There have been those who have attempted to equate Michael the Archangel with Jesus, that they are the same person. Some feel that Michael is Jesus Christ appearing in a temporary form such as Christ did as the angel of the Lord. The Jehovah Witnesses believe that Christ is a created being, who was Michael the Archangel in the Old Testament. This is a view totally incompatible with what the Bible says about Jesus. The arguments from Michael’s identification as being the pre-incarnate Christ are as follows.
Michael is called the chief prince of God’s people. He is also called the protector of the people of Israel. The Bible teaches that the Lord is the one who protects Israel. (Psalm 121:2-4 “My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and he will not suffer thy footstool to be moved. He that keepeth thee will not slumber, behold he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” The argument goes like this: If the Lord protects Israel and Michael is the one who is called the protector of the people, then Michael must be the Lord who is protecting the people.
The second argument is that the Bible says that when Christ returns, he will come with a voice or a cry of command of the Archangel. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 reads “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God and the dead in Christ shall rise first.” Since Christ comes with the voice of the Archangel, the argument goes that he must be the Archangel. The only Archangel named in Scripture is Michael.
The biblical evidence does not substantiate this. The fact that Michael is called the chief prince only means that he has authority over other angels, not over everything that exists. In addition Jesus is never called the chief prince in scripture. On the contrary, he is the king of kings and the Lord of lords in Revelation 19:16. Although Michael has protected Israel, it is as God’s representative. It is ultimately the Lord, not Michael, who is protecting these chosen people.
The fact that Christ comes with the voice or cry of command like an archangel does not mean that he is one. The voice he uses will be like or as that of an archangel. In other words, a very powerful voice. In addition, Michael is called one of the chief Princes in Daniel 10:13. This means that he is one of a group of princes. We do not know how large the group is but he is not in a class by himself. The Bible says that Jesus is the unique son of God in John 1:18. Michael is the highest of the angels and order of created beings. He is one of the angels, he is not the creator of the angels as the Bible says that Jesus is in Colossians 1:16 “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.”
There is a further problem with identification of Jesus with Michael. The book of Jude says “Yet Michael the Archangel when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, does not bring against him a railing accusation but said ‘the Lord rebuke thee’”. (Jude 1:9) Michael is obviously not the Lord; he could not rebuke the devil on his own but rather called upon the Lord to rebuke him. Jesus has no such problem with the devil. He personally rebuked him since he is the Lord. Matthew 4:10-11 “Then said Jesus unto him ‘Get thee hence Satan for it is written that thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and him only shalt thou serve’”.
In John 1:1, we also read “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” Later in John 1:14, it states that Jesus is the Word and “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
These two verses clearly states that Jesus is God as well as in Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting father the Prince of Peace.”
There is no biblical evidence to equate Michael the Archangel with Jesus. On the contrary, Jesus and Michael are two different persons. Michael is the highest of the angels, an order of created beings, while Jesus is the uncreated second person of the Trinity, God the Son.