Discover the startling connection between spiritual growth, the Biblical holidays, and the gestation period of a child.
By Daniel Rendelman
Perhaps the most amazing experience in life is the birth of a child. There are hardly words to describe the feelings and emotions experienced when you first hold your newborn. A friend recently said that the next time my kids are giving me a headache, that I should follow the directions on the aspirin bottle, especially the part that says “keep away from children.”
The story is told of four men who are in the hospital waiting room because their wives are having babies. A nurse goes up to the first guy and says, “Congratulations! You’re the father of twins.”
“That’s odd,” answers the man. “I work for the Minnesota Twins!” A nurse says to the second guy, “Congratulations! You’re the father of triplets!” The second man answered “That’s weird; I work for the 3M company!”
A nurse tells the third man, “Congratulations! You’re the father of quadruplets!” He answered, “Wow, I work for the Four Seasons hotel!”
The last man is groaning and banging his head against the wall. “What’s wrong?” the others ask. “I work for 7 Up!”
Children change everything. Once a baby comes the day of birth is forever remembered. That special day is circled on the calendar and birthday parties are planned in advance.
The Almighty has some special celebrations that are better than any birthday bash. The holy days of YHWH are meant to be days that define us. The feasts of YHWH should be permanently written in our calendars so that everything else in life revolves around them. These days are a reflection of our spiritual journey from spiritual seed to saint. The Holy days also reveal Bible history, the Israeli agricultural calendar, important events of Messiah’s life, and the timeline of apocalyptic prophecy. These aren’t just Jewish holidays but heavenly patterns of deep spiritual truth. This teaching will explain how believers are pregnant with the feast days and all their potential to bring us to the fullness of YHWH.
The Scriptures use childbirth as an illustration picturing our own journey from spiritual conception to maturity and reproduction. The old Jewish adage is true – “as above so below.” The development of a child, from conception to birth, mirrors the Biblical feast days. This was done by the Almighty to help us understand the ideal path of spiritual growth and Torah learning. It is absolutely amazing that from the first feast day (and the corresponding conception of a child) to the seventh festival (and the delivery of a child) is an amazing picture hidden through the ages. Secrets like this haven’t been hidden “from” us but “for” us to discover and appreciate. What happens in the natural is a reflection of what happens in the spiritual. May we pray as the Psalmist that YHWH will, “open our eyes that we may behold wonderful things from the Torah.”
First, let remember that we are each born into sin and separated from our creator. Early in childhood selfishness and ego reigns. (No one has to teach a child to cry, whine, or desire to receive for self alone.) Sin destroys and death is eminent unless and until we surrender to the Father’s love. A seed is planted once your conscience is aware of your sin and you desire to be different. That seed is the Word of YHWH. A spark is released when you repent and accept the Messiah’s sacrifice for your sin. One life ends and a new life begins. Christianity calls this being “born again.” In Hebrew it more appropriately means “born from above.”
The Messiah said in John 3, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God/Elohim.” In Hebrew this reads, “amen amen ani omer lak eem-lo yivvaled ish mil-ma’alah lo-yukal lir’ot et malkut ha-elohim.” This Hebrew statement contains many words that have deep significance and meaning.
The phrase “eem-lo yivvaled ish mil-ma’alah” literally means “if not a man is born from above.” The verb “yivvaled” is from the rood “yalda” or “yada.” This word is translated from the Torah as “give birth.” Genesis says that Adam “yada” or “knew” Eve and conceived a son. When Messiah spoke of being “born again” He was talking of a very literal event that happens in the spiritual realm of heaven and is pictured in the natural realm of man. When you accept Messiah as your atonement for sin you are born again. Your spirit is dead to sin and is raised or born to the new life in Messiah. The Scriptures state that the righteous have been “sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise” which has conceived a potential new life within. You are sealed with YHWH’s “zera” or seed because you know/yada Him.
In the garden, YHWH told Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply.” This is still a commitment for us today. Our father is glorified when we bear much fruit. Remember that fruit is simply seeds from a tree. As we abide in the vine, we are fruitful or full of fruit. It is just natural that we multiply and continue to grow. Or at least it should be natural! YHWH has made a huge change in us and the enemy will do anything he can to thwart the divine will. Remember how the children were murdered as the deliverer Moses and the Messiah Y’shua were about to be born? Well, the accuser doesn’t want you to be delivered into maturity either. The enemy will stop at nothing to have you abort YHWH’s plans for growth and remain a baby. YHWH wants you to survive and thrive!
Embedded in your very DNA is the Father’s plan for your spiritual growth and the design of the seven festivals of YHWH. As you understand the feast day plan of salvation, you can come to a greater amazement of YHWH’s divine plan. You have been fearfully and wonderfully made. Even the major developments of your infancy were divinely inspired and are aligned with YHWH’s plan!
First, you must be born again, not of corruptible human seed, but of incorruptible spiritual seed. It’s by His mercy and grace you are saved and receive the gift of eternal life. Immediately after you accept Y’shua, you should learn obedience. No waiting or catechism or Sunday school necessary. From the example of the growth of a baby we can discover that learning obedience should take NO MORE than 9 months. That’s it! All you ever need to know about following YHWH can be learned in just nine months, or 280 days. You don’t need years of Torah study or month’s to learn what the church messed up or even a Bible degree to be obedient. All you need is 9 months of growth, which is one cycle of the feast days. Know this! When you were born again the body of sin was destroyed and you don’t have to serve sin any longer. YHWH wants you to grow up and up and put childish behavior behind you. Don’t agree? Well, read Romans 6:6 because that’s exactly what it says! We need to grow up and get past the myriad of excuses we give for not walking in the Spirit. We are to obey because of our love and gratitude towards YHWH. Obedience is a heart issue that only takes a few months because it is in these 9 months that you can set new habits of trusting YHWH and walking in love. Everything else flows from trust and love.
After we learn obedience we are to continue in our growth by abiding in the Spirit of YHWH and bearing fruit! Y’shua said, “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”
As we abide and learn obedience we will share with others and then make disciples. The Great Commission isn’t just for the Baptists! As followers of Messiah we must take up HIS command to “go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to observe all that he commanded.” This takes us back to the Garden of Eden when we were first told to be fruitful and multiply. You have the life of Messiah in you and therefore are pregnant with both spiritual maturity and new life for others.
Again, the typical pregnancy cycle gives us a beautiful illustration of growth and development of our born again spirit. As above, so below. A child is conceived and then grows in the mother’s womb for typically 280 days. During those 280 days the baby is totally encapsulated by the Mother. The child grows and forms but is totally unaware of its own consciousness. There is nothing the child can do on its own. A baby in the belly is totally dependent upon its mother for nourishment and life. A mother “carries” her baby for 9 months. It is only after the child passes from the mother into the world that it is aware of its own surroundings. That’s a clear picture of our conception and early faith. At first we are born from above and totally focused on YHWH. During our first few months of spiritual rebirth we should be totally unaware of our own “self” and totally dependent upon YHWH. You can return to such original faith even if you’ve been born again for years. Simply make your desire be known to YHWH, come near to Y’shua, and seek Him afresh. Forsake all others and everything else to seek Him for 280 days and you will rediscover your Father!
It is simply amazing that the ideal pregnancy is 280 days and the ideal Hebrew holiday year is 280 days. If a pregnancy started on the first few day of spring, mid-march then it would end in the middle of December. The feast days of YHWH start with Passover in the spring and continue through the winter with Chanukah. Several Torah teachers have found some startling similarities with the feast days and pregnancy. These parallels remind us of the validity of the Torah and feasts of YHWH. In the very cellular makeup of humankind is the plan of the Creator.
Here are some examples from the Bible that relate the Jewish feasts to pregnancy:
The Passover and Ovulation (releasing of the egg) both occur on the 14th day of the first month. (Leviticus 23:4-8). Passover is all about new life in Messiah and redemption through His blood.
The timing of fertilization (conception) is the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which happens on the day after Passover. There is usually a seven day frame of ovulation just like Unleavened Bread is 7 days. (See Leviticus 23: 9-14)
Within just two or three days the fertilized egg attaches itself to the womb and begins to grow. The newly formed child attaches to the uterine wall during a range of days. This is pictured in Leviticus 23 in how the Feast of Firstfruits celebrates life just a few days after Passover. The seed produces a harvest!
At 50 days, the embryo shows arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, toes, a head, eyes, etc. Around the fiftieth day, the embryo takes on the form of a human being. What a great picture of Pentecost or Shavuot. This is the time when the Hebrews accepted the Torah and confirmed the covenant with YHWH as seen in Exodus 19 and Leviticus 23:15-22. Tongues of fire fell upon the believers in Acts 2 as the body of Messiah came alive!
The Feast of Trumpets is in the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar. The seventh month of a child’s life gives the baby the ability to hear sound. It is exactly on the first day of the seventh month, the baby’s hearing is developed. For the first time, it can hear and distinguish sounds outside the womb! Well, it is exactly on the first day of the seventh month that believers are called to gather for a holy convocation with shouting and the sounding of the shofar. Leviticus 23:23-25 gives us the timing that falls right in line with the child’s development.
Ten days later is the Day of Atonement. What happens then is amazing. The baby’s body begins to increase production of hemoglobin A (adult blood) and decrease production of hemoglobin F (fetal blood). On the tenth day of the seventh month, the hemoglobin of the blood changes from that of the mother, to a self-sustaining baby. In Bible times, it was on the tenth day of the seventh month that the high priest would make an offering of blood into the Holy of Holies. The Day of Atonement, found in Leviticus 23:26-32, is when the blood sacrifice is offered for sins. Without blood there would be no remission of sins. Without the baby’s blood change the child would die. This important day happens precisely at the right time and in line with the Torah.
By the fifteenth day of the seventh month the child’s lungs are developed enough that the baby would not have difficulty breathing. At this point the child could possibly live outside of the mother. This is around week 30 of gestation. The festival of Sukkot occurs on this same day when we live with YHWH for seven days and breathe air from the sukkah. (Leviticus 23:33-38)
Birth then takes place in the ninth month. The child is then circumcised eight days later. Nine months and ten days after Passover is exactly when the Chanukah holiday starts. Eight days later, or on the last day of Chanukah, would be the circumcision!
Amazingly, the feast of YHWH and the gestation of a child are a perfect pattern for us to consider. Nothing designed by our Creator is an accident. YHWH says “before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” He says this because He put Himself in your very DNA. Your cells develop according to His pattern. Everything fits into an amazing design. Y’shua meant it when he said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of YHWH.”
Once we are born again we can see the kingdom in the feast days of YHWH. As we mature we can share the kingdom with others and make talmidim taught ones. Be careful though! The enemy has always wanted to stop the spiritual growth of believers. Satan has also wanted to stop followers from keeping the feast days. The enemy knows that if he can prevent us honoring from the Biblical holy days then our spiritual growth will be stunted. This is why the worlds of religion and politics do all they can to thwart the truth of the festivals. Pharaoh, the religious god, dumped babies into the Nile River to stop the growth of a promised redeemer. Herod, a social and political leader, did all he could to kill the children during his day too. Don’t allow anyone to keep you from honoring YHWH and seeking Him on His appointed days.
The feasts show us the pattern of spiritual maturity and obedience. Spiritual abortion takes place when the life of Messiah is not able to grow and mature in us. When we stop keeping the holy days we stop, or abort, YHWH’s plan. Read this again…We abort the spiritual growth of our souls when we do not learn obedience and move on towards maturity. Nine months, one cycle of the feast days, is all it should take for us to write the Law on our new heart of flesh. As the feast day cycle continues year to year we should continually bring our lives under the microscope of YHWH’s Spirit.
Remember that you were fearfully and wonderfully made. As a tiny baby in your mother’s womb you actually kept the feasts of YHWH! Sin caused you to be separated from YHWH but as you were born from above you were made into a new creation. Your new life is one of total dependence and support upon YHWH and His Word. Through the parables and the feasts you learned obedience and can finally move on to spiritual adulthood when you can be fruitful and multiply by making disciples. Nothing should stop your maturity. Satan is a defeated foe. The political and religious systems are limp. Flesh can be conquered. You can make disciples and watch the life of Messiah grow in others.
The feasts of YHWH help us know Him better. They are like the special moments between a newborn and a mother when she cuddles her baby with warmth. These are great times to seek Him with all your heart and with pure motives, exactly as a child would. The Scriptures tell us to “glorify YHWH in your body” and participating in the holy days is one way to do such. But don’t just do the holy days. Humble yourself as a child and come to your Father. Ask Him to show you His plan with Passover, Trumpets, and Tabernacles. Trust Him to cleanse you at Yom Kippur. Step out in faith with the Spirit at Pentecost. Make the most of the holy days as a child would his time with his parents.
Indeed, children are wonderful. They bring so much hope and joy into the world. Spiritual babies are even better. As a follower of the Way it is your responsibility and calling to help spiritual babies move into maturity. Spread some seed, some Scripture, to the people in your life and watch it grow. Minister in love to those near you and they will be born again. As you mature you will be ready to help others when the time is right. The way you can see the baby’s bump on a mother grow is exactly how we should be able to see spiritual growth from conception to maturity in others and in ourselves. We are pregnant with new life and each time we keep the feasts we deliver faith into our world of darkness. Draw close to YHWH as the labor pains of the upcoming holy days increase. Seek Him as the Father of our born from above spirit and the one who has fearfully and wonderfully made you.