Unless we understand that Jesus took certain titles or names for the roles He played, especially in the plan of salvation, certain titles such as archangel which mean a chief angel or the commander of the army of angels, will indeed seem derogatory of Jesus and we will miss the whole point. Concerning God’s warning in Isaiah 28:9-10 which says “Whom shall He teach knowledge? And whom shall He make to understand doctrine?” and the child-like humility of being “weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts” (v. 9) and the patient studious caution of placing “precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, and there a little” (v. 10), few topics warrant this solemn instruction from God as the topic of the pre-incarnate personality of Jesus Christ. The question “Is Michael Jesus Christ?” that has caused several divisions amongst God’s end-time people is a question we can find satisfying answers to from the Bible. This short write up is written to shed more light on this topic.
One of the truest ways of knowing who someone is or who a figure is in the Bible is to simply know the roles they played or their job description. When we think of a boy that took care of his father’s sheep and went after a lion which took a lamb out of the flock, we immediately think of David, and whether this man is somewhere else referred to as “The Psalmist”, we know it is still David based on the evidence of the role he played. When we think of a man who stretched out his hand over the red sea and drowned Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen, we think of Moses, and whether this man is somewhere else referred to as “God’s servant”, we know it is still Moses based on the evidence of the role he played. When we think of a man that fiercely persecuted the disciples of Jesus Christ and later became a foremost apostle himself, we think of Paul, and whether this man is somewhere else called “Saul”, we know it is still Paul. Whether Satan is called “The devil” or “The Serpent”, or “Lucifer”, we know is still the same person based on the evidence of the role he played in Scripture. Now, considering the topic of this write-up, let us look at some evidence and examples from the Bible.
Let’s begin here. Take a look at Joshua 5:13-15
13 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?
14 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?
15 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.
The man that appears to Joshua here says he is the captain of the Lord’s hosts. Do you know this is what the name Michael signifies? But this is a title that correctly applies to Jesus Christ only.
In the same account, quite similar to Moses’ experience at the burning bush (see Exodus 3), notice that Joshua was said to have worshipped this man and called him my Lord in godly reverence. One thing is clear; angels do not accept worship of this sort or of any sort. We have two accounts in Revelation 19:10 and Revelation 22:8-9.
Revelation 19:10 King James Version (KJV)
10 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.
Revelation 22:8-9 King James Version (KJV)
8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things.
9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
The response of the angel here is pretty much clear in that angels are chiefly servants or messengers. They like us are created to worship God; not to receive worship (Revelation 4:11). The inevitable implication of this is that the man that appeared to Joshua couldn’t be a created being; he is whom he says he is; the captain of God’s hosts and he is whom Joshua calls him; the Lord. Now take a look at Matthew 16:27 and see a job description of a captain of the Lord’s hosts. Here is Jesus.
Matthew 16:27 King James Version (KJV)
27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
This is talking about the return of Jesus Christ. Also see:
John 5:28, 29 King James Version (KJV)
28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
Now compare this:
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 King James Version (KJV)
16 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:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
If you have more time, you may also compare this with 2 Thess. 1: 7-9. This job description of a Captain of the Lord’s hosts, which entails the second coming and the resurrection, amongst many others in the Scriptures is certainly those of Jesus Christ. Yet, the man in the form of an angel that appears to Joshua with a sword drawn in His hands, says he is the Captain of the Lord’s hosts. Who else could He be but the pre-incarnate Christ, the Son of God, appearing in the form of an angel?
We know that another job description of Jesus Christ is that He is the high priest and minister of the sanctuary in heaven after the shadow of the sanctuary service in the old dispensation.
Hebrews 8:1-2 King James Version (KJV)
1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
(Also see Revelation 1:12-20 for more evidence of Christ’s ministration in the heavenly sanctuary).
Yet, in Revelation 8, we see an angel in verse 3 and 4, performing Christ’s role and we can know this is the heavenly sanctuary because it happened right before the throne of God (Vs. 4), which we know from the old dispensation is in the most holy place of the sanctuary (Isaiah 37:16; Psalm 99:1; Exodus 25:19-22). Concerning the sanctuary in heaven, we know no created being could perform this priestly role to which man’s redemption is intricately connected (for this is what the sanctuary services were all about), thus this ‘angel’ in Revelation 8:3-4 was definitely Christ and the word ‘angel’ here would suffice as a minister or servant, which describes Christ’s ministry and service in the heavenly sanctuary. No angel can perform priestly services unto to God on behalf of the human race; only Jesus Christ.
These are some of the many evidences in the Scripture that for certain purposes, such as seen in the experiences of Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Daniel, and John the Revelator, that the Son of God appears in the form of an ‘Angel of the Lord’, for if He truly appears in His pre-incarnate glory without taking this form, these feeble men, He would have destroyed by the brightness of His glory. And the roles afore-described, are the roles of Christ; never the role of the Holy Spirit or the role of some created being as some have deemed Michael to be. (You may also compare Jude 9 and Zechariah 3:1, 2 to see that Michael, though God, has always been subject to His Father, even before He became the incarnate Jesus Christ).
Concerning Daniel 10:13, which pose some challenge to some, we know that there are ranks of angels in heaven based on their roles; the ones closest to the God’s throne, being the highest in rank. These high ranked angels are ‘princes’, and Lucifer, who was also a covering Cherub before his fall, was actually a ‘prince’ too, even been compared to a wicked earthly king, the king of Tyre in Ezekiel 28. And he still retains his princely title even after his fall, being referred to as the prince of the kingdoms of Persia for his role in hardening the hearts of the kings of Persia (Cyrus and his Consuls) against God’s purposes through Daniel. So though Michael was referred to as one of the chief princes in this passage, He is ultimately not of the same status as the highest angels/princes of heaven, but He is the Christ, the prince of princes, the great prince (see Daniel 12) whose job description in Daniel 12:1-3, which entails the second coming, the resurrection of the dead and a resulting executive judgement (compare Daniel 12:1-3 & John 5:27-29) is essentially, as seen all over the rest of Scriptures, that of Jesus Christ.
These clearly show us that Michael (which also means Prince; compare Daniel 12:1 with Revelation 1:5), a crucial figure in the Old Testament, who appeared to many of God’s servants in the form of an “Angel of the Lord”, is indeed Jesus Christ.
Friend, what are your thoughts? Kindly leave a comment below.