All those who have experienced God’s end-time work for several years have known that mankind has been corrupted by satan so deeply that they do not have any likeness of a real man, none of them has man’s conscience and sense, and they all believe in God yet cheat God and serve God yet resist God. Corrupt mankind resists God in everything they do. All men often lie, cheat, and pretend, are perfunctory and careless, have a mind to deceive, and make complaints and rebel against God. Men cannot be seen to have true obedience, cannot be seen to practice the truth, cannot be seen to have faithfulness, much less seen to have true love for God. It can be seen that men do not have true repentance while believing in God, and they all are hypocrites and are people who practice religious rituals and cheat God. Whenever God’s work does not fit their notions, they pass judgment on it. They disobey and resist God in every respect, and even if they consecrate themselves and spend for God, it is for the purpose of receiving blessings. And in performing their duty, they perform it completely according to their own will and treat God perfunctorily and deceitfully, and they do not have true obedience, much less care for God’s will. When they are pruned and dealt with, they are still not convinced in their hearts, looking for excuses to oppose, to judge, and to disobey and resist God, and can even speak contrary to the fact and confound black and white, and at the same time they can restrain others from telling the truth and uncovering the real situation, for fear that the bad things they have done will be exposed and they will be eliminated by God’s family. Everyone who has performed some duty for God’s family is scrambling for the crown, dreaming to receive reward from God. It can be seen that mankind has been corrupted so deeply that they are unreasonable. Disobeying and resisting God so much and having no humanity, corrupt mankind still is waiting eagerly to be raptured into the kingdom of heaven. This is simply the biggest joke in the world. If mankind really has conscience, why can they not realize they still have these corruptions while believing in God? Are they who do not know God at all, much less obey God, people who have been saved? Can they be raptured into God’s kingdom? Is the kingdom of heaven so easy to enter into? If those who do not know God at all and yet still can resist and condemn God’s work and those who, when hearing the truth expressed by God, still can crucify God again and still can be filled with notions about God and even blaspheme God, can all be raptured into the kingdom, where will God’s righteousness be? And where will God’s holiness be? After believing in God, people have no true repentance, yet they expect to enter into the kingdom of God; this is completely the extravagant desire and wishful thinking of corrupt mankind. The whole religious world is expecting its dreams to come true. It is too unrealistic.
Then what really is true repentance? Do people think that they have repented as long as they do not drink wine, do not play mahjong, do not commit adultery, do not strike or revile others, do not steal or rob, and do not murder or seek revenge after believing in God? Do people think that they have repented as long as they can perform their duty and spend for God after believing in God? Do people think that they have repented as long as they do not steal sacrifices or covet the money of God’s family? Do people think that they have repented as long as they can accept God’s end-time work and do not rebel against God, openly resist God, or blaspheme God? If people really think that repentance is so simple, they go completely against God’s will and are absolutely wrong. The repentance that God requires of people refers to their casting off sin and casting off the corrupt disposition, and refers to their living out the likeness of a real man. Being somewhat zealous for God does not represent true repentance; being able to do service for God’s family with a bargaining mind also does not represent true repentance; all those who can often disobey and resist God have no true repentance. In fact, among the believers in God, there is no one who can truly obey God and no one who is faithful to God, much less is there anyone who truly loves God, worships God, and shuns evil; and it is not easy even to find an honest person who can perform his duty conscientiously to God without perfunctoriness and carelessness. True repentance refers entirely to starting a new life. If corrupt mankind will be saved as long as they believe in God and do some good things, then God would not need to do the work of judging and chastising man in the end time. Considering the various manifestations of people’s believing in God now, none of them have truly repented. This is because although they believe in God, they all can lie to deceive God; in performing their duty, they all can be perfunctory and careless and cheat God; they still can speak contrary to facts and confound black and white; they still can treat God with craftiness in their hearts; they still can often disobey and resist God, unable to truly obey God; and they are always in danger of rebelling against God. How can this be true repentance? To truly repent, one has to begin by being an honest person. Only this is according to God’s requirement, because only an honest person has a normal humanity, and one must possess a normal humanity before he can live before God, before he can serve God normally, and before he can perform the duty of a created being normally. So, corrupt mankind has to start a new life to truly repent, has to be an honest person to truly repent. This is fully after God’s heart.
Only being an honest person is the most fundamental manifestation of repentance; everyone can attain it as long as he is willing to try hard to pursue the truth, and accept the judgment, chastisement, pruning, and dealing from God. Being an honest person is what one should at least possess to succeed in believing in God. If one cannot even be an honest person, then he will not even have a hope of being saved. Judas, the betrayer of Jesus, was a very crafty man. He always stole the Lord’s money and reaped profits from the Lord. So, the Holy Spirit delivered him to satan, and he became the betrayer of the Lord and thus was cursed. If one believes in God but does not have true repentance, he can never be saved. People must know what true repentance is. If one, after believing in God, does some good things as his gift to God, this only represents his sincerity in believing in God but cannot represent that he has repented. True repentance refers to starting a new life. Only if one is an honest person can he be accepted by God, whereas the transformation of one’s life disposition is the ultimate result of God’s work. A change in one’s humanity, that is, being what kind of person and not being what kind of person, can certainly be achieved by one’s efforts, or at least one can achieve some change to meet the minimum standard. For example: Some people are very cruel to their wives and beat them whenever they want to; this can be changed. Some people have no patience in teaching their children and often treat them roughly; this can be changed. Some people often cheat the brothers and sisters, always speak false and masking words, and cannot get along with them normally; this can be changed.
True repentance is to give up wrong doings, forsake the flesh, and practice the truth. In the past, we always said pleasant words and deceitful words to God, treating God with craftiness and lies, and in performing our duty, we were always perfunctory and careless and cheated God; these can certainly be changed as well. Repentance is to give up wrong doings and treat God with the conscience and sense of a normal man as Abraham and Job did. Of course, to be a totally honest person, one indeed needs to strive for several years before he can succeed. If one, in pursuing to be an honest person, cannot even meet the standard for being a man, he has no true repentance, and he cannot possibly be saved. Most people have believed in God for years, but they have not changed much, and their entire being is still essentially a corrupt man that belongs to satan. They are not much different from unbelievers, full of lies and deceits in their mouth and unable to get along with others normally; the only difference is that they say with their mouth that they believe in God. Isn’t this cheating God most grossly? If one believes in God but is not an honest person, he is definitely a person who cheats God and is still a human being who resists God. How can such a human being be left alive? In the Age of the Grace, this word was often spoken about: Only if one truly repents and is born again can he enter into the kingdom of God. God works in the end time just to accomplish this fact; only if one is an honest person can he be saved by God and be perfected by God. Whether one can be saved when believing in God does not depends on what duty he performs, nor on what quality he has, much less on what level of leader he is. If one cannot be an honest person, he is an irredeemable human being and will definitely be eliminated, for the ones God saves are honest people and the ones God perfects are also honest people. If one wants to be saved by God and be perfected by God, he has no other choice but to be an honest person; this is the only way to be saved. If one cannot be an honest person, he is bound to be a failure in belief in God. Only being an honest person is true repentance, and only if one is an honest person can he be saved by God and be made complete by God. There is no doubt about this.
God’s work in the end time is a work of saving people and transforming people. It is through judging and chastising people and pruning and dealing with people that God works the truth into them; only when people have understood the truth from the word of God will they begin to be purified and transformed and become the ones who are saved and perfected. In God’s work of saving people, God has required them several times to be an honest person, which has a direct bearing on their being saved and perfected. After being corrupted by satan, people all have completely lost their normal humanity. Their conscience and sense have gone altogether, their hearts have become more and more crafty, they are full of lies, are self-seeking, have no credibility, cheat and deceive each other, and guard against each other, and what they think about is only evil. They have completely lost the human likeness. Such human beings cannot be changed by whatever law or education. Mankind has been corrupted by satan so deeply that they themselves have no way to resolve their corruption. If God had not controlled mankind with retribution and punishment, they would have long turned the whole world upside down. Before destroying corrupt mankind, God does the work in the end time just to save some human beings who are redeemable. These redeemable human beings are the ones among the believers in God who can be an honest person, or at least the ones who can truly obey God rather than cheat God. Only such human beings can sincerely accept God’s judgment, chastisement, pruning, and dealing, can obey God’s work and accept all kinds of trials and refinings and submit to God’s every manipulation, and can accept and obey whatever God does or says. Only an honest person has a true faith in God, and one has to be an honest person so that he can be made complete by God and be gained by God and enter into God’s kingdom in the end. This is completely reasonable and just, and completely expresses God’s fairness and righteousness.
What is an honest person? God says: “To be honest means to give the heart to God, not to play false with him in anything, to be open with him in everything, not to hide the facts, not to be one who cheats those above and deludes those below, and not to do things of merely currying favor with God. In a word, to be honest means to do things and speak without impurity and not to cheat God or cheat others. However, what I am saying is very simple, but it is extremely difficult for you to do.” These words of God speak clearly concerning being an honest person. These few words seem very simple, but it is extremely difficult for people to practice them. This shows that mankind has been corrupted so deeply that it is hard for them even to live out a little bit of human likeness. If anyone does not believe this, he may have a try at experiencing being an honest person, and he will know how crafty corrupt mankind really is. Only if one is an honest person can he be simple and open and speak truthfully, can he speak and do things in a matter-of-fact way, can he give his heart to God, and can he truly obey God and worship God. Only such a person is one who has truly repented. All those who have experienced God’s work know that God cannot be mocked and God’s disposition does not tolerate man’s offense, and that if one is not an honest person, he cannot be accepted by God, much less serve God. If one is not an honest person, he can only cheat God and resist God. Even if he serves God, it is a very dangerous thing, and if he does not truly repent, he will be eliminated sooner or later. Then, to be an honest person, how should one experience and enter in? To practice being an honest person, one has to begin to enter in from four aspects: firstly, to enter in in prayer; secondly, to enter in in speaking truthfully and putting away lying; thirdly, to enter in in being able to be faithful to God in performing duty; fourthly, to enter in in giving the heart to God. If one can practice and enter in in all these four aspects and meet the requirements, he will be an honest person. The enterings in these four aspects are all very important, and none of them can be omitted. Whoever can make unremitting effort in them will, in only two or three years, bear fruit and achieve initial success and be able to possess some normal humanity and have some human likeness. When they have been perfected, they will completely be honest people. At that time, they will completely possess a normal humanity and will be able to sincerely worship God, they all will be able to obey God and will have a heart of fearing God, and they will not be deceived and corrupted by satan anymore. Will these not be the perfected ones?
To be an honest person, one has to have true entering in mainly in the following four aspects:
Firstly, one has to be an honest person in prayer. This is the gate of entering in. It is relatively easy for one to be an honest person in communicating with God, because every true believer in God has some fear of God in his heart and he can be somewhat restrained and can speak some genuine words. Therefore, if one first has a breakthrough and entering in in prayer, it will be easy for him to achieve results. People all acknowledge that corrupt human beings lie so much that even their every word is mixed with untrue things, so it cannot be denied that when they pray and communicate with God, they are also full of lies and craftiness. For example: When people pray, they often say nice words, yet they do not practice them; this is seriously cheating God. When people pray, they often consecrate themselves, yet in reality they still act willfully and recklessly and are still their own lords and masters; this is seriously cheating God. When people pray, they often say that they are corrupt, they have disobeyed and resisted God, and they belong to satan the devil, yet when confronted with the fact, they stubbornly refuse to admit it; this is seriously cheating God. When people pray, they are full of praises and singing, yet when they encounter trials, they are full of complaints in their mouth, and they even deny God, judge God, and blaspheme God; this is seriously cheating God. When people pray, they speak whatever is pleasant to hear in order to achieve their own ends, but in their practice, they only plan for themselves and do not have God in their heart; this is seriously cheating God. In a word, when people pray, they are full of lies, deceit, craftiness, and intents. It can be said that they are all experts and habitual offenders in cheating God, and are all absolute cheaters. According to people’s various kinds of deceit before God, I would ask: Do people still have any sincerity toward God? Is there still any honest person in the world? Do people still have any conscience and sense of a normal man? People can even practice craftiness and deceit on God like this, so can they be honest with others and not cheat them? Whether or not people have genuine and sincere prayers before God really reveals them. Crafty people do not have the working of the Holy Spirit precisely because they do not have genuine and sincere prayers. People’s crafty and deceitful prayers are too many! So, to be an honest person, it is most proper for one to begin by being an honest person in prayer. Then, how should he practice? First of all, he should pray and swear an oath to God: “O God! I have been corrupted by satan so deeply that I have become a habitual liar like satan the devil, and I even often speak false words to cheat you when I pray to you. Today I swear this oath to you: If I again speak any false word or any lie to cheat you, may you discipline me severely and punish me heavily; I will be willing to receive any punishment. I resolve to start a new life, to be an honest person after your heart, so that I can truly obey you and worship you!” After swearing the oath to God, he should begin to practice exercising to speak genuine words and words from the heart in prayer and pray to God completely according to the needs of the heart and spirit. When he feels that he should say a prayer to God, which comes completely and spontaneously from his heart and spirit and is the need of his heart, only then should he pray to God, praying whatever he thinks in his heart and praying whatever “demands” he has in his heart. This is a spontaneous and natural prayer, which is as real as life and without any artificial falsehood or pretense, and it is altogether the result of eating, drinking, and enjoying God’s word at ordinary times. In this kind of prayer, because one has needs within, he can naturally pray to God truthfully and speak whatever he wants to speak within. He only needs to be simple and open with God, telling God whatever he wants to speak in his heart. If he has no more words, he should not fabricate words or piece together words to pray; to pray to God is not to compose an essay. God listening to a person’s prayer does not depend on the multiplicity of his words, but on whether or not his words are honest and whether or not they issue from his heart and spirit; God listening to a person’s prayer only depends on whether or not the words he prays are genuine, without falsehood, and without mixture, and God loathes man’s false, hypocritical, and deceitful prayers the most. All words that do not issue from the heart and spirit are lies and false words and are words that cheat God; all those who can treat God perfunctorily and deceitfully and can cheat God in prayer are crafty people.
People can cheat God unscrupulously and unbridledly even before God; this shows that they do not know God and they treat God like a false god. How can such people be the ones who belong to God? Only satan, the devil, dares to cheat God openly and brazenly before God. Therefore, all those who can speak false words or lies to cheat God in prayer are not honest people, and they have completely lost the conscience and sense of a normal man. What people manifest in their prayers is the very likeness of the devil satan, but they are totally unaware of that, and they even think that they are very godly and are absolutely ones who live before God and that they cannot possibly cheat God. This shows that cheating God is already habitual and natural to people and has become their nature. If people’s prayers before God are dissected, they will all know their pitiable condition; otherwise, they all feel good about themselves and have no sense of shame. Most of the prayers of corrupt human beings have the nature of cheating God. Now, I will dissect their various kinds of prayers as follows: One kind of prayer is that because they encounter a difficulty and they need to ask God to do them a favor and need to use God and they can do nothing but plead with God, they pray to God and make a vow to consecrate themselves and speak a lot of words of praise. After their difficulty is solved, they act as if nothing has happened. Is such a “consecration” not a barefaced deceit? Another kind of prayer is that they speak in a roundabout way, disguising themselves and exalting themselves, as if all that they have done were after God’s heart and they could ask God to bless them. This is a prayer of appreciating themselves and attempting to obtain God’s blessing by deceit. Another kind of prayer is that because they were dealt with for performing their duty irresponsibly, they pour out their grievances to God, arguing unreasonably and disguising themselves with all their might and shifting the blame onto others, as if they had not done anything wrong. This is simply vindicating themselves to, arguing absurdly with, and opposing God. Another kind of prayer is that they justify themselves and exhibit themselves in every respect, telling God all the sufferings they have undergone and the works they have done for God’s family, as if their merits were very great and they could ask God to remember them. This kind of prayer is like recording merits for themselves first, for fear that God may forget them and they will thus lose God’s blessings. Still another kind of prayer is that they neither practice the truth at ordinary times nor seek God’s will when encountering things, and they have no obedience at all, yet they always praise God by saying vain words and pray some dead letters. This is totally a hypocritical prayer that cheats God. All these kinds of prayers have completely revealed people’s craftiness and deceitfulness, and they are purely prayers that cheat God, fool God, and resist God; people have not treated God as God at all; from their prayers, their crafty and deceitful nature can be seen. Whether one is a crafty person or an honest person can be seen from the words he prays to God. The prayers of an honest person are completely according to the sense of a normal man, he speaks honestly and unfeignedly, and his words are genuine words and true words and are absolutely true to the facts; the prayers of an honest person are prayers that care for God’s will and obey God, and they are certainly also prayers accepted by God. The prayers of a crafty person are all prayers that fool God and cheat God, are all prayers that resist God and disobey God, and are all prayers that make bargains with God. So, no matter how a crafty person prays to God, his prayers are loathed by God and can never be accepted by God. To be an honest person, one has to begin by being an honest person in prayer. This is the gate of entering in in being an honest person. Only if one can be an honest person before God can he become a person after God’s heart. If before God, that is, in prayer to God, one is not an honest person, he cannot possibly become a real honest person. So, it is very important to be an honest person first in prayer.
Secondly, to be an honest person, one has to enter in in the practice of speaking truthfully and putting away lying. This is the most basic daily exercise. In everyday life, everyone speaks, but it is quite difficult for him to ensure that in his mouth there will be no lie. All those who exercise to be an honest person know that corrupt human beings lie too much every day, and it is indeed a very difficult thing to put away lying. What is most unbelievable to them is that they lie not under compulsion but unconsciously and involuntarily, and those among them who lie seriously lie even to such a terrible extent that they lie everywhere, lie about everything, and lie the minute they open their mouth. Thus it can be seen that the depth of mankind’s being corrupted by satan is beyond man’s imagination. None of them believes that they can lie so much. In the past they all thought that they were very honest and hardly ever lied, and even if they lied, they lied under compulsion, and that if they exercised a little, they could fully resolve their problem of lying. So none of them paid attention to this problem which was “not a problem” to them. Today, because God especially requires people to be an honest person, they begin to exercise, and they suddenly discover the seriousness of this problem and are shocked in their heart: “Little did I think that man can lie so much! It turns out that everyone is very crafty! I see that being an honest person is truly a lesson of the truth that man should enter into.” Haven’t you thought yourself very honest also? After you exercise to speak truthfully and put away lying for a period of time, you will find what a crafty person is. A crafty person never speaks according to facts. Instead, he speaks according to his own intents and purposes, speaking in whatever way he can reap profits and in whatever way he can achieve his own purposes; he speaks completely for his own face, for his own interests, and for his own purposes. As man speaks according to such evil and selfish principles of conducting himself in society, how can he not frequently lie and cheat? Now, how should you resolve lying? The only way is for you to check on your speaking strictly and begin by exercising to speak according to facts. You must be strict and accurate. Your every word should be uttered according to the fact, you should never utter any word against your conscience, and your conscience must perform its function. You should begin to examine every word you say and see to it that it is not mixed with anything untrue, it is not said incorrectly, and it is not said inaccurately. If you have said something wrong, you must say it anew. And if you find any problem, you also should declare it without delay: “I have said something wrong. Now I will correct that word and say it anew. What I am saying now is correct. My previous word is invalid.” You have to treat your speaking seriously like this, and should begin anew to learn how to speak. If you are not serious about speaking, that will never do. At the beginning of your practice, you should pray to God, “O God! Because I have been corrupted by satan too deeply, I have long since become a habitual liar. I should be cursed, but you still save me and allow me to repent, to start a new life. Today, I swear an oath to you: I swear to be an honest person, to become a person who speaks truthfully and does not lie, even at the cost of death. If I do not strive, may you discipline me much and punish me.” Then, you begin to exercise to speak truthfully. That is, no matter what circumstances you are in, you must speak truthfully, in other words, you should absolutely speak according to facts and speak according to the conditions you have known and realized. You must deal with every lie, every untrue word, every word that is mixed with anything untrue, and every inaccurate word. You should seriously treat every nonfactual word you have said, and you’d better declare it publicly and must say it anew. No matter whether your words are right or wrong, as long as you feel in your heart that they are true words, not false words, this is of honesty. As to whether you say the right thing or the wrong thing, it has to do with the matter of your knowledge of the truth, which is another issue.
In your practice of being an honest person, you need to speak wisely under special circumstances (which refer to satan’s temptations). This does not contradict your exercising to be an honest person. Your having to speak in a wise way under special circumstances and your being able to speak truthfully, these are two different matters. When you speak to those who belong to satan, you do not speak truthfully though you can; this is not being dishonest. But you must be clear whether you are consciously speaking wisely or unconsciously lying. This is the key point. You must distinguish your lying by your nature from your consciously speaking wisely. You must never cover up your willfully lying by saying that it is speaking wisely. Otherwise, you are again practicing craftiness. So, it is not a simple matter to be able to not lie. When you exercise to speak truthfully, you should take a way to supervise each other. In the first several days, you should also write down your own words and do a test to see how many false words, empty words, words mixed with untrue things, exaggerated words, irrelevant words, and wasted words you can say in a day, and what are the distinction and the difference between your speaking and that of a several-year-old child. When you fully see the true state of your speaking, you will know your pitiable condition, and you will no longer feel yourself so great. Corrupt human beings are only good at speaking lies, empty words, and exaggerated words; they cannot even speak truthfully, much less speak honestly, let alone speak according to the truth. This is sufficient to prove that man has been corrupted too deeply and lacks too much. In the words people speak in a day, apart from lies and wasted words, even a few completely true words cannot be found, much less can any word that is in accordance with the truth or any weighty word be found. If people do not exercise to be an honest person and do not equip themselves with the truth, what is their living worth? How can they have a true human life? From this we can see that it is very meaningful to exercise to be an honest person, which is the first step for one to take toward the human life. Being able to speak no lies and speak truthfully and unfeignedly is the first step in being an honest person. Being able to speak no lies includes mainly three aspects: the first is speaking no lies when praying to God, the second is speaking no lies when talking with others, and the third is speaking no lies when expressing one’s viewpoints and dealing with matters. When one speaks no lies in all these three aspects, he will be a person who speaks honestly. Without two or three years of exercise, one cannot succeed in speaking no lies.
Thirdly, one has to be able to not treat God perfunctorily and deceitfully or cheat God in performing his duty. The main expressions of corrupt mankind are that they often speak lies to cheat God and that in doing things, they are perfunctory and deceitful to cheat God. One is in speaking, and one is in doing things; both alike are derived from man’s corrupt nature. After one has come up to the standard in speaking, if he, in performing his duty, can be down-to-earth, obedient, and submissive, act according to God’s word, and has no perfunctoriness and deceitfulness or cheat, he will be an honest person. There are several manifestations of a person’s treating God perfunctorily and deceitfully and cheating God in performing his duty: 1. Whenever a person, in performing his duty, just goes through the motions to save trouble and does not seek to achieve results, he is treating God perfunctorily and deceitfully; this is a manifestation of cheating God. 2. Whenever a person, in performing his duty, adopts a simple and easy way for fear of suffering or danger and thus fails to achieve results, he is treating God perfunctorily and deceitfully; this is a manifestation of cheating God. 3. Whenever a person, in performing his duty, encounters a matter having to do with the truth or a matter having to do with the offending of others, if he does not handle it according to principles and does not seek to resolve the problem with the truth but handles it negligently by speaking doctrines, he is treating God perfunctorily and deceitfully; this is a manifestation of cheating God. 4. Whenever a person, in performing his duty, does not have a heart responsible to God or have a heart faithful to God within but merely does it for others or for the above, he is treating God perfunctorily and deceitfully; this is a manifestation of cheating God. 5. Whenever a person, in performing his duty, does not practice the truth and thus goes against the word of God or does not do it according to the requirements from the above, he is treating God perfunctorily and deceitfully; this is a manifestation of cheating God. These are the five manifestations of a person’s treating God perfunctorily and deceitfully in performing his duty. One only needs to use these five manifestations to measure how he has performed his duty, and he will know whether or not he, in performing his duty, has done things that treat God perfunctorily and deceitfully and cheat God. Only an honest person, in performing his duty, can be free from perfunctoriness and deceitfulness and can make God have trust in him. So, an honest person does not need to be pruned or dealt with in performing his duty. A crafty person, in performing his duty, does not have a heart to care for God at all, much less have a heart to satisfy God, but always tries to reap profits from it and disregards the interests of God’s family for the sake of satisfying his own selfish desires. From this we can see that in performing his duty, a crafty person is completely for himself, what he considers is his own interests, and he does not consider the interests of God’s family at all. So, in performing his duty, a crafty person always treats God perfunctorily and deceitfully and cheats God, causing God to loath him. After people have been corrupted by satan, every one of them, however honest and kind he may be, has the crooked and crafty corrupt disposition. So in performing their duty, they all can be perfunctory and deceitful, and all can cheat God. This is an undeniable fact. Nevertheless, those who pursue the truth can definitely become honest people. Those who do not love the truth but like unrighteousness are the irredeemable crafty people.
Actually, no one, in performing his duty, wants to treat God perfunctorily and deceitfully or cheat God; everyone wants to satisfy God in performing his duty, but he cannot control himself, and without knowing it, he has done things that treat God perfunctorily and deceitfully and cheat God. This shows that people’s craftiness and deceitfulness have become their nature. If people want to be able to not treat God perfunctorily and deceitfully but satisfy God, they have to pursue the truth, have to accept God’s judgment and chastisement, and have to accept pruning and dealing. Only by doing these can they more deeply know the substance of their nature and know the substance of crookedness, craftiness, and cheating. Only when they are clear about why they can cheat God will they know to what a terrible extent they have been corrupted. If a person has cheated his parents, he may not feel that this is a serious problem; if a person can often cheat God and treat God perfunctorily and deceitfully, this is a very terrible problem, and he must resolve it by pursuing the truth to be transformed in his disposition. People are not sincere even with God; can they be sincere with men? They even dare to cheat God; can they not cheat men? This is sufficient to show that mankind has been corrupted to a terrible extent! Mankind can often cheat God; how can they have true obedience to God? How can they be faithful to God? Mankind can cheat God; this proves that mankind has become a hostile force against God and has completely regarded God as their opponent. He who can cheat God absolutely does not have a heart of fearing God, and he who can cheat God, of course, is also an enemy of God. The fact is just so terrible. If God did not love man and save man, mankind should have been destroyed long ago.
Now God works to save man; whoever cannot be an honest person is irredeemable. In performing your duty, if you want to not be perfunctory and careless and not cheat God, you have to resolve the matter of being an honest person. In performing your duty, you have to accept pruning and dealing and have to accept the searching of God’s Spirit, and you also have to practice strictly according to God’s requirements; whenever you find that you are being perfunctory and careless, you should pray to God; and whenever you find that you have cheated God, you should confess your transgression, and you should not cover it up or disguise yourself, much less distort the fact and shift the blame onto others. In doing things, you should be so conscientious, and should treat your every word and deed seriously, calling a spade a spade, being practical and realistic, and not allowing any falsehood to be mixed into them. If you find that you have committed a transgression, besides praying to God, you need to confess to others publicly. Do not be shy and care for your own face; you should face up to the fact. Practicing this will be very meaningful and will definitely be beneficial to you. Firstly, it will increase your confidence in being an honest person; secondly, it will cause you to be no longer afraid of shame and to give up your vanity and face; thirdly, it will give you the courage to face facts and respect facts; and fourthly, it will develop your will to be serious in doing things. If you exercise this, after a period of time, you will be much more honest in performing your duty and much more practical and less false in doing things; and within several years you will become a person who is sincere and conscientious in handling matters and an honest person who is responsible in doing things. Such a person will be quite reliable in performing his duty and in doing the work. God’s family only has the confidence to use this kind of person, which is perfectly safe.
Fourthly, to be an honest person, one has to truly give his heart to God. This is the most crucial entering in in being an honest person successfully. Every corrupt human being plans for himself, which is completely determined by his nature; no one gives his heart to God and lets God be the Lord and Master. In people’s heart they think that if they give their heart to God, they will suffer big losses and will have to go to the cross. So everyone steers his own boat carefully and is the lord and master of himself, and everyone feels that he is the trustworthy master of himself, it is still he himself who is most kind to him, and he himself is the right person to direct him. As a result, they have believed in God for years but have achieved no results. The facts have proved that no one can step onto the right track of believing in God by relying on himself, no one can cast off his corruptions by relying on himself, and no one can serve according to God’s will by relying on himself. What people have seen is that by relying on himself man can only deviate from the right way and go astray and even take a way of no return. It is thus obvious that by relying on himself man can only fail. Haven’t those arrogant, self-conceited, and very self-right people all failed? Can man be saved by God without relying on God? Then what does it really mean to give the heart to God? First of all, one has to know that he has been corrupted too deeply and does not have the truth, and he is unable to direct himself, let alone overcome satan or transcend sin, and that by relying on himself he can only deviate from the true way, rebel against the true God, and go astray. For he does not have the truth, so how can he practice the truth? He does not have the way, so how can he take the right way? And he does not have God’s word as life, so how can he have the human likeness? Therefore, if one wants to take the bright way of human life, he has to give his heart to God, to accept God’s leading and God’s working, completely rebel against satan and rebel against himself, choose God’s will and God’s requirements, and obey God’s word and the arrangements of God’s family. Only by doing so can he step onto the right track of believing in God and be saved by God and perfected by God. This is what it means to give the heart to God.
To give the heart to God, there are also several ways for one to practice: Firstly, one has to swear an oath to consecrate himself to God. Since one believes in God, he should let God be the Lord and let God manipulate him and arrange for him, and whether he will live or die, he should commit himself to God, spend for God with his whole being and whole heart, obey whatever God’s family arranges, do whatever God says, never again be the lord of himself, and obey God completely and thoroughly. Secondly, to give the heart to God, one should not only commit the matters of his performing his duty and his serving God to God and let God direct them, but he should also let God direct such matters as the way he should take and the goal he should pursue in the future, his choice of marriage and family, and his lifestyle, that is, he should commit all these most important matters in his life to God and let God be Lord over them, and even if God permits, he should still choose according to God’s will and requirements, and he should never follow the world trends nor follow his own will but should take satisfying God and being after God’s heart as the principal thing. Thirdly, to give the heart to God, one should seek God’s will in all things and treat everything according to God’s word; this is the only principle in practice. Only this is to let God rule and let God be the Lord in an absolute way. In other words, one should act according to the truth in all things and should treat all things, whether big or small, according to God’s word; only God’s word is the truth, only God’s word can be man’s life, and only if one practices according to God’s word in all things can he receive the working of the Holy Spirit and be saved by God and perfected by God. If one can practice and enter in according to the above three ways, it means that he has given his heart to God. Only giving the heart to God is true consecration and thorough consecration. This is also the only way to be saved by God and perfected by God and the most fundamental way of practice in believing in God, and it is also the way to receive the working of the Holy Spirit.
To give the heart to God, one must know God’s work and God’s way of perfecting man so that he will have a true faith. All who can consecrate themselves completely to God must give their heart to God; this fully represents their sincerity and faith. All who pursue to be perfected must give their heart to God, and consecrate themselves completely to God; this is Peter’s way of believing in God. If one cannot truly give his heart to God, he can never be perfected. Only those who sincerely give their heart to God are honest people, only those who accept God’s searching in all things are honest people, only those who seek to obey God in all things are honest people, and only those who are willing to practice the truth in all things are honest people. Those who cannot give their heart to God are undoubtedly the most crafty people, and those who do not dare to accept God’s searching in all things and those who are not willing to seek God’s will in all things are all not honest people. Only honest people are willing to consecrate themselves to God and can give their heart to God. Those who practice being an honest person are fools and lunatics and seem too extreme in others’ eyes, so crafty people cannot practice that. Crafty people think themselves very smart, but in fact, they are very foolish; honest people are fools in others’ eyes, but in fact, they are the smartest people. All those who give their heart to God are ones who are wisest, ones who are seemingly like fools but really of great wisdom; crafty people think themselves wise, but they are caught in their craftiness and have stumbled themselves. When God’s work ends, all crafty people will have been eliminated and have died in various disasters, whereas all honest people will have been saved and perfected by God and be full of peace and joy. Who do you think are smart and who are foolish? Man’s philosophies are not the truth; the omnipotent and omniwise God is the One who decides everything. Those human beings who belong to satan can never realize this. Only those who truly give their heart to God are honest people; they are real smart people; what God blesses are exactly the honest people who give their heart to God. Only those who receive God’s blessings are smart people, exceptionally smart people.
Only those crafty people all consecrate themselves in words, saying with their mouth that they will obey God, and when encountering things, they still follow their flesh and are still their own lord, unable to choose the way that is after God’s heart. Eventually, they have all ruined themselves and entrapped themselves. Some have fallen in their marriage because they have not given their heart to God. Some have fallen in their career because they have not given their heart to God. Some have taken the way of Paul or have followed antichrists in their choice of the way in believing in God also because they have not given their heart to God. Some are pursuing position, some are aspiring after money, and some are pursuing after the world or pursuing a job, all of whom have taken a way of no return. The reasons for these people’s failures are all that they have not given their heart to God; they cannot let God be the Lord and cannot give their heart to God, because they are too arrogant and self-right and trust in themselves too much, and as a result, they have ruined themselves. Those who believe in God but cannot give their heart to God are always laboring and rushing about and suffering setbacks and defeats in everything, and in the end they all will ruin themselves and not be able to escape the destiny of failure. Those who have given their heart to God, when encountering things, will think this way in their heart to control themselves: “I am a person who has consecrated myself to God, and I should do according to God’s requirements. My heart has been given to God, and I should all the more put satisfying God first.” Blessed are those who can practice this. Only those who give their heart to God are ones who truly have faith in God, and only they are ones who truly trust in God and rely on God. A person’s pursuit and choice represent his faith; if a person does not have a true faith in God, he cannot possibly pursue the truth. Only crooked and crafty people can rebel against God and go their own ways at crucial moments. They always leave themselves ways of escape, with the result that they are eliminated by God. Only being able to give the heart to God is having a true faith; those who sincerely follow God are all honest people who pursue the truth, and they will definitely be saved by God and receive God’s blessings.
The above are the four ways of practice in being an honest person, and they are also the ways to practice and to enter into being an honest person. First, one has to be an honest person in prayer, second, one has to speak truthfully and put away lying in his life, third, one has to resolve being perfunctory and deceitful and cheating in performing his duty, and fourth, one has to give his heart to God. There are mainly these four ways of practice in being an honest person. If one has entering in in these four ways, he will be able to become an honest person. An honest person can definitely do the following things: 1. give the heart to God; 2. not cheat God in anything; 3. be open with God in everything and not hide the facts; 4. not be one who cheats those above and deludes those below; 5. not do things of merely currying favor with God; 6. do things and speak without any impurity; 7. not cheat God and not cheat others. These are the seven standards by which to measure whether one is an honest person. If one wants to know whether or not he is an honest person, he only needs to use these seven standards to measure himself. If one does not have entering in in the four ways of practice in being an honest person, it will be impossible for him to become an honest person. All those who cannot be an honest person are crafty people. Crafty people take satan’s philosophies of life as the principles and bases of their doing things, and they never acknowledge that there is the truth. In the eyes of crafty people, practicing God’s word is something that will cause them to suffer losses, and it will be to their great disadvantage. They have their personal interests as the center and put their personal interests above everything else. As a result, what they lose are the very best things outside their fleshly interests—the truth, the way, and the life that God will bestow to mankind. Only what Christ brings are the truth, the way, and the life that mankind needs the most. Having been corrupted by satan until today, mankind has completely lost the value and the meaning of their existence and has no peace and joy, so that they are world-weary, feeling that they have lived too tiredly and wishing that they could die early and go to another world, and they have no way out at all. The very reason for this is that mankind has no truth and has been corrupted by satan. If mankind gains the truth, and they all can worship God and live by God’s word, they will be taking the bright way of human life, the world will be full of peace and joy, and they will be able to enjoy God’s blessings. Only at that time will mankind have happiness and joy. Now is the period of time when God works to save mankind, and mankind has to undergo many sufferings to be purified because they have been corrupted too deeply. So, people should face reality, and it is only realistic for them to pursue to be saved by God and perfected by God. Only if people can be an honest person and live in the word of God will they have peace and joy in their heart. If people have been truly saved and perfected, they will begin to enjoy God’s blessings. Now, people have not finished undergoing the sufferings that they have to undergo in believing in God, and their corrupt disposition has not been transformed, so it is not time yet for them to enjoy God’s blessings. If they can truly become honest people, they will have enjoyment in their heart and spirit, or at least they will be able to enjoy the working and the presence of the Holy Spirit. This peace and joy will be great enough, and they will be much happier than the worldly people. Have you seen this? Be an honest person and you will have hope; be an honest person and you will receive God’s blessings. If you, when believing in God, cannot be an honest person, you will not have a bright future, and you will be doomed to be a failure.
Of course, in being an honest person, there is also a process, and one can only truly succeed by pursuing the truth and receiving the working of the Holy Spirit. All that man can do is limited. For example, in ordinary, small matters, one is able to not lie; but in big matters, especially when they affect his immediate interests, he will have no choice but to lie, or in the matters that affect his future and destiny, even more, he will lose control of himself and manifest all kinds of craftiness. This is also a matter of life stature. Without having the truth, it will be impossible for one to be an honest person, and without having the transformation in his life disposition, it will be even more impossible for one to be an honest person. So, being an honest person is inseparable from pursuing the truth and being transformed in disposition, and to eventually succeed in being an honest person, one not only has to endeavor to practice but even more has to pursue the truth and be transformed in his disposition. One should not think that he is an honest person when he can speak truthfully in the small matters in his life, can be simple and open in fellowshipping with the brothers and sisters, and can speak words from the heart and seldom lie or speak words of deceiving God in prayer. Actually, this only means that he has achieved initial results, but it is to be congratulated. In being an honest person, when one can achieve these results, it only means that he has met the standard for being a man. In fact, there are still blemishes and hidden deceitfulness within him. Nevertheless, he has taken a gratifying step toward an honest person. If he keeps on striving, he can absolutely become a totally honest person. The four ways of practice in being an honest person are very important. If you can strictly exercise to enter in in these four ways, you will definitely gain a lot. You only need to exercise for two or three years, and you will achieve initial success. At that time, you will have more faith and will truly see that you have much transformation, have true repentance, and can definitely be saved by God. Don’t you think this joy is great? When you enjoy God’s blessings, you will feel that there is joy in your human life, and you will know what is the true human life. Be an honest person and you will be able to set foot on the bright way of human life.
April 5, 2006