Bill Johnson | Quotes

johnsonBill Johnson is probably one of the most quotable Charismatic leaders in the church today. And what’s good about quotable statements is that they have the capacity to encapsulate a truth that is memorable to us.

He’s also been one of the most demonized by self-appointed watchdogs and accusers of the brethren on the Internet, called a false prophet,   usually quoted out of context or simply railed against because of doctrinal disagreement.

The Bill Johnson-hater blogs are usually, but not always, by people who don’t believe that the supernatural power of God is for the church today. Mostly, their focus seems to be on being against ministries and people they don’t agree with. Here’s how Bill Johnson has responded to this.

“Many who have feared the excesses made by others in the name of faith have ironically embraced unbelief. Reaction to error, usually produces error. Some people would have no belief system were it not for the error of others. Their teachings are the antithesis of what others believe and practice. As a result those who strive for balance become anemic. The word balance has come to mean “middle of the road”- of no threat to people or the devil, with little risk, and above all… the best way to keep our nice image intact.

The Church warns its members about the great sin of presumption. God warns us of the sin of unbelief. Jesus didn’t say, “When I return will I find people who are excessive and presumptuous?” He was concerned about finding people with faith, the kind He displayed. While we often huddle in groups of like-minded people, those with faith blaze a trail that threatens all of our comfort zones. Faith offends the stationary.” (“React or Respond” blog post quoting his book “When Heaven Invades Earth”)

While you don’t have to agree with his doctrinal position on everything, what he says here needs to be taken to heart. Maybe we should stop being like the Pharisees and be more like the Bereans, seeing if what he says is so, not what is not so (Acts 17:11).

I personally believe that Bill Johnson is a father in the faith today. And he has a lot of profound things to say about the Kingdom of God, our identity and purpose in Christ, the nature of God, and for the church in general, that will bless you if you’re open to it.  So, in that light, here are just a few memorable quotes. They are thought provoking and faith building and will hopefully minister to you today.

On God’s goodness

“We don’t have the capacity to exaggerate God’s goodness. We can distort it, or even misrepresent it, but we can never exaggerate it.”

“Any time we go outside of the boundaries of God’s goodness in our thinking we get into trouble.”

On our identity and thought life

“Any time we go out of shifting our identity from being significant in God’s eyes to being unimportant we get into trouble.”

“I can’t afford to have a thought about me in my head that He doesn’t have in His head about me. Any time it entertains things that are not absolutely true and central in His perspective about me then I’m visiting something that will war against what He thinks about me.”

On sin and revival

“If public confession is our definition of revival then we need sin for revival to continue.”

On counterfeit signs and wonders

“A powerless church has nothing for the devil to counterfeit.”

On discernment or gossip

“Most Christians with bitterness have a need to justify their sin. They usually do so with virtuous names for the sin like discernment, wisdom, etc. They attract people with complaints as it confirms their “discernment.”

“People with resentment attract people with complaints.”

On Law and grace

“The Law requires. Grace enables.”

On faith and unbelief

“Sometimes instead of answering a prayer the Lord gives us a promise that we might learn how to fight the fight of faith.”

“If faith is hard, God is hard to please, because “without faith it is impossible to please Him.” (Heb. 11:6) But if faith is normal for the believer then God is easy to please.”

“In the absence of faith there is disobedience.”

“It takes courage to expect the best. Anyone with unbelief can expect the worst.”

“There’s something amazing about unbelief – it is able to fulfill its own expectations. Unbelief is safe because it takes no risk and almost always gets what it expects. Then, after a person gets the answer for their unbelief, they can say, I told you so.”

On evangelism

“Everybody wants a king like Jesus. If we represent him well, they’ll want His body too.”


About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 41 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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10 Responses to Bill Johnson | Quotes

  1. Ayanda says:

    Hi Mel. You’ve done it again. I am honestly starting to believe that you write for me and everybody else just happens to be here :-).

    Here’s what I’ve learnt through the Bill Johnson stoning. Bill is a trail blazer and is living the fullness he belives which is more than I can say for myself since I am still a babe. Its funny how this worked out because when I started reading about what the internet says about Bill something unexpected happenned, I was seriously tripped up, the light grew dim and I could abide in Christ, I felt exhausted and the love in me dimmed.

    Its not as if I am a Bill follower, I am not I let the Holy Spirit lead me to where the food is being given. Why did the hating on Bill effect me so much and I still ponder why God had to inspire you to write just at the moment when I had the blanket of darkness threatening to suffocate the life and light out of me?

    For the first question: Bill walks the faith that He talks about. He lives a normal Christian life of power, miracles and unashamed trust in Christ. For me He is a forerunner in a life that I aspire to live in Christ. So when you start reading about the “strange fires and heresies” directed at Bill it didn’t just cause me to doubt Bill but it went further and deeper than that because I started wondering about God’s faithfulness, limits of Grace and God’s power to heal, to lift up the church and to set the captives free. Because here is the guy (Bill) living it and if I doubt that what he does is by the power of Christ and the Holy Spirit what other examples are there for me to see and can I trust other brothers and sisters who live the same.

    Then the question got deeper: If God is not doing those miracles and signs in Bethel am I to believer that God is hanging out on a cloud whilst the devil runs amok in His church and won’t lift a finger to help? Then the question got deeper. To can I really trust God, is He trustworthy is He faithful?

    Okay I can’t hide this. I have been in limbo for the last couple of days full of confusion and choking in something unfamiliar; unbelief and doubt.

    The answer to my second question ” why God had to inspire you to write just at the moment when I had the blanket of darkness threatening to suffocate the life and light out of me?”

    Actualy its simple God loves Bill Johnson. For me He defended Bill and restored a brother to me. You are right in saying Bill is a father in the faith in our generation.

    As far as I know and as long as I have been following your blog, you have never had a blog post just adressing the Bill Johnson demonisation. So for me the timing is impacable.

    Mel week on week I keep on saying that you are always spot on with me, its getting too specific to be ignored. So I thank God that He put you in my life and has used you to teach me so much because like I said I’m still a babe.

    Mel, I have a question for you. When you started growing from an unbeliving beliver to actually being a son did you have times like this when sometimes you felt doubt or were unsure? Is that a refining process? I’m still feeling a bit dull and wounded so how do I get back to the height I was at before all of this because I was really flying high.

    Thanks Mel have a great Sunday.


    • Mel Wild says:

      Great insights, Ayanda. And thanks for your encouraging comments. I believe that God answers you like this because He loves YOU. 🙂 Because you are honestly seeking the truth, not looking for reasons to disagree with something. And when our heart is open, He will always answer. I am blessed that He chose to use me to help you.

      To answer your question about growing from an unbelieving believer, always remember that faith takes courage and risk, which also means disappointment at times. I’ve had people get miraculously healed right before my eyes, and have also had them literally die in my hands. I have found that if you aren’t willing to risk and trust God, no matter what, you will never move from unbelief to a life of faith. So, yes, while I’ve never gone back to being an unbelieving believer, I have had seasons of pulling back from taking risks with God when things like miracles, signs and wonders weren’t happening like they did before. I’ve been tempted to leave “normal” Christianity for the powerless average kind at times too. But I was able to work through this and, in the process, learn more about partnering with God, so it was all good.

      And this is where sonship comes in. Knowing who we are is critical. As sons (daughters) We don’t ever have to doubt that we have a heavenly Papa who loves us and is always waiting for us to jump up in His lap. So, when doubts and second-guessing starts to try to occupy my thoughts, I run into His arms and let Him love me more. Either way, the devil loses. 🙂
      Blessings to you.

  2. Cindy Powell says:

    Amen. Love me some good Papa Bill-isms! The man bends my brain pretty regularly and it’s a good thing. One of the first (and simplest) Bill quotes I ever heard is this: “Jesus Christ is perfect theology.” I still lean on that one. I agree, definitely a father in the faith! Blessings to you!

    • Mel Wild says:

      Yes, he’s definitely a brain-bender! Some of things he says arrests your brain from the mundane way the Bible is often interpreted, to give it life and purpose. And I agree with the “Jesus is perfect theology” quote. The Kingdom always looks like Jesus. One of my favorites is the one I shared, that I cannot afford to have a thought in my head that’s not in His. Classic! Blessings to you also.

  3. Awesome… Bill is the BOMB – full stop 🙂 thank you for such a wonderful insight. The demonisers almost tripped me up a little while ago, I started to doubt all that was coming out of Bethel and then Holy Spirit reminded me ‘known by their fruit and their fruit is wholesome’! Bless ya Mel

    • Mel Wild says:

      Yes, it is good fruit. It’s so ironic to me how the Bill-haters depict him, Bethel, or Jesus Culture, when all you see there are people passionately in love with Jesus, taking Him at His word about what believers can do in His name. And Bill Johnson’s demeanor is pretty low-key, humble and genuinely honest. Yet, a lot of his detractors are mean-spirited and judgmental. Go figure! Blessings to you too, Lauralee. Your input is always appreciated.

  4. keijo leppioja says:

    SO fantastic to joy in God when the lord is using us to share our faith aorund us and be blessing and encourage in silent life style too and joy and my prayers ,that the lord will send more pastorer to give the word of God in wisdom and hope ,in Jesus name,thanks and bless,keijo sweden

  5. Sooj says:

    I love these quotes! It challenges me in my understanding of the Word and leads me to go directly to the source for the truth. And yes, he does walk out what he preaches. That’s the most effective way to be an influential leader.

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