Income, Religion, and Jehovah's Witnesses
The New Songbook

Michael

Whitepebble's son asked me to go with him on a return visit, so we took a few minutes to get our ducks lined up. You want to do that before a call.  You don't script every word, of course, but you want to get some general idea of where discussion may lead, and how you will respond if it goes here and how you will respond if it goes there. This particular fellow, Whitepebble Jr told me, had some questions about Michael in the Bible. Who is he? Is he really the same as Jesus?

Now, I don't especially like return visits where the main topic is 'who is Michael.' Nineteen times out of twenty, they are simply back door entries into a Trinity discussion, and I don't really like Trinity discussions. Unless handled with care, they can easily run on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on with neither side budging an inch. I bring them to an end fairly promptly if the other side doesn't respond to what strikes me as common sense. If both sides are dug in, it's just a time-waster. Let God sort it out. He knows if he's a trinity or not. But some of those evangelicals are quite happy to blow through acres of time in such debate. Truth be known, some of our own people, as well. But I'm not one of them.

Still, not every call goes by formula. You do have to probe around some to be sure you have a rigid trinitarian dogmatist on your hands...not everyone is. It may be different in your neck of the woods, but here, such a 'Michael' call is usually, not always, an invitation to spend forever locked in fruitless discussion. 'Who is Michael' is just a sneaky way to get into it. See, if Jesus is the same as Michael, then he is NOT God, since nobody anywhere (to my knowledge) claims that Michael is God. That's what riles Trinitarians, the implication that Jesus is not God. Were it not for trinitarian considerations, they'd have no issue with Jesus a/k/a Michael, just as they have no issue with Jesus a/k/a 'the Word', or Jesus a/k/a 'King of kings and Lord of Lords.'

The Witness understanding of this is fairly straightforward. Both Jesus and Michael are described as having the same role. They both carry the same title. So why not conclude they are the same individual, referred to, at different times, by different names? Makes sense to me.

Michael, for instance, leads God's army to battle Satan's forces:

Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah.    Rev 12:7-10   NIV

That's the same role Jesus has, here described as the Word of God and KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS (all-caps a device of the NIV):

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and the mighty, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, great and small.” Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army.    Rev 19:11-19

So two generals, Michael and the 'Word of God', have the same role. Why not conclude they are the same person?

Of another occasion, 1 Thes 4:16 says:

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

The “Lord himself” uses a voice lesser than his own? No. If he has “the voice of the archangel,” it's because he is the archangel. (a word, by the way, which never occurs as plural, but only singular. There are not archangels, but only one)

And 'the archangel' is? Michael.

But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses.....        Jude 9

It always steams me to come across evangelical sites and read there that "Jehovah's Witnesses say that Jesus was only an angel." No. He is, as one of his titles, the archangel; there's only one. (Not to mention how it steams me even more if they claim JWs say Jesus was "only a man." No, again. His life-force was transferred from long heavenly existance, as God's first-born son, to be born on earth as a perfect man; there have only been two. And by his faithful course, he undid, for those who put faith in the arrangement, the damage done by the first perfect man. Upon his resurrection, he's granted even greater authority than before, as king of God's Kingdom.)

So the Lord himself is the archangel Michael. Is that so hard to comprehend?

Dan 12:1 foretells:

At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered.

Right! That's just what Jesus role is in the heavens. He is the 'great prince' [prince of peace] who protects God's people. He is Michael.

Nonetheless, I'm willing to yield on this point in the ministry. It's not central. If you “win,” you've won very little, much like winning on a flood discussion. Moreover, you will not win if speaking with a firm Trinitarian. They have it rock-solid in their head (like concrete, Lee Chugg used to say...all mixed up and firmly set) that Jesus is God, and if he is God, he certainly is NOT the archangel. Don't spend a lot of time on this. Instead, discern that the underlying issue is the Trinity, and deal with that if it seems fruitful. Look, I'm not crazy about Trinity discussions; I've already said that. But I'd rather have an open Trinity discussion than a masked one. In an open one, you can appeal to texts to show that Trinity for what it is. And the texts you'll use are not ones about Michael the archangel.

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Comments

Dave

It's interesting that the 'identity of Michael as the archangel' is a hot topic over there. Lately it's become a hot topic over here in NZ for some reason too. I never thought of it as being a trinity issue before but I guess you're right. I had to do some research on it recently as my daughter had someone raise it again. (There's a useful section in the appendix of the Bible teach book)

It's rather strange seeing as we rarely get into doctrinal discussions these days, not like 20 or 30 years ago. Nobody seems to know much about the bible these days, at least not enough to have a debate. It doesn't happen often.

They usually just say: "I have my own faith" and then promptly SLAM the door. [discussion over]

Nice quote from Lee Chugg about the concrete. I must remember that one: "All mixed up and firmly set" – that about sums it up for most trinitarians.

tom sheepandgoats

Lee Chugg had a lot of sayings like that. Whereas many of my characters are composite or purely fictional with made up names, he was real. He died perhaps a dozen years ago. He had a great wit, a real love for the ministry, he studied with no end of persons, and he modified his life for the sake of the truth like few persons I've seen.

TC

What is interesting that many do not get is that the Name Jesus is a Title , as is the term Christ ..... and the Name was given to him as the Human identity " You are to call his name Jesus" but in the Hebrew scriptures only the term Messiah , and Prince , and other titles were used to announce his coming . My favorite hidden line is when a certain Angel announced the Birth of a certain Personage of strength and Hairyness ......
The couple asks the question " please tell us your name so that we may do obeisance to you when your word proves true " This angel has the most interesting response " Why should you want to know My Name ... when it is a Wonderful one ! " ..... think about it for a sec ......

TC

oh and here is My Blog Tom
http://theaudioguru.blogspot.com/

Michael

An assumption is just that, without concrete proof. Citing scripture shows the lack of concrete proof that any one asserts to say to be backed up by scripture is more or less than a fool, fishing in a pond with no water in it.

If god sent some one to correct you, you will not even believe him, let alone him filling in the details left out of the scriptures intentionally. GOD fills in the details to his anointed ones only, and only when its time.

You can discuss until the cows come home, but you shall be no wiser than you started, and sometimes even more confused, and frustrated, than before.

Your opinions are not sound enough or based correctly to what is known so far, by any not anointed directly by and from GOD.
You assert that Michael, and Jesus are one, then you’re a fool who fools others also, including your self.

Michael is Michael, and has been, and always shall be Michael, and Jesus is Jesus and always shall be Jesus, you as all the others are trying to justify what they think you see, but is not the case. You dare to place meanings to GOD words to twist you feeble attempt, to justify something that is not not clearly 100% stated anywhere. So get off your high horse and stop preaching lies, interpretations, and your feeble minded falsehoods, to others, for you shall be held accountable, or just another one infected with the idea that you know truth, your not anointed by GOD, therefore like all others spread the misconceptions of GOD, Jesus, and Michael.

tom sheepandgoats

I would never want to fish in a pond with no water in it, especially with the cows away from home. But as for Michael, I revert to the words of my post:

"Both Jesus and Michael are described as having the same role. They both carry the same title. So why not conclude they are the same individual, referred to, at different times, by different names? Makes sense to me."

and also...

"Nonetheless, I'm willing to yield on this point in the ministry. It's not central. If you “win,” you've won very little..."

Thanks for responding.

TC

@ Michael
ummm dude , read your bible a little more , and with a bit more meekness

Zeph , makes a very interesting statement about it
All yu Meek ones of the earth Seek Meekness , and Seek HIS righteousness ( not your own ) then ProBABLY ( wow intense word here PROBABLY you may be spared in the day of his burning anger .


The word Probably should make you pause from your voraciousness , and at the very minimum check your spelling . and grammar ..............

It would help .

I believe Jesus said , that our saying should always be seasoned with salt ( that means easy to listen too , (nothing to do with the chinese food you ordered and were eating while you typed that diatribe )

So since your interested in attack , I parry and thrust , and warn you opely my sword is much sharper ...... and I am skilled with it .

So " Be wise my son that I make a reply to him that is Taunting me "

Humble yourselves before the mighty hand of God that he might exalt you in due time .........

But your time is not yet ..... no not yet indeed . It will come though . on a Day you least expect .

By the way Fishing in a Pond with no water only yields dead fish , God is a God of the Living not of the Dead .

James Spencer

Interestingly, while staunch trinitarians, Beza, Wesley and Calvin did believe Michael was a manifestation of Christ, interesting quotes especially from Calvin who acknowledges some others did not share his viewpoint but he strongly argued the issue, James

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