Sid: My guest Bill Johnson Senior Leader of Bethel Church in Redding, California. And Bill I don’t know about you I’m in absolute awe when I speak and people get healed. It’s never going to get common for me.
Sid: I mean God was there, God showed up I mean how can that ever get common? Tell me about the time that you were just shaking hands with people and someone had a migraine for 10 years.
Bill: Yeah well that kind of thing has happened a number of times but I was standing at the back door of the church and just greeting people. I’m kind of a feely touchy very affectionate physically so when someone walks by I’ll grab their shoulder, pat them on the back or something as well as shake their hand. I just was doing that to people talking to them briefly as they walked by. And this lady comes back to me 2 weeks later she says when you put your hand on my shoulder greeting me 2 weeks ago 10 years of migraines ended as soon as you touched me. So that’s what we carry that we need to become conscious of a…
Sid: And yet I’ve been at a meeting and you don’t touch anyone you just speak and people all over the auditorium get healed.
Bill: Yeah, yeah yeah. we’ve seen them healed by walking past them the shadow healing, we’ve seen them touch clothing and get healed, we’ve seen them just sometimes just calling out a word of knowledge of a condition they’ll be healed. We just had one happen in England where I was calling out a word of knowledge for hearing, hearing loss and the second half of the word hearing was amplified. The person just heard a muffled hear and ring was amplified they were actually their ear was opened in the middle of the word. So we have all kinds of unusual things happen.
Sid: What is your… obviously someone coming to the Lord is a result of miracles there’s no close second. But from a physical healing viewpoint what’s the favorite healing that you’ve witnessed under your ministry?
Bill: Oh goodness that’s a hard one. What I’ve been seeing lately that fascinates me so much is that we have so much head trauma being healed. I don’t have a favorite I just have we’ve had over 60 people with bipolar healed. Only 4 of them prayed for the rest of them have been healed either from hearing a testimony or from being in the room when the anointing of God is there and it’s just healing people. We had a gal with terminal systemic lupus of the brain. She was dying she had a blow to her head some years earlier and she was just completely totally healed by the Lord in a meeting. The next day her mother looked at her when she got up in the morning and said her facial features were the same before the accident and she had been completely traumatically healed. A man who had worms planted nest in his brain he had ate some bad food and it was killing him. They were able to do radiation of something to kill the worms in the brain but they couldn’t get rid of the nesting. He was in unbelievable pain, he walked into the meeting heavily, heavily drugged could not communicate well. And prayed for and within 3 days he was completely normal. All kinds of amnesia, total amnesia partial amnesia, dyslexia, I love to see people healed of brain disorders where they can’t read, they can’t write they can’t read a map, they can’t function normally because their brain just doesn’t function right. That’s what’s been happening of late.
Sid: So it changes as far as an emphasis with you is that what you’re saying.
Bill: Yeah, I think what it is I don’t want to just see one kind of miracle. For example, in the Charismatic renewal a lot of people were praying for legs to grow out. Well I think that that’s very legitimate but I don’t want to stop there and say I have a leg growing ministry I want to see what else He’ll do.
Sid: Alright but wait a second let’s suppose I’m going to use this as an example because the Charismatic movement where I became a believer that was very popular people like Derrick Prince used to pray for someone shorter than another and we would all watch the leg grow out. I mean it was amazing someone with a build up shoe would not need his built up shoe. But most stopped at that point, how do you go beyond your ceiling so to speak?
Bill: Well, you have to find out what He’s willing to do. See He said pursue earnestly spiritual gifts, there has to be a pursuit on our end of the equation. And so what I’ll do is if I sense God healing for example somebody’s leg well, I’ll find out what else He wants to do maybe it’s missing cartilage in the knee, maybe it’s a broken bone that didn’t heal correctly. Maybe it’s metal, maybe it’s a metal rod in the leg. We had one guy missing 2 inches of bone in his leg because of a motorcycle accident and the Lord did grow it out. We’ve had people with metal rods that can’t bend full length the full length of their spine they can’t bend, they can’t twist, they can’t turn. After prayer they have all movement restored to them and so these things are becoming more and more common. To me it’s I have operate out of what I’ve seen God do and I have to hold that standard and I also need to push into what else He might be willing to do. So I look for things I’ve never seen before. I look for conditions I’ve never prayed for. You know somebody’s hurting…
Sid: So in other words like someone that has never prayed for a deaf person to be quite candid with you the first time that I prayed for a deaf person I didn’t want to do it, I knew that they weren’t going to get healed and I was right and they weren’t healed. Are you telling me that living on the edge is looking for what God’s never done through you before and going for it?
Bill: Yeah, absolutely. We had a policeman in our church that went with me down to Mexico a few years ago to do some meeting and he had never prayed for anyone before. A blind lady came up to me and asked for prayer and nothing happened. She still wanted to see she moved down the line she ended up having this policeman pray for her and her eyes opened up. The first miracle he ever saw was God opening blind eyes. And the crazy thing is before the week was over her had prayed for 5 blind people that all their eyes opened every one of them. And that’s more than I’ve seen in my whole life and he had it in his first time out so. You know I think the Lord just looks for courageous people, He just looks for people that love to take risks based on His goodness.
Sid: Okay, we are making available your latest course and it really is a course because it’s a textbook, it’s a workbook of 187 pages 2 DVD’s 8 sessions and it’s called “Hosting the Presence.” For those that haven’t heard you earlier in the week explain what Hosting the presence is.
Bill: Well, anytime if we’re to have you know highly favored person into our house for a meal we would cook the special meal, we do all kinds of things just to honor that person in our home. Well we have the most precious treasure in the universe in the Holy Spirit residing in us. I want to host Him, I want to treat Him with the same respect and affection and honor. And when you do that you learn that the Holy Spirit cannot just live inside of you but He also want to rest upon you. And for me hosting the presence means I live with an affection and a consciousness of the presence of God upon me and that awareness is bigger than any problem I face.
Sid: Are you indicating that you live with that consciousness and that awareness 24/7?
Bill: I don’t succeed at that no, but I certainly do better now than I used to you know that is what my life is about. So that’s what I really work to maintain that, not as a work thing just He’s a person, He’s a wonderful, wonderful person who loves us and is filled with such joy and affection. The more I live aware of Him the less I’m intimidated by any problem that I face whether it’s personal or national or international.
Sid: Now how did you first find out about this?
Bill: My dad began back in the early ‘70s to teach us about worship and the privilege of ministering to Him. And you can’t be a worshiper and not encounter the presence. And learning how to maintain that has been kind of a lifelong ambition for me is to learn how to live aware of that presence that I felt in a worship service. For me the normal Christian life should be that we become as aware of the present support in the marketplace as we are in the church setting.
Sid: Alright if you are aware, if you’re in a market, if you’re in a restaurant and you are totally aware of God’s presence in you, on you, all around you people you touch what difference does it make to you? What difference does it make to you knowing that God’s with you.
Bill: Well there’s automatic courage, you automatically have courage. You can’t look at a problem or a challenge the same way when you realize that the Almighty God is with you so there’s that sense of courage. There’s also when you’re aware of Him you would come aware of His heart, His compassion, His affection for people starts to override your bias’s you might have toward this kind of person, that kind of person. So there’s the affection thing. The compassion you start to get moved for people you look around the room and you just become aware of needs of people and it’s very important to feel the heart of God for people so I think it’s both those things courage and affection.
Sid: But you had an experience with the Lord that even magnified this understanding, tell me about that.
Bill: I just had this encounter with the Lord in the middle of the night where He spoke to me He actually woke me up by speaking and He said… I just woke up suddenly and He said “He watches over the watch of those who watch the Lord.”
Sid: What does that mean?
Bill: Well, you know what a watchman is he sits in a tower and he watches over an area to give warning of the enemy’s coming or to notify that friends are coming. And as a Dad or a pastor, or a husband I’m I watchman over my family, over my church, over my city. And this statement He made “He Himself God watches over my watch if I turn my watch towards Him.” So instead of me trying to be everything for everybody just turning my attention to the presence of the Lord in my life He ends up taking care of the stuff I would be concerned about. I think it’s another way of putting “Seek first the kingdom and His righteousness and all of these things will be added.” I think it was a directive of priorities if I would prioritize the presence He would take care of the things that concern me.
Sid: Okay, I want everyone listening to us to be so aware of the Holy Spirit His presence you’re never going to be alone, never. You’re never going to have to rely just on your ability, never. Really when He says You’ll do the same things I have done and even greater this is the training for it…