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A mansion of a different kind: what are you building?

December 7, 2008
Marie Jon
RenewAmerica analyst

As President George W. Bush prepares to move to his beautiful new home in Texas, let me tell you about another home.

This particular house is considered one of the oddest homes in the entire world. The Winchester Mansion is located in San Jose, California, and sits on 160 acres of land. Although under construction for 38 years, it was never completed because its owner, Sarah Winchester, passed away in 1922.

Sarah had the home bustling constantly, under construction twenty-four hours, seven days a week. The home had one hundred and sixty rooms and probably would have had more if Sarah's life hadn't ended suddenly. The place started out as a simple eight-room house, but it was eventually converted into a multi-million-dollar estate.

It isn't the size of the house that makes this true story interesting. The house features some of the strangest construction known to architecture. For example, it has doors that lead to nowhere. Why? Sarah was driven to building the strange and enormous home by the ungodly spirit world.

Her home was built between 1884 and 1922. It contains modern plumbing and heating systems. There are three elevators, forty-seven fireplaces, and gas lighting throughout this unbelievable mansion. The rooms have gorgeous stained glass windows and very elaborate parquet flooring. Although there are no comparables available to place a value on the house, it must be worth a fortune.

The darkness of the occult

Sarah Winchester was the wife of William Winchester. William was the son of the man who made the Winchester repeating rifle. Sarah and William had one little girl, Annie, who unfortunately died six weeks after her birth.

Sarah continually grieved the loss of her child. Fifteen years later, we find poor Sarah weeping over her husband's death, caused by tuberculosis. She felt totally alone in the world. Because of her fears and sadness, she found herself at the doorstep of a well-known spirit medium. She believed that delving into Spiritualism might give her some answers. Of course, God was there, waiting to help Sarah, but she did not turn to Him.

However, what the spiritualist told Sarah was a bit unnerving. She was convinced that the souls of those who had been killed by the Winchester rifle were seeking retribution for their deaths, thus they sought to wreak terror on the entire Winchester family.

It was then that Sarah began holding séances to seek favor and try to make amends with them. Sarah was also told her daughter Annie and William's deaths may have appeared to have been caused by natural causes, but in reality they were killed by vengeful ghosts. These spirits would not rest in peace until the Winchester family had paid dearly for inventing the rifle. A special curse was put upon Sarah. As she conducted séances, visiting ghosts would tell her what to do. She was eventually driven insane before she died.

The other day, I heard a promo on KABC radio for a spiritualist who will be part of the station's regular format. She is taking phone calls throughout the evening hours. The Fox television network gave a psychic her own program. She claimed to be able to contact the dead. Also, she appeared as a guest several times on Fox's Red Eye. Everyone on the show thought she was extremely interesting. Perhaps they were having a George Noory moment.

Please don't take this subject lightly. Heed some good advice. Do not dabble in the darkness of the spiritual world. Spiritualists may believe that they have a gift, but is not from the Lord.

How do I know? The Bible makes it clear. With good reason, God warns us about the world of the supernatural.

Biblical warnings

Take a glance at what the Lord originally told the Israelites in the book of Deuteronomy:

    There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)

Séances and channeling are nothing new. Many ancient cultures had their own versions of the New Age movement. Channeling, crystals, séances, and astrology are as old as Methuselah.

The Creator God knew of the wickedness of such practices. The Bible records no instances of the dead coming back to speak to anyone. So if it's not the dead who are speaking to those who believe in such folly, then who is it? Spiritualism isn't a harmless game. It's not a figment of the imagination. If that were true, God would not have warned us away from it.

People who play in the occult usually find themselves hopelessly trapped. God's sternest warnings come with regard to having contact with "familiar spirits."

The book of Leviticus tells us,

    A man or a woman who is a medium, or who has familiar spirits, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones. Their blood shall be upon them. (Leviticus 20:27)

Read your Bible. Learn what it says about those who have already died in the book of Ecclesiastes:

    Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 9:6)

God's Word is abundantly clear. When somebody dies, they have nothing anymore to do with anything that takes place under the sun. Dead people do not return, according to scripture.

Trust in Christ

If you listen to what spiritualists say, you will never hear what He accomplished at the cross. And that is a very dangerous deception.

Christians don't need psychics or mediums or fortune-tellers. We have something much better. The prophet Isaiah says,

    And when they say to you 'Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,' should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?

    To the law and to the testimony! If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
    (Isaiah 8:19-20)

There is a voice that speaks only the truth, and that is the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. You can count on what He says. Jesus Christ came back from the dead. You can trust Him.

What are you building?

Sarah Winchester didn't want to see the dangerous trap that she was stepping into. And today, a massive, confusing home with staircases that lead to nowhere stands as a testimony to what heeding unclean spirits can do. Instead of using her wealth to help others, she squandered her money doing crazy things while under the sway of evil.

Incidentally, Sarah's house and the grounds are open to the public every day with the exception of Christmas. How ironic.

Those who embrace the Bible's promises will have a mansion in heaven. Ours is waiting for us, bought and paid for by the way of the old rugged cross. And best of all, we will reign with Jesus Christ forever and ever. Loved ones will never be missed again. Nor will there be any sad good-byes. Death will be vanquished. "Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death where is thy sting?" (1 Corinthians 15:55)

"And if I am going away to prepare a place for you, I will come back again and welcome you into my presence, so that you may be where I am." (John 14:3)

My question is a simple one: What are you building with your life? The choice is entirely yours. "But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15)


Related Reading:

Spiritualism

The Winchester Mansion Photos

When Godly people Do Ungodly Things: Arming Yourself in the Age of Seduction

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