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During November of 1947, a crowd of over 6000 gathered one evening in the great Municipal Auditorium of the City of Portland, Oregon to hear William Branham speak. The audience included several hundred ministers of the gospel seated on the platform as well as an unknown number of people waiting outside in the pouring rain. They were full of longing and hungering for more of God. This was during the period before the Healing Revival had gathered full momentum and there were no other ministries holding healing campaigns; Oral Roberts and the others to follow had not yet come on the scene.
It was the third night he had spoken and the audience listened in rapt attention as William Branham ministered on the subject of faith. Suddenly far back in the building, a huge man began to take rapid strides towards the platform, all the while snorting and swinging his hands wildly back and forth. His tortured countenance declared his state of mind and it was learned later that he had already been jailed several times for breaking up religious services. He had escaped from an insane institution that same afternoon and had hit a preacher while he was standing on the street holding a street meeting, breaking his collar bone and jaw. A warrant was out for his arrest.
He was a huge man, weighing about two-fifty or two-sixty pounds and standing nearly six foot ten inches tall. Given his reputation, the other ministers drew back as he charged up to the platform. It became so quiet you could have heard the proverbial pin drop.
William Branham weighed barely 130 pounds and ordinarily would have been scared too, but something happened. Instead of becoming fearful, he felt a flood of genuine love for the man. He waved the two policemen back and told them this was not a flesh and blood affair.
The maniac snarled, "You low-down hypocrite. You snake-in-the-grass. Up here posing yourself as a man of God. Tonight I'll break every bone in that measly little frame of yours. I'll knock you way out into the middle of the audience." Judging by his size, this was no idle threat.
William Braham held his peace.
The maniac stopped with hands on hips and roared, "You hypocrite. You snake in the grass. I'll show you how much man of God you are, you serpent."
The Spirit of God then moved on his prophet who quietly told the maniac, "Because you have challenged God's Spirit, tonight you'll fall over my feet, in the Name of the Lord."
The maniac spat in the preachers face, then drew his fist drawn back and rushed forward shouting, "I'll show you whose feet I'll fall over."
William Branham spoke quietly again, "Satan, come out of the man in the Name of Jesus Christ." The maniac threw up his arms, and screamed as if fighting some unseen force. He groaned "Oh-uh-uh-uh-uh," and his eyes protruded and turned back. His mouth opened wide and he spun around slowly several times and fell across Brother Branham's feet, pinning him so he couldn't move.
The police officers pulled the man clear and asked, "Is that man dead? Is he going to be all right?"
William Branham replied, "No, sir. If he was willing to give that evil spirit up, it would leave him now. But he worships it; he will take it right back."
With that, he walked back to the pulpit and still in a quiet tone, began telling the audience, "Our heavenly Father has all powers in heaven and earth …." At that statement, a sick man laying on a cot cried out, "Yes, He has! He healed me!" And up he got.
Another man standing with crutches, threw his crutches across the floor, shouting, "He healed me, too!" And away he went. A man got out of a wheelchair, saying, "Me, also."
The power of God moved through the building healing many and the next morning a large truck full of stretchers and wheelchairs passed slowly down the street followed by a group of people singing "Only Believe," as they walked behind the truck in testimony of what had happened the night before.
Present during those memorable meetings, had been the young Pastor of a small Church who was mightily moved by what he had seen. God challenged him to believe that the scripture gave him authority to do the same things. His name was Tommy L Osborn who became an international evangelist, winning tens of thousands of souls to Christ.
Compiled from Brother Branham's sermons (See WBSC)
and the book 'A Man Sent from God.' (See WBSC 'Message Publications')