I Know the Way to Resolve Corrupt Disposition

February 12, 2022

By Ramses, Mexico

My family is Catholic, and I believed in the Lord along with them since I was little. As I grew up, I came to realize that some believers just went to church on Sundays, but lived a regular secular life the rest of the time. They’d smoke, drink, and party just like unbelievers. I felt like they weren’t following the Lord’s requirements, that that was sinning. I was living in sin, too. I lied, lost my temper, and got jealous. Even if I did confess my sins to the priest, I just couldn’t escape that cycle of sinning, confessing, and sinning again. I felt totally at a loss. So I decided to leave our church and join another denomination to seek the path to escaping sin.

Later on I met Brother Raul at work, a longtime Christian. He said he’d been to lots of different churches, but he stopped attending because the pastors’ sermons weren’t insightful and they were always asking for offerings. He said they only wanted money, and when brothers and sisters wanted their help with some sort of problem, they’d just say, “Go ask the preacher first, and let me know if you still can’t figure it out.” I was really confused by that. Why would something like that happen in a church? After that I went to five or six other Christian churches and saw they were exactly like what Brother Raul described. I remember in one service some believers were playing a game of chess and having a buffet. I saw the churches didn’t have the Holy Spirit’s work, but they’d become entertainment venues for religious people. I didn’t want to go to church anymore. But the Bible says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). So where would I assemble? I felt really lost. There are over 1,000 Christian denominations, so finding one with God’s guidance and the Holy Spirit’s work would be really hard. Brother Raul didn’t know where to go, either. So we decided to leave our congregation and use our free time to study the Bible. We read the Bible a lot together and shared our understanding, helping and supporting each other.

I spent several years that way, praying and reading the Scripture every day. But what really frustrated me was that when something I didn’t like happened or my interests were compromised, I just couldn’t control my anger. Sometimes at work, Brother Raul would ask me to act as his assistant. If he asked me to do something and I didn’t entirely understand him, he’d speak to me pretty harshly, and I’d get really mad. I was thinking it was clear that he didn’t communicate well, but he was yelling at me, treating me like an idiot, and I didn’t have to take that. So I’d yell right back at him. We’d get really amped up and couldn’t rein in our anger. We’d end up storming off. I didn’t want to listen to him or explain things to him. But afterward after calming down, we would talk about that, acknowledge our wrongs, and apologize to each other. I knew I couldn’t free myself from sin, that I’d just keep sinning and rebelling against God, so I prayed and confessed to God, and tried to rein myself in. But no matter how hard I tried, I’d just keep messing up, sinning by day, confessing by night. I sunk into misery and guilt within this relentless cycle, and I was so disappointed in myself. I was asking myself why I couldn’t stop sinning. Brother Raul and I had talked about that plenty of times and we knew we just couldn’t help ourselves, that our self-righteousness, arrogance, and self-importance were glaring, so we couldn’t achieve holiness.

Once, when we were discussing our understanding of the Bible verses, we saw these verses: “Be you holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). “Without holiness no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). These verses gave us pause for thought. The Lord told us we have to be holy, but we were living in sin. How could we achieve holiness? We didn’t have a path. I asked my pastor about it, too, and he said, “As long as we’re living in the flesh, we’ll never achieve holiness. The Lord Jesus redeemed us of our sins. Our sins have already been forgiven, and the Lord doesn’t see us as of sin. When He comes down on a cloud, He’ll take us up into the kingdom of heaven.” This was kind of comforting for me to hear, but I was still confused. The Lord is holy, and we’re always living in sin. So will He really take us into His kingdom when He returns?

One day in July 2019, Brother Raul and I were having one of our regular Bible studies. We did a web search for “the Bible,” and found a movie by The Church of Almighty God, “Caught the Last Train.” I was really surprised by what we saw in it. It was a great movie and the truths fellowshiped were really enlightening. Especially the part where a sister says that the Lord Jesus did the work of redemption. He just forgave people’s sins, but He didn’t resolve our sinful nature. That’s why we keep sinning and resisting God. Looking at those who believe in the Lord, from clergy down to regular believers, which of them can claim to be free from sin? Not a single one. Without a single exception, humans are bound, constrained by sin. We live in corruption—we’re arrogant, selfish, cunning, and greedy. We can’t help but sin even when we don’t want to. Some may seem humble and gentle, but their hearts are full of corruption. We’re not the holy people who do God’s will, that He wants to gain in the end. That’s why God needs to continue His work to save mankind, to do a stage of judgment work on the foundation of the forgiveness of sins to cleanse and fully save us so we can escape sin and become pure, then enter God’s kingdom and gain eternal life. Everything they said was true—it reflected reality. I was really excited, because I’d never heard anything like it. How were they able to share so much novel enlightenment? Where did they get it from? I saw they were reading a book called The Word Appears in the Flesh. Its content was full of power and authority, and things I’d never heard before. I just wanted to hear more, to look into it further. After the movie, we reached out to The Church of Almighty God and started attending online gatherings and fellowship. Almighty God’s words were really eye-opening. Almighty God says, “Before man was redeemed, many of Satan’s poisons had already been planted within him and, after thousands of years of being corrupted by Satan, he has within him an established nature that resists God. Therefore, when man has been redeemed, it is nothing more than a case of redemption in which man is bought at a high price, but the poisonous nature within him has not been eliminated. Man that is so defiled must undergo a change before becoming worthy to serve God. By means of this work of judgment and chastisement, man will fully come to know the filthy and corrupt essence within his own self, and he will be able to change completely and become clean. Only in this way can man become worthy to return before the throne of God. All the work done this day is so that man can be made clean and be changed; through judgment and chastisement by the word, as well as through refinement, man can purge away his corruption and be made pure. Rather than deeming this stage of work to be that of salvation, it would be more apt to say it is the work of purification. In truth, this stage is that of conquest as well as the second stage in the work of salvation” (“The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Christ of the last days uses a variety of truths to teach man, to expose the substance of man, and to dissect the words and deeds of man. These words comprise various truths, such as man’s duty, how man should obey God, how man should be loyal to God, how man ought to live out normal humanity, as well as the wisdom and the disposition of God, and so on. These words are all directed at the substance of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, the words that expose how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan, and an enemy force against God. In undertaking His work of judgment, God does not simply make clear the nature of man with a few words; He exposes, deals with, and prunes over the long term. All these different methods of exposure, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words, but with the truth of which man is utterly bereft. Only methods such as these can be called judgment; only through judgment of this kind can man be subdued and thoroughly convinced about God, and moreover gain true knowledge of God. What the work of judgment brings about is man’s understanding of the true face of God and the truth about his own rebelliousness. The work of judgment allows man to gain much understanding of the will of God, of the purpose of God’s work, and of the mysteries that are incomprehensible to him. It also allows man to recognize and know his corrupt essence and the roots of his corruption, as well as to discover the ugliness of man. These effects are all brought about by the work of judgment, for the essence of this work is actually the work of opening up the truth, the way, and the life of God to all those who have faith in Him. This work is the work of judgment done by God” (“Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). After reading this, I saw that the Lord Jesus did the work of redemption, which was just redeeming us so we were no longer of sin, but mankind’s sinful nature wasn’t removed. That’s why we keep sinning, revealing corruption, and resisting God. Thinking about it, I knew that was all accurate. Every time I lost my cool, I’d hate myself later for getting so angry. I didn’t want to, but whenever something I didn’t like happened, I couldn’t help but lose my temper. I realized that if I didn’t resolve my sinful nature, I’d never be free from sin, and then I’d be against God in thought, word, and deed. I read lots more of Almighty God’s words after that and saw that He reveals everything about man’s sinful nature. He shows us all sorts of mysteries, like how man is corrupted by Satan, how we can escape sin and be cleansed, who can get into the kingdom of heaven and who will be punished, and the outcomes of different types of people. God’s words judging and exposing man contain His love and salvation. No matter how harsh He sounds, it’s all so we can understand the truth, so we can clearly see the truth of how Satan has corrupted us, genuinely despise ourselves, then repent and change. I was so happy once I understood that and I was longing for more of Almighty God’s words. I was also really enjoying the fellowship with brothers and sisters.

I was elected as a leader for a newcomers’ church after that. Once, a sister sought me out for some help with problems she’d encountered in her work, and I gave her some advice based on what I knew. But apparently she didn’t really understand what I meant, so she asked another sister to come hear what I had to say. I explained it all over again, and they didn’t ask any questions after hearing me out, but just agreed. Just then, a leader called us and the two sisters asked me to share my ideas about the project with her, too. I’d explained it all twice, so I didn’t want to repeat it again, but in the end I reluctantly went through it all over again. The leader didn’t say anything after I’d finished, but just gave me a document to review, and then told us how we should do the project. I was pretty annoyed. I felt like she hadn’t really understood what I meant. I’d already told those two sisters what to do, and spent so much time thinking over all the work arrangements. I’d explained it three times over. Was all my hard work really for nothing? Irritated, I said to the leader, “Did you understand what I said? We’ve already agreed on this and we have a mutual understanding.” She said, “What you’ve suggested is okay, but it’s a more complicated approach.” Then she told us about a faster and simpler way to get that project done. I did think it sounded like a good way to do it, but I wasn’t all that pleased. I was wondering what the others would think of me if the approach I thought of wasn’t used. Would they think I was useless and couldn’t even arrange a little work? That would be so embarrassing. I felt worse the more I thought about it. Later, the leader asked me to do that project with those two sisters. I was really resistant to it and didn’t speak to her very kindly. Later, I did complete the task, but I’d shown corruption in it that left me feeling unsettled and really guilty. I was left wondering why I was always living in corruption, and couldn’t change. The leader was taking responsibility, offering some good suggestions to improve our work efficiency. This was good for the work of God’s house. But I couldn’t accept it, and even got angry about it. I asked myself why I got upset. I needed to find the root of it, so I could be free of it as soon as possible.

That evening, I started searching the church website for things about anger, and I found this in God’s words: “Once a man has status, he will often find it difficult to control his mood, and so he will enjoy seizing upon opportunities to express his dissatisfaction and vent his emotions; he will often flare up in rage for no apparent reason, so as to reveal his ability and let others know that his status and identity are different from those of ordinary people. Of course, corrupt people without any status also often lose control. Their anger is frequently caused by damage to their private interests. In order to protect their own status and dignity, corrupt mankind will frequently vent their emotions and reveal their arrogant nature. Man will flare up in anger and vent his emotions in order to defend and uphold the existence of sin, and these actions are the ways in which man expresses his dissatisfaction; they brim with impurities, with schemes and intrigues, with man’s corruption and evil, and more than anything else, they brim with man’s wild ambitions and desires” (“God Himself, the Unique II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Through God’s words I saw that there’s a reason humans tend to flare up. When our interests or reputation are compromised, we vent our dissatisfaction, show our tempers, and lose normal human reason. That’s being under the control of an arrogant nature, so we show satanic dispositions, negative things. Reflecting on myself in light of God’s words, I saw that when my ideas were rejected and I didn’t get the prestige I wanted, I got really resistant. I knew the leader’s approach was better than mine, that it would be quick and simple, but I still felt angry. I felt like my suggestions were overridden, so others might look down on me and think I was useless, so I spoke unkindly to the leader. At that point I saw I was really arrogant, really focused on my name and status. I always felt like I was great, like I was right, and I didn’t want to listen to others. I wanted to protect my place in others’ minds, so I didn’t consider what would benefit the work of God’s house. I saw I was arrogant beyond all reason and didn’t have any fear for God or true submission to the situations God arranged. I had so much regret when I saw that. I prayed to God to repent, asking Him to guide me to know myself better and get rid of my arrogance.

I read this passage, too: “Arrogance is the root of man’s corrupt disposition. The more arrogant people are, the more liable they are to resist God. How serious is this problem? Not only do people with arrogant dispositions consider everyone else beneath them, but, worst of all, they are even condescending toward God. Even though, externally, some 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 over others. This sort of person does not revere God 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. If people wish to get to where they revere God, then they must first resolve their arrogant dispositions. The more thoroughly you resolve your arrogant disposition, the more reverence you will have for God, and only then can you submit to Him and be able to obtain the truth and know Him” (God’s Fellowship). I gave this some thought and saw I couldn’t handle others’ suggestions appropriately because I had an arrogant disposition. I wanted other people to listen to me, I didn’t want to accept or hear others’ ideas. I thought back on my work with Brother Raul. I’d been so arrogant that I couldn’t tolerate him speaking to me with a strict tone and I didn’t want him to guide my work. And in my interactions with my wife and others, I always thought I had the best ideas, that I was right, so they should listen to me and do what I said. After gaining my faith and taking on a duty with brothers and sisters, I kept living in arrogance and wouldn’t accept other people’s suggestions. Even when I knew my approach wasn’t great, I still wanted to do things my way and have others listen to me. I was unreasonably arrogant. As I was so stuck in my arrogance, I couldn’t look at things rationally. I felt like I was always right, but sometimes other people really did have better ideas and a more comprehensive view. And lots of times with my wife, I’d feel like I was the one in the right, and it turned out badly when we did things my way. This was the same. The leader’s approach was simple, didn’t delay us, and could get better results, but my idea was complicated and would have taken a long time. The facts showed me I had no reason to be so arrogant. I should be down-to-earth, low-key, and know my place. If I kept living in such arrogance, I’d end up like the archangel, having no regard for God, resisting Him and offending His disposition. He’d punish and curse me. I quickly said a prayer to God when I realized that: “God, I don’t want to live by my arrogant disposition anymore. I want to stay in my place and live out normal humanity, to listen to brothers’ and sisters’ suggestions in my duty, work well with them, and do my duty to satisfy Your will.”

I read a couple more passages of God’s words after that. “An arrogant nature makes you willful. When people have this willful disposition, are they not prone to being arbitrary and rash? How, then, do you resolve your arbitrariness and rashness? Say, for example, something happens to you and you have your own ideas and plans; after determining what to do, you must seek the truth and fellowship with everyone about what you think and believe about this, asking everyone to tell you if your thoughts and plans are correct, and in line with the truth, asking that everyone make final checks for you. This is the best method of solving arbitrariness and rashness. First, you can shed light on your view and seek the truth; this is the first step you put into practice in order to overcome this disposition of being arbitrary and rash. The second step happens when other people voice dissenting opinions—what practice can you put in place to keep from being arbitrary and rash? You must first have an attitude of humility, set aside what you believe to be right, and let everyone have fellowship. Even if you believe your way to be correct, you should not keep insisting on it. That, first of all, is a kind of step forward; it shows an attitude of seeking the truth, of denying yourself, and of satisfying God’s will. Once you have this attitude, at the same time that you do not adhere to your own opinion, you should pray, seek the truth from God, and then look for a basis in God’s words—determine how to act on the basis of God’s words. This is the most suitable and accurate practice” (God’s Fellowship). “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 domain 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 the saying goes, they are prepared for war 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 God, and will be able to avoid making the same old mistakes. If people lack self-awareness, and don’t know that their satanic nature is still deeply rooted in them, then they are still at risk of betraying God, and they face the constant possibility of perdition. This is real; they must be careful. There are three most important points to keep in mind: Number one, you still don’t know God; number two, there have not been any changes in your disposition; and number three, 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 devil,’ or ‘I often fall into my old ways,’ or ‘I’m always in danger,’ or ‘I am the dung upon the ground.’ 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 stop making mistakes, or make less mistakes—but what’s most important is to spend more time reading God’s words and understanding the truth, knowing your own nature and escaping your corrupt disposition; only then will you be safe” (“Only by Pursuing the Truth Can One Achieve a Change in Disposition” in The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days). God’s words helped me understand that to resolve arrogance, I have to learn to cooperate with others, to seek and fellowship. I should share my thoughts with brothers and sisters in work discussions, and even if I think I have the right idea, I shouldn’t insist on it, but I should seek the truth and God’s will and listen to others’ suggestions. Everyone should have a chance to speak and share ideas. I should humbly seek even if it’s different from what I suggested, and put aside what I think is right. Then I can pray and seek based on what everyone has said and let God guide and enlighten me. That will show me what’s right, what’s suitable, and show me my own shortcomings and flaws. And when I see that someone else has a better, more correct idea than me, I should learn to put myself aside and accept what they say. That’s in line with God’s will and keeps me from making mistakes. On top of that, I wrote out a motto for myself about my arrogance: “I’m nothing but dung, with no reason for pride. I put myself in danger with my lack of self-control.” This helps me remember of the disgrace of my arrogant states, and reminds me of the danger and consequences of living in arrogance. After that, I started focusing on practicing God’s words and listening to others’ ideas. When someone offered a different suggestion or opinion from mine, at home, or in a duty with brothers and sisters in the church, I started putting my ego aside. I saw that other people really did have more comprehensive ideas than me, I also learned to accept their ideas from the heart and implement good suggestions. After putting that into practice, I realized that I stopped losing my temper with brothers and sisters and I could listen to what other people had to say. I also felt so much more relaxed than before. I’m really grateful to God!

There was another passage of God’s words I liked, too. “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” (“People Whose Dispositions Have Changed Are Those Who Have Entered Into the Reality of God’s Words” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Almighty God’s words showed me that we can’t rely on our own strength or perseverance to control or change ourselves. All that effort at self-control can just change some behaviors, but those changes won’t last very long. If we want to achieve true dispositional change, we have to accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, and accept criticism along with trials and refinement. That’s the only way to truly know our satanic nature and clearly see the dangerous consequences of living by our satanic dispositions. Then we can truly hate and forsake ourselves, and achieve genuine repentance and change.

And I’m grateful for Almighty God giving me the chance to experience His judgment of the last days so I can learn truths, and come to know myself and resolve my corruption. I feel incredibly lucky. I don’t feel so lost and confused anymore because Almighty God has revealed the root of our sin, and our corrupt states and behaviors. He’s also given us a path to cast off sin and achieve dispositional change in life. Almighty God’s words are rich and plentiful, and give us all we need. They give us answers for all of our difficulties and questions. As long as we read and accept God’s words from the heart, we can find the principles to practice, and a path forward. Thanks be to Almighty God!

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