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Michael the Archangel and his identity have been a controversial topic among various religious groups for many years. It is a topic that is also often misunderstood. He is mentioned in the Torah, Bible, and even the Quran.
Many Christians believe that the Michael who appears in the Bible is in fact Jesus Christ. They don’t believe that Jesus is an angel, because Michael is never actually called an angel in the Bible. Instead, he’s called the “archangel,” meaning head of the angels or chief of the angels.
Jesus and angels differences
The Bible is very clear that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh (Romans 9:5; John 1:1-3,14; I John 5:20; John 10:30; Isaiah 9:6; Jude 1:25; Colossians 1:19; John 20:27-29; 1 John 5:7). Angels are created beings and Christ is their Creator (Colossians 1:16, 17, John 1:1-3). Christ is God and the angels are charged to worship Him (Hebrews 1:3–8, 13, 14).
“For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?… But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom” (Hebrews 1:5, 8). Thus, Jesus cannot be a mere angel and should never be referred to as one.
Michael in the Bible
Michael fights the devil with His angels
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:7-9).
Michael is said to fight the devil with His angels. Jesus also has charge of the angels. “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory” (Matthew 25:31 also Luke 12:8-9).
The Captain of God’s army is worshiped
Joshua is described as meeting the captain of the army of the Lord. “And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant? And the captain of the Lord‘s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so” (Joshua 5:14-15).
Here, the captain of the host of the Lord is worshiped in the same manner that God is worshiped when He revealed Himself to Moses (Exodus 3:4-6, 14). Jesus identifies Himself as “I Am” just as when revealed in the time of Moses (John 8:58). Thus, the the captain of the host of the Lord appears to be Jesus, as only He can be worshiped (Matthew 4:10; Luke 4:8). The Bible is very clear that angels are not to be worshiped (Revelation 22:8-9; Colossians 2:18). The captain of the host of the Lord could arguably be Michael, as he fights with his angels as previously mentioned (Revelation 12:7).
The Great Prince
The Bible tells us that Michael is called the Great Prince. “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book” (Daniel 12:1).
Michael is also called a prince in a prior verse. “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia” (Daniel 10:13). While the Bible translators stated “one of the chief princes” the original Hebrew translates this verse from three words “‘echad” meaning one, “ri’shown” meaning first or chief and “sar” meaning prince. Thus, the words “of the” were added by the translators. The literal phrase in Hebrew was “Michael one chief prince,” which is congruent with the first verse calling Michael the (singular) great prince.
The action that Michael takes in this passage is that of one who stands up and defends God’s people. This is an act of intercession. In the Bible, Jesus is described as the Intercessor (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25). Jesus is also called a Prince. “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:30-31 also 3:15 and Isaiah 9:6).
The Bible gives evidence that Michael the Archangel is more than a mere angel. It appears that the roles and functions of Michael are similar to those of Jesus. Also, it is noted that Bible commentators like Matthew Henry and others believe that Michael was one of the pre-incarnate ways that Jesus appeared to humans.
When studying a part of God’s word that may seem obscure, we must look at all available Scriptures to come to a conclusion (Isaiah 28:10). Based on the evidence, it appears that there is enough to consider Michael as having attributes that are congruent with Jesus. Therefore, this conclusion should only be accepted as one is convicted by God’s Word. And it is up to the reader to interpret and decide.
In His service,
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