A Voice in the
Wilderness

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Re: Michael... high humility

In one of the recent presidential debates between Bush and Gore, Mr.
Bush was asked a question about US projection and influence in world
affairs. While I don't remember the exact question, I vividly remember
the gist and intent of his response: that the US needs to have a strong
military in order to deter future wars (peace through strength), and
that the US's involvement in other countries' affairs needs to be done
"with humility". And he stressed this point emphatically, that while
the US is strong, and is thus, a leader, it -MUST- be "humble".

It is my personal observation that of all nations of the world, as
people visit countries that are "foreign" to their own, that Americans
surely must be some of the most arrogant people on the planet. (I say
this, BEING an American!)  Most other nationalities, when visiting a
foreign country, tend to behave with respect to the people of the host
country.  But Americans often carry a "better-than-you" attitude, and
expect to be catered to, at their every whim.  Not only was Mr.  Bush
making mention of this... this travel program I occasionally watch on
Public TV also stresses this from time to time.  The reminder to
remember that "you", as the American viewer of the program contemplating
visiting the foreign country, are the "visitor".  It is "their"
country. They are not "obligated" to you.  Treat people with respect.

This matter of "humility" is certainly something Paul exhorts, "Let
nothing be done through...vainglory, but in lowliness of mind let each
esteem others [to be] better than themselves". (Phil2:3)  This is the
"golden rule": treat others as you would be treated. (Lk6:31)

But... what if you REALLY -ARE- somebody terribly important and
powerful?  Should not such a lofty person hold himself just a tad
'aloof'?  After all, by his talents and position, he is a notch 'above'
other more 'common' folk! They need to respect just 'who' he is, and
how will they do that if he doesn't project the proper 'image'??

Recently we observed how the Angel of Jehovah (Jesus) did not take it
upon Himself to rebuke satan, but deferred to the Father. (Zech3:2) We 
observed that many so-called "christians" in these days take it upon 
themselves to "rebuke the devil". And when that study came out, there 
were objections...that we have been -given- this "authority". We noted
how Michael, chief of the angels would not rebuke satan, either.
(Jude9) Even though being the highest angel, he would not take upon
himself the authority the so-called "christians" claim.

These so-called "christians" are like the proverbial "American" 
travelling abroad, struttin' their 'wealthiest, most powerful nation'
pride. Hey! We're CHRISTIANS! We're in the Lord's army! We have all 
this POWER! We can just snap our fingers and command satan, and he has 
to be in submission to -US-!! -WE- are conquerors! -WE- have the 
victory!

Shortly after that study, I happened to be going through the Hitchcock 
"Bible Names Dictionary", and came upon the name "Michael". Guess what 
the name "Michael" means... "poor, humble"

Notice what happened when Lucifer said, "I will go up above the heights 
of the clouds; I will be like the Most High". (Is14:14)  "Yet you shall 
be brought down to hell..." (vs15)

On the other hand, here is "poor - humble" Michael. What is his present 
position? He is the "archangel". "one of the chief rulers" (Dan10:13)
Perhaps he has taken Lucifer's place when he fell?  (just wondering)
And yet, when the angel sent to Daniel was detained, Michael was not so
high-n-mighty that he could not rescue him so he could reach Daniel.
(Dan10:21)  While Lucifer was off doing his own thing, Michael was 
reliable; defending God's Word. (Dan10:21)

Throughout my life I have met a lot of different people. There are a 
lot of attitudes that people envelope themselves with. There are some 
pastors who are so 'important', that their secretaries "screen" who can 
have access to them. But there were two individuals I happened to meet 
briefly, who were different from all the rest. One was Theodore Epp, 
from Back to the Bible; and the other, I forget his name now, but he 
used to be director of Far East Broadcasting Company. In their day, 
both of these men, likely, two top-notch servants of our Lord. Mr. Epp 
was a foremost Bible teacher of his day. Both of these men, 
world-renowned for their Biblical teaching and Christian/missionary 
leadership. Mr. Epp I happened to have about a 5-minute conversation 
with on one occasion. The other, I merely shook his hand at a 
conference. But both of these men exuded a HUMILITY, the likes of which 
I have not seen in anybody else I remember meeting. This was not a 
false/acted humility. It was their HEARTS showing forth.

You see, of Moses it was said, "And the man Moses was very meek, more
than any man who was on the face of the earth." (Num12:3)  You see,
leadership, and the doing of exploits for God does NOT require
self-assertion. It does NOT include status. Moses was the most humble
man, and yet, he likely led Israel through some of God's greatest signs
and wonders ever performed; and was the conduit through whom God gave
the Law. The one of whom it was said that God would speak with him
"face to face" (Ex33:11)

Do we desire to be in great places before God? "Be humbled before the
Lord, and He will lift you up." (Jas4:10)  Jesus exhorted that when you
are someplace where 'important' people are, where rank and status is
observed, "..go and recline in the lowest place.." In other words,
don't be a big-shot. "..so that when he who invited you comes, he may
say to you, Friend, go up higher. Then glory shall be to you before
those reclining with you." (Lk14:10)

However, notice that "humility" does not equate with "wimpy" and
"indecisiveness".  A lot of people equate "humble" with "uncertainty".
"..he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven by the wind and
tossed.." (Jas1:6)  And for the Believer, this "tossing" is in the
"winds of doctrine" (Eph4:14)  If a person firmly stands on the
doctrines of God's Word, the rebellious ones accuse such a person of
"pride". And they retort with expressions like, "How DARE you!! you
judgmental person!"

Notice that when Zacharias doubted God's word, the angel Gabriel
confronted his lack of faith, "I am Gabriel, who stands before God"
(Lk1:19) and invokes Zacharias' tongue to be tied until John should be
born.

The context of us being told that Moses was "meek" was where Aaron and
Miriam were challenging Moses' authority. It was the context of when
Miriam became leprous for a week, due to her rebellion. (Num12:10)

A Believer is humble; but also stands firmly upon the authority of
God's Word. But notice that when even Moses overstepped his bounds,
taking God's authority upon himself, striking the rock when he was only
commanded to "speak" to it, he was disciplined and was not allowed to
enter the promised land. (Num20:8-12)

So, back to Michael. The chief of the angels, with a name that means,
"poor-humble", and yet, with this high lofty position as -chief- angel,
he would not take it upon himself to rebuke satan.

And then, one final thought. There is a supposition among some
Believers that Michael is actually another manifestation of Jesus
Christ. I'm not sure I'm fully persuaded of this, but the argument
might go something like...

At the resurrection there is "the voice of the archangel" (1Th4:16). 
They assume that means "Michael" from other references like Dan12:1. 
But it is then assumed it refers to Jesus Christ because Jesus said, 
"..the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they who hear 
shall live". (Jn5:25)  The "voice of the Son of God" equating with 
"voice of the archangel".

There is also the reference that Michael is the "great ruler" who 
stands for Daniel's people, Israel (Dan10:21,12:1) (which sounds like
what the Angel of Jehovah was -Ex23:20-21); and that he was fighting
the dragon in Heaven (Rev12:7) to cast satan out of Heaven. That this
warfare is "with the Lamb" (Rev17:14) as He is the "King of kings and
Lord of lords" Who smites the nations." (Rev19:14-16)

So... if it is the case that "Michael" is another reference to Jesus
Christ, just as "Angel of Jehovah" is; again notice the name, "poor,
humble";  Who are we to think that we have more power and authority
than Jesus has, to usurp "authority" and "power" that is not given to
us?  Remember that we are not "greater than our Master" (Jn15:20)

"Let nothing be done through..vainglory...for let this mind be in you 
which was also in Christ Jesus...[Who] made Himself of no reputation, 
and took upon Himself the form of a servant...He humbled Himself.." 
(Phil2:3-8)

"If then I, the Lord and Teacher have washed your feet (the menial
servant's duty), you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have
given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Truly,
truly, I say to you, A servant is not greater than his master, neither
is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these
things, blessed are you if you do them." (Jn13:13-17)

Amen!