1. What an honest person is and why God requires people to be honest
Relevant Words of God:
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.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Three Admonitions
I take pleasure in those who are not suspicious of others, and I like those who readily accept the truth; toward these two kinds of people I show great care, for in My eyes they are honest people. 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
I have held man to a strict standard throughout. If your loyalty comes with intentions and conditions, then I would rather be without your so-called loyalty, for I abhor those who deceive Me through their intentions and extort Me with conditions. I wish only for man to be absolutely loyal to Me, and to do all things for the sake of—and in order to prove—one word: faith. I despise your use of blandishments to try to make Me rejoice, for I have always treated you with sincerity, and so wish for you to also act with true faith toward Me.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Are You a True Believer in God?
What are the expressions of an honest person? The crux of the matter is to practice the truth in all things. If you say you are honest, but you always put God’s words to the back of your mind and do whatever you want, then is this an expression of an honest person? You say, “My caliber is low, but I am honest at heart.” When a duty falls to you, however, you are afraid of suffering or that if you do not fulfill it well, you will have to bear the responsibility, so you make excuses to shirk it and recommend others to do it. Is this an expression of an honest person? It clearly is not. How, then, should an honest person behave? They should accept and obey, and then be utterly devoted in doing their duties to the best of their ability, striving to meet God’s will. This is expressed in several ways. One way is that you should accept your duty with honesty, not think about anything else, and not be half-hearted about it. Do not plot for your own benefit. This is an expression of honesty. Another way is putting all your strength and heart into it. You say, “This is everything I can do; I will put it all into play, and dedicate it completely to God.” Is this not an expression of honesty? You dedicate all you have and all you can do—this is an expression of honesty. If you are unwilling to dedicate all you have, if you keep it hidden and tucked away, are slippery in your actions, evade your duty and get someone else to do it because you are afraid of having to bear the consequences for not doing a good job, then is this being honest? No, it is not. Being an honest person, therefore, is not merely a matter of having a desire. If you do not put it into practice when things befall you, then you are not an honest person. When you encounter issues, you must practice the truth and have practical expressions. This is the only way to be an honest person, and only these are the expressions of an honest heart. Some people feel that to be an honest person, it is enough to just speak the truth and not tell lies. Is the definition of being honest really so narrow? Absolutely not. You must reveal your heart and give it to God; this is the attitude an honest person ought to have. Therefore, honesty is so very precious. What is the implication here? It is that this heart is able to control your behavior and control your states. This heart is so precious. If you have this sort of honesty, then you should live in this sort of state, exhibit this sort of behavior, and have this sort of expenditure.
—“People Can Only Truly Be Happy by Being Honest” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
If you have believed in God for many years, and, the more people come in contact with you, the more they think you are honest—honest in your words, honest with others, and honest in performing your duties, that is, you are a clear and transparent person, transparent in your words and deeds; and if, through what you do and say, through the views you express, through the duties you perform, and through your honest attitude when you talk to others, others can see through to your heart, your character, and your disposition and pursuit, as well as your innermost aspirations and goals, and see that you are an honest person, then you are an honest person. If you have believed in God and performed your duty for quite a while, but people feel that you are not transparent in your speech and cannot tell exactly your views, and when you do things, they cannot see your heart or your innermost intentions and purposes; and you are a secretive person, very good at concealing yourself, at wrapping yourself up, at disguising yourself and packaging yourself well; and others, having had contact with you for several years, still cannot see through to your heart, but can only get a feel for your temper and character, and know whether you have an explosive temper or are phlegmatic, or whether you are a yes-man—if they can see only your character but cannot see what the essence of your deepest disposition is, then you are in trouble. What does this prove? It proves that your heart is still being controlled by Satan, that you have not gained even the slightest bit of truth, and that your corrupt disposition has not been purified at all. It is very hard for such a person to be saved. Despite the fact that they are evasive and can talk circles around others, and are smart and quick-witted, and they are good at interpersonal interaction, whoever works with them always gets a feeling of uncertainty, of unreliability, of untrustworthiness—a sense that they are not to be trusted. People who work with them feel that there seems to be more to them than meets the eye, something inscrutable. This is not a true believer in God.
—“Only by Being Honest Can One Live Out a True Human Likeness” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
Why has God always emphasized that people should be honest? Because it is so important, and it directly relates to whether or not you can be saved. Some people say: “I’m arrogant, self-righteous, I’m quick-tempered, I often expose my naturalness, I’m superficial and vain, I love making people laugh, I always want the approval of others….” These are all mere trifles. Do not always go on talking about them. Regardless of your disposition or personality, as long as you are able to be honest as God requires, you can be saved. So what do you say, is it important to be honest? This is the most important thing, and so it is that in the passage of God’s words, Three Admonitions, God talks about being honest. Despite the fact that God talks about how to live in the spirit, how to live a normal spiritual life, or how to live a proper church life, or how to live out normal humanity in other texts, nowhere does He explicitly tell people what kind of person to be, or how to practice—but in talking about being honest, He shows people a path, and tells them how to put it into practice; this is very explicit. 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. What do you say, is being honest important? (Yes.) What God wants are people who are honest. If you are capable of lies and deception, you are a deceitful, crooked, and sinister person, and 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 have not changed into someone who is honest, and you say you are already very devout, that you are not arrogant or self-righteous, that you are well able to pay a price, or that you can spread the gospel and bring many people to God. But you are not honest, and you are still deceitful, and have not changed at all. Can you be saved? (No.) And so these words of God remind every one of us that, to be saved, we must first of all be honest in accordance with the words and requirements of God. We must open ourselves up, lay bare our corrupt dispositions, be able to lay bare our motives and secrets, and search for the way of the light.
—“The Most Fundamental Practice of Being an Honest Person” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
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 tells people not to be deceitful, but to be honest, to speak honestly and do honest things. The significance of God saying this is to allow people to have a true human likeness, so that they do not have the likeness of Satan, who speaks like a snake slithering along the ground, always equivocating, obfuscating the truth of the matter. That is, it is said so that people, in both word or deed, can live a life that is dignified and upright, without a dark side, without anything shameful, with a clean heart, with what is outside in harmony with what is inside; they say whatever they think in their heart and they don’t cheat anyone or cheat God, keeping nothing back, with their heart like a piece of pure land. This is God’s objective by requiring people to be honest people.
—“Man Is the Greatest Beneficiary of God’s Management Plan” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
Only if people seek to be honest can they know how deeply corrupted they are and whether or not they have any human likeness; 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 recognize their own nature essence, and only then can 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 never be gained by God. Likewise, you will never gain the truth, and will also be incapable of gaining God. If you cannot gain God and you do not understand the truth, then what does this mean? It means that you are hostile to God, you are incompatible with Him, and He is not your God. And if God is not your God, then you cannot attain salvation. 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. There is a sign that marks those who shall ultimately be gained by God. 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.” Who are “they”? They are those who are perfected and gained by God, and are saved. How does God describe these people? What are the characteristics and the expressions of their actions? (They are without blemish. They speak no lies.) You should all understand and grasp what speaking no lies means: It means being honest. What does it mean to be without blemish? How does God define someone who is without blemish? Those without blemish are able to fear God and shun evil; they are the ones who can abide by God’s way. Such people are perfect in God’s eyes; they are without blemish.
—“Six Indicators of Life Growth” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days