There are five references to the holy angel named Michael in the
Bible. Three of those five verses are in Daniel, and the other
two are in the New Testament.
Daniel 10:13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom
resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael,
one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was
detained there with the king of Persia.
Daniel 10:21 So he said, "Do
you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against
the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come;
but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one
supports me against them except Michael,
Daniel 12:1 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
Jude 9 But even the archangel Michael, when he was
disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring
a slanderous accusation against him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"
Revelation 12:7-9 And there was war 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.
(All five texts here are quoted from the New International
Version - NIV)
"Archangel" is a Greek word that means "chief angel."
These five verses indicate that Michael is a warrior angel who has
great power and position in God's service. The verses in Daniel
imply that he served as guardian angel for the nation of Israel.
The verse in Revelation indicates that Michael may be the chief of all
the angels, after Lucifer's fall. (Lucifer was the number-one
angel, second only to God, until he rebelled, and now is called
A few Christian denominations (and
some cult groups) teach that Michael
is really Christ, before His human birth as Jesus. They
identify other appearances of angels in the Old Testament as Christ.
There are two serious problems with the idea that Michael = Christ.
- The angel that appeared to Joshua before the battle of Jericho
- The angel that appeared with the three men in the fiery furnace
(Daniel 3:24-25,28 -- see our discussion
about this text in the 5th lesson in our series about Daniel.)
First, the Bible clearly identifies Michael as an angel. (In the
New Testament book of Hebrews, the first two chapters, you will find a
clear explanation that Christ is not an angel, but that He is superior
to the angels.)
Second, the text in Jude says that Michael refused to accuse the
devil, but instead Michael said, "The
Lord rebuke you." Jesus Christ is the Lord. Jesus often
rebuked evil angels during His ministry on earth. As true God, He
has authority to do that. But Michael doesn't. Therefore,
the Jude text proves that Michael is