134a. 2. No one is reformed by visions or by conversations with the dead, because they compel. There are two kinds of visions, divine and demonic. Divine visions are given by means of portrayals in heaven, while demonic visions are effected though magical events in hell. There are imaginary visions as well, visions that are the illusions of a mind that has lost its bearings.
Divine visions (which as just noted are given by means of portrayals in heaven) are the kind that happened to the prophets. When they were having these visions they were not in the body but in the spirit, because visions cannot happen to us while we are physically awake. So when the prophets saw visions, it says that they were in the spirit, as the following passages show.
Ezekiel said, "The spirit lifted me up and took me back to Chaldea to the captivity in a vision of God, in the spirit of God; so the vision that I saw came over me" (Ezekiel 11:1, 24). Then too, spirits held him up between earth and heaven and brought him to Jerusalem in visions of God (Ezekiel 8:3 and following). The same thing happened in a vision of God or in the spirit when he saw the four animals that were cherubim (Ezekiel chapters 1 and 10) and when he saw the new temple, the new earth, and the angel measuring them (Ezekiel chapters 40-48). It says in chapter Ezekiel 40:2, 26 that he was in visions of God at the time, and in chapter Ezekiel 43:5 that he was in the spirit.
(Odkazy: Ezekiel 1:1, 8:3-4, 10:1, 40:1, 40:40-48, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48:1; Revelation 4:1, Revelation 8:1, Revelation 9:1, 12:1, Revelation 13:1, Revelation 17:1, Revelation 18:1, 19, Revelation 21:1, Revelation 22:1)
 Zechariah was in the same kind of state when he saw the man on horseback among the myrtle trees (Zechariah 1:8 and following), when he saw the four horns and the man with a measuring line in his hand (Zechariah 1:18, 20, 21; Zechariah 2:1 and following), when he saw the lampstand and the two olive trees (Zechariah 4:1 and following), when he saw the flying scroll and the ephah (Zechariah 5:1, 6), and when he saw the four chariots coming out from the four mountains, and the horses (Zechariah 6:1 and following).
Daniel was in the same kind of state when he saw the four beasts rising from the sea (Daniel 6:1 [Daniel 7:1] and following), and when he saw the battles of the ram and the goat (Daniel 8:1 and following). It says in Daniel 7:1-2, 7, and 13; in Daniel 8:2; and in Daniel 10:1, 7, and 8 that he saw these things in the vision of his spirit, and it says in Daniel 9:21 that he saw the angel Gabriel in a vision.
 John was in the vision of the spirit when he saw the things he describes in the Book of Revelation--for example, when he saw the seven lampstands with the Human-born One in their midst (Revelation 1:12-16), when he saw the throne in heaven with someone sitting on it, surrounded by the four animals that were cherubim (Revelation 4), when he saw the book of life taken by the Lamb (Revelation 5), when he saw the horses come out of the book (Revelation 6), when he saw the seven angels with their trumpets (Revelation 8), when he saw the pit of the abyss opened with the locusts coming out of it (Revelation 9), when he saw the dragon and its battle with Michael (Revelation 12), when he saw the two beasts rise up, one from the sea and one from the land (Revelation 13), when he saw the woman sitting on the scarlet beast (Revelation 17) and the destruction of Babylon (Revelation 18), when he saw the white horse with someone riding it (Revelation 18 ), when he saw the new heaven and the new earth and the holy Jerusalem coming down from heaven (Revelation 21), and when he saw the river of water of life (Revelation 22). It says that he saw these things in the vision of his spirit in Revelation 1:11 [Revelation 1:10]; Revelation 4:2; Revelation 5:1; Revelation 6:1; and Revelation 21:12 [Revelation 21:10].
These were the kinds of visions that were visible from heaven to the sight of their spirits and not to their physical sight.
Things like this do not happen nowadays, because if they did they would not be understood, since they happen by means of images whose details are pointing to inner features of the church and secrets of heaven. It was foretold in Daniel 9:24 that they would stop when the Lord came into the world.
However, demonic visions have sometimes occurred. They are brought about by spirits who inspire deceptive passions and visions and who call themselves the Holy Spirit because of a mental confusion that engulfs them. Now, however, these spirits have been gathered in by the Lord and consigned to a hell separate from the other hells.
We can see from all this that no one can be reformed by any visions except the ones that are in the Word. There are imaginary visions as well, but these are nothing but the illusions of a mind that has lost its bearings.
134b. The story that the Lord told about the rich man in hell and Lazarus in Abraham's lap shows that no one is reformed by conversations with the dead. The rich man said, "Father Abraham, I beg you to send Lazarus to my father's house where I have five brothers, to bear witness to them so that they do not come to this place of torment." Abraham said to him, "They have Moses and the prophets: let them heed them." But he said, "No, father Abraham, but if someone came to them from the dead, they would repent." He answered him, "If they do not heed Moses and the prophets, they would not be convinced if someone rose from the dead" (Luke 16:27-31).
Conversations with the dead may lead to the same results as miracles that I have just described. That is, we may be convinced and be constrained to worship for a short while. However, since this deprives us of rational functioning at the same time that it hems in our evils, as already noted [130-131, 133], this spell or inner restraint is released and the pent-up evils erupt in blasphemy and profanation. Still, this happens only when spirits have imposed some religious dogma. No good spirit--let alone any angel of heaven--would ever do this.