You became weary on your many journeys, but you did not say, "I give up!" You found a renewal of your strength; therefore you did not grow weak. (Isaiah 57:10 Holman.)


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God Allows Evil Apostles Due to Anger and Indignation at Sin

Psalm 78:49 KJV reads: "He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them."  

However, the Young's Literal is more accurate in rendering Psalm 78:49 as about messengers (i.e., apostles), and thus conveys a different point:

He sendeth [sic: threw] on them the fury of His anger, Wrath, and indignation, and distress -- A discharge of evil messengers. (Psalm 78:49 YLT).

"Messengers" was written in Hebrew - malak. Its Greek literal translation is "apostolos" = Apostle.

What is the true meaning here? Messengers or angels? The meaning is likely not "angels," but "messengers," i.e., apostles. Strong's identifies "malak" as "messenger" even though it one time referred to angels in the Hebrew Bible. See Bible Hub.

Thus, every place malak appears in historical statements it only means messenger. In Greek, apostolos. For example, in Judges, malak referred to "messengers of Jephtah." (Judes 11:13.) And again malake (the plural) was "messengers of Saul" in 1 Sam. 19:20. And again malake was "messengers of the king" in 1 Sam. 25:42. And then there are "messengers of death" spoken about in Proverbs 16:14. And again in Isaiah 33:7 the "messengers" or "ambassadors of peace" are mentioned.

However, this translation as "messenger(s)" (that is, apostles) is not followed in Psalm 78:49, but without justification. The only time it actually refers to "angels" arguably is in Gen. 28:12 - ascending "messengers" or "angels" of God, yet still Angels were messengers of God, so we should not replace the word meaning of messengers even in Gen. 28:12 with the different meaning of angels.

Both Young's Literal and Holman's Bible render malak / malake correctly as "messenger(s)" in Psalm 78:49. Yet, "angels" is the translation by the NIV, NLT, ESV, ASV, and Darby. See Bible Hub Ps. 78:49.

What does the more accurate translation imply possibly about Paul? As we explored earlier, Paul issues many immoral commands besides some very wholesome ones. See Immoral Commands of Paul.

Are these commands a test of our conscience allowed by God?

Well, the Psalmist poetically writes that God throws open the door to evil apostles due to God's displeasure and anger at sin. God does not send their evil message; rather He casts the evil messengers upon sinning people as a test of their leanings. This is comparable to why God allows false prophets, explained in Deut 13:1-5 -- to test whether we love God with our whole heart, mind and soul. It appears then that God allows apostles who promote evil also as a test of us -- to test us for our proclivity to follow those who teach evil principles -- of course couched among many wholesome principles which puts us off guard.