God’s faithful servant said, “Ye are all physicians of no value” (Job 13:4). These were Job’s words to his three “friends” after they had filled his ears with their words of worldly wisdom in their humanistic efforts to give comfort in the midst of his deep trials. And, as Job weighed their counsel on the scales of divine truth, he was led by the Spirit of God to tell them plainly, “Miserable comforters are ye all” (Job 16:2b).

Job suffered to a greater degree than most believers will ever suffer. In a very short time span he lost his entire family with the exception of his wife. He also lost most of his earthly possessions and, in addition to this, suffered the extreme physical agony of painful boils from head to foot. Added to Job’s severe testings was the necessity of reminding his wife that she was speaking as one of the foolish women when, in the frustrations of her own disappointments and sorrow, she urged him to “curse God, and die” (Job 2:9).

Furthermore, Job not only had to reject the advice of his wife but also of his three closest friends whose reasonings sounded somewhat plausible, in spite of the fact that they were based upon man’s wisdom rather than the wisdom of God. It is important to remember that the only way Job could possibly have received grace and strength to differ with those closest to him, to maintain his integrity, and to reject their counsel was to stand firmly upon the truths God had revealed to him through His Word.

Job did not know all the reasons for his suffering, but he could and did say, “For I know that my redeemer liveth” (Job 19:25a). He could and did say about his God, “But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold…. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of His lips; I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:10, 12). Thus did God use Job to shut Satan’s mouth and disprove his false accusation that Job loved and worshipped God only because He had blessed him abundantly, both physically and materially.

There are many important lessons we can learn today by studying the testimony and experiences of Job. Surely one such lesson is our need for patience. Read carefully Hebrews 10:35-37 and James 5:7-11. Faithful believers are experiencing suffering in new ways and with increasing intensity. In such circumstances, Satan does his best to make us doubt God’s goodness and wisdom. “Why should this trial come to me?” we ask. Satan wants believers to be filled with fear rather than faith. But we must stand firm against all the wiles of the devil. We must recognize “that the trying of [our] faith worketh patience” (James 1:3), and then we must “let patience have her perfect work” (James 1:4).

It is not easy to be patient today. It is not easy to reject the attractive promises that Satan and his angels of light use to push the believer into a state of confusion and depression. The world around us is rapidly disintegrating. Millions of people are hurting and crying out for help. Many different voices are clamoring for attention, each claiming to have the answers to man’s questions and solutions for his problems. Sadly, most of these offers of help are from physicians who are bound to be of no value. Rather than giving needy souls the truth of God’s eternal Word, they present the wisdom of men, proposing solutions based upon politics, economics, education, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and religion. All who depart from the Word of God inevitably become “physicians of no value.”

It is essential to remember that these “physicians” operate freely within the professing church, and it is the height of folly to follow their prescriptions since anyone who mixes truth and error cannot possibly profit his followers. Error is never more dangerous and deceptive than when it has a coating of truth, and even the most promising programs are doomed to ultimate failure when biblical principles are violated.

In our day, we face a situation identical to that of Israel in the days of Jeremiah. The question is asked, “Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there?” (Jeremiah 8:22). The people were in desperate straits; they needed a balm, a physician, but everywhere they turned they found only “physicians of no value.” Why? God explains in Jeremiah 9:3a: “And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth.” Where are the pastors, leaders, and individual believers today who are “valiant for the truth”? “Truth is fallen in the street” (Isaiah 59:14); it is trampled underfoot, but few seem to care. As a result, people are looking for help in the wrong places and finding only broken cisterns which cannot hold water that satisfies the soul (Jeremiah 2:13).

In our day, many fit the biblical description of “physicians of no value.” Many of these are attracting great crowds and gaining many followers. Many of the unholy alliances being promoted today in the name of evangelism or peace or concern for the poor are finding widespread support. Why? It is because too many believers do not yet realize just what is behind these man-made efforts to circumvent the plain, unalterable principles set forth in holy Scripture.

The Pentecostal/charismatic movement is growing by leaps and bounds, but with every passing day there are additional confirmations that this is not a movement of the Holy Spirit but of a false spirit. With claims of healings, miracles, and direct messages from God apart from the Bible, the charismatic movement can only result in great disillusionment for all those who follow its unscriptural teachings and practices. It has served as a catalyst in bringing together a wide array of Christian traditions and denominations by using the supposed “charismatic renewal experience” as the common denominator. This disregard for Bible truth aids in the advancement of the formation of the harlot, one-world ecumenical church that is headed for God’s judgment. The charismatic movement abounds with worthless “physicians.”

The new evangelical movement, an offspring of compromise from its very inception, is also assisting in this inclusivism characteristic of the aforementioned ecumenical coalition that cooperates with Roman Catholics and other traditions that have long ago distanced themselves from sound doctrine and practice. The new evangelicals possess an affinity for humanistic psychology and the pragmatic approach to ministry. The new evangelicals notoriously embrace the unbiblical strategy of “infiltration and accommodation rather than separation,” which, again, results in ecumenical fellowships where sound doctrine is set aside for the sake of a hollow unity. The resulting confusion certainly earns those involved in this movement the sad title of “physicians of no value.”

And what can we say about biblical fundamentalists today? Is it not clear that there are many who claim to be fundamentalists but who are silent when it comes to exposing the false teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church, and liberal Protestant churches? What about those who call themselves fundamentalists yet remain silent about the compromises of disobedient brethren or even endorse their disobedience by appearing on their platforms? Or, as is increasingly common, what about those who invite compromising brethren to speak at their own conferences? Do not all such fundamentalists fall into the same category as Job’s “friends”?

Too many believers today have forgotten God’s command in Psalm 97:10a which states, “Ye that love the Lord, hate evil.” Those who fail to hate evil will quickly fall prey to evil workers whose outward appearance is so attractive and whose words are so enticing. God’s command to His people is still expressed in Ephesians 5:11—“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” We must always remember that whatever is contrary to the light of God’s Word is, in fact, darkness. The Word of God is the standard that separates truth from error, light from darkness (Isaiah 8:20; John 17:17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 2:19-21). All who engage in fellowships with the workers of darkness cannot please God. All who fail to reprove the un­fruitful works of darkness are “physi­cians of no value.”

The great need of our dying world today is to hear the plain, pure message of salvation by grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. The great need of believers today is to study God’s Word, believe God’s Word, and obey Him no matter what others may be doing or saying. We must look to the Great Physician for the answers to our questions and troubles rather than to the many “physicians of no value” that abound today. Only then will we receive the true answers we desperately need.

— Pastor M. H. Reynolds, Jr. (1919-1997)


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