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influence for Evil
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Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .

influence  for  Evil

God's servants should ever be united. They should repress and control strong traits of character, and day by day they should carefully reflect upon the nature of the life structure they are building. Are they Christian gentlemen in their daily life? Are there seen in their lives noble, upright deeds, which will make their building of character stand forth as a fair temple of God? As one poor timber will sink a ship and one flaw make a chain worthless, so one demoralizing trait of character revealed in words or actions will leave its influence for evil, and if not overcome, will subvert every virtue.  {4T 606.1}

The sin of Jacob, and the train of events to which it led, had not failed to exert an influence for evil -- an influence that revealed its bitter fruit in the character and life of his sons. As these sons arrived at manhood they developed serious faults. The results of polygamy were manifest in the household. This terrible evil tends to dry up the very springs of love, and its influence weakens the most sacred ties. The jealousy of the several mothers had embittered the family relation, the children had grown up contentious and impatient of control, and the father's life was darkened with anxiety and grief.  {CC 72.2}

The Jews rejected light and truth, and the Son of God who died to save the worst sinners, who had said, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out," declared that the blood of all the prophets which had been shed from the foundation of the world should be required of the Jewish nation. Great light had been given the Jews, but they would not heed it. To substantiate truth, evidence had been piled upon evidence; but as a nation, they rejected the counsel of God against themselves. When the judgment of God did fall upon the Jews, it was an evidence that they were finally impenitent, and set stubbornly against light and truth, against the messages and warnings of God. They pursued a course similar to that of their fathers, and had filled up the measure of their iniquity. They had worn out the divine patience by their repeated sins, and so great was their influence for evil upon the human family, that God made an example of them before the world.  {RH, May 2, 1893 par. 8}
 
It was the spirit of self-confidence and self-exaltation that prepared the way for David's fall. Flattery and the subtle allurements of power and luxury were not without effect upon him. Intercourse with surrounding nations also exerted an influence for evil. According to the customs prevailing among Eastern rulers, crimes not to be tolerated in subjects were uncondemned in the king; the monarch was not under obligation to exercise the same self-restraint as the subject. All this tended to lessen David's sense of the exceeding sinfulness of sin. And instead of relying in humility upon the power of Jehovah, he began to trust to his own wisdom and might.  {CC 177.4}
 
To medical students I would say, Enter upon your course of study with a determination to do right and to maintain Christian principles. Flee temptation, and avoid every influence for evil. Preserve your integrity of soul. Maintain a conscientious regard for truth and righteousness. Be faithful in the smaller responsibilities, and show yourselves to be close, critical thinkers, having soundness of heart and uprightness, being loyal to God, and true to mankind.  {CT 474.2}  {MM 63.4}
 
K is a boy who can be molded if surrounded by correct influences. He needs a right example. If the young who profess Christ would honor Him in their lives, they could exert an influence which would counteract the pernicious influence of such youth as J. But the young generally have no more religion than those who have never named the name of Christ. They do not depart from iniquity. A smart, intelligent boy, like J, can have a powerful influence for evil. If this intelligence were controlled by virtue and rectitude, it would be powerful for good; but if it is swayed by depravity, its evil influence upon his associates cannot be estimated, and it will assuredly sink him in perdition. A good intellect corrupted makes a very bad heart. A brilliant intellect sanctified by the Spirit of God exerts a hidden power and diffuses light and purity upon all with whom the happy possessor associates.  {2T 407.1}
 
Satan has many devices whereby he holds us back from rendering prompt and unquestioning obedience to God. We have often had strong promptings and conviction of duty, but have shrunk back from fulfilling them. Yet Jesus says, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." How many at times have been deeply stirred, and yet because duty demanded a sacrifice, they have tampered with their conscience, seated themselves in the enemy's debating chair, and have not made the decision that God sought to have them make. They have not broken away from the associates whose seductive influence for evil, led them to follow their own carnal reasoning, and because there was not evidence of any immediate danger, they have rested down in their false security. They have debated in their minds, saying, Shall I obey the voice of God that bids me shake off the lethargy of the world, and escape from the world as did Lot from Sodom, or shall I listen to the voice of the world that cries peace and safety to my soul? Shall I wait for a more convenient season? All the sophistry of Satan is bound up in that one word, "wait." O that those who are now moved by the Spirit of God, would make a decided stand for God and for the truth!  {RH, September 19, 1893 par. 5}
 
When one commandment of the Decalogue is broken, the downward steps are almost certain. When once the barriers of female modesty are removed, the basest licentiousness does not appear exceeding sinful. Alas, what terrible results of woman's influence for evil may be witnessed in the world today! Through the allurements of "strange women," thousands are incarcerated in prison cells, many take their own lives, and many cut short the lives of others. How true the words of Inspiration, "Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell."  {AH 58.3}  {ST, December 30, 1880 par. 20}   {ST, July 1, 1903 par. 11}
 
Christ made the only terms which could place the ruler where he would perfect a Christian character. His words were words of wisdom, though they appeared severe and exacting. In accepting and obeying them was the ruler's only hope of salvation. His exalted position and his possessions were exerting a subtle influence for evil upon his character. If cherished, they would supplant God in his affections. To keep back little or much from God was to retain that which would lessen his moral strength and efficiency; for if the things of this world are cherished, however uncertain and unworthy they may be, they will become all-absorbing.  {DA 520.2}
 
By neglect of duty, parents exert a far-reaching influence for evil. One ungodly, disobedient son, may lead many souls in the path of iniquity. Each of these will corrupt others; the evil traits cherished will be transmitted to posterity; and thus iniquity is constantly increasing and multiplying, and all because parents choose the way which is easiest at the moment, the way of gratification and indulgence, and look not to the misery in store for themselves, their children, and their children's children.  {ST, November 10, 1881 par. 10}
Satan was a beautiful, exalted angel, and would have remained so forever had he not withdrawn his allegiance from God. From the moment when he ceased to exert his influence for good, he became an influence for evil. He might have been the center of a hallowed influence, loyal and true, being good, and doing good, but he would not. In separating himself from God, he became a power for evil. Each act of selfishness exerts an influence on others.  {ST, December 21, 1891 par. 3}
God's servants should ever be united. They should repress and control strong traits of character, and day by day they should carefully reflect upon the nature of the life structure they are building. Are they Christian gentlemen in their daily lives? Are there seen in their lives noble, upright deeds, which will make their building of character stand forth as a fair temple of God? As one poor timber will sink a ship, and one flaw make a chain worthless, so one demoralizing trait of character revealed in words or actions will leave its influence for evil; and if not overcome, will subvert every virtue.  {PH083 22.1}

influence  for  evil  becomes  widespread

Never should our publishing houses be so related to one another that one shall have power to dictate as to the management of another. When so great power is placed in the hands of a few persons, Satan will make determined efforts to pervert the judgment, to insinuate wrong principles of action, to bring in a wrong policy; in so doing he can not only pervert one institution, but through this can gain control of others and give a wrong mold to the work in distant parts. Thus the influence for evil becomes widespread. Let each institution stand in its moral independence, carrying on its work in its own field. Let the workers in each feel that they are to do their work as in full view of God, His holy angels, and the unfallen worlds.  {7T 173.2}

Saul had a mind and influence capable of governing a kingdom, if his powers had been submitted to the control of God, but the very endowments that qualified him for doing good could be used by Satan, when surrendered to his power, and would enable him to exert widespread influence for evil. He could be more sternly vindictive, more injurious and determined in prosecuting his unholy designs, than could others, because of the superior powers of mind and heart that had been given him of God. He had ruined his own soul, and had wrought the ruin of his house; but he was impenitent and hardened. He had brought injury and disgrace upon himself, and yet he desired that David when he should come to the throne, should preserve his house and honor his name. But his very course in pursuing his successor from place to place, and of proclaiming him an outlaw and a rebel, brought infamy upon the name he desired to have honored.  {ST, October 19, 1888 par. 9}

Saul had a mind and influence capable of governing a kingdom, if his powers had been submitted to the control of God, but the very endowments that qualified him for doing good could be used by Satan, when surrendered to his power, and would enable him to exert widespread influence for evil. He could be more sternly vindictive, more injurious and determined in prosecuting his unholy designs, than could others, because of the superior powers of mind and heart that had been given him of God.  {CC 149.4}

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