Stephen is a Messianic Jew and successful industrialist; Rosalba is a former circus trapeze performer
The Schimmels: Making Jesus Lord
Jewish Man Finds His Messiah
Stephen Schimmel was raised in an “arrogant Jewish community” and always felt the need to be perfect for God and for his father. “Judaism offered me no hope in life except rules, regulations, appearances, holidays, and nothing to go by except what appeared in temples and what the Rabbis told you.” Stephen wondered why he always had a hunger and thirst for God, but he never thought a personal relationship with God could happen or even be possible. Meanwhile, a loving relationship with his hardworking, intelligent, and successful earthly father proved to be allusive. Stephen says he just wanted to be “accepted, loved, complimented . . . to be told I was doing good. I wasn’t getting that at all.”
By the time he’d grown to adulthood, Stephen worked for his dad, throwing himself into his father’s multi-million dollar engraving business. But no matter how hard he worked, he was never able to earn the affection and acceptance he desperately needed from his father. “He never demonstrated any approval, total rejection,” Stephen remembers. “And that was unrelenting pain and suffering.”
Stephen looked for life’s answers. In his search for truth, he found out about a Jewish fellowship at Calvary Chapel led by Chuck Smith. Beginning in 1979, Stephen attended the meetings for 3 years. His friends at Calvary kept asking him, “When are you going to accept Jesus?” While Stephen enjoyed learning about the Bible, he wasn’t convinced that Jesus was the Messiah.
Stephen says it took a career and financial crisis to make him serious about seeking God. During this negative, disastrous time he told himself, “You’re in a big jam, you need to pray like you have never prayed in your life--do not stop, and read the Bible.” Then, something unexpected happened that changed him forever. At a Christmas work party in 1982, a shy Korean Christian co-worker gave Stephen a present. The next morning at 9 a.m., he opened the box. First, he took out a pack of gum, then a sweater, and he finally unwrapped a mold of praying hands. The instant he held the praying hands Stephen began to weep. “The Holy Spirit whopped me big time with Shock waves going through my body, wave after wave after wave. I was crying, repenting, raising my hands up—this went on for 15 minutes . . . I just apologized to God, over and over and over again, just apologized to him. Told him how much I loved him and how much I appreciated him . . . Physical shock waves continued to manifest the presence of God through me, followed by additional powerful physical waves of joy. That was the moment I received Jesus as Messiah and was witnessed by the Spirit that He was indeed the Jewish Messiah.”
Making Jesus Lord
Over the next few years, Stephen continued to acquire knowledge about Jesus, but never truly made him Lord. In 1986, Stephen experienced a defining moment at a Messianic Conference when he committed everything in his life to making Jesus Lord of His life, not just the Messiah. “Okay, Lord,” he prayed, “I give up now.” One example of this was being told by the Holy Spirit that, “God wants the first fruits. He wants the first and best of our tithe, not after taxes.” Stephen says since then he’s had “financial miracles galore. Tithing works and Malachi 3:10-12 works absolutely without fail.” Financial miracle after miracle has resulted since.
The Lord also began to give Stephen a total desire for purity in his dating relationships. “When you don’t have Jesus as Lord, you rationalize having sex outside marriage, and never find love and fulfillment. Only wrong women.” Once he made Jesus Lord, he asked Jesus to break up any relationship he was in that was not of God. Marrying the right woman was always important to Stephen. He asked God to bring him a true Godly woman who would “love, respect, understand, and appreciate” him. He adds, “I wanted to have the real thing. I wanted to have God's best in life. I wanted real love . . . I wanted to be able to pray at night with her . . . worship with her . . . do all those things that involved God as part of our lives.”
Rosalba was a famous circus performer whose talents were featured in People Magazine in the '70s. She performed on the high wire first, and then she and her first husband became famous for their “single trapeze with two people” act. In 1985 she and her husband, both Catholic and both unhappy in their marriage, became Christians as a result of her son’s deliverance from drug addiction after accepting Christ. Unfortunately, her marriage did not improve. When her husband died, Rosalba told herself she would never remarry.
Perfect Marriage Made in Heaven
Stephen and Rosalba were friends before they began dating. Stephen says marrying Rosalba was the BIG PRIZE of his life. He says, “We love each other more today than the day we married. We sometimes disagree, but we’ve never fought.” Marriage has transformed him and helped him to develop the character of God. Stephen enjoys having a godly wife who he says is “the perfect mate.”
When Rosalba married Stephen she found real love. “I didn’t know what was love until I married Stephen. We praise Jesus every morning. I feel like a lucky little girl.”
Supernatural Signs and Wonders
“Supernatural” is the way Stephen describes his life in Christ. Stephen loves to share about his healing from kidney stones. After suffering from a painful kidney stone for 6 months, Stephen was scheduled to have the stone surgically removed. A few hours before the surgery, Stephen noticed that he could feel exactly where the stone was lodged in his body. Immediately, he felt led to go drink lots of water. “Twenty minutes later,” he says, “the stone was in the cup.” He was so overcome with the miracle that he literally couldn’t speak for 3 days. In addition to this miracle, over the years Stephen’s been healed of a sciatic nerve condition, a foot walking alignment condition, and a hoarse throat.
Stephen and Rosalba regularly experience miracles in their finances. Stephen remembers when the Spirit of God came on him after accepting Jesus as Lord. “The Spirit said ‘First fruits,’ in a commanding and authoritative tone.” After that, Stephen always made sure they gave their best. When they first tithed the amount of $1,000, God immediately gave them $2,800 in an unexpected way. That was only the beginning. One time the IRS gave Stephen a 28% discount on a 45 million dollar estate, which he estimates gave him 5 million dollars in his pocket. Also, God gave Steven a winning formula for purchasing millions of dollars in bonds and negotiating better than market prices for those purchases. The favor of God didn’t stop there. Stephen won a big $700,000 tax case with the state of California. Finally, he and Rosalba were able to purchase their dream house, after being 40th on the list. The best part? They were able to pay for it with a huge profit from a bond position God had helped Stephen to acquire.
Stephen calls himself a "biblical or scriptural Jew," also referred to as a "completed Jew." “A biblical Jew,” Stephen says, “knows the Old and New Testaments and accepts both as the truth of the living God.” To Stephen, there are numerous ingredients to real Judaism. First, worship God. Stephen says, “People always ask me, how do you hear from God? I say, ‘Worship, worship, worship and you’ll hear from God.’” Second, read the Jewish Scriptures, Old and New. Desire to know the Bible, experience what it says, do what it says, and be aware of what it prophesies. Third, fellowship with other believers. Fourth, pray alone and with other believers. Fifth, experience God’s power through the gifts of the Spirit, deliverance and healing. Sixth, get involved in a ministry. Finally, be proud of being Jewish and finally able to experience a real loving and living relationship with Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, as it was in the days of the Old Testament. “I always love telling others, I am a Jewish kid who loves Jesus. And I am proud of it.”
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