Seeing Jesus – Mark Wattenford

The following two excerpts tell of my death experiences

and of seeing Jesus face to face
best to print this out and read it

Death By Poisoning

   Some months after the car wreck I encountered another brush with
death and another trip out of my body. At the time I was taking medication for a
potential ulcer condition. Ulcers ran in the family. I use to hang around with a
guy that took medication for some other reason. Anyway, I was in the bathroom
after my friend had just left from a visit and I reached down grabbed my pills
and took them. The problem was that they were not my pills they were my friends
and he had left a few on the bathroom counter. They looked so much like my own I
did not pay enough attention to the fact that they were not. Not knowing yet
what I had done I left the bathroom and proceeded down the hall. Then I started
feeling strange. Then I started feeling my heart start to pound. I went toward
the couch to sit down, but even before I could get there I broke out into a
drenching sweat. It was like perspiration just exploded from my pores. I was
drenched. I sat on the edge of the couch and my heart started to beat very
strong and breathing was getting harder. My chest was starting to bulge from the
force of my heart. I slumped back on my back in hopes of calming down. As I lay
there on my back I looked downward across my chest and my rib cage was bulging
with each heartbeat. Then my heart gave one giant push and it seemed my rib cage
raised three inches and froze. That was it. I was gone. I was no longer in my
body in California. I was now hovering at the ceiling in the house I grew up in
on 8th Ave. in Spokane Washington. I was in the living room and I could not
believe the magnitude of the peace I felt just being out of my body. The clarity
of everything around me was like the difference in waking up from a dream into
reality. I had 360 degree vision. The calm, the peace, the joy I felt was
indescribable. I wasn’t in heaven; there was just that much peace and joy being
out of a body that was continually warring for its way. It is amazing how much
we endure just having to live in a body which is subjected to the curse of sin.
The colors were so bright. My senses were so keen and sharp. I could see out the
front door across over to the neighbors house. The sun light was so pure and
golden to me it looked like the air was filled with liquid gold. I was just
soaking up this wonderful experience without any realization, at first, as to
how I got there. Then I started to contemplate how I did get there. Let’s see,
the last thing I remember was that I was in California. Let’s see, I was sitting
on the couch and there was something wrong with my heart. O my gosh the last
thing was that my heart gave one last heave and stopped and now I’m here !

   Now in the midst of this overwhelming wonderment came a sense of
overwhelming grief. I figured I was dead, but I was not grieving that I had
died. I was taken by extreme grief that either my mother, my sister, or my
brother was going to find my body and I did not want them to have to go through
that. I felt so horrible that they would find me dead and wanted so desperately
that they need not have to be subjected to that. Then I became aware of two
individuals off in the distance conversing with each other and the subject of
their conversation was me. They were speculating on what decision was about to
be made concerning me. Then some spiritual realm opened up below me and it was
an entryway into  Hell. I could see, peripherally, the flames of Hell far
below me, but I did not look directly downward. I was suspended between Heaven
and Hell still aware of earth and feeling as though my eternity was being
weighed in the balance. I could see what was like a highway before me made of
pure transparent gold that led up to the very throne of God. Even with the
prospect of Hell below me and that I might soon be on my way there it never took
hold me. I was so consumed with the concern of my family finding me dead I could
think of nothing else. I felt so responsible. I wanted to make it right. I did
not want them to suffer that. But I had no idea how to get back to my body, or
how to get back in it or even how to get it jump started again. So here I was
standing before God stripped of myself once again in what turned out to be my
second, “O, God” statement. That’s all I could do again. I had a situation I
could do nothing about and I just fell before God saying, “O, God”.  Whoosh
! I went flying through the air and there I was above the roof of the apartment
where we lived. I could see through the roof and my body lying on its back on
the couch. And like going down a playground slide I slid down through the
ceiling, through the top of my head and back into my body. My eyes popped open
and I lay there totally astonished thinking of the peace and joy I had felt and
how thankful I was that I would not be found dead. I do not know who or what
those two beings were that were contemplating my fate. I figured they were
angels or other saints that had already gone on to be with the Lord, but I could
not tell which they were. They were one or the other.    What in
the world had happened to me ? I lay there for a little while until I felt it
was safe to get up and walk around. I got up and went to the bathroom to try
piece together what had happened to me. Was it my medicine that did this. Why
had it done it this time and not before. I went into the bath room and there on
the counter were a couple of remaining pills. On closer investigation I realized
these were not my pills. They were Tim’s.

   I did find out from a doctor sometime later what had occurred.
It was a chemically induced cardiac arrest. And, thank the lord again, because
of the make up and reaction of the medicine on my heart it did not do it any
damage. It just stopped it. So for a bit I was a dead person with a perfectly
good heart it had just stopped and was in need of someone knowledgeable in jump
starting hearts, God.

   Now I was really starting to wonder about death and the
hereafter. I had received Christ at twelve years old at camp in Cedar Crest in
the San Bernardino mountains, but I was about 18 now and had wandered quite a
ways from God or doing what he wanted me to do. These experiences were
definitely giving me cause to get back. The car wreck, life passing before my
eyes, and now this and seeing hell below me! Was I even saved ?

Face To Face With Jesus

   That question, Was I saved?, became more and more the priority
in my thoughts. I had two encounters with death and in both situations the
question seemed to be whether I was saved or not. I had asked the Lord into my
life and accepted him when I was twelve, but my life did not have any signs that
would verify it. In fact I had grown to hate Christians. My mind pondered and
pondered. It went over and over the car wreck to the point where I began to
think maybe I really did die and everything around me was just a continuing
delusion from life and that soon it would all dissolve and I would find myself
in hell. That’s right I really began to think and to believe things like that.
My concern and fear of not being saved was becoming so strong I was starting to
lose touch with reality. It got so bad that I quite literally at times felt that
if I heard a pin drop it would put me over the edge.

   I was directing theater at Biola college in La Mirada California
as I was approaching the worst of my condition. I just barely made it through
directing the play, Revolt At The Portholes when I received a job offer in
Bottineau, North Dakota where I grew up. I thought maybe getting out of L.A. and
working and being away from everything there might help so I went. I haphazardly
threw clothes and a few of my books into a suitcase and off I went. I did not
know what inspiring little book I had thrown into my suitcase until I was there
in North Dakota staying with my uncle. My Aunt worked in the hospital in
question so she set up the interview. I went and I did not get the job. I
thought the job was all arranged. So there I was with nothing to do in North
Dakota, but to sit there with my thoughts; and my thoughts were killing me. I
got into my suitcase and there was a little book called “The A.B.C.s of
Fasting”. I had no idea what fasting was. I was brought up in a Baptist church
with my mother and a Lutheran church with my Grandmother. So what was fasting ?
I read it and it explained how it is the way to get hold of God. That is what I
had to do. I had to get a hold of God. I felt very literally that I had to get
hold of God or one of two things was
going to happen. I would either go
insane from the fears I was having or it would kill me and I did not think that
was an exaggeration. So it was not a matter of a choice to go on a fast to seek
God. It was a matter of survival. I started my fast. I had nothing but water. I
thought I would read my Bible through while I was on it so I started at Genesis.
Now I had been to church all my life, but I did not know the difference between
the Old Testament and the New Testament  so when I got to the part in
Exodus about having to sacrifice bulls and stuff for my sins I got real
discouraged because I did not know how in the world I was going to get a bull to
offer for my sins or even how I was to go about it. That added to my depression
and my confusion. After the third day of my fast my mind became so unbelievably
clear. It was like having a super mind. It became so aware of everything and I
could remember things throughout my whole life in such clarity. The trouble was
I could remember my sins with increased clarity. I was becoming plagued more and
more not by the spirit of conviction which is from God but by the spirit of
condemnation and accusation which is from the enemy. It was at times an
incredibly wonderful experience as my spirit would soar with hope and then would
become a living nightmare as faces would come before me in my bed and accuse me
of every sin I had done and even sins I hadn’t done as long as I would believe
them. There is where I learned that one of Satan’s axioms is “If it works. use
it”. He started telling me I was the re-incarnated Judas Iscariot and I was
going to hell and that God allowed me to be re-incarnated only as part of his
mercy because I was going to hell for betraying Christ in a former life. Mind
you I did not have a real solid Christian foundation under me to know that
reincarnation was garbage or not. I mixed every idea I heard with Christianity
to see where it was suppose to fit, not knowing that a lot of it was not suppose
to fit at all. Satan used all these bizarre thoughts to really rattle my cage.
He said World War I and World War II and Viet Nam were all my fault. Like I said
if he thinks it will work he’ll use it. He has no scruples in such things. I
must say I know this was a much harder fight for my salvation than usual and the
reason is that our family has, for many years, been involved with the occult. I
made a pact with Satan at about 14 or 15 years old and what I asked for in that
pact I got. That was part of my battle now. He was telling me I belonged to him
and there was no hope of going to heaven or receiving Jesus and all this fast
crap wouldn’t do me any good.

   I had a phone conversation with my mother about the eighth day
of my fast and mentioned how concerned I was that I could not find or afford to
get a bull to sacrifice for my sins and she asked what in the world had I been
reading. I told her I had started at the beginning of the Bible and got upset
when I found I needed to sacrifice a bull. Well I found out that was bull. She
tried to explain to me about being in a different dispensation and to read the
New Testament first because that is what had to do with me. O.K., I thought I’ll
do that. In my mind I was still thinking, “What’s a dispensation”? It could have
been some kind of a duck for all I knew. So I started reading the New
Testament.  I started to read how I didn’t need a bull or a lamb and that
Jesus Christ was the Lamb of God. Boy was that ever a joyful moment to read that
I did not have to find my own bull, besides I didn’t need any more bull in my
life. I was dealing with all I could handle at the time; thinking I had caused
World War II and all. Then I started reading about something called a “Holy
Spirit”. “What in the world is a Holy Spirit ! ?” The Bible said that Jesus said
that when he went he was sending back the comforter. Man! What is a Comforter! I
want to know! I need something to comfort me.

   This was getting to be about the twelve day of my fast now. I
was still walking on pins and needles about my salvation. I felt condemned to
hell most of the time but I kept pursuing God. Sitting in the kitchen of my
Aunt’s place and my uncle sitting there having lunch on break from work I began
to share what I was reading about the Holy Spirit thinking it would be a
wonderful conversation and maybe since my Aunt always seemed so involved with
church she could add some light on the matter. So I opened up and said how I was
reading in the Bible about something called the Holy Spirit and how it says God
gives us that when we become Christians and that we receive power to do things I
had never heard about before in church. I mean it said that sick people would
get healed and all kinds of stuff. So there I sat at the kitchen table waiting
for some piece of wonderful advice and edification to proceed out of the mouth
and off the tongue of my seemingly seasoned christian aunt. She began to scream
at me, “You leave that Holy Spirit stuff alone, That stuff is of the Devil.
You’ll go crazy and go to hell if you mess with that. That Holy Spirit crap is
straight out of hell.” Would you believe me if I told you I sat there in shock;
not minor shock, major shock. Boy was I confused. This was my aunt who was
always doing things with ladies groups at church and carried her Bible around
and here was a Bible in my hands that talked about a Holy Spirit and receiving
power from God and that it was good and part of our inheritance. I wondered if
we had the same Bible. She was in such an uncontrollable rage I thought I just
better sit there and be quiet.

   Over the next few days the air was thick as tar. My fast was
continuing and that was worrying both my aunt and my uncle and now that I was
getting hung up in this Holy Spirit stuff they were getting real agitated. About
the 16th day she gave me an ultimatum. She said that I had to get off the fast
and leave all that crap alone or I had to go back to California. It was not a
choice to me. I was still fighting for my life and my sanity. So I just said I
would start packing.

  So there I was again back in California still battling with my
salvation. Now it was the 18th day, then the 19th day, then it was the 20th day.
I wanted to go 40 days like they seem to do in the Bible. I guess I had the
thought that it had to be 40 days to be a real fast. It had to be 40 days to get
the answers you were looking for, but lying there on the 20th day I began to get
little twinges for something to eat. I had not been at all hungry in all those
days. Hunger leaves you after the second or third day. I felt that it was time
to end the fast. So, after much contemplation on whether to end it or not I
decided to do so and to try do what my little A.B.C.s of Fasting book said to do
to break a fast. Do it slow and easy. All I was suppose to have after that
length of time was about an ounce or two of orange juice. So I poured my self a
small glass and took a sip. My Gosh! That was the strongest tasting stuff.
Having been on a fast for so long and cleaning out my body had sharpened my
sense of taste and I could not handle how strong that orange juice tasted. So I
mixed it about 10 to 1 with water. I sipped it again and it was plenty tasty
even diluted that much. Then as I stood there in the kitchen taking little sips
of orange juice I noticed in the cupboard a bag of marshmallows. I thought I
would nibble on one marshmallow with my orange juice. That seemed safe to me.
Pretty tasty stuff! Not exactly a great combination, orange juice and
marshmallows, but very tasty.   After I had finished I lay on the
couch and thought, O.K. God I have done what I can. I am leaving my soul and
salvation in your hands. I closed my eyes and just sort of began to, what I call
“twilight”. That’s where you are not really asleep, but you are not really awake
and you are aware of it. You are conscious of the fact that you are just
“twilighting”. Then, poof, I was gone again, out of my body. I was sitting in a
chair as solid as anything in this life. It seemed it was suspended in mid air
above what seemed to be hell. I could see the flames lashing upwards towards me.
And there in front of my face was Satan cursing me and reminding me of
everything I had done and what an idiot I was to expect to be saved. And he
stuck his face in mine and unceasingly and mercilessly went on and on with his
accusations. I was so stricken with the fear of the truth of so much of what he
was saying. I did not know what to do. I could not defend myself. I was guilty.
I was a sinner and not a small one. My mind groped for what to do. I was unable
to speak. My hands were limp at my sides. And then the only thought that came to
me was the memory of how my mother taught me to fold my hands in prayer when I
was a little boy of about 3 years old. I thought, that’s what I’ll do. I’ll just
put my hands together to pray. As I began to raise my hands Satan jumped back as
though I had shocked him for some reason. Then in the same moment I felt an
unseen force between my hands pushing them apart. Satan did not want my hands to
come together in prayer. I did not know he was so affected by the mere thought
of someone deciding to pray. It was an incredible force pushing my hands apart.
It felt like it became a battle for my life and I put everything I had into just
putting my hands together. I seemed to break out in a sweat which is in itself
interesting since I was out of my body in some place I couldn’t tell where and
wondered why I seemed to have a body at all. In desperation I pushed and pushed
and my hands slowly moved toward each other and the closer they got the more
desperate the look on Satan’s face became. After a long struggle my two hands
finally came close enough for just my middle fingers on both hands to touch each
other. At that point, as they touched, I was totally drained of energy and I
cried out in a voice so loud it seemed like it filled the universe. “O, God!”
That was the third time out of my body and the third, “O, God”. The very
micro-second I cried that out Satan, the chair, the flames, the whole room shot
out forward away from me like watching the Enterprise shift from pulse drive
into warp 9.8. And it went with a funny high pitched shrieking whizzing sound. I
was in a void for just a moment’s time when something came from the distance at
me and again with a strange kind of sound, but this was a low pitched “rumming”
sound. I thought this scene had come to me. I have since reflected on the
thought that maybe I was the one traveling and I went to it. Anyway there was a
flesh and bone person before me. And before I could even think to speak I heard
my own voice say, “It’s really you”. I was surrounded by the Shekina Glory of
God and there, sitting on a very large pure white boulder, was Jesus Christ. My
attention sort of spiraled in on him first noticing the peripheral things. I saw
he was bare footed then my attention working clock wise noticed his robe and how
absolutely unbelievably white it was. It was so white there are no words on
earth to describe it. Everything on earth are just ugly shades of gray in
comparison. My attention went up to his shoulders and I saw his hair like the
color of ripe black olives just brushing the tops of his shoulders. Coming
around about waist level I was reveling again in the brightness of his robe.
Then up to his cheek. He was looking off to the side with his right side toward
me. His cheeks were so emaciated looking like someone who had not eaten. He was,
by our standards a homely looking guy, but I was at this point quite confused at
what I saw. He had no beard as I had grown up to think of him as having and he
had these horrible sort of pock marks in his cheeks sort of like you see people
who have had extreme cases of acne that have severely disfigured their face.
That very much puzzled me. Then my attention moved up his face and there I
caught him eye to eye. There are no words ever made on earth to convey what I
saw. They were like flames of black fire and it was as though I were looking
into another universe within him that was without limits,  that was endless
in size and that was made of the pure substance of Love. I was looking into an
endless universe of pure Love. Then it was as if I were holding a case of
dynamite that went off in my hands. The power I encountered in his eyes blew me
backwards with such force I felt I was propelled through the entire universe and
maybe I was. I began to slow down and then I could see the ceiling in front of
my face. It was only about an inch in front of my face. I was hovering up by the
ceiling again in the apartment and I could see my body below me on the couch. I
slowly began to float downward like one of those slow falling dandelion seed
“puffs”. Slowly I descended toward my body and as I entered in through my chest
I could feel my body grasp hold of me again. It felt like two giant ugly claws
coming up from both sides and grabbing me with a “thud”. It was a sickening
feeling having come from glory and re-entering an un-glorified chunk of sin
racked flesh we call our bodies.

   I knew what I had seen. I knew, that I knew, that I knew I had
just been face to face with Jesus Christ himself, but I had a problem. I had
never heard of this ever having happened to anyone before. I wondered if I was
the only one in the whole world. I didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t know
if I should tell someone or what. That was my very first prayer just moments
after having returned. I prayed, “Lord if this has happened to anyone else
please show me and lead me to them to confirm what I have just gone through”.
Over just the next few weeks God brought me to about 60 other people that had
relative experiences.

   It was about 3-1/2 months later that the confusing puzzle was
solved about why Jesus did not have a beard when I saw him. In fact it became a
question in my mind whether I had seen the real Jesus or not because he did not
have a beard. But then one glorious day when reading my Bible there I read that
as they brought him before Pilate and the crucifixion they pulled his beard out
by the handfuls. That explained it ! I had seen the real Jesus and what I saw in
that pocked and scarred looking face were the scars of them having pulled and
ripped his beard out by the roots.

   Jesus had an emaciated, scarred and homely face, but I can say
from true experience that if heaven had nothing else to offer it would suffice
just to sit and look into his face for all eternity.

Mark Wattenford
[email protected]

Spokane Outpouring

FireFighters For Christ

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About Michael Fackerell

The Christian faith is about Jesus. He came to save the lost. About Jesus Christ, Bible teaching, Testimonies, Salvation, Prayer, Faith, Networking.

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