Written by Charles Bedwell
Important Note: We are in no way trying to make out that Jesus Christ is an angel on this page. Jesus is NOT an angel, He is a divine being that has always existed with God the Father. Jesus is NOT a created being like the angels. What we are looking into here is a mere "TITLE" of our beloved Saviour.
So could Michael the archangel in the Bible really be Jesus Christ? Think about it. Jesus is also called a 'Lamb'. Does that make Him a sheep? He is also called 'The Door'. Does that make Him a piece of wood? And He is also called a 'Lion'. Does that make Him a cat? Obviously the answer is no, because we know from John 8:58 that Jesus Christ is the great 'I AM'. The self existent deity who created the heaven and earth. So Jesus has many 'TITLES' that are applied to Him throughout the scriptures. Could 'Michael the Archangel' be one of them? We will find out here.
A great place to start would be to define the word Angel. Looking in the Strong's Concordance, the word angel is translated as H4397 - mal'ak, which means messenger. Now knowing that "angel" itself actually means messenger, would it be appropriate for us to consider our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ also a "type" of 'messenger'? Hold that thought, and read the following scripture:
Daniel 3:24-26,28 ...'Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire ... Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.'
Did you know that the name Michael in the Old Testament means "Who is like God"?
King Nebuchadnezzar said he saw "the Son of God" in the furnace with the three Hebrew men, and then he follows by referring to the Son of God as "God's Angel". Let's look into a couple of other passages.
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 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.'
Most people would assume that the Commander here would just be one of the higher-ranking angels in God's angelic army. Many have "assumed" that Michael (under the false notion of Michael being a normal angel) or Gabriel would represent this character. Look closely at verse 15 again, though. Joshua is told by this Commander to remove the sandal from his foot because of that very ground now being holy ground, and Joshua even worshiped Him! Would a man of the one true and High Almighty God bow down and worship any creation of God? Of course not! Some scoffers even at this point would still attempt to tout, "Well...Joshua actually only did that out of respect for "the angel", but that doesn't mean that this character is Jesus." Only out of respect? Fair enough, let's look then at the next passage to see if this thought is true:
Exodus 3:1-7 ...'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. And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows.'
Can we now see a clear picture here? Absolutely. The being who appeared to Moses in the burning bush was none other than The Angel of the Lord, Christ Jesus, or God Himself. What significant thing did the Lord ask Moses to do? "Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground." Ahh! What God said here to Moses was the exact same thing that the Angel of the Lord said to Joshua.
Now Remember, we are only looking at another 'TITLE' for Christ. We are NOT saying He is an angel.
Now consider this. Would any servant of God be allowed to worship a normal created angelic being from Heaven? This answer can be found in Revelation, where John is receiving his vision from an angel in Heaven.
Revelation 19:9-11 ...'And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.'
Well, if a servant of God were merely to "bow down and give worship out of respect" for an angel, wouldn't he do it here for this angel also? Here we see John bowing down to worship this messenger, but he is told NOT to! The messenger also says he is a FELLOW servant and brother - and that glory is to be given to God alone! Beyond all examples, this shows the truth that the prophets, apostles, and leaders of God's people ONLY bow to Him, which is fitting. This angel in Revelation, out of love for John, was reminding him of the 2nd Commandment:
Exodus 20:4-6 ...'Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.'
Now taking these things into mind, have a look at what it says in Daniel 12, verse 1.
Daniel 12:1 ...'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.'
A couple of things to consider. First, this verse denotes that judgment has come to an end, probation has closed and Jesus is soon to return. Now who is conducting the great judgment in heaven? God the Father, with Jesus Christ as our Mediator right? So how could judgment come to an end when a "mere" angel stands up? Doesn't this make more sense if it is Jesus Christ that stands up to signal the end of judgment? Also, in the above verse it says that Michael is the "Great Prince" who stands for God's children. Who is it that "stands up" (intercedes) for us? Jesus Christ! And this is confirmed in Daniel 10:21 which says ..
"But I will shew 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."
And in Daniel 9:25 it confirms that Daniel's "Prince" is the Messiah, Jesus Christ! Now take a look at what it says in Revelation 12:
Revelation 12:7 ...'And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels.'
Let me ask you ... who is the war in Heaven between? Is it between Satan and an angel? No, the war is between Satan and Christ Jesus. And notice that it says in the above verse in Revelation that Michael and HIS angels fought against the dragon (Satan) with "his" angels. So we have Satan with his angels fighting against who? Jesus Christ and His angels! God's angels don't belong to another angel. They belong to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Remember who the "CAPTAIN OF THE HOST" is from Joshua 5 above? It is someone who turns the place where He stands into HOLY GROUND. It is Christ Jesus!
When Jesus Christ returns at the second coming. What kind of voice does He have? We all know the verse in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, which says ..
'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.'
There is no problem with saying that Michael THE archangel is Jesus Christ. In fact, the Bible supports it! Don't forget, Jesus humbled Himself and became a man in mortal flesh. Is there really a problem with Him being known as Michael THE archangel, THE Prince of the people and Commander of the heavenly hosts? I don't think so. And remember, Michael the archangel means, "the greatest messenger, who is like God".