Dr. Andy Woods
Angelology Part 3
Jude 1:9 7-7-2019
Father, we’re grateful for another day, grateful for this morning, grateful for Your grace to us, grateful for Your people, grateful for Your church, and we are grateful for the Lord’s Table that we’re going to celebrate today, grateful for fellowship, and all of the things that you have for us in Your church. We just embrace all of it and we just ask that the Spirit would move here this morning as He seeks to move in an unrestrained way. And that Your people would be fortified and encouraged for the difficulties many of them find themselves in and we’ll be careful to give You all the praise and the glory. We ask these things in Jesus’ name, and God’s people said… Amen!
It’s good to be back with you guys. Thanks to Jim for filling in last week two times. I’m sure you guys enjoyed Jim’s ministry. Of course, I came back and we’ve got a new thing back here I noticed and we’ve got a new microphone so I guess the way to get this church to progress is for me to be absent more frequently. [Laughter]
Let’s take our Bibles and open them to Matthew 28:2 as we continue our study, Part 3, to the doctrine of the angels. Angelology, as you know, is what does the Bible reveal about the angels? As we mentioned before there’s a lot of angel talk in the culture and so we want to get our information from God’s Word to get a divine perspective on angels.
So what does the entire Bible reveal about angels? Well, this has four parts to it and we’re now towards the end of (I think) our study of the good angels and we’ll be making very quickly, not today but maybe next week into Satanology. But here’s what we’ve looked at so far in our study of the good angels. We’ve seen that clearly angels exist. In terms of their origin, we talked about that they’re creations of God. I took you into the debate about the time of their creation. And we talked about how they are created as angels, not people, or they’re not deity. They’re creatures and so they have creaturely limitations; they’re not omniscient, omnipotent or omnipresent as we’ve talked about.
We talked a little bit about their nature; they’re not sort of invisible spirit forces but they are actual beings with personhood and personality, we talked a little bit about that. Compared to us they’re very powerful but obviously they’re not as powerful as God. Their primary material of a spiritual quality, you can’t see them, but sometimes they can make appearances on the earth as people, they look just like people. The gender is sort of hard to figure out; I’m sort of the view that they’re neuter as we tried to explain a couple of weeks ago. As far as their appearance is concerned when they appear on the earth they appear as men but in heaven they’re often described as creatures that look really strange to us because they have no parallel in our physical world.
And we’re moving here into the names and classifications of angels, which is sub letter E. on our outline. We have some general names and classes and then we’ll get into some specific names and classifications. So in general what do we calls these things, I mean, what does the Bible refer to them as? Their most common designation is just “angels.” And you’ll see that in Matthew 28:2, “Behold, an earthquake had occurred for an angel of the Lord to descend from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat on it.” So there an angel is just called an angel. Over in the Book of Hebrews, chapter 1 and verse 14 they’re called ministering spirits. The author of Hebrews says, “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?” So they’re called “ministering spirits” because they’re ministers, they minister to us as inheritors of salvation. And over in Luke 2:13 they’re called heavenly hosts. [Luke 2:13, “And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God …”] That’s why I think it’s interesting that Genesis 2:1 says God created everything in six days “and all their hosts.” [Genesis 2:1, “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts.”] I think there’s an argument to be made that the “hosts” there could be referring to angels but if you buy that or not they’re clearly called heavenly hosts in many places, like Luke 2:13.
Now here’s an interesting name for them; over in Daniel 4:13-17 they’re called “watchers.” [Daniel 4:13-17, “This sentence is by the decree of the angelic watchers….” [Daniel 4:13, “I was looking in the visions in my mind as I lay on my bed, and behold, an angelic watcher, a holy one, descended from heaven.  ‘He shouted out and spoke as follows: “Chop down the tree and cut off its branches, strip off its foliage and scatter its fruit; Let the beasts flee from under it And the birds from its branches.  “Yet leave the stump with its roots in the ground, But with a band of iron and bronze around it In the new grass of the field; And let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, And let him share with the beasts in the grass of the earth.  Let his mind be changed from that of a man And let a beast’s mind be given to him, And let seven periods of time pass over him.  “This sentence is by the decree of the angelic watchers And the decision is a command of the holy ones, In order that the living may know That the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, And bestows it on whom He wishes And sets over it the lowliest of men.”]
And it is true that the good angels are always watching the earth and specifically in the church age they’re watching God pour out His grace upon the church. Why are they watching? Well, they’re not omniscient, their knowledge is not full, and so a couple of weeks ago I tried to make the case that one of the reasons that they’re always watching us and watching God’s dealings with man is because they’re learning things about God’s attributes. They know about His justice because Lucifer was expelled from the inner ranks along with a third of the angels. They know about His holiness because the seraphim, Isaiah 6, what do they say in the Lord’s presence day and night? “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD God Almighty.” [“Isaiah 6:3] So clearly angels know about judgment.
They know about God’s holiness, they know about God’s creative power because Job 38:4-7, they were cheering or praising the Lord as He was at work in creation. [Job 38:4-7, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding,  Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it?  “On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone,  When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”]
And there’s an attribute of God that the angels are just learning about, I think, and that’s God’s grace. So they know about judgment, they know about holiness, they know about His creative power having witnessed those things. But as they watch God deal with humans, particularly in the present age where we have not just grace but grace upon grace lavished upon us, it just blows the minds of the angels, they can’t believe this is happening. So that’s why they’re called “watchers,” they’re always paying attention to this.
I have a picture (which I was going to use in another context) but there they are inscribed on just above the mercy seat where the sacrifice was offered according to what God revealed to Moses. And the blood of the sacrifice was put on that mercy seat on one day of the year, Yom Kippur, day of covering, and that kicked the nation’s note of indebtedness for sin down the road for one year. And
so that was grace on God’s part. And so the angels are sort of portrayed and they’re inscribed there just above the mercy seat observing what’s happening because that’s their designation, they’re designated as watchers, Daniel 4:13-17.
They are also called “sons of God” three times in the Book of Job. Job 1:6, Job 2:1, Job 38:7. [Job 1:6, “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.” Job 2:1, “Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the LORD.” Job 38:7, “When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy?”]
And we’ll get into why they’re clearly angels in each of those passages. And you say well what’s the big deal about that? Well eventually we’re going to get to Genesis 6 where the sons of God began to procreate with the daughters of men. And a lot of people will tell you that the sons of God are not angels. The problem is the only book that was in existence at the time Moses wrote those words was which book? The Book of Job. The Book of Job is the oldest book of the entire Bible. And according to both Christian tradition and Jewish tradition, going way back, Job himself wrote that book very close to the events in which they transpired. So Job went through that whole ordeal and around 2,000 B.C. roughly, maybe a little later, in the patriarchal time period he writes the Book of Job. And that’s the only book that exists in the biblical canon until Moses sat down to write the Pentateuch or the Torah, beginning with the Book of Genesis, probably around the time of the Exodus or a little thereafter.
So when Moses uses the expression “Sons of God” in Genesis 6 what in the world does “Sons of God” mean, you have to define it by the only book that was in existence at the time Moses wrote. Amen. And that would be the Book of Job. So that’s why Job referring to them as “Sons of God” is a key way to help interpret the Sons of God reference in Genesis 6. So just kind of tuck that into your memory back and we’ll get back to that eventually.
They’re also called stars, Revelation 12:3-4 and verse 9, because it talks about the dragon in Revelation 12. [Revelation 12:3, “Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems.  And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.”  “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”]
Who’s the dragon in Revelation 12? Satan! It talks about his tail sweeping a third of the stars out of the heavens. And when you go down to verse 9 it talks about how Satan and his angels were at war with Michael and his angels. So clearly the stars being swept out of the heavens by the tail of the dragon, a third of them, are called stars and they’re clearly called angels there, right there in the context. So that’s sort of another designation for angels, they’re also called “stars.”
By the way, that Revelation 12 passage is the only passage we have indicating that a third of the angels fell with Lucifer and two-thirds by mathematical probabilities or a process of elimination I should say, two-thirds are on our side. If we didn’t have Revelation 12 in our Bible we really wouldn’t understand that a third of the angels fell with Lucifer. But in that whole description the angels are called “stars.” So these are some things that angels are generally called in the Bible.
Now let’s talk a little bit about some specific names, some specific classifications. Here are the four specific ones. Angels first of all are called Cherubim, now when you see that “im” ending in Hebrew what does that indicate? It basically indicates plurality. It’s like the letter “s” as it functions on a noun in English, it just indicates plurality. So, Cherubim would be more than one. And we’ve got two references to Cherubim in the Bible. One of them is in Genesis 3:24. Those were the angels (plural, cherubim) that were stationed outside of Eden to prevent Adam and Eve in their fallen state to re-enter Eden and eat from the tree of life and live forever in their fallen state. So they couldn’t get back into Eden even if they wanted to because cherubim were stationed at the entrance of that garden.
You’ll find a reference to that over in Genesis 3:24. Notice what it says there, “So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.” So the Garden of Eden now has been blocked off to fallen humanity.
And it’s kind of interesting to compare that to the eternal state, the New Jerusalem at the end of the Book of Revelation. Revelation 21 and 22 where it talks about how the gates will never be closed. [Revelation 21:25, “In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed;”] So the Garden of Eden is now off limits but the eternal state, once it’s set up and comes to the earth and we have a new heavens and a new earth will be always opened. So that’s sort of an interesting contrast.
Who are these cherubim? By the way, there’s another description of them in Exodus 25:17-22, those are the angelic entities that Moses was told to inscribe and enshrine just above the mercy seat. Those are called cherubim also. [Exodus 25:17-22, ““You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold, two and a half cubits long and one and a half cubits wide.  “You shall make two cherubim of gold, make them of hammered work at the two ends of the mercy seat.  “Make one cherub at one end and one cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim of one piece with the mercy seat at its two ends.  The cherubim shall have their wings spread upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings and facing one another; the faces of the cherubim are to be turned toward the mercy seat.  You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony which I will give to you.  There I will meet with you; and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak to you about all that I will give you in commandment for the sons of Israel.”]
So whom are cherubim? I would say cherubim have this function based on their two usages here, they guard the presence of God or they stand in the presence of God and if I had to make a guess as to what they do they have some kind of role in guarding God’s holiness. And it’s interesting that when Satan fell, Ezekiel 28:12-17 we learn that Satan was one of these. He was once a guardian cherub.
[Ezekiel 28:12-17, ““Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.  “You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: The ruby, the topaz and the diamond; the beryl, the onyx and the jasper; the lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald; and the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you. On the day that you were created they were prepared.  You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire.  “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you.  “By the abundance of your trade You were internally filled with violence, and you sinned;
therefore I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God. And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.  “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, that they may see you.”’]
So that’s a specific designation of an angel, not just generally but specifically, we have the cherubim.
And then we also have number two, the seraphim. Notice, if you will, Isaiah 6:4, “Seraphim stood above him,” this is the calling of Isaiah, the heavenly scene, “Seraphim stood above him each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.” And then down in verse 6 it says, “And the foundations of the threshold trembled at the voice of Him who called out while the temple was filling with smoke.” Verse 6 says, “Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs.” And these are the ones that keep saying over and over again in the presence of the Lord, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD GOD Almighty.”
The Hebrew word Seraph means to burn and so they seem to have some kind of role just like incense arises to the Lord, that’s how the Lord looks at the praises of His people, praises coming up before His people to the Lord. So, if I had to hazard a guess as to who the seraphim are while the cherubim sort of guard or protect the holiness of God, the seraphim seem to have some sort of role in directing worship to God. In fact, their very name “seraph” means to burn as in incense that you would have sort of in a worship service.
And then we have another angel called Michael; Michael is mentioned five times in the Bible. You remember from the Book of Daniel, chapter 12 and verse 1 that Michael has a special role of protecting the nation of Israel. Daniel 12:1 says this of Israel during one of the most difficult times in her history, the tribulation period yet future. It says, “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.” So, Michael seems to have some kind of role in terms of protecting the nation of Israel.
So it is an interesting thing that no matter how many times you try to wipe out the Jews they continue to survive. Here they’ve been outside of their land for two thousand years and they go right back into the same land that they were evicted from two thousand years earlier. And we ask why does Israel continue to survive? I think it might have something to do with Michael who protects the nation of Israel; that’s his role. And also of course the covenant that God made with the nation of Israel called the Abrahamic Covenant, the terms of which would be impossible to fulfill if Israel went out of existence.
Michael is called an arch angel in Jude verse 9 and Revelation 12:7. Jude verse 9 we’ll look at in just a minute but you might want to just jump over to Revelation 12:7, we were talking about that chapter a few moments ago. It says, “And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels” see that, “waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war.” The dragon’s angels are those one-third of the stars that the dragon’s tail swept out of the heavenlies. So the dragon, or Satan, has on his side a third of the angels. The rest seem to be under the headship of Michael because it says here “Michael and his angels.”
Jude 9 will call Michael an archangel. [Jude 9, “But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’”] So Michael seems to be sort of an elevated angel. Now the mistake that’s being made today is people are confusing Michael with Jesus Christ. That, by the way, is what the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach. And I’ve heard several people recently try to argue that Michael is Jesus. You’ll notice the “el” ending there on Michael’s name. What does the “el” ending mean? That would be God, and when you look at the actual breakdown or Hebrew meaning of the name Michael what it literally means is who is like God. So rather than seeing that as an attribute of God that an angel wants to highlight people are confusing Michael with God Himself.
And when you actually go back into the commentaries you learn that this is a mistake that a lot of people have made. John Calvin believed that Michael equals Jesus Christ. He didn’t argue it the way the Jehovah’s Witnesses argued it; the Jehovah’s witnesses argue that Michael is a created being. John Calvin, of course, was not arguing that but he was confusing, I believe, Michael with Jesus. So John Calvin in one of his commentaries on the Book of Daniel, Daniel 10, commenting on Michael, John Calvin says this: “Some think the word “Michael” represents Christ and I do not object to this opinion. Michael may mean an angel but I embrace the opinion of those who refer this to the person of Christ because it suits the subject best to represent Him as standing forward for the defense of His elected people.” So there it is in plain English, black and white, Michael and Jesus are equal as far as John Calvin is concerned. And you know, an opinion like this carries a lot of weight because John Calvin is one of the early church reformers and made some tremendous contributions to Christianity.
You have another commentator named Matthew Henry; anybody have the old Matthew Henry Commentary set; it’s a good set, a very godly man, but he makes the same error here. Notice what he says, he’s commenting on Daniel 10 I believe.
“Jesus Christ shall appear his church’s patron and protector: At that time, when the persecution is at the hottest, Michael shall stand up, v. 1.” I think he’s commenting on Daniel 12:1. “The angel had told Daniel what a firm friend Michael was to the church, Daniel 10:21. He all along showed this friendship in the upper world; the angels knew it; but now Michael shall stand up in his providence, and work deliverance for the Jews, when he sees that their power is gone, Deuteronomy 32:3. 6. Christ is that great prince, for he is the prince of the kings of the earth, Rev. 1:5. And, if he stands up for his church, who can be against it…” So, Daniel protecting Israel is being confused in Matthew Henry’s mind to Jesus Christ protecting His church. “But this is not all: At that time (that is, soon after) Michael shall stand up for the working out of our eternal salvation; the Son of God shall be incarnate, shall be manifested to destroy the works of the devil. Christ stood for the children of our people when he was made sin and a curse for them, stood in their stead as a sacrifice, bore the cure for them, to bear it from them. He stands for them in the intercession he ever lives to make within the veil, stands up for them, and stands their friend. And after the destruction of antichrist, of whom Antiochus was a type, Christ shall stand at the latter day upon the earth, shall appear for the complete redemption of all his…When Christ appears he will recompense tribulation to those that trouble his people.”
So very clearly Matthew Henry is saying just as Michael is protecting Israel Jesus Christ is protecting His church. And Matthew Henry, to my mind very clearly is making Michael, the archangel, into Jesus Christ. So, we’re kind of living in this internet world of social media when somebody will go back into these commentaries and stand up publicly and make the case that Michael equals Jesus Christ. And within a nanosecond it goes all the way around the world and everyone is accusing the poor guy that made the initial statement of heresy and all this emotion gets revved up on social media and no one ever sits down and thoughtfully explains to anybody in the heat of all this rhetoric why Michael is not Jesus Christ.
So let me just give you the reasons why Michael is not Jesus Christ in a calm way, because this just hit the internet, I don’t know, maybe a month or two ago and everybody is screaming and yelling and throwing insults at each other and we’ve got a big food fight in the body of Christ and this guy’s a heretic and that guy’s a heretic and you hear all this acerbic language and you don’t really hear any calm cool deliberative reflection on why Michael does not equal Jesus Christ.
So I have seven reasons why Michael could not be Jesus Christ. Michael, we believe, is obviously an archangel, he’s very high ranking, he has angels under him but that does not make him Jesus Christ. So seven reasons why Michael is not Jesus Christ.
Number 1, Michael is described as “one among many” princes and if you go back to Daniel 10:13 this seems to be a verse that escapes people’s attention like Matthew Henry and John Calvin. It says this, “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael,” look at what it says here, “one of the chief princes,” you see that? So, Michael is an archangel but you shouldn’t assume that just because he’s an archangel he’s the only archangel. If I’m reading this correctly there could be more than one archangel. How many archangels are there? I don’t know, four, seven, fifty, a hundred, I don’t know but very clearly here in Daniel 10:13 he’s not called the ultimate prince; he’s called one of the princes. [Daniel 10:13, “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.”]
Now once you understand that you see very quickly he could not be Jesus Christ because who is Jesus Christ? John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,” our English translations use that word “begotten.” What does “begotten mean? “Begotten” is an English word. The New Testament was written in Greek. The Greek word translated in English “begotten” is monogenēs, mono you recognize, right? Have you ever played the game Monopoly? “Mono” means one, genēs means kind or species. Even biologists, when they’re categorizing different forms of life, animal life, etc. they use that expression, genēs meaning a type or a kind.
So, when Jesus is called the only begotten it’s a translation from monogenēs (μονογενής. What does monogenēs mean literally? It means one of a kind. Jesus is one of a kind. Jesus is in a category completely by Himself because He is the unique God-man. Right! Now if that’s true how in the world could He be Michael the arch angel in the Old Testament when Michael is one of the princes. Through the designation “one of the princes,” indicates that Michael is not one of a kind, he’s in a category. But Jesus Himself is one of a kind. That’s why He is called Jesus Christ in Revelation 19:16, “King of” what? “kings, Lord of” what? “Lords.” [Revelation 19:16, “And on His robe and on His thigh, He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”]
What do we call those in language? We call those superlatives, meaning it’s the highest you can attain. It’s like when we call the place where God dwells “the Holy of Holies.” It’s not just a Holy place, it’s the ultimate Holy place. That’s a superlative. So, Jesus is called, Revelation 19:16, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” In other words, Jesus is not just a king, He’s the ultimate KING. Jesus is not just Lord, He is the ultimate LORD. Now that description of Jesus Christ with those superlatives or the word “begotten” or “monogenēs” how could that be describing Michael when Michael, Daniel 10:13 is one of several, one of a group of princes.
Number two, Jesus created Michael. Michael is a created being. Why do we know that? Because he’s called Michael the archangel. Who created the angels? (This should be review) Jesus Christ. Do we need to go back to Colossians 1:16. We covered that a couple of weeks ago didn’t we. You never know when a pop quiz is going to come. Colossians 1:16, it says of Jesus, “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him.” So Jesus brought into existence the dominions, the rulers, the thrones and the authorities. We explained that those are sort of common designations for the angelic ranking. So Jesus created the angels! Michael is an archangel so who created who here? Jesus created Michael the archangel. Michael the archangel is a created being. Jesus is the eternally existent Second Member of the Godhead.
The third reason why you shouldn’t confuse Michael and Jesus Christ is Hebrews chapters 1 and 2. Go over to the Book of Hebrews for a minute, Hebrews chapters 1 and 2. You say well what’s the Book of Hebrews about? I’m glad you asked. First of all it’s written to Jewish Christians. Is there something that gives that away here? How about the title, “Hebrews,” that sounds kind of Jewish doesn’t it? When you study the Book of Hebrews what you’ll discover is these are Jewish Christians under persecution from non-believing Jews thinking about shrinking back into Judaism to avoid persecution. And the whole Book of Hebrews is basically a warning not to do that. Why wouldn’t you do that? The author if the Book of Hebrews…. we don’t know who the author is.
Everybody is trying to figure out who the author is and the author wants to remain anonymous because he doesn’t give us his name so I respect the author’s anonymity, I’m more interested in what the author says than who the author is. We spend a lot of time trying to solve problems that the Bible really doesn’t want us to solve; just let the author be anonymous. The apostles apparently thought whoever wrote this wrote under divine authority or it wouldn’t have made it into the canon. And let’s leave that debate behind and let’s figure out what the book’s about. Amen! You guys are kind of quiet out there, Amen! [crowd says Amen] All right.
So Hebrews 1 and 2 makes a simple point that Jesus is higher than the angels. Now why would the author of Hebrews get into that? Because the Jews revered angels. You go all the way through the Old Testament and who’s delivering the messages of God? Angels. So if the author of Hebrews can prove that Jesus is higher than the angels he’s accomplished a major argument here because this audience is thinking of chucking Christianity and going back into Judaism to avoid persecution. And the author of Hebrews is just making a point that why would you ever do that? What you have in Christ is far superior to anything you ever had in Judaism. Judaism was wonderful but what you have now in Christ is better and the author of Hebrews uses the word “better” over and over and over again.
So Hebrews 1 and 2, the whole point of it is Jesus is higher than the angels. Then you get to Hebrews 3 and 4, chapters 3 and 4 and there we learn that Jesus is higher than Moses. Did the Jews revere angels? Yes, but they revered Moses even more because Moses was the lawgiver. So the author’s point in Hebrews chapters 3 and 4 is Jesus is better or higher than Moses. And then you get into Hebrews 5-10 and then he says Jesus is even higher than Aaron; Aaron was the high priest, the whole Levitical system that was in existence for 1,500 years came into existence through God’s work with Aaron and his descendants. So if you can prove that Jesus is even higher than Aaron you can prove that Jesus is higher than the whole Levitical system.
And then, it’s been a little while since I’ve studied Hebrews but I think it’s around chapter 10:19, it says, “Therefore, brethren,” so when you see the word “Therefore” in the Bible you ask what is the word “Therefore” there for! And it’s typically to change the audience away from doctrine into what? Practice. Away from knowledge into what? Application. Away from orthodoxy into what? Orthopraxy because what good is doctrine if you never live it. Right. So chapter 10, verse 19 through the end of the book, including the hall of faith, everybody knows a lot about the hall of faith, Hebrews 11, but they don’t really understand how it fits into the whole book. Chapter 10, verse 19 all the way to the end of the book is all exhortation, exhortation, exhortation, exhortation, and so that’s sort of the Book of Hebrews in a nutshell, don’t drift back into Judaism because what you have in Christ is far superior to anything Old Testament Judaism offered. Christ is higher than the angels, Hebrews 1 and 2; He’s higher than Moses, Hebrews 3 and 4, He’s even higher than Aaron, Hebrews 5-10. Then you have the “Therefore,” chapter 10:19 and the rest of it is all application.
So very clearly in Hebrews 1 and 2 Jesus is higher than the angels, right? That’s the first point that the author of Hebrews makes. And look at Hebrews chapter 1, verse 5 if you could, look at what the author says: “For to which of the angels did He ever say, ‘YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU’? And again, ‘I WILL BE A FATHER TO HIM AND HE SHALL BE A SON TO ME’?” Why couldn’t Michael be Jesus? Because the angels are not sons, it says it right there, a son is a what? An inheritor. Angels are not sons.
Well, who is Jesus Christ? Is he not the Son of God? Matthew 3:17. [Matthew 3:17, “‘and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”’] And if that’s true there’s no possible way that Michael or any other angel who’s not a son should be confused with Jesus Christ. Go down to Hebrews 1:6, “And when He brings the firstborn into the world, He says, ‘AND LET ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM.’” Who’s worshipping who here? Is Jesus worshipping the angels or are the angels worshipping Jesus. Very clearly the angels’ job is to worship Jesus. Angels are in no way shape or form interested in receiving worship unto themselves. An ordinary angel does not receive worship unto themselves. Remember we studied in the Book of Revelation a couple of weeks ago two times where John, who says at the end of his little epistle, “My little children, keep yourself from idols.” Remember John says that at the end of 1 John 5:21. And then John violates his own rule because on Patmos an angel appeared and gave to John the apokalopsis, or what we call today the Book of Revelation, and John, at the end of the Book of Revelation is so overwhelmed in what he has received that he starts to worship the angel who was the messenger in the whole thing. And John doesn’t do this just once, he does it twice. He breaks his own rule and becomes an idolater not once but twice and both times he is rebuked by the angel, in the Book of Revelation. Don’t do that the angel says, I’m a fellow servant.
So angels should never be confused with Jesus Christ because Jesus Christ is the object of angelic worship, not the other way around. Go over to Hebrews 2:5 just for a minute. What does it say here? “For He did not subject to angels the world to come, concerning which we are speaking.” So, angels are not the sole rulers in the millennial kingdom. I mean, their destiny is not to rule and reign with Christ in the millennial kingdom; that’s our destiny. But the entire world is not going to be subjective to an angel one day. In fact, we’re told that we are going to actually sit in judgment on the angels, 1 Corinthians 6:3. [1 Corinthians 6:3, “Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?”
So angels are not destined for millennial authority. Well, how could Michael, the archangel then be Jesus Christ, since Jesus Christ is clearly destined to rule this whole world from David’s throne? Psalm 2:6, 2 Samuel 7:13 and following. [Psalm 2:6, “”But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.” 2 Samuel 7:13, “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.  “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men,  but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.”]
So if you just sort of track with the argument of the Book of Hebrews and Hebrews 1 and 2 is that Jesus is not an angel, you start to see proof very fast that Jesus should never be confused with any angel, including a high ranking one like Michael the archangel.
Let’s go over to Jude verse 9 for a moment, continuing to give reasons why Michael should not be confused with Jesus Christ. Jude 9, a very important verse, notice what it says here and I think Pastor Gabe has covered this, hasn’t he, in his Jude study? [Jude 9] “But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’” So apparently some sort of argument arose between the devil and Michael the archangel concerning the body of Moses.
Now this is basically a text that is taken from what we would call a pseudo epigraphical book but that doesn’t mean that what is said here isn’t true; it’s completely possible for a biblical writer to quote extra-Biblical literature without endorsing the whole book of extra-biblical literature. For example, there’s a lot of things Thomas Jefferson said that I agree with. When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and says “All men are created equal” I agree with that. Now does that mean that every little thing that Thomas Jefferson did in his whole life I agree with? I mean, Thomas
Jefferson did own slaves, I don’t really believe in that; Thomas Jefferson according to some cut all the miracles out of his Bible because he didn’t believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. Now there’s a lot of debate on the historicity of that and what that means, but if that rendition is accepted I don’t believe that either. But I sure believe what he said is true in the Declaration of Independence.
So Jude, the Lord’s brother, can look at it a pseudopygraphical book and quote part of it as true without endorsing the whole thing. And apparently in the pseudopygraphical book, I think it’s the assumption of Moses (if I’m not mistaken) a non-canonical book, it references this dispute between Michael and Satan concerning the body of Moses. Why would they fight about the body of Moses? What a weird thing to fight about. Well, you might have a possible explanation in Revelation 11 where we have two witnesses, one of them looks an awful lot like Moses to me and maybe that’s why Satan is fighting with Michael concerning the body of Moses, because Satan knows that Moses is going to need his body again to fulfill Revelation 11. Do I know that for sure? Would I start a new church over it? Not necessarily but at least I have a working theory on it.
So, you’ll see very clearly that Michael doesn’t even like to rebuke Satan. See that in Jude 9. Again, it says in Jude 9, ““But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’” I’m not going to rebuke you, let the Lord do it Michael says. Now does that sound like Jesus? Didn’t Jesus rebuke Satan over and over again in the Gospels? Didn’t He look at Peter and see the angelic force motivating one of Peter’s comments one day and he said “Get behind Me” what? “Satan!” Doesn’t Jesus, in Matthew 4:10 rebuke Satan. He says in verse 10, this is at the three temptations at the hands of Satan, “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’” It sounds like He’s rebuking Satan there. So if Jesus rebukes Satan and Michael doesn’t like to rebuke Satan then how in the world could you ever confuse Jesus and Michael the archangel? One rebukes Satan and the other doesn’t.
Sticking here a little bit with Jude verse 9, taking you to number five on why Michael the archangel is not Jesus Christ, notice again Jude 9. “But Michael, the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment but said” what? “the” what? “Lord rebuke you.” So when Michael says the Lord rebuke you isn’t Michael here saying that he’s not the Lord! Now that’s the Greek noun Kurios, which is used of Jesus Christ in Philippians 2:11. [Philippians 2:11, “and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”] So when Michael says I’m not going to rebuke you, the Lord rebuke you, he’s distinguishing himself from the noun Kurios which is used of Jesus Christ in Philippians 2:11; that’s yet another reason why Michael could not be Jesus Christ.
Number six, Michael could not be Jesus Christ because the two of them are portrayed as different characters in the Book of Revelation, chapter 12. You all remember Revelation chapter 12, right? There’s four major characters in Revelation chapter 12. Who are they? The woman clothed with the son and the moon and the twelve stars. [Revelation 12:1, “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.”] She represents who? Israel! Number two, the dragon, who’s the dragon? Satan, and this is all defined either in the passage or in the pages of the Old Testament. The third character or player is Michael himself, you’ll see him in Revelation 12:7. [Revelation 12:7, “And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war,”]
And the fourth character is the Son, S-o-n, verse 5, “She” that’s Israel, “gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all of the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.” [Revelation 12:5] What does that sound like? It’s got to be Jesus because it fits Jesus one day ruling this world with a rod of iron, Psalm 2:9, and the fact that He’s caught up is a reference to His what? Ascension, Acts 1:9. [Revelation 12:5, “And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.”
Psalm 2:9, “’You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”
Acts 1:9, “And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.”]
So you’ll notice that Jesus is clearly in view in verse 5. And then when you look at verse 7 it introduces a totally different character and it says, “And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war,” You see how Michael is distinguished from the dragon in verse 7? So Michael can’t be Satan and Michael, verse 7 is also distinguished from Jesus, verse 5. So Michael can’t be Jesus Christ either. Why? Because there’s four different characters here. They’re separate entities and merging them together is like taking Israel and merging it with Satan, which would be ridiculous.
Number 7, and this is the argument everybody uses, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, not if but when they show up at your door, are going to use this on you as you get into a conversation with them. They like to quote the rapture passage but not for the right reasons. Look at 1 Thessalonians 4:16. It says, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout,” notice also what it says, “with the voice of” what? “the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” That’s the rapture, right?
So when the rapture happens the Lord Himself is going to “descend from heaven with a shout” and then it says “with the voice of an archangel.” And what the Jehovah’s Witnesses will tell you is well, who is the archangel? The archangel is Michael. So, if the Lord Himself is going to descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, then Jesus Christ must be Michael. Do you see the argument that they’re making here?
Well how would we answer that? First of all, according to Daniel 10:13 is Michael the only archangel? No, there’s more than one because he’s one of several princes. [Daniel 10:13, “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.”] There’s more than one archangel; I don’t know how many there are. So just connecting Jesus with the voice of an archangel doesn’t immediately connect Him with Michael necessarily.
But something else that’s very interesting to notice here is if you look at this carefully it really doesn’t say that Jesus speaks with the voice of an archangel. I mean, it mentions a shout, and then it goes on and it says “with the voice of an archangel.” So, to my mind I’m not really convinced that Jesus is the one speaking here “with the voice of an archangel.” So I’ve got to figure out a way to harmonize this verse with all the other verses we’ve talked about which clearly indicates that Jesus is not Michael the archangel.
So what’s my solution? My solution is that when Jesus comes for us in the rapture, and I’m hoping this is in our lifetime, I can’t guarantee that, who’s going to be coming with Him? Angels! Now since Michael is an archangel I think Michael is going to be coming with Jesus. And so, it very well could be Michael speaking independently of Jesus. You say well you really believe that angels are going to accompany the Lord at the rapture? Why not? Aren’t angels going to accompany the Lord at His Second Advent at the end of the tribulation period?
I mean, the Scripture is crystal clear on that one. 2 Thessalonians 1:7 teaches that. [2 Thessalonians 1:7, “and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire,”] Matthew 25:31 teaches that. [Matthew 15:31, “”But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.”] So what I’m thinking is when the rapture happens and Jesus comes to get us in the rapture the angels will be with Him. One of them (I think) will be Michael and he is the one, not Jesus, speaking with the voice of the archangel. So a lot of people want the person speaking to be Jesus Christ but the passage doesn’t necessarily say that. And I’m sort of obligated to look for another answer because we’ve gone through multiple proofs as to why Jesus is not Michael, the archangel.
So is Jesus Christ Michael the archangel? Seven reasons why he is not Michael the archangel. Number one, Michael is “one among many,” that cannot be a description of Jesus who is only begotten. [Daniel 10:13, [Daniel 10:13, “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.”]
Number two, Michael, as an angel was created by Christ, Colossians 1:16, and you should never confuse the creation with the Creator. [Colossians 1:16, “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him.”]
Number three, the whole point of Hebrews 1 and 2 is that Jesus is different than the angels; Jesus is higher than the angels. And I’ve given you several pieces of proof from that section of Hebrews so therefore Michael the archangel and Jesus should never be confused with each other.
Number four, we know from Jude 9 that Michael does not like to rebuke Satan and yet Jesus does that quite frequently in the Gospels.
Number five, when Michael says to Satan in this conversation concerning the body of Moses, “the LORD rebuke you” and uses the noun Kurios, he’s saying I’m not the Lord, the Lord is Jesus, let Him rebuke you.
Number six, in the whole vision of Revelation chapter 12 you have four different characters completely and so that vision will distinguish Michael and Jesus Christ.
And then finally number seven, Jesus does not actually speak with the voice of the archangel (in my humble opinion) in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, but is merely accompanied by Michael.
So who is Michael? Michael is an archangel, he is someone that we obviously respect but he is not an object of worship. And he is not something to be worshipped because he is completely distinct from God; he is completely distinct from Jesus Christ Himself. And so Michael and Jesus should never be confused.
Let me give you one more here and we’ll stop. The fourth specific angel is our youth pastor…. [laughter] Gabriel. Gabriel is mentioned four times in the Scripture. I believe Gabriel’s basic function is to disclose new revelation. So, he typically shows up to give new revelation when God allows it. For example, in the ram and goat vision in Daniel 8 that Daniel was shown, who delivered that vision from God to Daniel? It was Gabriel, Daniel 8:16. [Daniel 8:16, “And I heard the voice of a man between the banks of Ulai, and he called out and said, “1Gabriel, give this man an understanding of the vision.”]
How about the seventy weeks prophecy? There’s no more prophecy to really get your arms around to understand God’s program for the end times than the seventy weeks prophecy. If you don’t under the seventy weeks prophecy you’re lost as to what the end times are and what they’re all about. The Book of Revelation, as we’ve tried to explain is simply the amplification of the seventieth week.
So the seventy weeks prophecy is an absolutely indispensable piece of the prophetic jigsaw puzzle and yet who was it that came from God to give Daniel that prophecy? It was Gabriel. And who is it, according to Luke 1:18-19 and Luke 1:26-30 who was giving information to the mothers of Jesus and John the Baptist concerning exactly who it was that each of them was carrying in their respective wombs? It was Gabriel involved in that. So, I would say this, Gabriel seems to have some kind of function or some sort of role in terms of delivering fresh or new revelation from God. He’s a messenger.
So, you notice that angels have different functions in the angelic world. I mean, it kind of works that way in a church, doesn’t it? You guys don’t see me up here singing a lot of solos. I mean, someone else can do that that’s actually good at it because in a local church people have different functions. Some are deacons, some are elders, some are Sunday School teachers, some preach and teach, etc. etc. etc. And so just as tasks are divided amongst different gifted people within a church you’ve got the same thing happening in the angelic world. Gabriel doesn’t do what Michael does and Michael doesn’t do what Gabriel does. So, you have the cherubim who guard God’s holiness; the seraphim who direct worship up to God. You have Michael the archangel who is not Jesus but who protects Israel. And you have Gabriel who delivers new messages. And beyond that, kind of tracking back in the notes, I won’t go back through them, you have the general classification of angels as well.
So, the next time we’re together we’ll look at the abode of the angels, and then we’ll be looking at the activities of angels. I mean, what do angels actually do. You’re going to be shocked at the number of tasks God has given them. So we’ll stop here.