30. Why one must be an honest person in order to attain salvation
Words of Almighty God of the Last Days
My kingdom requires those who are honest, those who are not hypocritical or deceitful. Are not the sincere and honest people unpopular in the world? I am just the opposite. It is acceptable for the honest people to come to Me; I delight in this kind of person, and I also need this kind of person. This is precisely My righteousness.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Utterances of Christ in the Beginning, Chapter 33
You ought to know that God likes those who are honest. 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
Why does God always stress that people should be honest? Because being honest is very important—it has a direct bearing on whether or not a person can submit to God and whether or not they can attain salvation. Some people say: “I’m arrogant and self-righteous, and I often get angry and reveal corruption.” Others say: “I’m very shallow, and vain, and I love it when people flatter me.” These are all things that are visible to people from the outside, and they are not big problems. You should not keep going on about them. No matter what your disposition or character is, as long as you are able to be an honest person as God requires, you can be saved. So, what do you say? Is it important to be honest? This is the most important thing, which is why God talks about being honest in the chapter of His words, Three Admonitions. In other chapters, He mentions frequently that believers should have a normal spiritual life and a proper church life, and He describes how they should live out a normal humanity. His words on these matters are general; they are not discussed too specifically or in too much detail. However, when God speaks about being honest, He points out the path for people to follow. He tells people how to practice, and He speaks with ample detail and clarity. God says: “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.” Being honest relates to attaining salvation. So, what do you say, why does God demand that people be honest? This touches on the truth of human comportment. God saves honest people, and those He wants for His kingdom are honest people. If you are capable of lies and trickery, you are a deceitful, crooked, and insidious person; you are not an honest person. If you are not an honest person, then there is no chance that God will save you, nor can you possibly be saved. You say that you are very pious now, that you are not arrogant or self-righteous, that you are able to pay a price when performing your duty, or that you can spread the gospel and convert many people. But you are not honest, you are still deceitful, and you have not changed at all, so can you be saved? Absolutely not. And so these words of God remind everyone that, to be saved, they must first be honest in accordance with the words and requirements of God. They must open themselves up, lay bare their corrupt dispositions, their intents and secrets, and seek the way of the light.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. The Most Fundamental Practice of Being an Honest Person
Being an honest person means being a person with conscience and reason. It means being someone who is trustworthy, someone whom God loves, and someone who can practice the truth and love God. Being an honest person is the most fundamental manifestation of possessing normal humanity and living out a true human likeness. If someone has never been honest, or considered being honest, then they cannot understand the truth, much less can they gain the truth. If you don’t believe Me, go and see for yourself, or go and experience this for yourself. Only by being an honest person can your heart be open to God, can you accept the truth, can the truth become your life, and can you understand and gain the truth. If your heart is always closed, if you don’t open up or say what is in your heart to anyone, such that no one can understand you, then your walls are too thick, and you are the most deceitful of people. If you believe in God yet cannot purely open yourself up to God, if you can lie to God or exaggerate to deceive God, if you are incapable of opening your heart to God, and can still speak in circles and hide your intentions, then you will only harm yourself, and God will ignore you and not work in you. You won’t understand any of the truth, and you won’t gain any of the truth. Now can you see the importance of pursuing and gaining the truth? What is the first thing you should do to pursue the truth? You should be an honest person. Only if people seek to be honest can they know how deeply corrupted they are, whether or not they really have any human likeness, and clearly take their own measure or see their deficiencies. Only when they are practicing honesty can they become aware of how many lies they tell and how deeply hidden their deceit and dishonesty are. Only while having the experience of practicing being honest can people gradually come to know the truth of their own corruption and know their own nature essence, and only then will their corrupt dispositions be constantly purified. Only in the course of their corrupt dispositions being constantly purified will people be able to gain the truth. Take your time experiencing these words. God does not perfect those who are deceitful. If your heart is not honest—if you are not an honest person—then you will not be gained by God. Likewise, you will not gain the truth, and will also be incapable of gaining God. What does it mean if you do not gain God? If you do not gain God and you have not understood the truth, then you will not know God, and so there will be no way you can be compatible with God, in which case you are the enemy of God. If you are incompatible with God, God is not your God; and if God is not your God, you cannot be saved. If you do not seek to attain salvation, why do you believe in God? If you cannot attain salvation, you will forever be a bitter enemy of God, and your outcome will be set. Thus, if people wish to be saved, then they must start by being honest. In the end, those who are gained by God are marked with a sign. Do you know what it is? It is written in Revelation, in the Bible: “And in their mouth was found no lie; they are without blemish” (Revelation 14:5). Who are “they”? They are those who are saved, perfected and gained by God. How does God describe these people? What are the characteristics and expressions of their conduct? They are without blemish. They speak no lies. You can probably all understand and grasp what speaking no lies means: It means being honest. What does “without blemish” refer to? It means doing no evil. And what foundation is doing no evil built on? Without any doubt, it is built upon the foundation of fearing God. To be unblemished, therefore, means to fear God and shun evil. How does God define someone without blemish? In God’s eyes, only those who fear God and shun evil are perfect; thus, people who are unblemished are those who fear God and shun evil, and only those who are perfect are unblemished. This is totally correct. … If you feel like you have already experienced growth, but your lies have not decreased at all, and you are basically the same as an unbeliever, then is this a normal manifestation of entering into the truth reality? (No.) When someone has entered into the truth reality, they will at the very least speak much fewer lies; they will basically be an honest person. If you lie too much and your words are too adulterated, this proves that you have not changed at all, and you are not yet an honest person. If you are not an honest person, then you do not have life entry, and so what growth can you experience? Your corrupt disposition is still intact, and you are an unbeliever and a devil.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Six Indicators of Life Growth
That God asks for people to be honest proves that He truly loathes and dislikes deceitful people. God’s dislike of deceitful people is a dislike of their way of doing things, their dispositions, their intents and their methods of trickery; God dislikes all of these things. If deceitful people are able to accept the truth, admit to their deceitful dispositions, and are willing to accept God’s salvation, then they too have a hope of being saved—for God treats all people equally, as does the truth. And so, if we wish to become people who please God, the first thing we must do is change our principles of comportment. No longer can we live according to satanic philosophies, no longer can we get by on lies and trickery. We must cast off all our lies and become honest people. Then God’s view of us will change. Previously, people always relied on lies, pretense, and trickery while living among others, and used satanic philosophies as the basis of their existence, their lives, and the foundation for their comportment. This was something that God despised. Among unbelievers, if you speak frankly, tell the truth, and are an honest person, then you will be slandered, judged, and forsaken. So you follow worldly trends and live by satanic philosophies; you become more and more skilled at lying, and more and more deceitful. You also learn to use insidious means to achieve your goals and protect yourself. You become more and more prosperous in Satan’s world, and as a result, you fall deeper and deeper into sin until you cannot extricate yourself. In God’s house, things are precisely the opposite. The more you lie and play deceitful games, the more God’s chosen people will become sick of you and forsake you. If you refuse to repent and still cling to satanic philosophies and logic, if you use ploys and elaborate schemes to disguise and package yourself, then you are very likely to be revealed and cast out. This is because God hates deceitful people. Only honest people can prosper in God’s house, and deceitful people will eventually be forsaken and cast out. All of this is preordained by God. Only honest people can have a share in the kingdom of heaven. If you do not try to be an honest person, and if you don’t experience and practice in the direction of pursuing the truth, if you don’t expose your own ugliness, and if you don’t lay yourself bare, then you will never be able to receive the Holy Spirit’s work and gain God’s approval.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. The Most Fundamental Practice of Being an Honest Person
How Will One’s Fate Work Out in the End?