Question 40: What do the terms “testing the spirits” and “discernment of the spirits” mean?

Answer: The term “testing the spirits” comes from I John 4:1, which says: Beloved, believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world. There are certain tests that can be applied to see if something is of the Lord or of a demon (I Jn. 4:2‑3; I Cor. 12:3; I Jn. 5:6‑7).

The gift of discernment of spirits (I Cor. 12:10) is the God-given ability of some to recognize immediately whether something is demonic or not. For those who do not have that spiritual gift, they are responsible to test the spirits by asking specific questions to determine whether something is demonic or not.

For details on this, see MBS082 Demonology, available from Ariel Ministries.

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Arnold Answers is a bi-weekly Q & A with founder and director of Ariel Ministries, Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum.

Question 39: If the Jews in ancient times believed that God indeed had a son who was also divine, how did they harmonize this belief with their strict monotheistic doctrine? Since they did not believe in at least two Gods, was the son somewhat lesser in divinity than the Father?

Answer: In dealing with the Jews of biblical times, yes, they knew God had a son and that this son was divine. However, they never slipped into believing in more than one God. From passages such as Genesis 19:24, which speaks of one Jehovah on earth and the other Jehovah in heaven, they understood that there was more than one personality within the Godhead. Isaiah 42:1, 48:16, 61:1, and 63:7-14 even mention three personalities. So, Jews always held to only one God, but those who knew the Scriptures would know there was more than just one personality within the Godhead.

Click here to learn more about Ariel Ministries and to enjoy our many online resources. If you’d like to donate to Ariel Ministries, just  click

Arnold Answers is a bi-weekly Q & A with founder and director of Ariel Ministries, Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum.