Sid Roth - I Was Shocked to See This Man at Church
Sid Roth: What happens when you're a fine, dignified mother and you go to a church and all of a sudden the wind of God sweeps you in the air, literally to another place in the church? This isn't supposed to happen. And then you're driving your car and God speaks to you at age 70, and says, "I want you to write now". Roberta Simpson, in addition to everything else I just said about you, you're Jewish.
Roberta Simpson: Yes.
Sid Roth: So let me take you back a little bit. You're married. You have twins and tragedy struck. What happened?
Roberta Simpson: Yes. I had two children already and they were quite young, and I had twins. I didn't know I was having twins, and yet I felt so strange all through the pregnancy. I kept asking the doctor what's wrong. Nothing you're fine. And then when I was six months and a week pregnant, I was rushed into the hospital. My water had broken and I delivered twins. And the strange thing was that when the first baby came I still had a big tummy up in the air. And the doctor patted it and said, "There's another one coming". And all I could think about was I don't have enough diapers from two babies, and I wasn't due anyway. And but it was a tragedy. I wasn't expecting twins. My husband wanted twins. I don't know any other man that wanted twins. And I had them just briefly because they had to rush them to another hospital. It's rainy. It was cool and they had to put them in an incubator. And just when they got the incubator warm, the second baby died. The first baby was only two and a quarter pounds and the second baby was three. So I have a miracle child and she's now 40 and has two wonderful children of her own.
Sid Roth: Okay, let's take you back to a day, I think there might have been an insurance agent in your home. You've just gone through this tragedy of losing one of your twins. The other is on the incubator and everything is going on in your life. And he invites you to his church. Why in the world did you go?
Roberta Simpson: Well my husband was always a church goer and he had an Anglican mother and a Catholic father and on Sunday he had to go to both churches. And but just recently in our lives, he had made a commitment to the Lord to walk with him and serve him, but I didn't know what that meant at the time. And our little girl, our twin girl had just come home the day before, and we had been invited to go to church, and we went because my husband wanted to go. I was interested. I thought, you know, I have faith in God. I believed in him. I wasn't too sure, I just thought Jesus was a man who was good and lived a good life.
Sid Roth: Weren't you taught he was even a prophet.
Roberta Simpson: Yes.
Sid Roth: But certainly not the Son of God.
Roberta Simpson: No.
Sid Roth: So tell me your first recollections when you walked into this church. Did you like it?
Roberta Simpson: No. They had drums. I thought, I didn't know anything about churches, but drums.
Sid Roth: At the show we don't have drums.
Roberta Simpson: No. And then they had a quartet that sang and I thought they were pretty lousy. I was so critical. And my two other children were with me and it was very hot, and they fell asleep. And one was asleep on one leg and the other one was asleep on my other leg, and I felt very uncomfortable. And it was a very kind of loud raucous church. It was a Pentecostal church, and then the pastor got up to speak, and I thought it was just, I did not like it, Sid. But I was there because I loved my husband and I went with him.
Sid Roth: You were a nice wife.
Roberta Simpson: Yes.
Sid Roth: But then the unexpected happened. What happened?
Roberta Simpson: Well at the very end of the message the pastor said, "When two or more are gathered in Jesus' name he's in the midst". And I had never heard that before, but my ears kind of, something stirred in me and he went on to say, he's the one that can change your life and you can be a different person, and things like that. It was a long time ago now. And something stirred in my heart, and all of a sudden, it's a very large church, I saw Jesus come from one end by the altar, walking right through the church by the altar. And I knew it was Jesus and I knew he was the one I needed in my life, and I knew that he, all of a sudden I realized I had a bitter heart. I was bitter over my baby's death. I would every night cry out to God and say, God, why, why has this happened to me? Why? And within an instant I knew he's the one I needed. And he didn't look at me, but he had this beautiful smile on his face. He had a face of love and his stride, you know, the way he walked across his church, it was purposeful and it was just wonderful. It was something I didn't want to tell anybody because I thought they would think I was whacko, but it really happened.
Sid Roth: Now out of curiosity, it was wonderful, but what did you feel inside when you see Jesus, who we Jews have been taught is not our Messiah. You had revelation knowledge. You knew he was. What did you feel inside?
Roberta Simpson: Excited. I just knew that my life was going to be totally different.
Sid Roth: For sure. Now out of curiosity, tell me what happened, who is the first person you told about this experience?
Roberta Simpson: My husband. I didn't dare tell anybody else. I didn't tell him either for a couple of days.
Sid Roth: So how did he react?
Roberta Simpson: Well I think he was a bit startled. I don't think he had ever heard of such a thing happening before. But he knew it was real because I was different and I was hungry for God. Right away I started reading books and God began to bring people into our lives that knew him and would help us, and teach us. But from the very beginning I wanted things. The church wasn't Jewish enough for me. The first book in the Bible I read was the Book of Revelation. That's pretty frightening.
Sid Roth: That would do it to most people.
Roberta Simpson: And then the first book I read was "Tortured for Christ" by Richard Wurmbrand, and then I read "Why Revival Tarries" and "The Cross and the Switchblade", all one after the other. And I believe, looking back now, God wanted me to be real. He wanted me to, I wasted a lot of years in my life. I think the one regret when this all happened to me was why didn't this happen when I was younger.
Sid Roth: Why won't it happen when you're younger? It's going to. Don't go away. You're going to find out how a 70-year-old grandmother is given orders to write from God.
Sid Roth: Hello. Sid Roth here with Roberta Simpson. Roberta, you cannot tell me that story enough. As a Jewish person, the last thing in the world you wanted to do was to know Jesus was the Messiah. The last thing you wanted, you hated that church. You couldn't wait to get out of there. And tell me what you saw.
Roberta Simpson: I saw Jesus the Messiah...
Sid Roth: Tell me what he was doing.
Roberta Simpson: He was walking across the church by the altar and it looked like he just had love and happiness on his face for everybody that was there. And he was walking across there with a purpose, and I knew he was the One I needed in my life.
Sid Roth: So Roberta loved to tell stories. She's a storyteller. So she thought, she'd like to, you did writing letters to the editor. On what subject would you write articles?
Roberta Simpson: Israel and the Jewish people and whatever there was anything anti-semitic or anything negative, real lies, as I called them, I would write letters to the applicant and to the nation, and those are the two main newspapers. And that was my...
Sid Roth: All right, so you took a writing course and figured maybe I'll refine this. But the professor really crushed you. What did he say about your writing?
Roberta Simpson: Well he took my paper, which I thought was quite nice, and he just scribbled it up and made horrible comments, and at the bottom he said you can't write. And then he had the audacity to ask me, "I hope I didn't discourage you, did i"?
Sid Roth: So you're driving your car along, minding your own business.
Roberta Simpson: Years later.
Sid Roth: And you hear from God. So you began to actually hear God speak to you.
Roberta Simpson: Yes.
Sid Roth: What did he say?
Roberta Simpson: Just these four words: "You can now write". And the "Now" was emphasized. And I knew it was him. It was just that still voice in my head and an excitement rose up in me, and a joy.
Sid Roth: So did you take another writing course?
Roberta Simpson: No.
Sid Roth: What did you do?
Roberta Simpson: I went home and I wrote my first story.
Sid Roth: Now you know, I don't know whether it's just us Jewish people, but the same thing happened with me. The minute God told me to do something I did it.
Roberta Simpson: You know, if we're not obedient, we don't get any, I look back now, Sid, and I think how scary it would have been if I had maybe thought, yes, I'll do this, and then got home and doubt might have overtaken me and I can't do this. I was told I couldn't write. But there was a joy in my spirit and I sat down at that computer immediately after I got home and started writing, and I haven't stopped.
Sid Roth: I've got it right here, "Nana's Bible stories". And I love, I mean, each story has a message. One message is on courage. Another is on healing. Another is on love and the most important one on how to know God. Just kind of paraphrase for me about my favorite, "The butterfly and the cross".
Roberta Simpson: Okay. Well to begin with, I used all my grandchildren's names in the stories and when I first started it, I started with the lost sheep, and I used my oldest grandson's name, Rafi. And if I had known it was going to be a book with a lot of stories I would never have named my grandchild a sheep. But I went to my little granddaughter, Alexandra, and she was six at the time, and I said to her, "What would you like to be in a story? What is your favorite story"? She says, "I don't know". I said, "Would you like to be queen Esther's best friend and live in a palace"? All little girls like to be princesses. She said, "No, don't want to be that". I said, "What would you like to be"? "I want to be butterfly". I thought, there's no butterfly stories in the Bible. Of course, I didn't tell her that. And how narrow minded we can be sometimes, but of course there would have been butterflies. There are butterflies in Israel. And then she really shook me. She said, "I want to be a butterfly at the crucifixion". And I do a lot of research and when I write the stories I go into the biblical accounts. I don't change anything, and but, like for instance, I'm writing a story on a butterfly, I don't know anything about butterflies. So I went to Google and looked up butterflies and found that the largest butterfly in the world is called the queen Alexandra. Now that blew my mind because it was another sign that God was in it. He knew I was going to have a granddaughter called Alexandra and that one day I'd write a story about a butterfly who got stuck on the cross by a splinter and a drop of blood came down and freed her, and then she changes color, which represents when we will come to Jesus and ask him to come into our lives and our hearts, he changes us and we're different.
Sid Roth: Roberta, at 70-plus, how can you even think about starting a career and coming out with beautiful books like this. The paintings in here are so beautiful and there's even a CD of Sheila Walsh reading, in case your parents are lazy and you don't want to read to your children, but I think you should read to your children. What do you figure God wants out of this?
Roberta Simpson: Well I believe two things. I believe that many people will come to know Jesus. Many people will put their faith in him and I want children to really know him as they should. You know, sometimes they learn stories in Sunday school. But I've tried to write in such a way that children can identify with the characters. And well maybe not a butterfly, but the butterfly tells a story about the crucifixion. But the little boy that gave Jesus the loaves and the fish, there's nothing much said about him. But they can read the story about him and say to themselves, I can be like that. I can follow him.
Sid Roth: But can they fly through the air, I mean, literally, because the power of God touches them. That's what happened to Roberta. She went to a meeting and were you hungry? Are you hungry for God, Roberta?
Roberta Simpson: Oh Sid, I'm so starving. And that always have been. This is the thing. I've always wanted more.
Sid Roth: Me, too. I don't understand backsliders.
Roberta Simpson: I don't either.
Sid Roth: Well when she flew through the air I believe the presence of God as she explains it to you, is just going to hit you where you are right now. Don't go away. We'll be right back in just one moment.
Sid Roth: Hello. Sid Roth here with Roberta Simpson. And Roberta, I went out to the Brownsville revival. As a matter of fact, I am as hungry, maybe hungrier than you. I don't know whether hungrier or not. But I went to all these places. I went to all of the revivals, and Steve hill became a friend of mine. He was the speaker, primary speaker there at the Brownsville church in Pensacola, Florida. And you would literally run after, they were supposed to come to you.
Roberta Simpson: Yes.
Sid Roth: But you would, why would you run after them? Aren't you too dignified for that?
Roberta Simpson: Oh listen, I'm not a very dignified person. My husband will always tell you that he's the quiet one of the family, but not me. But you know, I was there only for a few days at a time and I couldn't waste time because I was from Barbados. I traveled nine hours and three planes to get to Pensacola.
Sid Roth: Tell me about the time that you don't even know exactly what happened, but people reported what they saw.
Roberta Simpson: Yes, I heard it. Well as you said, I would run, not run, but I have jumped over pews there to just get to where...
Sid Roth: You weren't very dignified. Sorry, wrong image.
Roberta Simpson: No. I would wear the proper attire and I would climb over the pews and I would go where I saw something happening. And this particular time...
Sid Roth: I wish you were always hungry for God as Roberta is. I pray that the presence of God just overtake you, that you will hunger and thirst for righteousness and God says you will be filled. So you're hungering and thirsting, and you're running over the pews. And then what happened?
Roberta Simpson: Yes. Well I had to go to the opposite side of the church from where I was sitting and I pushed my way through the crowd, and this guy laid his hand on me. I don't know if it was Steve or my mike brown, or the pastor. I don't remember that. But all I know is I heard this man say, "Look at that woman flying through the air". And I just flew through the air and I was down on the ground, and I was there for a long time, and I couldn't get up. I had to crawl back to my seat. I mean, if that's not a humbling experience.
Sid Roth: Why couldn't you get up?
Roberta Simpson: The power of God and the presence of God. I think that's what I loved about that revival. I remember when we first went, ward and Lydia, my son ward went first and then the whole family went, except for one daughter who was rebellious at that time, but she's fine now. But my oldest grandson who was only 12 at the time, he came running to the front after the service and he said, "Nana, what is this? What am I feeling"? And you know, it was the presence of God. He knew that there was something there he had never experienced, a 12-year-old, and that was so wonderful, the presence of God. Sometimes I feel rain on my face.
Sid Roth: Rain?
Roberta Simpson: Rain.
Sid Roth: Like drops falling.
Roberta Simpson: This fine mist like it's very hard to explain, like a mist of rain.
Sid Roth: I have felt the same. I know.
Roberta Simpson: And it was the presence of God and the power of God. God was there. You'd walk into that service and God's presence was there, and that's what I hunger for is the presence of God. I heard Heidi Baker say, you go to a meeting, the presence of God is there, well you can just as well go to the tavern or somewhere, because what's the point without God's presence.
Sid Roth: Let me tell you something, God's presence is on this set. Roberta has been having dreams and visions, but there is one in particular, Roberta, about the Jewish people. Tell me about that.
Roberta Simpson: Well that would have to be like 25 or 30 years ago now, but it's as real to me now as it was then. And I was traveling in Canada. I was very uncomfortable during the night and I fell asleep eventually. And I had this dream, and in the dream I looked up and saw this blinding light from heaven and I heard this voice saying to me, "Roberta, my perfect will is for you to minister to Jewish people". And I said, "Oh no, God, no". And I looked up and I could see like a throne. I could not see the person on it, but like an outline that this bright white light that was blinding. And you know, I am sure God did it so that I would know exactly, because at the bottom of this throne was the throne of God. I saw the writing: "The throne of God". And three times he said that to me, and all three times I said, no God. But then all of a sudden a fair came upon me and I thought, because he said, "My perfect will". And you know, if we're not in his perfect will we don't have the peace. I want to be in God's perfect will every day. Every day I say, Lord, I want to walk in your will today. I just want to do the things you want me to do and be the person you want me to be. And so I kind of argued, but then I said, Lord, if that is what you want me to do, I'll do it, but you will have to show me how. Ah, and so, because you know like...
Sid Roth: You know, Roberta, going back to the early '70s when you saw Jesus and had to become a believer in the Messiah, and when I was rescued from the despair of the new age and I literally was going to die, and the presence of God came in my room and revealed Jesus to me, there was a move of God's spirit about that time among Jewish people. Many of the leaders of the Messianic Jewish movement today came to the Lord at that time. But just as that door opened, it slammed shut. And what I believe, Roberta, the reason you're sharing that word from God now after all of these years is the rain that's beginning to fall on Jewish people. I have friends that have Messianic Jewish congregations in Israel and they tell me every week that sabras, that's native born Israelis, are coming to the Lord, not just Jewish people, but Muslims, both. We're cousins, mishpochah, that both people groups, there's like a window of opportunity. I'm going to put you on the spot since you told me you were spontaneous. I want you to look at the camera and talk to a Jewish person about why Jesus is the Messiah.
Roberta Simpson: Well apart from the scriptures, it's all there. It's written in your book that he is Messiah. And we were taught from young to expect him to come and he has come already. And I just want to tell you, it is the most exciting thing because I've been on both sides, it's the most exciting thing to be a Messianic Jewish person, to believe that Yeshua, Jesus is the Messiah, to follow him. He is the healer. He is the deliverer. Whatever your need is today, you might be sick. You might be going through pain and confusion, and emotional stress, and he is the healer. He is the one. He is the person who he said he is. He's the Son of God. He is everything to me.
Sid Roth: And you can be like that butterfly that is stuck to the cross. But better than that, you can be a person that the Messiah of Israel will say, I will never leave you. I will never forsake you. This earth is going to shape one more time. You don't have to be a mental giant to realize that, but you will be kept in perfect peace if you will keep your eyes on the Messiah of Israel, the one that came, lived as a man, and according to Isaiah, bore your sins and sicknesses on himself. If he bore it on himself, why are you bearing it? Do you know the word "Sickness" in the Greek means evil. He took that evil upon himself and by his stripes, his wounds where his blood came, and even the Talmud in the book of Leviticus says without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. Either Jesus is our Messiah or we have no forgiveness of sin. That's the deal. And as far as I'm concerned, if you like your life the way it is you're meshuga. I know. But if you want to know God, not religion, if you're Muslim, stay Muslim. If you're Jewish, stay Jewish, come to know God and be obedient to him and he will give you the reason why you're living the purpose of life. L'chaim.