19. How to resolve the problem of arrogance and conceit

Words of Almighty God of the Last Days

Since mankind was corrupted by Satan, their nature, which is also their essence, has changed. So what then is human essence? What I speak of now is all people’s essence and nature, and is not directed at a certain individual. Since mankind’s corruption by Satan, people’s nature has begun to deteriorate, and they have gradually lost the sense possessed by normal people. They now no longer act as human beings in the position of man, but are filled with wild aspirations; they have surpassed the station of man—yet yearn, still, to go even higher. What does this “higher” refer to? They wish to surpass God, to surpass the heavens, and to surpass all else. What is at the root of why people betray such dispositions? When all is said and done, man’s nature is overly arrogant. Most people understand the meaning of the word “arrogance.” It is a pejorative term. If someone displays arrogance, others think they aren’t a good person. Whenever someone is incredibly arrogant, others always assume they are an evildoer. No one wants to have this term pinned to them. In fact, however, everyone is arrogant, and all corrupt humans have this essence. Some people say, “I’m not the least bit arrogant. I’ve never wanted to be the archangel, nor have I ever wanted to surpass God, or to surpass all else. I’ve always been someone who’s especially well-behaved and dutiful.” Not necessarily; these words are incorrect. Once people have grown arrogant in nature and essence, they can often disobey and resist God, not heed His words, generate notions about Him, do things that betray Him, and things that exalt and bear testimony to themselves. You say you are not arrogant, but suppose you were given a church and allowed to lead it; suppose that I did not deal with you, and that no one in God’s family criticized or helped you: After leading it a while, you would bring people to your feet and make them submit before you, even to the point of admiring and revering you. And why would you do that? This would be determined by your nature; it would be none other than a natural revelation. You do not have any need to learn this from others, nor is there any need for them to teach it to you. You do not need others to instruct you or compel you to do this; this kind of situation comes about naturally. Everything you do is about making people exalt you, praise you, worship you, submit to you, and listen to you in all things. Allowing you to be a leader naturally brings about this situation, and it cannot be changed. And how does this situation come about? It is determined by man’s arrogant nature. The manifestation of arrogance is rebellion and resistance against God. When people are arrogant, self-important, and self-righteous, they tend to set up their own independent kingdoms and do things in whatever way they want. They also bring others into their own hands and draw them into their embraces. For people to be capable of doing such arrogant things, it just proves that the essence of their arrogant nature is that of Satan; it is that of the archangel. When their arrogance and self-importance reach a certain level, they no longer have a place for God in their hearts, and God is put aside. They then wish to be God, make people obey them, and they become the archangel. If you possess such a satanic arrogant nature, God will have no place in your heart. Even if you believe in God, God will no longer recognize you, will view you as an evildoer, and will cast you out.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. An Arrogant Nature Is at the Root of Man’s Resistance to God

There are many kinds of corrupt dispositions that are included within the disposition of Satan, but the one that is most obvious and that stands out the most is an arrogant disposition. Arrogance is the root of man’s corrupt disposition. The more arrogant people are, the more irrational they are, and the more irrational they are, the more liable they are to resist God. How serious is this problem? Not only do people with an arrogant disposition consider everyone else beneath them, but, worst of all, they are even condescending toward God, and they have no God-fearing hearts. Even though people might appear to believe in God and follow Him, they do not treat Him as God at all. They always feel that they possess the truth and think the world of themselves. This is the essence and root of the arrogant disposition, and it comes from Satan. Therefore, the problem of arrogance must be resolved. Feeling that one is better than others—that is a trivial matter. The critical issue is that one’s arrogant disposition prevents one from submitting to God, His rule, and His arrangements; such a person always feels inclined to compete with God for power and control others. This sort of person does not have a God-fearing heart in the slightest, to say nothing of loving God or submitting to Him. People who are arrogant and conceited, especially those who are so arrogant as to have lost their sense, cannot submit to God in their belief in Him, and even exalt and bear testimony for themselves. Such people resist God the most and have absolutely no God-fearing hearts.

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

If you have an arrogant and conceited disposition, then being told not to oppose God makes no difference, you can’t help yourself, it is beyond your control. You would not do it on purpose; you would do it under the domination of your arrogant and conceited nature. Your arrogance and conceit would make you look down on God and see Him as being of no account; they would cause you to exalt yourself, constantly put yourself on display; they would make you scorn others, they would leave no one in your heart but yourself; they would rob you of God’s place in your heart, and ultimately cause you to sit in the place of God and demand that people submit to you, and make you venerate your own thoughts, ideas, and notions as the truth. So much evil is done by people under the dominance of their arrogant and conceited nature!

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only by Pursuing the Truth Can One Achieve a Change in Disposition

The work of judgment and chastisement in the last days is primarily directed at people’s arrogant nature. Arrogance encompasses a lot of things, a lot of corrupt dispositions; judgment and chastisement come directly at this word, “arrogance,” in order to fully remove people’s arrogant disposition. In the end, people will not rebel against God nor resist Him, so they will not endeavor to set up their own independent kingdoms, nor will they exalt or testify of themselves, nor will they act vilely, nor will they have extravagant demands of God—in this way, they have thrown off their arrogant disposition. Arrogance has many manifestations. For example, say someone who believes in God demands His grace—on what basis can you demand it? You are a person corrupted by Satan, a created being; the fact that you live and breathe is already the greatest of God’s graces. You can enjoy all that God has created on the earth. God has given you enough, so why would you demand more of Him? It is because people are never content with their lot. They always think that they are better than others, that they should have more, so they always demand it of God. This is representative of their arrogant disposition. Though their mouths might not say it, when people first start believing in God, in their hearts they may well be thinking, “I want to go to heaven, not hell. I want not only me to be blessed, but my whole family. I want to eat nice food, wear nice clothes, enjoy nice things. I want a good family, a good husband (or wife) and good kids. Ultimately, I want to reign as king.” It’s all about their requirements and demands. This disposition of theirs, these things they think in their hearts, these extravagant desires—they all typify the arrogant nature of man. What makes Me say this? It comes down to people’s status. Man is a created being that came from dust; God formed man of clay, and breathed into him the breath of life. Such is the lowly status of man, yet still people come before God wanting this and that. Man’s status is so ignoble, he should not open his mouth and demand anything from God. So what should people do? They should work hard regardless of criticism, put their shoulder to the wheel, and gladly obey. It’s not a question of gladly embracing humility—do not gladly embrace humility; this is the status people are born with; they should be innately obedient and humble, for their status is humble, and so they should not demand things from God, nor have extravagant desires toward God. Such things should not be found in them. Here is a simple example. A certain wealthy household hired a servant. This servant’s position in the wealthy household was especially low, but they nevertheless said to the master of the house: “I want to wear your son’s hat, I want to eat your rice, I want to wear your clothes, and I want to sleep in your bed. Whatever things you use, whether gold or silver, I want them! I contribute a great deal in my work, and I live in your house, so I want them!” How should the master treat them? The master would say: “You ought to know what kind of thing you are, what your role is: You are a servant. I give my son what he wants, because that is his status. What is your status, your identity? You are not qualified to ask for these things. You should go and do what you ought to, go carry out your obligations, according to your status and identity.” Does such a person have any sense? There are many people who believe in God who do not have that much sense. From the beginning of believing in God, they have ulterior motives, and continuing on, they incessantly make demands of God: “I have to have the work of the Holy Spirit follow me as I spread the gospel! You also have to forgive and tolerate me when I do bad things! If I do a lot of work, You have to reward me!” In short, people are always wanting things from God, they are always greedy. Some people who have done a little work and led a church quite well think that they are superior to others, and often spread words such as: “Why does God put me in an important position? Why does He keep mentioning my name? Why does He keep talking to me? God thinks highly of me because I have caliber and because I am above ordinary people. You are even jealous that God treats me better. What have you got to be jealous of? Can you not see how much work I do and how much of a sacrifice I make? You shouldn’t be jealous of whatever good things God gives me, because I deserve them. I have worked for many years and suffered so much. I deserve credit and am qualified.” There are others who say: “God allowed me to join co-worker meetings and listen to His fellowship. I have this qualification—do you have that? Firstly, I have a high caliber, and I pursue the truth more than you do. What’s more, I expend myself more than you, and I can get the church’s work done—can you?” This is arrogance. The results of people’s performance of their duties and their work are different. Some have good results, whereas others have poor results. Some people are born with good caliber and are also able to seek the truth, so the results of their duties improve quickly. This is because of their good caliber, which is predestined by God. But how to solve the problem of poor results from performing one’s duty? You must constantly seek the truth and work hard, then you too can gradually achieve good results. As long as you strive for the truth and achieve to the limit of your abilities, God will approve. But regardless of whether your work results are good or not, you should not have erroneous ideas. Do not think, “I am qualified to be God’s equal,” “I am qualified to enjoy what God has given me,” “I am qualified to make God praise me,” “I am qualified to lead others,” or “I am qualified to lecture others.” Do not say you are qualified. People should not have these thoughts. If you do have these thoughts, it proves that you are not in your rightful place, and you don’t even have the basic sense that a human being should possess. So how can you cast off your arrogant disposition? You cannot.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. An Arrogant Nature Is at the Root of Man’s Resistance to God

Some people particularly idolize Paul. They like to go out and give speeches and do work, they like to attend gatherings and preach, and they like to have people listen to them, worship them, and revolve around them. They like to hold a place in the hearts of others, and they appreciate it when others value the image they present. Let us analyze their nature from these behaviors. What is their nature? If they really behave like this, then it is sufficient in showing that they are arrogant and conceited. They do not worship God at all; they seek higher status and wish to have authority over others, to possess them, and to hold a position in their hearts. This is the classic image of Satan. The aspects of their nature that stand out are arrogance and conceit, an unwillingness to worship God, and a desire to be worshiped by others. Such behaviors can give you a very clear view into their nature.

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

Some people say they don’t have a corrupt disposition, that they are not arrogant. What people are these? These are people without sense, and they are also the most stupid and arrogant of all. In fact, they’re more arrogant and rebellious than anyone; the more someone says they have no corrupt dispositions, the more arrogant and self-righteous they are. Why are others able to know themselves, and accept God’s judgment, yet you are not? Are you the exception? Are you a saint? Do you live in a vacuum? You do not acknowledge that humankind has been deeply corrupted by Satan, that everyone has a corrupt disposition. This means you do not understand the truth at all, and you are the most rebellious, ignorant, and arrogant of all. According to you, there are many good people in the world and only a few bad ones—so why is it full of darkness, full of filth and corruption, full of conflict? Why, in the world of man, does everyone take and steal from each other? Not even believers in God are an exception. People are always struggling and fighting with one another. And where does this strife stem from? It is a product of their corrupt nature, of course, the very outpouring of their corrupt dispositions. People who have a corrupt nature have arrogance and rebellion pour forth from them; those who live in a satanic disposition are belligerent and combative. Those who are belligerent and combative are the most arrogant people of all, they do not submit to anyone. Why is it that people often confess their sins but do not repent? Why is it that they believe in God but cannot put the truth into practice? Why is it that they believe in God for many years, but cannot fall in line with Him? All this is caused by people’s arrogant nature. Mankind has always rebelled against and resisted God, been totally unwilling to accept the truth, and has even hated and rejected the truth. This is not because God’s requirements of men are too high, but rather because people resist God too fiercely and ruthlessly, so much so that they would make God their enemy and crucify Him. Is such corrupt mankind not too fierce, arrogant, and unreasonable? God expresses so many truths, He has compassion on and saves people, and forgives their sins—but mankind does not accept the truth at all, they always condemn and resist God, and make themselves irreconcilable to God. Now, at what level is humanity’s relationship to God? Man has become God’s enemy, His antithesis. God expresses truth to reveal, judge, and save people; people do not accept it or pay Him any attention. People do not do what God requires of them; they instead go and do the things He hates and despises. God expresses the truth, but people cast it aside. God judges and chastises people’s corrupt dispositions, and not only do they not accept the truth, but they argue with and revolt against Him. How arrogant are people? Corrupt mankind brazenly denies and resists God. Even if they believe in God, they always pursue great fortune, reward, and entry into the kingdom of heaven; they also want to be rulers and wield authority. This is the model representation of arrogance, the very corrupt disposition of man.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. An Arrogant Nature Is at the Root of Man’s Resistance to God

Some people say, “In the house of God, I obey no one but God, because only God has the truth; people do not have the truth, they have corrupt dispositions, nothing they say can be relied upon, so I only obey God.” Are they correct in saying this? (No.) Why not? What kind of disposition is this? (An arrogant and conceited one.) (The dispositions of Satan and the archangel.) This is an arrogant disposition. Do not always say it is the disposition of Satan and the archangel, this way of speaking is too broad and is vague. … Some people have some skills, some gifts, some minor aptitudes, and have done a number of deeds for the church. What these people think is, “Your faith in God involves spending all day reading, copying, writing, memorizing the word of God like some spiritual person. What’s the point? Can you do anything real? How can you call yourself spiritual when you don’t do anything? You do not have life. I have life, everything I do is real.” What disposition is this? They have some special skills, some gifts, they can do a little good, and they take these things to be life. As a result, they obey no one, they are not afraid of lecturing anyone, they look down on everyone else—is this arrogance? (Yes.) This is arrogance. Under what circumstances do people generally reveal arrogance? (When they have some gifts or special skills, when they can do some practical things, when they have capital.) That is one kind of situation. So are people who are not gifted or don’t have any special skills not arrogant? (They are arrogant, too.) The person we just spoke of will often say, “I obey no one but God,” and hearing this, people will think to themselves, “How obedient to the truth this person is, they obey no one but the truth, what they say is right!” In fact, within these seemingly correct words is a kind of arrogant disposition: “I obey no one but God” clearly means that they don’t obey anyone. I ask you, are those who say such words really able to obey God? They could never obey God. Those who are liable to utter such words are undoubtedly the most arrogant of all. On the outside, what they said seems right—but in fact, this is the most conniving way in which arrogant disposition is manifested. They use this “but God” to try to prove that they are reasonable, but really, that is like burying gold and sticking a sign on top saying “No gold buried here.” Is this not foolish? What do you say, which kind of person is the most arrogant? What things can people say that make them the most arrogant? Perhaps you have heard some arrogant things before. What is the most arrogant of these? Do you know? Does anyone dare to say, “I don’t obey anyone—not even Heaven or earth, not even the words of God”? Only the great red dragon demon dares to say this. No one who believes in God would say this. However, if those who believe in God say, “I obey no one but God,” then they are not much different from the great red dragon, they’re tied for world number one, they are the most arrogant of all. What do you say, people are all arrogant, but is there any difference in their arrogance? Where do you make the distinction? Corrupt human beings all have arrogant dispositions, but there are differences in their arrogance. When a person’s arrogance has reached a certain degree, then they have lost all sense. The distinction is whether there is sense to what someone says. Some people are arrogant yet still possess a little reason. If they are able to accept the truth, then they still have hope of salvation. Some are so arrogant that they have no sense—there is no limit to their arrogance—and such people could never accept the truth. If people are so arrogant that they have no sense, then they lose all sense of shame and are only foolishly arrogant. These are all revelations and manifestations of an arrogant disposition.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only Knowledge of the Six Kinds of Corrupt Dispositions Is True Self-Knowledge

There are some people who often violate principles when they act. They do not accept pruning or being dealt with, they know in their hearts that the things others say are in line with the truth, but they do not accept them. Such people are so arrogant and self-righteous! Why say they are arrogant? If they do not accept pruning or being dealt with, then they are not obedient, and is disobedience not arrogance? They think they are doing well, they do not think they make mistakes, which means that they do not know themselves, which is arrogance. So, there are some things you need to earnestly analyze, to dig into bit by bit. As you do the work of the church, if you attain the admiration of others, and they give you suggestions, and they open themselves up to you in fellowship, this proves that you have done your work well. If people are always constrained by you, then they will gradually come to discern you, and they will distance themselves from you, which proves that you do not have the truth reality, so everything you say is certainly just words and doctrines, meant to constrain others. Some church leaders get replaced, and why do they get replaced? It is because they only speak words and doctrines, always showing off and testifying of themselves. They say that to resist them is to resist God, and that whoever reports situations to the Above is disturbing the work of the church. What kind of problem is this? These people have already become so arrogant that they have no more sense. Does this not show their true colors as antichrists? Will this not develop into starting to establish their own independent kingdoms? Some people who have just begun to believe will worship them and testify of them, and they will enjoy this very much, and feel very pleased. Someone this arrogant is already doomed. Someone who is capable of saying “to resist me is to resist God” has already become a modern Paul; there is no difference between this and when Paul said: “To me to live is Christ.” Are people who talk like this not in great danger? Even if they do not establish independent kingdoms, they are still authentic antichrists. If such a person were to lead a church, that church would quickly become a kingdom of antichrists. Some people, after they become church leaders, focus specially on speaking lofty sermons and showing off, specially speaking mysteries so people will look up to them, and the result is that they get further and further away from the truth reality. This leads to the majority of people worshiping spiritual theories. Whoever speaks loftily, that’s who people listen to; whoever talks about life entry, people pay no attention to them. Is this not leading people astray? If someone fellowships on the truth reality, no one listens, which is trouble. No one save this person can lead the church, because everyone worships spiritual theories; those who cannot speak about spiritual theories are unable to stand firm. Can such a church still obtain the work of the Holy Spirit? Can the people enter into the truth reality? Why is fellowshiping about the truth and speaking about real experiences rejected, to the point that they are unwilling to listen to Me fellowship about the truth? It proves that these leaders have already deceived and controlled these people. These people listen and submit to them, rather than submitting to God. It is apparent that these people are the kind that submit to their leaders, rather than to God. Because those who sincerely believe in God and pursue the truth are not the kind to worship or follow men; they have a place for God in their hearts, and they have God-fearing hearts, so how could they be constrained by men? How could they obediently submit to a false leader who does not have the truth reality? The thing a false leader fears most is someone who has the truth reality, someone who fears God and shuns evil. If someone does not have the truth, and yet they want to make others obey them, is that not the most arrogant devil or Satan possible? If you monopolize the church or control God’s chosen people, then you have offended God’s disposition and ruined yourself, and you may not even have a chance to repent. Every one of you must be careful; this is a very dangerous matter, something anyone could do very easily. There might be some who say: “I just won’t do that, I just won’t testify of myself!” That’s just because you have worked only a short time. Later on, you would dare do it. You would slowly become more daring—the more you do it, the more daring you would be. If the people you lead were to brag about and listen to you, you would naturally feel that you were in a high position, that you were amazing: “Look at me, I’m pretty good. I can lead all these people, and they all listen to me; the people who don’t listen to me, I subdue. This proves that I have some ability to work, and I am equal to my work.” As time goes on, the arrogant elements of your nature would begin to pour forth, and you would become so arrogant that you lost your reason, and you would be in danger. Can you see this clearly? You are in trouble as soon as you reveal your arrogant, disobedient disposition. You do not listen even when I speak, the house of God replaces you, and still you dare to say: “Let the Holy Spirit reveal it.” The fact that you would say that proves that you do not accept the truth. Your rebellion is too great—it has exposed your nature essence. You do not know God at all. So, I say all this to you today so that you will keep close watch on yourselves. Do not exalt or testify of yourselves. It is liable for people to try and establish their own independent kingdoms, because they all like position, wealth and glory, vanity, to be a servant of high status, and to demonstrate power: “See how sternly I said those words. The moment I acted threatening, they lost their nerve, and became docile.” Do not demonstrate this kind of power; it is useless, and it proves nothing. It only proves that you are particularly arrogant, and that you have a poor disposition; it does not prove that you have any ability, much less that you have the truth reality. After listening to a few years of sermons, do you all know yourselves? Do you not feel that you are in dangerous circumstances? If it were not for God speaking and working to save man, would you not be establishing independent kingdoms? Do you not want to monopolize the churches you are responsible for, to bring those people under your influence, so that none of them can escape your control, so they have to listen to you? If you control people as soon as you do this, then you are a devil, Satan. It is very dangerous for you to have such thoughts; you have already stepped onto the path of an antichrist. If you do not self-reflect, and if you are unable to confess your sins to God and repent, then you will certainly be set aside, and God will not pay you any attention. You should know how to repent, how to turn yourself around in order to be in line with God’s will, in order to guarantee that you do not offend God’s disposition. Do not wait until the house of God determines that you are an antichrist and expels you—by then, it will be too late.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. An Arrogant Nature Is at the Root of Man’s Resistance to God

Let no person think of themselves as perfect, distinguished, noble, or distinct from others; all this is brought about by man’s arrogant disposition and ignorance. Always thinking of oneself as set apart—this is caused by an arrogant disposition; never being able to accept their shortcomings, and never being able to confront their mistakes and failures—this is caused by an arrogant disposition; never permitting others to be higher than themselves, or to be better than themselves—this is caused by an arrogant disposition; never allowing others’ strengths to surpass or exceed their own—this is caused by an arrogant disposition; never permitting others to have better thoughts, suggestions, and views than themselves, and, when they discover that others are better than themselves, becoming negative, not wishing to speak, feeling distressed and dejected, and becoming upset—all of this is caused by an arrogant disposition. An arrogant disposition can make you protective of your reputation, unable to accept others’ corrections, unable to confront your shortcomings, and unable to accept your own failures and mistakes. More than that, when someone is better than you, it can cause hatred and jealousy to emerge in your heart, and you can feel constrained, such that you do not wish to do your duty and become perfunctory in performing it. An arrogant disposition can cause these behaviors and practices to emerge in you. If you are able, little by little, to dig deeper into all these details, achieve breakthroughs, and gain an understanding of them; and if you are then able gradually to forsake these thoughts, to forsake these erroneous notions, views and even behaviors, and are not constrained by them; and if, in performing your duty, you are able to find the right station for you, and act according to principles, and perform the duty you can and should perform; then, over time, you will be able to perform your duties better. This constitutes entry into the truth reality. If you can enter into the truth reality, you will appear to have a human likeness, and people will say, “This person conducts themselves according to their station, and they are fulfilling their duty in a grounded way. They do not rely on naturalness, on hot-headedness, or on their corrupt, satanic disposition to fulfill their duty. They act with restraint, they have a God-fearing heart, they have love for the truth, and their behavior and expressions reveal that they have forsaken their own flesh and preferences.” How wonderful it is to conduct oneself in such a way! On occasions when others bring up your shortcomings, you are not only able to accept them, but are optimistic, facing your shortcomings and flaws with poise. Your state of mind is quite normal, free of extremes, free of hot-headedness. Is this not what it is to have a human likeness? Only such people have sense.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. The Principles That Should Guide One’s Conduct

After humans are conquered by God, they should at the very least be possessed of the rationality to be sure not to speak arrogantly. It would be best for them to assume lowly status, “as dung upon the ground,” and say some things that are true. Especially when bearing testimony for God, if you can say something of substance from the heart, with no empty or tall talk and no fictitious lies, then your disposition will have truly changed; this is the change that should occur once you have been conquered by God. If you cannot possess even this amount of reason, then you are truly without any semblance of humanity. In the future, when God’s chosen people from all nations and regions have returned before God, and have been conquered by His words, if at a huge gathering in praise of God you begin to act arrogantly again, constantly boasting and showing off, then you will be thoroughly scrapped and cast out. Men must always behave properly, recognize their status and position, and not relapse into their old ways. Satan’s image most classically manifests in human arrogance and conceit. Unless you change this aspect of yourself, you will never have the likeness of a human, and you will always possess the visage of Satan. Resolving arrogance and conceit is the most difficult thing, and merely having a bit of knowledge of your arrogance and conceit will not allow you to attain a complete transformation; you will still need to endure multiple refinements. Without being judged and chastised, dealt with and pruned, you will still be in danger in the long run. In the future, when God’s chosen people from around the world accept His work and say: “We were enlightened long ago that God had gained a group of overcomers in China,” when you hear this, you will think: “We have nothing to brag about, all is given by God’s grace. We do not deserve to be called overcomers.” But over time, as you start to see yourself being able to say something, and that you have a bit of reality, you will ponder: “Even the foreigners have gained the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment, and they say God has made a group of overcomers in China, so we should be deemed overcomers.” You will silently permit this acknowledgment in your hearts now, and you will simply make a public acknowledgment later on. Humans cannot bear to be praised or to be tested by status. If you are always being praised, then you will be in danger. Those whose disposition has not changed cannot stand firm in the end.

The hardest problem for corrupt mankind to fix is that of making the same old mistakes. To prevent this, people must first be aware that they have yet to obtain the truth, that there has not been a change in their life disposition, and that although they believe in God, they still live under the power of Satan, and have not been saved; they are liable to betray God and stray from God at any time. If they have this sense of crisis in their hearts—if, as people often say, they are prepared for danger in times of peace—then they will be able to hold themselves in check somewhat, and when something does happen to them, they will pray to God and depend on Him, and will be able to avoid making the same old mistakes. You must see clearly that your disposition has not changed, that the nature of betrayal against God is still deeply rooted in you and has not been expelled, that you are still at risk of betraying God, and that you face the constant possibility of suffering perdition and being destroyed. This is real, so you must be careful. There are three most important points to keep in mind: First, you still don’t know God; second, there have not been any changes in your disposition; and third, you have yet to live out the true image of man. These three things are in line with the facts, they are real, and you must be clear about them. You must be self-aware. If you have the will to fix this problem, then you should choose your own motto: For example, “I am the dung upon the ground,” or “I am the devil,” or “I often fall into my old ways,” or “I’m always in danger.” Any one of these is fit to serve as your personal motto, and it will help if you remind yourself of it at all times. Keep repeating it to yourself, reflect on it, and you may well be able to make fewer mistakes, or stop making mistakes. Nevertheless, what is most important is to spend more time reading God’s words, to understand the truth, to know your own nature, and to escape your corrupt disposition. Only then will you be safe. Another thing is to never take the position of “a witness of God,” and never call yourself a witness of God. You can only speak of personal experience. You may speak about how God saved you, fellowship about how you were conquered by God, and talk about what grace He bestowed upon you. Never forget that you are the most deeply corrupted of people; you are manure and garbage. Being able to accept God’s work of the last days now is entirely thanks to Him uplifting you. It is only because you are the most corrupt and filthy that you have been saved by God incarnate, that He has granted you such tremendous grace. You therefore have nothing worth bragging about, and can only praise and thank God. Your salvation is purely due to God’s grace.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only by Pursuing the Truth Can One Achieve a Change in Disposition

And now that things have arrived at this pass, how much do you really know about what I say and do? Do not think that you are a natural-born prodigy, only slightly lower than the heavens but infinitely higher than the earth. You are far from being smarter than anyone else—and, it could even be said that it is simply adorable how much sillier you are than any of the people on earth who are possessed of reason, for you think too highly of yourself, and have never had a sense of inferiority, as if you can see through My actions down to the tiniest detail. In point of fact, you are someone who is fundamentally lacking in reason, because you have no idea of what I intend to do, and you are even less aware of what I am doing now. And so I say that you are not even the equal of an old farmer toiling on the land, a farmer who has not the faintest perception of human life and yet puts all his reliance on the blessings of Heaven as he cultivates the land. You do not spare a second’s thought to your life, you know nothing of renown, and still less do you have any self-knowledge. You are so “above it all”! … Let Me tell you one truth: Today it matters very little whether or not you have a heart of fear; I am neither anxious nor worried about that. But I must also tell you this: You, this “person of talent,” who do not learn and remain ignorant, will ultimately be brought down by your self-admiring, petty cleverness—you will be the one who suffers and is chastised. I will not be so stupid as to accompany you as you continue to suffer in hell, for I am not the same kind as you. Do not forget that you are a created being that has been cursed by Me, and yet is also taught and saved by Me, and there is nothing in you that I would be reluctant to part with. At whatever time I do My work, I am never constrained by any person, occurrence, or object. My attitude and My view vis-à-vis mankind have always remained the same. I am not particularly well disposed toward you, because you are an appendage to My management, and far from being more special than any other being. This is My advice to you: You must remember, at all times, that you are nothing more than a creature of God! Although you may share your existence with Me, you should know your own identity; do not think too highly of yourself. Even if I do not rebuke you, or deal with you, but greet you with a smiling face, this is not enough to prove that you are of the same kind as Me. You—you should know yourself to be one who pursues the truth, not the truth itself! You must at all times be ready to change in accordance with My word. You cannot escape this. I urge you, during this precious time, when you have this rare opportunity, to try and learn something. Do not fool Me; I do not need you to use flattery to try and deceive Me. When you seek Me, it is not entirely for My sake, but rather for your own!

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Those Who Do Not Learn and Remain Ignorant: Are They Not Beasts?

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

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Knowing One’s Disposition Is the Foundation of Changing It

When you hear God’s words revealing manifestations of an arrogant disposition pouring forth from someone, you should think to yourself: “Do I show manifestations of arrogance? I am a corrupt human, so I must show some of those manifestations; I should reflect on where I do that. People say I’m arrogant, that I’m always acting high and mighty, that I constrain people when I speak. Is that truly my disposition?” Through reflection, you will finally realize that the revelation of God’s words is entirely accurate—that you are an arrogant person. And as the revelation of God’s words is entirely accurate, as it matches up perfectly with your situation without the least discrepancy, and appears even more accurate upon further reflection, you should accept the judgment and chastisement of His words, and discern and come to know the essence of your corrupt disposition according to them. Then you will be able to feel true remorse. In believing in God, it is only by eating and drinking of His words in this way that you can come to know yourself. In order to resolve your corrupt dispositions, you must accept the judgment and exposure of God’s words. If you cannot do that, there will be no way for you to cast off your corrupt dispositions. If you are a smart person who sees that the revelation of God’s words is generally accurate, or if you can admit that half of it is correct, then you should accept it at once and submit before God. You must also pray to Him and reflect on yourself. Only then will you understand that all of God’s words of revelation are accurate, that they are all facts, and nothing short of that. It is only by submitting before God with a God-fearing heart that people can truly reflect on themselves. Only then will they be able to see the variety of corrupt dispositions that exist within them, and that they are indeed arrogant and self-righteous, without the least bit of sense. If someone is a lover of the truth, they will be able to prostrate themselves before God, admit to Him that they have been deeply corrupted, and have the will to accept His judgment and chastisement. In this way, they can develop a heart of remorse, begin to deny and hate themselves, and regret not having pursued the truth before, thinking, “Why was I unable to accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words when I began reading them? This attitude I held toward His words was one of arrogance, wasn’t it? How could I be so arrogant?” After frequently self-reflecting in this way for some time, they will recognize that they are indeed arrogant, that they are not entirely capable of admitting that God’s words are the truth and facts, and that they truly do not have a shred of sense. But it is a difficult thing to know oneself. Each time a person reflects, they can only gain a bit more and a bit deeper knowledge of themselves. To gain clear knowledge of a corrupt disposition is not something that can be accomplished in a short span of time; one must read more of God’s words, pray more, and reflect more on themselves. Only thus can they gradually come to know themselves. All those who truly know themselves have failed and stumbled a few times in the past, after which, they read God’s words, prayed to Him, and reflected on themselves, and thereby came to see the truth of their own corruption clearly, and to feel that they were indeed profoundly corrupted, and absolutely bereft of the truth reality. If you experience God’s work like this, and you pray to Him and seek the truth when things befall you, you will gradually come to know yourself. Then one day, your heart will finally be clear: “I may have slightly better caliber than others, but this was given to me by God. I’m always boastful, attempting to outdo others when I speak, and trying to get people to do things my way. I truly lack sense—this is arrogance and self-righteousness! Through reflection, I’ve learned of my own arrogant disposition. This is God’s enlightenment and grace, and I thank Him for it!” Is it a good thing or a bad thing to learn of your own corrupt disposition? (A good thing.) From there, you should seek how to speak and act with sense and obedience, how to stand on equal footing with others, how to treat others fairly without constraining them, how to correctly regard your caliber, gifts, strengths, and so on. In this way, like a mountain being hammered into dust, one strike at a time, your arrogant disposition will be resolved. After that, when you interact with others or work with them to perform a duty, you will be able to treat their views correctly and pay careful, close attention while you listen to them. And when you hear them voice a view that is correct, you will discover, “It seems my caliber isn’t the best. The fact is that everybody has their own strengths; they’re not inferior to me at all. Before, I always thought that I had better caliber than others. That was self-admiration and narrow-minded ignorance. I had a very limited outlook, like a frog at the bottom of a well. Thinking like that really lacked sense—it was shameless! I was blinded and deafened by my arrogant disposition. Other people’s words didn’t get through to me, and I thought that I was better than them, that I was right, when in fact, I’m no better than any of them!” From then on, you will have true insight into and knowledge of your deficiencies and your small stature. And after that, when you fellowship with others, you will listen closely to their views, and you will realize, “There are so many people who are better than me. My caliber and comprehension ability are both middling, at best.” With this realization, will you not have gained a bit of self-awareness? By experiencing this, and frequently reflecting on yourself according to God’s words, you will be able to gain true self-knowledge that grows ever deeper. You will be able to see through to the truth of your corruption, to your poverty and wretchedness, to your deplorable ugliness, and at that time, you will be sickened by yourself and hate your corrupt disposition. Then it will be easy for you to forsake yourself. That is how you experience God’s work. You must reflect on your outpourings of corruption according to God’s words. In particular, after revealing a corrupt disposition in any kind of situation, you must frequently reflect on and know yourself. It will then be easy for you to see your corrupt essence clearly, and you will be able to hate your corruption, your flesh, and Satan from the heart. And from the heart, you will be able to love and strive for the truth. In this way, your arrogant disposition will keep diminishing, and you will gradually cast it off. You will gain more and more sense, and it will be easier for you to submit to God. In the eyes of others, you will appear steadier and more grounded, and you will seem to speak more objectively. You will be capable of listening to others, and you will give them time to talk. When others are right, it will be easy for you to accept their words, and your interactions with people will not be so taxing. You will be able to cooperate harmoniously with anyone. If this is how you perform your duty, will you not then have sense and humanity? That is the way to resolve this kind of corrupt disposition.

—The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth I. What It Means to Pursue the Truth (1)

If you have no path for resolving an arrogant disposition, you should pray to God like this: “God, I have an arrogant disposition. I think that I’m stronger than others, better than others, smarter than others, and I want to make others do as I say. This is so devoid of sense. Why can’t I let go of it, even though I know it is arrogance? I beg that You discipline and reproach me. I am willing to let go of my arrogance and my own will to seek Your will instead. I am willing to listen to Your words, and to accept them as my life and the principles by which I act. I am willing to live out Your words. I beg that You guide me, I beg that You help me and lead me.” Is there an attitude of submission in these words? Is there a wish to submit? (Yes.) Some may say, “Just praying once doesn’t work. When something befalls me, I still live by my corrupt disposition, and I still want to be in charge.” In that case, continue praying: “God, I am so arrogant, so rebellious! I beg You to discipline me, to stop my evildoing in its tracks, and to restrain my arrogant disposition. I beg You to guide me and lead me, so that I may live out Your words, and act and practice according to Your words and Your requirements.” Come before God more in prayer and supplication, and let Him work. The more sincere your words are, and the more sincere your heart is, the greater your wish to forsake your flesh and yourself will become. When this overwhelms your wish to act according to your own will, your heart will gradually turn itself around—and when that happens, there will be hope for you to practice the truth and act according to the truth principles. When you pray, God will not say anything to you, or indicate anything to you, or promise you anything, but He will examine your heart and the intent behind your words; He will observe whether what you say is sincere and true, and whether you are supplicating and praying to Him with an honest heart. When God sees that your heart is honest, He will lead and guide you, as you asked and prayed for Him to do, and, of course, He will also rebuke and discipline you. When God fulfills that which you have supplicated for, your heart will be enlightened and somewhat changed.

—The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth I. What It Means to Pursue the Truth (2)

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)

If people’s knowledge of themselves is too shallow, they will find it impossible to solve problems, and their life dispositions simply will not change. It is necessary to know oneself on a profound level, which means knowing one’s own nature: what elements are included in that nature, how these things originated, and where they came from. Moreover, are you actually able to hate these things? Have you seen your own ugly soul and your evil nature? If you are truly able to see the truth about yourself, then you will loathe yourself. When you loathe yourself and then practice God’s word, you will be able to forsake the flesh and have the strength to carry out truth without believing it to be strenuous. Why do many people follow their fleshly preferences? Because they consider themselves to be pretty good, feeling that their actions are right and justified, that they have no faults, and even that they are entirely in the right, they are therefore capable of acting with the assumption that justice is on their side. When one recognizes what one’s true nature is—how ugly, how despicable, and how pitiful—then one is not overly proud of oneself, not so wildly arrogant, and not so pleased with oneself as before. Such a person feels, “I must be earnest and down to earth in practicing some of God’s word. If not, then I will not measure up to the standard of being human, and will be ashamed to live in God’s presence.” One then truly sees oneself as paltry, as truly insignificant. At this time, it becomes easy for one to carry out truth, and one will appear to be somewhat like a human should be. Only when people truly loathe themselves are they able to forsake the flesh. If they do not loathe themselves, they will be unable to forsake the flesh. Truly loathing oneself is not a simple matter. There are several things that must be found in them: First, knowing one’s own nature; and second, seeing oneself as needy and pitiful, seeing oneself to be extremely small and insignificant, and seeing one’s own pitiful and dirty soul. When one fully sees what one truly is, and this outcome is achieved, one then truly gains knowledge of oneself, and it can be said that one has come to know oneself fully. Only then can one truly hate oneself, going so far as to curse oneself, and truly feel that one has been corrupted profoundly by Satan such that one does not even resemble a human being. Then, one day, when the threat of death appears, such a person will think, “This is God’s righteous punishment. God is indeed righteous; I really should die!” At this point, he will not lodge a complaint, much less blame God, simply feeling that he is so needy and pitiful, so filthy and corrupt that he should be cast out and destroyed by God, and a soul like his is not fit to live on earth. Therefore, this person will not complain against or resist God, much less betray God. If one does not know oneself, and still considers oneself to be pretty good, then when death comes knocking, this person will think, “I have done so well in my faith. How hard I have sought! I have given so much, I have suffered so much, yet ultimately, God is now asking me to die. I don’t know where God’s righteousness is. Why is He asking me to die? If I have to die, then who will be saved? Won’t the human race come to an end?” First of all, this person has notions about God. Secondly, this person is complaining, and not showing any submission whatsoever. This is just like Paul: When he was about to die, he did not know himself, and by the time God’s punishment was nigh, it was all too late.

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

Related Experiential Testimonies

Awakening From My Arrogance

Why Am I So High and Mighty?

Related Hymns

I Have Seen God’s Loveliness

Previous: 16. How to resolve the problem of telling lies and engaging in deception

Next: 20. How to resolve the problem of arrogance, self-righteousness, and holding to one’s own views

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