33. The Principles of Resolving Arrogance and Self-importance
1. You must accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words. When you truly know the essence of your own satanic nature and the truth of your corruption, you then gain reason;
2. You must accept being pruned and dealt with, and disciplined and exposed by God. Once you have experienced failures and setbacks, trials and refinement, you then know yourself inside and out;
3. You must recognize that God is supreme and that God incarnate is humble and hidden, and you must see clearly that arrogance and self-importance are indeed the essence of a satanic nature;
4. You must pursue to know God’s righteous disposition, and when reverence and fear of God arise in you, you are then able to keep a low profile and not defy or betray God.
Relevant Words of God:
If you really have the truth within you, the path you walk will naturally be the correct path. Without the truth, it is easy to do evil and you would not be able to help yourself. For example, if you have arrogance and conceit inside you, it will be impossible to not defy God, but instead you would be made to defy Him. You wouldn’t 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, it would make you see God as being of no account, it would make you exalt yourself, it would make you constantly put yourself on display and finally it would make you sit in God’s place and bear witness for yourself. In the end you would make your own ideas, your own thinking and your own conceptions into truths to be worshiped. See how much evil is done by people under the dominance of their arrogant and conceited nature! To resolve their doing of evil, one must first resolve the problem of their nature. Without a change in disposition, it is not possible to fundamentally resolve this problem. When you have some understanding of God, when you can see man’s corruption and recognize the arrogance and conceit that is contemptible and ugly, you will then feel disgusted, sickened and distressed. You will be able to consciously do some things to satisfy God and in doing this will feel gratification. You will be able to consciously bear witness for God and in doing this will feel enjoyment. You will consciously unmask yourself and expose your own ugliness, and by doing this you will feel well within yourself and your state of mind will be bettered.
from “Only by Seeking the Truth Can You Obtain Changes in Your Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks
The key to achieving a change of disposition is to know one’s own nature, and this must come from revelation by God. Only in God’s word can one know his own repulsive nature, recognize in his own nature Satan’s various poisons, realize that he is foolish and ignorant, and recognize the weak and negative elements in his own nature. … If a person’s knowledge of himself is too shallow, it will be impossible to solve problems, and his life disposition will absolutely not change. It is necessary to know oneself on a deep level, which means to know one’s own nature, and to know what elements are included in one’s nature, from where the elements arise and how they come about. Moreover, are you able to really hate these things? Have you seen your own ugly soul and your evil nature? If a person is truly able to see the truth about himself, then he will start to loathe himself. 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 difficulty. Why were people formerly able to follow the flesh? Because they considered themselves to be pretty good. They felt right and justified, having no faults, indeed entirely correct. They therefore could act with the assumption that justice was on their side. When one recognizes what his true nature is, how ugly, how despicable, and how pitiful, then he is not too proud of himself, not so wildly arrogant, and not so pleased with himself as he was before. He feels, “I must be earnest and down to earth, and practice some of God’s word. If not, I will not measure up to the standard of being human, and will be ashamed to live in God’s presence.” He truly sees himself as paltry, as truly insignificant. At this time it is easy for him to carry out truth, and he looks more like a human being. Only when a person truly loathes himself is he able to forsake the flesh. If one does not loathe himself, he will be unable to forsake the flesh. Hating oneself comprises a few things: first, knowing one’s own nature; second, seeing oneself as needy and pitiful, seeing oneself to be so small and insignificant, and seeing one’s own pitiful soul, one’s dirty soul. When one fully sees what he truly is and this outcome is achieved, he then really knows himself, and we can say that he has come to know himself fully. Only then can he truly hate himself, going so far as to curse himself, truly feeling that he has been corrupted too deeply by Satan, such that he no longer resembles a human being. Then one day, when the threat of imminent death appears, he feels, “Oh! It’s 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 too pitiful, too filthy and corrupt, that he should be wiped out by God and a soul like his is not fit to live on earth, and so he will not resist, much less betray, nor will he complain against God.
from “Knowing Oneself Is Mainly Knowing Human Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Your natures are such that without chastisement and curse, you would be unwilling to bow your heads, would be unwilling to submit. Without the facts before your eyes, there would be no effect. You are too lowly and worthless in character! Without chastisement and judgment, it would be difficult for you to be conquered, and hard for your unrighteousness and disobedience to be suppressed. Your old nature is so deeply rooted. If you were placed upon the throne, you’d have no idea of heaven’s height and earth’s depth, much less of where you were headed. You don’t even know where you came from, so how could you know the Creator? Without the timely chastisement and curse of today, your last days would have long since arrived. That’s to say nothing of your fate—isn’t that even more at risk? Without this timely chastisement and judgment, who knows how arrogant you would grow, and who knows how depraved you would become. This chastisement and judgment has brought you to today, and it has preserved your existence. If you were still taught using the same methods as those of your “father,” who knows what world you’d enter into! You don’t have any ability to control and reflect upon yourselves. It is enough for people like you, to merely follow, obey, and not interfere or disrupt in order for My aims to be achieved. Should you not do better in accepting the chastisement and judgment of today? What other choices do you have?
from “Practice (6)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
People cannot change their disposition themselves; they must undergo the judgment and chastisement and painful refinement of God’s words, or being dealt with, disciplined, and pruned by His words. Only after that can they achieve obedience and devotion to God, and not try to fool Him and deal with Him perfunctorily. It is under the refinement of God’s words that people have a change in disposition. Only those who undergo the exposure, judgment, disciplining, and dealing with of His words will no longer dare to do things recklessly, and will become calm and collected. The most important point is that they are able to obey God’s current words and obey God’s work, and even if it is not in line with human notions, they can put them aside and intentionally obey.
from “People Whose Dispositions Have Changed Are Those Who Have Entered Into the Reality of God’s Words” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
God can perfect man in both positive and negative aspects. It depends on whether you are able to experience, and on whether you pursue being perfected by God. If you truly seek being perfected by God, then the negative cannot make you suffer loss, but can bring you things that are more real, and can make you more able to know that which is lacking within you, more able to come to grips with your real states, and see that man has nothing, and is nothing; if you do not experience trials, you do not know, and will always feel that you are above others and better than everyone else. Through all this you will see that all that came before was done by God and protected by God. Entry into trials leaves you without love or faith, you lack prayer, and are unable to sing hymns—and, without realizing it, in the midst of this you come to know yourself. God has many means of perfecting man. He employs all manner of environments to deal with the corrupt disposition of man, and uses various things to lay man bare; in one regard He deals with man, in another He lays man bare, and in another He reveals man, digging out and revealing the “mysteries” in the depths of man’s heart, and showing man his nature by revealing many of his states.
from “Only Those Who Focus on Practice Can Be Perfected” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
God has humbled Himself to a certain level, to do His work in these filthy and corrupt people, and to perfect this group of people. God not only became flesh to live and eat among people, to shepherd people, to provide what people need. More important is that He does His huge work of salvation and conquest upon these unbearably corrupt people. He came to the heart of the great red dragon to work these most corrupt of people, so that all people may be changed and made new. The immense hardship that God endures is not only the hardship that the God incarnate endures, but mainly it is that God’s Spirit suffers extreme humiliation—He humbles and hides Himself so much that He becomes an ordinary person. God was incarnated and took the form of flesh so that people see that He has a normal human life, and that He has the normal human needs. This is enough to prove that God has humbled Himself to a certain level. The Spirit of God is realized in the flesh. His Spirit is so high and great, yet He takes the form of a common human, of a negligible human to do the work of His Spirit. The caliber, insight, sense, humanity, and lives of each of you show that you are really unworthy to accept God’s work of this kind. You are really unworthy to let God endure such hardship for your sake. God is so great. He is so supreme, and people are so mean and lowly, yet He still works upon them. He not only was incarnated to provide for people, to speak to people, He even lives together with people. God is so humble, so lovable.
from “Only Those Who Focus on Practice Can Be Perfected” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
After humans are conquered by God, the basic attribute of sense they should display is a lack of arrogance in speech. The best they should do is to assume a lowly status, “as dung upon the ground,” and speak practically. … When all nations and regions are conquered by God in the future, if at a huge gathering in praise of God, you begin to act arrogant again, then you’ll be scrapped and eliminated. In the future you must always behave properly, recognize your status and position, and not relapse into your old ways. Satan’s image most classically manifests in human hubris. Without changing this aspect of yourself, you will never appear human and will always possess the visage of Satan. Having knowledge in this area won’t be enough to obtain the complete change. You will need to endure multiple refinements. Without being dealt with and pruned, in the long run, you will still be subject to danger.
To prevent you from sliding into your old ways, first you must recognize that your disposition hasn’t changed, your God-betraying nature is deeply rooted and has yet to be removed; you are still in danger of betraying God. You face the constant possibility of perdition. There are three other major points: First, you haven’t known God. Second, your disposition hasn’t changed. Third, you have yet to attain a human image, you are the lowest among good people; everyone should clearly understand this point. Everyone should be prepared with one motto, have it engraved or written: “I am the devil,” or “I often fall into my old ways.” Or “I’m always in danger,” or “I am the dung upon the ground.” Maybe warning yourself with these words all the time will have some effect but most importantly you have to read more of God’s words and understand your nature. Only by achieving real change will you be safe.
from “The Basic Sense Which Man Ought to Possess” in Records of Christ’s Talks
You should know that you are arrogant and haughty by nature, and unwilling to submit to the facts. For this reason, I shall tell you by and by after you have reflected upon yourselves. I exhort you to get a better understanding of the content of the administrative decrees, and make an effort to know the disposition of God. Otherwise, you will find it difficult to keep your lips sealed and your tongues from wagging too freely with high-sounding talk, and you will unwittingly offend against the disposition of God and fall into the darkness, losing the presence of the Holy Spirit and the light. For you are unprincipled in your actions. If you do or say that which you should not, then you shall receive a fitting retribution. You should know that, although you are unprincipled in word and deed, God is very principled in both.
from “Three Admonitions” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If you do not know the substance of God, then it will be impossible for you to show Him reverence and fear, but instead only heedless perfunctoriness and prevarication, and moreover, incorrigible blasphemy. … If you do not understand the disposition of God, then you will easily offend His disposition. Such an offense is tantamount to enraging God Himself, and the ultimate fruit of your action becomes a transgression against the administrative decrees. Now you should realize that understanding God’s disposition comes with knowing His substance, and that along with understanding God’s disposition comes understanding the administrative decrees. Certainly, many of the administrative decrees touch upon the disposition of God, but His disposition has not been expressed in its entirety within them. Hence you need to go one step further in developing your understanding of God’s disposition.
Coming to know the substance of God is no trifling matter. You must understand His disposition. In this way, you will, gradually and unknowingly, come to know the substance of God. When you have entered into this knowledge, you will find yourself stepping forward into a higher and more beautiful state. In the end, you will come to feel ashamed of your hideous soul, so much so that you feel there is nowhere to hide yourself. At that time, there will be less and less in your conduct to offend the disposition of God, your heart will come closer and closer to that of God, and gradually a love for Him will grow in your heart. This is a sign of mankind entering a beautiful state.
from “It Is Very Important to Understand God’s Disposition” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Regardless of your intent, regardless of whether or not you do it deliberately, if you don’t understand God’s disposition or don’t understand God’s will, you will easily offend God and will easily offend His administrative decrees; this is something everyone should be on their guard against. Once you seriously offend God’s administrative decrees or offend God’s disposition, God will not consider whether you did it intentionally or unintentionally; this is something you must see clearly. If you cannot see through this issue, then you are guaranteed to have a problem. In serving God, people want to make great strides, do great things, speak great words, perform great work, print huge books, hold great meetings and be great leaders. If you always have grand ambitions, then you will offend God’s great administrative decrees; people like this will die quickly. If you aren’t well-behaved, godly or prudent in serving God, sooner or later you will offend God’s administrative decrees.
from “Without the Truth It Is Easy to Offend God” in Records of Christ’s Talks
The Man’s Fellowship:
What are the results of truly seeing that you are just like Satan yourself? You will feel like you are living in shame. You will feel inferior. You will lay low and hide yourself away, not daring to be seen by other people. You will act as if you had done something exceedingly shameful. You will be ashamed and unwilling to see people face to face. If there is a mouse hole, you can’t wait to go in it and hide yourself. That is the result of truly knowing what you yourself are like. If you will not dare show your face or show off, how could you still be arrogant then? Therefore, only those who accept the judgment and chastisement from God are becoming less and less arrogant and their sense of their own inferiority is becoming heavier and heavier. An arrogant person should have something to be arrogant about. Take someone with high caliber, some gifts, and some strong points, and they will think, “I am better than other people.” So, their arrogant disposition is revealed and they see people as insignificant. This is normal because they have something to be proud of. They have great abilities. If they really understood themselves and felt that they were not worth even one penny, how could they still be arrogant? They would feel that it’s not worth it to be arrogant. There was no longer a source for their arrogance. They would no longer be able to muster the will to be arrogant. Isn’t this the truth? There are some people who think that they are better than everyone else, that they can see through everything. Then one day comes along and what happens? They receive some major setback and experience shameful failure. Will they still be able to be arrogant then? At that moment they will feel like they won’t even be able to lift their head. They won’t dare meet anyone face to face. So, when those people with arrogant dispositions experience failure and meet with shame several times, receive great pruning and dealing from God several times, then their arrogant disposition will naturally be resolved. That’s what all people experience. They experience the judgment, chastisement, pruning, and dealing from God, the discipline of the Holy Spirit, and they also receive some failures and setbacks. Then they become more honest and they become less arrogant. They also become less self-righteous. Even though they may be able to see through things, they still want to seek help. They seek the opinions of others. They guard against making mistakes. These are the results obtained from the judgment and chastisement of God. So, it doesn’t matter how arrogant and self-righteous you are. Do not be afraid. Do not worry. All you need to do is focus on experiencing the judgment and chastisement of God, accepting more pruning and dealing from God, especially the discipline of the Holy Spirit, and then you will slowly change. No one can help you with this. You just need to pray to God, pursue the truth, obtain the work of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit works, all the problems will be resolved. …
from the fellowship from the above
When we make no transgressions, we are not submissive. We think of ourselves as doing well, and do not submit to anyone. Only after transgressing and undergoing God’s pruning and dealing can we sincerely reflect. At such times, we use our hearts to contemplate God’s pruning and dealing and apply it to ourselves, and as we contemplate, awareness grows in us, “I really am this kind of person.” And once isn’t enough to give us penetration. We need to experience it several times to gain true penetration and be submissive. Then we will practice in the direction of truth, “How can I enter this reality? How can I be mindful of God’s will? How can I practice the truth?” Only once we understand these things can we achieve change.
from “One Must Have Principles in Serving God” in Collection of Sermons—Supply for Life