Who Is Michael?


We are told that when Satan was cast out of heaven, it was “Michael and his angels” who cast him out (Revelation 12:7). There is much uncertainty and confusion as to the identity of Michael, but this need not be if one is willing to lay aside preconceived opinions and allow the Scriptures to speak for themselves. The Bible makes five references to this glorious and powerful being. The first three of these are found in the book of Daniel. Twice in this book Michael is said to be a prince. He is called “one of the chief princes”, or literally, “the first prince”, as in the marginal reading (Daniel 10:13). This mighty being came to the aid of Gabriel who had been struggling with Satan and the powers of darkness for “three full weeks” or “one and twenty days” Daniel 10:2, 13). Immediately upon Michael’s arrival the horrid hosts of hell are driven back and the victory gained. As Gabriel relates these events to Daniel he refers to Michael as Daniel’s “prince” (verse 21) and “the great prince” (Daniel 12:1). Thus we discover that Michael is “the first prince”, “the great prince”, and “your prince”, or the prince of God’s people. This title, of “prince”, is also one of the titles of Jesus who is said “to be a Prince and a Saviour” (Acts 5:31). The Lord Jesus is indeed the “Prince of princes” (Daniel 8:25). He is the “prince of the host” (Daniel 8:11) and the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6) who shall one day stand to deliver His people “every one that shall be found written in the book” (Daniel 12:1). The next verse that helps us to full ascertain the true identity of Michael is Revelation 12:7 where, as we have already seen, he is declared to be the one who cast Satan and his angels from heaven. It is nearly unanimous among Christians that it was the Lord Jesus Himself who cast Satan from heaven. It was this very event that Jesus was referring to when He said: “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven” (Luke 12:18).

The fifth, and final, reference to Michael is in Jude 9 where the devil is contending with him over the resurrection of Moses. However, in this passage a new concept is introduced which, instead of further clarifying the identity of Michael, seems to have compounded the confusion. In this verse he is referred to as “Michael the archangel”. The confusion stems from a misunderstanding of what the word “archangel” means, and, as we shall see, when the true meaning of this word is understood it adds clarity; rather than confusion. To many the term “archangel” means that he is an angel, but this is not the case. Archangel is a compound of two Greek words – “arche” which means “beginning” or “commencement”, and “aggelos” which means “angel” or “messenger”. The word “arche” is also closely related two the word “archo” which means “to be first” or “to reign (rule) over.” Thus the “archangel” is the One who began, or created, the angels; and rules over them. That being is none other that the Lord Jesus Christ.

When Jesus comes to get His people we are told that, “the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel… and the dead in Christ shall rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16). When we consider that Jesus has informed us that “the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live” it becomes distinctly clear that “Michael the archangel” is none other than Jesus Himself, who created and rules over the angels of heaven. One day soon “the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him” and “”all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth” and “he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 25:31; John 5:28, 29; Matthew 24:31). Are you ready for that day?

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Joe Gresham

Joe Gresham

Joe W. Gresham an ordained minister, evangelist, author, radio and TV speaker. His ministry has taken him throughout North America, Israel, Egypt, Jordan and much of Europe. His books have been translated into several languages and are now available on four continents.

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