The Four Gospels’ Angels
St. Matthew mentions the words angel or angels a total of 19 times, St. Mark 5 times, St. Luke 23 times, and St. John 4 times.
I am not concerned with all mentions of the words angel or angels, but rather the appearance of an angel or angels throughout the four Gospels which participate in the events. St. Matthew’s angels seem to be more along the line, for the most part, angels as described by Mary Baker Eddy, “God’s thoughts passing to man” like in the dreams that Joseph has. There is no mention of an “angel of the Lord” coming to the Virgin Mary in the book of St. Matthew. This may be because St. Matthew begins his Gospel with: “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” (Matt 1:1) There are the forty-one generations of this father (beginning with Abraham) who begat this son (ending with Jesus). These forty-one generations symbolizes man’s spiritual rebirth, as it takes forty-one weeks for a woman to gestate a child in the womb. (Contrary to St. Matthew’s mention of three fourteen generations [equaling 42] if you carefully count the names there are only 41 generations [if we count Jesus as one of these generations].)
What is of importance is how St. Matthew 1:16 reads: “And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.” This verse never tells us that Joseph is Jesus’ father. It only tells us that Joseph is the husband of Mary and that Jesus (who is called Christ) is born of Mary.
There is, only one other genealogy recorded for Jesus, and that is in St. Luke 3:23-38. This record, however, begins with Jesus supposedly being the son of Joseph. These words “(as was supposed) the son of Joseph” tells us that Jesus is not the son of a material man named Joseph but the son of God. Verse 38 ends with: “Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.” So, Jesus is the spiritual translation of the Adam man (as was supposed) the son of material elements.
St. Luke is the only Gospel that mentions the name of an angel, which is Gabriel. Gabriel means “devoted to God” (35,000 Baby Names; by Bruce Lansky); “mighty man of God; hero of God; man of God; God is my strength” (Metaphysical Bible Dictionary); and Mary Baker Eddy tells us that Gabriel is Love. It is very possible then, in St. Luke 22:23, that it is Gabriel that comes to Jesus in the olive garden to strengthen him, via the spiritual understanding that God is Jesus’ (mighty man of God) strength.
Many mentions of angels in the four Gospels has to do with the Son of man; severing the wicked from the just at the end of the material world; the Son of man will send forth his angels (thoughts) to gather the elect (chosen); he comes in a cloud, he is a divine messenger (an angel). There is a comparison between angels and the children of God. There is also Jesus’ words about how there is no marriage between man and woman in heaven, for in harmony, peace, man is like the angels. In St. Matthew there is even mention of the devil’s angels (evil thoughts). In St. Luke there is the account of Dives and Lazarus with the mention of angels.
St. John’s four accounts seem to fit in with the divine calculus. The first account of St. John 1:51 seems to have to do with the Word and the opening of the Holy City Stargate (see illustration below). Having angels (stars) ascend and descend upon the Son of man.
The Christ angel aspect is spoken of in St. John 5:4 when the angel descends down into the pool which heals the first person to step into its waters. The pool’s name “Bethesda” means “sent.” What is really sent from heaven? It is the angelic Christ thought that is sent to man in order to heal him (or wake him up from the Adam dream that life exists in matter). What heals the man? It is the spiritual understanding that Jesus Christ was sent to man in order to fulfill prophecy, that Jesus came as the first advent of Christ.
Jesus and God are speaking to each other in St. John 12:28, 29 [My interpolations.] – “Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have glorified it [during the first coming of Christ?], and will glorify it again [during the second coming of Christ?]. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it [God’s voice], said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him [Jesus].” This fits the tone of Christianity because it mentions “the people” (a mass or a congregation).
And finally, in the final tone of Science we have two angels (Truth and Love) at Jesus’ tomb. One is at the head (as the Christ-Mind Leader) one is at the feet (who follows the Leader’s spiritual footsteps) where the body of Jesus had lain. They resemble the two angels on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant and the two women Sentinels (John does not mention the sex of the angels) on the cover of the Christian Science Sentinel. (More on this later on.)
Below is my chart for the four Gospels on angels.
In St. Matthew and St. Mark we have the number one. There is only one angel in St. Matthew while there is only the one young man in St. Mark, who, I am quite sure, is God’s spiritual idea – Christ Jesus. The number one represents the idea that Principle (God) and its idea (spiritual man) is one.
In St. Luke there are two men in shining garments. We find out later on, in verses 22-23, that these two men are the same angels seen in the women’s vision. Why does Luke use the word shining instead of white? Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines shining as “emitting or reflecting light.” This tells us that Luke is speaking about the man created in Genesis 1 and not the Adam man created in Genesis 2. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Gen. 1:27). As Carl Gluck puts it, “God’s spiritual images of one spiritual man’s reflected consciousness as male-female.” (Divine Science; p. 17) I have no reason to deny that the two men (or the two angels, God’s divine messengers) are really one man and one woman. Mary Baker Eddy describes in “The Apocalypse” chapter – “The Lamb’s wife presents [to you, the reader] the unity of male and female as no longer two wedded individuals, but as two individual natures in one; and this compounded spiritual individuality reflects God as Father-Mother, not as a corporeal being. In this divinely united spiritual consciousness, there is no impediment to eternal bliss, – to the perfectibility of God’s creation.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scripture, by Mary Baker Eddy; 577:4-11; [My interpolation.])
The word white implies purity and innocence. A virgin bride (Remember the Lamb’s wife.) wears white. In the divine infinite calculus tones of the Christ, Christianity, and Science white represents Principle, but also wholeness, as white light is white only because it includes all the colors – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet. And this is much like how the seven synonymous terms for God consist of wholeness or completeness, for example – the order for Science – Mind (red), Spirit (orange), Soul (yellow), Principle (white), Life (green), Truth (blue), and Love (violet).
It is unknown how many angels are seen in the women’s vision. Does Luke’s use of the word vision imply that the women mentally see the angels or that they see the angels with their eyes? I tend to think that it is a mental vision. Why? I feel that they are spiritually seeing a vision of how Jesus (the masculine representative for the Christ) and Mary Baker Eddy (the feminine representative for the Christ), even though they did not know who Mary Baker Eddy was at that time, are God’s two anointed ones, God’s two heavenly messengers (angels).
St. John has only Mary Magdalene seeing two angels in the tomb. One is at the head (as a Leader) and the other is at the feet (as one who follows a Leader) of where the body of the Master had lain. The word lie (lain) has to do with one’s place. Jesus has his place in Bible prophecy. So, these two angels that Mary Magdalene sees (in St. John’s Gospel of Science) must also have a place in Bible prophecy, for they are the two angels of Michael (Truth) and Gabriel (Love). These two messengers of God come as two Christ advents during the Sixth Day of Truth and the Seventh Day of Love. Michael is at the head, for she is our Forever Leader (in Christian Science) while Gabriel is at the feet, for she is generic man who follows her Forever Leader’s footsteps.