Monday, February 6, 2012
Is Jesus the Archangel Michael?
▪ Put simply, the answer is yes. The custom of being called by more than one name is common in many cultures. The same situation occurs with names in the Bible. For example, the patriarch Jacob is also named Israel. (Genesis 35:10) The apostle Peter is named in five different ways—Symeon, Simon, Peter, Cephas, and Simon Peter. (Matthew 10:2; 16:16; John 1:42; Acts 15:7, 14) How can we be sure that Michael is another name for Jesus? Consider the following Scriptural evidence.
The Bible contains five references to the mighty spirit creature Michael. Three occurrences are in the book of Daniel. At Daniel 10:13, 21, we read that a dispatched angel is rescued by Michael, who is called “one of the foremost princes” and “the prince of you people.” Next, at Daniel 12:1, we learn that in the time of the end, “Michael will stand up, the great prince who is standing in behalf of the sons of your people.”
A further mention of Michael occurs at Revelation 12:7, which describes “Michael and his angels” as fighting a vital war that results in the ousting of Satan the Devil and his wicked angels from heaven.
Notice that in each of the above-mentioned cases, Michael is portrayed as a warrior angel battling for and protecting God’s people, even confronting Jehovah’s greatest enemy, Satan.
Jude verse 9 calls Michael “the archangel.” The prefix “arch” means “principal” or “chief,” and the word “archangel” is never used in the plural form in the Bible. The only other verse in which an archangel is mentioned is at 1 Thessalonians 4:16, where Paul describes the resurrected Jesus, saying: “The Lord [Jesus] himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet.” So Jesus Christ himself is here identified as the archangel, or chief angel.
In view of the foregoing, what can we conclude? Jesus Christ is Michael the archangel. Both names—Michael (meaning “Who Is Like God?”) and Jesus (meaning “Jehovah Is Salvation”)—focus attention on his role as the leading advocate of God’s sovereignty. Philippians 2:9 states: “God exalted him [the glorified Jesus] to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name.”
It is important to note that the human birth of Jesus was not the beginning of his life. Before Jesus was born, Mary was visited by an angel who told her that she would conceive a child by means of holy spirit and that she should name the child Jesus. (Luke 1:31) During his ministry, Jesus often spoke of his prehuman existence.—John 3:13; 8:23, 58.
So Michael the archangel is Jesus in his prehuman existence. After his resurrection and return to heaven, Jesus resumed his service as Michael, the chief angel, “to the glory of God the Father.”—Philippians 2:11.