Tag Archives: Michael as Jesus Christ

Response to the Counter-Arguments

While the counter-arguments against equating Jesus and Michael are impressive in their own right, they overlook another line of evidence. Portraying Jesus as an angelic figure is compatible with early Judaism, which often portrayed the coming Messiah in angelic terms. Some scholars have referred to the picture of Christ in Revelation 1 as “angelomorphic Christology”. The mighty angel of Revelation 10:1-2 bears striking resemblance to both the exalted Christ of Revelation 1 and the man clothed in linen of Daniel 10:5-6 and 12:7. The Son of Man appears in the midst of a series of angels in Revelation 14:14. Since the angel that appears in 14:15 is dubbed “another angel”, it could be inferred that the son of man on the clouds is also an angel. While angels are created beings, so are humans, and Jesus’ humanity was an act of creation (John 1:1-3, 14). So spending time in the form of an angel is not inconceivable for Christ. Evidence that the incarnation of Christ should not be limited to a single act is found in Genesis 18, where both Yahweh and two angels appear to Abraham as “men” (Gen 18:2, 10, 22; 19:1).

Counterarguments Against Michael Being Christ

While the identification of Michael as Jesus Christ finds support in certain passages, many scholars and theologians maintain that Michael is solely an angelic being, distinct from Jesus Christ. This is often done to protect the divine nature of Christ and the Christian understanding of the Trinity. Identifying Jesus with the angelic figure Michael, to many, seems to threaten the full deity of Jesus Christ.

There are other counter-arguments. In Daniel, the Christ figure (portrayed as the son of man in Daniel 7:13-14 and 10:16) is distinct from Michael (Dan 10:21). In Revelation, worship of angels is discouraged (19:10 and 22:8-9), while Jesus Christ is clearly an object of legitimate worship (Rev 5:9-14). Christ is connected to God in Revelation by the common use of the divine titles “the first and the last”, “the beginning and the end”, “the Alpha and the Omega” (Rev 1:8; 21:6; 22:13). Angels, on the other hand, are created beings. Only God is worthy of worship (Rev 4:8-11), no created being deserves worship. For John, therefore, Jesus is clearly superior to the angels. If John had intended to identify Michael with Christ, he could easily have done so, but he does not.

Identifying Michael as Jesus Christ

Identifying Michael as Jesus Christ is widely supported by reference to 1 Thessalonians 4:16. Paul there associates the Second Coming of Jesus with the voice of the archangel. The word archangel (Greek: archangelos, archangelou) appears only two times in the New Testament. In Jude 9 the archangel is named Michael, in 1 Thessalonians, the archangel is not named, but is present at the Second Coming. In both instances, the archangel is involved in the resurrection of the dead. It is a small step from there to the conclusion that the archangel Michael and Jesus Christ are one and the same person, although this is not explicit in 1 Thessalonians or Jude.

Further evidence for identifying the two is the fact that both Michael (Daniel 10:13, 21; Jude 9; Rev 12:7) and Jesus Christ (Matt 4:1-11; Rev 12:7-8) do battle with Satan. Michael is one of the chief princes (Dan 10:13—he is chief ruler in the Greek: archōnton tōn prōtōn), the great prince (Dan 12:1), and an archangel (Jude 9). Jesus Christ is king of kings and lord of lords (Rev 17:14; 19:16), the ruler of the kings of the earth (Rev 1:5). In Revelation 13:4, the worshipers of the sea beast (who is portrayed as a counterfeit of Christ) cry out, “Who is like the beast?” This cry echoes the name of Michael (Rev 12:7), which means, “Who is like God?” So there is significant evidence that at least some writers of the New Testament identified Michael with Jesus Christ.