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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
    Commented Apr 13, 2018 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
    Commented Apr 13, 2018 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
    Commented Apr 13, 2018 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
    Commented Apr 13, 2018 at 16:49
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    @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
    Commented Apr 14, 2018 at 8:37

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With regard to Baptists 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? Given the orthodoxly 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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    Well defended. Them saying Jesus is Michael is in the context of also saying Michael is not an angel. Surgeon says "Michael is the Lord Jesus, the only Archangel". The thinking that there as four archangels named "Michael, Gabriel, Uriel and Raphael" as literal angels come from Jewish Talmud, once we understand that we can see where the confusion truly lies.
    – Beestocks
    Commented Mar 28, 2020 at 19:45
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    @Beestocks Yes, though I think you meant to say 'Spurgeon' and not 'Surgeon'? The Talmudic views certainly don't help to clear the muddied waters of this issue and should be kept distinct from Christian views.
    – Anne
    Commented Mar 30, 2020 at 10:16
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    +1 Your answer has inspired this question: hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/80273/… Commented Dec 10, 2022 at 15:43
  • @Andrew Shanks Your corrections appreciated. I know more now about the Reformed, the Presbyterians, and the Westminster Confession than when I gave this answer nearly 6 years ago. Now I know that the Savoy Declaration of Faith was a modification of the WCF, by English Independents, done 11 years later, with the Baptist Confession, another 31 years on. Puritan John Owen was one of the Savoy architects. Back then I understand there was much agreement between Puritans, Baptists and Independents who clearly were not Catholics. Of course, paedo-baptism was a huge difference, which alone would show
    – Anne
    Commented Mar 9 at 15:09
  • I was wrong to say Baptists subscribed to the WCF. But under the large umbrella of “Protestants” there were “the Reformed”, and Baptists could be ‘covered’ as they agreed with the Reformers’ initial break-away, for religious reasons (baptism notwithstanding). To this day they maintain much in common with those other groups and, as the Q was about whether Jesus is the Archangel, Michael, I did not go into details about the points you raise. I shall try to be more particular in my wording in future.
    – Anne
    Commented Mar 9 at 15:09
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Jerry Fallwell on the identity of Michael - BAPTIST

"...it is easy to compare him with the similar description of Christ given in Revelation 1:13-15. Because of these similarities, many believe this was a majestic pre-incarnate appearance of Christ, perhaps similar to those of exodus 24:9-11 or 33:18-23 with 34:5-9. THIS IS, HOWEVER, BY NO MEANS CERTAIN, especially since (1) he is not so identified in the text (2) OTHER CREATED ANGELS sometimes appear in glorious splendor as in Revelation 18:1 and 10:1-7."

[Liberty Bible Commentary: (compiled by thirteen Baptist scholars, Jerry Fallwell Executive Editor) Copyright 1983]

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There is a world of difference between saying that Christ is Michael the Archangel and saying Michael the Archangel is Christ.

Just because some evangelicals of differing hues have believed that Michael the archangel is Christ does not mean that they ever believed that our Lord Jesus Christ was Michael the Archangel.

So, in a figure, in a type or shadow, Jesus is represented as Michael, in the book of Daniel, a book filled with visions and pictures.

In a former book a ladder up to heaven is a picture of Christ, so many have said Jacob's ladder is Christ. In fact if you compare John 1:51 with Genesis 28:12 you will see our Lord Jesus himself implied the ladder is a type of himself, that the ladder is Christ. Obviously though, Christ is not literally a ladder, and nothing more than a ladder. Nor has anyone said that Christ was literally just a bronze serpent set up on a pole (John 3:15). Neither has anyone said that Christ is literally just a tree of life; nor is Christ Joshua, nor the Old Testament Joseph, nor Esther. But all these can be seen as types of Christ. Nor is he literally a goat for sacrifice but the scapegoat was a type and Christ is the anti-type.

The Puritans Matthew Poole and Matthew Henry both say that Michael the Archangel is Christ in their Commentaries. Matthew Henry almost always avoided controversy in his commentary, so his assertion means that the view must have been nearly universally held amongst the Puritans.

Both these writers were widely read amongst both the Baptists and Methodists. The Methodist George Whitefield, for instance, was very keen on Matthew Henry; and likewise for the Baptist preacher Spurgeon.

The type is Michael the Archangel, amongst many many others types; the anti-type, the one pointed to is the Lord of Glory, God the Son, God manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16), our Lord Jesus Christ.

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While people draw many conclusions about who the Arcangel Michael is or was, a previous comment caught my attention.

There is a world of difference between saying that Christ is Michael the Archangel and saying Michael the Archangel is Christ.

From a scripture-based standpoint, we should notice a few things.

  1. The 4 scriptures referencing "The Archangel Michael" are in past tense form—even the two in the N.T., Jude 1:9 takes place in O.T. times, and Revelation 12 even before the creation of this world.

  2. The word angel in Hebrew (ˈānjəl) means messenger, likewise in Greek angelos holds the meaning messenger.

  3. Saying Lucifer is Satan, the serpent, or dragon is like saying Christ is Michael, both titles that pertain to past tense forms no longer apply to who both these beings are now. Lucifer didn't become the adversary until he rebelled. and Michael didn't become Christ until he was made flesh incarnate and given a human name Yashuah (Jesus) both beings had angelic titles and names before this earth.

  4. Christ, as in previous comments above is considered as the commander and leader of the angelic hosts. There are many scriptures where this angel (messenger): "The Angel of the Lord" shows up and receives worship from the person he is interacting with, primarily about "The Angel of the Lord" as seen in Genesis, Exodus, and Joshua just to name a few. However, the Bible commands us to worship God only, who is this angel that receives worship when other angels mentioned in the bible command men not to worship them, if it is not the pre-incarnation of Christ? Joshua is a prime example as worshiping the commander of the heavenly host before the battle of Jericho.

  5. Michael is simply a name as is his position/title "The Arcangel Michael " The word Arc denotes the highest or first in rank in Hebrew, and Greek. His title as given in scripture "The Arcangel Michael" means "The Highest messenger Who is like unto God" Jesus in his human form many times eluded to his disciples if they had seen him they had seen the Father (like unto God). John 5:28 says those in the grave hear his voice and come out, then in 1 Thess. 4:16-19 Jesus is depicted by Paul as having the voice of The Arcangel, so which is it? Does he use his human voice? Or does he use the voice of power that commands life over death? The same voice used to resurrect Moses in Jude 1? Also, notice no angel in bible commentary has ever resurrected anyone, Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life" and "I am the resurrection and the life".

  6. While Jehovah's Witnesses see Jesus as a created being the other reformers, and preachers like Luther, Wesley, and Spurgeon saw Jesus in his pre-incarnate form as Michael the highest messenger to humanity, and that Michael was simply the heavenly title afforded to him for his interaction with men and other angels.

  7. There is no conflict between the Trinity and Jesus being Michael before his incarnation. Michael was simply his name in the realm of heaven, he was the highest messenger and commander from the throne to angels and mankind. Michael was not created, he is the word who is like unto God. Michael was simply a personification of the Son (Jesus) to mask and hide his glory for interaction with men and angels. The very presence of God or the Son before the Son became human was a death sentence to those who looked upon him, so it makes sense that the Son would mask his glory under a different form holding back his glory to take action with his creations.

  8. Seventh-Day Adventists conclude that Michael was the personification, and title of Christ before his incarnation as a human. Unlike Jehovah's Witnesses, SDAs do not believe Michael was created, they believe that he was the Son masquerading as the personification of "The Angel of the Lord" and "The Arcangel Michael" until his incarnation.

  9. After all my studies, I in my own opinion conclude that like the Reformers and many Pastors before them, SDAs are correct. Jesus is not "The Arcangel Michael" now nor has he been "The Arcangel Michael" or "The Angel of the Lord" since the N.T. and his incarnation as a human being. However, The Arcangel Michael was Christ before his incarnation.

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  • Welcome to Christianity Stack Exchange and thank you for your contribution, clarifying the differences between J.W's and SDA's regarding Michael. Christ only became the Christ AFTER his incarnation and was known as the LOGOS before he condescended to come to earth to dwell with us. I do not believe it was the spirit of the Archangel Michael that entered into the womb of Mary at the conception of Jesus. Nonetheless, your answer is helpful.
    – Lesley
    Commented 2 days ago
  • @JohnRiggs - And after His incarnation too. Jesus is Michael the Archangel.
    – Joshua B
    Commented 2 days ago
  • Welcome to Christianity.SE! and thank you for your contribution. When you get a chance, please take the tour to understand how the site works and how it is different than others. I would also recommend reading the Help Center's sections on asking and answering questions.
    – agarza
    Commented 2 days ago
  • @JoshuaB - Nowhere in Scripture is the pre-incarnate Jesus identified as a created archangel. The Word, or Logos, who was with God from before the creation, was never himself created. My Saviour is no created angel!
    – Lesley
    Commented yesterday
  • @Lesley, that is patently false. Jesus is identified as the created archangel in Gen 1:3, Prov 8:22, Jhn 1:1c, Col 1:15, Gal 4:14, Phil 2:6, 1 Thes 4:16, Rev 3:14, and Rev 12:7.
    – Joshua B
    Commented 21 hours ago

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