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I recently found references that suggest both Baptists and Methodists used to believe that Jesus and Michael the Archangel are one and the same. This surprised me because both Baptists and Methodists are Trinitarian and understand Jesus to be the eternal Word of God who was never created. The Bible says that angels are created beings, hence my confusion. Here are some of the references I found:

From my Morning and Evening devotionals of Baptist preacher Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) I found this quote (morning October 3) regarding angels, based on Hebrews 1:14, and speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ:

“He it is whose camp is round about them that fear Him; He is the true Michael whose foot is upon the dragon. All hail, Jesus! thou Angel of Jehovah’s presence, to Thee this family offers its morning vows.”

From a Spurgeon sermon ‘The Angelic Life’ (22 November 1868) comes this partial quote:

“Our Lord is called an angel. He is the angel of the covenant... We read that Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels, and the dragon was cast down. The fight is going on every day. Michael is the Lord Jesus, the only Archangel.”

John Gill, a Baptist pastor (circa 1750) wrote this about Michael the Archangel based on Jude 1:9:

"Yet Michael the Archangel.... By whom is meant, not a created angel, but an eternal one, the Lord Jesus Christ;”

I know that Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Jesus, as the Word of God, was created by Jehovah as the mighty spirit creature who was known in heaven as Michael before he came to earth, and that he is still known in heaven as Michael since his resurrection. However, this question is not about the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses, although I welcome any modern, up to date insights they might have about the beliefs of Baptists and Methodists regarding Jesus and Michael.

This question is specifically about the beliefs of Baptists and Methodists NOW, as to whether they believe that Jesus and Michael are one and the same, and, if so, how can this be explained in light of the Trinity doctrine. I’m not looking for more old quotes, but for up to date information about Baptist and Methodist beliefs on the person of Jesus and if he is also Michael the archangel.

The article 'Who do mainline Protestants believe an “archangel” (such as Michael) to be?' is not specific with regard to what Baptists and Methodists believe about Jesus being Michael the Archangel (or not).

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    Possibly useful: Who do mainline Protestants believe an "archangel" (such as Michael) to be? I'm not aware of any meaningful fraction of protestants who believe Jesus and Michael are the same being. – curiousdannii Apr 13 '18 at 13:42
  • @curiousdannii - interesting but not specific. I've been asked if Baptists and Methodists believe Jesus is Michael the Archangel and that's why I want a response that is specifically about their beliefs as opposed to Protestant beliefs in general. But thanks! – Lesley Apr 13 '18 at 14:01
  • Spotted a negative take on this question on Stack four years ago but there did not seem to be any satisfactory answers given. What evidence is there to show that John Wesley and John Calvin did not believe that Jesus is Michael? christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/26218/… I hope you get more helpful answers to this interesting question! – Anne Apr 13 '18 at 16:35
  • @Anne - thanks for the link to that article. There are plenty arguments going back and forth about whether Jesus is Michael the Archangel (or not), but I need to establish if this is part of Baptist and Methodist theology NOW. I used to worship in U.K. Baptist and Methodist churches and nobody ever made that claim. After all, they are both Trinitarian denominations. – Lesley Apr 13 '18 at 16:49
  • @Anne - Found a link to an article (from that Christianity Stack Exchange question 26218 you provided) that suggests Calvin did not believe Jesus was Michael: forananswer.blogspot.co.uk/2006/10/… – Lesley Apr 14 '18 at 8:37
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Baptists in the main are part of the Reformed Protestant church, subscribing to the Westminster Confession of Faith, and you quote what C.H. Spurgeon said in 1866: “You remember how our Lord, who is the true Michael, the only great Archangel, said at the beginning of the preaching of the Gospel, ‘I beheld Satan as lightning falling from Heaven.’” (Our Lord’s Transcendent Greatness, Dec. 2, 1866) In 1868 he said: “We read that Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels, and the dragon was cast down. . . Michael is the Lord Jesus, the only Archangel.” (The Angelic Life, Nov. 22, 1868) Spurgeon also said: “We rejoice in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Michael of the angels, the Redeemer of men. For by Him we see Satan cast out and all the powers of evil hurled from their places of power and eminence.” (The Blood of the Lamb, The Conquering Weapon, Sept. 9, 1888) Source: three of his published sermons.

Well, does that mean he believed the pre-incarnate Christ to be a created angel? Give the Reformed Protestant position he took, the answer has to be “No” and here is the evidence for that. John Gill, a Baptist pastor (circa 1750) wrote this about Michael the Archangel based on Jude 1:9:

"Yet Michael the Archangel.... By whom is meant, not a created angel, but an eternal one, the Lord Jesus Christ;”

Going further back to Reformed Protestant beliefs in the 16th century, John Calvin's comment regarding "Michael" and Christ are revealing. They come only in reference to Daniel 12:1. It is significant that in this passage (and previously in chapter 10), Michael is not explicitly called an "angel," but rather the "mighty prince." If we consider Calvin's comments in context, it is clear that he is NOT saying the ANGEL Michael is Christ.

John Calvin: "Michael may mean an angel; but I embrace the opinion of those who refer this to the person of Christ because it suits the subject best to represent him as standing forward for the defense of his elect people....The angel...calls Michael the mighty prince, as if he had said Michael should be the guardian and protector of the elect people." Source: Calvin, Commentary on Daniel 12:1, Lecture 65 John Calvin, COMMENTARIES ON THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET DANIEL, 12:1, Lecture 65, trans. T. Myers vol. 2 p. 369 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1979)

Most non-Trinitarians who quote this passage leave out the first 5 or 6 words, and thus make it appear that Calvin believes that the Angel Michael is Christ. However, the first clause, and the tell-tale "but", signal that this is not the case. Calvin believes that Michael, in the book of Daniel, is not necessarily the archangel (though he admits this possibility). If not, Michael prefigures Christ in His role as Head of the church. Calvin implies a strict dichotomy: If Michael is an angel, he's not Christ; if not an angel, Christ makes the most sense, given the context.

Elsewhere in his commentary on Daniel, Calvin says that the identification of Michael is open to question. In another work, he warns against too much speculation about angels in general, and specifically of trying to "ascertain gradations of honor" among them (Institutes, I, xiv, 8). He admits that some angels, including Michael, may seem to be placed in positions over their peers, but Calvin enjoins us to refrain from drawing any conclusions from this. His commentary on Jude 9 identifies "Michael the Archangel" as one of many angels ready to do service to God, not as the pre-Incarnate Son. His commentary on Hebrews makes it clear that Calvin views Scripture teaching that Christ is "above the angels" (Commentary on Hebrews 1:6). (1)

Extracts from post by Robert Hommel (October 2006) http://forananswer.blogspot.co.uk/2006/10/did-john-calvin-really-teach-that.html][1]

As for Methodists, here is John Wesley’s position [2]:

“Daniel 10:13 Withstood me – God suffered the wicked counsels of Cambyses to take place awhile; but Daniel by his prayers, and the angel by his power, overcame him at last: and this very thing laid a foundation of the ruin of the Persian monarchies. Michael – Michael here is commonly supposed to mean Christ. I remained – To counter – work their designs against the people of God. Daniel 10:21 – Michael – Christ alone is the protector of his church, when all the princes of the earth desert or oppose it.”

https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/wesleys-explanatory-notes/daniel/daniel-10.html [2]

Daniel 12:1 –“ For the children – The meaning seems to be, as after the death of Antiochus the Jews had some deliverance, so there will be yet a greater deliverance to the people of God, when Michael your prince, the Messiah shall appear for your salvation.”

https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/wesleys-explanatory-notes/daniel/daniel-12.html [3]

This means that even though Baptists and Methodists have noted a connection between Michael, the Archangel, and Jesus Christ as deliverer of the nation of Israel, they are careful to acknowledge that he is The Mighty One of Isaiah 9:6 (whereas all angels are ‘mighty ones’- note the difference) so that his superiority over all created angels (Hebrews chapter 1) demands a difference of status that is unique. All Baptists and Methodists agree with the ancient creeds that state Jesus, the Word of God, is uncreated. Angels are created. Jesus, as the uncreated Word of God, created all the angels (John 1:1-3), and their comments about Michael (the Prince of his peculiar, i.e. particular, people Israel, accord with the key point that, in Daniel 10:1, Michael is the unique ‘protector of his church’ which, in the time of Daniel, meant the nation of Israel. That has, by Christ’s incarnation, expanded into the Christian congregation which includes both believing Jews and believing Gentiles. Any comments Baptists and Methodists have made about Jesus in relation to the Archangel must be viewed in context of them unambiguously declaring Christ to be the uncreated, eternal Word of God, who is God, not a created angel.

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