Author, The Essential Guide to Healing (2011)
Sr. Pastor, Bethel Church (3,000+ Members)
Oversees a growing network of churches partnered for revival
3 Children; 9 Grandchildren
The Essential Guide to Healing
The 700 Club
CBN.com -MODERN DAY MIRACLES
Bill and Brenda (Beni) Johnson are the Senior Pastors of Bethel Church. Bill is a fifth generation pastor with a rich heritage in the things of the Spirit. Together they serve a growing number of churches that have partnered for revival. This apostolic network has crossed denominational lines in building relationships that enable church leaders to walk in both purity and power.
The present move of God has brought Bill into a deeper understanding of the phrase, "on earth as it is in heaven." Heaven is the model for our life and ministry. Jesus lived with this principle by only doing what He saw His Father doing. Learning to recognize the Holy Spirit's presence and how to follow His lead enables us to do the works of Christ, destroying the works of the devil. Healing and deliverance must become the common expression of this gospel of power once again.
Bill and the Bethel Church family have taken on this theme for life and ministry. Healings, ranging from cancer to broken bones, to learning disorders and emotional healing, happen with regularity. Bill says this is the children's bread and these works of God are not limited to revival meetings. Bethel Church is learning how to take this anointing to the schools, workplace, and neighborhoods with similar results. Bill teaches that we owe the world an encounter with God, and that a Gospel without power is not the Gospel that Jesus preached.
BILL’S LIFE CHANGING ENCOUNTER
In October 1995, Bill had a life changing encounter with God. A good friend and prophet Dick Joyce was ministering at one of the church locations. Dick had already been ministering in great miracle power for years. One night, Bill went to bed late. He went from being sound asleep to being wide awake instantly. Bill says it felt like a thousand bolts of electricity went through his body. Earlier that night he prayed for a friend and told the friend that God would surprise him with His power either in the middle of the day or night. Bill was receiving what he prayed for his friend to receive, and it continued for three and a half hours. The next two nights these power surges went on with God filling Bill up with more of His power. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit began almost immediately at Bethel. Bill and Beni felt that since they had the anointing they couldn't stop it. Many miracles and deliverances occurred. One man was frustrated because he couldn’t read his Bible through his glasses during the service. He went home, took them off, and found he was healed and didn’t need glasses anymore. Another woman had esophageal cancer. During the service, she was healed. Her doctor told her the type of cancer she had wasn’t curable. However, when he examined her again not only was there no cancer but she had a new esophagus. Bill agrees that healing can be mysterious but he says Jesus and His will are not complicated. From the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:10 He says “on earth as it is in heaven.” Bill started by crying out to God in public and taking risks in private. He believes those are the essentials in healing. Taking personal responsibility for the impossible is the only way Bill says he can honestly face his responsibility to Jesus. In Matthew 10:8 Jesus did not command us to pray for the sick, He commanded us to heal them. It has become normal for the members of Bethel to see miracles outside of the church and in public places. Bill says the by product is that people have a much greater hope for life and there are many positive changes in his city.
THE MINISTRY OF HEALING
Bill says the gifts of healing demonstrate the good news of God’s Kingdom for today, and they are based on solid scriptural and theological foundations from today and yesterday. With the Great Commission, God’s assignment for us in the world is relational. Everything we are commanded to do is based on a present-tense relationship with God. This partnership with God demonstrates our relationship with Him and this is very valuable to Him. Our assignment is simple: to follow our Master’s lead and “destroy the works of the devil” as it says in John 3:8. The commission to take back the earth for God’s glory starts with prayer. Prayer is what releases the purposes of God into the earth. It is where the heart of God is in “agreement” with the heart of man. Our mission is not to go to heaven but bring heaven to earth through prayer and obedience by embracing the ministry of Jesus. Healing was a major part of Jesus’ ministry, and freedom from disease is God’s will on earth. The Gospel is meant to touch the whole person. Jesus came to destroy evil-sin, pain-sickness and poor-poverty on through His death on Calvary.
Bill says that though one can study the principles of healing and other miraculous gifts, it is the relationship and the presence of God that is the key and ultimate goal. Our relationship with God is the heart and soul of the Christian life. It is important for people to learn to have a close relationship with the Holy Spirit, pay attention to Him, and how He moves to have His purposes accomplished. This is a lifetime pursuit.
When it comes to the miraculous, we need to get unstuck from faulty belief systems, have more of a hands-on experience, and witness what God is doing. It is important for us to understand that it is always God who heals. Sometimes we are permitted to deliver God’s gift and sometimes we are witnesses to God delivering the gift of healing Himself.
SOME COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS
A few misconceptions hinder people from the supernatural power of God, Bill says. There is doubt about the goodness of God or whether or not “regular people” can operate in supernatural power. Also, some believe that healing is not for today. Bill also says that a major shift in theology has taken place. When Jesus walked the earth, all sickness was from the devil. Today a large part of the Body of Christ believes God either sends sickness or allows it to make us better people by building character and teaching us the value of suffering. Healing is not something God does, it’s who He is. He is Jehovah Rapha. To deny this is to deny the nature of God, who never changes. Jesus healed all disease. He accurately and properly represented the Father by demonstrating His love through power.
We must stand firm and believe that God is good and God has given all who are redeemed by Him supernatural power and authority in Him. It is not only for a select few. God wants to use all of us. People don't feel qualified, but God has given us all authority and power. His Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven would have people whole spirit, mind, and body. When we ignore or deny what God has provided, we lose the ability to discern the realms of the Holy Spirit and often wind up attributing the devil’s work to God. These spiritual lies keep us from our healing and rob our hearts of our natural ability to dream for more in our relationship with God. Bill says pursuing the impossible is our nature in Christ, and The Kingdom of God is and was made manifest in power. The Gospel must include miracles to be fully expressed. In the Gospel Jesus and the disciples preached, miracles were not optional.
As it says in 3 John 2, we are to be in health and our souls will prosper – we are to be well and stay well. This overall health may be broken down with wrong thoughts, emotions, etc. A part of overall health the way God intended is to have the right relationships and attitudes.
CULTIVATING THE MIRACLE LIFESTYLE
We must cultivate two main attitudes as we pursue the miracle lifestyle Jesus assigned to us: thankfulness and hunger for more of God. It is important to thank God for what He has done. Thanksgiving is an expression of true humility and it identifies God as the source for all that is good. We must keep a hunger for ‘the more’ that God has promised. A childlike approach to the miracle lifestyle will keep us honest, humble and continually growing. Other ways Bill says to increase your personal faith experience with God are:
1) Cry out to God
2) Bible Study
3) Research History
5) Associations (associate with those who are operating in miracle power
6) Obedience - until we act on what we know, our knowledge is nothing more than a theory. Real learning comes through doing
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