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Is Jesus Really Michael the Archangel?
Jehovah’s Witnesses teach Jesus is Michael.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses Organization known as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society currently teaches that Michael the archangel is Jesus Christ. I will provide evidence that Jesus is not Michael the archangel from the Bible, and will show that both past and present Watchtower teachings do not coincide.
The Watchtower claims "Scriptural evidence indicates that the name Michael applied to God’s Son before he left heaven to become Jesus Christ and also after his return. Michael is the only one said to be “the archangel,” meaning “chief angel,” or “principal angel.” The term occurs in the Bible only in the singular." [INSIGHT TO THE SCRIPTURES, VOLUME 2, page 393] Looking close at this statement Jesus was an angel first and then became a man, and then went back to being an angel again. Does the Bible teach this? Where does Jesus say that He is Michael? Where do the New Testament writers call Jesus, Michael? Jesus identified Himself as many things, as well as did the writers, but never is Jesus called Michael the archangel. Read closely the following verse cited for support by the Watchtower to prove Jesus is Michael: ‘But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.’ [Daniel 10:13] The Watchtower has misrepresented Michael as being unique and only chief prince when in fact the Bible teaches that there are equals among Michael. Michael is not the only chief prince and that is very important to understand. Now the Bible does not give all who are the chief princes, but it does say there are more than one! It is interesting to know that at one time the Watchtower taught that very thing which they have subtly changed: "Archangel is the name given to some of God’s spirit creatures, which name signifies “first in rank”." [Creation, 1927, 1,100,000 ed., p. 19] "Long ages ago, before earthly time began, the great Jehovah God had a wonderful and mighty organization consisting of a host of spirit creatures, the beautiful angels among them, archangels, seraphim, cherubim, Lucifer and the mighty Logos, the two latter being designated as ‘the morning stars”." [Creation, 1927, 1,100,000 ed., pp.23] Notice how the Watchtower taught that archangel was not unique but was among others of the same rank, and Jesus was separated from the category of being an archangel. Why did the Watchtower change their teachings? The Bible is clear Michael is not the only chief prince, but has others who are like him. [Daniel 10:13]
Another verse the Watchtower uses to prove that Jesus is Michael is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:16. Here is what they say about that verse: "At 1 Thessalonians 4:16 the voice of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ is described as being that of an archangel, suggesting that he is, in fact, himself the archangel." [INSIGHT TO THE SCRIPTURES, VOLUME 2, PAGE 393] The Watchtower has misinterpreted this text by suggesting Jesus is the archangel. Here is what that verse 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." [1 Thessalonians 4:16] Paul who wrote this epistle identifies three things happening in this verse at the same time when Jesus returns. Here Jesus shouts, a trump of God sounds, and the voice of an archangel is present with the Lords descension. The Watchtower says that Jesus and the archangel here are the same. If that is so, then not only is Jesus the archangel, but Jesus then would also be a trump of God. The word ‘with’ is used in each of the actions described in this verse showing three different instances being active at the same time. Jesus is not being taught by the Apostle Paul here as being the archangel. It is the Watchtower who adds what they believe to this verse to change the meaning, but the fact is this verse does not teach that Jesus is Michael.
The Watchtower teaches the following: "(Mi’cha·el) [Who Is Like God?]…The only holy angel other than Gabriel named in the Bible, and the only one called “archangel.” (Jude 9)…Lending support to this conclusion is the fact that “Michael the archangel had a difference with the Devil and was disputing about Moses’ body. Jude 9." [INSIGHT TO THE SCRIPTURES, VOLUME 2, pp.393] The Watchtower is quick to say that Michael means ‘who is like God’ but does not provide all the facts. The name Gabriel means ‘high angel in rank’. The Strong’s Dictionary defines Michael as an archangel [Strong’s# 3413] and Gabriel as an archangel [Strong’s# 1043]. The fact is that just because Michael is called an archangel does not mean that there are no other archangels. [Daniel 10:13] When you look at Jude verse 9 a few things need to be understood. If Jesus and Michael are the same here, then why would Jesus have to say “the Lord rebuke you” when He rebuked demons on several occasions without using the Lord’s name? Jesus could rebuke demons without using the Lord’s name because Jesus is the Lord and Michael is not! Michael in this verse is shown to be the opposite of what the Watchtower teaches concerning his identity and authority.
The Watchtower says the following to support the teaching of Michael being Jesus Christ: "There are also other correspondencies establishing that Michael is actually the Son of God. Daniel, after making the first reference to Michael (Da 10:13), recorded a prophecy reaching down to “the time of the end” (Da 11:40) and then stated: “And during that time Michael will stand up, the great prince who is standing in behalf of the sons of [Daniel’s] people.” (Da 12:1) Michael’s ‘standing up’ was to be associated with “a time of distress such as has not been made to occur since there came to be a nation until that time.” (Da 12:1) In Daniel’s prophecy, ‘standing up’ frequently refers to the action of a king, either taking up his royal power or acting effectively in his capacity as king. (Da 11:2-4, 7, 16b, 20, 21) This supports the conclusion that Michael is Jesus Christ, since Jesus is Jehovah’s appointed King, commissioned to destroy all the nations at HarMagedon. Re 11:15; 16:14-16." [INSIGHT TO THE SCRIPTURES, VOLUME 2, pp393-394] Daniel 10:13 has already been examined showing that Michael is among others who are ‘chief princes’ and is not unique. In each of these other references cited here by the Watchtower none in any way say anything about Jesus being Michael. The Watchtower has made these verses say something they do not about Jesus and Michael. When in fact in all of these verses nothing remotely hints to Jesus being Michael. All one has to do is read these verses and see that Michael is an angel used by God for specific reasons but is clearly not the Son of God.
The following information will be for added for further Bible study concerning this subject. In different translations it will be proven here is that Michael is not the only chief prince, but in fact is one of the chief princes or archangels.
"The guardian angel of the realm of Persia thwarted me for twenty-one days, but Michael one of the archangels came to my aid, and I have left him to deal single-handed with the guardian angel of the Persian kings." [Daniel 10:13 The Holy Bible, A New Translation by James Moffatt]
"For twenty-one days, indeed, the guardian angel of the kingdom of Persia opposed me; but Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me…" [Daniel 10:13 The Complete Bible, An American Translation]
These two Translations are cited by the Watchtower many times for their support (misinterpreting them) and my purpose is to provide Biblical support that in Daniel 10:13 the words ‘one of the chief princes’ means archangels. Here is more from other versions.
Michael is said to be “one of the leading princes” [Dan.10:13 Jerusalem Bible]
Michael is said to be “one of the princes” [Dan.10:13 The Septuagint]
Michael is said to be “one of the chief princes” [Dan.10:13 New King James Bible]
Michael is said to be “one of the chief princes” [Dan. 10:13 New American Standard]
Michael is said to be “one of the chief princes” [Dan. 10:13 New International Version]
Michael is said to be “one of the chief princes” [Dan.10:13 The Holy Scriptures according to the Masoretic Text, Jewish Publications Society]
Michael is said to be “one of the foremost princes” [Dan10:13 New World Translation]
Looking at Daniel 10:13 in context with various Translations it is obvious that Michael is not the only chief prince or archangel according to the Bible. It is the present day teachings of the Watchtower that says Michael is the only chief prince, but the Bible demonstrates the opposite.
The Watchtower had it right in the beginning concerning this subject: "Jesus, means Savior, and we are carried forward from the mere word to the exalted official position, on account of which he can “save to the uttermost all who come unto God by him.” His position is contrasted with that of men and angels, as he is Lord of both, having “all power in heaven and earth.” Hence it is said, “Let all the angels of God worship him”; [that must include Michael, the chief angel, hence Michael is not the Son of God] and the reason is, because he has “by inheritance obtained a more excellent Name than they.” Michael or Gabriel are perhaps grander names than Jesus, though Jesus is grand in it’s very simplicity, but the official character of the Son of God as Savior and King is the inheritance from his Father, which is far superior to theirs, for it pleased the Father that in him all fullness should dwell." [The Watchtower Reprints, November 11, 1879, p.48] The Watchtower had the identity of Michael correct in the beginning but in recent years have diverted from it.
The identity of Jesus in the Bible is very important for any Bible student to understand. The Bible teaches to test all things in light of Scripture and hold fast to that which is good and true. [1 Thessalonians 5:21] Like the Bereans we are to study the Scriptures daily to test what we are being taught is true or not, and to be on our guard against false teachers in sheep’s clothing. [Matthew 7:15, Acts 17:11, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15] God’s Word says that anyone who adds or takes away from the Word of God will be proven a liar. [Proverbs 30:5-6] And a person who searches for truth will find truth, no matter what the cost. [Jeremiah 29:13, Luke 14:28]
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