What is your belief on the Messiah; was He an angel or spirit prior to coming to earth? I am studying with Jehovah Witness and they say He was the archangel Michael.
We believe that Yahshua the Messiah was an angelic or spirit being in the Old Testament. Scripture seems to confirm that Yahshua was the physical manifestation of Yahweh in the Old Testament. For example, Genesis 18 records three men coming to Abraham: “And Yahweh appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,” verses 1-2.
Since Yahshua stated in the New Testament that no man has seen or heard His Father, the Yahweh who appeared before Abraham was likely the Son, A similar example is found in Genesis 19:24: ” Then Yahweh rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Yahweh out of heaven.” We see here two Yahwehs — one on earth and one in heaven. It’s important to notice that the Yahweh on earth rained brimstone and fire from the Yahweh in heaven. The Yahweh on earth is likely the the Son, the physical manifestation of the Father, and the Yahweh in heaven is likely the Father. The term “physical manifestation” is not meant to convey that the Father and Son are the same being or that the Son was the Father, but that the Son represented His Father in physical form. The Bible is clear that the Father and Son are two distinct beings with the Father being eternal (i.e., always existed) and greater than His Son, 1Timothy 6:16 and John 14:28. According to Colossians 1:15 and Revelation 3:14, the Son was the first of Yahweh’s creation. It’s also important to note that even though Yahshua was described as an angelic being, he was the “Son” of Yahweh from inception.
We also see a connection between the preexistent Messiah and the angel of Yahweh. For example, Exodus 23:20-22 states, “Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.”
We see several important parallels between this angel and Yahshua:
1- Israel was told to obey this angel. We are instructed in the New Testament to obey Yahshua the Messiah, John 14:21; 15:14.
2- This angel had power over sin. The New Testament confirms that Yahshua was given the authority to forgive sin, Matthew 9:6.
3- This angel had Yahweh’s name. Yahshua in the New Testament stated He came in His Father’s Name, John 5:37. This is why we use the form Yahshua (Yah = Yahweh and Shua = salvation).
Regarding whether Yahshua is the Archangel Michael, we do not believe this is the case. Based on Daniel 10:13, it appears that Michael is one of several archangels. The fact that Yahshua is greater than all angels and without equal (except to His Father), likely confirms that He and Michael are not the same. However, Michael may represent a type of the Messiah.