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Michael the archangel – who is he?

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In the book of Daniel, Michael the archangel is described as "the great prince who protects your people" (Daniel 12:1 NIV). Daniel is being addressed here, so "your people" refers to the Jewish people. By this we know that Michael the archangel is assigned to watch over the Jewish people. This and other passages suggest that some holy angels and also some fallen angels have spiritual authority over particular lands or people (Daniel 10:20). Michael the archangel is one such holy angel, and is "one of the chief princes" among them (Daniel 10:13).

Michael the archangel is also mentioned in the book of Jude, where he is shown "contending with the devil" in a dispute over the body of Moses (Jude 1:9). This dispute is not mentioned elsewhere in Scripture, so we have no other information, but it is safe to say that Michael the archangel is a very powerful being. He and Lucifier were both, in the beginning, holy angels, and before Lucifer fell it is possible that they served God in a similar fashion. Much of what we assume about angels is extrapolation rather than direct revelation from the Bible, and it should be taken as such. However, it seems that the angels have ranks and duties, and that some are messengers (like Gabriel, who announced the birth of Christ) while others are warriors. In every passage that involves him, Michael the archangel is a warrior angel, doing battle against the forces of evil (Daniel 10:13, 21; Jude 1:9; Revelation 12:7).

In fact, Michael the archangel is closely tied to the tribulation, which is a time of trouble for the inhabitants of the earth. It says that Michael will "arise" and that his arrival will directly precede the tribulation (Daniel 12:1). The rapture (or taking away to heaven) of the church will be announced by "the voice of an archangel" which might also be Michael, though he is not specifically named (1 Thessalonians 4:16). Michael also wages an end-times war against "the dragon and his angels" which are Satan (Lucifer) and the fallen angels who followed him (Revelation 12:7). Michael and his angels will defeat Satan's forces, and then Satan will be thrown down to earth. Angry at his defeat, the Bible says Satan will then go to wage war against the people "who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus" (Revelation 12:17).

These fascinating details about the war in heaven are humbling. Angelic beings fight over human lives and souls, which should give us a clue about our importance in the eyes of God (Psalm 36:7). In the end, the holy angels will triumph over the fallen, and the blood of Jesus, the Lamb, will defeat Satan (Revelation 12:10–12; 20:7–10).

Related Truth:

What are angels according to the Bible?

What are archangels? Is there more than one archangel?

Why did Michael and Satan dispute over the body of Moses in Jude 1:9?

Are there guardian angels?

What different types of angels does the Bible talk about?

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