Who is Michael in Seventh Day Adventism?
By Let Us Reason Ministries
The Seventh Day Adventists point you to keep the 10 commandments for salvation but they can't seem to figure out who Michael is ? Is he Jesus, is he only another name of him?
One can certainly trace the Jehovah's Witnesses view of Jesus being Michael from C.T.Russell of the Jehovah witnesses to the 2nd day Adventists before the great disappointment in 1844 when Jesus (Michael) didn't come in his advent. Russell was very much influenced by William Millers teachings .which included Jesus being Michael, no Hell and soul sleep which the Jehovah's Witnesses brought to their extreme of annihilationism. While the Adventists do not believe he is an angel like the J.W's do today, there seems to be some clarification to be done on their part.
They claim Michael is another name for Jesus as he acts in the office of an angel, that Jesus is Michael because it means he is like God. E.G White writes, "The words of the angel, 'I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God', show that he holds a position of high honor in the heavenly courts. When he came with a message to Daniel, he said, 'There is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael (Christ) your prince'." (Dan. 10:21) (THE DESIRE OF AGES, p99.)
If one is going to use Michael as alternate to Jesus because it means "like God", what of the angel Gabriel that also means mighty like God? Does this make him Jesus too, since Jesus is called the mighty God in Isa.9:6 ? What about Micah whose name also means "who is like Yahweh" The names don't give a parallel but beg a question. Who is like God? Obviously no one. If Jesus is Michael than who are the other angels, are they God too. This is too similar to J.W's teaching, except they will not say he actually is an angel, but the angel Michael is Jesus in his office.
Certainly their is no dispute that both Michael and Gabriel are of the same stock, they are angels right? Well its not so clear according to the Adventists teachings.
In discussion with some 7th Day Adventists pastors we were handed a paper from their own publications explaining to us exactly what they believe. While there was much written we could agree, there still was the question of Michael. Explanations of the angel of the Lord were used. Such as in Gen.22 and Ex.3:2,6. While there is an agreement on this being called an angel to be THE Messenger of the Lord (Yahweh himself) nowhere does it hint it is Michael, nowhere is his name called Michael, instead it is always Yahweh (Malach Yahweh).
Heb.1:5 "For to which of the angels did he ever say "you are my Son today I have begotten you" The answer is none of them ! Michael is an angel, one of many chief ones.
In there publication they used the concept of prince to show their are many princes, here's what they write...
Jesus is called a prince: A. The Prince of peace. (Isaiah 9:6) B. The Prince of princes. (Daniel 8:25) C. Messiah, the Prince. (Daniel 9:25) D. The Prince of life. (Acts 3:1.5) E. Prince and Saviour. (Acts 5:31) F.Prince of the kings of the earth. (Rev. 1:5) 2. He is not the only prince in the Bible: A. Jacob was called a prince. (Gen. 23:6) B. David was called a prince. (Ezekiel 34:24) C. Satan called the prince of this world. (John 12:31, 14:30,16:11) D. Satan referred to as "The prince of the power of the air," (Ephesians 2:2)
Christ is a Prince, but there are other princes. To say that 'Christ is not one of anything,' is not accurate. He is One of the Trinity. The fact that there are other princes', calling Him one of them does not reduce Him to the same level as the others. When angels worship Christ who is the Chief Messenger, the Prince of the angelic host, they are not worshipping another angel but rather the Creator of the angels.
V. Did Michael rebuke Satan? One of the identifying marks of a cult is that they misquote Scriptures. Lorri MacGregor states, "In Jude 9 we find that Michael the Archangel did not dare rebuke Satan." (Seventh day Adventism another Gospel? p. 2) Many of her readers may not take the time to look up the passage, thus being misled by what she is saying. The text says that "he durst not bring against him a railing accusation."
Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, dirst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said the Lord rebuke thee. (Jude 9)"
While they accuse Lori Macgregor of the one actually having the cultic teaching the scripture speaks for itself, Michael the angel says the Lord rebuke thee,he didn't, so he's not the Lord. The question I'd like to ask is will they call Michael the prince of angels the Savior? Will they pray to Michael?
As Lori points out Michael is one of many, the 7th day argument is that he is one of these...
Here is their response... IV. "One of the princes." Mrs. MacGregor's argumentation on Daniel 10:13 may sound somewhat convincing if the words are taken completely out of their context. A text out of its context is only a pretext. Will her statement stand in the light of its context?
In Daniel, chapters 8-10 we definitely have more than one prince:The prince of the kingdoms of Persia. (Dan. 10:13,20) The prince of the host. (Daniel 8:11)The Prince of princes. (Daniel 8:25)Messiah the Prince. (Daniel 9:25)Michael your Prince. (Daniel 10:21)
Daniel, in the context of these verses, says that Michael is 'one of the chief princes." Obviously he is referring to the princes that the passage is talking about.
Mrs. MacGregor declares that Jesus is not one of the princes mentioned in Daniel chapters 8-11. In that case He is not "Messiah the Prince," (Daniel 9:25) nor is He "The Prince of princes" (Daniel 8:25)."
Lets look at what they are proposing that the term Prince is generally applied. However these are clearly different classes of princes, one of which is from the demonic class. Is Jesus one of the chief princes that includes them? He is called Messiah THE Prince not one of many, The Prince of princes. When Michael is called one of the chief princes it is showing he is of a certain stock and class among others. It would be the same applied to Kings. Jesus is called a king but he is not among many kings since he is King of all Kings and Lord of all Lords.
Yet the prophetess E.G. White has said, "Michael, or Christ, with the angels that buried Moses, came down from heaven, after he (Moses) had remained in the grave a short time, and resurrected him, and took him to heaven". (SPIRITUAL GIFTS, Vol. 4a, p. 58 ) Moses was resurrected? Where does it ever say that. Clearly Jesus said the resurrection will not occur until the last day.1Tthess. 4:16-18
"...and before the contest closed, Christ Himself came to Gabriel's aid. 'The Prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days', Gabriel declares; 'but lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia'." (Dan. 10:13) (PROPHETS AND KINGS, p572. )
Michael, or Christ, with the angels that buried Moses, came down from heaven, after he had remained in the grave a short time, and resurrected him and took him to heaven ... Satan claimed the body of Moses, because of his one transgression; but Christ meekly referred him to His Father, saying, 'The Lord rebuke thee'." (Jude 9) (THE STORY OF REDEMPTION, p173.)
It is clear that Adventists are claiming Christ is Michael. Does God ever address Jesus as Michael before or after the resurrection, in the O.T.or N.T.? Did Michael an archangel incarnate to die for our sins? Can we call upon Jesus as Michael? Where is Michael now if he is Jesus ? Since the resurrection has not occurred we see Michael fights before it in Dan.12. If one looks carefully and contextually at Dan.10:13 the angel Gabriel is is speaking about the prince of Persia another angel withstanding him then Michael a chief Prince (more powerful) came to his rescue and in vs.21 he states it is always Michael that comes to fight against these princes.
It is Jesus name that is above all names forever. The name Michael is not a title for Jesus as they claim. The only angel who wants to be like God is Satan, certainly not Michael. If the 7th Day Adventists teach this about an essential doctrine of who is Jesus? Its not surprising their representations of other doctrines can also be confused or distorted.