As Our 40th Anniversary Year Ends, We Reflect on the Biblical Significance of 40

After 40 days of rain, a rainbow represented God's renewed dedication to His creation.
After 40 days of rain, a rainbow represented a new beginning for God's people. (iStock photo )

As 2015 comes to a close we look forward to an exciting new year and reflect on what has happened in the past year. We have analyzed the big stories of 2015 on our various websites. But that's not my purpose here.

Instead, I'm going to recall that for me personally the big story this year was Charisma's 40th anniversary.

If you read my column each month in Charisma, I tried to give perspective on how we've covered the Pentecostal and charismatic movements over the past 40 years. We focused our August issue on 40 leaders who have made a significant impact on the Spirit-filled community and during that month we ran a lot of historical information and commentary on our website.

Here are a couple of examples, including articles on Billy Graham and Kathryn Kuhlman.

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Last week I received a beautifully framed print from a long-time friend, Mike Shreve, of Cleveland, Tennessee, who is also a Charisma House author. If you haven't read his first book 65 Promises From God for your Child or his latest Powerful Prayers for Supernatural Results, I encourage you to do so.

The print reproduced below tells the importance of the number 40 in Scripture. Shreve is a prophetic minister and attaches prophetic significance to 40. I also interviewed him on my Strang Report podcast. His words are so appreciated I wanted to share them here. I felt it would bless you to read his insights.



Forty is a very significant number in biblical symbolism.

NOAH prophesied and a new thing happened. Rain fell for 40 days and nights to cleanse the world that it might emerge a pristine paradise once again. So, the number 40 represents a time of God-ordained mediation, cleansing, pivotal change, new beginning and rebirth into beauty and glory.

Mike Shreve

MOSES was in Mount Sinai, fasting 40 days and nights. He received insights that would change the world forever, introducing God's moral and religious parameters for those entering a relationship with Him. Here, 40 represents a time of fresh revelation, spiritual transformation, covenant bonding and global impact.

THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL wandered in the wilderness for 40 years under the guidance and protection of a cloud by day and a fiery pillar by night. They received amazing divine provision along the way, finally crossing over the Jordan into their promised land inheritance. So, 40 represents the completing of a time of testing to finally apprehend and possess a divinely ordered destiny.

ELIJAH was visited by an angel and given supernatural food that sustained him 40 days and nights on his journey to the mount of God where he had a visitation of the Most High. This represents a time of angelic intervention, supernatural strengthening and sacred encounter.

JESUS was in the desert 40 days and nights, fasting and being tempted by the devil, but He came out in the power of the Spirit to introduce the New Covenant with signs, wonders and miracles following. The number 40 represents a time of thwarting the plots of the enemy through self-denial, followed by increased empowerment, God-given authority and miraculous manifestation.

THE DISCIPLES had supernatural encounters with the Son of God for 40 days after His resurrection. During that time, He instructed them concerning the kingdom of God that they might successfully launch the New Covenant Age, thus, establishing God's dominion in the earth. In this instance, 40 represents a time of preparation by God for major advances of His kingdom in this world.

May all these things come to pass in prophetic ways for:


In deep appreciation,

Mike and Elizabeth Shreve

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