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Many Christians believe that the Archangel Michael is actually Jesus, most notably the Jehovah's Witnesses and Baptist preacher Charles H. Spurgeon.

We have a question asking for the Biblical basis for this belief.

This question asks: what is the Biblical basis against this belief, that Michael is not Jesus, but a separate angelic being?

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    "Many Christians"? Be aware that Baptists do NOT believe that Jesus is a created angel called Michael. Spurgeon may have posted comments to that effect but he also preached sermons that Jesus is “God over all, blessed forever.” Spurgeon was a Trinitarian and no Baptist I know thinks the created Archangel Michael is actually Jesus. Good question, though. Will get back to you. – Lesley Jan 22 at 17:57
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The "archangel" Michael is named in only three books in the Bible: in Daniel, Revelation, and Jude. While what Daniel and Revelation say about Michael is compatible with the idea that Michael is another name for Jesus, I cannot see how this can be the case for Jude:

Jude 8-9 (NIV): In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings.
But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

I read these verses as indicating that there were some people in the church whose sins included a faulty self-exaltation over these "celestial beings" and abuse towards the same. Jude contrasts these people with the archangel Michael who evidently did not have authority over the devil, nor did he even think it appropriate to condemn or rebuke the devil in his own name, but only in the name of the Lord. Christians have many different ideas about Satan, and the Bible is thin on details, but it's possible that Satan in his role as The Accuser truly did outrank the other angels, or was at least of the same rank.

But Jesus, the Son of God, has never been in any way subservient to the devil. Satan has never had authority over the Son of God, and Jesus does not need to invoke his Father to rebuke Satan. And when Jesus did directly engage with Satan, seen most clearly in his tempting, I think it shows a very different attitude to that of Michael, with Jesus being willing to directly correct and rebuke Satan.

Matthew 4:9-10 (NIV): Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

  • JUDE was sternly chastising those who had slipped into the congregation and were speaking abusively of “glorious ones”. He is not indicating that Michael Was outranked by Satan but giving a lesson to these slanderers. Michael aka Jesus did not speak in such abusive terms even to Satan who clearly was deserving of harsh rebuke yet these men had come into the congregation and were saying evil things against the good men who had lead the early Christian movement. IMO the idea that Jude is indicating Michael was outranked by Satan is incorrect. – Kris Jan 22 at 2:30
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    @Kris Of course Jesus would never do anything abusive, but why would he "not dare to condemn him for slander"? Jesus could do that in a righteous manner. – curiousdannii Jan 22 at 2:36
  • Yes that is the point Jesus speaking to the arch enemy of Jehovah himself was less derogatory than these men were being to the glorious ones in the congregation. Various translation of Jude 9 give a different flavor to it like “dared not bring against him a reviling accusation”(NKJV). See biblehub.com/jude/1-9.htm – Kris Jan 22 at 2:50
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Reluctance to identify Michael with Jesus may stem from the Biblical distinction between the Son and the angels. For this, see Hebrews 1-2, Colossians 1:15-20, Revelation 22:9, etc. Human beings are "lower" than the angels, the Son is "higher", and through the incarnation he "elevates" humans to a position of superiority over the angels (Hebrews 2:8, 1 Corinthians 6:3). This is a fundamental of Trinitarian theology, and is opposed to any alternative view where the Son is a lesser, created being. Because of this, many Trinitarian Christians would be hesitant to equate Jesus with an angel, for the appearance in Jude where Michael is specifically called "archangel". It's just a bit uncomfortably close to known-dangerous territory.

("Archangel" must refer to a type of angel, as opposed to another kind of being with authority over the angels. Similarly Greek ἀρχιερεύς means the High Priest, who is himself a priest; ἀρχιποίμην in 1 Peter 5:4 is the chief shepherd; ἀρχιτελώνης in Luke 19:2 is the chief tax collector, etc. This is also the sense in which the word was understood by early Christians and their Greek-speaking Jewish counterparts - see for example 4 Esdras 4:36 for "Uriel the archangel". There are "arch-" compounds which work differently - chief of the synagogue, chief of the banquet, that sort of thing - but when it prefixes a job, it means a principal person among those doing that job.)

The appearances in Daniel and Revelation are as obscure as the texts themselves. In Revelation, there are several places where Jesus appears, under various names and descriptions. Perhaps Michael of 12:7 is one such. There are also a great many different angels that show up, so Michael is not obviously not an angel as well. If we look at the definite appearances of Jesus in the book, we notice that they are all accompanied by lavish description and praise, as in 1:13-16 or 5:6-13, or 19:11-16. The Michael verse is much sparser. Its direct parallel in 17:14

they will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful

goes out of its way to give extra colour. This makes me think that John doesn't consider his Michael as representing Jesus, who is an object of worship. He twice (19:10, 22:9) distinguishes angels as unworthy of worship, and here there is no praise of Michael. He's just a fellow-servant doing his job.

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The basis for my answer is founded on what I understand to be a fundamentally accepted belief by all Christians. I am mindful of what curiousdannii said here:

Answers don't have to provide references or quotes to authoritative sources if they think it's common knowledge that denomination X teaches doctrine Y, but authors should be ready to provide them if ever challenged. Citing Sources in 2020

I believe it is common knowledge that Christians understand that angels are created beings. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones had this to say about created angels in his book ‘God the Father, God the Son’ (published in 1996). I quote from Chapter 10 which discusses the doctrine of God’s good angels:

Angels, while they are spiritual beings, are nevertheless created beings. They have not existed from eternity... Paul, in Colossians 1:16 very definitely teaches that they were created by the Son.

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities or powers. All things were created by him, and for him.

At this point it is important to point out that the New World Translation has chosen to interpret Colossians 1:16 as “by means of him all [other] things were created” and, in verses 16, 17 and 20 the word “other” is also added into the text. I am unaware of any legitimate reason for inserting that additional word “other” into these verses.

Another addition to Scripture found in the New World Translation appears in John 1:3 where it says “apart from him, not even one thing came into existence”. John 1:3 simply says that ALL things were made through Christ Jesus, the Son of God. By introducing that expression “apart from him” the New World Translation is suggesting that the pre-mortal Jesus was himself created.

Now let us go to Hebrews chapter 1 to discover the biblical basis for believing that Jesus is NOT Michael, a created spirit creature. Hebrews 1:5-8 draws a clear distinction between Jesus and the angels:

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.’ In speaking of the angels He says, ‘He makes his angels winds, his servants’ flames of fire.’ But about the Son He says, ‘Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever, and righteousness will be the sceptre of your kingdom.’”

Angels worship Jesus who, as God, is alone worthy of worship. No angel is ever worshipped in Scripture; therefore, Jesus (worthy of worship) cannot be Michael or any other angel (not worthy of worship). The angels are called sons of God (Genesis 6:2-4; Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7), but Jesus is THE Son of God (Hebrews 1:8; Matthew 4:3-6).

Up until 1969 the Jehovah’s Witness ‘Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures’ showed Hebrews 1:6 as saying “...let all God’s angels worship him. Then, in 1971, the New World Translation changed Hebrews 1:6 from saying that all God’s angels worship Jesus to saying that all God’s angels “do obeisance” to him.

Worship language is also evidenced in Revelation 5:13-14 where the Lamb of God (Jesus) is worshiped by every creature in heaven and earth, under the earth and in the sea including the four living creatures. Together they cry out:

To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honour and glory and power, forever and ever!" And the four living creatures said, "Amen!" and the elders fell down and worshiped.

In the New World Translation, every time the word for worship applies to Jesus, they render it as bowing down with respect. But every time the word applies to Jehovah God, they render it as worship. They seem to think that it is Jehovah alone who is being worshipped in Revelation 5:14 (unless they have got round to changing it in the latest edition of their New World Translation).

If Jesus is a created angel, how can he be worshipped? Yet the Bible clearly says that God’s angels worship Jesus (with the exclusion of the fallen angels, obviously). If Jesus is an angel how can he worship himself? Jesus is not just positionaly higher than angels; he is ontologically different from the angels. In fact Jesus shares the same nature as the Father making him God of very God.

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word (Hebrews 1:3).

Jesus is described as "the radiance of the Father’s glory." The Greek word ‘apaugasma’ (translated "radiance") refers to what shines out from the source of light. How can a “spirit creature” radiate the glory of God or how can an angel no matter how superior uphold and sustain the universe?

But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever, and righteousness will be the sceptre of your kingdom... In the beginning, O Lord, (YHWH) you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands... But you remain the same, and your years will never end” (Hebrews 1:8, 10, 12).

Here the writer of Hebrews quotes Psalm 45:1-6 which is a reference to Yahweh (Jehovah). He then transfers the Psalmists attributes of Yahweh to Jesus, and, in so doing, he acknowledges the Son to be Yahweh, the creator of heaven and earth, the eternal God.

Is Michael, a created angel, the creator of heaven and earth? Is Michael the archangel our Lord and our Saviour, our Redeemer who laid down his life to atone for the sins of the world? Can an Archangel forgive sins or share in God’s glory? The Bible tells us that only God has the power to forgive sins and God will not share his glory with another.

Isaiah 42:8: “I will not give my glory to another.”

Mark 2:5-7; 10: “And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are forgiven." But there were some of the scribes sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, "Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?" "...the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins."

Luke 5:21: And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, "Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?"

Luke 5:24: "the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins."

It is theologically impossible for Michael the Archangel to be Jesus because that would mean an angel died for mankind’s sins, which would be a futile gesture. Only God incarnate could, himself, pay the price that his perfect justice demanded. The Judge becomes the accused in order to redeem all who are accused, taking their punishment so that they need not be punished. Only divine love and mercy could combine so perfectly with divine justice to deal with our sin and open up heaven to us. No angel could become a perfect human sacrifice for sin because those angels who took on human form (pre-flood) forsook their God-given estate to do that. They incurred God’s judgment for taking on human form. They joined Satan’s ranks by so doing. Never, after that falling away, could any angel become flesh. John 1:14: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jesus is the Word, not Michael an archangel.

Final question: Has God the Father promised to hand over the kingdom to a created angel? No.

It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come (Hebrews 2:5).

All of the above Scriptures provide the basis for declaring that Michael is NOT Jesus.

  • defendingthenwt.blogspot.com/2009/09/nwt-martin.html The word other in NWT Colossians 1:15-17 – Kris Jan 23 at 21:36
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    To add another point, at Job 38 :1-7 the Lord explains to Job, verse 4, "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me if you have understanding." Now notice what Job 38:7 states, "When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?" In other words, the angels were "spectators" and sang for joy about God's glorious creation. Jesus Christ was not a spectator of creation, but the creator of creation which also means He preexisted creation. Genesis 1:1 indicates what happened at creation. God said etc. John 1:1 indicates who existed in the beginning. – Mr. Bond Jan 23 at 21:48
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I have never understood the confusion over Daniel chapter 10.

10:5 to 10:30 regards a vision of a man. That man says 'Michael came to help me' in verse 13.

The man and Michael are different persons.

The speaker in the vision is clearly superior to Michael, for Michael comes to assist. Note that he does not come to 'deliver' but to 'assist'. And the speaker says Michael is 'Daniel's Prince' - not his own Prince.

And Daniel calls the speaker - my lord.

The vision is significant and is a vision in which one may well perceive the speaker to be a manifestation of the Son of God - prior to his personal incarnation.

But it seems to me to be sheer confusion to say that Michael is the same person as the speaker in the vision.


Joshua met with the 'Captain of the Lord's host' and Joshua fell down to worship him and was not rebuked for so doing, but was told to loose his shoe from off his foot for he stood on holy ground. Joshua 5: 14,15.

This one was only seen by Joshua and is called 'a man' in Joshua 10:13.

And the one who appears, in vision, to Daniel is also called 'a man'.

This one is assisted by Michael, the Archangel.

And it is Michael who fights at the head of the angelic host against the Dragon in Revelation 12:7.

But that war is whilst the child of the woman clothed with the sun, Revelation 12:5, is caught up to the throne of God, until such time as he shall rule all nations with a rod of iron.

Sit thou (not war thou) until I make thine enemies thy footstool [Psalm 110:2 ; Matthew 22:44 ; Mark 12:36

Whilst Christ is seated in the throne of God, awaiting the end of time, Michael heads the angelic host against the Drakon.

To confuse Michael with Christ is akin to confusing Gabriel (who stands, Luke 1:19, in the presence of God - in the context of the enunciation, that being, specifically, the Father) with the Father whom Gabriel, the Archangel, serves.

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    "The speaker in the vision is clearly superior to Michael, for Michael comes to assist." So, assistance can only come from inferiors? That seems like a dangerous statement. – Mast Jan 22 at 9:53
  • The speaker is indeed clearly superior, but that has nothing to do with 'for Michael comes to assist' it seems. That's indeed from the context, not for the assistance. – Mast Jan 22 at 10:12
  • @Mast ... 'clearly superior' was my phrase. In context. That is to say in the context of a vision of One whose appearance is of lightning, his eyes as lamps of fire, the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude. Nor did I say 'assistance can only ...'. I said 'clearly' in this context. Nor does the assistant come to 'deliver' but to assist. A servant assists a superior. A lord delivers a subject. – Nigel J Jan 22 at 10:12
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The Hebrew word for angel is "malach," meaning "angel" or "messenger." How the word is used in its context determines whether were dealing with an actual "angel" or a "messenger." And yes, I know an angel is also a "messenger" but sometimes they are commissioned to do things which are not just delivering messages for the Lord God.

Malachi 3:1, "Behold, I am going to send My "malach/angel/messenger," and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the "malach/angel/messenger" of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming, says the Lord of hosts."

Isaiah 40:3, "A voice is calling , Clear the way of the Lord in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Isaiah is referring to John the Baptist and John is not an angel, he is functioning as a messenger. Read Mark 1:1-4. In fact, the prophet "Malachi" who is the author of the book Malachi is a human messenger and obviously not an angel.

Getting back to Malachi 3:1, who is the messenger of the covenant and where is this covenant found in the Bible? At Genesis 15:18 the Lord made a covenant with Abraham saying, "To your descendants I have given you this land." The land in this covenant is Israel.

God made another covenant at Genesis 17:1-2, "Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am God Almighty; Walk before Me, and be blameless, vs2, And I will establish My covenant between Me and you, And I will multiply you exceedingly." The point is that the Messiah/Jesus Christ would come through Abraham's seed. Galatians 3:16. This is the covenant that I believe Malachi is referring to. As a side note Malachi could be referring to Jeremiah 31:31-34.

Now, notice at Genesis 17:1 it says, "the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him," I maintain it was the angel of the Lord who appeared to Abram. At Genesis 16:7 the angel of the Lord appears to Hagar and he says he will, "greatly multiply her descendants so that they shall be too many to count. (vs10). At vs13 Hagar says, "Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her. "Thou are a God who sees"; for she said, "have I even remained alive here after seeing Him?"

The word "malach/angel" in this case is not referring to an actual angel, but simply as "messenger." I also believe by the context that the same being who multiplied Hagar's descendants is the same being at Genesis 17:1-2 multiplied Abram's descendants and claimed to be the Lord God Almighty.

The Bible is clear that Michael the arc-angel is an actual angel and not Jesus Christ. Hebrews 1:6 where God the Father is speaking, "And when He again the first-born into the world, He says, "And Let all the angels of God worship Him." The "Him" is Jesus Christ. I happen to have a six volume set of Charles Taze Russell's original Watchtower magazines dated back to 1879. https://i.imgur.com/NskIMWs.jpg In the very first volume on page 48, this is what Mr.Russell the founder of the JW organization said about the angel of the Lord. https://i.imgur.com/0uihs2K.jpg Read at the middle middle where it states, "Let all the angels etc." This is first hand "sourced" material.

Mr.Russell correctly quotes Hebrews 1:6. I would like to know why he is wrong and the present day JW's are right who say Jesus Christ is Michael the arc-angel? Specifically, what "New Light" did you receive that contradicts your founder? Also, it does not make sense that the angel of the Lord/Jesus Christ is "Michael" or "Melchizedek." Yes, there are some "similarities" according to a few Bible verses. Michael is called "one of the chief princes." Daniel 10:13, "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me twenty-one days. So Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, and I left him there with the prince of the kingdom of Persia. So does it make sense that if Jesus is Michael that Jesus in a prince in a group of prince's?

And what about how identical twins have all kinds of similarities including looking exactly like each other. Are not twins separate or distinct persons from each other? Jesus is a separate and distinct person from both Michael and Melchizedek. Jesus does not go by any "alias's" name wise. According to Matthew 1:23, "The Virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His Name "Immanuel," which translated "God With Us."

The best proof I have that Jesus Christ is not an angel/Michael is from Genesis 22 where at vs1 God tested Abraham. Vs10, "And Abraham stretched out his hand, and took the knife to slay his son." Vs11, But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, Here I am." vs12, "And he said, Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."

Jumping down to vs15, "Then the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, vs16, "and said, "By Myself I have sworn, declares the Lord because you have done this thing, and have not withheld you son, your only son, vs17, "indeed I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies." This is one of the reasons why I believe the angel of the Lord at Genesis 16 is the same being who appeared at Genesis 17:1-2 who claimed to be the Lord God Almighty.The point I'm making is the fact that angels cannot swear oaths on behalf of God Almighty. Swearing an oath is a matter one's conscience. Hebrews 6:13-14, "For when God made the promise to Abraham, since HE COULD SWEAR BY ON ONE GREATER, HE SWORE BY HIMSELF, vs14, saying, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply you.

The following are some sources to verify what I said. https://blog.logos.com/2017/11/name-yahweh-angel-lord/ and http://bibleapps.com/kad/malachi/3.htm

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