Article The Assumption That Jesus Had Been Michael the Archangel

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The Assumption That Jesus Had Been

Michael the Archangel


Although this belief may go back to the third or even to the second century, it wasn’t until the mid-1800s that it became the Christology of a denomination. This occurred when the founder of the Seventh Day Adventists, Ellen G. White, had a vision after which she declared that Jesus had previously existed as the Archangel Michael.



This Understanding Is Gained Only by Inferences​



Just as Trinitarians make inferences from certain Scriptures to arrive at the doctrine of the Trinity, so too, others make certain inferences concerning the teaching that Jesus had pre-existed as an archangel in heaven. There is, however, no clear statement in Scripture that this was the case. Such teaching is often arrived at by combining the texts from: 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 12:2-12; 19:11-16; John 12:31; Jude 9; and Daniel 10:13, 12:1.



The Weak Connections​



CONCERNING THE ARCHANGEL MICHAEL

Daniel 10:13, 21 and 12:1
inform us about, “Michael, one of the chief princes…your prince…Michael the great prince who stands watch over your people.”

Jude 1:9 speaks about the archangel Michael who would not condemn the devil.

Revelation 12:7-10 informs us that: In the war in heaven Michael and his angels fight the dragon and defeat him. The dragon is thrown to the earth and then the kingdom of God and the authority of Christ come. This is the last mention of Michael.



CONCERNING JESUS

Revelation 19:11-16
informs us that: The one “called Faithful and True,” also called “The Word of God,” strikes the nations _and wars with “the wild beast and the kings of the earth and their armies.” He kills off “the rest” with the long sword.



First Thessalonians 4:16 informs us that: “...the Lord [Jesus] himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet...”



THE ASSUMPTIONS AND INFERENCES ARE THAT:

An archangel is a completely different creature to an angel.

There is only one archangel—Michael.

Because the name Michael means “who is like God” then Michael must be the pre-existent Jesus because that name means “Yahweh is salvation.”

In Daniel 12 it must be Jesus “who is standing in behalf of [God’s] people.”

Because Michael is “the great prince” only he could descend with a commanding call and with an archangel’s voice.

Only Jesus could defeat the dragon and the connection is made to John 12:31 which informs us that: “now the ruler of this world will be cast out.”

Jesus must be Michael because they both have troops

The Son of God had a pre-human existence.



These eight assumptions will be examined point by point below:



An Archangel Is an Angel


We cannot say that an archangel is a different creature to an angel. An archangel is the same but of higher rank and acts as chief over his own body of angels. To illustrate: a chief engineer is still an engineer but in charge of other engineers. Or an alpha-male gorilla is still a gorilla. The idea that an archangel is a different creature to other angels is never stated or shown in the Scriptures.



There Is More Than One Archangel​



In Daniel 10:13 we find that Michael is, “one of the chief (Heb. rishown) princes” (ESV). So, this verse clearly shows that there must be other “chief princes.” The Hebrew word rishown means “chief” and is translated in Greek as arche and therefore verse 10 is speaking of arch-princes.” With Jude 9 calling him “Michael the archangel” and with Daniel 10:3 clearly showing that Michael is an angel it is clear that he is ‘one of the archangels.’ Furthermore, the fact that 1 Thessalonians 4:16 speaks only of “the voice of an archangel” shows that there is more than one archangel. In contrast Jesus is unique in his class as the Son of God.

Although Michael and Gabriel are the only named angels in the Scriptures it was a common Jewish belief that there were seven named archangels, four of whom stood in God’s presence, with both Michael and Gabriel being of these. Indeed, a biblical search of the duties and activities of Gabriel shows him also to be an archangel i.e., one who “stands near before God” even though he is not directly called an archangel in the Bible. Furthermore, the intertestamental book of Enoch refers to Michael as “ONE of the holy angels who....” (Enoch 20:5) and so indicating that Daniel 10:13 was understood by Jews to mean that Michael was only ONE of these.



NOTE: The fact that Jude 9 calls him “Michael the archangel” does not mean that he is the only archangel. Jude is simply referring to that particular archangel, as for example ‘John the apostle’ is not the only existing apostle. Even so, in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 Michael is calledan archangel” because there is no definite article and so indicating that he is among other archangels.



Must Michael and Jesus Be the Same Person Because Their Names Have Similar Meanings?​



The argument that Jesus was previously the archangel Michael because of similarity of the meanings of their names is a false argument because these meanings are not all that close. In the Scriptures, there are ten humans named Michael as well as Saul’s daughter Michal whose name also means “Who is Like God.” Yet, having this name hardly means that they were all the pre-existent Jesus. Furthermore, there were another three Jesus’ in the Bible record as well as Joshua, Jehoshua and Jeshaiah all of which names have the meaning of “Yahweh is salvation;” yet again none of these was Michael in a pre-existent form. Certainly, there are many other names in the Scriptures of different individuals who have names similar in meaning to that of Jesus and equally glorify God e.g., Jeremiah = “Yahweh Exalts,” Jehoram = Yahweh is Exalted,” and Jehu = “Yahweh is He.” Similarly, for Michael e.g., Micaiah = “Who is like Yahweh?” So, the idea that only Michael takes the lead in upholding God’s sovereignty and therefore he must be Jesus who does the same is made completely null and void by these facts.



Dereliction of Duty When Jesus Fails in

“Standing in Behalf” of God’s People


In Daniel’s last vision he reveals that, “Michael (is) the great prince who is standing in behalf of your people” (Dan. 12:1). The Hebrew Interlinear translates this as “the one protecting over…” and the NASB gives “who stands guard over…” So, if Michael left his post to become Jesus for about thirty-three years, he would have been guilty of dereliction of duty. Nowhere in the Scriptures is it stated that someone else was assigned to protect Israel during this period, something that Jesus certainly wasn’t doing, because he didn’t exist in Daniel’s time.



“With a Commanding Call and the Voice of an Archangel” Does Not Mean Jesus Is an Archangel​



In 1 Thessalonians 4:16 where it says: “the Lord will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice, and with God’s trumpet…” it does not say that the Lord is an archangel. Also, Michael is not mentioned at all. So, this phrase is either a metaphorical description of the power of Jesus’ voice when he returns or it concerns the literal voice of an accompanying archangel, indicated by the fact that “the Lord descends with...” i.e. is accompanied by an archangel whose loud voice gives out the commanding call and blows God’s trumpet. Yet leading scholar F.F. Bruce cautions that:



It is doubtful if we should think of one individual archangel here, whether Michael or another....Jewish tradition knew of seven archangels, “the seven holy angels who present the prayers of the saints and stand before the presence of the glory of the Holy One” (Tob 12:15; cf. Rev 8:2). In 1 Enoch 20:1–7 (Greek) they are called arcavggeloi and their names are listed as Uriel, Raphael, Raguel, Michael, Sariel, Gabriel and Remiel. (The archangel Jeremiel in 4 Ezra 4:36 is probably to be identified with Remiel.) Word Biblical Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 4:16



Nevertheless, a metaphorical description of the power of Jesus’ voice e.g., like the roar of a lion is possible because three-point-phrases were commonly used by Bible writers for emphasis and intensification. So, the phrase “with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet” works the same way. This would then indicate that Jesus _will come with the power of an archangel’s voice and so with great power and authority as is stated in other Scriptures (Matt. 24:30, 31). Furthermore, first Thessalon-ians 4:13-18 is about a sequence of events rather than about the nature of Jesus. So, if one says that by Jesus’ coming “with an archangel’s voice” means that he must be an archangel, then we must also say that his coming with the blast of the trumpet of God must make him God! Nevertheless, Jesus cannot possibly be Michael for the reasons stated in Hebrews 1 and the further reasons given in the next chapter.



Can Only Jesus Throw Satan Out of Heaven?​



Throughout the Book of Revelation, a variety of ordinary angels are shown to have significant roles in God’s purpose. For instance: “…another angel…he, too, having a sharp sickle…put your sharp sickle in and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, and he hurled it into the winepress of the anger of God (Rev. 14:17). This angel is not even described as an archangel, so there is no reason why Michael could not be assigned to hurl Satan out of heaven. Even the locking away of Satan for the 1,000 years is done by “an angel” (Rev. 20:1). Furthermore, Jesus comes onto the time-of-the-end scene in Revelation 19 where his battle is, not with Satan, but with the beast, the false prophet and their armies.



7.
Must the Exalted Jesus Be Michael just because

They Both Have Troops of Angels?


It is a very weak connection and argument to say that because both Jesus and Michael have armies of angels that this is proof that they are one and the same person. It is perfectly reasonable to understand that Jesus would have an army of angels separate from those which Michael commands. The passage about Michael’s angels says: Michael and his angels went to war against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back…Satan…was thrown down to the earth, and his angels with him.” (Rev. 12:7, 9). It is only in this passage that Michael is mentioned as having his own angels; whereas Jesus is mentioned as having his own angels in four passages (Matt. 16:27; 24:31; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; and Rev. 19:14-16). These all relate t0 the same occasion of Jesus’ return.



THE DIFFERENCE IN TIME, LOCATION AND SITUATION

The first thing to recognize is that the passage concerning Michael concerns a different occasion of a different situation in a different location. So, comparing this with 2 Thessalonians 2:7-10 we find that:

Michael is shown to be in heaven; whereas Jesus is revealed from heaven i.e., descending toward earth.

Michael is shown to be fighting a war against Satan; whereas Jesus comes to destroy wicked humans.

Michael’s actions take place at the beginning of the approximat-ely 3½ year Great Tribulation; whereas Jesus’ actions take place at the end of the Great Tribulation.



These factors concerning Jesus and his angels are similarly demonstrated in Revelation 19:14-16; Matthew 16:27; and 24:31. So from these factors there is no logical reason to conclude that Michael and Jesus could possibly be one and the same person.



ARMIES (PLURAL) OF ANGELS


Secondly, we note that God is called “Yahweh of armies and therefore He is not restricted to one loyal army. So evidently there can be numbers of armies (plural) of faithful angels and it seems that when Jesus returns, he does not lead just one army because we read that: “the armies of heaven…were following him” (Rev. 19:14).



DID ONLY MICHAEL HAVE ANGELS AFTER JESUS’ RESURRECTION?


Jesus is never shown to have his own angels prior to his resurrection. At his arrest he would have had to ask his Father for help from angels: “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father to supply me with at this moment more than twelve legions of angels” (Matt. 26:53). However, although it is only in Revelation 12 that Michael is spoken of as being with his angels, it is clear that he had them with himself at least back to the time of Moses’ death (Jude 9) because he is called an “archangel” i.e., one who is chief over angels and is one of the angelic “foremost princes” (Dan. 10:13, 14).

________

8. An Assumption That There Was a Pre-Existent Jesus​



It is axiomatic that one cannot exist as a spirit being and then later become human and still be the same person. Literal pre-existence is not taught in the Scriptures although a number of individuals were foreordained i.e., were in existence in God’s thoughts before they came into literal existence. Indeed, the idea of literal pre-existence is of pagan origin, in particular from Greek mythology. It is properly termed incarnation (enfleshment) which turns a spirit person into human flesh.



Further Comparisons as Between Jesus and Michael


  • Just as the Gospel accounts never record Jesus calling himself ‘God,’ so too, he never calls himself ‘Michael’ and never says that he was Michael or an archangel previously.
  • Nowhere in Scripture is Michael called “the Son of God” as though he were unique in this respect. Nevertheless, as with all other angels, he was one of “the sons of God” (Gen. 6:2; Job 1:6, 2:1, and 38:7).
  • Nowhere in Scripture is there even a hint that an archangel left heaven to become Jesus.
  • Nowhere in Scripture is there even a hint that Jesus, in going to heaven, resumed a supposed identity as Michael. He is always called by combinations of the terms “a man,” Jesus, Christ or lord after his ascension.
  • The early parts of the Gospel accounts of Matthew, Luke and John are about the origin of Jesus. These would all be the perfect places to reveal that an archangel was about to leave or had left heaven to take on human form. However, none of these writers took this perfect opportunity to express such a thought. In saying that “the word became flesh” (John 1:14) John could have made it clear by naming Michael if “the word” really was Michael. However, even Jesus isn’t directly mentioned until verse 17.


Just as Trinitarianism proposes the pagan idea that God became human, so too, a pre-existent archangel becoming a man comes from the Greek myths of “The gods have come down to us in human form!” (Acts 14:11 NRSV).

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Further Evidence That Jesus Was

Never an Archangel



The Scriptures Differentiate Jesus from all Angels


Throughout Hebrews chapters 1 and 2 angels are compared with the exalted Jesus and are shown to be inferior. This comparison must, of course, include any archangel.



JESUS IS SUPERIOR TO ALL ANGELS – INCLUDING ARCHANGELS

“So he [the Son] has become better than the angels, as he has inherited a more excellent name than they” (Heb. 1:4).



If Jesus was not better than the angels before his exaltation, he could not previously have been an archangel, because such an angel would be in charge of a body of angels and therefore superior to them (See 1 Peter 3:22).



MICHAEL COULD NOT BE CALLED “MY SON”

“…to which one of the angels did he ever say: ‘You are my Son’” (Heb. 1:5 similarly in verse 13).


Therefore, things said to the Son were never said to Michael—an angel. God has never addressed any angel as “my son.” So, Michael was never the Only-begotten Son i.e., the uniquely fathered Son. This clearly shows that Jesus and Michael are different persons.



MICHAEL IS A PUBLIC SERVANT – JESUS IS THE KING

The phrase “…with reference to the angels” as “public servants...” is contrasted with…“but with reference to the Son: God is your throne forever and ever, and the sceptre of your kingdom is the sceptre of uprightness…” (Heb. 1:7, 8). So, although being in charge of other angels, it is evident that Michael is a public servant as is specifically shown in Daniel 10:13; 12:1.



NO ARCHANGEL SITS AT GOD’S RIGHT HAND

“But with reference to which one of the angels has he ever said: ‘sit at my right hand, until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet” (Heb. 1:13).




In contrast to this fact that no angel, and therefore no archangel, sits at God’s right hand, Jesus does currently sit at God’s right hand (Matt. 22:44; Acts 2:33, 34). It is clear that an archangel is simply an angel in a superior position to that of other angels. This, again, clearly shows that Jesus and Michael are different persons.



NO ARCHANGEL HAS THE EARTH SUBJECTED TO HIM

“For it is not to angels that He has subjected the inhabited earth to come....What is man...or the Son of Man...You...have appointed him over the works of Your hands; You have put all things in subjection under his feet”
(Heb. 2:5-7).



Here, Michael is not to have the inhabited earth brought into subjection to himself. This is reserved for Jesus the Son of Man. If the author of Hebrews thought that Jesus is an archangel why does he labour to prove that Jesus is superior to angels, to Moses, to Joshua and to Levi? All he needed to say was that Jesus is the archangel, thereby, automatically making him superior.



ARCHANGELS WERE ONLY SUBJECT TO JESUS’ AFTER HIS RESURRECTION

“…He is at God’s right hand, for he went his way to heaven; and the angels and authorities and powers were made subject to him” (1 Pet. 3:21, 22).


This means that Jesus never held authority over angels until after his resurrection and so could not previously have been an archangel. This was why he would have had to ask his Father for twelve legions of angels if needed at the occasion of his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26:53). However, some may argue that Jesus simply resumed his previous authority over the angels and that this text simply doesn’t mention it; yet neither do the rest of the Scriptures. So, there is no indication in any Scripture that Jesus, prior to his exaltation, held authority over any angel. In fact, because Michael is an angel this verse shows that even he is now subject to Christ Jesus.



Jesus Differentiates Himself from the Angels​



Michael, who is indeed of the category of angel, lacks certain knowledge just as “the Son”—Jesus lacks it because, “Concerning that day and hour, nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son” (Matt. 24:36). So, Jesus is different from all arch-angels.



Jesus Was Not the Angel That Appeared to Joshua


Some have concluded that Jesus appeared as an angel in the Hebrew Scripture writings. However, there is no linguistic or logical connection between the angel who appeared to Joshua as: “the prince of the army of Yahweh” in Joshua 5:14 and “Messiah the Leader in Daniel 9:25. Two different Hebrew words are used. Only by assumption could any connection be made.



JESUS WAS NEVER AN ANGEL

Again, we must note that the phrase, “…with reference to the angels” is contrasted with “but with reference to the Son” (Heb. 1:7, 8) and so “[the Son] has become better than the angels, as he has inherited a more excellent name than they … to which one of the angels did he ever say: ‘You are my Son’” (Heb. 1:4, 5). Most importantly the writer to the Hebrews tells us that: “it is not to angels that He has subjected the inhabited earth to come ... What is man...or the Son of Man...You...have appointed him over the works of Your hands; You have put all things in subjection under his feet” (Heb. 2:5-7). Therefore, things said to the Son were never said to any angel. God has never addressed an angel as “my son.” So, no angel was ever the Only-begotten Son i.e., the uniquely fathered Son of Man to whom the earth will be subjected rather than to any angel.



The Rain-bowed Angel of Revelation 10:1 Is

Not a Picture of Christ


Not only does Hebrews Chapter One show the great difference between all angels and Christ, but the rain-bowed angel is also not Christ. This one is an angelic special herald of Christ and is likely to be the strong angel in 5:2 and 18:1. Although this description gives the impression of similarity with the description of Christ in 1:13-16, it is not Christ himself. The differences are that Christ has:



a golden sash, eyes like flames of fire,

a voice like the sound of many waters,

seven stars in his hand,

a sharp two-edged sword protruding from his mouth,



The only similarities are that this powerful angel has “legs…like pillars of fire” which is similar to Jesus’ “feet…like burnished bronze refined in a furnace” (1:15). This angel also has a face like the sun as does Jesus (1:16). However, Jesus is never called an angel in the entire New Testament (Heb. 1:4, 5, 13), but this angel’s appearance does display the glory of Christ. Just because there is some similarity it cannot be assumed that the two must be the same person.



Angels Cannot Die – But Jesus Died​



As shown earlier, an archangel is an angel but of higher rank and acts as chief over his own body of angels. However, contrary to some views, angels are shown to be immortal according to the Bible:



MICHAEL IS IMMORTAL

“...those [i.e. resurrected Christians]…neither can they die anymore, for they are like the angels”
(Luke 20:35, 36).



Just as “Christ…dies no more…death is no longer master over him” (Rom. 6:9) because he was granted immortality so too God’s holy angels (Mark 8:38) were earlier granted immortality and cannot die. This implies that Michael, too, had been granted immortality before Jesus’ time.



AS A MORTAL JESUS WAS ALWAYS SUBJECT TO DEATH AND DIED


In contrast to the angels, Jesus, before his resurrection was always subject to death and, of course, he died a real death. So, it is impossible that an immortal Michael, an angel, could become a mortal human and then die on the cross. Jesus was only granted immortality at his resurrection when he became “the firstborn from the dead” (Col 1:18, Rev 1:5). These facts also indicate that Jesus could never have been Michael previously.



Jesus Has the Authority to Rebuke

Whereas Michael Does Not Have This Authority​



At the temptation in the wilderness Jesus used the Scriptures to rebuke Satan (Luke 4:1-13). Later he rebuked demons as Matthew records, “Then Jesus rebuked it, and the demon came out of him...” (Matt. 17:18). This was not the case with the archangel because, “Michael the archangel...did not dare bring a judgment against him [the Devil] in abusive terms, but said: ‘May the Lord rebuke you’” (Jude 9).



Summary and Conclusion​



It is only by inference that the significant assumption is made that Michael is none other than Jesus. Clearly, this is not a logical or reasonable conclusion, but is one that is trying to force a connection which simply isn’t there. It is an assumption that can be compared to saying that both Moses and Joshua had been the same person because they were both leaders of ancient Israel. Simply one or several common factors about two people cannot be used to make them into the same person. Also please note chapters 34-36 showing that Jesus did not pre-exist in any form i.e., he did not have a pre-human existence. So, because Michael is one of the chief princes” (Dan. 10:13) we can see through the false assumptions which state that Michael is the only archangel and that he is a completely different creature to other angels. After removing these false assumptions from our minds, it becomes clear from the biblical record that:



Jesus never says that he previously was Michael or an archangel.

Michael is never called “the Son of God.”

Michael is never called “the only-begotten Son of God.”

Michael is never called “the Messiah.”

In the letter to the Hebrews no archangel ever sits at God’s right hand, or has the earth made subject to him, or is called by God “my son”—all privileges granted only to Jesus.

The letter to the Hebrews shows that Michael (a public servant) is contrasted with Jesus (now king), and Jesus “has inherited a name more excellent than” the name Michael and so making him superior to Michael.

Also, whereas Michael has authority over other angels at least as far back as Daniel’s time, Jesus had such authority until after his exaltation to God’s right hand.

In Matthew 24:36 Jesus differentiates himself as “the Son” from the angels and therefore is differentiated from any archangel.

No Scripture even hints that Michael left heaven to become Jesus

No Scripture even hints that Jesus resumed a supposed identity as Michael.

Jesus is called “a man” rather than an archangel after his exaltation to God’s right hand.

In the birth narratives in Matthew and Luke there is no mention of an archangel becoming the human Jesus. These narratives show that Jesus only came into existence at his birth.

Contrary to certain teaching, archangels cannot die (Luke 20:36) whereas Jesus obviously died.

Daniel 10:13 says that Michael is “One of the chief princes/angels.” Chief means, first in rank. So, Michael is just one of the class of ‘the first in rank’ angels, he is not the ONLY one! Whereas Jesus is not “one of a class” but is uniquely the Son of God.



So, it can be seen that it is only by making many assumptions that some have arrived at this teaching that Jesus had pre-existed as Michael, and all these assumptions are proven to be incorrect. Also, in conjunction with the fact that Jesus did not pre-exist it is evident from the Scriptures that Jesus and Michael are two entirely different persons.



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LeeB

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The Assumption That Jesus Had Been

Michael the Archangel



Although this belief may go back to the third or even to the second century, it wasn’t until the mid-1800s that it became the Christology of a denomination. This occurred when the founder of the Seventh Day Adventists, Ellen G. White, had a vision after which she declared that Jesus had previously existed as the Archangel Michael.



This Understanding Is Gained Only by Inferences​



Just as Trinitarians make inferences from certain Scriptures to arrive at the doctrine of the Trinity, so too, others make certain inferences concerning the teaching that Jesus had pre-existed as an archangel in heaven. There is, however, no clear statement in Scripture that this was the case. Such teaching is often arrived at by combining the texts from: 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 12:2-12; 19:11-16; John 12:31; Jude 9; and Daniel 10:13, 12:1.



The Weak Connections​



CONCERNING THE ARCHANGEL MICHAEL

Daniel 10:13, 21 and 12:1
inform us about, “Michael, one of the chief princes…your prince…Michael the great prince who stands watch over your people.”

Jude 1:9 speaks about the archangel Michael who would not condemn the devil.

Revelation 12:7-10 informs us that: In the war in heaven Michael and his angels fight the dragon and defeat him. The dragon is thrown to the earth and then the kingdom of God and the authority of Christ come. This is the last mention of Michael.



CONCERNING JESUS

Revelation 19:11-16
informs us that: The one “called Faithful and True,” also called “The Word of God,” strikes the nations _and wars with “the wild beast and the kings of the earth and their armies.” He kills off “the rest” with the long sword.



First Thessalonians 4:16 informs us that: “...the Lord [Jesus] himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet...”



THE ASSUMPTIONS AND INFERENCES ARE THAT:

An archangel is a completely different creature to an angel.

There is only one archangel—Michael.

Because the name Michael means “who is like God” then Michael must be the pre-existent Jesus because that name means “Yahweh is salvation.”

In Daniel 12 it must be Jesus “who is standing in behalf of [God’s] people.”

Because Michael is “the great prince” only he could descend with a commanding call and with an archangel’s voice.

Only Jesus could defeat the dragon and the connection is made to John 12:31 which informs us that: “now the ruler of this world will be cast out.”

Jesus must be Michael because they both have troops

The Son of God had a pre-human existence.



These eight assumptions will be examined point by point below:



An Archangel Is an Angel


We cannot say that an archangel is a different creature to an angel. An archangel is the same but of higher rank and acts as chief over his own body of angels. To illustrate: a chief engineer is still an engineer but in charge of other engineers. Or an alpha-male gorilla is still a gorilla. The idea that an archangel is a different creature to other angels is never stated or shown in the Scriptures.



There Is More Than One Archangel​



In Daniel 10:13 we find that Michael is, “one of the chief (Heb. rishown) princes” (ESV). So, this verse clearly shows that there must be other “chief princes.” The Hebrew word rishown means “chief” and is translated in Greek as arche and therefore verse 10 is speaking of arch-princes.” With Jude 9 calling him “Michael the archangel” and with Daniel 10:3 clearly showing that Michael is an angel it is clear that he is ‘one of the archangels.’ Furthermore, the fact that 1 Thessalonians 4:16 speaks only of “the voice of an archangel” shows that there is more than one archangel. In contrast Jesus is unique in his class as the Son of God.

Although Michael and Gabriel are the only named angels in the Scriptures it was a common Jewish belief that there were seven named archangels, four of whom stood in God’s presence, with both Michael and Gabriel being of these. Indeed, a biblical search of the duties and activities of Gabriel shows him also to be an archangel i.e., one who “stands near before God” even though he is not directly called an archangel in the Bible. Furthermore, the intertestamental book of Enoch refers to Michael as “ONE of the holy angels who....” (Enoch 20:5) and so indicating that Daniel 10:13 was understood by Jews to mean that Michael was only ONE of these.



NOTE: The fact that Jude 9 calls him “Michael the archangel” does not mean that he is the only archangel. Jude is simply referring to that particular archangel, as for example ‘John the apostle’ is not the only existing apostle. Even so, in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 Michael is calledan archangel” because there is no definite article and so indicating that he is among other archangels.



Must Michael and Jesus Be the Same Person Because Their Names Have Similar Meanings?​



The argument that Jesus was previously the archangel Michael because of similarity of the meanings of their names is a false argument because these meanings are not all that close. In the Scriptures, there are ten humans named Michael as well as Saul’s daughter Michal whose name also means “Who is Like God.” Yet, having this name hardly means that they were all the pre-existent Jesus. Furthermore, there were another three Jesus’ in the Bible record as well as Joshua, Jehoshua and Jeshaiah all of which names have the meaning of “Yahweh is salvation;” yet again none of these was Michael in a pre-existent form. Certainly, there are many other names in the Scriptures of different individuals who have names similar in meaning to that of Jesus and equally glorify God e.g., Jeremiah = “Yahweh Exalts,” Jehoram = Yahweh is Exalted,” and Jehu = “Yahweh is He.” Similarly, for Michael e.g., Micaiah = “Who is like Yahweh?” So, the idea that only Michael takes the lead in upholding God’s sovereignty and therefore he must be Jesus who does the same is made completely null and void by these facts.



Dereliction of Duty When Jesus Fails in

“Standing in Behalf” of God’s People


In Daniel’s last vision he reveals that, “Michael (is) the great prince who is standing in behalf of your people” (Dan. 12:1). The Hebrew Interlinear translates this as “the one protecting over…” and the NASB gives “who stands guard over…” So, if Michael left his post to become Jesus for about thirty-three years, he would have been guilty of dereliction of duty. Nowhere in the Scriptures is it stated that someone else was assigned to protect Israel during this period, something that Jesus certainly wasn’t doing, because he didn’t exist in Daniel’s time.



“With a Commanding Call and the Voice of an Archangel” Does Not Mean Jesus Is an Archangel​



In 1 Thessalonians 4:16 where it says: “the Lord will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice, and with God’s trumpet…” it does not say that the Lord is an archangel. Also, Michael is not mentioned at all. So, this phrase is either a metaphorical description of the power of Jesus’ voice when he returns or it concerns the literal voice of an accompanying archangel, indicated by the fact that “the Lord descends with...” i.e. is accompanied by an archangel whose loud voice gives out the commanding call and blows God’s trumpet. Yet leading scholar F.F. Bruce cautions that:



It is doubtful if we should think of one individual archangel here, whether Michael or another....Jewish tradition knew of seven archangels, “the seven holy angels who present the prayers of the saints and stand before the presence of the glory of the Holy One” (Tob 12:15; cf. Rev 8:2). In 1 Enoch 20:1–7 (Greek) they are called arcavggeloi and their names are listed as Uriel, Raphael, Raguel, Michael, Sariel, Gabriel and Remiel. (The archangel Jeremiel in 4 Ezra 4:36 is probably to be identified with Remiel.) Word Biblical Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 4:16



Nevertheless, a metaphorical description of the power of Jesus’ voice e.g., like the roar of a lion is possible because three-point-phrases were commonly used by Bible writers for emphasis and intensification. So, the phrase “with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet” works the same way. This would then indicate that Jesus _will come with the power of an archangel’s voice and so with great power and authority as is stated in other Scriptures (Matt. 24:30, 31). Furthermore, first Thessalon-ians 4:13-18 is about a sequence of events rather than about the nature of Jesus. So, if one says that by Jesus’ coming “with an archangel’s voice” means that he must be an archangel, then we must also say that his coming with the blast of the trumpet of God must make him God! Nevertheless, Jesus cannot possibly be Michael for the reasons stated in Hebrews 1 and the further reasons given in the next chapter.



Can Only Jesus Throw Satan Out of Heaven?​



Throughout the Book of Revelation, a variety of ordinary angels are shown to have significant roles in God’s purpose. For instance: “…another angel…he, too, having a sharp sickle…put your sharp sickle in and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, and he hurled it into the winepress of the anger of God (Rev. 14:17). This angel is not even described as an archangel, so there is no reason why Michael could not be assigned to hurl Satan out of heaven. Even the locking away of Satan for the 1,000 years is done by “an angel” (Rev. 20:1). Furthermore, Jesus comes onto the time-of-the-end scene in Revelation 19 where his battle is, not with Satan, but with the beast, the false prophet and their armies.



7.
Must the Exalted Jesus Be Michael just because

They Both Have Troops of Angels?


It is a very weak connection and argument to say that because both Jesus and Michael have armies of angels that this is proof that they are one and the same person. It is perfectly reasonable to understand that Jesus would have an army of angels separate from those which Michael commands. The passage about Michael’s angels says: Michael and his angels went to war against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back…Satan…was thrown down to the earth, and his angels with him.” (Rev. 12:7, 9). It is only in this passage that Michael is mentioned as having his own angels; whereas Jesus is mentioned as having his own angels in four passages (Matt. 16:27; 24:31; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; and Rev. 19:14-16). These all relate t0 the same occasion of Jesus’ return.



THE DIFFERENCE IN TIME, LOCATION AND SITUATION

The first thing to recognize is that the passage concerning Michael concerns a different occasion of a different situation in a different location. So, comparing this with 2 Thessalonians 2:7-10 we find that:

Michael is shown to be in heaven; whereas Jesus is revealed from heaven i.e., descending toward earth.

Michael is shown to be fighting a war against Satan; whereas Jesus comes to destroy wicked humans.

Michael’s actions take place at the beginning of the approximat-ely 3½ year Great Tribulation; whereas Jesus’ actions take place at the end of the Great Tribulation.



These factors concerning Jesus and his angels are similarly demonstrated in Revelation 19:14-16; Matthew 16:27; and 24:31. So from these factors there is no logical reason to conclude that Michael and Jesus could possibly be one and the same person.



ARMIES (PLURAL) OF ANGELS


Secondly, we note that God is called “Yahweh of armies and therefore He is not restricted to one loyal army. So evidently there can be numbers of armies (plural) of faithful angels and it seems that when Jesus returns, he does not lead just one army because we read that: “the armies of heaven…were following him” (Rev. 19:14).



DID ONLY MICHAEL HAVE ANGELS AFTER JESUS’ RESURRECTION?

Jesus is never shown to have his own angels prior to his resurrection. At his arrest he would have had to ask his Father for help from angels: “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father to supply me with at this moment more than twelve legions of angels” (Matt. 26:53). However, although it is only in Revelation 12 that Michael is spoken of as being with his angels, it is clear that he had them with himself at least back to the time of Moses’ death (Jude 9) because he is called an “archangel” i.e., one who is chief over angels and is one of the angelic “foremost princes” (Dan. 10:13, 14).

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8. An Assumption That There Was a Pre-Existent Jesus​



It is axiomatic that one cannot exist as a spirit being and then later become human and still be the same person. Literal pre-existence is not taught in the Scriptures although a number of individuals were foreordained i.e., were in existence in God’s thoughts before they came into literal existence. Indeed, the idea of literal pre-existence is of pagan origin, in particular from Greek mythology. It is properly termed incarnation (enfleshment) which turns a spirit person into human flesh.



Further Comparisons as Between Jesus and Michael


  • Just as the Gospel accounts never record Jesus calling himself ‘God,’ so too, he never calls himself ‘Michael’ and never says that he was Michael or an archangel previously.
  • Nowhere in Scripture is Michael called “the Son of God” as though he were unique in this respect. Nevertheless, as with all other angels, he was one of “the sons of God” (Gen. 6:2; Job 1:6, 2:1, and 38:7).
  • Nowhere in Scripture is there even a hint that an archangel left heaven to become Jesus.
  • Nowhere in Scripture is there even a hint that Jesus, in going to heaven, resumed a supposed identity as Michael. He is always called by combinations of the terms “a man,” Jesus, Christ or lord after his ascension.
  • The early parts of the Gospel accounts of Matthew, Luke and John are about the origin of Jesus. These would all be the perfect places to reveal that an archangel was about to leave or had left heaven to take on human form. However, none of these writers took this perfect opportunity to express such a thought. In saying that “the word became flesh” (John 1:14) John could have made it clear by naming Michael if “the word” really was Michael. However, even Jesus isn’t directly mentioned until verse 17.


Just as Trinitarianism proposes the pagan idea that God became human, so too, a pre-existent archangel becoming a man comes from the Greek myths of “The gods have come down to us in human form!” (Acts 14:11 NRSV).

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Further Evidence That Jesus Was

Never an Archangel




The Scriptures Differentiate Jesus from all Angels


Throughout Hebrews chapters 1 and 2 angels are compared with the exalted Jesus and are shown to be inferior. This comparison must, of course, include any archangel.



JESUS IS SUPERIOR TO ALL ANGELS – INCLUDING ARCHANGELS

“So he [the Son] has become better than the angels, as he has inherited a more excellent name than they” (Heb. 1:4).




If Jesus was not better than the angels before his exaltation, he could not previously have been an archangel, because such an angel would be in charge of a body of angels and therefore superior to them (See 1 Peter 3:22).



MICHAEL COULD NOT BE CALLED “MY SON”

“…to which one of the angels did he ever say: ‘You are my Son’” (Heb. 1:5 similarly in verse 13).


Therefore, things said to the Son were never said to Michael—an angel. God has never addressed any angel as “my son.” So, Michael was never the Only-begotten Son i.e., the uniquely fathered Son. This clearly shows that Jesus and Michael are different persons.



MICHAEL IS A PUBLIC SERVANT – JESUS IS THE KING


The phrase “…with reference to the angels” as “public servants...” is contrasted with…“but with reference to the Son: God is your throne forever and ever, and the sceptre of your kingdom is the sceptre of uprightness…” (Heb. 1:7, 8). So, although being in charge of other angels, it is evident that Michael is a public servant as is specifically shown in Daniel 10:13; 12:1.



NO ARCHANGEL SITS AT GOD’S RIGHT HAND

“But with reference to which one of the angels has he ever said: ‘sit at my right hand, until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet” (Heb. 1:13).




In contrast to this fact that no angel, and therefore no archangel, sits at God’s right hand, Jesus does currently sit at God’s right hand (Matt. 22:44; Acts 2:33, 34). It is clear that an archangel is simply an angel in a superior position to that of other angels. This, again, clearly shows that Jesus and Michael are different persons.



NO ARCHANGEL HAS THE EARTH SUBJECTED TO HIM

“For it is not to angels that He has subjected the inhabited earth to come....What is man...or the Son of Man...You...have appointed him over the works of Your hands; You have put all things in subjection under his feet”
(Heb. 2:5-7).



Here, Michael is not to have the inhabited earth brought into subjection to himself. This is reserved for Jesus the Son of Man. If the author of Hebrews thought that Jesus is an archangel why does he labour to prove that Jesus is superior to angels, to Moses, to Joshua and to Levi? All he needed to say was that Jesus is the archangel, thereby, automatically making him superior.



ARCHANGELS WERE ONLY SUBJECT TO JESUS’ AFTER HIS RESURRECTION

“…He is at God’s right hand, for he went his way to heaven; and the angels and authorities and powers were made subject to him” (1 Pet. 3:21, 22).


This means that Jesus never held authority over angels until after his resurrection and so could not previously have been an archangel. This was why he would have had to ask his Father for twelve legions of angels if needed at the occasion of his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26:53). However, some may argue that Jesus simply resumed his previous authority over the angels and that this text simply doesn’t mention it; yet neither do the rest of the Scriptures. So, there is no indication in any Scripture that Jesus, prior to his exaltation, held authority over any angel. In fact, because Michael is an angel this verse shows that even he is now subject to Christ Jesus.



Jesus Differentiates Himself from the Angels​



Michael, who is indeed of the category of angel, lacks certain knowledge just as “the Son”—Jesus lacks it because, “Concerning that day and hour, nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son” (Matt. 24:36). So, Jesus is different from all arch-angels.



Jesus Was Not the Angel That Appeared to Joshua


Some have concluded that Jesus appeared as an angel in the Hebrew Scripture writings. However, there is no linguistic or logical connection between the angel who appeared to Joshua as: “the prince of the army of Yahweh” in Joshua 5:14 and “Messiah the Leader in Daniel 9:25. Two different Hebrew words are used. Only by assumption could any connection be made.



JESUS WAS NEVER AN ANGEL

Again, we must note that the phrase, “…with reference to the angels” is contrasted with “but with reference to the Son” (Heb. 1:7, 8) and so “[the Son] has become better than the angels, as he has inherited a more excellent name than they … to which one of the angels did he ever say: ‘You are my Son’” (Heb. 1:4, 5). Most importantly the writer to the Hebrews tells us that: “it is not to angels that He has subjected the inhabited earth to come ... What is man...or the Son of Man...You...have appointed him over the works of Your hands; You have put all things in subjection under his feet” (Heb. 2:5-7). Therefore, things said to the Son were never said to any angel. God has never addressed an angel as “my son.” So, no angel was ever the Only-begotten Son i.e., the uniquely fathered Son of Man to whom the earth will be subjected rather than to any angel.



The Rain-bowed Angel of Revelation 10:1 Is

Not a Picture of Christ


Not only does Hebrews Chapter One show the great difference between all angels and Christ, but the rain-bowed angel is also not Christ. This one is an angelic special herald of Christ and is likely to be the strong angel in 5:2 and 18:1. Although this description gives the impression of similarity with the description of Christ in 1:13-16, it is not Christ himself. The differences are that Christ has:



a golden sash, eyes like flames of fire,

a voice like the sound of many waters,

seven stars in his hand,

a sharp two-edged sword protruding from his mouth,



The only similarities are that this powerful angel has “legs…like pillars of fire” which is similar to Jesus’ “feet…like burnished bronze refined in a furnace” (1:15). This angel also has a face like the sun as does Jesus (1:16). However, Jesus is never called an angel in the entire New Testament (Heb. 1:4, 5, 13), but this angel’s appearance does display the glory of Christ. Just because there is some similarity it cannot be assumed that the two must be the same person.



Angels Cannot Die – But Jesus Died​



As shown earlier, an archangel is an angel but of higher rank and acts as chief over his own body of angels. However, contrary to some views, angels are shown to be immortal according to the Bible:



MICHAEL IS IMMORTAL

“...those [i.e. resurrected Christians]…neither can they die anymore, for they are like the angels”
(Luke 20:35, 36).



Just as “Christ…dies no more…death is no longer master over him” (Rom. 6:9) because he was granted immortality so too God’s holy angels (Mark 8:38) were earlier granted immortality and cannot die. This implies that Michael, too, had been granted immortality before Jesus’ time.



AS A MORTAL JESUS WAS ALWAYS SUBJECT TO DEATH AND DIED


In contrast to the angels, Jesus, before his resurrection was always subject to death and, of course, he died a real death. So, it is impossible that an immortal Michael, an angel, could become a mortal human and then die on the cross. Jesus was only granted immortality at his resurrection when he became “the firstborn from the dead” (Col 1:18, Rev 1:5). These facts also indicate that Jesus could never have been Michael previously.



Jesus Has the Authority to Rebuke

Whereas Michael Does Not Have This Authority​



At the temptation in the wilderness Jesus used the Scriptures to rebuke Satan (Luke 4:1-13). Later he rebuked demons as Matthew records, “Then Jesus rebuked it, and the demon came out of him...” (Matt. 17:18). This was not the case with the archangel because, “Michael the archangel...did not dare bring a judgment against him [the Devil] in abusive terms, but said: ‘May the Lord rebuke you’” (Jude 9).



Summary and Conclusion​



It is only by inference that the significant assumption is made that Michael is none other than Jesus. Clearly, this is not a logical or reasonable conclusion, but is one that is trying to force a connection which simply isn’t there. It is an assumption that can be compared to saying that both Moses and Joshua had been the same person because they were both leaders of ancient Israel. Simply one or several common factors about two people cannot be used to make them into the same person. Also please note chapters 34-36 showing that Jesus did not pre-exist in any form i.e., he did not have a pre-human existence. So, because Michael is one of the chief princes” (Dan. 10:13) we can see through the false assumptions which state that Michael is the only archangel and that he is a completely different creature to other angels. After removing these false assumptions from our minds, it becomes clear from the biblical record that:



Jesus never says that he previously was Michael or an archangel.

Michael is never called “the Son of God.”

Michael is never called “the only-begotten Son of God.”

Michael is never called “the Messiah.”

In the letter to the Hebrews no archangel ever sits at God’s right hand, or has the earth made subject to him, or is called by God “my son”—all privileges granted only to Jesus.

The letter to the Hebrews shows that Michael (a public servant) is contrasted with Jesus (now king), and Jesus “has inherited a name more excellent than” the name Michael and so making him superior to Michael.

Also, whereas Michael has authority over other angels at least as far back as Daniel’s time, Jesus had such authority until after his exaltation to God’s right hand.

In Matthew 24:36 Jesus differentiates himself as “the Son” from the angels and therefore is differentiated from any archangel.

No Scripture even hints that Michael left heaven to become Jesus

No Scripture even hints that Jesus resumed a supposed identity as Michael.

Jesus is called “a man” rather than an archangel after his exaltation to God’s right hand.

In the birth narratives in Matthew and Luke there is no mention of an archangel becoming the human Jesus. These narratives show that Jesus only came into existence at his birth.

Contrary to certain teaching, archangels cannot die (Luke 20:36) whereas Jesus obviously died.

Daniel 10:13 says that Michael is “One of the chief princes/angels.” Chief means, first in rank. So, Michael is just one of the class of ‘the first in rank’ angels, he is not the ONLY one! Whereas Jesus is not “one of a class” but is uniquely the Son of God.



So, it can be seen that it is only by making many assumptions that some have arrived at this teaching that Jesus had pre-existed as Michael, and all these assumptions are proven to be incorrect. Also, in conjunction with the fact that Jesus did not pre-exist it is evident from the Scriptures that Jesus and Michael are two entirely different persons.



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Very good article
 

EasyPrompt

Member
Mar 23, 2024
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Wow, that article sure took scriptures out of context and twisted them! Twist, twist, twist, lol, just like the Devil does!

Just one example:

Contrary to certain teaching, archangels cannot die (Luke 20:36) whereas Jesus obviously died.

In context, Luke 20:36 is talking about the resurrected anointed ones who will not be married nor have sexual relations once they are in heaven, since sexual relations are only for human married couples on earth. That is what it meant about "like angels in heaven" - that the faithful angels do not have sexual relations.

Jesus was not saying that angels don't die. Satan is the source of the satanic corruptions about immortality.


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There were some in the first century who were of a competitive spirit, just like the Pharisees and scribes who had Jesus killed.


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@LeeB - Will you repent of your unrighteous false teachings, or will you oppose the light?

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