By Charles H. Welch

ARCHANGEL. The place that angels occupy in the outworking of dispensational truth, their presence in the epistle to the Hebrews, the paucity of reference to angels in the epistles of the Mystery and their particular association with the destiny of Israel, have been discussed under the headings ANGELS, HEBREWS and HOPE . The present note is in the form of a supplement and is concerned only with the term ARCH-angel.

‘Arch’ is the Anglicized form of the Greek arche, beginning, chief, first, and was once used independently as the reference to Shakespeare will show:

‘My worthy arch and patron comes tonight’ (King Lear ii. 1).

There are but two references to ‘the archangel’ in the Scriptures, namely:

1 Thess. 4:16.
‘The voice of the archangel’.
Jude 9.
‘Yet Michael the archangel’.

From Jude we learn that the archangel is ‘Michael’ a Hebrew name meaning ‘who is like God?’ and so keeping the challenge of the ages to the forefront. Michael is spoken of in the two great Apocalyptic Prophecies, Daniel and Revelation.

Dan. 10:13.
‘But, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes’.
Dan. 10:21.
‘And there is none ... but Michael your prince’.
Dan. 12:1.
‘At that time shall Michael stand up’.
Rev. 12:7.
‘Michael and his angels fought against the dragon’.

Michael is called ‘one of the chief princes’, ‘Michael your prince’, and ‘the great prince which standeth for the children of thy (Daniel’s) people’ (Dan. 10:13,21; 12:1), and so the ‘Prince of the kingdom of Persia’ and the ‘Prince of Grecia’ (Dan. 10:13,20) must be angelic powers too.

In Daniel, Revelation and Jude, Michael leads the attack upon Satan and his agents, which culminates at the Second Coming of Christ (1 Thess. 4) and the deliverance of Israel (Dan. 12:1,2). The fact that the apostle introduces the terms ‘the voice of the archangel and the trump of God’ into the Thessalonian hope, links the hope with Israel and severs it from the church of the Mystery. The hope of the Mystery is entirely disassociated from the time of trouble and the deliverance of Israel, from the advent of the Man of Sin and the accompaniments of flaming fire and the taking of vengeance, all of these are definitely linked with the hope of the Thessalonians and the period prior to Acts 28.

For a fuller exposition of the hope, and its relation to the three spheres of blessing, see THREE SPHERES and PAROUSIA.

An Alphabetical Analysis

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