Christ Lutheran Church of the Deaf
Silver Spring, Maryland

Michael the Archangel

There are five references to the holy angel named Michael in the Bible.  Three of those five verses are in Daniel, and the other two are in the New Testament.

Daniel 10:13  But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.

Daniel 10:21  So he said, "Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come; but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince."

Daniel 12:1   At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people -- everyone whose name is found written in the book -- will be delivered.

Jude 9  But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"

Revelation 12:7-9  And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.  But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.  The great dragon was hurled down -- that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

(All five texts here are quoted from the New International Version - NIV)

"Archangel" is a Greek word that means "chief angel."   

These five verses indicate that Michael is a warrior angel who has great power and position in God's service.  The verses in Daniel imply that he served as guardian angel for the nation of Israel.  The verse in Revelation indicates that Michael may be the chief of all the angels, after Lucifer's fall.  (Lucifer was the number-one angel, second only to God, until he rebelled, and now is called Satan.) 

A few Christian denominations (and some cult groups) teach that Michael is really Christ, before His human birth as Jesus.  They also identify other appearances of angels in the Old Testament as Christ.
There are two serious problems with the idea that Michael = Christ.

First, the Bible clearly identifies Michael as an angel.  (In the New Testament book of Hebrews, the first two chapters, you will find a clear explanation that Christ is not an angel, but that He is superior to the angels.)

Second, the text in Jude says that Michael refused to accuse the devil, but instead Michael said, "The Lord rebuke you."   Jesus Christ is the Lord.  Jesus often rebuked evil angels during His ministry on earth.  As true God, He has authority to do that.  But Michael doesn't.  Therefore, the Jude text proves that Michael is not Christ.