30. How to resolve the problem of people disobeying and resisting God
Words of Almighty God of the Last Days
After several thousand years of corruption, man is numb and dull-witted; he has become a demon that opposes God, to the extent that man’s rebelliousness toward God has been documented in the books of history, and even man himself is incapable of giving a full account of his rebellious behavior—for man has been profoundly corrupted by Satan, and has been led astray by Satan such that he knows not where to turn. Even today, man still betrays God: When man sees God, he betrays Him, and when he cannot see God, so too does he betray Him. There are even those who, having witnessed God’s curses and God’s wrath, still betray Him. And so I say that man’s sense has lost its original function, and that man’s conscience, too, has lost its original function. The man that I look upon is a beast in human attire, he is a venomous snake, and no matter how pitiable he tries to appear before My eyes, I will never be merciful toward him, for man has no grasp of the difference between black and white, of the difference between truth and non-truth. Man’s sense is so benumbed, yet still he wishes to gain blessings; his humanity is so ignoble yet still he wishes to possess the sovereignty of a king. Who could he be the king of, with sense such as that? How could he with such a humanity sit atop a throne? Man truly has no shame! He is a conceited wretch! For those of you who wish to gain blessings, I suggest you first find a mirror and look at your own ugly reflection—do you have what it takes to be a king? Do you have the face of one who could gain blessings? There has not been the slightest change in your disposition and you have not put any of the truth into practice, yet still you wish for a wonderful tomorrow. You are deluding yourself! Born into such a filthy land, man has been severely blighted by society, he has been influenced by feudal ethics, and he has been taught at “institutes of higher learning.” The backward thinking, corrupt morality, mean view on life, despicable philosophy for living, utterly worthless existence, and depraved lifestyle and customs—all of these things have severely intruded upon man’s heart, and severely undermined and attacked his conscience. As a result, man is ever more distant from God, and ever more opposed to Him. Man’s disposition becomes more vicious by the day, and there is not a single person who will willingly give up anything for God, not a single person who will willingly obey God, nor, moreover, a single person who will willingly seek the appearance of God. Instead, under the power of Satan, man does nothing but pursue pleasure, giving himself over to the corruption of the flesh in the land of mud. Even when they hear the truth, those who live in darkness give no thought to putting it into practice, nor are they inclined to seek out God even if they have beheld His appearance. How could a mankind so depraved have any chance of salvation? How could a mankind so decadent live in the light?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God
The source of man’s opposition and rebelliousness against God is his corruption by Satan. Because of Satan’s corruption, man’s conscience has grown numb; he is immoral, his thoughts are degenerate, and he has a backward mental outlook. Before he was corrupted by Satan, man naturally submitted to God and obeyed His words after hearing them. He was naturally of sound sense and conscience, and of normal humanity. After being corrupted by Satan, man’s original sense, conscience, and humanity grew dull and were impaired by Satan. Thus, he has lost his obedience and love toward God. Man’s sense has become aberrant, his disposition has become the same as that of an animal, and his rebelliousness toward God is ever more frequent and grievous. Yet man still neither knows nor recognizes this, and merely opposes and rebels blindly. Man’s disposition is revealed in expressions of his sense, insight, and conscience; because his sense and insight are unsound, and his conscience has grown supremely dull, thus his disposition is rebellious against God. If man’s sense and insight cannot change, then changes in his disposition are out of the question, as is conforming to God’s will. If man’s sense is unsound, then he cannot serve God and is unfit for use by God. “Normal sense” refers to obeying and being faithful to God, to yearning for God, to being absolute toward God, and to having a conscience toward God. It refers to being of one heart and mind toward God, and not deliberately opposing God. Having an aberrant sense is not like this. Since man was corrupted by Satan, he has come up with notions about God, and he has had no loyalty to God or yearning for Him, to say nothing of a conscience toward God. Man deliberately opposes God and passes judgments on Him, and, furthermore, hurls invective at Him behind His back. Man passes judgment on God behind His back, with clear knowledge that He is God; man has no intention of obeying God, and merely makes blind demands and requests of Him. Such people—people who have aberrant sense—are incapable of knowing their own despicable behavior or of regretting their rebelliousness. If people are capable of knowing themselves, then they have regained a little of their sense; the more rebellious against God people who cannot yet know themselves are, the less are they sound of sense.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God
The opponents of God of which I speak refer to those who do not know God, those who acknowledge God with their lips and yet do not know Him, those who follow God and yet do not obey Him, and those who revel in the grace of God and yet are unable to stand witness to Him. Without an understanding of the purpose of God’s work or an understanding of the work that God does in man, he cannot be in accord with the will of God, nor can he stand witness to God. The reason why man opposes God stems, on the one hand, from his corrupt disposition, and on the other hand, from ignorance of God and lack of understanding of the principles by which God works and of His will for man. These two aspects, taken together, constitute a history of man’s resistance to God. Novices in the faith oppose God because such opposition lies within their nature, while the opposition to God of those with many years in the faith results from their ignorance of Him, in addition to their corrupt disposition. In the time before God became flesh, the measure of whether a man opposed God was based on whether he kept the decrees set forth by God in heaven. For instance, in the Age of Law, whoever did not keep the laws of Jehovah was regarded as one who opposed God; whoever stole the offerings to Jehovah, or whoever stood against those favored by Jehovah, was regarded as one who opposed God and would be stoned to death; whoever did not respect his father and mother, and whoever struck or cursed another, was regarded as one who did not keep the laws. And all who did not keep the laws of Jehovah were regarded as standing against Him. This was no longer so in the Age of Grace, when whoever stood against Jesus was regarded as one who stood against God, and whoever did not obey the words uttered by Jesus was regarded as one who stood against God. At this time, the way in which opposition to God was defined became both more accurate and more practical. In the time when God had not yet become flesh, the measure of whether man opposed God was based on whether man worshiped and looked up to the invisible God in heaven. The way in which opposition to God was defined at that time was not all that practical, for man could not see God, nor did he know what the image of God was like, or how He worked and spoke. Man had no notions about God whatsoever, and he believed in God vaguely, because God had not yet appeared to man. Therefore, no matter how man believed in God in his imagination, God did not condemn man or make too many demands of him, because man was completely unable to see God. When God becomes flesh and comes to work among men, all behold Him and hear His words, and all see the deeds that God works from within His body of flesh. At that moment, all man’s notions become foam. As for those who have seen God appearing in the flesh, they shall not be condemned if they willingly obey Him, whereas those who purposefully stand against Him shall be deemed an opponent of God. Such people are antichrists, enemies who willfully stand against God. Those who harbor notions regarding God but are still ready and willing to obey Him will not be condemned. God condemns man on the basis of man’s intentions and actions, never for his thoughts and ideas. If He were to condemn man on the basis of his thoughts and ideas, then not a single person would be able to escape from the wrathful hands of God. Those who willfully stand against the incarnate God shall be punished for their disobedience. With regard to these people that willfully stand against God, their opposition stems from the fact that they harbor notions about God, which leads them in turn into actions that disturb God’s work. These people intentionally resist and destroy the work of God. They do not merely have notions about God, but they also engage in activities that disturb His work, and for this reason people of this kind shall be condemned. Those who do not willfully disturb God’s work shall not be condemned as sinners, because they are able to willingly obey and not engage in activities that cause disruption and disturbance. People like this shall not be condemned. However, when people have experienced God’s work for many years, if they continue to harbor notions about God and remain unable to know the work of the incarnate God, and if, no matter how many years they have experienced His work, they continue to be filled with notions about God and are still unable to come to know Him, then even if they do not engage in disturbing activities, their hearts are nevertheless filled with many notions about God, and even if these notions do not become apparent, people like this are of no help whatsoever to the work of God. They are unable to spread the gospel for God or stand witness to Him. People like this are good-for-nothings and imbeciles. Because they do not know God and are moreover wholly incapable of casting away their notions about Him, they are therefore condemned. It can be said like this: It is normal for novices in the faith to hold notions about God or to know nothing of Him, but for one who has believed in God for many years and experienced a good deal of His work, it would not be normal for such a person to continue to hold notions, and it would be even less normal for someone like this to have no knowledge of God. It is because this is not a normal state that they are condemned. These abnormal people are all garbage; they are the ones who oppose God the most and who have enjoyed the grace of God for nothing. All such people shall be cast out in the end!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. All People Who Do Not Know God Are People Who Oppose God
Know that you oppose God’s work, or use your own notions to measure the work of today, because you do not know the principles of God’s work, and because of your rash treatment of the work of the Holy Spirit. Your opposition to God and obstruction of the work of the Holy Spirit is caused by your notions and inherent arrogance. It is not because God’s work is wrong, but because you are naturally too disobedient. After finding their belief in God, some people cannot even say with certainty where man came from, yet they dare to make public speeches appraising the rights and wrongs of the Holy Spirit’s work. They even lecture the apostles who have the Holy Spirit’s new work, passing comment and speaking out of turn; their humanity is too low, and there is not the slightest sense in them. Will the day not come when such people are rejected by the work of the Holy Spirit, and burned by the fires of hell? They do not know the work of God, but instead criticize His work, and also try to instruct God how to work. How can such unreasonable people know God? Man comes to know God during the process of seeking and experiencing; it is not through criticizing at whim that man comes to know God through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. The more accurate people’s knowledge of God becomes, the less they oppose Him. In contrast, the less people know of God, the more likely they are to oppose Him. Your notions, your old nature, and your humanity, character and moral outlook are the capital with which you resist God, and the more corrupted your morals, odious your qualities, and low your humanity, the more you are the enemy of God. Those who are possessed of strong notions and who have a self-righteous disposition are even more in enmity of God incarnate; such people are the antichrists. If your notions are not rectified, then they will always be against God; you will never be compatible with God, and will always be apart from Him.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God
Anyone who does not understand the purpose of God’s work is one who opposes Him, and one who has come to understand the purpose of God’s work but still does not seek to satisfy God is even more to be deemed an opponent of God. There are those who read the Bible in grand churches and recite it all day long, yet not one among them understands the purpose of God’s work. Not one among them is able to know God; still less can any one among them accord with God’s will. They are all worthless, vile people, each standing on high to lecture God. They willfully oppose God even as they carry His banner. Claiming faith in God, still they eat the flesh and drink the blood of man. All such people are devils that devour the soul of man, head demons that deliberately disturb those trying to step onto the right path, and stumbling blocks impeding those who seek God. They may appear of “sound constitution,” but how are their followers to know that they are none other than antichrists who lead people to stand against God? How are their followers to know that they are living devils dedicated to the devouring of human souls? Those who hold themselves in high esteem in God’s presence are the most abject of men, while those who think themselves lowly are the most honored. And those who think they know the work of God and who are, moreover, capable of proclaiming the work of God to others with great fanfare even as they look directly at Him—these are the most ignorant of men. Such people are without the testimony of God, arrogant and full of conceit. Those who believe that they have too little knowledge of God, despite having actual experience and practical knowledge of Him, are those most beloved by Him. Only such people truly have testimony and are truly capable of being perfected by God. Those who do not understand the will of God are opponents of God; those who understand the will of God and yet do not practice the truth are opponents of God; those who eat and drink the words of God, and yet go against the essence of God’s words, are opponents of God; those who have notions about the incarnate God, and moreover have a mind to engage in rebellion, are opponents of God; those who pass judgment on God are opponents of God; and whoever is unable to know God or to bear witness to Him is an opponent of God. So I urge you: If you really have faith that you can walk this path, then keep on following it. But if you are unable to refrain from opposing God, then you had best walk away before it is too late. Otherwise, the chances of things turning out badly for you run extremely high, because your nature is simply too corrupt. Of loyalty or obedience, or a heart that thirsts for righteousness and truth, or love for God, you have not one jot or iota. It may be said that your situation before God is an utter shambles. You cannot abide by what you ought to abide by, and are unable to say what ought to be said. What you ought to put into practice, you have failed to put into practice; and the function that you ought to fulfill, you have been unable to fulfill. You do not have the loyalty, conscience, obedience, or resolution that you ought. You have not endured the suffering that it behooves you to endure, and you do not have the faith that you ought. Quite simply, you are completely devoid of any merit: Are you not ashamed to go on living? Let Me persuade you that you would be better off closing your eyes in eternal rest, thereby sparing God from worrying on your account and suffering for your sake. You believe in God and yet do not know His will; you eat and drink the words of God and yet are unable to keep to what God demands of man. You believe in God and yet do not know Him, and you stay alive without a goal to strive for, without any values, without any meaning. You live as a human being and yet have no conscience, integrity, or credibility in the slightest degree—can you still call yourselves human beings? You believe in God and yet deceive Him; what is more, you take God’s money and eat up the offerings that are made to Him. And yet, in the end you still fail to show the slightest consideration for God’s feelings or the faintest conscience toward Him. Not even the most trivial of God’s demands can you meet. Can you still call yourselves human beings? Eating the food God provides you and breathing the oxygen He gives you, enjoying His grace, yet, in the end, you do not have the slightest knowledge of God. On the contrary, you have become good-for-nothings that oppose God. Does that not make you a beast even lower than a dog? Among animals, are there any that are more malicious than you?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. All People Who Do Not Know God Are People Who Oppose God
If you have believed in God for many years, and yet have never obeyed Him, and do not accept the entirety of His words, and instead ask that God submit to you and act according to your notions, then you are the most rebellious of all, you are a nonbeliever. How could such people be able to obey the work and words of God that do not conform to the notions of man? Most rebellious of all are those who intentionally defy and resist God. They are the enemies of God, the antichrists. Theirs is always an attitude of hostility toward the new work of God; they never have the slightest inclination to submit, nor have they ever gladly submitted or humbled themselves. They exalt themselves before others and never submit to anyone. Before God, they consider themselves the best at preaching the word, and the most skillful in working on others. Never do they discard the “treasures” in their possession, but treat them as family heirlooms for worship, for preaching about to others, and they use them to lecture those fools who idolize them. There are indeed a certain number of people like this in the church. It can be said that they are “indomitable heroes,” generation after generation sojourning in the house of God. They take preaching the word (doctrine) to be their highest duty. Year after year, generation after generation, they go about vigorously enforcing their “sacred and inviolable” duty. None dare touch them; not a single person dares openly reproach them. They become “kings” in the house of God, running rampant as they tyrannize others from age to age. This pack of demons seeks to join hands and demolish My work; how can I allow these living devils to exist before My eyes? Even those who are only half obedient cannot carry on until the end, much less these tyrants without the slightest obedience in their hearts! The work of God is not easily gained by man. Even using all the strength they have, people can only gain a mere portion of it, ultimately allowing them to be made perfect. What, then, of the children of the archangel, who seek to destroy the work of God? Do they not have even less hope of being gained by God? My purpose in doing the work of conquest is not solely to conquer for the sake of conquest, but to conquer so as to reveal righteousness and unrighteousness, to obtain proof for the punishment of man, to condemn the wicked, and, furthermore, to conquer for the sake of perfecting those who willingly obey. In the end, all will be separated according to kind, and the ones who are perfected will be the ones whose thoughts and ideas are filled with obedience. This is the work that shall ultimately be accomplished. Those whose every action is rebellious, meanwhile, will be punished and sent to burn in the fires, the objects of eternal curse. When that time comes, those “great and indomitable heroes” of ages past will become the basest and most shunned “weak and impotent cowards.” Only this can illustrate every aspect of God’s righteousness, and His disposition that is unoffendable by man, and only this can appease the hatred in My heart. Do you not agree that this is entirely reasonable?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Those Who Obey God With a True Heart Shall Surely Be Gained by God
All those who do not seek obedience to God in their faith oppose Him. God asks that people seek the truth, that they thirst for His words, eat and drink His words, and put them into practice, so that they may achieve obedience to God. If these are your true intentions, then God will surely raise you up, and will surely be gracious toward you. This is undoubtable and unchangeable. If your intention is not to obey God, and you have other aims, then all that you say and do—your prayers before God, and even your every action—will be in opposition to Him. You may be soft-spoken and mild-mannered, your every action and expression may look proper, and you may appear to be one who obeys, but when it comes to your intentions and your views about faith in God, everything you do is in opposition to God; everything you do is evil. People who appear as obedient as sheep, but whose hearts harbor evil intentions, are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They directly offend God, and God will not spare a single one of them. The Holy Spirit will reveal each and every one of them and show everybody that all those who are hypocrites will, with certainty, be detested and rejected by the Holy Spirit. Worry not: God will reckon with and dispose of every last one of them in turn.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. In Your Faith in God You Should Obey God
People have corrupt dispositions, and even if they have the resolve to submit to God, their submission is limited; it is relative, and it is also occasional, fleeting, and conditional. It is not absolute. With a corrupt disposition, their rebelliousness is particularly great. They acknowledge God but cannot submit to Him, and they are willing to listen to His words but cannot submit to them. They know that God is good, and they want to love Him but cannot. They cannot listen to God completely, cannot let Him orchestrate everything, and they still have their own choices, harbor their own intentions and motives, and have their own schemes, ideas, and their way of doing things. Having their own way of doing things, their own methods, means there is no way they can submit to God. They can only act according to their own ideas and rebel against God. This is how rebellious people are! So, man’s nature is not only simple corrupt dispositions like superficial self-righteousness, self-importance, and pride, or occasional lies and deceit toward God; instead, man’s essence has already become the essence of Satan. How did the archangel betray God back then? And what about people nowadays? To be frank, whether or not you can accept it, people nowadays are not only completely betraying God like Satan did, but are also directly hostile to God in their hearts, their thinking, and their ideologies. This is Satan’s corruption of humankind into devils; humans have truly become the spawn of Satan. Perhaps you will say: “We are not hostile to God. We listen to whatever God says.” That’s superficial; it seems as if you listen to whatever God says. In fact, when I am formally fellowshiping and speaking, most people do not have notions and are well-behaved and obedient, but when I am speaking and doing things in normal humanity, or living and acting in normal humanity, their notions arise. Despite wanting to make room for Me in their hearts, they cannot accommodate Me, and no matter how the truth is fellowshiped, they cannot let go of their notions. This shows that man can only submit to God relatively, not absolutely. You know He is God, and you know that God incarnate must have normal humanity, so why can you not submit to God absolutely? God become flesh is Christ, the Son of man; He has both divinity and normal humanity. Outwardly, He has normal humanity, but His divinity lives and works within this normal humanity. Now, God has become flesh as Christ, possessing divinity and humanity. Yet some people can only submit to some of His divine words and work, only taking His divine words and profound language as God’s words, while they disregard some of His words and work in normal humanity. Some people even have some ideas and notions in their hearts, believing that only His divine language is the word of God and that His human language is not. Can such people accept all of the truths that God expresses? Can they be purified and made perfect by God? They cannot, because such people comprehend in an absurd manner and cannot obtain the truth. In short, man’s inner world is extremely complex, and these rebellious matters are especially complicated—there is no need to elaborate on this.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three
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.
We have preached the gospel over and over to many leaders within religious circles, but no matter how we fellowship on the truth with them, they do not accept it. Why is this? It is because their arrogance has become second nature, and God no longer has a place in their hearts. Some people might say, “People under the leadership of certain pastors in the religious world really have a lot of drive; it is as though they have God in their midst.” Do you take having enthusiasm for having drive? No matter how lofty those pastors’ theories might sound, do they know God? If they truly feared God deep down, would they make people follow them and exalt them? Would they be able to control others? Would they dare to prevent others from seeking the truth and investigating the true way? If they believe that God’s sheep are actually theirs, and that they should all listen to them, then is it not the case that they regard themselves as God? Such people are even worse than the Pharisees. Are they not genuine antichrists? Thus, their arrogance is fatal, and can lead them to do rebellious things. Do such things not happen among you? Can you ensnare people this way? You could, it’s just that you have not been given the opportunity, and you are incessantly being pruned and dealt with, so you would not dare. Some people also exalt themselves in roundabout ways, but they speak very cleverly, so ordinary people cannot discern it. Some people are so arrogant that they say: “It is unacceptable for someone else to lead this church! God needs to go through me to get here, and He can only preach to you after I’ve explained this church’s situation to Him. Aside from me, no one else can come here and water you.” What is the intent behind saying this? What kind of disposition does this reveal? It is arrogance. When people act like this, their conduct is resistant to and rebellious against God. So people’s arrogant nature determines that they will exalt themselves, rebel against and betray God, ensnare others, ruin others, and ruin themselves. If they die unrepentant, then they will be cast out in the end. Is it not dangerous for a person to have an arrogant disposition? If they have an arrogant disposition, but they are able to accept the truth, then there is still room to save them. They must go through judgment and chastisement, and throw off their corrupt disposition, in order to attain true salvation.
Some people always say: “Why does God use judgment and chastisement to save people in the last days? Why are the words of judgment so severe?” There is a saying you might know: “God’s work varies with each individual; it is flexible, and He does not adhere to rules.” 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.
—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
Though, on the surface, you believe in God and do your duty, the worldly and satanic thoughts, views, ways of interacting with people, and corrupt disposition within you have never been cleared out, and you are still filled with satanic things. You still live by those things, that is why you are still small in stature. You are still in a dangerous stage; you are not yet secure or safe. So long as you have a satanic disposition, you will continue to resist and betray God. To resolve this problem, you must first understand which things are evil and of Satan, how they are harmful, why Satan does these things, what kinds of poison people suffer when they accept them, and what those people will become, as well as what kind of person God asks people to be, what things are of normal humanity, what things are positive, and what things are negative. You will only have a path if you have discernment and are able to see these things clearly. Moreover, on the positive side, you must also perform your duty proactively while offering up your sincerity and devotion. Do not be slippery or slack off, do not approach your duty or that which God has entrusted to you from the perspective of unbelievers or with the philosophies of Satan. You must eat and drink more of God’s words, seek to understand all aspects of the truth, and clearly understand the significance of performing a duty, and then practice and enter into all aspects of the truth while doing your duty, and gradually come to know God, His work, and His disposition. In this way, without you knowing it, your inner state will change, there will be more positive and active things within you, and fewer negative and passive things, and your ability to discern things will become stronger than before. When you grow to this extent in stature, you will have discernment of all kinds of people, matters, and things in this world, and you will be able to see through to the essence of problems. Were you to see a film made by unbelievers, you would be able to perceive what poisons people might suffer from after watching it, as well as what Satan intends to instill and plant in people through these means and trends, and what it intends to erode in people. You will gradually be able to see through to these things. You will not be poisoned after watching the film, and you will have discernment of it—that is when you will truly have stature.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Belief in God Must Begin With Seeing Through the Evil Trends of the World
Many people have always followed and believed in this way; they’ve behaved well during the time that they’ve followed God, but this does not determine what will happen in the future. This is because you are never aware of man’s Achilles’ heel, or the things that are within man’s nature that can come to oppose God, and before they lead you to disaster, you remain ignorant of these things. Because the issue of your nature opposing God goes unresolved, it sets you up for disaster, and it is possible that when your journey ends and God’s work finishes, you will do that which most opposes God and say that which is blasphemous against Him, and thus you will be condemned and cast out. At the final moment, at the most perilous of times, Peter tried to escape. At the time, he did not understand God’s will, and planned to survive and do the work of the churches. Later, Jesus appeared to him and said: “Would you have Me crucified for you once more?” Peter then understood God’s will, and was quick to obey. Suppose that, at that moment, he had his own demands and said, “I don’t want to die now, I fear pain. Were You not crucified for our sake? Why do You ask that I be crucified? Can I be spared from crucifixion?” If he had made such demands, then the path he had walked would have been in vain. But Peter had always been a person who obeyed God and sought His will, and, in the end, he understood God’s will and submitted completely. If Peter had not sought God’s will and had acted according to his own thinking, then he would have taken the wrong path. People lack the faculties to understand God’s will directly, but if they do not obey after understanding the truth, then they are betraying God.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. People Make Too Many Demands of God
People cannot change their own disposition; they must undergo the judgment and chastisement, and suffering and refinement, of God’s words, or being dealt with, disciplined, and pruned by His words. Only then can they achieve obedience and faithfulness to God, and no longer be perfunctory toward Him. It is under the refinement of God’s words that people’s dispositions change. Only through the exposure, judgment, discipline, and dealing of His words will they no longer dare to act rashly but instead will become steady and composed. The most important point is that they are able to submit to God’s current words, and to His work, even if it is not in line with human notions, they are able to put these notions aside and willingly submit.
—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
It is through judgment and chastisement by the word that man arrives at being gained by God, and it is through the use of the word to refine, judge, and disclose that all of the impurities, notions, motives, and individual aspirations within man’s heart are completely revealed. … For instance, when people realized that they were descended from Moab, they brought forth words of complaint, ceased to pursue life, and became utterly negative. Does this not show that humanity is still unable to fully submit under the dominion of God? Is this not precisely their corrupt satanic disposition? When you were not being subjected to chastisement, your hands were raised higher than all others, even that of Jesus. And you cried out in a loud voice: “Be a beloved son of God! Be an intimate of God! We would rather die than bow down to Satan! Revolt against the old Satan! Revolt against the great red dragon! May the great red dragon fall abjectly from power! May God make us complete!” Your cries were louder than all others. But then came the time of chastisement and, once again, the corrupt disposition of humanity was revealed. Then, their cries ceased, and their resolution failed. This is the corruption of man; running deeper than sin, it is something planted by Satan and deeply rooted within man. It is not easy for man to become aware of his sins; he has no way of recognizing his own deeply rooted nature, and he must rely on judgment by the word in order to achieve this result. Only thus can man gradually be changed from this point onward.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)
Changing man’s disposition starts with knowledge of his essence and through changes in his thinking, nature, and mental outlook—through fundamental changes. Only in this way will true changes be achieved in the disposition of man. The root cause of corrupt dispositions arising in man is Satan’s deception, corruption, and poison. Man has been bound and controlled by Satan, and he suffers the egregious harm that Satan has inflicted upon his thinking, morality, insight, and sense. It is precisely because the fundamental things of man have been corrupted by Satan, and are utterly unlike how God originally created them, that man opposes God and cannot accept the truth. Thus, changes in man’s disposition should begin with changes in his thinking, insight, and sense that will change his knowledge of God and his knowledge of the truth.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God
If you want to seek a change in your disposition, you must know your nature. “A leopard can’t change its spots.” Do not assume that nature can be changed. If a person’s nature is too bad, then they will never change, and God will not save them. 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. If a person’s nature is very bad, and if they are an evil person, then God will not save them, and the Holy Spirit will not work within them. Put another way, it is like a doctor curing a patient: A person who has an inflammation can be treated, but a person who develops cancer cannot be saved. 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
When you reveal your corrupt disposition, when you have thoughts and ideas that defy God, when you have states and viewpoints that contend with God, when you have states whereby you misunderstand God, or resist and oppose Him, God will rebuke you, judge you, and chastise you, and He will sometimes even discipline you and punish you. What is the aim of disciplining and rebuking you? (To have us repent and change.) Yes, it is meant to have you repent. What is achieved by disciplining and rebuking you is that it allows you to turn your course around. It is to make you understand that your thoughts are the notions of man, and that they are wrong; your motivations are born of Satan, they originate from human will, they are not in line with the truth, they are incompatible with God, they cannot fulfill God’s intentions, they are disgusting and hateful to God, they incite His wrath, and even arouse His curse. After realizing this, you have to change your motivations and attitude. And how are they changed? First of all, you must submit to the way God treats you, and submit to the environments and people, matters, and things that He sets out for you. Do not pick holes, do not give objective excuses, and do not shirk your responsibilities. Secondly, seek the truth that people should practice and enter into when God does what He does. God asks that you understand these things. He wants you to recognize your corrupt dispositions and satanic essence, for you to be able to submit to the environments He arranges for you and, ultimately, for you to be able to practice in accordance with His will and His requirements for you. Then you will have passed the test. Once you stop resisting and opposing God, you will then no longer argue with God and will be able to obey. When God says, “Get you behind Me, Satan,” you reply, “If God says I am Satan, I am Satan. Though I don’t understand what I’ve done wrong, or why God says I am Satan, He orders me to get behind Him, so I shall not hesitate. I must seek the will of God.” When God says the nature of your actions is satanic, you say, “I recognize whatever God says, I accept it all.” What attitude is this? This is obedience. Is it obedience when you are able to reluctantly accept God saying you are the devil Satan, but cannot accept it—and are incapable of obeying—when He says you are a beast? Obedience means total compliance and acceptance, not arguing or setting terms. It means not analyzing cause and effect, regardless of objective reasons, and only concerning yourself with acceptance. When people have attained obedience such as this, they are close to genuine faith in God. The more God acts and the more you experience, the more real God’s sovereignty over all things becomes to you, the greater your trust in God will become and the more you will feel, “Everything God does is good, none of it is bad. I must not pick and choose, but should obey. My responsibility, my obligation, my duty—it is to obey. This is what I should do as a creature of God. If I can’t even obey God, then what am I? I am a beast, I am the devil!” Does this not show that you now have genuine faith? Once you have gotten to this point, you will be without taint, and so it will be easy for God to use you, and it will also be easy for you to submit to the orchestrations of God. When you have God’s approval, you will be able to gain His blessings.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only With True Obedience Can One Have Real Trust
Though it is not easy to change people’s nature, if they can discern and see through to the corrupt dispositions they reveal, and if they can seek the truth to resolve them, then they can gradually change their dispositions. Once a person has achieved a change in their life disposition, then there will be fewer and fewer things in them that resist God. The purpose of analyzing man’s nature is to change their dispositions. You haven’t grasped this aim, and think that just by analyzing and understanding your nature you can obey God and restore your reason. All you do is just blindly apply rules! Why is it that I do not simply expose people’s arrogance and self-righteousness? Why must I also analyze their corrupt nature? It won’t solve the problem if I only expose their self-righteousness and arrogance. But if I analyze their nature, the aspects that this covers are very broad, and it includes all corrupt dispositions. It is more than just the narrow range of self-righteousness, self-importance, and arrogance. Nature includes much more than this. So, it would be good if people could recognize just how many corrupt dispositions they are revealing in all their various demands of God, that is, in their extravagant desires. Once people understand their own nature essence, they can then despise and deny themselves; it will be easy for them to resolve their corrupt dispositions, and they will have a path. Otherwise, you will never dig out the root cause, and will only say that this is self-righteousness, arrogance, or pride, or having no loyalty at all. Can only talking about such superficial things solve your problem? Is there any need to discuss man’s nature? In the beginning, what was the nature of Adam and Eve? There was no intentional resistance within them, much less open rebellion. They didn’t know what it meant to resist God, much less what it meant to obey Him. Whatever Satan disseminated, they accepted into their hearts. Now Satan has corrupted mankind to such an extent that people can rebel against and resist God in all things, and can think up all sorts of ways to oppose Him. It’s evident that man’s nature is the same as Satan’s. Why do I say that man’s nature is the nature of Satan? Satan is that which resists God, and because people have satanic natures, they are of Satan. While people may not intentionally do things to resist God, because of their satanic nature, all of their thoughts are resistant toward God. Even if people do nothing at all, they are still resisting God, because man’s internal essence has changed into something which resists God. Present man, therefore, is different from newly created man. There was no resistance or betrayal within people before, they were full of life, and not governed by any satanic nature. If there is no domination or disturbance of a satanic nature within people, then no matter what they do, it cannot be considered resisting God.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. People Make Too Many Demands of God
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.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three
I exhort you to get a better understanding of the content of the administrative decrees, and to make an effort to know the disposition of God. If not, you will find it difficult to keep your lips sealed, your tongues will wag too freely with high-sounding talk, and you will unwittingly offend the disposition of God and fall into the darkness, losing the presence of the Holy Spirit and the light. Because you are unprincipled in your actions, because you do and say that which you should not, you shall receive a fitting retribution. You should know that though you are unprincipled in word and deed, God is highly principled in both. The reason you receive retribution is because you have offended God, not a person. If, in your life, you commit many offenses against the disposition of God, then you are bound to become a child of hell. To man it may appear that you have only committed a few deeds that are at odds with the truth, and nothing more. Are you aware, however, that in the eyes of God you are already someone for whom there is no more sin offering? Because you have violated the administrative decrees of God more than once and have, moreover, shown no sign of repentance, there is no other recourse but for you to plunge into hell, where God punishes man. A small number of people, while following God, committed some deeds that violated principles, but after being dealt with and given guidance, they gradually discovered their own corruption, thereafter entered on the right track of reality, and they remain well-grounded today. Such people are those who shall remain in the end. Nevertheless, it is the honest that I seek; if you are an honest person and someone who acts according to principle, then you can be a confidant of God. If in your actions you do not offend the disposition of God, and seek the will of God, and have a God-fearing heart, then your faith is up to the standard. Whoever does not fear God and does not have a heart that trembles in horror is highly likely to violate the administrative decrees of God. Many serve God on the strength of their passion but have no understanding of the administrative decrees of God, still less any inkling of the implications of His words. And so, with their good intentions, they often wind up doing things that disturb God’s management. In serious cases, they are thrown out, deprived of any further chance of following Him, and are cast into hell, all association with God’s house at an end. These people work in the house of God on the strength of their ignorant good intentions, and end by angering God’s disposition. People bring their ways of serving officials and lords to the house of God and try to put them into play, vainly thinking that they can be applied with effortless ease here. Never do they imagine that God has not the disposition of a lamb, but that of a lion. Therefore, those associating with God for the first time are unable to communicate with Him, for the heart of God is unlike that of man. Only after you understand many truths can you continuously come to know God. This knowledge is not made up of words and doctrines but can be used as a treasure by means of which you enter into close confidence with God, and as proof that He delights in you. If you lack the reality of knowledge and are not equipped with the truth, then your passionate service can only bring upon you the loathing and abhorrence of God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Three Admonitions
Those Who Do Not Know God Oppose God