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Don Stewart :: Is It Possible to Identify Michael the Archangel with Jesus?

Don Stewart
There have been those who have attempted to equate Michael the archangel with Jesus - that they are the same person. Some feel that Michael is Jesus Christ appearing in a temporary form, such as Christ did as the angel of the LORD.

Different View Than Watchtower

This is different than the view of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the Jehovah's Witnesses. They believe that Christ is a created being who was Michael the archangel in the Old Testament - a view totally incompatible with what the Bible says about Jesus.

Case For Michael Being Jesus

The arguments for Michael's identification as being the Pre-incarnate Christ are as follows:

Michael Is The Chief Prince And Protector

Michael is called the chief prince of God's people. He is also called the protector of the people Israel. The Bible teaches that the Lord is the one who protects Israel.

My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep (Psalm 121:2-4).

The argument goes like this: If the LORD protects Israel, and Michael is the one who is called the protector of the people, then Michael must be the LORD who is protecting the people.

The Coming Of Christ

The Bible says that when Christ returns, He will come with the voice, or cry of command, of the archangel.

For the Lord Himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel's call and with the sound of God's trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first (1 Thessalonians 4:16).

Since Christ comes with the voice of the archangel, the argument goes that He must be that archangel. The only archangel named in Scripture is Michael.

Response

The biblical evidence does not substantiate this. The fact that Michael is called a chief prince only means that he has authority over other angels- not over everything that exists.
In addition, Jesus is never called the chief prince in Scripture. On the contrary He is the king of kings and Lord of Lords.

And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS" (Revelation 19:16).

Though Michael has protected Israel, it is as God's representative. It is ultimately the Lord, not Michael, who is protecting His chosen people.

Voice Like

The fact that Christ comes with the voice, or cry of command, like an archangel does not mean that He is one. The voice He uses will be "like" or "as" that of an archangel. In other words, a powerful voice.

One Of The Chief Princes

In addition, Michael is called one of the chief princes.

But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me twenty-one days. So Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, and I left him there with the prince of the kingdom of Persia (Daniel 10:13).

This means that he is one of a group of princes. We do not know how large the group is, but he is not in a class by himself. The Bible says that Jesus is the unique Son of God.

No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made Him known (John 1:18).

Michael Highest Of Angels

Michael is the highest of the angels - an order of created beings. He is one of the angels, he is not the Creator of the angels as the Bible says that Jesus is.

for by Him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers - all things have been created through Him and for Him (Colossians 1:16).

Jude

There is a further problem with the identification of Jesus with Michael. The Book of Jude says:

But when the archangel Michael contended with the Devil and disputed about the body of Moses, he did not dare to bring a condemnation of slander against him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" (Jude 9).

Michael is obviously not the Lord. He could not rebuke the Devil on his own, but rather called upon the Lord to rebuke him. Jesus has no such problem with the Devil - He personally rebuked him, since He is the Lord.

Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.' " Then the Devil left Him, and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him (Matthew 4:10,11).

His Name Bears Testimony

Michael, the one who is closest in proximity to the Lord at the top of the angelic creation, bears testimony to the great gap between the Creator and the created. His name means, "who is like God?" The answer, of course, is no one. The closer one gets to God, the more they realize their own nothingness and His greatness. Neither Michael, nor any of the angels, is like God.

Summary

There is no biblical evidence to equate Michael the archangel with Jesus. To the contrary, Jesus and Michael are two different personages. Michael is the highest of the angels - an order of created beings while Jesus is the uncreated Second Person of the Trinity, God the Son.
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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