42. Why it is said that only those who have undergone dispositional change are eligible to serve God
Words of Almighty God of the Last Days
Serving God is no simple task. Those whose corrupt disposition remains unchanged can never serve God. If your disposition has not been judged and chastised by God’s words, then your disposition still represents Satan, which proves that you serve God out of your own good intentions, that your service is based on your satanic nature. You serve God with your natural character, and according to your personal preferences. What’s more, you always think that the things you are willing to do are what are delightful to God, and that the things you do not wish to do are what are hateful to God; you work entirely according to your own preferences. Can this be called serving God? Ultimately, there will not be the slightest change in your life disposition; instead, your service will make you even more stubborn, thus deeply ingraining your corrupt disposition, and as such, there will be formed within you rules about service to God that are primarily based on your own character, and experiences derived from your service according to your own disposition. These are the experiences and lessons of man. It is man’s philosophy of living in the world. People like this can be classed as Pharisees and religious officials. If they never wake up and repent, then they will surely turn into the false Christs and the antichrists who deceive people in the last days. The false Christs and the antichrists that were spoken of will arise from among such people. If those who serve God follow their own character and act according to their own will, they run the risk of being cast out at any time. Those who apply their many years of experience acquired to serving God in order to win the hearts of others, to lecture them and control them, and to stand on high—and who never repent, never confess their sins, never renounce the benefits of position—these people shall fall before God. They are of the same kind as Paul, presuming upon their seniority and flaunting their qualifications. God will not bring people like this to perfection. Such service disrupts the work of God. People always cling to the old. They cling to the notions of the past, to everything from times gone by. This is a great obstacle to their service. If you cannot throw them off, these things will throttle your whole life. God will not commend you, not in the slightest, not even if you break your legs running or your back with labor, not even if you are martyred in your service of God. Quite the contrary: He will say that you are an evildoer.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Religious Service Must Be Purged
There is far less deviation in the work of those who have undergone pruning, being dealt with, judgment and chastisement, and the expression of their work is much more accurate. Those who rely on their naturalness to work make quite major mistakes. The work of unperfected people expresses too much of their own naturalness, which poses a major obstacle to the work of the Holy Spirit. However good a person’s caliber, they must also undergo pruning, being dealt with, and judgment before they can do the work of God’s commission. If they have not undergone such judgment, their work, no matter how well done, cannot accord with the principles of the truth and is always a product of their own naturalness and human goodness. The work of those who have undergone pruning, being dealt with, and judgment is much more accurate than the work of those who have not been pruned, dealt with, and judged. Those who have not undergone judgment express nothing but human flesh and thoughts, mingled with much human intelligence and innate talent. This is not man’s accurate expression of God’s work. Those who follow such people are brought before them by their innate caliber. Because they express too much of the insight and experience of man, which are almost disconnected from God’s original intention and deviate too far from it, the work of this type of person cannot bring people before God, but brings them rather before man. So, those who have not undergone judgment and chastisement are unqualified to carry out the work of God’s commission. The work of a qualified worker can bring people to the right way and grant them greater entry into the truth. His work can bring people before God. In addition, the work he does can vary from individual to individual and is not bound by rules, allowing people liberation and freedom, and the capacity gradually to grow in life and to have a more profound entry into the truth. The work of an unqualified worker falls far short. His work is foolish. He can only bring people into rules, and what he demands of people does not vary from individual to individual; he does not work according to people’s actual needs. In this type of work, there are too many rules and too many doctrines, and it cannot bring people into reality, nor into normal practice of growth in life. It can only enable people to adhere to a few worthless rules. Such guidance can only lead people astray. He leads you to become like him; he can bring you into what he has and is. For followers to discern whether leaders are qualified, the key is to look at the path on which they lead and the results of their work, and to see whether followers receive principles in accordance with the truth, and whether they receive ways of practice suitable for their transformation. You should distinguish between the different work of different types of people; you should not be a foolish follower. This bears on the matter of people’s entry. If you are unable to distinguish which person’s leadership has a path and which does not, you will easily be deceived. All of this has a direct bearing on your own life. There is too much naturalness in the work of unperfected people; it is mixed with too much of human will. Their being is naturalness—what they are born with. It is not life after having been dealt with or reality after having been transformed. How can such a person support those who are pursuing life? The life that man has originally is his innate intelligence or talent. This kind of intelligence or talent is quite far from God’s exact demands for man. If a man has not been perfected and his corrupt disposition has not been pruned and dealt with, there will be a wide gap between what he expresses and the truth; what he expresses will be mixed with vague things, such as his imagination and one-sided experience. Moreover, regardless of how he works, people feel there is no overall goal and no truth suitable for the entry of all people. Most of what is demanded of people is beyond their ability, as if they were ducks being made to sit on perches. This is the work of human will. Man’s corrupt disposition, his thoughts, and his notions pervade all parts of his body. Man is not born with the instinct to practice the truth, nor does he have the instinct to understand the truth directly. Add to that man’s corrupt disposition—when this kind of natural person works, does it not cause disruptions? But a man who has been perfected has experience of the truth that people should understand, and knowledge of their corrupt dispositions, so that the vague and unreal things in his work gradually diminish, the human adulterations become fewer, and his work and service come ever closer to the standards required by God. Thus, his work has entered the truth reality and it has also become realistic. The thoughts in man’s mind in particular block the work of the Holy Spirit. Man has a rich imagination and reasonable logic, and he has had long experience handling affairs. If these aspects of man do not undergo pruning and correction, they are all obstacles to work. Therefore, man’s work cannot achieve the greatest degree of accuracy, especially the work of unperfected people.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Work and Man’s Work
Those whose dispositions have transformed feel fear of God, and their rebelliousness against God gradually lessens. Moreover, in the fulfilling of their duties, they no longer need others to worry about them, nor does the Holy Spirit always need to do disciplinary work on them. They can basically submit to God, and their views on things conform with the truth. This all amounts to having become compatible with God. Suppose someone hands over some work to you. You do not need anyone to manage you, to supervise you. You can complete this work with only the word of God and prayer. During this work, you are not perfunctory or arrogant or self-righteous, nor do you do things your own way; you do not constrain anyone else, and you are able to compassionately help others. You can help everyone obtain provision and benefit, and you can guide people to enter onto the right track of believing in God. Furthermore, during this work you do not seek your own status or interests, do not take anything for yourself that you did not earn, do not speak up for yourself, and no matter how anyone treats you, you treat them properly. You will then be someone with a relatively good stature. It is not a simple matter for someone to take up some work and bring God’s chosen people into the reality of His word. It cannot be done without the truth reality. There are many who rely on great gifts in work who fall down and fail. People who do not have the truth are absolutely unreliable, even more so if they have not changed their dispositions.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only by Pursuing the Truth Can One Achieve a Change in Disposition
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.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three
In religion, many people suffer a great deal throughout their lives: They subdue their bodies and bear their cross, and they even continue to suffer and endure when on the very verge of death! Some are still fasting on the morning of their death. All their lives they deny themselves nice food and clothing, focusing only on suffering. They are able to subdue their body and forsake their flesh. Their spirit for enduring suffering is commendable. But their thinking, their notions, their mental attitude, and indeed their old nature, have not been dealt with in the slightest. They lack any true knowledge of themselves. Their mental image of God is that traditional one of a vague God. Their resolve to suffer for God comes from their zeal and the good character of their humanity. Even though they believe in God, they neither understand Him nor know His will. They merely work and suffer blindly for God. They place no value whatsoever on discernment, care little about how to ensure that their service actually fulfills God’s will, and much less are they aware of how to achieve the knowledge of God. The God they serve is not God in His inherent image, but a God they have imagined, a God of whom they have only heard, or of whom they have only read legends in writing. They then use their fertile imaginations and piousness to suffer for God and undertake God’s work that God wants to do. Their service is too inexact, such that practically none of them are truly able to serve in accordance with God’s will. Regardless of how gladly they suffer, their original perspective on service and their mental image of God remain unchanged, because they have not undergone God’s judgment, chastisement, refinement and perfection, and nor has anyone guided them using the truth. Even if they believe in Jesus the Savior, none of them has ever seen the Savior. They only know of Him through legend and hearsay. As a result, their service amounts to no more than serving randomly with eyes closed, like a blind man serving his own father. What, ultimately, can be achieved by such service? And who would approve of it? From beginning to end, their service remains the same throughout; they receive only man-made lessons and base their service only on their naturalness and their own preferences. What reward could this bring? Not even Peter, who saw Jesus, knew how to serve in accordance with God’s will; he only came to know this in the end, in his old age. What does this say about those blind people who have not experienced the slightest bit of being dealt with or of being pruned, and who have had no one guiding them? Is not the service of many among you today like that of these blind people? All those who have not received judgment, not received pruning and dealing, and who have not changed—are they not all incompletely conquered? Of what use are such people? If your thinking, your knowledge of life, and your knowledge of God show no new change and you do not truly gain anything, then you will never achieve anything remarkable in your service! Without a vision and a new knowledge of God’s work, you are not conquered. Your way of following God will then be like those who suffer and fast: of little value! It is precisely because there is little testimony in what they do that I say their service is futile! Throughout their lives, those people suffer and spend time in prison; they are ever forbearing, loving, and they ever bear the cross, they are ridiculed and rejected by the world, they experience every hardship, and although they are obedient to the very end, they are still not conquered, and can offer no testimony to being conquered. They have suffered a great deal, but inside they do not know God at all. None of their old thinking, old notions, religious practices, man-made knowledge, and human ideas have been dealt with. There is not the slightest hint of new knowledge in them. Not one bit of their knowledge of God is true or accurate. They have misunderstood God’s will. Does this serve God? Whatever your knowledge of God in the past, if it stays the same today and you continue to base your knowledge of God on your own notions and ideas no matter what God does, which is to say that if you possess no new, true knowledge of God and if you fail to know God’s true image and disposition, if your knowledge of God is still guided by feudal, superstitious thinking and is still born of human imagination and notions, then you have not been conquered. All the many words I now speak to you are meant to let you know, to have this knowledge lead you to a newer, accurate knowledge; they are also meant to eradicate the old notions and the old knowledge in you, so that you may possess new knowledge. If you truly eat and drink My words, then your knowledge will change considerably. As long as you eat and drink God’s words with a heart of obedience, then your perspective will be reversed. As long as you are able to accept the repeated chastisements, your old mentality will gradually change. As long as your old mentality is thoroughly replaced with the new, your practice will also change accordingly. In this way, your service will become increasingly on-target, increasingly able to fulfill God’s will.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Inside Truth of the Work of Conquest (3)
In God’s eyes, everything that every person who believes in God does is at odds with the truth, incompatible with God’s word, and hostile to Him. You might not be able to accept this either, and say: “We serve God, worship God, do our duty in God’s house. We’ve done so much, all according to God’s words and requirements, and in line with work arrangements. How can it be said that we resist and betray God? Why do You always knock our enthusiasm? We gave up our family and careers with huge difficulty, and were determined to follow God, so how can You speak about us like this?” The aim of speaking thus is to ensure that everyone understands: It’s not the case that someone who behaves quite well, or gives something up, or suffers some hardships, will change their betraying nature. No way! Suffering is necessary, as is performing your duty, but just because you can suffer, or perform, doesn’t mean that your corrupt disposition no longer exists. This is because there has been no real change in life disposition within anyone, and everyone is still far from satisfying God’s will and meeting His requirements. People’s belief in God is too adulterated, their corrupt dispositions revealed too much. Although many leaders or workers serve God, they also resist Him. What does this mean? It’s that they intentionally go against God’s words and don’t practice according to His will. They intentionally violate the truth, insist on acting according to their own will, to achieve their own designs and aims, to betray God and establish their own independent kingdom, where what they say goes. This is the meaning of serving God but also resisting Him. Do you understand now?
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. The Path of Practice Toward Changing One’s Disposition
Once you really understand the truth and begin to love it from within yourself, you will find it easy to do things that conform to the truth. You will do your duty and practice the truth normally—even effortlessly and joyously, and you will feel that doing anything negative would require a great amount of effort. This is because the truth has taken a dominant role in your heart. If you really understand the truths about human life, then you will have a path to follow in regard to what kind of person to be, how to be an aboveboard and straightforward person, an honest person, and someone who bears witness for God and serves Him. And once you understand these truths, you will never again be able to commit evil acts that defy Him, nor will you ever play the role of a false leader, a false worker, or an antichrist. Even if Satan deceives you, or someone evil eggs you on, you will not do it; no matter who tries to coerce you, you still will not act that way. If people gain the truth and the truth becomes their life, they will become able to loathe evil and to feel an internal disgust for negative things. It would be difficult for them to commit evil, because their life dispositions have changed and they have been perfected by God.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only by Pursuing the Truth Can One Achieve a Change in Disposition
Only God’s Intimates Are Worthy of Serving Him