8. What is the difference between an honest person and a deceitful person?
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. What I say is very simple, but to you it is doubly arduous. Many 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 well understand the great difficulty you face in trying to be an honest man. You’re all terribly clever and adept at taking the measure of a gentleman with your own petty little yardstick; this being so, My work becomes much simpler. And since you each hug your secrets to your bosom, well then, I shall send you, one by one, into disaster to undergo a “trial” by fire, so that thereafter you may become utterly committed to belief in My words. Finally, I shall wrest from your mouth the words “God is a God of faithfulness,” whereupon you shall beat upon your breast and lament that “devious is the heart of man.”
from “Three Admonitions” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
I very much appreciate those who harbor no suspicion about others and I also very much like those who readily accept the truth; to these two kinds of men I show great care, for in My eyes they are honest men. If you are very deceitful, then you will have a guarded heart and thoughts of suspicion regarding all matters and all men. For this reason, your faith in Me is built upon a foundation of suspicion. This manner of faith is one I shall never acknowledge. Lacking genuine faith, you will be even further from real love. And if you are able to doubt God and speculate about Him at will, then you are beyond doubt the most deceitful of men.
from “How to Know the God on Earth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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.
from “Three Admonitions” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Being honest is simple, your thoughts and mind aren’t that complex—but when you’re deceitful, you always have to be evasive. Which takes longer: the roundabout path, or the direct one? The roundabout one, certainly. With water pipes, if the pipe is straight the water comes out directly, it’s easy, it’s not hard to get water. But if you run water through a pipe with several bends in it, does the water not come out more slowly? Going slowly takes more effort. More effort makes people feel it’s redundant, and redundancy makes people feel disgusted. And so deceitful people themselves also feel tired; always being deceitful is tiring. Do you know how far some people even go when they’re being deceitful? They fight with everyone. And to what extent? It gets so they can’t sleep at night, which is because fighting all day is so exhausting, and wears them down mentally. What do you say, when things have gotten to that point, how deceitful is this person? If they were honest, there’s no way they’d be mentally exhausted and unable to sleep at night. Living life as an honest person isn’t tiring: They say whatever’s on their mind, they reveal whatever they’re thinking, and they act upon whatever they’re thinking in their mind, seeking God’s will in everything they do and acting according to God’s will. There may be things about them that are ignorant, so in the future they must be wiser, and must constantly grow. But deceitful people rely on their own philosophy, things, and substance to live. They’re not like those who are honest; they have to be cautious in everything they do lest others will have something on them, they have to use their own means, their own deceitful and crooked manipulation to protect and cover up their true face in everything they do. Sooner or later they’ll show their true colors, and when they do they try to turn things around. When they try to say something to turn things around, there are times when it’s not so easy, and when they can’t, they start getting anxious. They’re afraid that others will see through them; when that happens, they feel they’ve shamed themselves, and when they’re ashamed they have to think of ways to say something to retrieve the situation. Isn’t going back and forth like this tiring? They have to think all of it over in their minds; if they didn’t, where would these words come from? If you are honest, and are without motivations or intentions, then you will act in a frank manner and have nothing that cannot be brought to light. But people who are deceitful always harbor intentions in the words they say and the things they do, and as soon as they’re exposed, they think up ways to turn things around, when they’ll give you another false impression, making you misunderstand the matter yet again, which makes them exhausted. Living with them you feel just how silly it is for them to act in this way, and it’s pointless to say so. There’s actually no need for them to explain to you, you don’t think it’s important, but they keep explaining and explaining, trying to retrieve the situation. You get fed up of listening to them, so in order to forbear with them, in order to give them some face and let them off the hook, you are forced to be tolerant and patient toward them, and they think to themselves: Look how I always have to say things that are honest; if I didn’t have to explain these things to you it wouldn’t be so tiring. In their minds, they always have to think about how to prevent you misunderstanding them, how to get you to listen to what they’re saying and regard what they’re doing in a way that achieves the aims of their motivations. And so they go over and over it in their head: When they can’t sleep at night they think about it; during the day, if they can’t eat they’re thinking about it; during discussions with others they deliberate it. They’re always putting on a front, so that you don’t think they’re like that, so that you think they’re good, or that that’s not what they meant.
from “To Be Honest, You Should Lay Yourself Open to Others” in Records of Christ’s Talks
A deceitful person plies his tricks on anybody, including his relatives—even his children. No matter how forthright you are with him, he will seek to play games with you. This is the true face of his nature, and 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 honest and does things honestly without taking unfair advantage of others in his dealings with them. When he speaks with others, he does not say things intentionally to test them; he is still fairly honest and can open up his heart and communicate with others. Everyone says he is an honest person, but there are still times when he speaks with some deceitfulness. That is simply the manifestation of the corrupt disposition and does not represent his nature because he is not that type of person.
from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks
The Man’s Fellowship:
Normal humanity is that which was given to people in God’s first creation of human beings. Although these early people did not possess the truth and seemed a little ignorant and naive, unable to withstand Satan’s deceptions, they did not have a corrupt disposition, and did not have any of Satan’s poisons. Normal humanity’s faculties are conscience and sense, kindheartedness, a lack of malice, simplicity, innocence, honesty, and a love of listening to God’s voice and of being close to God. Normal humanity also consists of normal human needs and the normal patterns of human life. These are the manifestations of normal humanity. After humanity was corrupted by Satan, people became afraid of God, avoiding God, even resisting God, betraying God. People began to foster maliciousness, jealousy, and could even kill for the chance of material gain, becoming more and more corrupt, more and more evil, creating all kinds of maliciousness, selfishness, greed, treachery, fraud, and wickedness. After these poisons of Satan became human nature, human beings lost normal humanity, displaying only satanic nature. This is humanity after Satan’s corruption, already vastly different from the original humans with the faculties of normal humanity. … The essence of normal humanity is honesty and kindheartedness, the essence of corrupted humanity is treachery and malice; this is the essential difference between honest people and deceitful ones.
from “Results That Can Be Achieved by a Genuine Understanding of the Truth” in Collection of Sermons—Supply for Life
If people are not honest, God is not pleased with them, and they will not stand among the crowd; honest people are not only liked by God, but also liked by people. Why do people like honest people? Some people say that honest people are trustworthy, this is one point. When you associate with them, your heart is calm and steady; you have no doubts, no anxieties about future troubles, you do not worry that they will try and deceive you or harm you. The main thing is that honest people try to help others, they open their hearts to others, they help others to profit. God loves honest people, because in believing in God honest people love the truth, and can practice the truth; thus the Holy Spirit works on them. When the Holy Spirit works on honest people, they will gain God’s grace, they can understand the truth, they can live in the way of a genuine person; thus, people like honest people. Besides, associating with honest people one can also learn how to conduct oneself; it allows you to learn how to behave, how to act, how to practice the truth, and finally you can, together with them, live out the likeness of a normal person, live in the style of a normal person. So why do people dislike crafty people? Why does God despise crafty people? What are the degenerate behaviors of crafty people? What is their nature and essence? What can they bring people? Try to understand this! For a crooked, crafty person, what is the essence of their corrupt disposition? It is extremely selfish. What is the meaning of selfish? It means that everything is for themselves, they do not consider others, they seek only their own pleasures, they do not care whether others live or die. Is this kind of person not the most selfish and despicable person? (Yes.) So you tell me, if someone is not an honest person, and he wields power in the church, will God’s chosen people gain any benefit? He does not consider whether or not God’s chosen people can obtain truth, whether or not their eating and drinking God’s words will bear fruit, whether or not God’s chosen people can enter reality, whether or not God’s chosen people can enter onto the right track of faith in God, whether or not they can be saved. What he considers is, “As long as I have pleasure, I have status, I stand out from everyone else, I have control over everybody, and I’m satisfied, then it’s ok!” As long as his own fleshly desires are attained then he is finished with his business, he does not consider the conditions of God’s chosen people. Is this not the main essence of a crafty person? Then are crafty people interested in only themselves? (Yes.) So crafty people’s core essence is self-centeredness, seeking fleshly enjoyment for themselves, not caring about the feelings of others. So we now look at those false leaders and antichrists, are they the most crafty people? They are self-centered in all respects; they do not consider the interests of God’s chosen people. Whatever the church has that is good they enjoy it first; whichever role has high status and great power, they are the first to seize it. Is this kind of person not the most selfish? The most selfish person is the most crafty, the most insincere person, is this correct to say? Take a good father and mother, of which aspect of them are the children most admiring and approving? The main thing is that they are not self-centered, they live only for their children, they give everything to their children, everything they do is for their children, so children love this kind of father and mother. Do you think a good father and mother treat their children with wholeheartedness and sincerity? (They do.)
To be an honest person, what should one possess? His words and deeds must allow others to benefit, he should not be self-centered, but consider others most of the time. Thus he can show consideration to God’s intentions, forsake his own flesh, endure suffering, and resign himself to parting with what he treasures to satisfy God. On the inside an honest person loves people, and because he loves people, he can love God; on the inside a crafty person loves himself, and everything he does is for himself. An honest person is not selfish, “If you have difficulties then I can help you; if you do not understand the truth then I can communicate with you, I can communicate everything I have, everything I understand with you.” He selflessly helps others, seeking neither reward nor repayment. A crafty person, if he does one good thing for you he will remember it for life, and if one day you do not repay him he will stare at you fixedly, with the meaning “You still owe me, when will you pay me back? Where is your conscience?” If a crafty person does one deed for another, he will forever remember it in his heart, seemingly as though the other owes him a great deal, which is never completed over a lifetime. Is this the feature of a crafty person? You look at a good leader, they have an extremely good heart, they are kind, what is their distinguishing feature? It is that they are honest. A bad person, false leader, extremely bad, what is his distinguishing feature? It is craftiness and selfishness. Because he is so selfish, he is crafty. If a person is so honest, they can love others, and can help others. The distinguishing feature of a good person is honesty; the distinguishing feature of an evil person is craftiness and selfishness. …
Do you think that good people sound good when they speak, or crafty people sound good? When you look at all people in the world, he who has the best sounding words, that person is guaranteed to be the most crafty. The person who speaks straightforwardly, and doesn’t sound good to you, that person is relatively honest, he is perhaps a good person, he can help you. Is this measurement correct? The disposition that God makes known in His work of the last days is righteous, majestic, wrathful; we can see that God’s words are straightforward, hitting the nail on the head! Because God’s words go straight to the heart of the matter, directly making known people’s nature and the real truth of Satan, some people cannot accept it, and have notions; some people even think this is cursing people. In fact, this is not cursing people, it is exposing the truth of things. You can’t accept it now, wait until one day when you truly come to know yourself in God’s words; you will feel as though you are truly a devil, truly dirt, truly Satan. At that time you will feel God’s words are truth, they are not cursing people, much less making digs at people. So the more the words are direct, not crooked, tactful, nice to listen to, or refined, the more they are spoken by honest people, and the more they are practical. The more pleasant language is to hear, the more it contains Satan’s cunning schemes. There is a proverb that goes “honeyed words and a sword in the belly,” it is this meaning. All those who can say things gently, and also very tactfully, and make people misunderstand, they are all very treacherous people. This kind of person has belligerent intentions, they pay attention to decoration and dressing themselves up, and pay close attention to their own image. All those who pay close attention to their own image, their disposition can be described in a few words; what are they? Extremely superficial, hypocritical, good at pretense. So people who are good at pretense must choose the appropriate words; firstly, they must be careful about their manner of language; secondly, they must be careful about their style of language; thirdly, they must also be careful about decoration. Thus the more people belong to Satan, the more treacherously, the more cunningly they speak. There are presently a few special figures who practice language to such a degree that they speak some things and leave you unable to learn; the meaning can be faintly heard, but even if you want to tell it you cannot, what does this explain? This kind of person is extremely crafty, they expend much thinking on their language, so they utter a kind of language that can only be half-understood. However, you cannot pick the problem, you want to learn but you cannot, you cannot grasp the evidence. This person who belongs to Satan spends so much effort on language, is this not an extremely crafty person? (It is.)
from “Only Being an Honest Person Is a True Human Likeness” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (XIII)
Honest people pursue the truth because they love the truth. What about dishonest people? They do not love the truth. They like doctrines. They like to explain things to people and do things for people. They like to show off. So, they focus on speaking. Isn’t this being a phony person? Isn’t this being a crafty person? Crafty people are concerned about their outward appearance. Just like the Pharisees, they prayed so that others could see them. They prayed in intersections so that everyone could see them, so that people everywhere could see them. They appeared to be so devout on the outside! But what were they actually doing? They were being total cheats and total phonies. Honest people love the truth. When in the presence of God, they do not have any other thoughts except for seeking the truth, grasping God’s will, and having a willingness to satisfy God. They don’t harbor all kinds of cunning plots, they do not have so many selfish and despicable ideas. They have pure hearts. In everything, they just ponder over this one thought: “How can I satisfy God? What is God’s true will?” If they don’t understand, they pray continuously and ponder over it continuously until they have figured it out. Aren’t people like this honest people? Honest people love the truth, so they will surely pursue the truth. In their prayers before God, they do not ask for anything else besides pursuing and seeking the truth. If you ask them to not seek the truth or to not grasp God’s will in their prayers, they will feel they have nothing to say, for they feel that these are the only things that they can do before God, they feel that it is pointless and hollow to do anything else besides these things. They are not willing to do false things. Those crafty people are not like this. They are always boasting and showing off before God, speaking of their own reasoning, displaying their abilities, and showing off their achievements. In fact, everything they do is for others to see, they want others to approve them, praise them and listen to them. All those who do not seek truth, who do not pursue grasping God’s will, who do not thirst for the truth, are crafty people, phony people, hypocritical people….
from “The Ten Aspects One Must Practice and Enter Into To Be an Honest Person” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (V)