Monday, March 2, 2009

Jesus is not Michael the Archangel

Jehovah's Witnesses teach that Jesus is really Michael the Archangel. The Bible nowhere identifies Jesus as Michael (or any other angel for that matter). Hebrews 1:3-6 draws a clear distinction between Jesus and the angels,

The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father"? Or again, "I will be his Father, and he will be my Son"? And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, "Let all God's angels worship him."
(Hebrews 1:3-6 TNIV)

In fact, look at what Hebrews does equate him with:

But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. He also says, "In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.
(Hebrews 1:8, 10 TNIV)

The author of Hebrews quotes...

So I said: "Do not take me away, my God, in the midst of my days; your years go on through all generations. In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands."
(Psalms 102:24-25 TNIV)

Angels worship Jesus.

And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, "Let all God's angels worship him."
(Hebrews 1:6

They do so because Jesus is God. This must include Michael, the chief angel. Hence, Michael is not the Son of God.

However, the most convincing proof might be in chapter 2.

It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking.
(Hebrews 2:5 TNIV)

The Bible says that the world will not be subject to angels. Because the Archangel Michael is an angel, he could not be a ruler of the world, could he?

Who is the world to be subjected to?

The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever."
(Revelation 11:15 TNIV)

Since Scripture says that the world is to be subjected to Christ, he cannot be the Archangel.

The prophet Daniel calls Michael “a great prince”, that is not a title which is applicable to Jesus. Rather, Jesus is referred to in Revelation the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16). There is a qualitative difference between “a” prince, and the King of Kings. This actually argues against the possibility of them being the same individual.

It should also be pointed out that the Watchtower assertion that there is only one archangel is without support. Actually, since Michael, who is identified as an archangel in the New Testament is called “a prince”, in Daniel, then it infers right off that there are others of comparable rank.

The faulty assumption has been made by the Watchtower that the “with an archangel’s voice” phrase (I Thess 4:16) is a description of Jesus “voice” at his second coming. That is not so. A simple examination of the description of Christ’s return in Rev 19:16,17 reveals that while the “King of Kings” is descending, John says “I also saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice…” It is clear that at Christ’s return, there is an angel who is speaking with a loud voice, not Christ.

The Watchtower makes the mistake of trying to equate the events of Revelation 12, which depict Michael leading his angels in battle against Satan, with Christ’s return in Revelation 19, leading the heavenly host. Even a cursory look at the text shows that they are addressing two separate events. (For example, in the Revelation 12 text Michael is leading his angels, the devil is thrown down to earth for an undisclosed amount of time. This event is NOT Christ’s Return to fight at Har-magedon). To make matters worse for the Watchtower, the same text addresses the “male, who is to shepherd the nations with a rod of iron” who is caught up to heaven just previous to the mentioning of Michael battling with Satan. Since the male-child who is to shepherd the nations is Christ, and Michael is seen in a different role in the same scene, that would clearly prove that Christ is not Michael.

Michael the Archangel is perhaps the highest of all the angels. Michael is the only angel in the Bible who is designated “the Archangel” (Jude verse 9). Michael the Archangel, though, is only an angel. He is not God. The clear distinction in the power and authority of Michael and Jesus can be seen in comparing Matthew 4:10 and Jude verse 9. In Matthew 4:10, Jesus rebukes Satan. In Jude verse 9, Michael the Archangel calls on the Lord to rebuke Satan. (Jesus is the Lord. Romans 10:9-13) Jesus is God incarnate (John 1:1,14). Michael the Archangel is a powerful angel, but still only an angel.

In the article, "Who is Michael the Archangel", the WT admits, “there is no statement in the Bible that categorically identifies Michael the archangel as Jesus…” (Awake! 2/8/02; p. 16).

No comments: