The definition for Michael in the New Testament is #3413, which in the Concordance (A Bible reference dictionary) means, “Who is like God (El)?” The two scriptures that reference Michael are Jude 1:9 and Rev 12:7. The entries for Michael in the Old Testament all refer to definition #4317, which is defined the same as the entries in the New Testament. So, let’s look at some scriptures about Michael the archangel.
The first verse is 1 Thess 4:16. This scripture says the Lord himself comes with the voice of the archangel. The Lord in verse 16 is referring to Jesus Christ. He himself comes with the voice of the archangel. (It is good to read verses 13-16.) The Interlinear (A Bible research guide that provides closer to the original version of scripture) says for verse 16, “because the Lord Himself shall come down from heaven with a commanding shout of an archangel’s voice, and with God’s trumpet. And the dead in Christ will rise again first.” When Jesus comes, he gathers his people from the four corners of the earth.
The second verse is Jude 9. This verse says Michael disputed with the devil about the body of Moses, and that Michael did not dare pronounce a railing judgment against the devil, but said “The Lord rebuke you.” The word “Lord” here is referring to God's name Jehovah/YHWH; the definition is #2962 for Yahweh, and is a NT translation of the Hebrew #136 - “donay”, which is a title of the one true God and Hebrew #3068 which refers to Yahweh (or Jehovah for english), the proper name of the one true God. From this verse we know that the “Lord” is referring to Jehovah/YHWH, and not Jesus Christ. For the rest of this article we will use the english translation for God's name, Jehovah. So, Michael said, Jehovah rebuke you to Satan. Jesus said that he himself judges no one. It is up to Almighty God Jehovah to judge.
The third reference is to Zechariah 3:1-2. This scripture says Joshua was standing before the angel of the Lord, with Satan standing there to accuse him. Verse 2 says, “And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan.”” This scene is part of a vision that appears to take place in heaven. Again, here it is up to Jehovah to rebuke Satan. This verse refers to two Lords…from one Lord to another Lord. As we know, Jesus Christ was with his Father in heaven (although he was not yet named Jesus), and as “Lord”, he stated to Satan that Jehovah rebuke him. It is stated from one Lord to another Lord. Another instance of this usage is in Psalm 110:1, where the Lord Jehovah said to the Lord Jesus (although not yet named Jesus) to sit at his right hand until later.
The fourth reference is Daniel 12:1. This verse describes Michael standing up at a key point in time, the coming of Jesus Christ. We know that this time of distress and those who awake in verse 2 refer to Jesus’ coming (and also after having seen the events in chapter 11 having taken place).
At this point, let’s refer to Revelation 12:7, which says Michael and his angels fought. This verse says “his angels”, and as we know from Hebrews Jesus is in charge of them. Jesus Christ is the head over all of the good angels, and they worship him and are in subjection to him (as are we all), while Satan is the head over the demons. From this verse we know that the dragon/Satan and his demons will be kicked out of heaven. Another point to be made here is that Jesus has pre-eminence in all things. He is the King, the highest, the Chief under his Father only and under no other. Refer to Colossians 1:18, as Jesus is the head of the church, the first and only begotten son of Jehovah, the first of all creation, the first raised first from the dead, of course King, and many other authorities that was given to him.
The next verse is in Exodus 23:20-23. This verse is one of several keys about the meaning of the word “angel”. This verse refers to the “angel” sent by Jehovah before His people. God said he would send this angel before them to guard them along the way and to bring them into the place that He had prepared for them. In verse 21, he tells His people to obey this “angel” because Jehovah's own name is in him. This is true for Jesus Christ, as we will see.
The following scriptures match the verses in Exodus 23. Exodus 13:21-22 says the “Lord” went before the Israelites by a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on their way, and by a pillar of fire by night to give them light. Exodus 14:19 says the “angel” of God had been going before the camp of Israel, and then moved to go behind them as a pillar of cloud. All of these verses are referring to the same “Lord” and “angel”. Remember that “angel” means “messenger”, and then look back to Exodus 23:21, as it says the people were commanded by Jehovah to listen to his voice and obey him, and again that Jehovah’s name was in that angel.
The next verse is 1 Corinthians 10:1-4. Jesus Christ was that “angel” who guarded Jehovah’s people. Jesus Christ, the “angel” and “messenger” of God, God’s protector and guardian of His own people. The name Jesus means: “Jehovah saves.” (#2424) And today, we are commanded to listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, just as in that day (Deut 18:15-18 and Acts 3:20-23).
So, we know that Jesus Christ was with his Father before he came to earth (See Christ with God Before the World study available on this site) to be born and raised as a man, to become the son of man, to be made lower than the angels for that short time. And we know that the “archangel” means the “chief” or “highest” angel. And we know that “angel” means “messenger”. And without a doubt, we know that Jesus Christ was the greatest “messenger” ever sent by Jehovah; He had sent prophets, who were persecuted and killed by the world, and then sent John the Baptist as a “messenger” to pave the way for Jesus Christ, and finally sent his only begotten Son as the greatest “messenger” of all time.
So, can Michael the archangel be Jesus the Christ? Why not? The scriptures lend themselves to proving that he is. We have just proven that the “angel” of the Lord in the Old Testament is Jesus the Christ in the New Testament. We know that while Jesus was on earth, Satan was the point of his controversy, as Jesus had been placed in Satan’s world as our teacher, preacher, and messenger for 3 ½ years from the age of 30 until his death, and during the time to come, Satan will be cast to the earth to be in a world under the authority of Jesus Christ for 3 ½ years. Jesus Christ has every right as the highest being under his Father, and the head over all of the angels, to cast Satan to the earth in Revelation 12. As the Lion of the tribe of Judah and Lamb of God was the only one found worthy to open the seals on the book in Revelation 5, no one is more worthy than Jesus Christ as the one who is like Jehovah, with God’s name in him, to cast Satan out of heaven in the war described in Revelation 12. Only he has been given the authority over such things.
The bigger question may be to ask why the name Michael is used in the end time scriptures, such as Daniel 12:1 and Revelation 12, instead of the name of Jesus Christ. As mentioned earlier, Michael means, “Who is like God (El)?” Maybe Michael’s name was used in Daniel because people who read the writings before Jesus came to earth would know who he was. Maybe the name Michael is used in Revelation 12 for disciples and students like us to seek and to figure it out, that Michael is truly referring to Jesus Christ.
Another thought is that in the case of Melchizedek, some people have considered whether he may have been Jesus Christ. Of that there is not enough proof for our own discernment, but with Michael the archangel we have much more information to prove and discern who he is and why. We do know that Jesus has been given a number of titles and names in the Bible.
Jesus Christ having been Michael the archangel is not a discredit to Jesus. It is simply his role prior to becoming the Mesiah. After Christ was crucified and resurrected to be re-united with his Father in heaven, he received much more glory than what he had as Michael.
In addition to the subject of Michael the archangel here is a four Bible scripture research on “What Christ received that he as the archangel did not have”.
The first verse discusses immortality. John 5:26-27 tells us that Jehovah gave Jesus life within himself. Although many angels will never die (Luke 20:36), they do not have the secret of immortality – life within themselves – which Jesus obtained from his Father after his own death and resurrection.
The second verse describes Jesus as our resurrection and life. Romans 5:18-21 shows how Jesus gives us grace (vs.15) and that He is our way out. It does not say the angels are our way out, but only through Jesus Christ.
The third verse describes how Jesus became so much more than the angels. Hebrews 1:1-14 describes Jesus having been appointed heir of all things, and by whom Jehovah made the worlds, and that Jesus was made much better than the angels because he inherited a more excellent name than them. As verse 6 says, let all the angels of God worship him. The definition of angel here in the Greek is Concordance #32: messenger. According to the Concordance, this definition of “angel/messenger” can refer to a human messenger, such as John the Baptist, messengers sent by John the Baptist or Jesus, or the supernatural class of beings that serve God.
The fourth verse describes how all things are under Christ’s subjection. Hebrews 2:1-10 describes how the world to come has been placed in subjection under him, and that he was made lower than the angels to suffer death, and was after crowned with glory and honor. Only Jesus Christ is the author of our salvation. Even the angels are subject to Him.
So, we know and can prove that Jesus Christ, upon his death and resurrection, received something greater, which included immortality. At this point in time, only Jehovah and Jesus Christ have immortality. Immortality means one has life within their self, and cannot die. Before Jehovah sent Jesus from heaven to earth, Jesus had not yet received immortality. If he had, he could not have died for us, which was needful to fulfill God’s plan.