'Lying for God' is a necessary, detailed and closely argued refutation of Sabbath-keeping in the New Testament age. I had already read another source that argued that the papacy did not change the Sabbath - based mainly on the fact that Christians seldom ever kept it and that what we now call the Eastern Orthodox Church was where the power lay and the Roman Catholic church was not yet powerful enough to direct the traffic, so to speak. It’s significant that Sabbath-keeping was never mandated by the Catholic Church because it was recognised that it was not Biblically supported. One does not need to be a scholar to find that Sabbath-keeping is not endorsed by Paul or the New Testament.
Personally I had already come to the conclusion that the Sabbath was a dead letter in the new testament age on theological grounds. A friend asked me once why the churches made an exception for the 4th command when they enjoined the keeping of the others. Seemingly a good question - if you did not know that in the new testament Jesus does not live to help us keep these commands. He lives to BE OUR LIFE. God’s command is to believe His Son. Jesus’ testimony is that He is our life. In the new testament age the incarnation is the BIG DEAL and God lives in us and shares His Being with us. By His Spirit Christ’s life becomes our life. That’s radical. In fact more radical than many Christians allow who live from religion rather than as a manifestation of the Christ who is in them. Strictly speaking the Kingdom of God is not a religion. It’s God’s life manifest as you.
Jesus left us only two rites. Baptism which is a sign that we are dead to all that Adam began and alive to all that Jesus initiated. The Lord’s Table means that Jesus by the Spirit becomes us. We are not deities. But we are sons and we are the expression of His life when we choose Him as our life rather than living a second rate representation in externalities and behavioural motions. In a very real way by the Spirit God has made a new and living way in Jesus: To express Himself as you.
‘The Sabbath’ as an icon and element of Moses’ Laws, ties us to the regime of Adam. Which is separation from God and a rejection of Christ’s life for us. Paul declares that if we are retained in the law, then for us Christ died for nothing.
‘But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago’ Rom 3. 21 NLT.
Samuele Bacchiocchi’s contention that The Sabbath is ‘divine rest for human restlessness’ is tragically ignorant. Jesus is divine rest for human restlessness. In that sense He is a personal Sabbath. It’s sad that Adventists should look to the Sabbath sacramentally - as a false grace and a false Messiah because there is no life in rites, observances or any of the artifices of religion. But to be one with Father as is our inheritance is to be able to impart spirit and life to all we touch.
The following are some quotes from ‘Lying For God.
1 For a long time opponents of Ellen White, such as D. M. Canright, have known that her historical theories were nothing but fairy tales and the intense research on this subject that has been conducted since 1977 proves that her book, The Great Controversy, represents intellectual fraud on multiple levels. In fact, the only "competition" for the most warped revisionist religious history ever written is Joseph Smith's Book of Mormon. Other researchers have identified significant portions of his writings that Ellen White copied but said came directly to her from the throne of God. p 23
2. Here we have it from a leading Israeli Hebrew language scholar. There is no higher authority to turn to for expertise in understanding the Hebrew linguistics of the Book of Genesis. There is no Sabbath ordinance explicit or implied in Genesis. The Sabbath is exactly what Moses taught Israel that the Sabbath was― a sign between God and Israel that would set them apart from every other nation on the face of the Earth. P 25
3 In 1982 a group of biblical scholars under the leadership of D. A. Carson published research that demonstrated conclusively that the linguistics of the Ancient Hebrew text of Genesis 2, Exodus 16, and Exodus 20 unequivocally prove the Sabbath did not exist until the time of the Exodus. Additionally, we have other evidence from the Pentateuch that this is so, including the chronology of the Exodus journey. p 27
4 In his doctoral studies at the Gregorian University at the Vatican, he [Bacchiocchi] discovered that the Seventh-day Adventist teaching that the Catholic Church "changed" the Sabbath was wrong. He was forced to concede that this "change" happened hundreds of years earlier. P 28
5. God said that the Old Covenant was to be replaced with a new covenant that would be very different. Only the Old Covenant included the Sabbath. Furthermore, Sabbath-keeping was permitted only for those who were circumcised whether they were Hebrews or proselytes. The Council of Jerusalem decided against circumcision for the Gentiles, thus settling the Sabbath question forever. You would expect that if the Sabbath were an eternally binding requirement for the people of God, the apostles would have noted it as such when it came to teaching the Gentiles.
6. The Sabbath ordinance is NOT in Genesis 2: 2-3. If there was a Sabbath commandment given during Creation Week, the passage does not tell us so. It doesn’t specify that Adam and Eve rested on it, much less what they were supposed to do thereafter. God accomplished the memorialization of this one day by indicating that the blessing of it was to be remembered without boundaries. This one day was to be remembered as long as there would be people to hear about it. Scripture is full of both evidence as well as proof, that the Sabbath did not exist until the Exodus and that it represented a temporary cultic ritual imposed on Israel between Sinai and the Cross. At the Cross all 613 requirements of the Law of Moses as a codified law perished for Israel. 30
7 If you were to ask a Sabbatarian within the SDA Church if believers are saved by faith, the answer will be "yes" until you ask them what happens to their salvation if they should quit keeping the Sabbath. They will avoid answering the question because there is no answer. If you get an answer, it won’t make sense. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Either you have to DO something to be saved or you DON’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING to be saved. The Sabbath is something you must DO. It is not like the other nine of the Ten Commandments will tell us what we are NOT TO DO.
If you are a tiger for detailed scholarship and a fastidious blow by blow demolition of Sabbatarianism then go here.