Seventh-Day Adventists/Michael and Jesus
Frank wrote at 2012-11-26 22:19:32
11 24 2012 - Michael and Jesus
<<< The expert’s answer:>>>
There are ten verses, all in the Old Testament, that mention men named Michael. These have no bearing on whether Michael the Archangel and Jesus are the same person, therefore, they will not be included in this study. For your reference these verses are Numbers 13:13; 1 Chronicles 5:13, 14; 6:40; 7:3; 8:16; 12:20; 27:18; 2 Chronicles 21:2 and Ezra 8:8.
There are five verses that have a direct bearing on the Michael/Jesus issue. They are Daniel 10:13, 21; 12:1; Jude 1:9 and Revelation 12:7.
There is one verse that is often brought forth in an effort to show that Jesus is Michael the Archangel that verse is 1 Thessalonians 4:16. This study will consider that verse also even though Michael is not mentioned. I will be using the New American Standard Bible (NASB) for all Bible quotations in this study.
<<< There are verses other than 1 Thessalonians 4:16 that don’t contain the name “Michael” that are relevant to the question of the identity of “Michael the Archangel”. >>>
The first mention of Michael that is pertinent to this study is found in the book of Daniel. “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia” (10:13). It’s important to note that this Michael is here referred to as “one of the chief princes”. He is not unique. There are other chief princes. This does not sound like a description of Jesus.
<<< If Michael is the archangel (chief angel) then he could not be “one of the chief princes”. The Hebrew word translated “one” can also be translated as “first”. This would remove the contradiction and allow Jesus to fulfill the position of the chief prince. In speaking of Jesus Paul writes, “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:” (Colossians 1:15 KJV) >>>
Also let’s note that Jesus is never referred to as a “chief prince” in the Bible.
<<< Jesus is the “first” of the chief princes.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace,
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6 KJV)
He is Messiah the Prince,
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” (Daniel 9:25 KJV)
He is the Prince of life,
“And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.” (Acts 3:15 KJV)
He is a Prince and a Savior,
“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 5:31 KJV)
He is the Prince of the Kings of the Earth,
“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. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,” (Revelation 1:5 KJV) >>>
The next mention also from the book of Daniel is found in 10:21. “However, I will tell you what is inscribed in the writing of truth. Yet there is no one who stands firmly with me against these forces except Michael your prince.” Here Michael is referred to as “your prince”. This Michael defends Israel against evil forces. He is the guardian of Israel.
<<< If Michael is Daniel’s prince, if we identify Daniel’s prince we will have the identity of Michael. The answer is found in Daniel 9:25. “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince . . .” (Daniel 9:25 KJV) Jesus is the Messiah that is prophesied in this verse. Therefore he is Daniel’s prince. Jesus is the Messiah that is prophesied in this verse. Therefore he is Daniel’s prince. >>>
The next mention again from Daniel is found in 12:1. “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.” Here continues the theme of Michael as the guardian of Israel. The clues to the identity of Michael so far considered seem to point more toward him being a guardian angel than a member of the Godhead.
<<< Daniel is one of the two great books of Prophecy that gives us a view of the entire history God’s church. The reference to Michael standing up is a prophecy that is yet to happen but is soon to be fulfilled. When the investigative judgment is complete, Jesus stands up and the seven last plagues are poured out on the earth. God’s people must stand at that time without the benefit of a mediator. They have no sin and are protected by angels until Jesus arrives to take them to heaven to be with Him there for a thousand years. >>>
The next reference is found in the short letter of Jude. “But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’” (1:9).
<<< Christ didn’t contend with the devil over who had the right to the body of Moses. He rebuked the devil then raised Moses and took him to heaven. Compare this verse to Zechariah 3:1, 2 KJV. “And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?” The angel of the Lord in verse 1 is the Lord in verse 2. Therefore the angel of the Lord is the pre-incarnate Jesus. In verse 2 The Lord says “the Lord rebuke thee” in the same manner as in Jude 1:9. And as in the same manner as in Jude 1:9 when Satan contends with Jesus the Lord says to Satan, “The Lord rebuke thee” and He takes away Joshua’s filthy garment and gives him a change of raiment. Actions speak louder than words. >>>
Here Michael is for the first time referred to as an archangel. An archangel is a high ranking, principal, or chief angel. In other words an archangel is a chief prince over other angels (cf. Daniel 10:13). It is important to note that this Michael did not dare to issue a judgment against the devil. The real Jesus did not show any such restraint (cf. Matthew 4:8-10; 17:18; Luke 9:42).
<<< Jesus as Michael showed no restraint in doing what he had come to do. He simply rebuked the devil and then accomplished his purpose. >>>
Also note that Michael refers to the Lord as someone separate from himself.
<<< There are many examples of the Lord referring to Himself as a separate person. As the incarnate Jesus, He often used the phrase “son of man”. For example while talking to His disciples he said, “The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;” (Matthew 13:41 KJV) It should not be considered surprising then that as the pre-incarnate Jesus, he spoke of Himself in the same manner. >>>
Our final verse dealing directly with this Michael/Jesus identification issue is Revelation 12:7. “And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war.” Here Michael is depicted as being the leader of other angels. We know from Jude 1:9 that Michael is an archangel. Further we know that an archangel is a chief angel over other angels and according to Daniel 10:13 Michael is such a “chief prince”. It is clear from our study that Michael is an angel. He is not Jesus Christ the Second Person of the Trinity. It is clear from our study that Michael is an angel. He is not Jesus Christ the Second Person of the Trinity.
<<< Michael is never referred to as “an” archangel. He is only referred to as “the” archangel (1 Thessalonians 1:9, Jude 1:9). Michael cannot, therefore, be “one of several” chief princes. We can only conclude from this that Daniel 10:13 is incorrectly translated as has already been pointed out in this response. The Hebrew word translated “one” is “echad”. This word can also be translated as “first”. For example, “And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel [was] first (Heb. chad): that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage.” (Daniel 6:2 KJV)
Jesus does not have to be a created angel to be the head or chief angel. Jesus in His role as Michael the archangel was Himself a messenger for God’s people in the Old Testament. He is called the “Angel of the Lord”.
“And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. (Genesis 16:9 KJV) “And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?” (Genesis 16:13 KJV)
“And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,” (Genesis 22:15 KJV) “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:” (Genesis 22:16 KJV)
“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.” (Exodus 3:2 KJV) “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.” (Exodus 3:4 KJV)
“But the angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the LORD.” (Judges 13:21 KJV) “And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.” (Judges 13:22 KJV) >>>
One other verse I would like to consider is 1 Thessalonians 4:16. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” While this verse doesn’t mention Michael I include it here because some use it to “prove” that Jesus is an archangel. They say that Jesus is here said to be returning to earth with an archangel’s voice. Note that verse carefully. Jesus does not have an archangel’s voice, but is coming “with” an archangel’s voice. This does not mean that Jesus’ voice is an archangel’s, but that an archangel will accompany Jesus. This verse says that when Jesus returns there will be a shout, an archangel will speak, and the trumpet of God will sound.
<<< “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:” (John 11:25 KJV) The voice of an angel cannot raise a turnip, let alone the sleeping saints. The moniker of Michael is used for both the pre- and post-incarnate Christ and it is the Lord’s voice as the archangel Michael as well as the trumpet call of His father that calls forth the sleeping saints from their graves. >>>
Why would a Christian even consider that an angel could be Jesus Christ? The answer for SDAs is because their so-called prophet, Ellen G. White, said Michael is Jesus. Therefore, they must believe it or admit that she was wrong. “Michael, or Christ, with the angels that buried Moses, came down from heaven” (Ellen G. White, The Truth About Angels, p. 104). While Ellen White was wrong on the identity of Michael, SDAs do believe that Jesus is God. So we can be thankful for that.
<<< The very definition of the Hebrew word for angel gives incontrovertible evidence that there is no valid reason to reject the belief that Christ fulfilled the role of an angel as the Archangel Michael.
Strong’s H4397 mal’ak – from an unused root meaning to dispatch as a deputy; a messenger; specifically, of God, i.e. and angel (also a prophet, priest or teacher).
Christ fulfills this definition more completely than the angels. Messenger (see Malachi 3:1), Prophet (see Matthew 15:37), priest (see Hebrews 5:6), teacher (see John 3:2). >>>
Thanks for the question.
God Be With You,
<<< In Christ’s love,