Question: Who Is Michael The Archangel?
Answer: One of the most prominent characters in the Bible is Michael the “archangel,” or “chief angel.” He is the only angel specifically designated as an “archangel.” His name means, “who is like God?” He is mentioned a number of times in Scripture. From the Bible we know the following things about him.
1. He Is One Of The Chief Princes
Michael is called “one of the chief princes.” In the Book of Daniel, we read the following.
The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia (Daniel 10:13 ESV).
This title suggests a high rank.
2. He Supported Another Angel
Michael supported another angel who was being hindered from answering Daniel’s prayer. He said to Daniel.
But I will tell you what is inscribed in the book of truth: there is none who contends by my side against these except Michael, your prince (Daniel 10:21 ESV).
Thus, we find that Michael has the ability to support other angels in their ministries.
3. He Will Have An End Times Ministry
Michael will have a prominent role in the end times. We read the following in the Book of Daniel.
The person who looked like a human continued, “At that time Michael, the great commander, will stand up on behalf of the descendants of your people. It will be a time of trouble unlike any that has existed from the time there have been nations until that time. But at that time your people, everyone written in the book, will be rescued. Many sleeping in the ground will wake up. Some will wake up to live forever, but others will wake up to be ashamed and disgraced forever. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness on the horizon. Those who lead many people to righteousness will shine like the stars forever and ever. But you, Daniel, keep these words secret, and seal the book until the end times. Many will travel everywhere, and knowledge will grow” (Daniel 12:1-4 God’s Word).
According to this passage, Michael has a direct connection with the nation Israel in the “last days.”
4. He Is Possibly The Archangel Mentioned In 1 Thessalonians
Michael is thought by some to be the archangel alluded to in First Thessalonians. Paul wrote the following.
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first (1 Thessalonians 4:16 ESV).
While the identity of this angel is not stated, it could possibly be Michael. However, it is also likely that the voice referred to here is not the voice of the archangel, but actually the voice of the Lord Himself. His voice is powerful, like that of an archangel.
5. He Disputed With Satan Over Moses’ Body
We are told that Michael contended with Satan. Jude wrote about an episode which is not contained in the Old Testament.
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!” (Jude 9, NIV).
This is the only passage where Michael is specifically called an archangel. The New Living Translation puts it this way.
But even Michael, one of the mightiest of the angels, did not dare accuse Satan of blasphemy, but simply said, “The Lord rebuke you.” (This took place when Michael was arguing with Satan about Moses' body (Jude 9 NLT).
Interestingly, we find that Michael did not rebuke the devil on his own but rather called upon the name of the Lord to rebuke him.
6. He Will War Against Satan
Before Jesus Christ comes back, Michael and his angels will engage in a war with Satan and his angels. We read the following in the Book of Revelation.
Then a war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels had to fight a war with the serpent. The serpent and its angels fought. But it was not strong enough, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The huge serpent was thrown down. That ancient snake, named Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world, was thrown down to earth. Its angels were thrown down with it (Revelation 12:7-9 God’s Word).
Michael and his army prevail and Satan will be thrown down to the earth.
7. He Is The Messenger Of Law And Judgment
After looking at what the totality of Scripture has to say about Michael the archangel, he seems to be the messenger of law and judgment.
This sums up the specific passages in Scripture where Michael the archangel appears. As we have seen, he is prominent in carrying out God’s program both here on earth as well as in the heavenly realm.
Summary To Question 21 Who Is Michael The Archangel?
There is much confusion about the identity and ministry of Michael the archangel. From looking at the Scripture, we can conclude the following about this personage.
He is the only archangel specifically named in Scripture. No other angel is given this title. However, since Michael is called the “one of chief princes” there are obviously other angels of this rank. Yet none of them are named.
His authority and rank is seen by the fact that he actually supports another angel in spiritual warfare. Michael is obviously a powerful being.
Daniel the prophet wrote that Michael will have a prominent role in the end times. He seems to have some connection with the nation Israel and their destiny. This is also confirmed in the Book of Revelation where Michael and his angels are at war with Satan during the time of the end.
Jude records an episode which is not found in the Old Testament. It consists of Michael disputing with Satan over the body of Moses. As powerful as Michael is, he had to rebuke Satan in the name of the Lord. It seems he could not overcome him in his own strength.
This sums up the little information we have concerning Michael the archangel.
This question comes from my book “Angels: God’s Invisible Messengers” It is available now. See our product page.