Chapter 57. People Make Too Many Demands of God
That God asks people to treat Him as a God is because most of them treat Him as a person, not as God. What is the problem with people always making demands of God? And what is the problem with them always having conceptions about God? What is contained within people’s nature? I’ve discovered that, regardless of what happens to them, or what they’re dealing with, people always protect their own interests and look out for their own flesh, and they always look for reasons or excuses that serve them. They are without the slightest truth, and everything they do is in order to justify their own flesh and in consideration of their own prospects. They all claim grace from God, trying to gain whatever advantage they can. And why do they make excessive demands of God? This proves that people are naturally greedy. They are not possessed of any sense before God, and in everything they do—whether they are praying or communing or preaching—in what they pursue, and in their inner thoughts and their desires, they make demands of God and claim things from Him, hoping to gain something from Him. Some people say that this has to do with human nature. They’re not wrong! In addition, that people make too many demands of God and have too many extravagant desires relating to Him proves that within them there is none of the sense that ought to be possessed by humanity. They make these demands and claims for their own sakes, or else they try to justify and look for excuses for their own sakes, and in many things it can be seen that everything they do is without sense, it is totally devoid of sense, which is full proof of the satanic logic of “Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost.” What problem is proven by people’s excessive demands of God? It proves the extent of their corruption by Satan, which means that, in their belief in God, people don’t treat Him as God at all. Some people say: “If we don’t treat God like God, then why on earth are we following Him? How could we follow someone who isn’t God? He’s God; if we didn’t treat Him like God, could we have followed until today? Could we have endured all this suffering?” Externally, you follow Him as God, yet in the way you treat Him and your attitude toward Him, and in many matters and many of your views, you don’t treat Him like the Creator at all. If you treated God like God, if you treated God as the Creator, then you should stand firm in your position and it would thus be impossible for you to make any more demands of God, or have any extravagant desires relating to God. In your heart, you would be capable of true submission, and would be fully capable of believing in God in accordance with His requirements and obeying all of His work.
Today, when things happen to people—when they have to endure seven years of trials, for example—some of them say: “How is it that we still have to endure a further seven years of trials? It’s such a long time! Even three would still be fine, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to endure it.” Do people not make such demands? There are also those who say: “God, since You knew it would be that many years, You shouldn’t have let us forsake everything to expend for You, You should have enlightened us, and kept a way out open for us; You should have stopped us doing those stupid things, You shouldn’t have let us get carried away, You should have kept us level headed. What’s more, it’s fair enough that You’ve made us follow You, but You have to prepare a sufficient income and enough food for us, so that we can follow with confidence.” After that, they pray to God and say: “O God! I can accept seven years of trials, but I just want You to help me get through everything that happens to me; I can’t do it by myself. During these seven years I may well become weak and passive, but I ask that You help me, I ask that You be my rear guard, and my strength, enlightening and guiding me, not letting me be passive or weak, not allowing me to rebel against You, or oppose You….” They make even more demands of God. Every time something happens to people, they always have the following reaction: “Why did God do this?” People are always unhappy with what God does, they always cast blame; in sum, they are always too demanding of God, and not obedient enough toward Him.
When the testimony to God incarnate began, people all complained, saying: “Before becoming flesh, God should have enlightened us so that we could be mentally prepared. If we were mentally prepared we wouldn’t rebel against or oppose You, and would accept You. Are You not almighty? We rebel against You and oppose You because we have been corrupted by Satan, we can’t help it. Can’t You do something to stop us opposing You, to allow us to pass through smoothly?” Isn’t this how they thought? Many of them put forward conditions: There’s nothing we can do about opposing You. Your incarnation is too at odds with our conceptions; if You were a bit more physically imposing, or if You were possessed of great knowledge, or Your appearance were a bit more distinctive, or You were more eloquent, or You were able to appear and disappear at will, or You could perform signs and miracles, or Your incarnation were more like people imagined. Such were the demands that many people made at the time—but God did not act according to their imagination or their conceptions; instead, He turned His back on their conceptions, and did precisely the opposite. And what does this prove? That people’s conceptions and demands are unreasonable. There are people who I’ve dealt with and pruned who, after being pruned, were so distressed that they wept bitter tears and became negative. In their hearts, they thought: God, after You had dealt with me I was so upset, why didn’t You offer a little comfort to me, even if it was just to say a few polite words? Such are the demands that people make of God. They’re also full of reasons: Is God not merciful and compassionate? I was so upset after You dealt with me, You should have given me a little comfort and confidence. God has no love! Some have spread the gospel to and converted many people, and in their hearts they think: I’ve converted all these people, but God hasn’t given me any reward, and still prunes and deals with me; I’ve suffered so much, but I still end up being dealt with. What do you say, is there the truth within these people’s hearts? Are their demands fair? If, after dealing with someone, I comfort them, they’ll think: Ah! God is so nice, He’s so nice; I didn’t expect Him to comfort me. If I then deal with someone else for something, and they’re having a really hard time but I ignore them, they’ll think: Why did God comfort others, and why does He not comfort me when I’m in such pain? God is not fair…. They harbor conceptions in their hearts, which they deal with by saying: I must not have conceptions, all that God does is right. But then they have a think, and no matter which way they look at it, God is in the wrong: So why doesn’t God comfort me? They feel uneasy, they can’t get over it. People have many unreasonable demands, and harbor many unreasonable imaginings and desires within themselves, and sooner or later, when the circumstances are right, these things will appear. This is because none of the thoughts and ideas produced within people or the things they demand are compatible with God. Man’s nature brims with the nature of Satan, they’re entirely self-centered, selfish, greedy, and extravagant. Are you clear about this? See how people make demands regardless of their state. When they’re happy, and feeling at ease, they’ll pray to God and say: “God, protect me, let me live in this state all the time.” When they’re unhappy, or feeling low, they also have demands: “God, why don’t You grace me? Why don’t You enlighten me? Why are things going so well for other people? And why am I having such a hard time?” When people are beset by adversity, they implore God to change their environment, and when everything’s going smoothly, it’s a case of being given an inch and trying to take a mile. When people have gained something, they covet even more; when they have gained nothing, they grow desperate—and what is it they wish to gain? They wish to gain the things they like, and the things required by the interests of the flesh. And so, not one of their demands is proper, not one of them is their due. When some people keep company with Me, I give them something to wear or use because they come from a poor family. Seeing that, some people are displeased, and in their hearts they think: How come God always looks after him but does nothing for me? God is not fair! Some people are able to get their heads round it: For me to have taken this path today in my belief in God, for me to be able to safely follow up until today—that is God’s grace; I shouldn’t seek material things. But after thinking it over later, they become dissatisfied, and when they really can’t overcome these thoughts they pray; they don’t think about them for the moment, but these things still exist inside them. No matter how they weigh it up, they cannot find peace, and think to themselves: Where is God’s righteousness? Why have I not seen it? He is not fair or reasonable in His handling of these external things, so where is God’s righteousness manifested? And then they think: Righteousness isn’t fairness and reasonableness; I can’t confuse the two. But in sum, they still can’t let it go. When people are unclear about many truths, many conflicting thoughts appear—but whatever the case, these are the things of their natures.
Look at people’s demands, they demand this and that of God, they ask God for such-and-such, they make plans in this way and that. In sum, people’s plans are all extraneous to the truth, they are all incompatible with God’s work and God’s will, and not one of them is beloved of God, they are all loathed and despised by God. There is no connection between what people demand and what they should enter into. Some people believe the following: I’ve done all these years of work, and I can’t return home. God should take care of what I need to wear and eat, and if I’m ill He should show more concern for me. As time goes on, this gives rise to many things that they feel it is their due to ask of God; when it’s only been a short time, they believe themselves unworthy—but as time goes on, they feel it is their due. This is what people are like; this is their nature, and no one is exempt. Some people say: “I’ve never made any extravagant demands of God, for I am a creature of God, and unfit to make any demands of Him.” Rest easy: Time will reveal all, and the day will come when people’s nature and motivations are revealed and exposed. That people don’t make demands of God is because they believe there is no need, or because they believe the time isn’t right—or, moreover, because you have already made many demands of God, and it’s just that you haven’t realized that they are demands of God. In sum, it is impossible for a nature such as this to not sprout within them. Why have I brought this up today? So that people may know what things are within their nature. People shouldn’t think that, after believing in God for several years and having done a few days of church work, they have expended a lot for God, devoted much to Him, and endured great suffering. They shouldn’t think that they are owed things like material enjoyments or fleshly nourishment, that they should be more respected and well-regarded by others, that God’s words to them should be more tender, or that He should be more caring toward them, often asking whether they’ve eaten enough, if they’ve got enough to wear, how their health is, and so on. When people have expended themselves for God for somewhat longer, these things appear in them without them realizing, and they feel that whatever they ask for is right and proper. When it’s only been a short time, they believe they’re not qualified; but as time goes on they feel they have the capital to do so, and so they start making demands, and the things of their nature are revealed. Is that not how people are? When it’s only been a short time, people don’t dare or are too embarrassed to make demands of God, but as time goes on they start thinking: Other people buy those things, and wear those things—what do I wear? What have I bought? I haven’t bought anything! Why don’t these people think about whether it’s right to make such demands of God? Are these things your due? Were they promised to you by God? If something does not belong to you, yet you ask for it irrespective, then you are at odds with the truth and your nature is wholly satanic. How did the archangel conduct itself in the beginning? It had great status, and had been given much, and ultimately it believed it ought to get whatever it wanted—I want this, I want that—and in the end, it said: “I wish to sit equal with God.” It got to that point. And so, in their belief in God, people have too many demands, and desire too much. If you do not reflect upon yourself, if you are incapable of knowing the seriousness of this problem, then one day you will say: “God, come down—I can be God.” It will have gotten to the point where you say, “God, I’ll wear what You wear, and eat what You eat.” When it has gotten to that far, you will already have begun treating God like a person. It matters not that, in what comes out of your mouth, you call Him God—they are but superficial words; there is not the slightest obedience or reverence in your heart. When people’s belief in God has gotten to that point, they are in trouble, and catastrophe will likely come upon them.
Truly treating God as God means not only treating God as God in terms of status, but having a true knowledge, reverence, and absolute obedience toward God’s substance. There are several paths to practice: Firstly, in God’s company you are pious, have an honest attitude, are without conceptions and imaginings, and have a heart of obedience; secondly, before God, you have reflected upon and prayed about the motivations behind everything you say, all of the questions you ask, and everything you do, and know how to do so properly—if not, then after a while you will have no knowledge of God, your conceptions will have multiplied, and you will have become an antichrist. When you treat God as a person, the God you believe in is a vague God in heaven, you completely deny God become flesh, and in your heart you do not acknowledge the practical God. At this time, you will have become the antichrist, and will have fallen amid the darkness. The more your demands toward God, and the more your reasons, and the more your conceptions about God, the more danger you’ll be in. The more your demands toward God, the greater the proof that you don’t treat God as God at all; you will gradually come to see yourself as God, and ultimately, when you are working in the church, you will bear witness to yourself, and say: “God once did this or that.” Your implication will be that God is inferior to you, that He should be treated with scorn. In your heart there will be no reverence, the tone of your speech will change, your disposition will grow arrogant, and you will gradually end up exalting yourself. This is what happens when people go downhill, and it is entirely caused by not seeking the truth. All of those who go downhill exalt themselves, and bear testimony to themselves, they go around boasting about themselves and self-aggrandizing, and they haven’t taken God to heart at all. Do you have any experience of what I’m saying? Many people blindly bear testimony to themselves: I’ve suffered in this way and that, I’ve done this work and that, God has treated me in this way and that, finally asking me to do such and such, He thinks especially highly of me, now I’m like this and that. They speak in a certain tone, and adopt certain postures; ultimately, some people end up thinking that they are God. When they have gotten to that point, the Holy Spirit will have long since abandoned them. Although, for the meantime, they are ignored, and not expelled, their fate is set, and all they can do is await their punishment. In some places the following situation has appeared: A new member of the church holds a certain sister up high, clinging to her legs and crying, shouting: “O God! Don’t go! O God! I miss you….” And the sister doesn’t even stop the newcomer or state her position. Has this not happened? I Myself have heard of three or four such occurrences. However, there’s nothing good about people like this. People below are confused and stupid; they treat such people as God. How terrible that is! And clinging to their legs and crying—how hopelessly foolish! Treating people who are corrupt and belong to Satan as God—how is this the belief in God? Is it not the belief in Satan? If you don’t seek the truth, or the knowledge of God, in your belief in God, then it is easy to be led astray. People who are foolish and ignorant really are in danger!
You always make demands of God, you always demand that God do this and that in accordance with your own conceptions, you ask that God save you, have mercy on you, love you, and grace you in accordance with your own thinking. You make demands of God using your own thoughts and means, asking that He obey you. What is the issue here? Is this what it means to believe in God? The only thing you believe in is yourself. There is no God within your heart, nor any truth to speak of. In a moment of fervor—which can also be put down to good intentions—some people buy shoes and bring them to Me. When they don’t fit, I give the shoes back to them, but there are some, I think, who would be upset if I returned the shoes to them, and so I see who they fit and give the shoes to them. At that moment, the people can’t stand it, and say: “Do You know how much effort and money I spent? Do You know how much running about I did? You give them to others so easily; was my money that easy to earn? If You don’t want to wear them, give them back to me—how could You give them to someone else? …” I say: “Did anyone tell you to buy them? You bought them, they didn’t fit, and so I didn’t want them. In the countries of the world people talk about human rights and freedom—why don’t I have a choice? Do I have to use whatever you buy Me?” Is it right for people to treat Me like this? People, it seems, still don’t understand the truth of offering: When you offer something to God, it belongs to God, it does not belong to you, and God shall allocate it howsoever He wishes; what He does with it is His own business. Do people know this? Someone buys Me a pair of shoes or socks and I have to wear them no matter what, and they even keep an eye on Me, saying “What happened to those socks? What happened to those shoes?” They spend the whole day studying and investigating Me in this way. There are others who always ask: “Did you take those things I bought to God? Does He wear them?” Others say: “No. He doesn’t,” and so they say: “They were good quality, why doesn’t He wear them?” See how their demands come again—people are so unreasonable! When they buy these things they seem so loving, they seem to love God so much. I have to like whatever people buy Me, and if I don’t, they grumble and always try to control Me. I’ve discovered that people’s mouths always say: “I must love God well! I must repay God’s love!” How could it be said that they have love? They are so corrupt that they don’t even possess the sense of a normal person—and without humanity, how can they say they love God? The only things within them are hate, resentment, extravagant desires, and human demands. There is no love. For them, love is but the objective of pursuit, it is nothing but the requirements for people. How many people have achieved the love of God? Today, you are all willing to seek the truth and changes in your disposition, and when you make demands of God, how should you reflect upon yourselves? What kind of attitude should you have toward God? Having led a few churches, some people grow arrogant, they think that the house of God can’t do without them, that they should enjoy special treatment from God. In fact, the higher their status, the higher their demands of God; the more they understand of the doctrines, the more furtive and sneaky their demands are. Their mouths don’t say it, but it is hidden within their hearts, and not easy to discover. In all likelihood, there will be a time when their complaints and resistance burst forth, and that’s even more troublesome. Why is it that the more people are religious leaders and figures, the more they are dangerous antichrists? Because the greater their status, the greater their ambition; the more they understand of the doctrines, the more arrogant their dispositions become. If, in your belief in God, you do not pursue the truth, and instead pursue status, then you’re in danger. Do you see the necessity of God’s judgment and chastisement of people? The closer you come to understanding many truths in your entry into life, the more you’ll feel you’re in danger, and at that time you will perceive the substance of man’s nature. Today, people have not the slightest knowledge of their nature. They may possess some rudimentary knowledge, but it is doctrine, and they have not gained the truth. As a result, they don’t feel they’re in danger, they don’t know to be afraid, and are not worried for themselves. Today, the newcomers are no different from how the church’s veterans were at the very start, they dare to say and do anything. In general, those who pursue more and have been judged and chastised by God don’t dare to be so careless in their words; even if they think something in their hearts, they don’t dare say it, and when they do think it they are quick to pray, and say: “God, I have offended You….” Among newcomers, there are those who dare to unleash a torrent of blasphemy: “God has suffered? How has He suffered? He eats well, He wears nice clothes, people take Him in wherever He goes; He hasn’t suffered at all. But we’ll ignore that—what we believe in is God’s Spirit, not a person.” So? They dare to deny God become flesh, these people are foolhardy, they have no reverence toward God, they have no fear, they dare say anything—they are animals. When the above has a good impression of someone or holds them in high regard, some among those below say they receive special favor, and they’re very popular in the house of God. Do those who say this possess the truth? In their hearts, there are only worldly things. Their views about things tell us that their perspective is no different from the views and tastes of people of the world. What effect could there be when people such as this believe in God and read God’s words? In the hearts of such people, there is nothing of the words of God. Their views about things are the same as the worldly people; they are, in fact, unbelievers.
People always make demands of God. Based on the words of God, you must try and dissect this nature of people. Of the demands people make of God, you must try and dissect each and every one of them: Why do they make such demands, what compels them to make such demands, what is the aim—you must try and dissect all of these things. The more earnest you are in your dissection, the more knowledge you will have of your nature, and the more specific this knowledge will become; if your dissection is not detailed, if all you think is that people should not make demands of God, and if you only know that there is no sense in this, and that’s all, then ultimately, you will not grow, and will not change. Some people say: “We make all these demands of God because our natures are so selfish. What can be done?” When you truly know the substance of man’s nature, you will know what you lack; what’s fearful is when you don’t know this. Sometimes, people think their demands are pretty reasonable, and because you feel they are reasonable, you think you are right to act in this way; because others make such demands too, it seems your demands couldn’t be considered excessive, and are legitimate. When it comes to demands that are clearly extravagant or unreasonable, and making trouble out of nothing, you have no problems knowing following dissections, and are capable of detesting yourself. But if you think your demands are reasonable and legitimate, and you feel it is right and proper to make such demands, then it shows that you are still without the truth, and thus incapable of knowing clearly. I’ll give you an example: There was a brother or sister who’d followed for many years, who had gone through many ups and downs and endured much. Externally, their conduct was always pretty good; in their humanity, suffering, and loyalty to God, they had done well. They were also fairly conscientious, and ordinarily, when they worked, they knew to take care, and were willing to repay God’s love. Ultimately, I discovered that they were without obedience and sent them home, ordering that they not be used again. They had worked for the church for several years and suffered much, and had some real difficulties that I hadn’t solved for them. What would others think under such circumstances? The first thing many would do would be to leap to their defense, saying: “That’s wrong, God should show great mercy and kindness toward their situation, for they love God and have spent much for Him. If someone like them can be eliminated—someone who has followed God for many years—then isn’t it over for us?” People’s demands come again, they ask that God give them more blessings and allow them to remain. “They did a lot for God, God shouldn’t be unfair to them!” See how many of the demands within people are because they measure God’s attitude toward people according to the standards of their own consciences, and according to their own ethical and moral views. What God should give people, how He should treat people—people measure God according to the fair and reasonable standards of conscience among man…. And how could this correspond with the truth? Why is it said that, when people make those demands, they are making trouble out of nothing? Because their demands are according to the standards they ask of other people. How could they possess the truth? Can people see through to the substance of others? Some demand that God treat people according to the standards of conscience, they impose the standards of man upon God when they make demands of Him, and so they are incompatible with the truth, and are making trouble out of nothing. Look, people are able to endure in some small matters, but when their end is ultimately set, they may well be unable to endure, and then their demands will appear. At that time, words of complaint and condemnation will break forth; people will begin to show their true colors, and that will be when you know their nature. People’s demands of God have always been according to their conceptions and their own wishes. People, in fact, have many such demands; ordinarily, you might not notice this, feeling that sometimes when you pray to God, what you ask for doesn’t count as a demand. Actually, if you dissect in detail, many demands are senseless, irrational, and even ludicrous. Before, you were unaware of how grave this is. In the future, you will gradually realize, at which time you will have substantive knowledge. In your experiences, bit-by-bit you will know and discern, which, combined with communion of the truth, will enable you to know clearly, and you will enter into the truth in this regard. When you have truly and clearly known the substance of man’s nature, your disposition will have changed, and at that time you will be possessed of the truth.
Today, I need not speak of this in detail with you. Nothing is harder to address than people’s demands of God. If nothing God does conforms to your thinking, and if He doesn’t act in accordance with your thinking, then you are likely to resist—which shows that, in nature, man opposes God. You must use the pursuit of the truth to know and resolve this problem. Those who are without the truth make many demands of God, whereas those who truly understand the truth have no demands; they feel only that they haven’t satisfied God enough, that they are not obedient enough. That people always make demands of God when they believe in Him reflects their corrupt nature. If you don’t treat this as a serious problem, if you don’t treat it as something important, then there will be peril and hidden dangers on your path. You are able to overcome most things, and are not derailed by small matters. But when your fate, prospects, and destination are involved, you are unable to overcome. At that time, if you are without the truth, you may well fall back upon your old ways, and will thus become one of those who are destroyed. Many people have always followed thus; they have conducted themselves well during the time that they have followed, but this does not determine what will happen in the future: Because you have never been aware of your Achilles’ heel, or the things that are revealed from your nature and can oppose God, when they have yet to bring disaster upon you, you remain unknowing, and in all likelihood, when your journey ends and God’s work finishes, you will do that which most opposes God and is the most grievous blasphemy against Him. At the final moment, at the most perilous of times, Peter once fled. At the time, he did not understand God’s will, and planned to remain and do the work of the churches. Later, Jesus appeared to him and said: “Would you have Me crucified for you once more?” And so Peter was quick to obey. If, at that moment, he had his own demands, he would have 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? How about I not be crucified, yes? …” If he were to have made such demands, then the path he had walked would have been in vain. But Peter had always been someone who obeyed God and sought His will, and he ultimately understood God’s will and gave Him total obedience. 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 you do not obey after understanding the truth, then you will be in betrayal of God. Which is to say, that people always make demands of God relates to their nature, which is a problem that concerns the truths of several areas. Measurement of whether people are able to obey God depends on whether they make demands of God. If you do make demands of God, then you are without obedience. If you make demands of God, this proves that you are making a deal, that you are choosing your own thoughts, and acting according to your own thoughts. In this, you betray God, and are without obedience. There’s no sense in making demands of God; if you truly believed in Him and truly believed that He is God, then you would not dare to make demands of Him, nor would you be qualified to make demands of Him, whether they be reasonable or not. If you have true belief, and believe that He is God, then you will have no choice but to worship and obey Him. People today not only have a choice, but even demand that God act in accordance with their own thoughts, they choose their own thoughts and ask that God act according to them, and they do not require themselves to act according to God’s intention. Thus, there is no true belief within them, nor the substance that is contained within this belief. When you are able to make less demands of God, your true belief and your obedience will increase, and your sense will also become comparatively normal. It is often the case that the more inclined to reason people are, and the more justification they give, the harder they are to deal with. Not only do they have many demands, but they also take a mile when given an inch: When satisfied in one area, they then make demands in another, they have to be satisfied in all areas, and if they aren’t, they start complaining, and write themselves off. Later they feel indebted and regretful, and they weep bitter tears, and want to die. What’s the use in that? Can this solve the problem? And so, before something happens, you must dissect your own nature—what things are within it, what you like, and what you demand. Some people, believing they possess a little caliber and a little talent, always want to be leaders, and to rise above others, and so they make demands of God, saying: “Use me, God.” And if God doesn’t use them, they say: “God, why don’t You favor me? Make great use of me, I guarantee I will expend myself for You.” Are such motivations right? It is a good thing to expend for God, but their willingness to expend for God takes second place; in their hearts, what they like is status—that’s what they focus on. If you are truly able to obey, then you will follow Him with one heart and mind regardless of whether He uses you or not, and will be able to expend for Him regardless of whether or not you have any status. Only then will you possess sense, and be someone who obeys. It is not wrong to be willing to expend for God, and God is willing to use you, but you are only fit for use if you are equipped with the truth. There should be a period of preparation.
The things within people’s nature are not like their external behavior and ways of acting, or some of their innermost thoughts, which can be dealt with. The things within people’s nature must be dug out bit-by-bit. What’s more, it is very difficult for people to identify them, and even when people have identified them, they are difficult to change, requiring knowledge of a sufficient depth. Why do I keep dissecting people’s nature? Have you grasped My intention in dissecting people’s nature? Where is their corrupt disposition revealed? In their nature. It is directed by their nature, and all of their corrupt disposition, every one of their thoughts and ideas, each of their motivations—they all relate to their nature. Thus, if people directly root out the source, will their corrupt disposition not be easier to resolve? It will. Although it is impossible to change their nature, people are capable of knowing the revelation of their corrupt disposition, and are able to combine this with the truth to achieve total knowledge, as a result of which their disposition can gradually change. And when their disposition gradually changes, their opposition to God becomes less. Dissecting the source of people’s nature is in order to provoke change in their disposition. You have no grasp of this tenet, you believe that if you dissect your nature, you’ll be able to obey God and recover your sense. How good you are at blindly applying doctrine! Why do I not simply say that people are too arrogant and self-righteous, why do I always dissect their nature? Simply saying that people are self-righteous and arrogant won’t solve the problem. Dissecting nature gives a broader combined area, and includes all of people’s corrupt disposition; nature covers more than the narrow scope of people’s self-righteousness, haughtiness, and arrogance, and so within people’s demands of God is revealed much of their corrupt disposition—a broader area is covered. Thus, if you know your nature, it will be easier to resolve your corrupt disposition, and you will have a path. If not, you will never be able to dig out the source. If you only say this is self-righteousness, arrogance, pride, and without any loyalty—if you only speak of such superficial things—can the problem be solved? Is it not necessary to talk of nature? In the beginning what was the nature of Adam and Eve? There was no deliberate opposition within them, much less was there open betrayal; they didn’t know what it meant to oppose God, to say nothing of what it meant to obey Him, and they would accept within them whatever came to them. Today, Satan has corrupted people to such an extent that they take it upon themselves to oppose God, and have the same nature as Satan. And why is it said that they have the nature of Satan? People don’t deliberately do something to oppose God; even if they sit there doing nothing, they are also opposing God, for the substance within them has changed, and become something that opposes God. Thus, today, people are different from mankind when they had just been created: Before, there was no opposition or betrayal within mankind, mankind was something vital, was not controlled by anything, and there was no set thing within people that opposed God or did not oppose God.
What is nature? It is the substance of man. Disposition is the things that come out of people’s nature, and changes in disposition mean that your original, corrupt things will never appear again, and will be replaced with the truth. It is not the things at the root of nature that have changed, but the corrupt things that are revealed. The things of people’s dispositions that are revealed in their nature have changed. People have been corrupted by Satan, and have become Satan, they have become things that oppose God, and they are capable of the complete betrayal of God. Why is it asked that people’s dispositions change? In people who are finally made complete there is added much of the knowledge of God, and much that corresponds with God’s will. In the past, when people had a corrupt disposition, everything they did was wrong, it was all in opposition to God. Now they have the truth, they are able to do much that corresponds with God’s will—but that is not to say they do not betray God; they are still capable of betraying God. It is possible to change part of that which is revealed by people’s nature, and the part that is changed is the part of you that is capable of practicing according to the truth, but being able to put the truth into practice today does not mean that your nature has changed. For example, you always used to make demands of God, and today, though you have ceased to make demands of God in many areas, you do still have demands, and you still betray God. Perhaps you say: “I am able to obey everything God does. Whether in this or that, or something else—in them all I obey, without complaints or demands.” And yet, in some things you are still capable of betraying God; although your opposition is not deliberate, when you do not understand God’s will it is still possible that you will violate His intention. So what does changing refer to? When you understand God’s will, you will be able to obey. If you do not understand God’s will, you will still act according to your own wishes, you will still believe that you are after God’s own heart; this is betrayal, and the things within your nature. Of course, there are no limits to changes in disposition. The more truths that are gained—which is also to say, the deeper your knowledge of God—the less you will oppose God and betray Him. Pursuit of changes in disposition is mainly resolved by pursuit of the truth. Knowledge of the substance of people’s nature is also achieved by understanding the truth. When people have truly gained the truth, all problems are solved.