I have recently stumbled onto some information. Apparently some Christians think that the apostle Paul was a false apostle and false teacher. They say that he taught Jesus "faith only" while Jesus himself clearly taught faith + works. I am deeply troubled by this and feel my world has been turned upside-down just when I was starting to feel happy.
How do we know for 100% certain that it is okay to call the Messiah Jesus instead of Yeshua? I know who He is, but lately I have been hearing crazy things which worry me. Please help, brother.
You've run into a group of Messianic Jews. These people call themselves Christian, but as Paul said, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace" (Galatians 5:1-4). This, by the way, is why they are desperate to deny the teachings of Paul -- their own teachings directly contradict Paul's. Since they assume they must be right, their conclusion is that Paul was wrong.
In reality, Messianic Jews are nothing more than a resurrection of the Judaizing teachers in the first century. They were wrong then and even more wrong now.
In regards to Paul being an apostle, see:
- What Made Paul an Apostle?
- Objections to Paul's apostleship
- I don't think you proved Paul to be an apostle.
In regards to the name of Jesus, see:
- My cousin has gotten involved with a group and is beginning to think of himself as a Jew. What do I do?
- My son started worshiping on Saturdays with a group on the Internet. Is he in a cult?
- Why should YHWH be pronounced correctly and not Yeshua?
Regarding Paul supposed teaching of faith only: First the only place "faith only" in the New Testament is when James talked about it: "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only" (James 2:24). Paul talked a lot about faith, but not faith only. In fact, Paul said, "Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name" (Romans 1:5) and "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10).
Thank you so much, sir! You are doing a wonderful service to many, and I know you will be blessed for it.