17. Only Being an Honest Person Is a True Human Likeness
We have had a lot of fellowship on how to be an honest person, and the significance of being an honest person. Now do you have an understanding that only by being an honest person can one have proper humanity, and that only an honest person can be in line with God’s will? This is a crucial issue in changing your life disposition. We’ve communicated in the past that only being an honest person is true repentance. What do you think of this understanding? Why is that said? Do you have an understanding of what that means? How can we measure whether a person has had a change in their life disposition? To put it correctly, it’s to measure it according to whether or not you’re an honest person: If you are an honest person, then there will be a change in your life disposition. If you are not an honest person, there will be no change. Some people say: “I’m not really qualified to be an honest person, but I can obey God and devotedly expend myself for Him. This means that I’ve had a change in my life disposition.” Would you say that this holds water? If someone has believed in God for many years, can expend himself for Him and really engage in pursuit, but is not an honest person, does he really have love for, obedience of, and devotion toward God? He says that he’s devoted and obedient to God. Does that hold water? How about saying that he has been saved, or that he understands the truth, and has entered into reality? If he is not an honest person, then he doesn’t have even a drop of reality. First, he is not someone who is obedient to God. Second, there are certainly a lot of other things mixed in to how he expends himself for God and performs his duty, because he himself is not honest. And if he’s not an honest person, then can he possess proper humanity? (No.) So only being an honest person is genuine repentance, and only a genuinely honest person can have a change in their life disposition. Now can you understand this? (Yes.) Now reflect on this: How many years you’ve believed in God, and if you actually are an honest person.
Would you say that an honest person can put the truth into practice, or a deceitful person can put the truth into practice? Can a deceitful person actually practice the truth? If a deceitful person practices the truth there will certainly be some adulteration, and there will be personal motives and goals. Because it’s a deceitful person, he’s always conducting a transaction, and he always wants to take advantage and not suffer a loss. What God hates most is people’s deceitfulness, deception, and lies, so anyone who is constantly lying and is capable of trying to deceive God is a person who God hates the most, and that means they cannot be saved. So if you want to become someone who is saved by God, and become someone who is genuinely obedient to Him, you must start from being an honest person. If people are not honest, God is not pleased with them, and they will not stand among the crowd; honest people are not only liked by God, but also liked by people. Why do people like honest people? Some people say that honest people are trustworthy, this is one point. When you associate with them, your heart is calm and steady; you have no doubts, no anxieties about future troubles, you do not worry that they will try and deceive you or harm you. The main thing is that honest people try to help others, they open their hearts to others, they help others to profit. God loves honest people, because in believing in God honest people love the truth, and can practice the truth; thus the Holy Spirit works on them. When the Holy Spirit works on honest people, they will gain God’s grace, they can understand the truth, they can live in the way of a genuine person; thus, people like honest people. Besides, associating with honest people one can also learn how to conduct oneself; it allows you to learn how to behave, how to act, how to practice the truth, and finally you can, together with them, live out the likeness of a normal person, live in the style of a normal person. So why do people dislike crafty people? Why does God despise crafty people? What are the degenerate behaviors of crafty people? What is their nature and essence? What can they bring people? Try to understand this! For a crooked, crafty person, what is the essence of their corrupt disposition? It is extremely selfish. What is the meaning of “selfish”? It means that everything is for themselves, they do not consider others, they seek only their own pleasures, they do not care whether others live or die. Is this kind of person not the most selfish and despicable person? (Yes.) So you tell me, if someone is not an honest person, and he wields power in the church, will God’s chosen people gain any benefit? He does not consider whether or not God’s chosen people can obtain truth, whether or not their eating and drinking God’s words will bear fruit, whether or not God’s chosen people can enter reality, whether or not God’s chosen people can enter onto the right track of faith in God, whether or not they can be saved. What he considers is, “As long as I have pleasure, I have status, I stand out from everyone else, I have control over everybody, and I’m satisfied, then it’s ok!” As long as his own fleshly desires are attained then he is finished with his business, he does not consider the conditions of God’s chosen people. Is this not the main essence of a crafty person? Then are crafty people interested in only themselves? (Yes.) So crafty people’s core essence is self-centeredness, seeking fleshly enjoyment for themselves, not caring about the feelings of others. So we now look at those false leaders and antichrists, are they the most crafty people? They are self-centered in all respects; they do not consider the interests of God’s chosen people. Whatever the church has that is good they enjoy it first; whichever role has high status and great power, they are the first to seize it. Is this kind of person not the most selfish? The most selfish person is the most crafty, the most insincere person, is this correct to say? Take a good father and mother, of which aspect of them are the children most admiring and approving? The main thing is that they are not self-centered, they live only for their children, they give everything to their children, everything they do is for their children, so children love this kind of father and mother. Do you think a good father and mother treat their children with wholeheartedness and sincerity? (They do.)
To be an honest person, what should one possess? His words and deeds must allow others to benefit, he should not be self-centered, but consider others most of the time. Thus he can show consideration to God’s intentions, forsake his own flesh, endure suffering, and resign himself to parting with what he treasures to satisfy God. On the inside an honest person loves people, and because he loves people, he can love God; on the inside a crafty person loves himself, and everything he does is for himself. An honest person is not selfish, “If you have difficulties then I can help you; if you do not understand the truth then I can communicate with you, I can communicate everything I have, everything I understand with you.” He selflessly helps others, seeking neither reward nor repayment. A crafty person, if he does one good thing for you he will remember it for life, and if one day you do not repay him he will stare at you fixedly, with the meaning “You still owe me, when will you pay me back? Where is your conscience?” If a crafty person does one deed for another, he will forever remember it in his heart, seemingly as though the other owes him a great deal, which is never completed over a lifetime. Is this the feature of a crafty person? You look at a good leader, they have an extremely good heart, they are kind, what is their distinguishing feature? It is that they are honest. A bad person, false leader, extremely bad, what is his distinguishing feature? It is craftiness and selfishness. Because he is so selfish, he is crafty. If a person is so honest, they can love others, and can help others. The distinguishing feature of a good person is honesty; the distinguishing feature of an evil person is craftiness and selfishness. The more selfish he is, the more deceitful he is, and the more he does things for his own benefit, the more deceitful he is. If it’s not something for himself then he won’t be deceitful; if it’s for someone else, he has no need to mess with being deceitful. For example, someone is experiencing difficulties and is really pitiable. You go to help that person—is there any need for deceitfulness? Being deceitful wouldn’t accomplish anything, so you just help them and that’s it. The goals that a bad person wants to accomplish are shameful, so he must use deceitful means. If he directly stated his motives and goals, others would see that he is evil, so he doesn’t say what they are because it wouldn’t sound good. “I need to beat around the bush so that it sounds good to other people, then they’ll see me as being kind, they’ll like me, and my goal will be accomplished.” Isn’t that what a deceitful person does?
Do you think that good people sound good when they speak, or crafty people sound good? When you look at all people in the world, he who has the best sounding words, that person is guaranteed to be the most crafty. The person who speaks straightforwardly, and doesn’t sound good to you, that person is relatively honest, he is perhaps a good person, he can help you. Is this measurement correct? The disposition that God makes known in His work of the last days is righteous, majestic, wrathful; we can see that God’s words are straightforward, hitting the nail on the head! Because God’s words go straight to the heart of the matter, directly making known people’s nature and the real truth of Satan, some people cannot accept it, and have notions; some people even think this is cursing people. In fact, this is not cursing people, it is exposing the truth of things. You can’t accept it now, wait until one day when you truly come to know yourself in God’s words; you will feel as though you are truly a devil, truly dirt, truly Satan. At that time you will feel God’s words are truth, they are not cursing people, much less making digs at people. So the more the words are direct, not crooked, tactful, nice to listen to, or refined, the more they are spoken by honest people, and the more they are practical. The more pleasant language is to hear, the more it contains Satan’s cunning schemes. There is a proverb that goes “honeyed words and a sword in the belly,” it is this meaning. All those who can say things gently, and also very tactfully, and make people misunderstand, they are all very treacherous people. This kind of person has belligerent intentions, they pay attention to decoration and dressing themselves up, and pay close attention to their own image. All those who pay close attention to their own image, their disposition can be described in a few words; what are they? Extremely superficial, hypocritical, good at pretense. So people who are good at pretense must choose the appropriate words; firstly, they must be careful about their manner of language; secondly, they must be careful about their style of language; thirdly, they must also be careful about decoration. Thus the more people belong to Satan, the more treacherously, the more cunningly they speak. There are presently a few special figures who practice language to such a degree that they speak some things and leave you unable to learn; the meaning can be faintly heard, but even if you want to tell it you cannot, what does this explain? This kind of person is extremely crafty, they expend much thinking on their language, so they utter a kind of language that can only be half-understood. However, you cannot pick the problem, you want to learn but you cannot, you cannot grasp the evidence. This person who belongs to Satan spends so much effort on language, is this not an extremely crafty person? (It is.)
How do you currently speak? A person asks someone: “Who is the best person in your church?” He’s actually known that for a long time, but he doesn’t say who it is. He thinks it over: “Should I say who it is? How would that sound to them? What kind of opinion would that person have of me?” He gives it a lot of thought, and as soon as he thinks about it so much, he won’t say. He won’t just blurt it out. What does that prove? His mind is working. Only after a couple of minutes does he respond, and I say: “Don’t say it, whatever you’re going to say won’t be true.” Is that a correct thing to say? If he had responded within two or three seconds, those would be words from the heart, and he would be saying whatever he was thinking without any processing. That is an honest person. If he thinks about it for a while and only then responds, then it has undergone processing, and then it will be adulterated. Isn’t that the way it is? Doesn’t what you say also undergo processing? Sometimes motives and trickery have been added into it, and that is even more troublesome. Some people only add a little emotion or speak a little indirectly, and that is just barely adequate, but if they then add motives or trickery, it is spoiled. Would you say that to be an honest person, if your mind is constantly working, is that good or bad? (It’s bad.) Then how do you practice? Immediately say what’s on your heart—that’s how you practice. Even if you speak a bit frankly, or if it doesn’t sound nice it’s fine. That’s how you practice being an honest person. If you always practice that way, later on when you ponder or process something, you will know, “I was processing it, and that’s not honest. It’s not pure, but it’s complicated and watered down.” You’ll be able to tell as soon as you process something. And if you tell any more lies it will be very easy for you to tell, and you will acknowledge, “I lied this time.” Can you put this into practice? For example, someone asks you: “Who is the best person in your church, who pursues the truth the most, is fairly honest, and can have fellowship on the truth?” Could you just say it right away? If you want to say it right away, then there are several issues that need to be resolved. The first is that you haven’t been subjected to the constraints of any person, thing, or event. There are no misgivings and you have not thought about what the consequences of saying that will be—you must first be prepared—and you’re not afraid of offending someone, just telling the truth. Some people, as soon as they ponder it, as soon as they process it, what happens? They switch the person they really believe is the best for someone else, and you see, satanic trickery comes out. In your heart, you actually know that they’re not the best person, but they’re the second, third, or fourth. Isn’t there satanic trickery in this? You’ve covered up, hidden what you think is best. Speaking from your conscience, is the one you said is the best actually first or second? Could you cover up who you acknowledge from the bottom of your heart to be the best, but you are prejudiced against him or jealous of him? Or if someone asks you who is best at having fellowship on the truth, would you immediately say it was someone who has been beneficial for you, who you have a great relationship with, who very clearly does not have such great fellowship on the truth? Do you have these problems in your words? What is this being adulterated with? It’s based on emotion. You know in your heart who is best, but you are held back and dominated by your feelings, so you mention someone who’s not that great. Is that deceptiveness? People’s goal in lying is to deceive, and the motive behind deceiving is to satisfy themselves. There is some leader who, when he thinks well of someone and that person obeys him, does what he says, and flatters and fawns over him, he will promote him to act as a leader, be a worker, or his assistant. But those who are better than him and who can do practical work, he suppresses them and will not promote them. Why not? As soon as he promotes them, won’t they outshine him? Then he wouldn’t have any status as they are much better than him! So he adopts those kinds of despicable means in order to protect his own status. He suppresses and covers up the good ones, and then mentions many of their faults to pull the wool over the eyes of the above. Then the above believes it to be true, and thinks those people are no good and the person he has recommended is better. Isn’t that the most deceitful, most selfish kind of person? With such a deceitful person in power in the church, can God’s will be done? He always wants to hold control in the church and have God’s chosen people listen to him. He sees his status and his power as too important, and as a result he holds back God’s chosen people. In serious cases, he ruins them. Don’t all false leaders, false workers, and antichrists utilize these methods? He cannot clearly share the truth in fellowship, but in his heart he focuses on status—he is chock full of thoughts of status and honor. He absolutely does not seek the truth, and he absolutely cannot satisfy God, so he does not possess the work of the Holy Spirit. Without the work of the Holy Spirit, he cannot share the light of the truth in fellowship or provide sustenance to others, but since he still wants to hold on to his status, he makes use of some despicable methods to protect his position. He stops at nothing, harming people, fixing them, and suppressing them. Just like the great red dragon, the people clearly do not support it, but in order to keep its status and to keep its grasp on power it uses high-pressure methods, even using tanks and machine guns to slaughter people. What do you think is the difference between that kind of false leader, and the great red dragon? There’s no difference. It is only that his power is not as great.
Once someone who does not have the work of the Holy Spirit, and who has not undergone being perfected by God gains power, isn’t it Satan or the great red dragon gaining power? (Yes.) So if people don’t pursue the truth, they cannot achieve salvation and being perfected. Anyone who cannot achieve salvation and being perfected still belongs to Satan, and it doesn’t seem that a person like that does great evil before they wield any power, but as soon as they do they’re just like the great red dragon. Is that true? If a leader is an honest person, how does he put that into practice? He finds a suitable position for himself in the church, one that truly belongs to him. If he’s not fit to be a leader, he doesn’t force it. If he discovers that another person is more capable than him, he gives way for the better person to take up the post. Only that is a truly honest person. Some people say that if an average brother or sister sees that the leader isn’t putting the truth into practice, that he’s not an honest person, but there aren’t many other suitable candidates, they say: “I think I’m more capable than he is. I carry a burden and I can do some practical work. Can I vote for myself?” They see that they truly are more capable than him in some ways, so they vote for themselves. Does that count as being an honest person? Some people say: “Isn’t that being arrogant and self-right? It says in the Bible, ‘in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.’ Then can’t an honest person be honest only if they possess humility?” If they see themselves as more capable than others, can they actually be an honest person? If you are speaking the truth, that is not arrogance and self-rightness. If you can actually do it, that is not arrogance and self-rightness. But if you can’t and you are just boasting, then that is arrogance and self-rightness. Now you get it, right? Are modesty and humility important for being an honest person? They’re not. An honest person focuses on seeking truth from facts, and telling it like it is. Hypocrisy is worse than arrogance. It contains a deceitful nature, and it carries deception and ambition. It is better for people to focus on seeking truth from facts.
We’ve just been talking primarily about how to practice and enter in as an honest person. It can’t be that beneficial for God’s chosen people if someone who isn’t an honest person becomes a leader or a worker. It can be put this way—he cannot provide sustenance for or lead God’s chosen people. At the very most he can just keep things going. If someone is unable to escape from a corrupt disposition and have a proper mentality, the mentality of an honest person, then he cannot gain the work of the Holy Spirit! If a person does not have the work of the Holy Spirit, it can be said that as a leader, he will not be leading people through the work of the Holy Spirit, but he will take his own worthless things and he only uses those to lead people. Does leading people that way bear fruit? So, work arrangements said again and again that all those false leaders and workers who do not have the work of the Holy Spirit must be replaced in principle. Why should they be replaced? Because they don’t have the work of the Holy Spirit, so no matter how they lead, they won’t be able to lead people on the path, provide sustenance to God’s chosen people, or lead them into the reality of the truth. That’s why they must be replaced. If someone doesn’t have the work of the Holy Spirit, they cannot speak of any true illumination and they cannot keep up with the pace of the work of the Holy Spirit, and then that leader is unworthy of their title and does not possess reality. What I’m talking about now is exactly what you are currently lacking and what you have an urgent need to enter into now. If you keep hearing this, before you know it you’ll have more and more understanding of reality and have more and more clarity on the truth. You’ll possess more of a path for entering in, and finally, without realizing it you will have entered into the reality. And isn’t that the leadership of the work of the Holy Spirit? Without this kind of work from the Holy Spirit those meager things that people innately possess cannot provide sustenance to others, and they absolutely cannot lead them. That’s why false leaders and workers who do not possess the work of the Holy Spirit must be replaced. This is in accord with God’s will, and that is why these are the stipulations for work arrangements. Right now, the primary work in the house of God is “fighting falseness,” casting out false leaders and antichrists and truly bringing the chosen people in front of God so that they can properly eat and drink His words, understand the truth, and enter into the right track of believing in God so that God’s work will be concluded and in the future His chosen people will be able to accept trials and refinement. Right now, false leaders and workers are being cast out—first the major, prominent ones, those who do more evil, who the people have more grievances against. After those that people have grievances against, who have aroused public anger have been cast out, the regular ones who lack the work of the Holy Spirit will be cast out. Finally, those who are not able to share fellowship on the reality of the truth will be adjusted. Step by step, slowly, false leaders and antichrists will all be cast out, and none of them will be able to keep a firm footing. If a leader cannot share anything new in fellowship, the more they have fellowship, the more God’s chosen people will feel that they are not receiving any sustenance and that they cannot resolve their practical issues. In the end, they won’t want to listen to him anymore and will be sick of what he says. Wouldn’t you say that that leader should be replaced? (Yes.) Sometimes brothers and sisters feel that the meager things the leader has shared in fellowship are no good and they’re fed up with hearing it; they feel that someone else might have better fellowship. Then replace him, and let’s not always select just that one person. If someone does okay in fellowship on the truth, the leader should be replaced with this person who talks about something new, and there is some edification in that for God’s chosen people. If the new person is not bad starting out, but gradually worsens and there is yet another person who is a bit better than him, then switch him out again. Don’t always stick to the same person, right? The experience of any given person is so limited—it’s just that little bit that he has, so after being a leader for six months or a year, he has nothing left. There are some leaders whose fellowship is too repetitive and the chosen people have heard enough of it. They’re tired of hearing it, sick of hearing it, and in the end as soon as the leader opens his mouth, the people know exactly what’s coming next. Then is there any need for him to continue speaking?
Would you say that being an honest person now is important? It is so important! How much of the likeness of an honest person do you currently have? Thirty percent? Fifty percent? Or is it seventy or eighty percent? If you are not an honest person, then you will not be able to stand firm in front of other people, much less stand firm in front of God; He keeps watch over people’s innermost hearts. People may believe you a few times and be fooled by you, deceived by you a few times, but before long, isn’t that what will happen? You’ve deceived them, so won’t they hate you? They will detest you. The value of your integrity in other people’s hearts will be zero. You won’t have a modicum of credibility and others will dislike you. A dishonest person cannot be relied upon! Is a dishonest person suited to be a leader in the church? If that person is a church leader, he will be able to do bad things in several aspects; can that be summarized? First, the truth that he shares in fellowship and the testimony that he talks about are certainly all adulterated. They all contain motives and goals—they’re too watered down. The truths that he understands are absurd. Second, he definitely has motives and goals when he interacts with others, speaks, and handles matters. There is deceitfulness and deception in him, and he cannot be relied upon. Third, his words lead people astray and bring about problems. If you believe the words of a deceitful person you definitely cannot take the proper path! Then how should a deceitful person be seen? First, that kind of person lacks humanity. This has been determined. In God’s eyes, all those who tell lies are demons. When it’s said that a person has a deceitful nature, would you say that he lies a lot? He definitely does. To what extent? Everything is watered down, and nothing can be relied upon. Not a single thing he says is the truth. There are some things that are in line with the facts, but they have also been watered down. So are the things that have been watered down also lies? (Yes.) Then when can the point of not telling lies be achieved? Some people say: “There are some things that need to get done, but I don’t want anyone to know the truth, so I can’t not lie!” So in order to not lie, everything must be done properly and can be made public. And some say: “But I’m not capable of doing that kind of thing!” He can’t do it, he clings to fleshly enjoyments, and he wants to save face. There’s nothing he can do—he can only cover it up by lying. People want to do something unconscionable and still have others commend it, so they solve that problem by lying in order to achieve their own goals. Don’t people necessarily have a motive and a goal when they lie? There are some people whose kid wants to believe in God but they advise him to go to college and then believe in God, but what do they say at church? “My kid wants to get into college, but I want him to really believe in God. He disagrees—he’s determined to go to college, so I won’t force him. There’s nothing I can do, I can only send him to school.” See, they’ve pushed it off really cleanly! Isn’t that lying? So if you support him in his studies, you can say, “I support his studies. I don’t have full clarity on the issue of raising a child, but I think that he should get a little more education, and it’s fine if he believes in God in his spare time. I’ll help him out.” And that’s that. It’s clear that the people who tell lies really focus on maintaining their own image. They are really hypocritical, and they’re afraid of people bad-mouthing them or not approving of them. They also want to gain others’ approval as well as do bad things. There’s no choice—all they can do is lie. Would you say that a deceitful person can have genuine love for the brothers and sisters? Can a deceitful person carry a true burden for the church? (No.) So if there’s a deceitful person who says, “I’m really concerned for God’s chosen people’s entry into life! I’m really worried about the future prospects of our church!”, does this hold water? Aren’t these clearly deceptive words? This is very clearly a deceitful person but he can still say this kind of thing. Tell me, what problem is this? He wants to establish his own image and have people see: “Wow, he carries such a great burden for the church! His love for God’s chosen people is so genuine!” In fact, everything he does is despicable, and all of it is harmful to God’s chosen people, and it all disrupts the life in the church. Isn’t that kind of person utterly shameless? When you hear those words, don’t you feel that they’re a bit nauseating? You see that he’s done so many bad things, but then he does an about-face and can say something like that. It makes your flesh creep, doesn’t it? Now you are able to discern this!
When someone is able to be an honest person, and when they speak and act people see it as realistic, they commend it, and they feel that that person is credible, and that is a truly good person; only that kind of person can be saved. If you are constantly disrupting and harming the church, and then you’re still saying that you’re concerned about the church, this is precisely the method of the great red dragon. You are saying all the right things while doing every kind of evil! Don’t you hate that kind of person? (Yes!) There are some deceitful people who have really harmed God’s chosen people and have cut them off and expelled them, but what do they say when those people are sought back? “Oh, I was worried you wouldn’t be able to live a life of the church! If you cannot be saved could I possibly be at peace?” They have cut them off and expelled them but they still say that they’re worried that those people can’t live a life of the church. After they’ve harmed others, they’re still pretending to be a good person. Isn’t that a deceitful person? What do they say after harming and disrupting the church? “I was concerned for the future of the church! I was worried that God’s chosen people won’t have the life of the church.” A deceitful person says all the right things while doing every kind of evil. But a truly honest person doesn’t say these nice-sounding things after doing something good—they only speak of practicalities. Don’t say things that sound nice—that’s useless. Doing one good thing is much better than saying a hundred pleasing words! There are some people who are always using the word “love”: “I love the truth, and I love God’s chosen people! I love my brothers and sisters!” However, they don’t do anything real. Isn’t that a deceitful person? Honest people don’t say things like that. They do practical things. It’s just like parents who do everything for their children; they don’t actually say, “Everything I do is for you!” They just quietly do what they should do. This is an honest person. As for hypocrites, those who do not have the truth will have no discernment. When anyone says something that sounds nice, they think they are a good person. The better something sounds the more that person is moved, as if that person possesses more reality. If someone does more but says less nice words, they don’t think much of that person. They think they’re average, and does not possess reality. Are there a lot of people who see things this way? (There are.) Does that kind of person possess the truth? They cannot clearly see what kind of person actually possesses or does not possess the reality. That is the most superficial kind of person, lacking the truth, and lacking reality!