2. What a deceitful person is and how they manifest

Relevant Words of God:

When people live within their corrupt satanic dispositions, they will, no matter what they’re doing, put on an act, package themselves, and resort to underhanded tricks; they will use deceit in everything, believing nothing to be beneath practicing deceit and plying stratagems. There are people who harbor deceit even when doing something as ordinary as making a purchase. For example, this person buys a pair of very fashionable shoes. He thinks: “If the brothers and sisters see me wearing these shoes, they’ll undoubtedly say I’m not spending my money on worthwhile things, so I won’t wear these shoes in front of them. I’ll wait to wear them when we’re not having a gathering, and I’ll wait till they’ve gone out of fashion and don’t look like they’re worth anything before wearing them.” Regardless of how you act on this, aren’t you—however you look at it—practicing deceit with this calculating mindset of yours? You already live in deceit, you’re already prepared to act in this way. So why do you practice deceit? Are you being controlled by your own motivations and aims? And are these aims of yours valid? What is their essence? It’s your satanic disposition that’s controlling you, isn’t it? You adopt certain tactics and practice deceit to achieve your aim, isn’t that so? You act one way in front of people and another behind their backs. You are being artful, playing both sides—this sort of behavior is practicing deceit. What do you say to this: Deceitful people are stupid, aren’t they? Why is it that, as soon as some people are asked to dissect themselves, they get stressed out? It is because those cunning little wiles of theirs appear stupid, clumsy, and ignoble—they’re too shameful to show others, they’re the shady dealings of base people. The affairs of deceitful people can never be brought out into the open for all to see. Why is that? Because, just as they’re about to lay themselves bare, they suddenly realize: “How could I have been so stupid as to do that? How could I have been so disgusting?” Even they feel disgusted with themselves. But when they’re doing it, they can’t help themselves—they always want to behave that way; for they are deceitful by nature, and whatever they do, they reveal their deceitful nature as a matter of course—even in a very small matter, they would reveal their deceitful nature. They cannot restrain themselves in any one thing; this is their Achilles’ heel. … Those who are deceitful cannot help but reveal their deceitfulness, and what’s more, they do so at any time and in any place. This isn’t something they need to learn, or which requires the teaching of others; in a perfectly simple matter, one that doesn’t call for lies or deviousness, they will still take the devious route, and fabricate lies to cheat people.

—“The Most Fundamental Practice of Being an Honest Person” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

The primary characteristic of deceitful people is that they never open up when fellowshiping with anyone; they hide themselves very deeply. In addition, no one can figure out if what they’re saying is true or false. What’s more, they’re particularly adept at pretense and sophistry; they pretend to be someone good, someone virtuous, someone guileless, someone who is beloved and revered by others. Interacting with them, you’ll never know what they’re thinking inside; they tell no one what their view or attitude toward things really is, and even those closest to them don’t know. They don’t open their hearts; they give nothing away. Not only that, but they also pretend to possess humanity, to be highly spiritual, to pursue the truth. No one would think they weren’t.

—The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. They Do Not Believe in the Existence of God, and They Deny the Essence of Christ (Part One)

If you are deceitful, then you will be guarded and suspicious toward all people and matters, and thus your faith in Me will be built upon a foundation of suspicion. I could never acknowledge such faith. Lacking true faith, you are even more devoid of true love. And if you are liable to doubt God and speculate about Him at will, then you are, without question, the most deceitful of all people. You speculate whether God can be like man: unpardonably sinful, of petty character, devoid of fairness and reason, lacking a sense of justice, given to vicious tactics, treacherous and cunning, pleased by evil and darkness, and so on. Is not the reason that people have such thoughts because they lack the slightest knowledge of God? Such faith is nothing short of sin! There are even some who believe that the ones who please Me are precisely those who flatter and bootlick, and that those lacking in such skills will be unwelcome in the house of God and will lose their place there. Is this the only knowledge you have acquired after all these years? Is this what you have gained? And your knowledge of Me does not stop at these misunderstandings; even worse is your blasphemy against God’s Spirit and vilification of Heaven. This is why I say that such faith as yours will only cause you to stray further from Me and be in greater opposition against Me.

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. How to Know the God on Earth

Someone might never open up and communicate what they think with others. And in all that they do, they never consult with others, but instead are closed off, seemingly on their guard against others at every turn. They enshroud themselves as tightly as can be. Is this not a cunning person? For example, they have an idea that they feel is ingenious, and think, “I’ll keep it to myself for now. If I share it, you could use it and steal my thunder. I’ll hold back.” Or if there’s something they don’t fully understand, they will think: “I won’t speak up now. What if I do, and someone says something more elevated, won’t I look like a fool? Everyone will see right through me, see my weakness in this. I shouldn’t say anything.” So regardless of the perspective or reasoning, regardless of the underlying motive, they’re afraid everyone will see right through them. They always approach their own duty and people, things and events with this kind of perspective and attitude. What kind of disposition is this? A crooked, deceitful and evil disposition. They seem, on the surface, to have said everything to others that they believe they can, but below the surface, they hold some things back. They never say things that touch upon their reputation and interests—not to anyone, not even to their parents. They never say these things. This is trouble!

—“Only by Practicing the Truth Can One Possess Normal Humanity” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

Some people do not tell the truth to anyone. Sometimes they do not even know themselves if what they are saying is true or false—they confuse themselves. When they speak with others, they are always thinking and their minds are always churning with what the consequences of saying something will be. Before they say something, they evaluate and predict what saying it in one way might achieve, and what putting it another way might achieve, and what will fool the other and keep them from understanding the truth of the matter. What disposition is this? It is deceitfulness. Is it easy for one to change a deceitful disposition? Nothing dispositional is easy to change. Some people, having revealed something of themselves, think: “I let them know my true thoughts. This is bad. I have to find a way to reverse this—to put it in a different way so that they don’t know the truth.” This is how they think and plan, and when they are about to act, they reveal a sort of disposition: deceit. They are going to do something devilish. Even before doing anything, they have revealed their deceitfulness. This is a type of disposition. It does not matter if you have said anything or not, or if you have done anything or not—this disposition is always within you, controlling you, making you play games and engage in trickery, toy with people, cover up the truth, and package yourself well. This is deceitfulness. What specific things do deceitful people do? Say two people are chatting, for instance, and one says, “I’ve been through some circumstances recently, and I feel that these years of believing in God have really been in vain. I’m a failure as a person! Impoverished, pitiful! I haven’t been performing well for a while. I’m going to strive to redeem myself in the future.” What sort of effect will their saying this have? The other hears it and thinks: “This person has repented—thoroughly repented. It’s genuine. I can’t doubt it. They’ve changed for the better. They even said they were a failure as a human and that the issues they encountered recently were all orchestrated by God. They’re able to submit.” In eliciting such an effect in the listener, has the speaker’s goal been achieved? (Yes.) So, is their true state exactly as they said it is? Not necessarily. What they said achieved such an effect, but what they did was not as they said. Their point in saying this is the way they say it, the outcome they want to achieve. In speaking, they are always trying to achieve something, they always have some motive, they always use a certain method or certain words to achieve their own goals. What kind of disposition is this? It is deceitfulness, and it is insidious indeed! And in truth, they are not aware in the least that they are bad, impoverished and pitiful. They just use some spiritual language and words to win your favor, to give you a good opinion of them, so that you feel that they have understood themselves and repented. Is achieving such an effect not deceitfulness?

—“Six Aspects of a Corrupt Disposition Must Be Understood for a Change in Disposition” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

When deceitful people put the truth into practice, do they engage in deceit? Putting the truth into practice requires them to pay a price, to relinquish their own interests, to lay themselves bare to others. But they hold something back; when they speak, they only give half away, and hold on to the rest. Others always have to guess what they mean, always have to connect the dots to work out their meaning. They always give themselves room to maneuver, they give themselves some wiggle room. As soon as others see that they are deceitful, they do not want to interact with them, they always take precautions when dealing with them, and do not believe anything they say, wondering whether what they said is true or false, and how much of it is diluted. And so, in their hearts, people often lose trust in them, they carry very little weight in people’s hearts, or no weight at all. Such is your status and the weight you carry in people’s hearts. And so how will you be looked upon by God in His presence? Compared to man, God sees people more accurately, more incisively, and more realistically.

—“The Most Fundamental Practice of Being an Honest Person” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

You always think of your flesh and your own prospects, you always want to lessen the suffering of the flesh, to make less effort, to devote less, to pay less of a price, and you always give yourself room to maneuver—and this is your deceitful attitude. When you expend for God you also think twice, saying: “Aw! Devote myself to God? I’ve still got to make a good living; what will I do if God’s work does not end? So I won’t give it my all. We don’t know when God’s words will be fulfilled, so I’ve got to be careful, I must think twice. Once I’ve arranged my family life, and once I’ve arranged my future prospects and got them sorted out, I’ll dedicate myself to God.” Such reticence is also deception, and acting amid deception, and it is not an honest attitude. When interacting with their brothers and sisters, some people are afraid of them finding out the difficulties within their hearts, and that the brothers and sisters will have something to say about them or look down on them. As they speak, they always try to give the impression that they’re really zealous, that they really want God, and are really keen to put the truth into practice, but in fact, in their hearts, they’re extremely weak and passive. They pretend to be strong, so that no one can see through them. This is also deceit. In sum, regardless of what you do—whether it be in life, serving God, or performing your duty—if you present a false face to people and use it to mislead them, to make them think highly of you or not look down on you, then you are being deceitful.

—“The Most Fundamental Practice of Being an Honest Person” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

What do you say to this: Living alongside deceitful people is tiring, isn’t it? (It is.) Is it tiring for them? It’s tiring for them, too, because being deceitful is different from being honest. An honest person is simple—their thinking isn’t all that complicated. But in the case of a deceitful person, they always have to speak in a roundabout way, never being straightforward in whatever they say. It’s tiring for them as well; constantly playing tricks and covering up their lies is exhausting. They’re constantly cudgeling their brains and racking their thoughts, fearful of letting something slip in a moment of carelessness. Do you know how far some people will go in playing their tricks? They get into a contest with everyone. They struggle to the point of mental breakdowns and can’t even sleep at night. From this one can see the degree of their deceitfulness. Living life as an honest person is not tiring: An honest person says whatever is on their mind, they reveal whatever they’re thinking, and they act upon whatever they’re thinking, seeking God’s will in everything and acting in accordance with God’s will. Only there may be places where they are ignorant, so in the future they must be wiser, and must never stop growing. But deceitful people are not like this. They live based on the philosophy of Satan and on their own deceitful nature and essence. They have to be cautious in everything they do lest others have something on them; in everything they do, they have to use their own methods, and their own deceitful and crooked wiles, to cover up their true face, for fear that sooner or later they’ll give themselves away—and when they do blow their own cover, they must try to turn things around. There are times when, as they’re trying to salvage their cover, it’s not so easy, and when things don’t go well, they get all worked up, fearful that others will see through them. And when that does happen, they feel they’ve lost face in front of others, and then they have to think of something to say to turn that situation around. All this going back and forth—wouldn’t they find this exhausting? Their brains are constantly churning; if they weren’t, where would all their words be coming from? If you are honest and free of ulterior motives in word and deed, then whatever you do is done when you’ve done it, with no need to worry about letting your true colors show. How can you be exhausted? But there is always an ulterior motive behind the things deceitful people say and do, and once that comes to light, they scramble to think up ways to mend their cover, and then they’ll put up another facade to fool you into thinking that it’s a different matter altogether. This is especially exhausting for them. In your interactions with them, you get a sense of just how stupid it is for them to act in this way, and how unnecessary it is for them to say all these things. There are some things they actually don’t need to explain, you wouldn’t have thought anything of them, but they throw themselves into explaining, and into salvaging the situation, until you get fed up listening to them. They themselves also feel that it wouldn’t be so exhausting if they didn’t have to explain everything. Their brains are constantly working to figure out how to prevent you from misunderstanding them, how to convince you that there’s no ill will behind their words or actions, so that you may accept and believe them. And so they go on mulling it over. When they can’t sleep at night, they think about it; during the day, if they can’t eat they’re thinking about it; or, when consulting others on another matter, they are still working on probing this one. They will always put on a front to get you to feel like they’re not that kind of person, that they are a good person, or to make you feel that this wasn’t what they meant. Deceitful people are like this.

—“The Most Fundamental Practice of Being an Honest Person” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

Matters of nature are not things done only in a moment of weakness but are persistent throughout life. Everything a person does carries his scent, carries the elements of his nature. Even if those elements are not apparent at times, they are present within him. For example, when a deceitful person speaks honestly in one instance, there is actually still speech within his speech and the deceitfulness is mixed in. A deceitful person will play his tricks on anybody, including his relatives—even his own children. No matter how forthright you are with him, he will play games with you. This is the true face of his nature—he is of this nature. It is difficult to change and he is like that all the time. Honest people may sometimes say something sly and deceitful, but such a person is usually relatively honest; he handles affairs directly and does not take unfair advantage of others in his dealings with them. When he speaks with others, he does not say things intentionally to test them; he can open up his heart and communicate with others, and everyone says he is quite honest. There are times when he speaks with some deceitfulness; that is simply a manifestation of a corrupt disposition and does not represent his nature, because he is not a deceitful person.

—“How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

Among that class of people who are antichrists, inveterate duplicity is one of the chief attributes revealed by their humanity. Through their language, through the things they say, and the way in which they say them, their manner of expression, the meaning in their words and the motivation behind them, one sees that these people lack normal humanity, that they do not possess the honesty that God requires of normal humanity. What is more, the inveterate duplicity in the humanity of these people is far more serious than the lies and deception of ordinary people. This is not an ordinary kind of corrupt disposition, or the manifestation of an ordinary kind of abnormal humanity; their lies come more readily than most people’s, and they are more practiced. When most people lie, they have to fabricate the lie, they have to give it careful thought; but this kind of person doesn’t have to fabricate anything, or give it any thought: They open their mouths and out it comes—and before you know it, you’ve been taken in. Their lies and deception are such that it takes people who are slow to react two or three days to figure things out; only then do they realize what this person meant. The slow-witted, or those with a low IQ, may still not have figured things out after several years; they may never know what he meant by those words in all their lives. Antichrist are habituated to lying: What is the character of their humanity? Clearly, it is not something that is part of normal humanity. To be precise, it is the nature of a demon. Their inveterate duplicity, lies, and deception: Are these ways of doing things learned in school? Are they the result of an excess of knowledge? Are they due to the teaching and influence of parents? (No.) These things are their inherent nature. They were born with these things; no one forced these things on them, nor did anyone teach them these things. This is just what they are—habitually duplicitous. And, what is more, they never feel ashamed or troubled by their lies, they are never agonized or uneasy. Not only are they not troubled by their lies, but they often think themselves very clever, highly intelligent; they feel fortunate, proud, and secretly gleeful that they are able to manipulate and deceive others using lies and other tactics. Antichrists are a class of people who constantly use lies to manipulate and deceive others. When they have finished listening to the sermon and to the fellowshiping of others on how to become an honest person, are they troubled? Do they reproach themselves? (No.) And how can one tell that they feel no self-blame, that they are not troubled? By the fact that they never dissect themselves. They never open up and lay bare their own lies, nor do they ever acknowledge that they are dishonest. Apart from this, they keep lying and deceiving people as and when they feel the need to. Such is their nature, and there is no way to change it. This nature is not the expression of normal humanity; properly speaking, it is the nature of a demon.

—The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Excursus Four: Summarizing the Character of Antichrists and the Essence of Their Disposition (Part One)

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Next: 3. Why deceitful people are unable to attain salvation

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