I. The Premise
Some people, most notably the Jehovah's Witnesses, claim that Jesus Christ is Michael the archangel. Because they also assert that this means that Jesus is a created being, many attempt to use this belief about Michael to scoff at the beliefs of the Jehovah's witnesses. I contend that they got the premise right then drew an incorrect conclusion from it.
- I affirm that Michael the archangel is Jesus the Son of God.
I also believe that this premise in no way demands that Jesus is not God, nor does it demand that Jesus is a created spiritual being. Jesus is most definitely God the Son.
II. Archangel – What it means.
A. Angel – (Greek – ἄγγελος/aggelos; Hebrew – מַלְאָך/mal’ak) means messenger and can apply to any being who is a messenger of God. For instance, men were called angels several times in scripture.
- 1. Jesus referred to John as an angel in Matt. 11:10.
- 2. John sent human angels (messengers) in Luke 7:24.
- 3. Again, Jesus sent human angels before him into Jerusalem in Luke 9:52.
- 4. Caleb and Joshua were called angels in James 2:25.
These are just clear examples, though I believe there are several others. Angel is not a term that is reserved solely for creatures like Gabriel.
B. Arche – (Greek - archo) means top, chief, principle, supreme, or ruling. From this word we get such terms as anarchy (no rule), monarch (single ruler), oligarchy (few rule), arch-nemesis (primary nemesis) and so on. Even the stand alone word arch derives its meaning from this as a construct "over" something.
C. Archangel – (Greek archaggelos) there is only one mentioned and in each case that the term is used it is with the definite article. There is only one archangel, not many. Taking the two parts of the word arche and angel we understand that the archangel is the chief messenger, the supreme messenger, the number one or ruling angel.
Who was God's primary messenger to mankind? Who has the authority to rule all other messengers of any type both by command and by the message He brought? Only one person fits this designation. Jesus.
There are 15 references to the name Michael in Scripture. Ten of these are humans named Michael. It is in reference to the prince/archangel mentioned in the last five verses the name is used that we seek. The first three of these references to Michael are in the Old Testament book of the prophet Daniel. The last two are mentioned in the New Testament books of Jude and Revelation. By study and comparison of these and other verses, evidence presents itself, which leads us to an inescapable conclusion of who Michael really is. The Hebrew name "Michael" (Miyka'el/Micahl) found in the Old Testament, means "who is like God". So the title "Michael the archangel" can be translated as "The chief messenger who is like God".
IV. The Angel of the Lord
The phrase "angel of the Lord" is found 68 times in Scripture. Sometimes it applies to Gabriel who appeared to Daniel, Zacharias, and Mary. But Gabriel is called "an" angel of the Lord (Luke 1:11). He is not referred to as "the" angel of the Lord. Neither is he ever called “the archangel”. (And while we’re on the subject, the popular angel Raphael does not appear anywhere in Scripture.)
There are several references in Scripture to a being identified as "the angel of the Lord" before Christ's earthly incarnation. Yet each time He is mentioned, there are clues to His identity. Here they are in the order in which they appear:
Genesis 16:7-13 - And the angel of Jehovah found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. And the angel of Jehovah said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. And the angel of Jehovah said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. And the angel of Jehovah said unto her, Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because Jehovah hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. And she called the name of Jehovah that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?
Hagar bore Ishmael to Abraham when he let Sarah talk him into helping God out with the promise He made. Hagar and Sarah never got along after that. Sarah dealt harshly with Hagar until she fled into the desert unknowingly pregnant with Ishmael. The angel spoke to Hagar near the fountain in the way to Shur and told her "Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude." When the "angel" left, Hagar "called the name of Jehovah that spake unto her, Thou God seest me" (verse 13). Hagar understood that the "angel of Jehovah" who had spoken to her was really God.
Genesis 22:11-18 - And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen. And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. Just before he brings the knife down into his son on the altar on Mount Moriah, the angel of the Lord stops him. Read carefully: "And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, 'Abraham, Abraham:' and he said, 'Here am I.' And he said, 'Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me" ('Genesis 22:11, 12).
The angel of the Lord is speaking, but Abraham was offering his son to God not just an angel. "And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, 'By myself have I sworn,' saith the Lord, 'for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. because thou hast obeyed my voice" ('Genesis 22:15-18).
In Acts 3:25, Peter also identifies this "angel of the Lord" who made a covenant with Abraham as God.
In this context, it is the angel who is speaking and the angel says "myself, I, I, I, my, and my" throughout the text. The text also first reads "the angel of Jehovah called and said" then immediately thereafter reads "saith the Lord" directly associating the angel of Jehovah as Jehovah God.
1. Genesis 28:10-22 - And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first. And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
When fleeing from Esau, Jacob had a dream in which God confirms the covenant of Abraham to him. After God assures Jacob that He would be with him and bring him safely back to his home in Canaan, Jacob vows to return to God a tenth of all his profit. He sets up a stone he’d been using as a pillow and anoints it with oil. Then he names the place Beth-el, or house of God, since God had appeared to him there.
2. Genesis 31:11-13 - And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I. And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ringstraked, speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee. I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.
Fast forward twenty years. Jacob returns to his home with the sheep, wealth, and family he acquired working for Laban. The angel of God speaks to Jacob to remind Jacob where his success came from. "And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I" In verse 13, this "angel of God" identifies Himself: "I am the God of Beth-el, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me."
3. Genesis 32:22-30 - And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok. And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had. And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
Jacob soon comes to wrestle with a “man”. After wrestling all night, the man gives Jacob a new name and blesses him. Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved" (verse 30). In the New Testament, Jesus is the one who blesses His people and gives them a new name. (Matthew 5:3-12; Revelation 2:17). As you can see, it is becoming increasingly clear that the angel of the Lord is Jesus Himself.
4. Genesis 48:15-16 - And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.
As Jacob lay on his deathbed giving a blessing to Joseph's two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, he uses the terms "angel" and "God" interchangeably. Furthermore, he refers to God as “The Angel which redeemed me from all evil”. Yet the Scriptures are very clear there is no redeemer, no savior but God. "I, even I, am Jehovah, And besides Me there is no savior; Thus says Jehovah, your Redeemer" (Isaiah 43:11, 14). We know that Jesus is our Redeemer, our Savior, and very importantly, our God. This angel that Jacob calls his redeemer can be none other than Christ, for who else could it be?
Exodus 3:1-6 - Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.
In this passage, Moses sees a burning bush that is not consumed. Within the flame "the angel of the Lord" appears to him. In verse 4, this angel is identified by Moses: "God called unto him out of the midst of the bush." In verse 6, the angel identifies Himself. "I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." The angel of the Lord identifies Himself as God!
Acts 7:30-32 - And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sinai an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush. When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him, Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
Stephen repeats what Moses wrote in Exodus 3 in his last sermon just before the Jews stone him to death.
In another instance, the children of Israel were led through the wilderness by God. "And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night" (Exodus 13:21). Moses later describes this being that led them this way: “And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them" (Exodus 14:19). Again, "the angel of God" is identified as God.
Numbers 22:21-35 - "And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab. And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him. And the ass saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way. But the angel of the Lord stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he smote her again. And the angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff. And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? and he said, Nay. Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. And the angel of the Lord said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive. And Balaam said unto the angel of the Lord, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again. And the angel of the Lord said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak."
The angel of the Lord is seen again in the history of Balaam and his talking donkey. It is this angel who saves the donkey from Balaam's cruelty and nearly kills Balaam, who is on his way to curse God's people. After Balaam's close brush with death, "the angel of the Lord said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shall speak" (verse 35). The next chapter reveals who put the words in the prophet's mouth: "And God met Balaam: … And the Lord put a word in Balaam's mouth, and said, Return unto Balak, and thus shalt thou speak" (Numbers 23:4, 5). Here again, "the angel of the Lord" turns out to be God Himself.
Judges 2:1 - "And the ‘angel of Jehovah’ came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you."
What did the angel of Jehovah say? He said "He" brought the Israelites out of Egypt and made the covenant with Israel that "He" would never break. This is God speaking, even though the writer of Judges refers to Him as "the angel of Jehovah".
Gideon has an encounter with the angel of the Lord in the book of Judges. The angel tells Gideon that the Lord is with him. Gideon points to the oppression of Israel by the Midianites as evidence to the contrary. "And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?" (Judges 6:14). Throughout the rest of the narrative, the person speaking to Gideon is identified interchangeably as the Lord, the angel of the Lord, and the angel of God.
Samson's mother, the wife of Manoah, was barren. "And the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman" (Judges 13:3). This angel told her she would bear a son who would deliver the apostate Israelites from their heathen oppressors. She quickly called Manoah, who prayed for another visit from the "man of God." When the angel came the second time, Manoah asked him his name. The King James says that the angel told Manoah that his name was "Secret". The Hebrew word is pil'iy and means "wonderful, incomprehensible, extraordinary". The word is used again in Psa. 139:6 and is translated as wonderful. We then recall Isaiah's prophecy that Jesus would be called, "Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6). The name "Wonderful" for the angel of the Lord who appeared to Manoah connects this "angel" with the coming Messiah who was to be called "Wonderful."
Once again, after seeing this "Wonderful messenger," Manoah declared they had seen God. And Manoah said to his wife, "We shall surely die, because we have seen God!" (Judges 13:22).
Acts 27:21-25 - But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.
Paul is on a ship on his way to Rome. The ship is being tossed in a mighty storm and the men on board are afraid. Paul stands and addresses them in the midst of the storm to comfort them. He says that no life will be lost and supports that claim by saying that a messenger from God stood by him and told him what would come to pass. The critical thing is, though, that Paul claimed that he belonged to this messenger of God and served him. This messenger could only be Christ for no other messenger of God, save He who is God Himself, should be served or should we consider ourselves to belong to.
K. No One has Seen the Father
We see that "angel of the Lord" is frequently identified to be God Himself. But the Bible states, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" (John 1:18). John 6:46 also tells us, "Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father." Since no man has seen God the Father, all of these Old Testament sightings of God as the "angel of the Lord" must have been Jesus, God the Son.
L. "The Messenger (Angel) of the Covenant"
Malachi 3:1: "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith Jehovah of hosts."
The messenger of the covenant spoken of here in Malachi is clearly a reference to Jesus Christ. The word translated as messenger (mal'ak) is the same exact word used in the previous Old Testament passages translated as "angel of the Lord". So this would also be a proper translation: “Behold, I will send my angel, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the angel of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith Jehovah of hosts.”
M. The Voice of The Archangel
If we isolate and examine the word "archangel," we see another interesting match. The only other passage in the Bible that uses the word "archangel" is 1 Thessalonians 4:16. And note its context: "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first." It is the voice of the archangel that raises the dead in Christ, and the Lord Himself who shouts it. This indicates that they are one and the same. Jesus is the one who shouts with the voice of the archangel, or "greatest messenger," to raise the dead!
V. Answers to Common Questions
A. Rebuking the Accuser
The prophet Zechariah was given a vision of Joshua, the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord. Satan is standing at his right hand to resist him. Here we see two adversaries contending over a sinful human being. Joshua's filthy garment symbolizes his sin. (Zech 3:3).
In this narrative, the name changes quickly from "the angel of the Lord" (verse 1) to "the Lord" (verse 2), indicating again that they are the same. Then the Lord makes an interesting statement. "And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan" (Zech 3:2). There is only one other place in Scripture (Jude 1:9), where this sentence is found—and Michael the archangel speaks it!
In the short epistle of Jude, we witness a scene similar to Joshua and the angel in Zechariah. "Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee" (Jude 1:9). The situations are almost exactly parallel: Christ and Satan are contending over the fate of two of God’s great human leaders (a living one in the case of Joshua, and a dead one in the case of Moses). The debate is ended abruptly when Jesus says, "The Lord rebuke thee."
This passage raises another valid question. Some people are confused by part of this verse in (Jude 1:9) where Michael rebukes the devil. They wonder: If Michael is really another name for Jesus, then why does he invoke the name of the Lord when rebuking Satan? Why not do it Himself as He did when tempted in the wilderness. "Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan" (Matt 4:10).
In studying the Scriptures and language of Jesus, we quickly see it was a very common practice for Jesus to speak of Himself in the second person, as in' Luke 18:8: "Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" And if there is still any lingering question, we have this other clear Scripture in Zech 3:2, where the Lord does the same thing Michael does in Jude. He invokes His own name when rebuking the devil. "And the Lord said to Satan, 'Jehovah rebuke you, Satan!" Since Jesus does nothing in Himself but says and does all in accordance with the Father's will (John 14:10 and yea, even John 14-17). These Scriptures are examples of God the Son, appealing to the name of His Father in rebuking Satan.
B. Michael in the book of Daniel
1. Michael is mentioned more in Daniel than in any other book in Scripture. (See Daniel 10:13; 10:21; 12:1) In all three references, He is called a prince—your prince and the great prince. Isaiah's prophecy about the Messiah (Isa. 9:6) reveals one of the key names he says that would apply to the Messiah is "Prince of Peace."
There is another verse in Daniel 8:25 where the "Prince of princes" is mentioned. Again, the cosmic conflict is being played out with Christ on one side and the devil on the other, with humanity serving as the battlefield. "Prince of princes" is actually the same term that is translated "prince of the host" in verse 11. This is similar to "Lord of lords" (Psalm 136:3), "God of gods" (Deuteronomy 10:17), and "King of kings" (Revelation 19:16). All these are titles of deity. He is even referred to as "Messiah the Prince" (Daniel 9:25).
- a. Isaiah 9:6: "And his name shall be called …The Prince of Peace."
- b. Acts 3:14, 15: "But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and … killed the Prince of life."
- c. Acts 5:30, 31: "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."
- d. Revelation 1:5: "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth."
These verses clearly echo with three verses in Daniel in which Michael is called a "prince."
Who is this being that the angels call the Great Prince? Let's let the Bible tell us.
2. But Is Michael Only One of Many?
Daniel 10:13 is probably the most difficult verse regarding Michael: "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." It appears at first glance that Michael is only "one of" the chief princes. This is an unfortunate translation in the King James. The word "one" comes from the Hebrew word "echad," which is also frequently translated as "first," just as Genesis 1:5 refers to the evening and morning as the first (echad) day. This changes the whole meaning of the verse to Michael being first of, greatest or highest of, to the chief of princes—again a reference to Jesus. Young's Literal translates verse 13 this way:
And the head of the kingdom of Persia is standing over-against me twenty and one days, and lo, Michael, first of the chief heads, hath come in to help me, and I have remained there near the kings of Persia;
Daniel 10:21 says, "But I will show thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince." Notice here that the angel refers to Michael as your Prince. Who was Daniel’s prince? In the previous chapter, we see the answer. In Daniel 9:25, Daniel’s Messiah is called the prince, which is another clear indication of Michael’s identity! So Gabriel is saying that Michael the archangel is Jesus, who knows all the truth of Scripture.
The final reference to Michael in Daniel is in chapter 12: "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people." Notice here that Michael is not called a great prince but "the great prince." The definite article there lends more credence to the idea of Michael being the first or head rather than just one of many. He is also identified as the one who "standeth for the children of thy people." This means that He intercedes, defends and even stands as a substitute. Who could this be other then Jesus?
VI. The Lord Of Hosts, the Only Angel that Receives Worship
A. Revelation 12
I have already referred to my commentary on Revelation 12 and how the surrounding context within the proper interpretation of the book points to Michael in that passage as Jesus. This is simply more supporting evidence from whichever way you choose to approach the topic.
Joshua 5:13-15 - And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of Jehovah 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.
As Joshua and the Israelites have finished their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, have crossed over the Jordan, and have recovered from the circumcision of those who had not been in the wilderness, they come to Jericho which was the first city to fall. There, Joshua meets a man with a sword that he does not recognize. The man introduces himself as "captain of the host of Jehovah". Then Joshua worships the man and calls him "Lord". The man, instead of claiming to be a mere angel and that Joshua is not to worship him as all other angels do, tells Joshua to take off his shoes for he stands on holy ground. The only other place this happens is in Exodus 3 with Moses at the burning bush. The conclusion that must be reached is that this captain of Jehovah's host is God the Son. The phrase "Lord of hosts" appears 245 times in the Bible, and it refers to the "commander of God's angelic army." So the "captain of the Lord's host" that Joshua saw was not an angel, but Jesus Himself. That explains why He demanded that Joshua remove his shoes. The place was holy because Jesus was there, just as Jesus' presence at the burning bush made that ground holy for Moses. So Michael, the captain of the Lord's host, or army, is another title for Jesus.
C. Accepts Worship
In each case in which the angel of the Lord accepts worship, it is clearly the Son of God. But where regular, created angels are worshiped, they refuse it! Just as Jesus reminded Satan in the wilderness, "For it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve" (Luke 4:8). In fact, all the created angels are commanded to worship Jesus as they did during His first advent. "And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him" (Hebrews 1:6-8).
VII. Who is as God
When Philip asks Jesus to show the disciples the Father, Christ responded: "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (John 14:9). Some think that God's Son waited 4,000 years to personally intervene in the affairs of man. Not so! Though it is true that the incarnation occurred 4,000 years after man's fall, God the Son has been personally involved in the history and affairs of His people since The Beginning. This is one reason why Jesus said; "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad" (John 8:56). Jesus appeared personally to Abraham when the Patriarch interceded for Lot (Genesis 18:26).
What a wonderful truth that Jesus, God's eternal Son, has ever been actively occupied in watching over, providing for, and protecting His children! He spoke face to face with Abraham and Moses and wrestled with Jacob. He led the Israelites through the wilderness, providing food and water and victory against their enemies. He was there when Joshua and the Israelites crossed over into the Promised Land and it is His blood there in the water when we pass into His Kingdom and become citizens of it by immersion.
Remember that the title "Michael the archangel" means "The greatest messenger who is as God." It was Jesus, "the image of the invisible God" (Colossians 1:15), who brought the greatest message of hope, the gospel, to our perishing world.
Therefore: Michael is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
In Truth and Love.
- A portion of the text of this post did not originate with me though I do not know the original author. The thoughts contained above in this post are wholly accepted by me and I will defend all of it unless proved incorrect from scripture.