End of the World Countdown: The End-Time Showdown Between Michael and the King of the North
by Steve Sterling 11/24/2011 / Prophecy
The intriguing countdown to the end of the world as chronicled in Daniel 12 is a line of prophecy that began in chapter 11. As a result of the confusion of the parallel prophecies it seems as if there is some misunderstanding about the angel of Daniel 12 who will deliver the saints in the last days. One of the common mistakes that I observe with many Bible commentators is found in the identity of the angel Michael.
The definition of Michael in Hebrew is 'one who is like God'. This does not sound like an ordinary angel; it seems to be the description of a person who is worthy of worship. But who apart from God is worthy of worship? When we consider the definition of Michael two situations often come to mind.
Firstly, you have Moses' experience at the burning bush where the angel of the Lord gave him a command to go back to Egypt and tell Pharaoh to release Israel from bondage (Exod. 3). And secondly, there is Joshua's encounter with an angel who describes himself as the Captain of the Lord's host (Jos. 5:13-15). It is very significant that in both the cases of Moses and Joshua they were commanded to put off their shoes from off their feet for the place where they stand is holy ground.
Furthermore, both men upon recognizing who this angel of the Lord is, immediately fell to their knees and worshipped. There are two obvious reasons why this angel could have been so worshipped by Joshua and Moses:
(a) It was is because he is the one who is like God, and
(b) God must have ordained it to be so.
If what we read in the end-time prophecy of Daniel 12:1 is the work of this angel, then he could not be anybody else other than Christ. Throughout the whole Bible we have always been told that it will be Christ who will come and deliver His people (Isa. 25:9). For us to differentiate between Michael and Christ is to contradict the plain teaching of the scriptures as to who the deliverer is.
Just before I deal with the role of Michael in light of events relating to the time of the end, I am going to make a pertinent observation concerning what we read about this angel and what is said of Christ.
The fact that this angel could not be said to be working at cross purposes with God is a clear indication that it was ordained by God that he be worshipped in the same way God is worshipped. This divine purpose was clearly spelt out by Christ when he says,
"For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him." Jn 5:22, 23 (KJV)
Thus we can conclude that God, the Father and Christ, His Son are the only two beings in the universe that are worthy of worship. When we read Revelation 4 and 5 we will plainly see where honour and glory is always ascribed only to Him that sits on the throne (the Father), and unto the Lamb (Christ) (See Rev. 5:13). This can be contrasted with the fact that ordinary angels were not so considered (Rev. 19:10; Heb. 1).
Further evidence that Michael is synonymous to Christ can be furnished just by comparing the end time prophecy of Daniel 12 with those prophecies both within and outside the book of Daniel to which it is paralleled. Here is the direct quote from Daniel 12:1 and 2:
"And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt" (KJV)
The most obvious conclusion about this text is that it is declaring the result of a showdown between Michael and king of the north. In the last verse of chapter 11 it says of the king of the north that "he shall come to his end, and none shall help him." Thus the transition into verse one of chapter 12 is a way of suggesting how this king will come to his end; he will come to his end because Michael shall stand up.
We will now compare this same scenario with the parallel Bible texts. It is not in dispute that the king of the north is synonymous to the king of fierce countenance in Daniel 8, the man of sin in 2 Thessalonians, and the beast of Revelation 13. Therefore, the biblical account of how they will meet their demise, and by whom, cannot contradict each other.
As the king of the north will be defeated by Michael, the great Prince, so will the king of fierce countenance be defeated by the Prince of princes. And if the man of sin and the king of the north are the same, his consummation with the word of Christ's mouth and the brightness of his coming (2Thess. 2:8) cannot be contrasted with the demise of the king of the north.
Furthermore if the beast and that king of the north are one and the same, then beast demise in Revelation 19 at hands of the King of kings and Lord of lords (the Lamb- see Rev. 17:14) cannot be differentiated from the downfall of the king of the north at the hands of Michael. Therefore these prophecies are all saying the same thing about the final battle- the battle between Christ and antichrist. In the end, Christ will be victorious, His people will be delivered, while the antichrist will be rewarded for his misdeeds in a lake of fire.