Welcome to the next phase of study here at The Lord's Table, we are thankful you are wanting to continue on in Bible study, and we know this next phase will be particularly helpful to you in gaining intimacy with Jesus Christ.
The Lord's Table-Phase II--Feasting and Fasting is a 20-Day fasting experience designed as an interactive Bible study combined with a monitored fast. The purpose is to get closer to Christ and experience the "reward" that Jesus refers to in Matthew 6:18.
Biblical support: The Bible treats fasting, for Christians, as a given.
In this passage, Jesus instructs us how to fast properly, not to be noticed by others, but in secret so as to experience reward by God the Father, Who sees all things done in secret. The interesting truth about this particular passage of Scripture is that Jesus' words indicate that fasting for the Christian is normal and expected, just like prayer and giving (Matthew 6:1-15). Jesus says, "when you fast..." indicating that fasting for the Christian is not optional but rather is expected as a normal part of Christian life. Later, Jesus would declare the importance of fasting in spiritual warfare when He said:
So fasting for the Christian is both assumed and important, and we should not neglect that which God has given us to overcome in spiritual warfare and to cleanse our bodies of harmful toxins that have built up over time. The main purpose of fasting is to experience the "reward" Jesus mentions in Matthew 6, not to lose weight. However, if a person is overweight due to gluttony then their weight loss is honoring to the Lord.
Let us introduce this next phase of study with two testimonies of those who have finished the Phase II course:
"This fasting has been a great time of prayer and spiritual insight. I really do not look foreward to stopping. I hope that somewhere down the line we have group fasting. I have never been closer to Jesus, and I have never been so free of the desire to eat in my whole life. I can't describe it other than during this fast, God has changed my heart and life."--Linda Lundin
"I really do not know what to say except THANK YOU JESUS AND THANK YOU SETTING CAPTIVES FREE! I learned much about the Lord and the power over sin that He gives through the teachings of The Lord's Table course. There were many spiritual changes that took place as I went through the lessons. However, it was in The Lord's Table Phase II course that the most changes took place.. I have fasted for 20 days and not only has it been quite easy to follow the recommended juice fast, but I am now down to my goal weight! My wife even made the comment last night that I look as youthful as I did when we first got married and my energy levels are incredible.
I was very afraid of fasting and have never been able to fast for more than 24 hours at a time, but the very simple, practical and down to earth teachings I learned in this course on HOW to fast properly, combined with the accountability in checking in daily gave me the tools to stick with it."--Shon Bruellman
"My fasting experience has been fantastic! I was able to continue the fast for a full forty days, and the Lord has been so faithful and has sustained me, and kept me strong in Him. I have had incredible energy, and have felt well throughout the entire forty days. I have been in awe of how the Lord has worked in me and in my heart, and how He has ignited a flame within me that I don't want to ever let go out. My hope and prayer is that I will never return to old habits of sinful eating, and that I will never view food in the same way again. I now see that God truly is the One who sustains and strengthens and gives us the comfort and victory that we need in this life."--Janet
This study was/is invaluable. Words are inadequate to express the experience - but I'll try. I didn't know what to expect - I just jumped in with both feet - much like Peter ! I trusted and had faith that I would be challenged with the unexpected - I was. I have never been as close to God as I was throughout the whole process - indescribable - while with much respect, awe, reverence, honor - yet more than that - it was natural, comforting, loving - I experienced the depth of the character of God - from one end of the spectrum to the other - the discipline - the encouragement - the love - I got ALL of God and He got ALL of me! No holds barred - full out - complete. Fasting is now a part of my life and will be ongoingly! Thank you, God. Thank you, Judy, Monalee, Mary and All who prayed for me , Thank you, Setting Captives Free - I couldn't have done any of this without You. To God be the glory !!!--Suzanne
This next phase of study with Setting Captives Free-The Lord's Table is designed to increase our intimacy with the Lord Jesus. This is the "reward" of fasting, if done biblically. We must stress that weight loss is merely a "side benefit" and not the reason why we should fast.
The Lord's Table-Phase II--Feasting and Fasting is a 20-Day fasting experience designed as an interactive Bible study combined with a monitored fast. Again, we want to stress that the purpose of this fast is to get closer to Christ and to experience the "reward" promised us by Jesus Christ. A secondary or side benefit is weight loss. Therefore, throughout the course we seek to keep our priorities on the spiritual aspects of fasting, not on weight loss.
Now, if you are like me, the thought of fasting for any length of time longer than from dinner to breakfast is not appealing, and could even be a bit frightening. It is for this reason that we are providing you with daily contact with many of us who have completed the 20-day fast (mentors, discussion group, etc.) so that we can walk with you through it. Remember, you will be receiving the needed nutrients through the recommended juices, broths and smoothies.
Now let us talk about the timing of these two studies (The Lord's Table--Phase I and The Lord's Table--Phase II). The study sequence of these two courses was designed purposefully. Let's review the key elements of The Lord's Table--Phase I course, during which we learned the importance of:
Now, in The Lord's Table-Phase II--Feasting and Fasting, we will walk with you through a period of 20 days of fasting. The importance of this order of learning cannot be overstated. During The Lord's Table--Phase I we learned the basics of how to enjoy the Lord Jesus through repentance of sin and feasting on the Bible, and how to develop a foundation of disciplined eating and daily exercise. These are foundational truths that you have acquired and have been practicing for 60 days.
As we come to The Lord's Table--Phase II, we must understand that fasting, apart from Christ, is truly meaningless and any physical changes that happen are temporary when there is no foundation upon which to build the fasting. Fasting without Christ is actually harmful because one could then turn into a fasting idolater, spending time reading up on the latest fasting techniques, methods, broths, as well as the covert New-Age philosophy that seems inherent within most fasting guru's teachings. So the basics of enjoying a relationship with Jesus Christ have been established in The Lord's Table--Phase I, and now we move on to the "reward" of fasting which helps us to continue to honor the Lord with our bodies and be a testimony to the power of His grace. Once we are finished with the fast, we simply return to disciplined eating, regular exercise, and a normal routine.
There is much information available today about fasting, some of it is very helpful, some is not so good, and still other information is downright misleading. For instance, one particular fasting guru, while providing good information on the physiological aspects of fasting, leads many astray with his declaration that Jesus "became One with the Father through fasting" and other such errors. Obviously this is heresy, and comes from one who has merely knowledge and information, not the transformation and subsequent real understanding of truth that comes to all who are Christ's. There are many other New Age philosophies that seem to circulate around the fasting guru's religions. At The Lord's Table-Phase II--Feasting and Fasting, we have done some research on fasting and discovered that it is an often overlooked expression of faith in Christ. We, ourselves, have profited from fasting and seeking the Lord, and we want to share the rewards with you. We will present the biblical basis for fasting as well as the physiological aspects of fasting, while rejecting the errors and deceptions of fasting coaches who seem to have embraced fasting as a religion in itself. Fasting, for the Christian, is a temporary event, given for the purpose of drawing closer to the Lord, with the side benefit of increased health (as the body detoxifies) and weight loss.
The fasting we will do here at The Lord's Table-Phase II--Feasting and Fasting consists of two days to transition in to the fast, followed by 16 days of liquid fasting, and will be ended with two days to transition out of the fast. This above schedule is clearly spelled out on the actual days of the course.
There should be no problems for any body type with this kind of a fast; rather the fast itself cleanses the system and is a natural healing remedy for the body. We see the value of fasting in the animal kingdom where animals will refuse food when they are ill in an attempt for the body to heal itself. Because during this liquid fast the body is still taking in essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals, you should be able to continue working at your job, or your normal routine, with minimal difficulty (there may be a few days of headaches and low energy as the body detoxifies itself, but once these are finished the rest of the fast provides a normal, or sometimes even uplifting feeling as the body heals itself).
There are, however, some people who should not fast, at least not apart from close supervision from their doctors. If you are currently taking any prescription medications, please be sure to check with your doctor, as the dosage may need to be decreased while fasting. We request that people who are on diuretics (Furosemide, Lasix or Spironolactone), anticoagulants (Coumadin), or drugs for congestive heart failure (Digoxin) not participate in this fast. Also, pregnant women and nursing mothers are requested not to fast as well. Those with medical issues like diabetes and hypoglycemia must be very careful about fasting. Many are able to fast for short periods of time if they work their way up to it gradually. We don't recommend a long term fast for them, though.
Is fasting safe and healthy?
In order to answer this question, we will quote from 2 other sources:
Fasting induces metabolic changes which cleanse and repair the body. The organs empty and rest, which allows the faster to conserve energy, promote the elimination of waste and accumulated toxins, and encourages cell regeneration. Although fasting can be beneficial to many, diabetics are generally told to avoid fasting and/or juice dieting because of blood sugar problems. Fasting should not be undertaken by pregnant or lactating women, children, or persons with cancer, tuberculosis, liver cirrhosis, or ulcers. Severely underweight individuals and people on prescription drugs or under a physician's care should check with their physicians to determine if a fasting program is safe for their condition.
"Can anybody fast? No. Like everything else, there are precautions about fasting. Pregnant women shouldn't fast, at least not for more than a day or two. There are people on medications, who shouldn't fast. Fasting is contraindicated in certain diseases, such as Addison's disease. And I would say in general that people with any serious medical condition should definitely seek a doctor's advice before starting to fast. They should not attempt to employ fasting on their own. Fasting is a very natural thing; it is a very healthful thing, but it need to be done carefully and prudently. Fasting should be done under the right conditions and under experienced supervision."
We would also add that those who are on blood thinning medication may not want to do this fast, either--check with your doctor. It is probably a good idea to even have your Dr.'s permission, and to get a check-up once or twice a week.
Mary Matsko sends us this smoothie maker that you may want to purchase:
"The smoothie maker that I got is called 'Smoothie Freeze' and it's made by Back to Basics. Its base is like a blender, but the top has an opening at the center of its lid A stir stick is inserted through the opening so you can mix up the fruit while the maker is running. That's impossible with my blender! The top is clearly marked for liquids and then another measurement for fruit and ice. (Right now I'm using unsweetened frozen fruit and 100% fruit juice and it's wonderful.) You put the maker on for 30 seconds on low and then 45 seconds on high and you have a smoothie. The top also has a dispenser valve so you don't have to pick up the whole top to pour the mixture out. The valve can be removed and replaced with a screw-in plug for dry ingredients. (Won't be using that for awhile!) I found this smoothie maker at Wal-Mart for $24.95. I think it's well worth the price!"
One of our phase II students wrote this as she was completing her fasting course:
"Life is such a treadmill of hurried activity and one thing after another to get done...always going or doing. A fast is a break from all that ensnares our time, our energy and our attention. A fast is hitting the pause button on the hectic pace and being freed up to hear our Maker in a special, clear way. As we focus on Him, other things can fade to the background. Eating is just one of the things that occupy so much time and attention for so little payback. It seems like a fast is a God centered STOP to all the insanity of life in our world so that we can realize that the only things we really want to have ho ld of us are Gods heart and mind and what is near and dear to Him. A fast is a sort of declaration of independence from everything else as I will be faced clearly with my dependence on God for everything. I KNOW that food has taken up a huge amount of my mental and physical time and energy. Way out of kilter with the place it should have in my life. In fact when I have fasted before it is not the hunger that bothered me as much as the NOT EATING...But Jesus is the one who paid the price to set me free. A fast should be a time to focus on that truth and on what He would have me to do with the life that He paid for."