Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses say that the Archangel Michael is Jesus? The Seventh Day Adventists say the same thing yet they do not reduce Christ’s Deity.
Yes, it is true; Jehovah’s Witnesses say that Jesus is the Archangel Michael. For the rest of this article, I will analyze these false arguments presented by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
False: Michael is the only angel who has the position of Archangel
Jehovah’s Witnesses say that:
The Word of God calls Michael the “archangel”. The word “archangel” means “chief or head angel”, and this is found in Jude 9. Please note that Michael is called “the archangel” and not “an archangel”. This obviously means that there is only one archangel. In fact, the term “archangel” is found in the Bible only in the “singular form”.
This is a false statement. It is true, however, if you search the Bible for the word “archangel” you will find it only twice in the New Testament and it refers to Michael both times. Here are those two references and let’s see what they tell us: (in the first example, there is no name used)
For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first. (I Thessalonians 4:16)
In the second example, we do have a name, Michael.
But Michael, the archangel, when contending with the Devil, he argued about the body of Moses, he dared not bring a judgment of blasphemy, but said, Let the Lord rebuke you! (Jude 1:9)
If we were to look at these two passages only, then, yes, we could say that is seems that the Bible teaches that there is only one archangel, Michael. If you search the name “Michael” in the entire Bible, then you will find that he is mentioned 5 times. Three of the five times are found in the Daniel the prophet’s book. The first example of the name Michael, Daniel tells us the following:
But the ruler of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days. But lo, Michael, one of the chief rulers, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. (Daniel 10:13)
I would like to point out that the one who stands against Daniel is a spiritual being who is called “the ruler of the kingdom of Persia”. Michael is also called ONE of the chief rulers. So, we can clearly see that Michael is just one of the archangels or chief rulers.
Our second reference of the name Michael in Daniel tells us that Michael is called “prince” (in some translations, and in others “ruler”).
But I will show you that which is written in the Scripture of Truth. And there is none who holds strongly with me in these things, but Michael your ruler. (Daniel 10:21)
And at that time Michael shall stand up, the great ruler who stands for the sons of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation; until that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. (Daniel 12:1)
There is one more reference to the archangel Michael. It is in the book of Revelation.
And there was war in Heaven. Michael and his angels warring against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels warred, (Revelation 12:7)
False: Jesus Christ has the voice of an archangel
The second false argument used by Jehovah’s Witnesses is the following:
In the Scriptures, we see that Christ is associated with an archangel. In I Thessalonians 4:16, there is a reference to Jesus’ return to the earth from heaven. It states that preceding the event, there will be a shout from the archangel, meaning that Jesus is the One who shouts and it is His voice that is the voice of the archangel. From this verse we see that Jesus is the archangel Michael.
How in the world can you make such bold statements based on one verse from the Bible? How can you claim that Jesus has the voice of an archangel and is the archangel based on what little information we find in one Biblical verse? The Scriptures also tells us that Jesus has a voice “like the sound of many waters”. Would anyone confuse Jesus with “many waters” just based on what this verse says?
The Bible clearly states that Jesus in not an angel. Open up the epistle to the Hebrews, in chapter one (a text which the Jehovah’s Witnesses do not like) and you will quickly see that the author makes a clear distinction between Jesus Christ and the angels. Jesus is also mentioned as being “God” in this chapter more times than “God the Father”. In fact, that was one of the reasons for writing this epistle, to show that Jesus is not an angel but God. Read the following very carefully and note the differences between Jesus Christ and the angels.
God, who at many times and in many ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds, who being the shining splendor of His glory, and the express image of His essence, and upholding all things by the word of His power, through Himself cleansing of our sins, He sat down on the right of the Majesty on high, being made so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For to which of the angels did He say at any time, “You are My Son, this day I have begotten You?” And again, “I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son?” And again, when He brings in the First-born into the world, He says, “And let all the angels of God worship Him.” And of the angels He says, “Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.” But to the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated iniquity, therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your fellows.” And, “You, Lord, have laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the works of Your hands. They shall perish, but You will remain. And they shall all become old as a garment, and as a covering You shall fold them up, and they shall be changed. But You are the same, and Your years shall not fail.” But to which of the angels, did He say at any time, “Sit on My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool?” Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation? (Hebrews 1:1-14)
Here is a simple list of the description of Jesus Christ from this chapter.
- Jesus is the Son of God (2)
- Jesus was made heir of all things by God
- Jesus is the One through whom all things were made
- Jesus is the shining splendor of the glory of God (3), direct reflection of God’s character
- Jesus is the express image of God’s essence
- Jesus upholds all things by the Word of His power
- Jesus cleansed our sins
- Jesus sits on the right of the Majesty on high
- Jesus is greater (much better) than the angels (4), the archangel is still an angel
- Jesus has inherited a more excellent name than the angels
- Jesus is begotten by God and is called the Son of God, by God, Himself (5), no angel has this privilege
- When Jesus was born into this world, God commanded all of the angels to worship Jesus (6)
- Jesus is called God, by God, Himself (8)
- Jesus has a throne that is eternal
- Jesus has a righteous scepter (sword of state or leadership)
- Jesus loved righteousness and hated sin (9)
- Jesus is called God, once again by God, Himself
- Jesus was anointed by God with the oil of gladness above His fellows (from the context, the fellows are the angels)
- Jesus laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning and the heavens are the works of His hands (10)
- Jesus will remain even though the heavens and the earth will pass away (11)
- Jesus will fold up the heavens and the earth like cover, they will be changed (12)
- Jesus will never change. His years will not end
- Jesus was told by God to sit on God’s right hand until He makes Jesus’ enemies His footstool (13)
Now I would like to look at chapter one once again and this time make a list of what we learn about the angels.
- The angels are all inferior to Jesus Christ (4)
- None of the angels were ever told that they are the Son of God and that He had begotten them (5)
- All of the angels were commanded to worship Jesus Christ when He was born into this world (6)
- God says that He made the angels as spirits and ministers a flame of fire (7)
- None of the angels were asked to sit at the right hand of God and none of the angels enemies would be made a footstool for them (13)
- All of the angels (including the chiefs “archangels”) are ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who are heirs of salvation (14)
So, how could anyone, after reading Hebrews chapter one carefully, claim that Jesus Christ is an archangel, which is, the chief of the angels or in other words, an angel Himself?
False: An army of angels – proof that Jesus is the archangel Michael
According to the Bible, Michael and his angels fought against the dragon . . . and his angels (Revelation 12:7). Therefore, Michael is the Commander of the faithful army. From Revelation, we see that Jesus is the Commander of an army (Revelation 19:14-16). The apostle Paul speaks of the Lord Jesus and His angels, full of power (II Thessalonians 1:7). Therefore, the Bible explains that Michael and his angels are in fact Jesus and His angels (Matthew 13:41, 16:27, 24:31, I Peter 3:22). There is no proof in the Bible that there are 2 faithful armies, just one; the army in heaven led by Michael or Jesus and His angels (they are one and the same).
This type of “interpretation” would make anyone who has been in the army or who has basic military knowledge laugh. In every army, there are officers. Does that mean that each officer is in control of his own army? All nations have an army and their armies are located in different places, led by a general to carry out specific orders for the entire army. The Bible tells us plainly that the archangel Michael is ONE of the chiefs of the angels (there is more than one leader, or general, or officer etc.) This reveals to us that the heavenly army is well organized in all aspects. The Gospel tells us that even the wicked angels are well organized into legions.
And they came to Jesus and saw him who had been demon-possessed, and had the legion, sitting and clothed and right-minded, the one who had the legion. And they were afraid. (Mark 5:15)
Legions were military units in the Roman army. The wicked angels are organized into legions on this earth as the good angels are organized in heaven. Jesus Christ goes on to say:
Do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of angels? (Matthew 26:53)
Does this mean that there are 12 different armies of angels and each one acts separately from the other? No way! God is the Leader of all the angels and He has chosen to place chiefs over the different legions. One of those chiefs is the archangel Michael.
In conclusion, it is obvious that the teachings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses are heresies because they claim things that are contrary to the clear teachings of the Holy Scriptures, such as that Jesus is the archangel Michael. May the Lord protect us from all forms of heresy so that we can stay “attached” to God through the Lord Jesus Christ, our One and Only Savior who is the Lord of lords and King of kings.
Translation by: Erik Brewer