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Jehovah’s Witnesses False Teaching About the Archangel Michael

by | Oct 9, 2021

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One of the doctrines that distinguish Jehovah’s Witnesses from Christians is the Witness claim that Jesus is not God, but is, rather, an incarnation of the Archangel Michael. They base their argument, in part, on Jude 1:9: “When the Archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses…” They claim that “archangel” means “chief angel,” which is true, and that the use of the article means that he is the only one, which is not true. 

The funny thing about their use of that passage is what it goes on to say: “When the Archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said [instead], ‘The Lord rebuke you’” (Jude 1:9, in full). Michael did not pronounce a judgment on Satan, but rather left it to the Lord to do so. 

Is this what we see from Jesus? 

At the end of His temptation, Jesus said, “Be gone, Satan!” (Matthew 4:10). And again in Matthew 16:23, he says, “Get away from Me, Satan!” So Jesus had no hesitation in rebuking Satan, and He did so by His own authority, not by referring the rebuke to another party. Jesus acted not at all like Jude’s description of Michael. 

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Look further at Daniel 10:13, which is also mentioned (but not quoted) by the Witnesses: “The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me [i. e., the angel in Daniel’s vision] twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia…” So this angel has come from a three-week conflict with a prince of Persia. Whether this is a term for a literal prince or for a demonic spirit behind the power of Persia, cannot be determined. Either way, the angel required assistance, which is given by Michael, who is called “one of the chief princes.” “Chief” there is of the same significance as “arch-” in “archangel.” But notice the article and the plural. We are here explicitly told that the office of Michael is not his alone, but one that he shares with unnamed others. The article does not imply singularity. Every claim made by the Witnesses regarding Michael is here overturned. 

The office of Jesus is, indeed, singular, because He alone is the only-begotten God, described explicitly so throughout the New Testament, not in one obscure verse that must be elided in order to make it appear what the Witnesses claim from it. 

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