Bill Johnson on the Goodness of God

One of the most thrilling messages I’ve ever heard was preached just a few nights ago. In the middle of the Manifest Presence conference, Bill Johnson preached on the goodness of God. He started with this scripture:

The law and the prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. (Luke 16:16)

What did Jesus reveal that the law and the prophets could not reveal? He revealed the Father. The good news of the kingdom satisfies the universal ache for a good Father. Do you know that our heavenly Father is a good God? Have no doubt about this. God is not good some days and bad others. He is good “all the way through.”

Jesus said that the good news of God’s kingdom is being preached and everyone is forcing his way into it. In my experience with outreach and evangelism, everyone has not been forcing their way into it. Perhaps that’s because we’ve been preaching the wrong message. The right message gets the right response. And what is the right message? Well here’s a hint. It’s good news. It’s not good and bad news. It’s pure, undiluted good news!

The good news? God is good!

The good news is that God is unfathomably good in word and deed. He has already shown his goodness and grace to us through Jesus Christ. God loves you so much that he sent his Son to die for you and your son. You don’t have to strive or perform to earn his good approval – you just have to receive it. Isn’t that good?

When the world sees the goodness of God on display in his church – his favor, his blessings, his healing – they will sit up and take notice. They’re not going to learn how good he is merely because we tell them. But they will learn when they see it:

God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause his face to shine upon us. Selah. That your way may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations… God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear him. (Ps 67:1-2,7)

Some of the prophets foretold that in the last days, we would get a revelation of God’s goodness.

They shall fear the LORD and His goodness in the latter days. (Hos 3:5)

I don’t know about you but this is certainly true of me. I’ve walked with God for four decades, but it has only been in the last few years that I’ve begun to realize that he is off-the-scale good. Of course I always knew he was good, but I’m just learning that his goodness has no shadow, no defect, no qualification. He is the very definition of good (Mk 10:18).

If you’ve been following this blog, you will know that God’s goodness is probably my favorite subject. Jesus wouldn’t be Jesus, except that God is good. The gospel wouldn’t be good news, except that God is good. We would not be forgiven, redeemed, justified, healed, blessed, or anything, except that God is good. All of these gifts are only good, because the One who gives them is good.

Perhaps you have hoped, like David did, that you might see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Well just open your eyes! Unlike David, you live under a new and everlasting covenant based on God’s promise that he will never stop doing good to us (Jer 32:40)!

I wonder if the human mind can really grasp just how good God is. Well, if anyone can, Bill Johnson probably can, so here are 12 of his best quotes on the goodness of God.

Top 12 Bill Johnson quotes on the goodness of God

1.    “God is good all the way through. He is as good as he is holy.”

2.    “The cornerstone of all theology is the goodness of God.”

3.    “The greatest vacuum on the planet is the goodness of God in the heart of man.”

4.    “I finally discovered something – it’s all about Jesus.”

5.    “The law and the prophets could not reveal the Father, but Jesus revealed the Father. Why is this important? Because this is an orphaned planet.”

6.    “In the old, sin contaminates. In the new, righteousness contaminates. It’s a different day.”

7.    “We don’t pray to a deaf God. It’s impossible to pray and have nothing happen.”

8.    “God has an answer for everything.”

9.    “His goodness doesn’t come with small print… There’s no shadow about him.”

10.    (On Hosea 3:5) “What would it be like to have a nation tremble in absolute terror, not because of judgment, but because of underserved kindness?”

11.    (On Psalm 67) “To not pursue the blessing of the Lord, is one of the most selfish acts of the church.”

12.    “There are no tricks to the trade. He’s good.”

14 Comments on Bill Johnson on the Goodness of God

  1. At church this morning, Martin Steele gave some feedback on all the healings that took place during the Manifest Presence conference. He had 250 written testimonies from people who had been healed, mostly from pain. (It’s easy to tell when you’ve been healed from pain.) I’m guessing there were probably a hundred other people who never got around to writing down their testimony (including me).

    There are a couple of things about these healings which really struck me. First, there was very little preaching on healing during the week (<10%). Most of the preaching was on the kingdom of God. But when you preach the undiluted good news of the kingdom, people will get healed.

    Second, most of the healings did not take place down the front at an altar call. Probably 90% of people were healed where they stood, when those around them prayed for them. This wasn’t the Bill Johnson Healing Crusade. Far from it. Instead, there were 1,500 priestly believers imparting the presence of God to those in need.

    On Thursday night I was healed from plantar fasciitis. Now this is not the world’s most serious affliction, but it had been driving me nuts for about a month. It felt like I had a large round stone under my heel all the time. I walked with a limp. During the meeting Camilla and Cornel prayed for me and some of the pain immediately went away. The next morning my foot felt 95% better and yesterday I went for my first pain-free run in ages. God is good!

    • Thank you for sharing about God healing your plantar fasciitis! I’m curious as to how your foot is feeling these days? God is good!!

  2. Am so grateful of the way God is revealing the gospel to us who are in regions far from the west….Every day, i check the latest article on the blog, and some times revise them…just to remind my mind about the goodness of God…Another great master Piece.

  3. I wonder what the people of Christchurch and surrounding areas would have to say about this at this time ? Do you think earthquakes are “an act of God” or should the insurance policy definitions be re-worded ?


    • As an ex-Cantabrian, I have a few friends in Christchurch. Many of them are thanking God for sparing their lives and the lives of their families. This was a huge quake (7.1), yet not one fatality occurred. Instead we heard (on the news) many stories of the kind, “If I hadn’t___ I would’ve been killed.” Prime Minister John Key said the zero fatality rate was “miraculous.” The Minister for Civil Defense and other officials have used words like “miracle” and “blessed” in the aftermath of last weekend.

      The loss of property, business and employment is tragic, but I don’t blame God. I’m no geologist but I understand an earthquake results from the sudden release of energy in the Earth’s crust. It’s a naturally occurring phenomenon. If you happen to build a house near a fault line, you can expect quakes to occur more frequently than if you don’t. New Zealand has 14,000 quakes every year. If there were no quakes, there’d be no Southern Alps and no skiing! Kiwis wouldn’t know what to do with themselves.

      As for insurance companies, the term “act of God” literally refers to no fault claims such as arising from naturally occurring disasters. But I agree it is an unfortunate and misleading term. Why is it that those who see nothing miraculous in the birth of a baby or the saving of an entire city are inclined to blame natural disasters on a good God?

      As a sidebar, I have been thoroughly impressed with the Cantabrians’s response to Saturday’s quake. Neighbours are meeting each other for the first time and checking that everyone is okay. From all over the country builders, plumbers, electricians along with truckloads of supplies and food are being delivered through public and private means. As of this afternoon the Earthquake Commission was processing 248 insurance claims every hour, doing their best to get people’s homes rebuilt or replaced. On TV the PM is nightly fielding questions from ordinary folk who are struggling with the uncertainty of it all. I thank God for stringent building codes, good government, and proactive leadership.

  4. Paul – Thanks for the response. So your thinking is clearly in the earthquakes-are-not-acts-of-God camp – fair enough, that’s your view but how can you reconcile that with, I presume, your belief that God created the heavens, universe, earth (fault lines included) ? If God did indeed create all this then he also created earthquakes and surely has the power to decide when these occur, no ? Same goes for the weather. When a group of Christians get together and pray for much-needed rain in a drought-struck area, and if it then rains, of course they give God the credit. Therefore those Christians clearly believe God is in charge of and has the power to influence weather systems. Why then would a God of love want to flood a country and cause havoc to millions (e.g Pakistan) or create a drought where farmers end up taking their lives due to the stress? … I am not being blasphemous, I am a believer in God’s creation, however it is natural for anyone with a brain to be asking such questions.

    • Yes, God is the Creator (see Gen 1). Yes, God can influence the natural order any way He pleases, any time He pleases (Jer 32:27). Yes, God does respond to the prayers of His children, even when weather is involved (see Jas 5:17). No, I do not believe God caused the floods in Pakistan (blame the heavy monsoon rains) or droughts in Australia (um, El Nino?). God is not the author of evil (Deut 32:4).

      • So I know I am VERY late in on this conversation, but just on earthquakes, all of the New Testament accounts seem to be, or are directly attributed to God.
        – Great earthquake at Jesus death (graves openned and the dead rise to life) – Matthew 27:50-53
        – Earthquake releasing Peter from prison – Acts 16:26
        – Sixth Seal (Openned by Jesus Himself) The response being that people hid and wish they were dead – Revelation 6:12
        – Seventh Trumpet – Blown by an Angel of God under the leadership of Jesus – Seven Thousand people are killed by the earthquake – Revelation 11:13
        – Seventh Bowl – Again, and angel under the leadership of Jesus – a third of the city of Jerusalem destroyed – Revelation 16:18

        So tell me, are earthquakes evil, God’s response to evil, a pleasant/unpleasant coincidence used by God, or some other option? When Ananias and Saphira died at the command of Peter, was this not the judgement of God? When Peter spoke a conditional curse on Simon (a convert who previously practiced sorcery), it was a curse of death. Acts 16:18-24 Is it evil of God, for a man to die because of his sin? When Jesus pronounced coming judgement on the church of Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-24) was this evil, or the corrective act of a merciful God. Jesus called those who He was about to cause great suffering (disease that would result in death) His servants. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 11:27-34, indicates that those who had not judged their hearts properly were suffering from weakness, sickness and some had even died. Verse 32 indicates that this was the judgement of God.

        Scripture is clear, The kingdom of God coming requires this: “Repent”. That was the word used by John the Baptist and by Jesus in the context of the kingdom of God coming. Both the Old and New Testament make it clear that an unrepentant heart results in the discipline of God. (Hebrews 12) Is discipline evil? If, according to the writer of Hebrews, discipline in unpleasant and causes pain, what does it look like? What “good” thing would we call painful and discipline?

      • Herb, I’m guessing you are new here and unfamiliar with my comment policy. Please limit comments to the post in question. Regarding earthquakes, see this post. Regarding Thyatira, see this post. Regarding repentance, see this post. Regarding God’s judgment, see this post. Regarding the consequences of taking communion in an unworthy manner, see this post.

  5. I am sorry about that. I thought my comment was on topic, i.e.”The goodness of God”. I was using earthquakes as the launching point as you had responded to this previously in this thread. I was most directly commenting on your statement, “No, I do not believe God caused the floods in Pakistan (blame the heavy monsoon rains) or droughts in Australia (um, El Nino?). God is not the author of evil (Deut 32:4).”

    I believe the scriptures I shared show that earthquakes (and sickness) cannot be dismissed as an act of evil nor always accident/nature.

    If I was too long (I did go on) or too aff topic please feel free to delete though.

    • Oops – my bad Herb. I had forgotten about the comments already raised. It’s been a while since I’ve been to this post and couldn’t figure why you were talking earthquakes in connection with Bill Johnson. But do check out my earthquake post and the others I mentioned. My responses to most of your points can be found there.

  6. “The greatest vacuum on the planet is the goodness of God in the heart of man” where did you find this? do you know what sermon i used it in a report and im trying to find what report it came from

    i mean where did he preach this like was it the Manifest Presence conference or where did you here it at? I guess i could just put down this website!

  7. sweet sounds good to me! thanks so much

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