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Is Jesus Michael the Archangel?

"The foremost angel, both in power and authority, is the archangel, Jesus Christ, also called Michael."  -The Watchtower, November 1, 1995, p. 8

As the above quote from a Watchtower magazine indicates, the Jehovah’s Witnesses think that Jesus Christ is the incarnate Michael the archangel. They believe that Michael was Jehovah’s first creation and that Jehovah, through Michael who became Jesus, created all [other] things. Additionally, they instruct the Witnesses that at Jesus’ Second Coming, he will return as Michael the archangel. Contrary to the views held by the Watchtower Society, the Bible testifies that they are seriously flawed!

In order to demonstrate that Jesus was never an angel, it is necessary to first find the definition of angel in the Bible. According to Hebrews 1:7, 14, angels are described as spirit-beings who are ministers and servants of God. Naturally, this would include Michael the archangel:

Since all angels are servants of God, Philippians 2:6-7 declares that Jesus Christ, being in the form of God, “took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:”

“Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.”

Since Philippians 2:7 states that Jesus took the form of a servant, He could not have possessed the nature of a servant prior to His birth in Bethlehem. As a result, this verse provides conclusive proof that Jesus could not have been Michael ‘prior to’ His birth because an archangel is one of God’s servants (Hebrews 1:7, 14).

The Scriptures continue to stress that Jesus is more than a divine and created being, i.e. an angel. Regarding Him, Hebrews 1:4-5 states:

“Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. (5) For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?”

This passage teaches that Jesus was made “so much better than the angels.” Hebrews 1:6 continues, “And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.” Here, God commands that all angels worship Jesus. Obviously, this would include Michael the archangel.

Additionally, according to the 1961 New World Translation (NWT) used by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Hebrews 1:6 agrees that all God’s angels should worship Jesus. However, the more recent editions have been altered to read, “And let all God’s angels ‘do obeisance’ to him.” This sudden alteration by the Watchtower Society was clearly an attempt to conceal that Jesus is to be worshipped. Since only God is to be worshipped (Matthew 4:10), and they deny Jesus’ Deity, this change became necessary to support their flawed theology.

With the greatest of emphasis, Hebrews 2:5 and Hebrews 2:8 confirm that Jesus is not an angel at all! Hebrews 2:5 states, “For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.” Though this declares that God did not place the world in subjection to angels, Hebrews 2:8 testifies that God placed the world in subjection to His Son: “Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.”

Since Hebrews 2:5 states that God did not place the world in subjection to angels, and Hebrews 2:8 reveals that He placed the world in subjection to His Son, the conclusion is rather obvious: Jesus Christ is NOT an angel, Michael or otherwise!

There is another reason why Jesus cannot be Michael the archangel. Jude 1:9 states, "Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee." In this verse, Michael would not take it upon himself to rebuke or reprimand Satan. The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jehovah created Michael who became Jesus and, through Michael, Jehovah created all [other] things. According to them, this means that Michael created Lucifer who became Satan. Therefore they conclude that Michael, who created Lucifer, was unable to reprimand His creation. This seems quite illogical and, after studying this carefully, even the most zealous Jehovah’s Witnesses should find this difficult to believe. To the contrary, Matthew 4:10-11 and Matthew 16:23 testify that Jesus had no difficulty rebuking Satan. As a result, He cannot be Michael the archangel:

Daniel 10:13 provides another reason why Jesus cannot be Michael. In this verse, the archangel is called “one of the chief princes:”

"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."

Since the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus is Michael, and Daniel 10:13 reveals that he is “one of the chief princes,” does this mean that Jesus has equals? According to the Watchtower, what are the names of Jesus’ peers? Could they tell you? Though the organization remains confident while instructing its followers that Jesus is one of the chief princes of Daniel 10:13, they are unable to identify the others so they could further explain their rationale. How convenient!

One final reason why Jesus cannot be Michael is as follows: As previously mentioned, the Jehovah’s Witnesses think that Jesus will return as the archangel Michael. Keeping this in mind, Revelation 19:11-12 describes the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Will He be coming as Michael? Not according to verse 12, which states that “he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself:”

"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. (12) His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself."

Since Revelation 19:12 teaches that Jesus will have “a name written, that no man knew, but he himself,” the Jehovah’s Witnesses must be incorrect by thinking that Jesus is Michael. After all, according to this verse, Jesus cannot be Michael because nobody will know His true name at His Second Coming.

Finally, the Jehovah’s Witnesses rely on 1Thessalonians 4:16 as their justification that Jesus must be the archangel. It states:

"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."

Since this verse instructs that Jesus will descend from heaven “with the voice of the archangel,” the Jehovah’s Witnesses incorrectly conclude that Jesus must be Michael. Actually this verse teaches that when the Lord Jesus descends, it will be the archangel (with his own voice) who will accompany Him.

In conclusion, the Bible reveals that as long as the Jehovah’s Witnesses continue to believe that Jesus is Michael, they are only fooling themselves. Since they deny that Jesus is Jehovah, the archangel becomes their unreasonable alternative. Unfortunately for them, the Scriptures continually expose this fallacy.