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The Archangel's Call

The English word archangel originated from the Greek word pronounced ark-ang-gel-os which means prince of the angels, or more literally, prince of the messengers because ang-el-os means messenger i.e. the English word angel means messenger. The angel Gabriel is well-known from his recorded appearance to the prophet Daniel, and then centuries later to the father of John the Baptist (see Mary and Elizabeth), and then to Mary the mother of Jesus, but Gabriel is no where specifically referred to as an archangel; only Michael is:

"But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, disputed about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a reviling judgment upon him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you." (Jude 1:9 RSV)

Michael alone is more powerful than Satan, as Satan learned when he faced Michael in battle:

"Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world - he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him." (Revelation 12:7-9 RSV)

"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call"

The word archangel (i.e. the Greek word from which the English word archangel originated) is found only twice in the Holy Scriptures; Jude 1:9 as quoted above, and 1 Thessalonians 4:16 in describing the resurrection at the time of the return of Jesus Christ:

Stars of Heaven

"But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 RSV)

Michael is not specified as the archangel who will make that "call" at the first resurrection (see the Fact Finder question below to understand the different times and purposes of the resurrections) but he is plainly described in prophecy as being very active at the time of The Great Tribulation and the resurrection.

"At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time; but at that time your people shall be delivered, every one whose name shall be found written in the book.

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever." (Daniel 12:1-3 RSV)

Fact Finder: Why will there be different resurrections?
See When Will You Be Judged?


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