The fourth thing that Jesus tells us in John 14:16-18 is that the other counselor he gives to us is the Spirit of truth. But Jesus also warns us that the world cannot accept the Spirit of truth. In John 8:44-45, we read where Jesus said to the people who did not believe in him,
You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe in me!The spirit of deceit is abroad in our world today. Stuart Briscoe tells the story of a young high school student who committed suicide....
His girlfriend, however, was contacted by some other girls in the school who were dabbling, just for the fun of it, they thought, with seances and Ouija boards. They said they could get in touch with her boyfriend's spirit. So she went along, and in this particular experience, they got in touch with the spirits. The spirits spoke to them and told these young girls to tell the girlfriend that her boyfriend wanted her to join him, and that she should commit suicide because then she could really enjoy his presence. That is not the spirit of truth; that's the spirit of evil. That is the spirit of utter deceit, and it's abroad in our world today.In 1 John 4:1 we read, "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God..." How do we know whether someone is speaking the truth of God by the Spirit of truth? We can test what they say by the word of God in Scripture. I do not believe that anything the Spirit of God is really saying to people today will contradict Scripture, rightly understood. That is because the Spirit of truth is the one who, I believe, inspired the apostles and prophets to write what they did in Scripture. We need to test everything we hear by what we read in the Bible, and not just by one verse in the Bible but by the whole counsel of God. Remember what Jesus prayed to the Father for his disciples? "Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth." (John 17:17)
I believe that is what Jesus prays for us today as well. We need to discern the Spirit of truth by the word of truth. Both go together.