has been revealed in them, so they do not give rise to arrogance. They are able to have a measured grasp on what place they should take and what things they should do that are reasonable, on how to be dutiful, on what to say and what not to say, and on what to say and what to do to which people. Thus, people whose dispositions have changed are relatively reasonable, and only such people truly live out a human likeness. Because they understand the truth, they are able to speak and see things in accordance with the truth, and they are principled in everything they do; they are not subject to the influence of any person, matter, or thing, and they all have their own views and can uphold the truth principles. Their dispositions are relatively stable, they do not blow hot and cold, and no matter what their circumstances, they understand how to do their duties properly and how to behave to God’s satisfaction. Those whose dispositions have changed are not focused on what to do externally to make others think well of them; they have gained internal clarity on what to do to satisfy God. Therefore, from the outside, they may not seem to be so enthusiastic or to have done anything important, but everything they do is meaningful, is valuable, and yields practical results. Those whose dispositions have changed are certain to possess a lot of truth realities, and this can be confirmed by their perspectives on things and their principles of action. Those who have not obtained the truth have absolutely not achieved any change in life disposition. How exactly is a change in disposition achieved? Human beings have been deeply corrupted by Satan, they all resist God, and they all have the nature of resisting God. God saves people by turning those who have the nature of resisting God and who can resist God into those who can obey and fear God. This is what it means to be someone whose disposition has changed. No matter how corrupt a person is or how many corrupt dispositions they have, as long as they can accept the truth, accept God’s judgment and chastisement, and accept various trials and refinements, they will have a true understanding of God, and at the same time they will be able to clearly see their own nature essence. When they truly know themselves, they will be able to hate themselves and Satan, and they will be willing to forsake Satan, and completely obey God. Once a person has this determination, they can pursue the truth. If people have true knowledge of God, if their satanic disposition is purified, and God’s words take root within them, and have become their life and the basis of their existence, if they live by God’s words, and have completely changed and become new people—then this counts as change in their life disposition. A change in disposition does not mean having a mature and seasoned humanity, nor does it mean that people’s outer dispositions are meeker than before, that they used to be arrogant but now can communicate reasonably, or that they used to listen to no one but now can listen to others a bit; such external changes cannot be said to be transformations in disposition. Of course, transformations in disposition do include such manifestations, but the most crucial ingredient is that internally, their life has changed. This is entirely because God’s words and the truth have taken root inside them, rule within them, and have become their life. Their views on things have also changed. They can see straight through what is going on in the world and with mankind, how Satan corrupts humankind, how the great red dragon resists God, and the essence of the great red dragon. They can hate the great red dragon and Satan in their hearts, and they can completely turn to and follow God. This means their life disposition has changed, and they have been gained by God. Changes in life disposition are fundamental changes, while changes in behavior are superficial. Only those who have achieved changes in life disposition are those who have obtained the truth, and only they have been gained by God.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three

Related Hymns

Changes in Disposition Are Mainly Changes in Nature

Previous: 24. How to resolve one’s corrupt dispositions and attain purification

Next: 27. The difference between good behavior and dispositional change

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