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What Dispositional Change Is and the Four Processes of Dispositional Change

Classic Selections From Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life

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What Dispositional Change Is and the Four Processes of Dispositional Change

The Four Processes of Dispositional Change

With regard to the change in man’s life disposition, we need to know how exactly this change comes about, and what processes man must undergo to achieve it. We must know with clarity what can cause man’s life disposition to change and how it occurs. As such we must communicate about this issue. A change in man’s life disposition mainly involves four true processes. The first is the process by which one recognizes his own corrupt nature and essence through experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement. This is a process which one must go through, because if one cannot thoroughly recognize his own corrupt essence and nature, then the change is not possible. This is a true process. In this process, if one does not experience two or three years of judgment and chastisement by God, then he will not see the results. … Knowing one’s corrupt nature and essence is an ever-deepening process. This mainly comprises two stages. The first stage is to recognize the various expressions of man’s corruption, that’s to say, the areas in which man shows a lack of humanity, and thus see the truth of his corruption. The first expression of man’s corruption is to tell lies. Man always harbors his own personal motives and objectives; in his actions he is crafty, deceptive and manipulative, and he does his duty carelessly and perfunctorily. In addition, man is prone to take advantage of others, and he is selfish and despicable. The second aspect of expression of man’s corrupt disposition lies in his arrogance, conceit, self-righteousness, refusal to bow down to anyone, and belief in his own greatness, a belief that he is better than others and that all others pale in comparison with him. Even though he is clearly flawed and corrupt, he doesn’t let anyone speak about it or point it out. He is too touchy, and allows no one else to criticize him. The second stage is somewhat deeper. It is to recognize Satan’s various poisons and philosophies, which has become deeply rooted within man so that it is part of man’s nature and essence, part of man’s life. For this, you must know which poisons of Satan your nature consists of, and which poisons of the great red dragon have caused you to be arrogant, caused you to be vicious, caused you to be insidious, to play at plots and schemes, to hurt others for personal gain, to poison others, and to unscrupulously plot for your own position and fame regardless of the damage to the interests of many people. You should know how these Satan’s poisons dominate you and become your life, how much of Satan’s poisons you can now distinguish and dissect, and moreover, on which matters you have been controlled and manipulated by Satan’s poisons into doing evil. If you can understand these things clearly, you can clearly see your own nature and essence, and you can understand what kind of person you are and the extent to which you have been corrupted by Satan. You will also know whether a person like you really conforms to God’s will and whether you need to accept God’s judgment and chastisement, His trials and refinement and His curse. When you have achieved the effect of knowing yourself in these two stages, your accepting God’s judgment and chastisement has truly produced effects. This fulfills God’s words: When people come to know that they are sons of hell and that they are objects of perdition, then God’s will will be satisfied, and His work will have achieved a complete effect. The entry of this aspect of truth is key to the changing of man’s life disposition, and it is the foundation. Entry into life starts from an understanding of man’s own corrupt essence. So, when we recognize our own corruption, recognize that Satan’s poisons have become a part of our nature, isn’t this a part of experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement? This is an expression of submitting to God’s judgment and chastisement, and it is a true entry into obeying God’s work. … When one has fully achieved the results in knowing his corruption, that is, when he understand his own corrupt essence and sees the truth of his corruption and that what he has lived out is without any human likeness, but completely the image of the devil Satan, then he will understand why God works in this way, and he will understand His will: “Oh, no wonder God speaks so severely, no wonder His words sometimes carry a chastening tone, no wonder God is furious, and no wonder some words of God are difficult for people to accept. It is because, toward man’s corruption, God is both patient and despising and hateful. This is why God speaks with that tone.” When one sees the extent of his corruption, he will understand God’s tone and choice of words. He will understand His good intentions, and realize: “God’s work of judgment and chastisement is so meaningful and suitable for corrupt mankind to be saved! If God is still merciful, loving and patient toward man as He was during the Age of Grace, then man would never change.” When one understands God’s will, they are more willing to pursue the truth, they are more willing to pursue salvation and to be perfected to comfort God’s heart. When one’s experience reaches this stage, it can be said his life disposition is beginning to change. This is the first process. It is a true process. …

The second process is the process of experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement and entering into the reality of His words. There are some truths which God asks man to enter into, such as being an honest man and being loyal to God in his duty and so on. These truths must be entered into. What God’s word asks man to enter into and to possess in reality must be entered into by man; it is unacceptable for man not to do this. For example, with regard to being an honest man, to what degree have you entered into it? Do you have the reality of being an honest man? Do you achieve the standard of being an honest person? In addition, with regard to being loyal to God, being obedient to God, having true belief in God, relying on God, and cooperating with the work of the Holy Spirit, have you truly entered into them? These truths, in other words, the reality of positive things, are things which a person of normal humanity must possess. If you have not entered into these truths even a little bit, then it is impossible for your life disposition to change. If one attains change in his life disposition, that must be truly expressed. But what is its true expression? It is the practice of and entry into God’s words. If you do not enter at all into God’s word, in other words, the truth that God asks people to enter into, then even if you claim your disposition has changed, where is the change? How has this change been expressed? Where is your witness? You have to have the reality. Is your loyalty to God real? Is your obedience to Him real? Is your being an honest man real? Is your understanding of yourself real? Have you gained entry in understanding God? What aspects of God have you understood? You need to possess reality in all these things. You must truly enter into God’s words. The third process is a process of experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement, understanding the truth, and thereby gaining a change in perspective. The change of perspective is vital. Which things you used to look at from the wrong perspective, what changes you have in your perspective now, how much and to what extent it has changed, all these things must be clear in your heart, and these things are all indicators of a change in disposition. To what extent has your perspective changed? Has it merely changed with regard to a few simple matters? Or has it changed with regard to your core outlook on life and values? This is speaking about the degree of change. If you have simply changed your perspective about some minor issues—for example, God’s word states that the world is an evil, dark place, and you say, “Yes. Although before I thought the world was good and beautiful, now I can see that the world is dark,”—then is this enough? It is not enough. Has your outlook on life and values changed? Has the goal you are striving for changed? Has your understanding of God and your conceptions that you used to have about God changed? With regard to all matters relating to the truth, has your perspective entirely changed? This process is vital. Which stage have you entered into exactly? This is absolutely vital! You should know in your heart how much your perspective has changed. You might say, “Now I understand what is good and what is evil. With regard to these two aspects, my perspective has changed.” But are only these two enough? Your understanding of God’s disposition is still that of a religious believer, and your knowledge of God is still tainted with your own conceptions. These have not changed, so you can still resist God and betray Him. Is this not the case? This must be understood clearly. A change in perspective is a key part of entry. You should not assume that because your perspective about minor issues has changed, your entire perspective has changed. It’s not objective to say this. So, how much change must there be for it to be considered a change in perspective? If, with regard to many fundamental, important issues you already understand the truth, and if all the conceptions of non-believers within you have been thoroughly removed and you now have a brand-new outlook that entirely conforms to the truth, then this is a fundamental change in perspective. So, if a person’s perspective completely changes, what are the fruits of such change? This person will have a true understanding of God, be of one mind with Him, and no longer harbor conceptions about God’s work and all His words, and regardless of what He does he will not judge God. These are the fruits of a change in perspective. Once one’s perspective has changed, he becomes one mind with God, and can truly follow and serve Him, not parting from Him no matter if he lives or dies. This is a fundamental change in perspective, and it shows that this person’s life disposition has thoroughly changed. The fourth process is developing into a change in life disposition from a change in humanity. A change in humanity means to be able to speak quite honestly, do things with conscience and act rationally, fulfill one’s duties, pay some prices, and cast aside one’s family to follow God and fulfill his duties. These are changes in behavior. If there are many expressions of change in one’s behavior, and others can see that he has normal humanity, and that he does not argue over terms with God, this shows that one’s humanity has already thoroughly changed. When one’s humanity has thoroughly changed, it shows that his life disposition has also changed. If one’s humanity has only changed a little bit, that is, one has only some good behavior, does this represent a change in his life disposition? It does not. Only a fundamental change in humanity can represent a change in life disposition. A fundamental change in humanity means that one is especially conscientious and rational, and asks for nothing in return regardless of the price he pays and the duties he fulfills when following God; no matter how he is treated by God, he does not complain. This kind of change shows a true change in his life disposition.

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