Chapter 60. What a Change in Disposition Is and the Path to a Change in Disposition
A change in disposition is not a simple thing. In our belief in God we speak of a change in disposition; this is a major vision because the ones that God saves are a group of people who have been corrupted by Satan. It is not a group of people who have just been created—who did not have a corrupt disposition, the poisons of Satan, or a disposition of rebelliousness against God. Rather it is a group of people who have Satan’s corrupt disposition and its poisons, and who are the same as Satan. Just like a person with cancer who needs treatment through surgery, it’s a very complicated process. So, don’t take a change in disposition as a simple matter. It’s not an external defect or a habit in a person’s life that needs changing. A change in disposition isn’t something that you can achieve just because you want to. Within that there are a lot of processes, and those processes are within God’s words. So starting from the day that you begin to believe in God, your perspective on belief in God should change. Faith in God does not mean that He requires you to be a good person, to be someone who is well-behaved, or law-abiding, or someone who is unable to think for themselves or use their own brain. People used to think that changes in disposition that came from the belief in God meant being a decent person, that it meant having some human likeness outwardly, well brought-up and patient, seeming pious or loving, or willing to help others and charitable. In short, it meant being the kind of good person that existed in their conceptions and imagination. This is similar to how there are people in the world who say: “If you’re rich, you should give to the poor or beggars.” So these kinds of notions exist within each and every person’s concepts—they all have these sorts of things, and it is one type of poison. For people who believed in God before, there was no one to clearly explain this kind of issue, and everyone was unfamiliar with matters of believing in God. It is not that people could understand these things right after being born, nor that they could understand them after a few years of believing in Christianity. This is because before, God Himself had not fully explained this, and He Himself had not performed work in this aspect. Thus, many people believed that belief in God was nothing more than a few changes in one’s external behavior, thinking, and actions, and there were even some people who believed that faith in God meant suffering much hardship, not eating fine foods, and not wearing fine clothes. In the West, for example, there was a Catholic nun (Catholicism is also a religion; to the nuns, it is also a kind of faith) who believed that belief in God meant spending her whole life suffering more, eating less fine food, not allowing herself to enjoy so many of the finer things in life, and giving money to the poor or needy when she had it—or else doing more good deeds, being more charitable toward people, and being more helpful to others. Throughout her whole life she did nothing but suffer, and did not allow herself to eat any good food or wear any fine clothes. When she died, she wasn’t wearing anything that cost more than two dollars; her daily living expenses, too, amounted to but a few dollars. Her story probably appeared as a general or major news piece across the world. And what does this show? In the eyes of mankind, only someone like this is a good and kind person, only they are one of those whom the religious community believes to do kind things and good deeds, only they have changed, and truly have faith in God. And so it’s possible that you are no different: You undoubtedly believe that believing in God and having faith is about being a good person. It is about being a person who does not fight with others, or curse them, or swear, someone who does not do bad things, someone who looks as if they believe in God; there are some who say being a person that brings glory unto God. This is the mental state of every single person who believes in God, every single Christian, or every person who believed in the past, or every person who has just begun to believe in God. They believe that this is a change in disposition, that only this is being a person that God truly loves, that only this way can they go to heaven, and that only this way will they be able to have a favorable destination. So, no matter how deeply entrenched that perspective has been in you in the past, whether or not it took shape, whether you have given thought to this kind of issue before or not, overall, it must exist within your mind. This is because there are some people who have read a lot of God’s words but can’t put their finger on what exactly a change in disposition is, what true belief in God is, what it is to be a real person, what kind of person He accepts, what kind of person He loves, and what kind of person He wants to gain. If you don’t understand these things, it proves that those things that occupy your heart are still entrenched in you, they are still forming and are still leading your thoughts and perspectives.
Some people say: “I still haven’t felt that I’ve changed. As soon as my children don’t listen to me, I lose my temper. Isn’t this still my nature showing itself? Isn’t it still having no change in disposition? When I see non-believers who don’t have faith in God I detest them, isn’t this a lack of change in disposition?” Do you think this is right? (No.) What’s wrong about it? It focuses on external behaviors. Would you say that the change in disposition that God speaks of refers to these external changes in temperament or character? (A change in disposition is when our relationship with God becomes normal.) So you believe that now, your relationship with God is very close, that in some areas you are compatible with God, however, sometimes you really lose your temper and want to yell at people, or you still do some things that you believe are not good. What kind of understanding do you have of these kinds of situations? How do you discern them? How do you explain them? (It shows that we still do not have a change in disposition.) Is this right? Do you know what a change in disposition includes? Do you know what the conditions and what the behavior are of a person who has had a change in disposition? (We don’t know.) You don’t understand this, and have you not given thought to it either? So then how do you understand a change in disposition? First, I’m going to ask you a question. Go ahead and mull it over. If your disposition has changed and you have the truth, then your perspective will be compatible with God. When your perspective is compatible with God, will you still be compatible with corrupt people? It won’t be, right? You will be in conflict with corrupt people and hate them; you will be repulsed and disgusted by them. Yes? Isn’t that what it would do? You will be able to see their essences clearly because you have already seen your own essence clearly. If you have changed, wouldn’t you also be able to see the essences of corrupt people clearly? If you can see their essences clearly and you are compatible with God, wouldn’t you be disgusted by corrupt people? Wouldn’t you be disgusted by people who don’t believe in God, who are enemies of God, who reject God, who betray and disobey Him? So how would you still be compatible with them? So, if your disposition has changed, you will certainly be disgusted and repulsed by them. But because we currently live amongst corrupt people, all we can do is bear it and exercise wisdom in our lives. We can’t say: “I myself have experienced a change in disposition; I won’t pay attention to them, I’ll just argue with them.” We can’t do that. We have to have wisdom—this is right. There’s another issue you aren’t too clear on. You connect a change in disposition and compatibility with God with not losing your temper with non-believers. This isn’t right. Why would I say this? God wishes to save man, He has spoken many words, and done much work—and so what does He wish people to be like? He wishes for their thoughts to be guided by the truth, and for them to live their lives by the mottos of the truth. He does not ask that you be as thoughtless as a puppet, much less does He want you to be as even-tempered as a vegetable, devoid of any normal emotions. Instead, He wishes for you to be a normal person who loves that which He loves, and hates that which He hates, who can delight in what delights Him, and despise and reject that which He despises. Can you accept this? So, now you should be clear—what does God want us to change when we change our disposition? We have to have wisdom.
God has said many things in order to save mankind, to change each and every person. Have you considered what a person is like once they have been made complete by God? I’ve heard many brothers and sisters say: “I’ve believed in God for so long. I’m still constrained by some external things.” Some sisters say: “When I see non-believers wearing something I also want to wear it, when I see someone earning money I’m envious and also want to earn money, and when I see someone dressed up beautifully I want to look at them.” Some brothers say: “When I see that someone’s family has money, is well off, I also want to go out and earn money, when I see a beautiful woman I want to look at her, and when something doesn’t go the way I want it to I want to lose my temper. I still haven’t had a change in disposition in these ways. When I encounter some issue my thoughts still run away with me. How can I control these things? When will these things change?” It is because of this that I say you do not know what is meant by changes in disposition. You merely place limits on yourselves in your behavior, in your external actions, and in your temperament and character. It will be impossible for you to achieve changes in your disposition in this way. Where in God’s words does it say you should place limits on yourselves, that you should watch your words, keep a hold of your emotions, and guard your temper, and that you should be wary of exposing your natural selves, and should be restrained in the clothes that you buy and wear? Has He ever said such words? Even where there are references to such things, they are not the crux of His words, nor are they the main truths that bring about changes in people’s disposition. The majority of God’s words speak of man’s corrupt substance, of how to know man’s corrupt substance, how man can achieve changes in his disposition, how he can truly know his corrupt substance, and how he can get free from his corrupt disposition to act according to the requirements of God and be someone who is after God’s own heart, and satisfies God’s desire. If you understand this, will you still put your efforts into external actions? Will you still tie yourselves in knots over such superficial matters? Thus, if you don’t understand the meaning of changes in disposition, you’ll never grasp the substance of changes in disposition, and will never achieve changes in your disposition. In particular, some from the religious community who have just accepted this stage of work have yet to fully make the transfer from religious ceremony and religious thinking and viewpoints in their mindset and outlook toward the belief in God; they still try to be spiritual, and pious, and patient, to be someone who is naturally decent, who loves to do good and give to others. This is utterly wrong! If you pursue being a person such as that, you will never be praised by God, and you will never have a change in disposition; if you pursue being that kind of person, you do not understand the spirit. Can people who pursue these things understand the essence of the truth? Can they devote their efforts to the word of God? They can’t, right? So, those who want to have a change in disposition must first understand what that is, and understand what true belief in God is.
A change in disposition doesn’t refer to changes to ceremonies or rules, and it particularly doesn’t refer to changes to what you wear, your superficial actions, your character, or your temper. It’s not changing your slow temper to a faster one, or changing an introvert to an extrovert or into someone who loves to talk, or someone who loves to talk into a quiet person. It’s not like that—that is very far off, very different from God’s requirements. When people start pursuing belief in God they all work on these things. As soon as they start working on these, they delay their important tasks. They don’t know what pursuing the truth is, so as a result, after two or three years of this kind of pursuit, after many twists and turns, they think about this: “God saying these things isn’t to have people change these external behaviors. We always pay attention to these, and as time passes, we find there’s nowhere left to go. We feel that our belief in God should be at an end, that there is nothing left to do, nothing that can be carried out.” When they read God’s words and see so many of His words that they still haven’t entered into, they suddenly have a realization and only then know: It turns out that when God has people change their disposition, He first has them know themselves, know their own corrupt essence and dig up its root, work on it, and discover its source. Do you realize this now? Do you notice this? You’ve believed for all these years but haven’t had a change in disposition—what is the root of that? It’s not knowing what a change in disposition is. Some people probably would not agree with this, but would say: “I know what a change in disposition is, but I can’t control myself. I always do whatever I want to do; I always do what I believe is right.” No matter how you say it, overall, if you say something like this it proves that you still don’t understand what a change in disposition is. Now do you understand? Why aren’t you saying anything? Is the mood too heavy? The more we talk about a change in disposition, the more you feel that you are too far away, and the more you feel that you haven’t had a change. The more we talk about a change in disposition and revealing people’s nature and essence, the more you feel you haven’t experienced that at all, and that you must continue to work hard, right? Why am I asking you this? Actually, I know that there are some things you can’t respond to. Some people would say: “Aren’t You just making things difficult for us? If You know there are some things we don’t have an answer to, why ask?” It’s not to make things difficult for you. I hope that you take everything that I ask you seriously. You shouldn’t take everything that is said, the topic of every fellowship as just regular chatting, just listen casually and then be done with it. Everything that we are communicating about, every aspect of this content is something that is a necessary process, something that must be experienced in our future course of belief in God. Not a single thing can be omitted. They are also lacking in every person’s thoughts and concepts. My goal in asking you is the hope that you will reflect on it, that you will consider whether or not these things are in your heart. If you have never thought of these things before, I’d ask you to take this topic to heart and ponder it. If this is something you have thought of before or if you’ve had this kind of perspective or notion, I would still ask you to look into it, to reflect in more detail if you have these things or not. Isn’t this necessary? (Yes.)
Our current meetings aren’t like a regular church format at a specific time, and you just listen to it and it’s over. Is it that simple? The topics that we’re discussing now are the most advanced topics among humans—they’re more important than any other topic. Do you agree with this? This is because our current topics are about mankind’s future destination as well as the requirements that God, the Ruler of all things, has for us. We are exploring these topics and having fellowship on them every day. We’ve had fellowship on them all along, but up till now some people still don’t quite understand them, our fellowship isn’t complete, and till now we haven’t been able to entirely finish or thoroughly discuss a single topic. So, matters of life aren’t as simple as people imagine—that they listen to lots of sermons, make a few notes, read a lot of God’s words, then memorize a few well-known passages, and when it’s time to gather together they use these things to have fellowship with others, and then it’s over. You have to pay attention. We must be clear on every topic, and every topic is a truth that every single person must be equipped with. If you see this as very important you will take it to heart. If you don’t see it as very important, in your heart you don’t like these things and you aren’t interested in them, then you will never be able to obtain them or accept them in your heart. God enlightens those who yearn; God hides Himself from those who don’t pursue the truth. If you have a heart of longing and of seeking, He will enlighten you, work in your heart and allow you to understand and become clear—to become clear about every aspect of the truth bit by bit. Would you say that the topic of a change in disposition is important? (Yes.) It’s definitely important, because you now urgently need to understand this aspect of the truth. You are afraid that you won’t change, and that you will be cast out when the disaster occurs, and that you will suffer in the disaster, right? Of course there are also some people who are afraid that they don’t understand enough of the truth now, and later when God tries people, they will not be able to stand firm but will stumble; then they would be finished, because this is God’s final stage of work of saving man, and if a person isn’t saved in this stage they will be finished. The door will be closed on their belief in God, the end will be declared. Isn’t this the case?
In order to achieve a change in disposition we have to first understand what that is. We just talked about some changes in disposition in people’s conceptions. You also nodded your heads, you all agreed that these aren’t correct, and that those aren’t the true changes in disposition that God wants. Then what kind of true change in disposition does God want? Have you thought about it? Firstly, the basic condition for a change in disposition is below. We need to have the ability to eat and drink the words of God, and the ability to understand His words. If we don’t have this, we cannot possibly achieve a change in disposition because to achieve that we must compare our own flaws, our corruption, or our nature of resistance to God with His words, and then we must root out the things inside of us that are resistant to God, that He is disgusted by, things that are a betrayal of God. Tell Me, aside from the words of God, what other books or what other kinds of materials can change people’s dispositions? There aren’t any, right? So, if you get rid of His words, your change in disposition will certainly become impossible. Some people say: “I don’t want to read God’s words, because there are too many of them and I don’t know where to start. So isn’t the change in disposition impossible for me?” You say you don’t like reading God’s words—this doesn’t matter—don’t we have songs of God’s words? Sing those songs more—in those songs are melodies, and they’re not boring and you’ll be able to remember God’s words more easily. You can start to stimulate your interest through these words. People’s interest in eating and drinking the word of God has to be stimulated, so you see, they are so far from what God requires. Humans really do not love the truth. God’s words are so wonderful, and from start to finish they are all beneficial for mankind, but people don’t like them. People are really too far from what God requires! First, every time you eat and drink the words of God you must pray. You say: “Oh God, I really thirst for Your words and I desire a change in disposition because I am afraid of falling in the disaster, and I want to have a good destination. I also hope to become a true human, to become a person that You like, but there are too many of Your words and I’m not entirely willing to eat and drink them. I ask You to guide me and help me so that Your words will have a place in my heart. I ask You to enlighten me more, to make me able to understand more truth in Your words, to see the importance of Your words, to see that Your words are my life and something that I should gain.” If you pray that sincerely, before you know it God will be working on you, allowing you to understand more of His words, from a superficial to a deep level. Some people say: “I really like to eat and drink the words of God and I have already read it once from start to finish, but I don’t know what is the most important to eat and drink, what are the main things to understand; I don’t know how to achieve a change in disposition or what truths to compare myself against.” How can this problem be resolved? Isn’t the church now releasing a booklet of excerpts of words of God on how God judges, chastises, and reveals mankind’s corrupt essence? So you can put the long version of God’s words aside and read the excerpts first. Try to understand the truth revealed by God’s words through these words—the scope will be smaller this way. First you have to put effort into God’s words. There are some topics that we can’t fully communicate, and we can communicate them just to the extent that we are able. If we really can’t fully communicate them, we can first put them aside, then select one for fellowship that is easy for us to understand and is within reach of our level of experience, and move from the surface and go deeper. You cannot possibly just quickly go from a deep level to an even deeper level in your entry. This is because one’s life is like their body—it gradually grows as they grow, and it gradually accumulates.
Some people say: “How will I actually be able to measure if I have had a change in disposition after I eat and drink the word of God?” This question is something that many brothers and sisters are concerned with. When a child is born and his mother nurses him, do you think he is concerned with when he’s going to grow up? Is he concerned with whether he’s growing or not? Is that necessary? It’s not. Some people ask: “Then how am I supposed to know if I’ve changed or not, or how much I’ve changed?” This isn’t something that you need to worry about because you will just naturally change when it is time for you to change, or once you have already changed you will just feel it. You’ll be able to feel how much you’ve changed. At every stage and every phase God will do some things or allow you to encounter certain situations or set up some people, events, or things for you to have you learn some lessons. When you think of yourself from the beginning to the end, you’ll be able to make a comparison as to what kinds of perspectives you had at first and what kinds of perspectives you have now. As soon as you make that comparison, you will know whether or not you have actually changed. Right now what’s most important for you is to eat and drink more, fellowship more, listen to fellowship more, and to put more effort into God’s words. This is completely correct, and it is the primary condition for achieving a change in disposition. If you walk away from this and focus on how you feel being moved by the Holy Spirit, how you are able to live in the spirit and be spiritual, how you can serve God well, how you can keep your heart from straying and peacefully and wholeheartedly remain in front of God, or how you can pray regularly, then it’s no use focusing on these things—they are all secondary. Then what is most important? Eating and drinking more of the words of God. Without eating and drinking His words, it would be like someone only dressing up and tidying the house every day but not eating. If they clean the house really well and dress up beautifully but they don’t eat, would they stay alive? So, leaving the word of God is just like not eating anything and only dressing up for appearances. No matter how well you wash your face, even if you remove old skin, it would be no use—isn’t this the truth? If you put effort into God’s words, your harvest will be equivalent to the effort you put in. You don’t need to investigate or measure how great the harvest is, and moreover, you don’t need to concern yourself with it. God will do it, and He will give you an account. He will give you enlightenment and He will let you know. You don’t need to worry about it or investigate it, and it’s not your responsibility. Do you understand this now? So, if some people later ask: “When will God test me? Will I be able to stand up to it? Has He actually tested my work? How much has my disposition actually changed? Why doesn’t God speak?” this is a senseless and unreasonable thing to say. You don’t need to worry about these things—one day when you have that stature, when your disposition has truly changed, when you can overcome an environment that you encounter, you can handle it properly and you are able to deal with it according to God’s requirements, then you will know that you have changed. This change is not external, but it comes from within. It is a change in disposition, in essence.
Of course a change in disposition isn’t something that happens overnight. Some people start off by changing their flaws and they frequently fail. After failing or stumbling, they are negative for a period of time, and they think: “It’s over, I am hopeless. A change in disposition is irrelevant to me—I cannot change. Changing this tiny little flaw, this trivial bad habit and little hobby, is so difficult, so wouldn’t a change in disposition be more difficult?” They feel that they don’t have any hope and for a long time they aren’t willing to eat and drink the word of God. They feel irritated when someone talks about faith in God, they are unwilling to go when they are asked to perform their duty, and they have absolutely no interest in believing in God. What kind of state is this? Have you had this type of experience? Are you afraid of failure? Are you afraid that, when you truly want a change in disposition, you always fail, are always negative, always stumble, are always weak? Regardless of whether or not you are afraid, a change in disposition doesn’t happen overnight—this is a fact. That is because a change in disposition is the type of change that is achieved through unearthing the source of a person’s corrupt essence, just like when someone has cancer and a tumor has grown, they need to get on the operating table and have the tumor cut out. They must suffer a great deal of pain, and it is a complicated process. During this process, perhaps you will only understand one thing after undergoing a lot, and only after that will you achieve one aspect of a change in disposition. Or perhaps only after experiencing many people, events, things, and different environments, after taking many winding roads can you achieve a little bit of change. No matter how large of a change there is, it is precious in God’s eyes. He treasures and commemorates it because you suffered a lot and paid a large price. God sees into the depths of mankind’s hearts and He knows what your wishes are. He also knows what your weaknesses are, and even more He knows what you need. So, before a change in disposition, when we are only talking about this aspect of the truth in a change in disposition, we should have one determination: No matter how intense of an environment or what kind of difficulties we encounter, no matter how weak, how negative we are, we cannot lose confidence in a change in disposition, and we cannot lose confidence in God’s words. God has given promises to mankind, and humans must have the determination and the perseverance to undertake them. God does not like cowards; He likes people with determination. Even if you have revealed a great deal of corruption, even if you’ve taken many winding roads, or even if along the way you’ve had many transgressions or have resisted God—or there are some people who hold in their hearts some blasphemy against God or blame Him, have conflict with Him—God doesn’t look at this. God only looks at whether or not a person will someday be able to change. In the Bible, there’s the story of the return of the prodigal son. Why would there be this kind of analogy? It is that God’s will to save mankind is sincere. He gives people opportunities to repent and opportunities to change, and during this process, He understands people and deeply knows their weaknesses and the extent of their corruption. He knows that they will stumble. Just like when someone is a small child and they are learning to walk, no matter how good of a physique they have and how tough they are, there will be times that they fall and stumble, times that they bang into something or trip. God understands every single person like a mother understands her own child. He understands every person’s difficulties, weaknesses, as well as their needs. Even more, He understands which difficulties each person will encounter in the progression, the process of entering into a change in disposition, and what kinds of weaknesses and failures will occur. This is something that God understands most. That is why it is said God sees into the depths of people’s hearts. No matter how weak you are, as long as you do not forsake the name of God, as long as you do not leave God or this way, you will always have an opportunity to achieve a change in disposition. And if we have the opportunity to achieve a change in disposition then we have hope for our continuing survival. If we have hope for our continuing survival, we have hope of being saved by God.
So, when we know what a change in disposition is, when we know what kind of process we must undergo for a change in disposition, we need not be afraid. Rather, we should have confidence, and we need to pray in front of God, saying: “Oh God, I, a corrupt person, am so deeply corrupted that I don’t know what the truth is, and I know even less of what a change in disposition is. I truly am in need of Your salvation as well as Your help and provision to allow me to know how to understand Your words and put them into practice, to have knowledge and experience of Your words and to carry them into my life, to have Your guidance in every word and action, every move, every intention and everything I do in my life. I hope that it can be this way and I long for it. I long to live out a normal humanity and to live out the likeness of a true person to satisfy You. But I cannot make it now—I have too much corruption and I myself do not recognize it. May You reveal me, then help me and give me provision. This is what I need now.” You should have this kind of prayer as well as this kind of determination. After praying like this, without being aware of it, your heart and your life will undergo a change. This is because God will fulfill our prayers in whatever way we pray, and He will bring about whatever determinations we have. If you are always afraid, that won’t do. We start to feel afraid before we have actually encountered something—this proves that we don’t have determination or confidence in our change in disposition. First we must understand that a change in disposition is not overnight. Mankind’s corruption by Satan is so deep—could it become so deep overnight? Mankind has been corrupted by Satan for several thousand years, and their corrupt nature has been thoroughly exposed. It has reached a point that they cannot control it and that their natural expression compared with Satan has reached an insurmountable level, a level of being an enemy to God, to the point that they are disgusted by anything that is the truth, that is God’s words, that comes from God, that they despise and are not interested in these things. They are numb to this degree, so could a change in disposition really be so fast? It’s not such a simple thing. So we must have a proper understanding of changes in disposition. We must have a proper attitude about this—we cannot be unrealistic, we cannot expect to change right away and say: “I believe in God and as long as I eat and drink so many of His words, won’t I change? If God does a little more work or performs some miracles, won’t I change?” From the issue of a change in disposition we can see that God’s work is realistic and practical, and that He has the power to save mankind from their essence of Satan’s corruption, to wrest them back from Satan’s hands, and He also has the power and the wisdom to allow them to achieve a change in disposition.
Regarding God’s management plan, would you say that His plan is to save humans in order to defeat Satan, or is His plan to battle Satan in order to save mankind? (It’s to battle Satan in order to save mankind.) So we must have an accurate understanding of God’s management plan. And so in the future we shouldn’t say: “Why doesn’t God just wipe Satan out? For without Satan we couldn’t be saved by God, and there wouldn’t be God’s management plan to save a group of people and to have them remain in the end.” God only battles Satan to save mankind and to obtain a group of people. It’s not for the purpose of battling Satan, and He just incidentally obtains some people. We have seen God’s will and the core of the purpose of His management plan. He wants to obtain a certain group of people, a group of true people. This is His management plan. It is clear that as a believer in God, to change our disposition and to be a person that God loves and a normal person as God desires is very important.
Do you have a path for achieving a change in disposition? Do you have an understanding of what needs to be changed? Have you had fellowship on this aspect of the truth? We just mentioned that a change in disposition doesn’t refer to changing external behaviors or practice, or changing rules, and that a change in disposition isn’t a personality change, so then what is it? Have you thought about that? First we must be clear, we must understand that when God has us change our dispositions, change some things, it’s not cultural, it’s not knowledge-based, and it’s not a change in some objective thoughts. Rather, God wants to change every person’s ideological views through His words—this is one aspect of it. Another aspect is the principles behind how we conduct ourselves. The principles behind how you conduct yourself is your outlook on life. And there is one more aspect—it is the deep-seated corrupt satanic nature that people reveal. Generally speaking, a change in disposition has these three aspects.
People’s ideological views are their views on every type of thing—God wants to change this. Some say, “Why does God want to change this? What’s the significance of changing this?” Let’s look at a simple example of the aspect of ideological views. What understanding do we have of knowledge? What are our conceptions of knowledge? (We believe that if we have knowledge, we’ll have status, prospects, and fame.) So, you treasure and worship knowledge very much. First, doesn’t everyone believe that knowledge is an essential thing in people’s lives in this world? People believe that the more knowledge they have, the greater their status in the world will be, and the more cultivated, high-class, and refined they will be. So, one can’t not have knowledge. And some people believe that if you have a good education and you have a rich body of knowledge, everything will come to you. Status, wealth, a good job, and a good future. So it’s not okay to be lacking in knowledge; in this world, if you aren’t knowledgeable and have a poor education, people will all look down on you. No one will want to associate with you, and you’ll only be able to live at the lower level of society, deal with and interact with those in the lower levels who don’t have knowledge or status. If you have this type of perspective, you really admire and worship knowledge. You see knowledge very highly, as very important—even more so than the truth. There are some people who say: “If I am not educated, will I be able to understand God’s words? Doesn’t God speak through knowledge, through texts?” These are two different things. The kind of knowledge that I’m referring to now is what people believe: history, geography, business, politics, literature, modern science and technology, some aspect of skills, and branches of study. People believe that these things are a certain kind of strong point they possess, and that with knowledge, they will gain a foothold in this world, and they will have everything. They place a great deal of importance on knowledge. No matter how you see it, this is an aspect of your ideological views. In ancient times, people had a saying: “Read thousands of books, travel thousands of miles.” What does this mean? That the more books you read, the more smoothly things will go for you, the more you will understand, and the greater status you will have wherever you go. This kind of ideological view exists in everyone’s mind. So, every person who lived in a poor household during their school years, who wasn’t very educated and couldn’t get a degree or diploma really regrets this. If their own household conditions are better, they will make sure their future generations—children and grandchildren—get an education, go to college, get a degree, and maybe even go abroad for advanced studies. Regarding knowledge, these are everyone’s longings, perspectives, thoughts, and approach. So, many parents do their utmost and think nothing of the price paid, or even bankrupt themselves, to cultivate their children and provide them with an education. They don’t allow their children to get less of an education. And to what degree do some parents discipline their children? They only let them sleep three hours every night. They don’t let them go to bed until one in the morning, then have them get up at four in the morning. They force them to study, saying: “If you want to get ahead, you have to study more. You must work hard.” And some also let their children imitate the practice of the ancients by tying their hair to a beam above their heads so they cannot fall asleep. They just keep studying and studying. From ancient times up until the present day, these kinds of stories, these kinds of tragedies, have been occurring, and they have been happening to everyone. These are the actions and behaviors of every person with a longing for knowledge, who is dominated by their idea of knowledge. Isn’t that so?
You may be very repelled by what I’ve said, because some of you are very knowledgeable or have a high level of education. Of course I’m not saying that having a high level of education is bad. You should treat this matter properly; you now need to properly treat things that belong to Satan, and have a proper understanding and viewpoint about them. I have not said that you shouldn’t get an education, and I particularly haven’t said that you shouldn’t raise your children to go to college or get a degree, then find a good job. I haven’t said that, and I am not limiting you—I am just discussing My perspective and the degree to which corrupt humans worship knowledge. Then some people say: “If we hadn’t gained the knowledge, would we be able to talk with You now?” It doesn’t matter what you have currently learned, how elevated your knowledge is, what lofty notions and thoughts you have in your head, how many books you’ve read, how many years of college you completed, or how high of a degree you have. No matter what, these topics I’m sharing with you in fellowship are unrelated to all of these things. I’m just being matter-of-fact—what I’m talking about is people’s perspectives on knowledge and My own perspectives on knowledge. Do you know how God sees knowledge? (God wants people to be advanced in science.) God wants people to be advanced in science, wants people to understand more things; God wants people to do well. This is correct. He doesn’t want people to understand nothing, to know nothing, but He uses these things for performing service. He does not commend these things and He certainly does not use these things to replace the truth, and He does not use them to add to people’s humanity or to change people’s dispositions. Here and there, some views or opinions on aspects related to knowledge are mentioned in God’s words. Of course you’re probably not very clear on this. I mean, some of this language is in God’s words. For example, Confucianism, Confucianist theory, or the human social sciences—some of these are mentioned in a representative way, and from reading between the lines in His words we should see that God detests mankind’s knowledge.
Knowledge isn’t just simple sentences and equations. There are certain ideological views contained within knowledge—there is some poison within that, and every type of knowledge has its own type of poison. The content of every type of knowledge has its own type of cancer. When people learn and grasp these cancers, they enter into their minds and they are corrupted and held captive by these aspects of knowledge. So the more knowledge that people gain and the more that they grasp, the more difficult it is for them to believe in the existence of God and the easier it is for them to deny it. This is because knowledge is materialistic. It educates you to research and grasp things that can be seen and touched on earth. It is inimical to God. If you read some books of history, famous works, biographies of great personages, or if you learn some aspect of science and technology, some skills, what will you gain? Say that you study physics and understand some principles of physics, Newtonianism or some other doctrine, and after learning these, you take them to heart and are controlled by them. These things will swirl around inside of you, they will guide your thoughts, and then when you read God’s words you will think: “Why doesn’t the word of God mention the earth’s gravity? Why doesn’t it talk about space? Is there air on the moon? Why doesn’t it say how much oxygen the earth has? Why didn’t God talk about these things? God should reveal these things. There is a need for them to be revealed, they should be revealed. He should tell mankind about them.” Wouldn’t there be a struggle within you? You will place God’s truth and His words in a secondary position and place your knowledge and theories in a primary position. No matter what, these kinds of knowledge can give people incorrect feelings and make them distance themselves from God. Whether you believe it or not, whether you can accept it today or not, one day you will accept these facts. Knowledge can bring people to their ruin and it can lead them into hell. Now you understand this, right? Some people will probably be unwilling to accept these words because some of you are very knowledgeable, educated, have higher degrees, or believe you have higher degrees. I am not mocking or ridiculing you. This is a fact. I’m not saying that I hope you accept this immediately, just that I want you to gradually have some understanding of this. Knowledge is a thing that can become a wall between you and your knowledge of God and your experience of God’s work. It can make it difficult for you to become close to God, make you distant from God, and cause you to use your mind of knowledge to analyze and treat everything that God does. But since you already have some knowledge, what can you do? You must recognize and dissect the things based on knowledge and how they hinder and disrupt your normal relationship with God, and disrupt your proper entry in your belief in God. You should recognize this—that is right, and you should have a correct understanding of this topic. You won’t have any misunderstanding, right? I know that there are some brothers and sisters who have higher degrees, and this is not an attack on you, nor is to ridicule or exclude you. Since we suddenly started to discuss this topic today, I wanted to first speak about one representative aspect of it to call your attention to it. It is not to purposely make things difficult for those of you with higher degrees or who have some education, to make you negative or downhearted. It wasn’t for that purpose. Can you understand that correctly? (Yes.) Then it will set My mind at rest and I can breathe a sigh of relief.
We’ve just talked about a lot, and now you have also seen that a change in disposition isn’t a simple issue. You must unearth your ideological views and see which of them are inimical to God, are things that He loathes, things that He doesn’t like, and then dissect the satanic nature within you. No matter how educated you are, no matter what type of person you are, your satanic nature is deeply entrenched within you—every single person is the same. Every single one of these things is inimical to God, and the root, the essence, the content of every single thing is not at all in line with the essence of humanity or the truth. You can acknowledge this, right?
Just now, I started talking about how to understand knowledge in people’s ideological views, and I haven’t said anything targeted at any particular person; I’m just exploring this issue with everyone and communicating about it. Some of you feel uneasy; it has hit a sore spot for you and you feel uneasy and uncomfortable. I have fellowship on this, in hope that little by little you can accept every fact from God and everything that God says that you are unwilling to accept—try to accept these. This way, we can become closer and closer to God’s heart and closer and closer to what He requires. If we do not realistically and practically experience and understand these things, our belief in God will always be just a slogan and it will not have a substantive side. Isn’t that right? Today we’ve discussed some substantive issues, and it has been very awkward for you. I apologize if you feel uneasy. We always have to face these realities—you cannot avoid them. If you do avoid them, when will you be able to know whether the things that exist in your ideological views are right or wrong? You cannot possibly know. There will be a day when you must face these facts. Just as non-believers say, “An ugly daughter-in-law will someday have to face her in-laws.” If you’re not good-looking, there will be a day when you go to meet your in-laws, and you cannot say, “I’m not good-looking so I won’t ever go see them.” That isn’t possible, unless you don’t marry that person. Now that you believe in God and you want to accept God’s chastisement and judgment, and want to achieve a change, entering in, and being saved, you will have to face these facts. It may be that the first time you face this you’ll feel upset for three or four days and when you pray in front of God you won’t have anything suitable to say, you won’t know how to speak to Him. The next time you encounter this you’ll be upset for another three or four days and again won’t know how to speak to Him. And then the next time, without realizing it, you will discover from the facts that these things truly do exist within your own ideological views, within your heart. You will agree with and acknowledge God’s words and you will be able to honestly and sincerely admit that what God says is true and unadulterated. It truly is God who most understands mankind and the things that exist within every single person’s heart. One day, when you reach this point in your experience, you will have entered the right track of belief in God and change in life disposition. This is because at that time, you will not be in conflict with or uncomfortable from every sentence in God’s words, every fact that God reveals will not cause you to be uneasy or feel repelled, and you will not avoid it, but you will face it appropriately. Then it will be proven that you have entered into God’s words. We’ve made a very small start today and conducted a little experiment. You feel kind of uneasy or a little awkward, but it doesn’t matter. I don’t mind, and I hope that you don’t mind either, for God’s words of judgment of people are more harsh than these words. If God truly wants to judge every one of you, His words will be harsher than this. When He sees someone who is corrupt, who has nothing, who won’t listen to reason, will He have a positive attitude in His words? Will He have a good attitude when He reveals you? It certainly won’t be good. His words will certainly be very harsh and profound—He will hit the nail right on the head! If you can accept the facts that we’ve discussed today, that little bit that we’ve communicated about today, it shows that you have made a good start in accepting God’s words and accepting His chastisement and judgment.
The first topic that we discussed was that of ideological conceptions. I brought up a little example—how you look at knowledge. We didn’t communicate too much on this as I was afraid some people were uncomfortable. I wanted to be attentive to some people’s feelings, so we only talked about it a little. What we spoke about wasn’t complete or thorough, but I hope that you can gradually try to figure it out through experience. We’ve just called a little attention to this aspect, and you can gradually experience it and seek this aspect of the truth, and experience for yourselves what knowledge will bring. And maybe in the future we will have fellowship again on this topic, and I hope that at that time, you will not feel uncomfortable or think: “Isn’t this just finding fault with me? Isn’t this about me?” Let’s wrap up our fellowship on this first topic.
Next, let’s have fellowship on the second topic—outlook on life. What is your outlook on life? What is your principle of survival? Do you have some understanding of it? Do you have a principle? Do you have something in mind? (My current understanding is pursuing knowledge of God.) Anything else? (Fulfilling my duty as a created being.) Right, this is close to the mark; it’s quite realistic. Keep going. You can’t not have something in mind, can you? Do you plan to continue to believe in God like that and just be done with it? You should know what you feel in your heart, right? (First pursuing being someone that God likes.) This is another perspective. I mean, what kind of person do you want to be in general, what is your outlook on life, what is your direction in life? (Following God for the rest of my life, until the end.) This is also very good, very realistic. You didn’t say your entire life, but the rest of your life. (Being a person who is after God’s heart.) This is good, too. (Casting off the outlooks on life I previously received from the world and getting rid of my old disposition as soon as possible, and attaining true salvation from God.) Salvation from God—this is an objective to pursue. These are all very good, and they show that in our hearts, every one of us is quietly working hard. We are making resolutions about how to follow God until the end and what kind of person to be. We all have a goal and a direction. This shows that at this point, there is some substance in our hearts to our belief in God. It’s not empty, we’re not just getting through the days, and getting whatever we can. All of you have progressed over this period of time—this is a change. At the very least you’re not like when you were non-believers and said, “Man lives only for food and clothing.” You wouldn’t say that, and doesn’t hearing that make you feel uncomfortable and disgusted? You are repelled by this and you do not approve of it. No matter to what degree you have entered in, overall, when you hear these words you think, “That’s not what I should follow right now and that’s not what I want in my heart. My current purpose is to be a good follower of God. Since God has already revealed to us His mystery, His will, and the purpose of His management plan as well as His will to save us, if we continue to be passive, we would fail God, we would really be in debt to Him.” That we have this in our hearts shows that our spirits are already awakening, that we have already begun to change. Some people say: “I still don’t have an outlook.” You don’t have an outlook, probably because you can’t express it clearly. However, some people may have secretly determined: “Although I’m not saying anything, I also have an outlook and I will also follow God until the end. I am already determined but I’m not saying anything, so none of you know. When the time comes I’ll surprise everyone.” No matter what, overall, the outlooks of every one of us are oriented toward working hard and pursuing the goal of God’s salvation of us. This is right. Each aspect of these outlooks has its own practical significance. Is seeking to be a person who sincerely worships God an outlook we should have? No longer resisting God, no longer disgusting Him, no longer making God exasperated with us and constantly angry with us, comforting God’s heart, being a person who truly worships God such as Abraham—are these outlooks on life that we should have? With this type of outlook on life and this type of thinking rooted in your mind, when your pursuit is headed in this direction, won’t the temptation of worldly wealth, status and reputation become less? Won’t the allure become less? When your hard work, practice, and experience are toward this outlook, without realizing it God’s words will become the motto within you, the foundation of your survival, His words will become your life, and they will become your path in life within you. At that time, all the things of this world would no longer be important to you. So, what your outlook on life is is very important—what is your pursuit oriented toward in your belief in God? Is it a correct direction? Is it the right path? How far off is it from God’s requirements? If your pursuit is based on what God requires you to achieve and your direction is correct, then even if you go off track a little bit, or become somewhat weak, or fail a little, it’s not serious; God won’t take note of it, and He will always support you. What kind of person does God like? God likes a person who pursues the truth, who has determination, and is honest, even if they are ignorant. God is not afraid of you not knowing, of being weak, or of lacking wisdom. What He detests is when you have no pursuit, when your outlook on life is just like a worldly person’s and your pursuits are the same as a beast’s—soulless, without a goal or direction for your life pursuit. God detests this type of attitude in your belief in Him. So, what kind of outlook on life you have is very important for a change in disposition. Some people say: “My outlook on life is to be someone who is greatly used by God, to be someone who is able to serve God.” Is this good or not? This is all well and good, but man’s stature is limited, and they’re of varying caliber and conditions. Although pursuing this goal is right, it won’t necessarily be suitable for you. So, an outlook on life one should have is to pursue being a person with truth and humanity, someone who has conscience and reason and worships God—that is, to be a true person—this is the most proper pursuit. Some people say: “Don’t we count as true people now?” Looking from the outside, we are humans. We have a nose and eyes—we have the form of a person. But if you look based on our essence, we are not true people. So we need to pursue being a true person, being a person with the truth who worships God. This is enough. As for a person who possesses the caliber to be used by God or to serve God and also possesses the conditions, this is another matter. This is a matter of individual practice.
Next, let’s continue our fellowship on the third aspect—the satanic nature. This is another thing that is included within a change in disposition that we need to grasp. It’s another one of the primary aspects. The satanic nature is mankind’s corrupt disposition, and it is also mankind’s corrupt essence. This kind of topic accounts for a lot of space in God’s words. In His words this is the aspect about which the most is revealed, and His words on this topic are the harshest. It is spoken through various methods—some methods are direct exposure and judgment, while some words about this are spoken indirectly through some methods for fear that people wouldn’t be able to accept them. But no matter how it’s said—with what method, what tone—after all, what God reveals is mankind’s essence. This is absolutely true. Regarding the satanic nature, God’s words discuss the most classic aspect of this. God utilizes two passages to expose it. Do you know what essence is represented in the satanic nature? (The nature of betrayal.) Yes! This nature of betrayal is revealed in God’s utterances “Betrayal (1)” and “Betrayal (2).” This is the most classic representation of the satanic nature. Why does God say this? The remaining aspects such as mankind’s self-rightness, arrogance, evil, resistance, or deceit—these are somewhat mentioned in every passage. There isn’t a passage where the truth of any of these aspects is specifically expounded upon. It’s only the essence of betrayal that God speaks of in the two passages. You can see from this how betrayal is seen by God and how He treats mankind’s essence of betrayal. God certainly does not take joy in people’s betrayal. He hates this betrayal, He detests it, and He also detests mankind’s betrayal of Him. This is a classic part of the satanic nature—betrayal.
What is the root of mankind’s nature of betrayal? Satan. So it is necessary to understand this aspect of people’s disposition. The root of betrayal is Satan and its nature is betrayal. God believes that what mankind exposes through many of their actions is betrayal. Why does God devote so much space to talking about this? Mankind’s betrayal is in every moment, every minute; it occurs no matter what the time and place are. No matter what people do, what is deeply entrenched in their nature is in conflict with God. Some people say: “I don’t want to be in conflict with God. I don’t want to resist God.” That’s not possible. You have a nature of betrayal within you, and with a nature of betrayal you cannot be obedient to God, you cannot follow Him to the end, you cannot receive His words or entirely accept His words as your life. No matter how long you have believed in God, how long you have eaten and drunk of His words, how much understanding you have of God, as long as you have a nature of betrayal of God, you haven’t accepted God’s words into yourself as your life, and you have not entered into the truth of God’s words, then your essence will always be betrayal of God. In other words, if you have not had a change in disposition, you are a betrayer of God. So some people say: “I can understand God’s words and I’m clear on what He says. I’m also willing to accept it, so how can You still say that I’m betraying God?” Being willing to receive it is not the same as being able to live out His words, and it particularly is not the same as having been made complete by His words. Isn’t that so? The truth about knowing one’s own nature of betrayal is a little deep, and you probably need a period of experience before you can understand this aspect of the truth. In God’s eyes, every single thing done by every single person who believes in Him is hostile to Him. This is probably something that you can’t accept either. You might say: “We serve God and worship God, we perform our duty in His house. We’ve done many things—they’ve all been good, and they were done according to His will and the work arrangement. How can You say that this is resisting and betraying God? Why are You always ruining our positivity? It’s been difficult for us to leave our homes and give up our careers and determine to follow God. Why would You say that to us?” The goal in saying this is to have every single person recognize that having little good behavior, or giving some things up or suffering a bit does not mean that our inner nature has changed. It is necessary to suffer and perform our duty, but it does not mean that the corrupt nature within us no longer exists. This is because the life disposition within every single one of us is far from satisfying God’s requirements, and it is far from reaching God’s will. This is what it means to serve God while also resisting God. What does resisting God mean? When you resist God, you are doing something against God, and your behavior that is against God is a betrayal of Him.
That’s all for our fellowship on the topic of betrayal. The next topic is a classic expression of the satanic nature—mankind’s arrogance. Mankind’s arrogance is also revealed and expressed everywhere and cannot be concealed or overcome. Oftentimes it will just show itself, just flare up. People cannot control it themselves, and after it has flared up they feel regret, and after that regret they determine to not allow it to flare up or be revealed again. But there’s nothing to be done about it—why is that? If a person’s disposition hasn’t changed and these things still exist inside of them, they will naturally be revealed. So when is it possible to not reveal these things? That’s when your disposition has changed bit by bit. Your reason has become proper, you have understood more of the truth, you have grasped more, your perspectives on things have changed, become deeper and more practical, and have become closer to God’s requirements. Then, your arrogance will lessen somewhat and your representation will probably be little more conservative. It will be different from what it is now—so impudent, and so pompous.