Who is Michael the Archangel?

photo credit: Luis Beltrán via photopin cc

Michael the Archangel is one of those characters in the Bible who always shows up when 
something amazing is going on. His first appearance is in the apocalyptic book of Daniel when the angel Gabriel says that Michael came to help him in his struggle with the prince and kings of Persia. He appears again in Daniel 12 as part of an apocalyptic prophecy about the end of time. Here Michael is depicted as standing up for God's people. Jude mentions Michael as contending with the devil over Moses body. The intimation is that Michael was there to resurrect Moses and the devil was present to protest what Michael was doing. Jude says, "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!'" Finally, Michael appears in the apocalyptic book of Revelation as being the chief opponent of Lucifer and leading the war against him.

I would like to suggest something that is going to absolutely freak most of you out, but bear with me. I didn't make it up. In fact there are many Christians who believe this. Here it is: Michael the Archangel is the pre-incarnate Jesus. Now I can already hear some of you getting ready to denounce me for the highest heresy. How can I say that Jesus is Michael when Jesus is God and Michael is an angel? Am I saying that Jesus is a created being? Absolutely not. Before I move one step further allow me to affirm that Jesus is God, eternal and un-created. In Him is life and no one gave it to Him. There has never been when He was not. He was there before the angels were created. He is the second member of the Trinity and all things were made by Him and for Him and in Him all things hold together.

So then, how can I say that Michael and Jesus are the same person? First of all I would like to point out that the word "angel" does not inform us of a creature’s race. It would be like saying "Barack Obama is a president." This statement tells us nothing about his race. Is he Hispanic? White? Black? Mixed? We don't know based on this statement. All we know is that whatever his race is he functions as a president. [1] Likewise, the word angel in both Hebrew and Greek does not inform us of a creature’s race. In Hebrew the word is malak and it simply means "messenger." In Greek the word is angelos and it too means "messenger." So the word angel, like president, simply informs us that the being is functioning as a messenger. It says nothing about the creature’s race. So by saying that Jesus was Michael the Archangel I am simply saying that Jesus was Michael the chief messenger (arch means chief). I am not in any way shape or form saying that Jesus was created. [2]

So what other evidence do I have that Jesus and Michael are the same person? Well, let’s take a look at what I have presented so far. According to the texts mentioned Michael is one of the chief princes of God's people (Daniel 10:13, 21; 12:1).[3] In Daniel 9:25 the ruler (or prince) is the Messiah (Jesus). He is also called the prince of peace. In 1 Thessalonians 16 the Lord Himself (Jesus) descends from heaven with the voice of the archangel and resurrects the dead. Likewise, God is repeatedly referred to in the Old Testament as an angel. Take for instance the stories of Hagar, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Balaam, Gideon, and Manoah. All of them are described as having come into contact with "the angel of the Lord" who in the end turned out to be God. However, no one can see Gods face and live, therefore, these appearances must have been Michael, the pre-incarnate Jesus in the form of a creature. Again, the phrase "angel of the Lord" simply means, "messenger of the Lord."

So what difference does this make? To answer that question I will quote from an article on the topic by Pastor Doug Bachelor. Bachelor writes:

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.
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. [4]

[1] Now of course, we can easily deduce that he is a human being which is also a race, but we can only do so because this is the only planet that we know of and interact with. If we interacted with other planets of different races and someone there had never heard of Barack Obama and they too had presidents on their planet, the creatures there would not be able to make such a deduction. We would have to tell them "Barack Obama is a human president" for them to understand his race and his function. Simply saying "Barack Obama is a president" reveals nothing about his race, only his function.
[2] Cherubim and Seraphim are the only races that are mentioned in the Bible with reference to the created beings that dwell in heaven with God. Cherubim and Seraphim are angels as well. Their race is either Cherub or Seraph and their function is that of an angel or messenger. Jesus is neither a Cherub nor a Seraph. He is God and He too functions as a messenger known as Michael the archangel.

[3] The phrase "one of the chief princes" is a stumbling block to some because they feel it portrays Jesus, not as the unique God, but as one among many other chief princes. However, this challenge is easily overcome when we remember that God triune. Therefore, the phrase "one of the chief princes" can be understood as "one of the members of the trinity."
[4] Bachelor, Doug. http://www.amazingfacts.org/news-and-features/inside-report/id/385/who-is-michael-the-archangel.aspx
Who is Michael the Archangel? Who is Michael the Archangel? Reviewed by Pastor Marcos on December 21, 2012 Rating: 5

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