By Robin Gould
Stephen was falsely accused of teaching that the law is no longer valid.
Acts 6: 11. Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, "We have heard Stephen speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against God." 12. So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. 13. They produced false witnesses, who testified, "This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. 14. For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us."
Acts 7: 38 "This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers. He received living oracles to give to us."
Congregation: "Ekklesia" translated as: CHURCH.
Wait...where was the church? In the WILDERNESS and at
Ekklesia means: "An assembly of human beings for a specific purpose."
This is the word used to describe "The Church" in the New Testament.
The Hebrew equivalent for ekklesia is: Qehelah. (Spellings can vary.) Qehelah is defined as: "A gathering called for a specific purpose."
There is absolutely no warrant from any scholarly linguistic interpretation for inconsistently translating ekklesia as "church" in some places and as "congregation" in others.
Stephen is not referring to the "congregation" in the wilderness. He speaks of the ekklesia; "the called out gathering." This word is exactly the same called out gathering referred to in letters to the Ephesians, the Corinthians, and the Romans.
Deuteronomy 29: 9-15. Starting with verse 9...Carefully follow the terms of this covenant, so that you may prosper in everything you do. 10. All of you are standing today in the presence of the Lord your God—your leaders and chief men, your elders and officials, and all the other men of Israel, 11. together with your children and your wives, and the aliens living in your camps who chop your wood and carry your water. 12. You are standing here in order to enter into a covenant with the Lord your God, a covenant the Lord is making with you this day and sealing with an oath, 13. to confirm you this day as his people, that he may be your God as he promised you and as he swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 14. I am making this covenant, with its oath, not only with you 15. who are standing here with us today in the presence of the Lord our God but also with those who are not here today.
The "mainstream" definition of "THE CHURCH" (defining it as being limited to the new, gentile converts from the first century onward) is clearly not the Bible’s definition of "THE CHURCH" (which it defines as those receiving the written law from Moses, and all believers, PERIOD). Therefore, it is only biblically consistent, if you consider yourself "the Church," to understand that you were PART of that group that was receiving the Torah in the desert,
As this is what the bible defines as "THE CHURCH."
When you use the BIBLE’S definition of what “THE CHURCH” is, you see that the church is simply the assembly of BELIEVERS throughout the history of the planet. SO....there cannot be two different requirements for two different groups of people, as the group receiving it is the entire mixture of anyone who wants it.
This completely contradicts the FFOZ position without exception. It is literally impossible to reconcile their theology and consistently use bible definitions as the BIBLE defines them. If you add Exodus 12:49, Leviticus 24:22, and Numbers 15:29 that REPEATEDLY states that there is one law for the native born and one for the stranger (convert), what can they say? Nothing.
The First Fruits of Zion assertions do NOT hold water!