3. Why deceitful people are unable to attain salvation
Relevant Words of God:
In essence, God is faithful, and so His words can always be trusted; His actions, furthermore, are faultless and unquestionable, which is why God likes those who are absolutely honest with Him. Honesty means giving your heart to God, being genuine with God in all things, being open with Him in all things, never hiding the facts, not trying to deceive those above and below you, and not doing things only to curry favor with God. In short, to be honest is to be pure in your actions and words, and to deceive neither God nor man. What I say is very simple, but to you it is doubly arduous. Many people would rather be condemned to hell than speak and act honestly. Little wonder that I have other treatment in store for those who are dishonest. Of course, I know full well how difficult it is for you to be honest. Because you are all so clever, so good at measuring people with your own petty yardstick, this makes My work much simpler. And since you each hug your secrets to your bosom, well then, I shall send you, one by one, into disaster to be “schooled” by fire, so that thereafter you may become dead set on your belief in My words. Ultimately, I shall wrest from your mouth the words “God is a faithful God,” whereupon you shall beat upon your breast and lament, “Devious is the heart of man!” What will be your state of mind at this time? I imagine you will not be as triumphant as you are now. And much less will you be as “profound and abstruse” as you are now. In the presence of God, some people are all prim and proper, they take pains to be “well-behaved,” yet they bare their fangs and brandish their claws in the presence of the Spirit. Would you number such people among the ranks of the honest? If you are a hypocrite, someone who is skilled in “interpersonal relations,” then I say that you are definitely someone who tries to trifle with God. If your words are riddled with excuses and valueless justifications, then I say that you are someone who is loath to put the truth into practice. If you have many confidences that you are reluctant to share, if you are highly averse to laying bare your secrets—your difficulties—before others to seek the way of the light, then I say that you are someone who will not attain salvation easily, and who will not easily emerge from the darkness. If seeking the way of the truth pleases you well, then you are someone 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 person. 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 firm in your testimony, 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 such 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 they have an honest and blood-red heart, and whether they have a pure soul. If you are someone who is very dishonest, someone with a heart of malice, someone with an unclean soul, then you are sure to end up in the place where man is punished, as is written in the record of your fate. 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? Is such thinking not preposterous? You deceive God in all things; how could the house of God accommodate one such as you, whose hands are unclean?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Three Admonitions
I love all who sincerely expend themselves for Me and devote themselves to Me. I hate all who are born of Me yet who do not know Me, and even resist Me. I will not abandon anyone who is sincerely for Me; rather, I will double that person’s blessings. I will doubly punish those who are ungrateful and violate My kindness, and I will not let them off easily. In My kingdom there is no crookedness or deceit, and no worldliness; that is, there is no smell of the dead. Rather, all is rectitude and righteousness; all is purity and openness, with nothing hidden or concealed. Everything is fresh, everything is enjoyment, and everything is edification. Anyone who still reeks of the dead can in no way remain in My kingdom, and will instead be ruled by My iron rod.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Utterances of Christ in the Beginning, Chapter 70
All those who believe in God, yet do not pursue the truth, have no way of escaping from Satan’s influence. All those who do not live their lives with honesty, who behave one way in front of others but another way behind their backs, who give the appearance of humility, patience, and love though their essence is insidious, cunning, and without loyalty to God—such people are typical representatives of those who live under the influence of darkness; they are the ilk of the serpent. Those who only ever believe in God for their own benefit, who are self-righteous and haughty, who show off, and who protect their own status are people who love Satan and oppose the truth. These people resist God and belong entirely to Satan. Those who are not attentive to God’s burdens, who do not serve God wholeheartedly, who are always concerned with their own self-interests and the interests of their families, who are unable to abandon everything to expend themselves for God, and who never live by His words are people outside of His words. Such people cannot receive God’s praise.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Escape From the Influence of Darkness, and You Will Be Gained by God
That God asks for people to be honest proves that He truly loathes those who are deceitful, and that He does not like deceitful people. The fact that God does not like deceitful people means that He dislikes their actions, disposition, and motivations; that is, He does not like the way they do things. Therefore, if we are to please God, we must first change our actions and the way in which we exist. Previously, we relied on lies and pretense to live among people, using these as our capital and as the existential basis, life, and foundation by which we conducted ourselves. This was something that God despised. Among the world’s unbelievers, if you do not know how to be manipulative or deceitful, then it could be difficult for you to stand firm. You could only tell lies, engage in trickery, and use conniving and insidious methods to protect and camouflage yourself in order to obtain a better life. In God’s house, it is precisely the opposite: The more deceitful you are, and the more you employ sophisticated manipulation to put on an act and package yourself, the less able you are to stand firm and the more God despises and rejects you. God has predestined that only honest people can be a part of the kingdom of heaven. If you are not honest, and if, in your life, your practice is not directed toward being honest and you do not reveal your own true face, then you will never have any chance of gaining God’s work or praise.
—“The Most Fundamental Practice of Being an Honest Person” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
God likes honest people; He does not like sly people. There is nothing to fear in being a bit ignorant, but one must certainly be honest. Honest people take responsibility; they think not of themselves; they are pure of thought; and there is honesty and benevolence in their hearts, like bowls of clear water whose bottoms are visible at a glance. Though you are always posturing, screening and covering yourself, wrapping yourself up so tightly that others cannot see what is in your heart, God can yet scrutinize the things that are deepest in your heart. Should God see that you are not an honest person, but a sly thing, never giving over your heart to Him, always trying to pass off deceits with Him, He will not like you and will not want you. Does God like the sort of person that is like all who prosper among the unbelievers, who are silver-tongued and quick-witted? (No.) You are never to be such people. They who are ever vigilant and consider all the angles in their speech, who see which way the wind blows and are guileful in handling their affairs—I tell you, God loathes such people the most. So, would God still begrace or enlighten such a person? No—He would not. God sees such people as those of an ilk with animals. They wear human skin, but their inner essence is that of the devil Satan. They are walking corpses whom God absolutely will not save. Would you say this sort of person is indeed smart, or are they foolish? They are treacherous. God does not want this sort of person. He condemns them. What hope is there in believing in God for such a person? Their belief is bereft of significance, and they are destined to gain nothing.
—The Word, Vol. 5. The Responsibilities of Leaders and Workers
A deceitful person may be aware that they are crafty, that they are fond of lying and dislike telling the truth, and that they’re always trying to hide what they’re doing from other people, but they will nevertheless revel in this, thinking to themselves, “Living like this is great. I’m constantly pulling the wool over other people’s eyes, but they can’t do the same to me. I’m nearly always satisfied as far as my own interests, pride, status, and vanity go. Things go according to my plans, flawlessly, seamlessly, and no one can see through them.” Is that sort of person willing to be honest? They aren’t. They see their craftiness and crookedness as positive things. They cherish them and are reluctant to discard them. They believe, “This is the only comfortable way to live, this is the right path in life. Only living like this makes me a real person, makes me perfect, makes me worth something, makes me distinguished, inspires envy in others, and makes them look up to me. If I were an honest person, I would have to tell people everything, just as the Lord Jesus said: ‘But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no’ (Matthew 5:37). People like that are as transparent as glass; they let others totally see through them, they let others manipulate them in everything while they’re incapable of manipulating others. There’s no way I’m going to be like that!” Would someone like that be able to let go of their own deceitfulness? No matter how long they’ve believed in God, how many truths they’ve heard, and how much of the way of the truth they’ve understood, such people will never truly follow God. They will never gladly follow God, for they would have to give up so much in order to do so. They think that having faith in God means just believing in a religion, being a believer in name only, doing a few good deeds, and having something to give them spiritual sustenance, that’s all. They don’t think they need to pay a price that could in any way impact their own interests, or that they need give anything up. This much is good enough for them, they’re satisfied with this, and this kind of faith is simply great. Will such people be able to gain the truth in the end? (They cannot.) Why is that? They have no love for positive things, they do not yearn for the light, and they do not love the way of God or the truth. They love, venerate, and cherish evil—they cherish negative things. What they venerate, admire, pursue and yearn for in their hearts is not to be someone who is possessed of the truth, nor someone beloved by God, but to be someone who appears, on the outside, to do good deeds. They want what they have concocted in their minds, and any desire or scheme of theirs, to be able to bring off their deception in secret, to pull the wool over the eyes of everyone they meet, so that no one can see through them. They want to be able to insinuate themselves with perfect ease into any crowd, to ply all manner of tricks, stratagems, and tactics with consummate artistry, and to be greeted with adoration and welcome wherever they go. That’s the kind of person they want to be. What sort of way is this? This is the way of demons. It is not the way taken by a true human being. In order to con people out of their personal trust, to give them a good feeling and a false illusion, they use Satan’s worldly philosophies, its logic, the direction in which it aims its actions and the principles governing its actions; they use every ploy, every ruse, in every setting. This is not the path that ought to be walked by people who believe in God; its final end is not just that they will not be saved, but that they will meet with punishment. It will be this kind of destination—of this there cannot be the slightest doubt.
—“Belief in Religion Will Never Lead to Salvation” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days