Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Who Is Michael?


For a number of years, Jehovah’s Witnesses came knocking at my door and I talked with them at length about their beliefs.  They believe in the works and words of Jesus Christ but they deny His deity.  They do not believe in the Trinity and hence do not believe that Jesus is co-eternal, co-equal, and consubstantial with God the Father.

So I asked them, “If Jesus Christ isn’t the incarnation of the eternally begotten Son of God, then who is He?” 

And they told me, “He is Michael the archangel.”  That is the incarnation of Michael the archangel.  They believe Jesus Christ is the embodiment of Michael the archangel rather than the embodiment of the eternally begotten Son of God.

Since Jesus was called “Messiah the Prince” in Daniel chapter 9 and Michael was dubbed “the great prince” in Daniel 12, they have deduced that Jesus Christ is Michael the archangel.

Now the name, Messiah the Prince, is tagged with a cross reference.  It cites Isaiah 9:6 which is a description of the child Immanuel:

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”

Pardon the cliché but you can’t have your cake and eat it too.  If Jesus is the Prince of Peace, He is also Mighty God, co-eternal and co-equal with God the Father.  And if He’s God, He’s certainly not a created angel which the book of Hebrews is quick to point out.

Strictly speaking, the book of Hebrews was a letter written to the Jews in the 1st century AD but, nevertheless, it also applies to the Witnesses of the 21st century.  Chapter 1 of Hebrews should be mandatory reading for all Jehovah's Witnesses. 

And besides all this, if Jesus Christ was anything less than the eternally begotten Son of God, He could not be the Saviour of men.  For this reason we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.  For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense, how shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation?” Heb. 2:1-3

5 comments:

  1. The name, Michael, is the translation of the Hebrew word, mikha’el, literally meaning “who is like God”. In the book of Daniel, Michael is called your prince, one of the chief princes, and the great prince. Webster’s dictionary gives several meanings for the word, prince. The original meaning was “any male monarch, especially a king”.

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  2. Bible commentator Matthew Henry said, “If Michael the archangel be, as many suppose, no other than Jesus Christ, then Gabriel is the only created angel that is named in scripture.”

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  3. Don’t be confused by the previous passage. The Jehovah’s Witnesses, formerly the Russelites, were founded in 1872. Matthew Henry died in 1714. Henry wasn’t saying that many supposed Christ was the incarnation of Michael the archangel. He was saying that if Michael was the alias given to Jesus in Daniel 10:13,21; 12:1; Revelation 12:7 & Jude 9, then Gabriel is the only created angel named in scripture. Personally, I don’t agree with the supposition that Michael the archangel is another name for Jesus Christ.

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  4. Consubstantial means that Christ is one in being with the Father or has the same essential nature as God the Father. This is confirmed by Hebrews 1:3.
    Strictly speaking, eternal means having no beginning or end as opposed to everlasting which means having no end. However, Webster’s dictionary shows that the two can be used interchangeably. Psalm 90:2
    The NAS Bible cross references Messiah the Prince with Isaiah 9:6.

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  5. John 10:30-33: “I and the Father are one.” The Jews took up stones again to stone Him. “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” (Christ was not saying He was “one in purpose with the Father” as Jehovah’s Witnesses would have you believe. He was saying that He was consubstantial with God the Father and hence the Jews wanted to stone Him.) Related scripture: John 8:58-59

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