The Paradox of Michael
In this brief article we focus on one of the glaring inconsistencies in the Seventh-day Adventist version of the Trinity. It is the belief that Jesus Christ is the almighty God, while at the same time he is Michael the archangel.
ARE JESUS & MICHAEL THE SAME?
There is ample evidence to support the truth that Michael the archangel is Jesus Christ. Let us examine a few facts which clearly identify Michael with Jesus.
1. Michael is "the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people." (Daniel 12:1)
2. In speaking to Daniel, Gabriel refers to Michael as "your prince." (Daniel 10:21)
3. There is only one heavenly being referred to as a prince or "the great prince" in the book of Daniel. This must be the same person referred to as the "prince of the host" in Dan 8:11 where it says of the little horn, "Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down." In verse 25 of Daniel 8 this same person is called the "Prince of princes." Again, in Daniel 9:25 we find that Jesus is referred to as "the Messiah, the prince." It is clear that in the book of Daniel the references to "the prince, the great prince, the prince of the host, the prince of the covenant and Michael your prince, all have reference to the same person, who is Jesus Christ.
4. Furthermore, in Jude 1:9 Michael is referred to as the archangel. He is the only archangel mentioned in the Bible. The misconception of popular Christianity that there are several archangels has been immortalised in the lines of songs such as, "praise him, praise him, highest archangels in glory." However, such an idea has no basis in Scripture. The Bible only speaks of one archangel, and this person is called Michael. There is further evidence that this person is to be identified with Jesus Christ
when we discover that when Jesus returns the second time it will be with the shout of the archangel (1 Thess. 4:16). Since there is only one archangel and Jesus' voice is the voice of the archangel, then it is evident that Jesus is the archangel.
The discovery that Jesus is Michael the archangel does not in any way make the angels equal to Christ. The term "archangel" indicates one who is chief over the angels, and not merely an angel who has been elevated to a position over the others. The superior status of Jesus is indicated in the titles, "The prince of princes," "The prince of the host,". and "the great prince."
ARE GOD AND MICHAEL THE SAME?
On the other hand however, while it is plain that Michael is a Being who is superior to the angels, it is equally plain that Michael is one who is subordinate to God and not equal to God in authority. The very name "Michael" is weighted with meaning and is very instructive. The word means literally, "who is like God," and signifies one who is like God. In every reasonable approach to comprehension it is as plain as day that if a person is like another person, then he cannot be the same person that he is like. The word "like" signifies that they are similar, but not the same. The very relationship which we find between fathers and sons.
In Jude 1:9 we find a record of an event which illustrates the fact that the authority of Michael is not equal to that of God.
(Jude 1:9) Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
Here we find that Michael (the pre-advent Jesus Christ) had come to raise Moses from the dead. The devil apparently presented himself to resist Michael, evidently with the argument that Moses had died as a sinner, no ransom had yet been provided for him and therefore God had no right to bring him back from the dead. Notice what it says about Michael: He did not rail against Satan. He did not dismiss him from his presence contemptuously. He did not Himself exercise personal authority in countering Satan's opposition. Instead, he called upon One whom He quite clearly recognised as being a higher authority than himself. His counter to Satan was, "the Lord rebuke thee." Why did he not say, "I rebuke thee" if his authority was equal to that of the Father?
AN EMBARRASING PARADOX
When all the evidence is examined and assessed in a reasonable and logical way it is evident that Michael is a being who is not equal to God in authority, though he is Lord of the angels and superior to them. This cannot be denied and most Trinitarians, in consequence of this fact have rejected the truth that Michael is the heavenly name of Jesus Christ, in spite of all the evidence which clearly indicates that they are one and the same. Seventh-day Adventists on the other hand have taught from the very beginning of their history that Michael the archangel is Christ.
When the pro-trinitarian party led by LeRoy Froom went through all the literature of Adventism deleting and changing in an effort to destroy all evidence that the church was once anti-trinitarian, they either overlooked this "problem" of Michael, or else they decided that it was too deep rooted to eradicate and decided to leave it alone in the hope that it would be unnoticed. You see, the mass of Seventh-day Adventists were able, on the whole, to accept the doctrine of the Trinity back in the 1930s when it was introduced into the beliefs of the church. However, the same people would have rebelled if the authority of Ellen White had been openly rejected by the church and since Ellen White indicates that Michael is Christ over and over again, there was no way that the deleters could remove this teaching from the church.
Today, the doctrine of Michael remains in a Trinitarian Seventh-day Adventist church as an embarrassing paradox. Careful examination will convince any thinking person that the two things cannot both be true. Jesus cannot be Michael the archangel, while at the same time God Himself. The lame explanation of "mystery" has continued to satisfy willfully ignorant men, enslaved by denominationalism, trained to be mindless reflectors of other men's thoughts. However, it must be clear to the person who dares to think that the word "mystery" is just a word used to prevent reasonable thought on a issue which can only be resolved in one way.