Sid Roth - Christian Becomes Atheist. This Made Him to Return to God
Sid Roth: Welcome, welcome, Holy Spirit. Display Your visible glory. My guest, Mike Signorelli, was raised, like many people viewing, raised to fail. His home was broken. His father horribly beat his mother, and his dad cheated in his marriage. Then, his father committed manslaughter. Mike was raised by a single mother in a poverty-ridden trailer park, but something interesting happened that changed the destiny of your life at age 4.
Mike Signorelli: Yeah, Sid. I want you to imagine this picture. My mom has two black eyes, broken ribs. She's a victim of domestic violence, and her husband just walked out on her. So she's all alone, and she's smoking cigarettes, reading the local newspaper, and she goes to the Help Wanted section. And there's a local church pastor who ran an ad, and he said, "I'm looking for a worship leader". My mother had the audacity to pick up the phone, and she calls, and she said, "Hey, I've walked away from the Lord. I'm no longer serving Him, but when I was a youth I used to actually lead worship at my youth group, and I can be your worship leader. The only problem is, I'm not really a Christian anymore".
Sid Roth: That is a problem.
Mike Signorelli: And so this pastor... and I'm so indebted to this one decision he made because I'm living in his yes. This pastor said, "Honey, I'm grabbing my wife, and we're going to come to your house right now, and we're going to lead you back to Jesus, and you will be our worship leader".
Sid Roth: Then, at 16, what happened?
Mike Signorelli: Yeah, I was always painfully shy, very awkward, very easily intimidated by other people.
Sid Roth: That's hard to believe now.
Mike Signorelli: I know. It's hard to tell right now, but that's really who I was. I was traumatized, and I had experienced a lot of hard things growing up. And so as a result of that, I was known as the shy kid. And even though, from that moment on, we attended church every Sunday, and my mom led worship, my goal was to get out of there as fast as I could. And I didn't really have my own relationship with God, but I had this intense ferocious desire for the Word of God. And so secretly every night, I would read the Bible cover to cover, Genesis through Revelation. Well, finally, by the time I was 15 years old, and now I'm turning 16 years old, I'm doing my third lap through the Bible. And I get to Acts, chapter 2, and Pentecost happens, and the Holy Spirit begins to invade the Earth. They're speaking in new tongues, and then this man, Peter, gets up, and he boldly preaches this message, and thousands are added to the Kingdom. And I remember it felt like I was reading a soap opera because now, as a teenager, I'm understanding it for the first time. And I'm like, "Wait a minute, not Peter? This guy is an idiot. This doesn't make any sense, that he would be the one". But then, it was almost like the atmosphere of my bedroom, that it started to be charged with electric-static activity. I don't know how else to explain it because the gospel was starting to make sense to me. I started going back and thinking about Moses. Moses was a failure. I'm thinking about Elijah, and he was depressive and a little emotional. And I started realizing, "Wait a second, God always chooses the least likely. That's the whole point". So then, in my attic bedroom all alone, I closed the Bible. I sit on the edge of my bed, and I said the most dangerous prayer that I've ever said in my entire life. I said, "God, if You're real, if Your Holy Spirit is real, I want all of it. I want all of You. I want", and I said it just like that, Sid, "Now this is"...
Sid Roth: Did you mean it?
Mike Signorelli: I absolutely meant it for the very first time because I had seen other people experience the Holy Spirit growing up, but it wasn't real to me. But when I said that prayer in the solitude of my own bedroom, all of a sudden I had a radical encounter. Now, it was late at night, and all of a sudden this wind started rushing through my bedroom, so much so that I jumped up and went and slammed my window, thinking it was a natural phenomenon.
Sid Roth: Mmm.
Mike Signorelli: I felt the fire and presence of God all over me. It was as if I just stuck my finger in a light socket, and I started to speak in another language...
Sid Roth: Had you ever done that before?
Mike Signorelli: No, I had never done that before. As a matter of fact, there was a war going on inside of me between the old Mike and what God was birthing in that moment, and I was trying to stop, Sid, but I couldn't even stop speaking in tongues. As a matter of fact, I woke my mother up. She came running upstairs and said, "He's having a personal Pentecost".
Sid Roth: I think that is so phenomenal. But then, believe it or not, it gets better. He's walking along the street, minding his own business, and a woman he didn't know walks up to him and says...
Mike Signorelli: Yeah, this woman walks up to me. Now, mind you, my goal as an introvert was to get away from everybody in the local church. We're attending this small church on the South Side of Chicago. I walk out of the church, and this woman now approaches me. Now, this is the way I remember it. It was almost as if she saw a ghost. The blood left her face. She stretched out her hand like this, and she was shaking, and she said, "I've never seen you before in real life, but I saw you in my dream. I had a dream you preached at my church, and revival broke out. You were in my dream". Now, this was not inspirational to me. This was incredibly intimidating.
Sid Roth: It was terrifying!
Mike Signorelli: It was terrifying. The exact words in response to her were, "Woman, you're crazy". But I'm so thankful because she was persistent. She knew what God showed her in that prophetic dream. Again, I'm living in her yes because that woman, she hunted me down every Sunday for the next couple weeks and waited until church was over and said, "Are you ready to accept the assignment of this dream"? Finally, my pastor, who was also annoyed by this woman, brought us into a meeting together and said, "Listen, you don't know Mike. He's shy. He's introverted. He's not a preacher. He's just a teenager". And then he looks at me, Sid, and he said, "Mike, just finally tell this woman you can't do it". And there's something about the way he worded it that... Now I know what it is. It was the Holy Spirit on the inside of me. All of a sudden this, almost like a righteous indignation rose up, and out of nowhere I said, "I'll do it". And she got silent. He got silent. I got silent, said, "Whoa, what did I just say"? But my spirit was speaking faster than my flesh.
Sid Roth: Fast-forward now, you're speaking in that church. What happens?
Mike Signorelli: I'm wearing a borrowed suit. I didn't own my own suit, and I stand up in front of the church. The first 30 seconds of the sermon, I'm stuttering. I'm stammering, and then all of a sudden, that same familiar power of the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8 says, "After the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will receive power to be witnesses". All of a sudden, I begin to preach, and I was almost listening to myself say things that I didn't even have the natural ability to say. And true to that woman's dream, one person jumped up out of their seat shouting, then someone else, then someone else, then young people coming to the front of the church, repenting, receiving Jesus Christ, and revival broke out. But then, as we get to the end of the service, she comes to me again, and this woman, she actually brings her daughter to me. And she said, "Okay, Mike, this is the last part of my dream to be fulfilled, and I've waited for this moment". She said, "Pray for my daughter for healing". And I look at her young daughter, and she had been born with a decrepit hand. And, Sid, I was not seminary trained. I was not an expert. Just weeks prior, I had barely stepped into the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but I just prayed another simple prayer. I laid my hand on that woman's daughter, and I placed my hand on her head, and I said, "Jesus, heal her daughter. We thank You for healing right now". And, Sid, her decrepit hand stretch forth like this. Now let me just tell you, you would think that there would be shouts of celebration. It wasn't like that. It was almost like shouts of horror because the fear of God settled over that place. People became so aware of how capable God is, how real He is. I'll never forget the screams. It was like a mixture of celebration but also the fear of God. It was an incredible, sovereign move.
Sid Roth: This is hard to believe, what I'm going to tell you right now, but at 18, he goes to college. Now, you would think nothing could shake someone out of their faith that's had those kind of encounters, but colleges, many of them, I believe, are geared to talk Christians out of their faith. And the professor says, "Only idiots believe in Jesus"! And Mike unfortunately, the spirit behind it caught him, and he became an atheist. But then... God is so smart. God gave him a roommate and... Well, tell me about the roommate.
Mike Signorelli: Yeah, I believe in divine appointments. God had a plan when I was 4 years old. He had a plan when I was 16, and when I became a young man I was seeing His plan on display again. So I thought I was randomly (I'm using air quotes) randomly moving into a house and being assigned a roommate. Well, guess, this guy ends up being an Ivy-League-educated theologian. And so even though that biology professor sowed all of those seeds of doubt, and I believe that there's many students across this nation that are dealing with those seeds of doubt. It's almost like it grows one cancerous cell after another until it invades your soul and your mind. But he took that entire school year and systematically began to destroy each and every single one of those atheistic cancerous cells in my soul, and by the end of that school year, I had a firm foundation. It was almost as if God was upgrading me now, and He was saying, "Okay, now I've given you the tools to contend with your faith against atheism".
Sid Roth: Okay. So, now he's a solid believer. He gets married. But what was his role model? How was he raised? And it came back to haunt his marriage, and there was no way that marriage could survive. But guess what? God not only restored his marriage. Mike and his wife do seminars on helping others restore their marriage. Now, Mike started a youth group filled with wounded and abused trailer park youth. One meeting, the visible glory cloud of God, the same Shekinah glory that the Jewish people saw in the wilderness suddenly appeared before this broken group of young people. All of the youth there, with their natural eyes, saw that glory cloud. Miracles exploded. Be right back.
Sid Roth: I know you can hardly wait. I can hardly wait to ask Mike. What happened that momentous night with your youth group?
Mike Signorelli: So when we were raising up this youth group, we made it our mission. Let's find the most hurting kids in this entire neighborhood. As a matter of fact, Sid, we even found a group of families that were living in the woods without any modern plumbing, and we would pick them up. We would clothe them, and we would just worship with them, and we were building a community of faith. And that particular night, though, I was playing my acoustic guitar. One of the teenagers were leading worship with me. I broke two strings, super frustrated, and then I got this reminder from the Holy Spirit. "It's not about the strings on your guitar because you worship Me in spirit and in truth". So we just begin to sing the same chorus over and over and over again, and I said, "Keep going, keep going". And I'm looking out at this audience of teenagers, knowing all of the dysfunction, all of the pain from their family, but there was such a pure worship that was coming out of them. It was just unadulterated. They had nothing. They come from nothing, and it was just brokenness and surrendered-ness. Well, all of a sudden, I'm sitting on the stage, and I have one other person with me, and we're leading worship. I see this fog begin to roll into the back of the sanctuary. Now, my initial thought was, "Okay, I'm wearing contacts, and I've been wearing these contacts too long". That was my real thought. So as I'm strumming the guitar, I'm wiping my eyes like this...
Sid Roth: To clear it.
Mike Signorelli: ...in between to clear it, and it's still there. And then, all of a sudden, it starts rolling in deeper. My second thought was, "Maybe the building is on fire, and I need to get these kids out," except for the fact that it was also a daycare with a great fire system, and it's not going off. So clearly that's not it, but here's where it gets strange. All of a sudden, as the fog comes in deeper, the girl who's leading worship next to me says, "Pastor Mike, can you see that"? That's when I realized something supernatural was taking place. Now, what's so amazing about this story is this fog, which was the Glory of God, it rolls in, and as it touches the backs of the kids, so they can't see it. They all simultaneously fall to their face, and then each row that it hits, they all fall down as it comes in, without them being able to see behind them. And so as it reaches the front, before you know it, we're all on our face weeping. The Holy Spirit is touching each life. People are receiving healings.
Sid Roth: Are they repenting?
Mike Signorelli: Oh, deeply, I mean, deeply, and I believe they were even dealing with generational things because they inherited so much from their parents and grandparents. It was like the Lord was truly doing something in that moment, marking the whole room. It was so incredible.
Sid Roth: Today, Mike is an apostle and has a group of churches. You called your churches V1 Church. Why?
Mike Signorelli: Yeah, for me, I was going to a conference with my wife. I was in a low point. This is before we launched the church, and ministry is really difficult. And I looked at my wife and my two daughters, and I said, "I feel like a failure. We're struggling financially. Ministry doesn't seem like it's taking off, and maybe I should just quit this. Maybe God didn't call me to go from Indiana to New York City to start a church. Maybe I'm delusional and I didn't hear from God". So I turned to my wife in the parking lot before that conference starts and I tell my wife all of this, and I say, "Julie, I'm going to come out of this conference, quit ministry, just make a ton of money, and we're going on vacation, and we'll start a new life". My wife puts her hand on my shoulder, and she said, "Mike, we're not doing that. God did call us to go to New York City, and we're going to do this thing". So we go through the conference the whole day, and finally we get to the last session, and this man gets up. His name is Juan Vereecken, and as he's teaching, all of a sudden he gets to the outro of the sermon, and he said, "I was praying and interceding for this conference today, and as I was praying this morning, the Holy Spirit allowed me to hear a conversation happening in one of the cars between a married couple". Now, I started getting nervous. And he said, "Their conversation was, the husband was saying, 'I want to quit ministry. I just want to give up. I want to be done with this.'" And he said, "If that's you, the Lord wants me to tell you it's time to go V1". Then he began to say, "I was on a private jet with John Maxwell, and as the jet took off the runway, I heard the pilot say, 'V1.' And when we got to cruising altitude, I walked up to the cockpit and I asked the pilot, 'Hey, when we took off the runway, what did it mean when I heard you say in the radio V1?' He said, 'Oh, that's simple. V1 means the point of no return, no turning back. This thing is going to fly.'" And you know what he said? "If there's an engine fire or a tire blows out, that plane is still going to fly because it's reached that velocity speed". So I told my wife, I said, "Julie", we came back to the car. We were back in the parking lot. I said, "You know what we're going to name our church, right"? And she said, "What"? And I said, "It's got to be V1 Church". So we've been asking people in New York City from every walk of life to turn to Christ, no turning back.
Sid Roth: Time is slipping away.
Mike Signorelli: Yeah.
Sid Roth: But you make a statement that stuck to me like oatmeal. This is his statement. "I'm not impressed"! Explain briefly.
Mike Signorelli: Joshua and Caleb, they go into the Promised Land with 10 other spies. Ten spies come back, and they say, "Compared to these giants, we look like grasshoppers". But then two of them come back and say, "We're not impressed because, compared to our God, those giants look like grasshoppers". And so...
Sid Roth: What would you say to a doctor who gives you a death report?
Mike Signorelli: Yeah, far too often we look at the doctor's reports, with all their degrees and all of their knowledge, and we're impressed by that report. But guess what? I don't just have a physician. I serve the Great Physician, and I say, "His report is the impressive one. I'm not impressed with this report".
Sid Roth: Today, Mike is seeing outrageous miracles. Even over the phone people are being healed by cancer just by hearing his voice. You don't have to be here to receive the same healing. You can do right in television. You have tumors dissolving, people with MS, people with years of trauma instantly healed. Mike, this is your time to fly. Pray.
Mike Signorelli: Mmm. Right now, I believe, even through your devices, even through your television, God is touching your body right now. If you have a tumor or cyst, and you can tangibly feel it, I want you to place your hand over it and feel it dissolve right under your hand right now. Listen, the Great Physician is there through the Holy Spirit, touching and healing. I believe that lesions from MS are actually dissipating right now, and you will receive a medical verification of this moment right now. So let me begin to pray. Heavenly Father, open up deaf ears. Heavenly Father, increase hearing right now. Lord, I thank You that every single person around the world, that You are doing what only You can do. Father, I thank You that You are actually healing someone's neck right now. You're healing even their knees. Rheumatoid arthritis be healed in the Name of Jesus. Father, we give You all the glory and all the honor. Amen.
Sid Roth: God is saying to you right now: the thing you're struggling with, finances, the thing you're struggling with, marriage, the thing you're struggling with, children, the thing you're struggling with, addictions, God is saying to the devil causing that, it's not flesh and blood. "I'm not impressed"! You tell God, "I'm not impressed with the devil. I'm not impressed". You take that doctor's report. You say, "I'm not impressed. I'm not impressed". Say out loud with me right now, "I make Jesus" Out loud. "I make Jesus my Messiah and Lord. You have forgiven me of all of my sins. You live inside of me. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit. And, devil, I'm not impressed. I'm only impressed with the Living God"!