38. The Principles of Examining Whether or Not One’s Disposition Has Changed
1. Examine yourself as to whether or not you have achieved the standards of being an honest person, whether or not you possess conscience and reason, whether or not you are devoted in your duties and how many good deeds you have accrued;
2. Examine your views on things, your views on life and values as to whether or not there has been a fundamental change, and whether or not you possess genuine views on life and values;
3. Examine yourself as to whether or not you truly possess the faith of Job—being able to fear God and shun evil—and whether or not you have a true knowledge of God and true love for God;
4. Examine yourself as to whether or not you are someone who truly obeys God and whether or not, during trials, you are able to achieve the 11 standards of obeying God.
Relevant Words of God:
Honesty means to give your heart to God; never to play Him false in anything; to be open with Him in all things, never hiding the truth; never to do that which deceives those above and deludes those below; and never to do that which merely ingratiates yourself with God. In short, to be honest is to refrain from impurity in your actions and words, and to deceive neither God nor man. … Some behave in a prim and proper fashion and seem particularly “well-mannered” in the presence of God, yet they turn defiant and lose all restraint in the presence of the Spirit. Would you number such a man among the ranks of the honest? If you are a hypocrite and one who is adept at socializing, then I say that you are definitely one who trifles with God. If your words are riddled with excuses and valueless justifications, then I say that you are one who is extremely loath to put the truth into practice. If you have many confidences that you are reluctant to share, and if you are very unwilling to lay bare your secrets—that is to say, your difficulties—before others so as to seek the way of the light, then I say that you are one who will not receive salvation easily and who will not easily emerge from the darkness. If seeking the way of the truth pleases you well, then you are one who dwells always in the light. If you are very glad to be a service-doer in the house of God, working diligently and conscientiously in obscurity, always giving and never taking, then I say that you are a loyal saint, because you seek no reward and are simply being an honest man. If you are willing to be candid, if you are willing to expend your all, if you are able to sacrifice your life for God and stand witness, if you are honest to the point where you know only to satisfy God and not to consider yourself or take for yourself, then I say that these people are those who are nourished in the light and who shall live forever in the kingdom. You should know whether there is true faith and true loyalty within you, whether you have a record of suffering for God, and whether you have wholly submitted to God. If you lack these, then there remains within you disobedience, deceit, greed, and complaint. As your heart is far from honest, you have never received positive recognition from God and never lived in the light. How one’s fate will work out in the end hinges upon whether he has an honest and blood-red heart, and whether he has a pure soul. If you are someone who is very dishonest, someone with a heart of malice, and someone with an unclean soul, then the record of your fate is certainly in the place where man is punished. If you claim to be very honest, and yet never manage to act in accordance with the truth or to speak a word of truth, then are you still waiting for God to reward you? Do you still hope for God to regard you as the apple of His eye? Isn’t this a preposterous way of thinking? You deceive God in all things, so how can the house of God accommodate one such as you, whose hands are unclean?
from “Three Admonitions” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Take fulfilling duties with devotion for example. You have some understanding about fulfilling your duties and being loyal to God, and you also understand the truths, but when will you be completely devoted to God? When will you fulfill your duties in name and in deed? This will require some time. During this process, you might suffer many hardships; people will deal with you, people will prune you, people will regulate you, compel you and force you. Everyone’s eyes will be fixed on you, and ultimately, you will realize: It’s my problem. Is it acceptable to fulfill my duties without devotion? I can’t be careless and perfunctory. The Holy Spirit enlightens you from within and will reproach you when you make a mistake. During this process, you will understand some things about yourself and will know that you are too impure, you have too many personal intentions and too many desires in fulfilling your duties. After you know this, you can gradually get on the right track and you will be able to change your actions. With regard to the substance of fulfilling your duties, how well do you really fulfill your duties? How well do you fulfill your duties in accordance with truth after transforming your dispositions? By reflecting on this, you can know how much your disposition has actually been transformed.
from “What You Should Know About Transforming Your Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks
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.
from “What a Change in Disposition Is and the Path to a Change in Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks
That is not to say that someone who has a lot of experience exercising their humanity will necessarily have a change in disposition; it most probably happens when some of satanic poisons within a person’s nature change due to their knowledge of God and their understanding of the truth. That is to say, those poisons are cleansed and the truth expressed by God takes root within the person, becomes his life, and becomes the foundation of his existence. Only then does he become a new person….some of satanic poisons within have been eliminated, the perspective of the person has completely changed, and none of it is in line with that of the world. He sees the schemes and poisons of the great red dragon clearly; he has grasped the true essence of life. So his life values have changed—this is the most fundamental change and the essence of a change in disposition. On what basis did people live before that? All people live for themselves. Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost—this is the summation of man’s nature. Believing in God is done for oneself, and obtaining blessings is even more so. Casting things away for God, expending oneself for God, and being faithful to God—all of these are done for oneself. In sum, it is all for the purpose of gaining blessings for oneself. In the world, everything is for personal benefit. Believing in God is to gain blessings, and it is to obtain blessings that one casts off everything, and one can withstand much suffering in order to obtain blessings. This is all empirical evidence of man’s corrupt nature. However, those who have a change in disposition are different. How they should live meaningfully, how they should fulfill the duties of a person to be worthy of being called human, how they should worship God, and how they should obey and satisfy God—they believe that this is the foundation of being a person and is their obligation in accord with the unalterable principles of heaven and earth. Otherwise, they will not be worthy of being called human, there will be no point, and they will be full of emptiness. People should live in order to satisfy God, to perform their duty well, and to live a meaningful life, so that even when they die, they will feel satisfied without the slightest regret, and they will not have lived in vain.
from “The Difference Between External Changes and Changes in Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks
After experiencing to a certain point, a person’s life views, significance of existence, and foundation of existence will completely transform. That is, you will be born again, and become a completely different person. This is incredible! This is a big transformation; it is a transformation that turns everything upside down. You will feel that fame, profit, position, wealth, pleasures, and glory of the world don’t matter and that you are able to effortlessly let go of them. This is a person in the likeness of a human being. Those who are ultimately made complete will be a group like this. They will live for truth, for God, and for righteousness. This is the likeness of a person.
from “Understanding Commonalities and Differences in Human Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks
When you face sufferings you must be able to not consider the flesh and not complain against God. When God hides Himself from you, you must be able to have the faith to follow Him, to maintain your previous love without allowing it to falter or disappear. No matter what God does, you must submit to His design, and be more willing to curse your own flesh than to complain against Him. When you are faced with trials you must satisfy God in spite of any reluctance to part with something you love, or bitter weeping. Only this can be called true love and faith.
from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You may say you have been conquered, but can you obey unto death? You must be able to follow to the very end regardless of whether there are any prospects, and you must not lose faith in God regardless of the environment. Ultimately, you must achieve two aspects of testimony: the testimony of Job—obedience unto death—and the testimony of Peter—the supreme love of God. In one respect, you must be like Job: He had no material possessions, and was beset by the pain of the flesh, yet he did not forsake the name of Jehovah. This was Job’s testimony. Peter was able to love God unto death. When he died—when he was put on the cross—he still loved God; he did not think of his own prospects or pursue glorious hopes or extravagant thoughts, and he sought only to love God and to obey all of God’s arrangements. Such is the standard you must achieve before you can be considered to have borne testimony, before you become someone who has been made perfect after having been conquered. Today, if people truly knew their own substance and status, would they still seek prospects and hopes? What you should know is this: Regardless of whether God makes me perfect, I must follow God; everything He does now is good, and for our sake, and so that our disposition can change and we can rid ourselves of Satan’s influence, to allow us to live in the land of filth and yet rid ourselves of impurity, shake off the filth and the influence of Satan, to enable us to leave behind the influence of Satan.
from “The Inside Truth of the Conquering Work (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Whether or not your disposition can change depends upon whether or not you keep up with the Holy Spirit’s current words and have genuine understanding. This is different from what you understood before. What you understood of a change in disposition before was that you, who are easy to judge, through God’s disciplining no longer speak carelessly. But this is just one aspect of the change, and right now the most critical point is following the guidance of the Holy Spirit. You follow whatever God says; you obey whatever He says. People cannot change their disposition themselves; they must undergo the judgment and chastisement and painful refinement of God’s words, or being dealt with, disciplined, and pruned by His words. Only after that can they achieve obedience and devotion to God, and not try to fool Him and deal with Him perfunctorily. It is under the refinement of God’s words that people have a change in disposition. Only those who undergo the exposure, judgment, disciplining, and dealing with of His words will no longer dare to do things recklessly, and will become calm and collected. The most important point is that they are able to obey God’s current words and obey God’s work, and even if it is not in line with human notions, they can put them aside and intentionally obey. When a change in disposition has been spoken of in the past, it has mainly been about forsaking oneself, allowing the flesh to suffer, disciplining one’s body, and ridding oneself of fleshly preferences—this is one type of change in disposition. People now know that the real expression of a change in disposition is obeying the current words of God as well as being able to have a genuine understanding of His new work. This way people will be able to get rid of their previous understanding of God in their notions, and achieve a true understanding of and obedience to Him. Only this is a genuine expression of a change in disposition.
from “Those Whose Disposition Has Changed Are Those Who Have Entered Into the Reality of God’s Words” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You should now all look into yourselves as quickly as possible to see how much of your makeup still betrays Me. I am impatiently awaiting your response. Don’t brush Me off. I never play games with people. If I say it then I will certainly do it. I hope you can all be people who take My words seriously and don’t think that they are just a science fiction novel. What I want is concrete action from you, not your imaginations. Next, you must answer such questions from Me: 1. If you are truly a service-doer, then can you serve Me loyally, without any perfunctory or negative elements? 2. If you find out that I have never appreciated you, will you still be able to stay and serve Me for life? 3. If you expended a lot of effort but I am still very cold toward you, will you be able to continue working for Me in obscurity? 4. If, after you have expended some things for Me, I have not satisfied your petty demands, will you be disheartened and disappointed toward Me or even become furious and shout abuse? 5. If you’ve always been very loyal and loving toward Me, yet you suffer the torment of illness, the impoverishment of life, and the abandonment of your friends and relatives or endure any other misfortunes in life, then will your loyalty and love for Me still continue? 6. If none of what you have imagined in your heart matches what I have done, then how will you walk your future path? 7. If you don’t receive anything you hoped to receive, then can you continue to be My follower? 8. If you have never understood the purpose and significance of My work, then can you be an obedient person who does not make arbitrary judgments and conclusions? 9. Can you treasure all the words I have said and all the work I have done when I’m together with mankind? 10. Are you able to be My loyal follower, willing to suffer for Me for life even if you will not receive anything? 11. Are you able to not consider, plan, or prepare for your future path of survival for My sake? These questions are My final requirements of you, and I hope you can all respond to Me. If you fulfill one or two of the things from these questions, then you still need to continue working hard. If you cannot accomplish a single one of these requirements, then you are surely the type that will be cast into hell. I don’t need to say any more to such people. This is because they are certainly not people who can be compatible with Me. How could I keep someone in My home who could betray Me under any circumstance? As for those who could still betray Me under the majority of circumstances, I will observe their performance before making other arrangements. However, as long as they are people who are capable of betraying Me, regardless of under what conditions, I will never forget and I will remember them in My heart while waiting for the opportunity to repay their evil deeds. The requirements I have raised are all issues on which you should inspect yourselves. I hope you can all consider them seriously and that you don’t deal with Me perfunctorily. In the near future, I will check the answers you have given Me against My requirements. By that time, I will not require anything more from you and won’t give you any more earnest admonition. Instead, I shall exercise My authority. Those who should be kept will be kept, those who should be rewarded will be rewarded, those who should be given over to Satan will be given over to Satan, those who should receive heavy punishment will receive heavy punishment, and those who should perish will be destroyed. That way, there will no longer be anyone to disturb Me in My days.
from “A Very Serious Problem: Betrayal (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh