There are many 40 day periods in the Scriptures.
For in seven days I will send rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.” Gen. 7:4
forty days were required for it, for so many are required for embalming. And the Egyptians wept for him seventy days. Gen. 50:3 f
And Moses entered the cloud, and went up on the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights. Ex. 24:18
At the end of forty days they returned from spying out the land. Num. 13:25
According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for every day a year, you shall bear your iniquity, forty years, and you shall know my displeasure.’ Num. 14:34
And he arose, and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God. 1Kings 19:8
And when you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side, and bear the punishment of the house of Judah; forty days I assign you, a day for each year. Ezek. 4:6
Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he cried, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” Jonah 3:4
And he was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to him. Mark 1:13
To them he presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God. Acts 1:3
The only fast here is Messiah in the wilderness, and He was ministered to by angels. We are no where admonished to do this. So where does a 40 day fast come from? Frankly where all corruptions come from, BABYLON.
Ok, the short version, Nimrod the great grandson of Noah, started the mystery religions by building the tower of Babylon. For this Shem, (one of Noah’s son’s) got together 72 judges to decide Nimrod’s fate. Nimrod was then executed, cut into pieces and sent though out the world as a warning. After Nimrod death, his wife (some believed her name was Semiramis), gave birth to a son that she claimed was Nimrod reborn. His name was Tammuz. Tammuz was presented as a god of spring, nature and harvest. Either because he was a god of nature, and as such died every winter and is reborn every spring, or because there may have actually been 40 days between Nimrod’s death and Tammuz’s birth, there was a fast of 40 days leading up to Spring equinox thought out the pagan world The names change from culture to culture but the stories remain the same.
In Ezekiel 8, God list the abominations that are in the temple in Jerusalem as the reason that He is sending the Jews into Babylon for 70 years of judgment. Among these is weeping for Tammuz.
Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the house of the LORD; and behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. Ezek. 8:14
Like the false prophets of the Old Testament who told the people that it was, OK! to do these things. The churche’s leaders have told the church, that all these very same abominations are OK! Because God looks on the heart. After all we are God’s people. He only wants to bless us. But that is just not what the Scripture says. The Bible paints a very different picture of what it will be like when he returns.
Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?” And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will punish him, and put him with the unfaithful. And that servant who knew his master’s will, but did not make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating. But he who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, shall receive a light beating. Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more. Luke 12:41 -48
When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, that they should give him some of the fruit of the vineyard; but the tenants beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent another servant; him also they beat and treated shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. Luke 20:9 -10
Now the men who were holding Jesus mocked him and beat him; Luke 22:63
The “severe or beat” in the Greek means, to beat, whip, flay, this kind of beating is often enough to kill a man.
In the parable of the ten virgins [Matt 25], they are all virgins, yet five get left outside, because they were unprepared. In Romans 11, Paul explains the Olive tree that represents Israel, has had its natural branches broken off, so that the Gentiles can be grafted in. But there is a warning.
For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. Rom. 11:21
Judgment is coming, the church needs to find and identify all that is of Babylonian origin. Unless of course you are looking forward to such a beating.
Then I heard another voice from heaven saying,
“Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; Rev. 18:4
The church needs to commit to the mind altering experience of putting out all that is pagan. Ask questions! Why are we doing this? Where did this tradition come from? Is our addiction to this tradition greater than our love for God? What should we be doing? How do we do it?
The Roman Catholic explanation to lent is here. There is just one correction I would like to make to it. They claim that Irenaeus gave an explanation of the fast before Easter. I have not read everything that Irenaeus wrote, but I’ve read enough to know that he never refers to Easter, he does however uses the term Pesach i.e. Passover. Easter was unknown to him.