I did this research soon out of the tower as I realized no scripture directly states that Jesus is Michael. My hubby helped with proof reading. This is only one counter arguement against the WT's proof scriptures but each person must make up his/her own mind what to believe. Some of you have gotten this in email already.
This subject is not important to our salvation. It is long, so you may want to print it out and read it.
Is Jesus Michael the Archangel?
We have done an objective study into this question using the Holy Scriptures as our chief source of information. We looked at the biblical evidence without trying to make it fit into any pre-conceived beliefs that we already held as true. Where no direct evidence is shown by a particular bible verse, we tried hard not to read into it or make any additions of thought to support our beliefs. All the scriptures in our research have been quoted from the New International Bible, unless otherwise noted. Please read this information prayerfully and carefully, looking up all the quoted Bible texts. If you have any objections to the conclusion or any comments, please let us know, With Christian Love, Lilly and Ray
Michael the Archangel is only mentioned in five Bible verses. These are:
Daniel 10: 13, 21 *
Please familiarize yourself with these verses before you begin. However, they will be quoted through out this paper.
· * This is the Bible verse that began our investigation
The first scripture we will look at is at 1 Thessalonians 4:16. This verse is the one most often used in support of the view that Jesus is Michael the Archangel. It says “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.”
From this verse, it is reasoned that Christ will be the one shouting, thus he must be the Archangel. However, upon careful reading of this verse, we can see that it is not saying that Christ is doing the shouting. It simply says that when he comes down from heaven he comes WITH a loud command made WITH the voice of the Archangel, and is WITH the trumpet call of God. The word “WITH” according to the American Standard Dictionary simply means, “Accompanied by”. Therefore, here it is saying that when Christ comes down from heaven he is accompanied by a loud shout, made with the voice of the Archangel, and he is also accompanied by the trumpet call of God. In addition to not directly stating that he is shouting, this text does not directly call him the Archangel. It only calls him the Lord.
In Matthew 25:31 and Mark 8:38 it states that when Jesus comes, all the Angels will be WITH him or will accompany him. It would make sense that a loyal subject would announce the arrival of the coming of a King, which in this case that subject is Michael the Archangel. There will be a shout from Michael, then a trumpet call of God. If we say that Jesus coming WITH the voice of the Archangel means he is the Archangel, then we must also conclude that Jesus coming WITH the trump of God means that he is God.
Michael is also mentioned in Daniel 10:13*. Here Daniel sees a vision of a “man” who speaks to him. In verse 12 this man tells Daniel that God has sent him in answer to Daniel’s prayers. He would have arrived sooner he explains by was delayed by the Prince of the Persian Kingdom (no doubt a demonic prince). Notice what this “man” states in the latter part of verse 13; “Then Michael, one of the Chief Princes came to help me.” Here it states Michael is only one of the Chief Princes. Not the only one. Therefore Michael cannot be the only highest-ranking Angel. (We were taught Jesus is the highest-ranking Angel therefore he is called the Archangel). According to this verse he is only one. We do not know how many there are. Since Michael is the only one called the Archangel, we wanted to know what this other title, Chief Prince meant. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the word “ARCH” can have the following meanings:
CHIEF or Principal
Highest rank or CHIEF status.
Therefore, the term Chief also means Arch. Archangel would be the rank of Michael. Even though he is the only one directly given the title Archangel, in light of the fact that Chief Prince means the same thing, we cannot say he is the only Archangel. This scripture in Daniel clearly shows there is more than one.
As in the Navy, the highest rank is a 4 Star Admiral. There can be several 4 Star Admirals at any given time, but each is the same rank or status. If Michael is the same status or rank as others, he cannot be Jesus who is above everyone and everything, except Jehovah. Another interesting point in Daniel is that Gabriel the Angel is also named. Please read Daniel 8:16 and 9:21. Here Gabriel is named but no title or rank is given. This does not necessarily mean he is not an Arch or Chief Angel (Prince). It just means that the writer of these Bible verses chose not to include a title. Just as in Revelation 12:7 Michael’s title is not given. But we know Michael is an Archangel. It is possible that in the book of Daniel both Michael’s name and rank are given because he has a special purpose with God’s people Israel, especially in the end times. (He is called the protector of Israel). This brings us to the next verse.
Another point to consider is this; Jesus is called the Prince of Peace but never the Chief Prince. Other titles given to him are Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
Daniel 12:1 states “At that time Michael, the great Prince who protects your people will arise” “There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people – everyone whose name was found in the book of life will be delivered.” The following verses speak about a resurrection of the dead. Please note the NIV uses the term “will arise”. Some Bible translations use the term “stands up” (KJV). It is reasoned by the latter translation that “stands up,” means, “taking ruler-ship” of the earth. Because sometimes kings stand-up or assume ruler-ship. Therefore, Michael must be Jesus as only he will be the King over the earth. It is also said regarding this verse, that since there will be a resurrection of the dead, Michael must be Jesus. Since the resurrection takes place when he arises. Since we know only Jesus will be the one to resurrect the dead, this verse must be referring to him.
For one thing, it simply states that when Michael “stands up” or “arises” that there will be a resurrection of the dead. It does not say that he is doing the resurrection.
Also, again turning to the Dictionary, we will find the meanings of the following words;
Stand – to take or cause to take an upright position, to assume a position
Arise – to get up, to result or proceed (or proceed towards)
This verse in Daniel 12:1 does not say at all that Michael here is assuming ruler-ship or kingship of the earth. You would think since it is such an important event that it would show a lot more detail. However, this verse does show some action is taken towards Israel. But what kind of action? According to the above definitions, this verse could simply be showing that Michael (who is the Archangel or Chief Prince in charge of Israel) is assuming a position or proceeding towards Israel. (This Israel could apply to spiritual Israel) Why? To protect and deliver them. As it states in verse 1: “all those found in the book of life – will be delivered”. Thus Michael will be used, no doubt under the direction of Christ to protect and deliver Israel. Or, providing protection would be another way to view it. Could Angels be used in this capacity? Yes according to what Paul states at Hebrews 11:4 “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? One way to serve is to protect. Think of our Police force, they serve us by protecting us.
We know in the past Jehovah has used Angels to save some such as Lot and his family from the destruction of Sodom. (Genesis 19) Also note Psalm 34:7 “the Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them”.
In Jude 9 Michael is again named. We found this verse to be the most interesting one and it seems to definitely point away from Michael being our Lord Jesus Christ. It states “But even the Archangel Michael when he was disputing the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said “the Lord rebuke you!”
We looked up this verse in the Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures (same as a Lexicon of Greek Text) to the exact word used here for Lord and found the word to be “Kupios”. This term applies to the Lord Jesus, not Jehovah God. Therefore Jude 9 states “the Lord Jesus rebuke you!”
Peter used the same word “Kupios” for the Lord Jesus at 2Peter 1:14. And Paul used the same term “Kupios” at Romans 10:9 when he stated “For if you publicly declare that word in your own mouth, that Jesus (Kupios) is Lord”. In all instances where Lord is referring to Jesus in the New Testament the word Kupios is used. You can look it up in a Greek translation of scripture.
Other evidence that this verse applies to Jesus is that the term rebuke means to criticize sharply or reprimand in a harsh way.
Note in Jude 9 that Michael would not rebuke Satan but would Jesus? Matthew 4:10 Jesus says “Away from me Satan! For it is written; worship the LORD your God, and serve him only.” So here, the Lord Jesus did rebuke Satan.
The last scripture that we will look at is Revelation 12:7 “And there was war in heaven. Michael and his Angels fought against the dragon and his Angels fought back, but were not strong enough, and lost their place in heaven”. “He was hurled down to the earth and his Angels were hurled down with him”.
Some reason that only Jesus has the authority to throw Satan and his Angels out of heaven. And that only Jesus as the Archangel has Angels under him. But notice that in this verse it says that Satan has “his angels” under him. If Satan has his angels, why can’t Michael, one of the Chief in rank angels have angels under him? A man even who is higher in rank than others will have those under his command. And these good angels, under God and Christ Jesus orders can be given the authority and power to cast Satan and his Angels out of heaven. Lastly, even this last biblical verse mentioning Michael does state that Michael is the Lord Jesus. Some say Jesus became Michael again, upon his resurrection to heaven but the bible does not say this is so.
These scriptures cited that name Michael are the only Bible text where he is mentioned at all. Not much is written about Angels in the Holy Bible. However in these few verses, not one of these Bible verses directly state that Jesus is or was known as Michael. Neither Christ nor his Apostles gave any hint that Jesus should be linked with this name. Some reason that Michael’s name means “God is with us” and cite this as proof that he must be Jesus. However, most biblical names have meanings that are linked to Jehovah’s name. You would think that if knowing Jesus as Michael was of any importance at all to our salvation, the scriptures would make it very clear. The following verses we feel do show that Jesus is way superior to any Angel.
Hebrews chapter 1 is all about Jesus supremacy over the Angels. While some say that these verses were referring to Jesus after his resurrection, there is wording in there that shows he was superior even prior to his resurrection. Please note these verses in your own bible;
Hebrews 1:1-14. “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the Prophets at many times and in various ways. But in these last days he has spoken to us by his son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification of our sins, he sat down at the right hand of the majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. (Not that he was not superior prior but now is “as much superior” as his new name is superior, thus exalting Jesus even higher than before. This new name is a reference to Revelation 19:11,12 note the name is not Michael but a name only Jesus knows) for to which of the angels did God ever say, “you are my son; today I have become your father?” Or again, “I will be his father and he will be my son”. And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him”. Verse 8 states, “Your throne, O God will last forever and ever and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. Verses 9-14 state “You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy” “In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands”. “To which of the angels did God ever say, “Sit at my right hand until I make enemies a footstool for your feet?” Lastly, verse 14 states that angels are ministering spirits sent to serve those who inherit salvation. (As compared to Christ who salvation is thru by his ransoming his life on our behalf.)
The term used through out the above “to which of the angels” is a rhetorical question. Meaning to NONE of the Angels. God did not send any angel but his one and only SON. See John 3:16.
John 1:3 states about Jesus “through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made”.
Colossians 1:15, 16 says that Jesus is “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation” It also says “For by him all things were created: things in heaven (including angels) and on earth, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. Also Colossians 1:18 states “ And he is the head of the Body, the Church, he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
Closing comments and notes
About Firstborn & Only Begotten Son
Christ is called the “firstborn” in Colossians 1:15. This term should not be confused with the term first created. Just as the firstborn son had certain rights and privileges in bible times, Christ Jesus had certain rights in relation to all creation. (Colossians 1:16-18) including priority, pre-eminence and sovereignty. The New World Translation translates this verse that Jesus is the “firstborn of all creation”. However, most other bibles translate this verse “the firstborn OVER all creation”.
Christ is called “only begotten son” of Jehovah. (John 3:16). The word beget means to sir or father. (We are beget with Holy Spirit thus becoming sons of God). This term is only applied to Christ. Therefore the closeness that he has with Jehovah is that of a father and a son. We don’t feel this refers to only prior to his coming to earth because it says of Christ that he was in the “bosom of the father”. Since Jesus is also the exact radiance of God’s glory, he is the next best thing as to God himself. He embodied all Jehovah’s qualities is such a wonderful way and is God’s only heir off all things. He subjects himself to the father but he could have been divine in nature like Jehovah prior to coming to earth. Maybe this is why the Pharisees wanted to stone him when he said he was God’s son. He did not say he was God but rather that he was God’s son, yet they still said he blasphemed by making himself EQUAL to God. This equal could have been equal in nature, not position. (Will have to research this in the future). Jesus said in prayer to the father at John 17:5 “And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you, before the world began” Here Christ is asking for not a new glory, but the glory he already had beside the father. He went back to the bosom position with the father but was given a new name now. Not a new position. Any thoughts on this?
The names Jesus and Michael
The name Michael means “who is like God” but this does not prove this name belongs to Christ.
The name Jesus was given at his birth was “Immanuel” meaning “God with us”. Also Jesus is the Greek name of the Son of God. The Hebrew equivalent if Joshua which means “God is Salvation”.
According to books discussing ancient Jewish beliefs and customs about angels including the “New illustrated Companion to the Bible”, the ancient Jews believed in several different ranks of angels with the archangels being the highest ranking of them all. Each Archangel’s name contained the element “el” meaning God. The names of the Archangels they believed in were: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel.
The book of Enoch the Prophet also gives the same names of the Archangels. While the early Church Fathers did not include the book of Enoch into what they considered were the only inspired scriptures, many bible scholars feel the book of Enoch is a very important book from a historical viewpoint. This book backs up what the Holy Bible says about God, Christ, angels and the coming judgment of the earth.
The word Angel comes from the Greek word “angelos” meaning messenger. The main functions of angels in the bible are to praise God in heaven, act as intermediaries between God and men (but only when God chooses to use them as such), and to protect Israel and other nations.
Daniel Chapter 10 and Revelation Chapter 1:
We noticed some striking similarities between the “man” Daniel saw in his vision in Chapter 10 and the resurrected Jesus that the Apostle John saw in Revelation chapter 1:9-20. We believe the “man” in Daniel 10 is Jesus in his pre-human existence and in Revelation 1:9-20 is Jesus after he was resurrected and became our high priest. Thus there are some differences in clothing of the two men. We feel if Jesus was the “man” Daniel saw, then this is further proof he is not Michael as Michael is mentioned as a separate entity. Remember Jesus is referred to as the Son of Man? We have attached a comparison chart of each vision.
Another interesting point in the Daniel vision is that the “man” Daniel saw was described in beautiful details of his face, eyes, clothing, voice, etc. yet he is supposed to be only an angel. And then Michael who is Christ supposedly in his pre-human state is simply stated as being “one of the Chief princes”. No details are given at all about his appearance. If he were the highest ranking angel and the Christ to come, you would think more time would be spent describing him.
Who Was Jesus if not Michael?
We believe Jesus was the Word of God, The Logos, Also known as the Son of God. Both in his pre-human state and now that he is again in heaven. In part II of this report, we will be addressing all the Old testament scriptures regarding Jesus in his pre – human existence and showing how he is now glorified again, with the glory he had before the founding of the world. And how he was and is now involved in Jehovah’s purposes.
Quotes from Brother Russell regarding Michael the Archangel
“Michael is NOT the Son of God”, WT November 1879 Page 4
“Jesus before he became a man, was a spiritual being of a nature superior to Angels” WT March 1883 Page 4
Research by Lillian Cruz
Any questions, feel free to email me at: [email protected]