One of the absurd beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses which they don’t discuss with new converts is that Jesus Christ is actually archangel Michael. Most Witnesses will be reluctant to discuss this belief with you if you ask them because it’s one of their weakest links.
In their works, they dogmatically state:
“Michael the great prince is none other than Jesus Christ himself” (The Watchtower, Dec. 1984, 29).
“Scriptural evidence indicates that the name Michael applied to God’s Son before he left to become Jesus Christ and also after his return” (Aid to Bible Understanding, 1971, 1152).
But Scriptural evidence outside the Watchtower grid makes it crystal clear that Jesus Christ is not the same as archangel Michael. An archangel is simply a “higher order” of angels. And in all the 5 times archangel Michael was mentioned in Scripture, nowhere is he equated with Jesus (Daniel 10:13, 21; 12:1, Jude 9, Revelation 12:7).
In Mark 8:33, Jesus rebuked Satan directly: “Get thee behind me Satan.” Whereas, when Michael was contending with Satan, he said “The Lord rebuke thee.” While Jesus exercised His direct authority over Satan, Michael appealed to God’s authority.
Hebrews 1:4 says Jesus “being more better than the angels” has a more excellent name than they. It continues: “For example, to which of the angels did he [God] ever say: ‘You are my son; I, today, I have become your father?” The answer is “none.” Jesus is uniquely the Son of God and angels or archangels have a position inferior to His.
As we continue to vs. 6, it also says that Jesus, being God’s Son received worship from angels: “And let all the angels of God worship him”. We know that angels do not receive worship in any form so there is no way the Lord Jesus would be an archangel (Rev. 22:8-9). The early Watchtower magazine (called Zion Watchtower at the time) agreed with this:
“Hence it is said, ‘Let all the angels of God worship him’ (that must include Michael, the chief angel, hence Michael is not the Son of God)…” (Nov. 1879, 4, Reprints, 48)
Jesus said “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Mt. 28:18). No archangel can say this because “It is not to angels that [God] has subjected the world to come” (Heb. 2:5). In their book, What Does the Bible Really Teach? They try to build a case:
“Moreover, Jesus is linked with the office of archangel. Regarding the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Thessalonians 4:16 states: ‘The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice’. The voice of Jesus is described as being that of an archangel. This scripture therefore suggests that Jesus himself is the archangel Michael” (pp. 218-9).
Reading that passage from any reputable translation, it says “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.” Notice how the JW bible version had replaced the definite article “the” with “an.”
The specific name of this archangel wasn’t given, so to read “Michael” into the passage is unwarranted. That Jesus would descend accompanied “with an archangel’s voice” doesn’t imply that He’s an archangel. The verse simply means that an archangel’s voice will accompany the Lord’s descent from heaven.
If we apply the JW interpretation to the entire verse, it damages their beliefs. If the descent of the Lord Jesus “with the voice of an archangel” makes Him an archangel, that would also mean that His voice “with the trumpet of God” makes Him God. Since JWs disagree with this, they must admit they are the ones reading their beliefs into the Bible.
This exposes another inconsistency in their teachings. On page 214 of that book, they said: “This appointed Judge is the resurrected Jesus Christ … During that thousand-year period, Jesus Christ will ‘judge the living and the dead’…”
If Jesus is archangel Michael, how could He be the Judge appointed by God to judge all men? Do archangels have such a supreme authority?
Again in p. 41 they said: “Jesus is also the only one whom God used when He created all other things (Colossians 1:16).”
Now, if Jesus is an archangel, this would mean that archangels can also create like God. I once asked a JW man “are you telling Jesus is a created-creator?” He excused himself and said he would be back. It’s been 3 years now and I’m still waiting. If Jesus was an archangel, they will have to explain how an archangel could pay the price for our sins. This belief is truly absurd in the light of Scripture.
Interestingly, the Watchtower Society formerly taught that archangel Michael was the Pope!
“And there was war in heaven- Between the two ecclesiastical powers. Pagan Rome and Pepal Rome. Michael- ‘Who as God’, the Pope – B275, C 62. And his angels – The Bishops” (The Finished Mystery, 1917, 188).