It is always a pleasure to give you my view each month. Yes, this is Charles Watson writing from his prison cell going around the world with the Good News of Jesus Christ by satellite. As my faithful readers know, I try to share something past, present and future in order to keep your interest and so you will keep coming back to the site.
Something Past ...
This will be my thirty-ninth Christmas in prison – Merry Christmas! At first, celebrating Christmas in prison was not too merry, but it too on an entirely meaning in 1975, when Christ came into my heart. As the angel said: “I bring you good news and great joy for everyone! The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born [almost 2000 years ago] in Bethlehem, the city of David!”1 Jesus brought joy into the world, causing us to celebrate His birth this time of year.
My childhood memories are numerous of Christmas with my family. We would decorate the tree together shortly after Thanksgiving and fill gifts beneath it. On Christmas morning Mom would hand out gifts, until we learned the truth about Santa Claus, and then we switched to Christmas Eve. My parents loved Jesus, but for me, Christmas was all about me, not Him. I didn’t realize that it was because of Jesus that we were receiving the gifts. I knew nothing about the gift of salvation.
As a youngster, I needed to know the love of God through the presence of the Holy Spirit. I missed out on a true relationship with Jesus Christ because of my own rebellion. Instead of surrendering to the presence of God, I chose the gods of this world for a quick fix, not willing to wait on the Lord. I medicated my emotional pain with wine, women and song. I moved to California, dropped out of society and met up with Manson. I’ve wrote about those days in the book “Will You Die for Me?”, and I drew a map of Spahn’s ranch in 1977 which you can see here as a surprise. It will help you envision the area as you read the book.
Something Present ...
It is impossible for us to get our conscience and thoughts into right thinking without God’s help. Jesus was asked: “Who then can be saved?” He replied: “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.”2 Only God can save us from sin, that is, our rebellious spirit and thoughts. We must put on the mind of Christ. The Lord says: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”3
The Apostle wrote: “God is ready to help you right now. Today is the day of salvation.”4 You must receive the Holy Spirit before you can get you thoughts right. “Those who are dominated by the sinful nature thing about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace.”5 This is the first step to spiritual and mental healing.
Several years after Christ came into my life, the Lord gave me a way to evaluate my thought life. I created a worksheet called Spiritual Soul Analysis. Click here. I think you’ll be able to figure it our on your own. In short – you write down a trying event, and the negative thoughts and emotions. Key questions are then suggested to encourage you to challenge your thoughts and emotions during the event. The point is to discover positive alternatives, resulting in better mental and emotional health. The thought and emotional process is slowed down using the worksheet, and with practice, you can quickly make positive choices during a difficult time. With the help of the Holy Spirit, you’ll be more conscious of your thoughts and emotions, causing improved relationships.
Something Future ...
In the past two Monthly Views, I’ve wrote about things concerning the last days from the prophet Daniel and the book of the Revelation. The Seventy-Weeks Prophecy from Daniel chapter 8 will be hard for many of you to understand. The 70th week represents the seven year tribulation that is to come upon the world after the church is caught up to be with Jesus.6 This can be confusing for the novice, so for this reason I’ve offered the chart Those in The Revelation of Jesus Christ as well.
It is very important that you locate yourself in the book of Revelation of Jesus Christ. For those of you new to this last book of the Bible, the church of Jesus Christ is seen in the first 3 chapters until chapter 4:2 when John is removed to heaven, like the church, which is in heaven in chapters 4 then 5. From chapters 6 though 18 is the great tribulation where the church is not mentioned as being on earth as the seven seals, trumpets and the vials are opened up. Jesus said: “For then share the great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”7
I have a new chart offered this month named The Great Tribulation in The Revelation of Jesus Christ. It will be something new for prophecy students to consider, although I am not the only one who teaches this insight. Instead of the usual teaching that all the seals open, then the trumpets and the vials, this chart suggest that after the first seal opens, the first trumpet blows and then the first vial comes forth. The second seal opens with the red horse, war and bloodshed followed by the second trumpet when the sea becomes blood and the second vial when the sea turns to blood, and so forth. You’ll have to print off the chart to see them fully.
Something Beautiful ...
As the chorus goes: Something beautiful, something good, all my confusion, he understood. All I had to offer Him – was the brokenness and strife, but He made something, beautiful – out of my life.” I learned this chorus thirty years ago when the ministry New Life for Girls founded by Cookie Rodriquez visited the prison chapel. The girls, who used to be prostitutes and heroin addicts, sung of their new life in Christ as a testimony of what God could do for us as well.
The condition of your life at this present time is not a problem to God, because He is bigger than any problem. Before the foundation of this world, the blood of Jesus was poured out on Calvary’s cross for the sins of all mankind."8 In His mind: “He will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”9 There is no sin that His blood does not cleanse and forgive, if you will confess Him as Savior and Lord.10 “For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s wrath against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed His blood, sacrificing His life for us. God was being entirely fair and just when He did not punish those who sinned in former times.”11
Over the years, I have had many say to me – “If God can forgive you, He can forgive me too!” Others have said, “I know God has forgiven me, but I am having a hard time forgiving myself.” I understand this problem! We are exhorted to “…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”12 As we grow in grace, we come to know God’s love and forgiveness more and more – the God of the second chance. Eventually, we’ll say to ourselves: “It’s God’s love and forgiveness that matters, not mine.” The Apostle John wrote: “It is not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.”13He’s made something out of your life – believe it!
A Prayer for You …
Heavenly Father, I pray that from You glorious, unlimited resources, You will give me mighty inner strength through the Holy Spirit living in me. I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in my heart through trust in You. May my roots go down deep into the soil of Your marvelous love. And I permit the Spirit of understanding to reveal how wide, how long, how high, and how deep Your love really is. I desire to experience more of the love of Christ, through it is so great I will never fully understand it. I pray to be overflowing with the fullness of the life and power that comes from You. And that Your life through me may touch those who live around me. Amen!14
1 Luke 2:11
2 Mark 10:27
3 Isa. 55:8,9
4 2Cor. 6:2b
5 Rom. 8:5,6
6 Dan. 9:27
7 Matt. 24:21
8 Rev. 13:8
9 1Tim. 2:4
10 1John 1:9
11 Rom. 3:25
12 2Pet. 3:18
13 1John 4:10
14 Eph. 3:14-19