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Gospel Reader

How should one practice entry into being an honest person?

Relevant Words of God:

You must be honest, and must pray in order to rid yourself of the craftiness in your heart. As you use prayer to purify yourself whenever needed, and use it to be touched by the Spirit of God, your disposition will gradually change.

from “Concerning the Practice of Prayer” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

The lowest standard that God requires of people is that they be able to open their hearts to Him. If man gives his true heart to God and says what is really within his heart to God, then God is willing to work in man; God does not want the twisted heart of man, but his pure and honest heart. If man does not truly speak his heart to God, then God does not touch man’s heart, or work within him. Thus, the most crucial thing about praying is to speak the words of your true heart to God, telling God of your flaws or rebellious disposition and completely opening yourself up to God. Only then will God be interested in your prayers; if not, then God will hide His face from you.

from “Concerning the Practice of Prayer” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Behaving like a normal human being is to speak with coherence. Yes means yes, no means no. Be true to the facts and speak appropriately. Don’t cheat, don’t lie.

from “Improving Caliber Is for Receiving God’s Salvation” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Have you ever trained yourself to be honest? And what was your state while you were training yourself? … For example, you did something to someone, you cheated them, or you spoke words that were either inaccurate or contained your own motivations, and so you should go and find that person to dissect what you did, and say: “The words I said at that time contained my personal motivations. If you can accept my apology, please forgive me.” Thus you dissect yourself, and lay yourself bare. It takes courage when you dissect yourself and lay yourself bare. Look, when no one else is around, regardless of if you’re praying to God, or admitting your mistakes, repenting, or dissecting your corrupt disposition to God, you can say whatever you want, for with your eyes closed you can’t see anything, it’s like speaking to air, and so you are able to lay yourself bare; whatever you thought, or whatever you said at the time, and your motivations, and your deceitfulness, you are able to speak of them. Yet if you have to lay yourself bare to another person, you may lose your courage, and you may lose your resolve to do so, because you can’t take down your front, you can’t remove the facade, and so it is very difficult to put these things into practice. See how, if you are asked to speak in generalities, you are able to say that sometimes there are motivations in the things you do or say, that your words and actions contain cunning, impurities, lies, and deceit, as well as your own aims. But when something happens to you, if you have to dissect yourself and reveal how what happened to you played out from beginning to end, which of the words you said were deceitful, what kind of motivations they contained, what you thought in your heart, how it was malicious and insidious, then you could well lose your nerve, and so you will be unwilling to reveal to that level of detail, to be so specific in what you say. There will even be people who gloss over it, and say: “Well, it was just one of those things. Suffice to say man is pretty deceitful, insidious and unreliable.” This is the inability to face your corrupt substance, deceitfulness, and insidiousness properly; your state is always one of evasiveness, your condition is always evasive, you always forgive yourself, and are incapable of suffering or paying a price in this matter. … (So is this to say that, apart from admitting our errors before God, we must also lay ourselves bare before our brothers and sisters?) Of course you must. If you do not lay yourself bare and dissect yourself, how could you prove that you acknowledge that you are truly deceitful? If you do not lay yourself bare, if I do not lay myself bare, if none of us open up, if we have our own plans and considerations within our hearts, if a private space is maintained within our hearts, then we can forget talk of truly experiencing—how could any of us have true experiences to commune to each other? We could not. In “sharing and communing experiences,” sharing means speaking of every thought in your heart, your state, your experiences and knowledge of God’s words, as well as the corrupt disposition within you—and after that, others differentiate, and accept the positive and recognize that which is negative. Only this is sharing, and only this is truly communing. It does not simply mean having insights into the words of God or a part of a hymn, and communing as you please, and not saying anything related to your own actual life. Everyone talks about doctrinal and theoretical knowledge, and says nothing of knowledge drawn from actual experiences. They all avoid talking about such things, about their personal lives, about their life in the church with their brothers and sisters, and about their own inner world. In this way, how can there be true communication between people, how can there be real trust? … Without this among the brothers and sisters in the church, there would never be harmony among the brothers and sisters, which is one of the requisites of being honest. Some people say: “Aw, it’s hard being honest, do I have to tell everything I think in my heart to others? Isn’t it enough to commune the positive things—I won’t tell others of my dark or corrupt side, OK?” If you do not speak these things, and do not dissect yourself, then you will never know yourself, will never know what kind of thing you are, and there will be no chance of others trusting you. This is fact. If you wish for others to trust you, first you must be honest. To be honest, you must first lay your heart bare, so that everyone can see it, and all that you are thinking, and can see your true face; you must not pretend or package yourself. Only then will people trust you and consider you honest. This is the most fundamental practice of being honest, and it is a precondition. You are always pretending, always feigning holiness, virtuousness, greatness, and loftiness, and do not let people see your corruption and your failings. You present a false image to people, so that they believe you are upstanding, mighty, self-denying, impartial, and selfless. Don’t pretend, don’t package yourself; instead, lay yourself bare, lay your heart bare for others to see. If you can lay your heart bare for others to see, and lay bare all that you think and plan to do in your heart—regardless of whether it is positive or negative—then are you not being honest? If you are able to lay yourself bare for others to see, God will also see you, and say: “You have laid yourself bare for others to see, and so before Me you are surely honest, too.” If you only lay yourself bare to God out of view of others, and always pretend to be mighty and virtuous or just and selfless before them, then what will God think? And what will God say? God will say: “You are genuinely crafty and hypocritical, you are petty, and you are not honest.” God will condemn you thus. If you wish to be honest, then regardless of what you do before God or people, you are able to reveal your heart to others. Is this easy to achieve? It requires time, for there to be a battle within our hearts, and for us to continually practice. Step-by-step, our hearts will be opened, and we will be able to lay ourselves bare.

from “To Be Honest, You Should Lay Yourself Open to Others” in Records of Christ’s Talks

Today, most people are too afraid to bring their actions before God, and while you may deceive His flesh, you cannot deceive His Spirit. Any matter that cannot withstand God’s observation is not in accord with the truth and should be cast aside; otherwise it is a sin against God. So, no matter whether it’s when you pray, when you speak and fellowship with your brothers and sisters, or when you perform your duty and handle your business, you must lay your heart before God. When you fulfill your function, God is with you, and so long as your intent is correct and is for the work of God’s house, He will accept all you do, so you should earnestly devote yourself to fulfilling your function. …

… All that you do, every action, every intent, and every reaction must be brought before God. Even your daily spiritual life—your prayers, your closeness with God, eating and drinking of God’s words, fellowship with your brothers and sisters, living the life of the church, and your service in partnership—must be brought before God and observed by Him. It is such practice that will help you mature in life. The process of accepting God’s observation is the process of purification. The more you accept God’s observation, the more you are purified, and the more you are in accord with God’s will, so that you will not hear the call of debauchery and dissipation, and your heart will live in His presence. The more you accept His observation, the more ashamed Satan is and the more you are able to forsake the flesh. So, the acceptance of God’s observation is a path people must practice. No matter what you do, even during fellowship with your brothers and sisters, if you bring your acts before God and seek His observation, and if your intent is to obey God Himself, what you practice will be much more correct. Only if you bring all you do before God and accept God’s observation can you be someone who lives in the presence of God.

from “God Perfects Those After His Own Heart” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

For the sake of your fate, you ought to seek to be approved by God. That is to say, since you acknowledge that you are numbered among the house of God, you ought then to bring peace of mind to God and satisfy Him in all things. In other words, you must be principled in your actions and conform to the truth in them. If this lies beyond your ability, then you shall be detested and rejected by God and spurned by every man. Once you have fallen into such a predicament, you cannot then be counted among the house of God. This is what it is meant by not being approved by 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. … 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.

from “Three Admonitions” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

The Man’s Fellowship:

How should one experience and enter into being an honest person? One who practices being an honest person must begin to enter it from four aspects. First, the primary aspect is entry through prayer; second, entry through speaking the truth and abandoning lies; third, entry by being able to be loyal to God in fulfilling one’s duty; fourth, entry through giving one’s heart to God. Those who are able to carry out these four aspects of entry and meet God’s demands are honest people. All four kinds of entry are important. Not one may be omitted. So long as they can keep going without quitting, whoever tries only needs two or three years’ effort before they will get good results. By achieving preliminary results, they can acquire some normal humanity and attain the semblance of a human. And after being perfected they will be thoroughly honest people. At that time they will have acquired completely normal humanity, be able to worship God sincerely, able to obey God, have reverence for God, and will no longer be deluded and corrupted by Satan. Aren’t these perfected people?

from “Only Being an Honest Person Is True Repentance” in Collection of Sermons—Supply for Life

Becoming an honest person starts from being honest in prayer and before God. If you can say honest things and be an honest person in front of God, then, gradually, you will also be able to say honest things and become an honest person in front of other people. If you cannot be an honest person in front of God, then there is no way you can do so in front of other people as well. This is a certainty. Do you think it’s easier to be an honest person in front of God or in front of other people? In front of God, especially when praying, the majority of people are able to say some sincere and heartfelt things. They can directly tell God about secrets that they have kept inside. They can tell God things that they would not tell other people because telling God things is fine as long as nobody else hears it. People have this kind of mindset, right? If someone cannot tell God the truth, would you say that this person can be saved? If someone cannot even open up simply and purely before God, then there is no hope for this person. It is over. He will be written off. If you cannot open your heart to God, how can you open your heart to other people? If you cannot speak the truth to God, how can you possibly do so with other people? If you cannot speak the truth to God, where else would you be able to speak the truth? Basically, this kind of person is an absolute demon. He will tell lies at any time and under any circumstance. This is an example of Satan’s nature. You should be able to speak the truth to God in all circumstances, believe that God is the truth and God is righteous. This is a basic truth that you should be equipped with. If you do not have this kind of understanding of God, then there is no hope for your salvation. … Would you say that it is a good thing to be an honest person? It is good to be an honest person. If that’s the case, then first start by being an honest person in front of God and be honest when you pray. If you can be an honest person in your prayers, then there is hope that you can be an honest person in your day to day life. If you cannot be an honest person in your prayers, then you definitely would not be an honest person in your day to day life.

from “How to Pray in a Way That Conforms to God’s Will” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (II)

Now how should we settle the problem of lying? We must pay strict attention to what we say, and begin from practicing speech based on fact. We must be strict and serious about it, and deliver each sentence based on fact. We absolutely cannot go against our conscience; conscience must play a role. We begin by closely examining every sentence we speak. Diluting the truth even a little isn’t allowed; to speak incorrectly isn’t allowed; to speak inaccurately isn’t allowed, and if what you say is wrong you must go back and rephrase it. If you discover a problem you must say so as soon as possible: “What I said just now wasn’t right, and I want to make up for that and reword it now, so you should take what I am saying now as right and dismiss what I said before.” This is how seriously you must treat what you say, and you should begin learning how to speak all over again; not being strict with yourself when you speak is absolutely not allowed. When you begin to practice this, you should pray to God: “Oh, God! Because Satan has corrupted me so deeply I have turned into someone who lies all the time. I deserve to be damned, but You still save me, letting me repent and change so that I can become a new person. Today I give You my oath that I swear on my life to be an honest person, to become a person who tells the truth without any falsehoods. If I don’t make enough effort, may You discipline me and punish me.” Then begin to practice telling the truth. This means you must tell the truth under whatever circumstances and be thoroughly able to speak based on facts, based on what you yourself grasp and what you know, and deal with every lie, words that are untrue, words that dilute the truth, words that are not accurate. You must treat seriously all words that do not fit the facts. It is best to acknowledge these openly, and you must revise what was said. …

… When you practice telling the truth you should adopt the method of mutual supervision. During the very first days you should also record your own speech. Do an evaluation and see how much of what you say in one day is untrue talk, empty talk, talk that dilutes the truth, exaggerates, rambles, or is nonsense, and see what difference or distinction there is with what young children say by comparison. When you have seen completely clearly the true nature of what you say, you will understand how pathetic you are and you will not feel that you are superior.

from “Only Being an Honest Person Is True Repentance” in Collection of Sermons—Supply for Life

If you want to measure up in fulfilling your duty—and not just go through the motions and deceive God—then you must settle the issue of being an honest person. While fulfilling your duty you must accept pruning and dealing, you must accept the observation of the Holy Spirit, and you must do these things strictly according to God’s demands. If you discover that you are perfunctory, pray to God. If you discover yourself trying to deceive God, you must acknowledge this transgression. You cannot cover this up, you cannot pretend, still less distort the facts to shift blame onto others. You need to be this serious about the things you do, and treat your every word and action in earnest. Make your words fit the reality, seek truth from facts, and do not lard your words with make-believe. If you discover a transgression, besides praying to God, you must also openly admit it to others. Do not shrink back out of concern for your own reputation. You should boldly face the facts. Practice such as this is meaningful, and it is guaranteed to be beneficial to you. First, it can increase your confidence in being an honest person. Second, it can teach you to be unafraid of humiliation, and give up your vanity and self-regard. Third, it can give you courage to face facts and to respect facts. Fourth, it can develop in you the will to be serious with the things you do. After practicing this way for a time people will be far more honest in fulfilling their duty, more realistic in doing things, and less phony. In less than a few years they will become honest people who take what they do sincerely and seriously and are responsible when handling affairs. Such people are comparatively reliable in fulfilling their duty and doing their work. When the house of God makes use of such people, it can be guaranteed that nothing will go wrong.

from “Only Being an Honest Person Is True Repentance” in Collection of Sermons—Supply for Life

Right now, you are in the process of training to become honest people. In the process of training what should you pay more attention to? You should pay attention to knowing God and pay attention to understanding the truth. You must have a real entry from the positive side. If you enter from the positive side, the corrupt things from the negative side will naturally diminish, and this is crucial. For example, to be an honest person, you first need to equip yourself with the reality and truth that is required to be an honest person. After you have done this, the honest part of you will increase and the lies and craftiness will naturally decrease, right? Just like a cup filled with dirty water. You cannot pour it out, you need to use another method to get this dirty water out. So what would you do? You say that you would add something to detoxify it. That is not right. You must pour some clean, good water in the cup. The good water will naturally wash out the dirty water. Is this not a good method? Now you must equip yourselves with the truth, and once the truth enters inside you, the negative things inside you will naturally disappear. For example, you now know that God is trustworthy, God does not lie, God is true to His word; once the word leaves God’s mouth, the task is accomplished. The word of God is almighty, the words reveal the almightiness of God, God created everything in the universe with His words. As soon as He speaks it, it is accomplished. He means what He says, and what He says shall be accomplished, and what He accomplishes shall last forever! His words have so much power and we know the word of God is the truth. Everything God says is the truth. Once the truth is grasped by people, they will be filled with the truth. Satan’s poison, which is not compatible with the truth, will naturally disappear, it will naturally be gone.

from “How to Solve the Problem of Lying From the Root Up” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (I)

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