Seventh-Day Adventists/Michael and Jesus
In a recent answer you wrote about Michael the archangel not being Jesus. Could you look at the passages that mention Michael and tell me about them? Please help me understand this situation about Michael and Jesus.
Thanks in Advance,
Dear Brother Karl:
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.
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. Also let’s note that Jesus is never referred to as a “chief prince” in the Bible.
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.
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.
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). 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). Also note that Michael refers to the Lord as someone separate from himself.
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.
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.
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.
Thanks for the question.
God Be With You,