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

Exert  an  influence  for  Evil

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.  Patriarchs and Prophets, page 208.3

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}

 
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}
 
Unless all the workers in the sanitarium will stand firm for truth and righteousness, you might just as well not have a sanitarium. The work and influence of unconsecrated workers would cause much trouble and heartache, and create difficulties that you could not handle, difficulties which would exert a strong influence for evil, but which you would not be able to take hold of as something tangible. Such things would bring into the sanitarium the leaven of evil.  {17MR 280.3}
 
The Lord has been trifled with by his people. The time that should have been devoted to repentance and reform has been spent in criticism and in following man-formed opinions and ideas. A terrible influence for evil is exerted when men turn from the right way to follow selfish devisings. Satan is playing the game of life for the souls of men, and he is gaining victory. We can learn from a study of King Jehoiakim's example what men will do when they pass the boundary line. We see it in the persecution and suffering that Christ endured at the hands of wicked men. We see it in the treatment that the Lord's faithful servants in every age have received.   {PC 80.4}
 
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}
 

Exert  widespread  influence  for  evil

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}

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 (ST Oct. 19, 1888).  {2BC 1013.5}

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. As soon as Satan can separate the soul from God, the only Source of strength, he will seek to arouse the unholy desires of man's carnal nature. The work of the enemy is not abrupt; it is not, at the outset, sudden and startling; it is a secret undermining of the strongholds of principle. It begins in apparently small things -- the neglect to be true to God and to rely upon Him wholly, the disposition to follow the customs and practices of the world.  {PP 717.2}

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