After years of captivity in Iran (Persia), two British dual nationals, a man and a woman, were released into freedom — back to the United Kingdom on Purim!
They landed in the UK just after 1 am GMT local time. (You can read the news report here).
SKY NEWS Headline
“Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori back in UK and reunited with families after years detained in Iran
After being detained in Iran and separated from their families, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori are finally back in Britain.”
“When THE LORD brought back the captivity of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, “THE LORD has done great things for them.” THE LORD has done great things for us, And we are glad. Bring back our captivity, O LORD, As the streams in the South. Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalm 126:1-6.
This Psalm is about the deliverance of Jews from 70 years of captivity in exile.
“Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that The Word of THE LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, THE LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth THE LORD GOD OF HEAVEN has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a House at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May his GOD be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build The House of THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL (He is GOD), Which is in Jerusalem. And whoever is left in any place where he dwells, let the men of his place help him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, besides the freewill offerings for The House of GOD Which is in Jerusalem. Then the heads of the fathers’ houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, with all whose spirits GOD had moved, arose to go up and build The House of THE LORD Which is in Jerusalem. And all those who were around them encouraged them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with precious things, besides all that was willingly offered. King Cyrus also brought out the articles of the house of THE LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem and put in the temple of his gods; and Cyrus king of Persia brought them out by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah. This is the number of them: thirty gold platters, one thousand silver platters, twenty-nine knives, thirty gold basins, four hundred and ten silver basins of a similar kind, and one thousand other articles. All the articles of gold and silver were five thousand four hundred. All these Sheshbazzar took with the captives who were brought from Babylon to Jerusalem.” Ezra 1:1-11.
Look at that. To fulfill His Word, GOD moved the spirit of Cyrus, king of Persia to release the people of GOD with plenty of wealth (“articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with precious things, besides all that was willingly offered” v.6) to fulfill His Kingdom Purpose.
This is exactly what GOD is doing right now with His children who avail themselves, fast and pray for the release of themselves and wealth to fulfill His Kingdom Purposes in this hour.
The release of the British man and woman from years of Persian captivity on Purim is a very significant sign and gesture by GOD to His children to appreciate and appropriate for our own deliverance from different captivities of the prince of Persia – the devil, (Daniel 10:10-21).
Ask GOD to stir up the spirit of every Cyrus in our day, and move the spirits of His children for the release of yourself, others and wealth to fulfill His Kingdom Purposes at this set time.
The prophetic parallel and significance?
The release of the man and woman (with another British-Iranian released from prison on furlough) happened in Persia (Iran), just as a man and a woman, Mordecai and Esther (with other Jews) were likewise delivered by GOD from imminent murder captivity in Persia and Media as plotted by Haman — a type of Satan who is the prince of Persia.
- The British nationals were released after years of hopes deferred. (Referring to the woman, UK broadcaster, Sky News noted on its website that “Hopes that the 43-year-old’s release could be near had been dashed on several occasions in the past, leading to her suffering with depression and hair loss.”)
- After years of oppressions and hopes deffered, children of GOD who fast and pray for their deliverance, favour, justice, and promotion will surely be delivered by GOD from this Purim.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a Tree of Life.” Proverbs 13:12.
- The British nationals were released after a debt was paid by the deliverer, the British government.
Media reports reveal that a historical debt of £405m ($530m) has been paid by the UK to Iran. It is known as International Military Services (IMS) debt.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reported to have said in the lower House of the UK Parliament (the House of Commons) last month:
“The International Military Services, or IMS, debt is difficult to settle and square away for all sorts of reasons to do with sanctions.
But we will continue to work on it and I will certainly make sure that we have another meeting with Richard Ratcliffe [the released woman’s husband] in due course.”
As Sky News explained, ‘Following the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, the British government cancelled an order for 1,500 Chieftain tanks and armoured vehicles.
The order was being handled by what was then the Ministry of Defence’s arms-trading subsidiary – International Military Services.
The order had already been paid for when it was cancelled. The debt owed following the non-delivery of the tanks is estimated at £400m [$530m].
Last November, Foreign Office minister James Cleverley told MPs the government accepts liability for the debt, but said settling the matter was “not easy” due to sanctions imposed on Iran.
“The UK government recognise that we have a duty to legally repay this debt and we continue to explore all legal options to resolve this 40-year-old case,” he said in the House of Commons.
But he added: “We do not accept British dual nationals being used as diplomatic leverage.”
A High Court hearing on the question of the IMS debt repayment had been scheduled for April 2021 but was adjourned at the request of the Iranian defence ministry. A new hearing date has yet to be set.’
Explainer : The UK’s Ministry of Defence is the British equivalent of the Pentagon in the USA. And the Foreign Office (now formally called Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office or FCDO) is the British equivalent of America’s State Department. “Foreign Secretary ” and “Foreign Office minister” mentioned above are the British equivalents of Secretary of State and Under Secretary of State respectively in the USA.
- Our Deliverer, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST has settled all our sin debt with His PRECIOUS BLOOD for our deliverance from the captivity of the prince of Persia, the devil.
“And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He [GOD THE FATHER] has made alive together with Him [JESUS CHRIST], having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to THE CROSS. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in It [THE CROSS].” Colossians 2:13-15.
Therefore, by fasting and prayer with thanksgiving, let us fervently appreciate and appropriate this prophetically very significant sign by GOD with the release of the man and woman (with one other) from years of Persian captivity on Purim, for our own deliverance from different captivities of the prince of Persia – the devil, (Daniel 10:10-21).
The natural always reflects the spiritual. And we must be discerning like “the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (1 Chronicles 12:32).
Each one must be “a partaker of The Glory” (1 Peter 5:1) being revealed.
Please see two previous related Words below:
“Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling.
Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.”
When he had spoken such words to me, I turned my face toward the ground and became speechless. And suddenly, one having the likeness of the [b]sons of men touched my lips; then I opened my mouth and spoke, saying to him who stood before me, “My lord, because of the vision my sorrows have overwhelmed me, and I have retained no strength. For how can this servant of my lord talk with you, my lord? As for me, no strength remains in me now, nor is any breath left in me.” Then again, the one having the likeness of a man touched me and strengthened me. And he said, “O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!”
So when he spoke to me I was strengthened, and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.”
Then he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? And now I must return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I have gone forth, indeed the prince of Greece will come. But I will tell you what is noted in The Scripture of Truth. (No one upholds me against these, except Michael your prince.” Daniel 10:10-21.
“The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of The Sufferings of CHRIST, and also a partaker of The Glory that will be revealed.” 1 Peter 5:1.
“The LORD Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.” 2 Timothy 4:22.
“Farewell” Acts 15:29.
~ Jacob Addison Awagah
Jacob, an apostle of JESUS CHRIST by The Will of GOD, according to The Promise of Life which is in CHRIST JESUS, (2 Timothy 1:1).
Like John, I like to put my head to The Heart of JESUS so as to know and do His Will always. What’s in His Heart is what matters now and FOREVER. His Heart’s Desire is my only desire.
As John was, I am the disciple whom JESUS loves, (John 13:23;19:26; 20:2; 21:7,20)
And like Paul, Jacob is “the prisoner of CHRIST JESUS” (Ephesians 3:1) for His Purpose forever: to obey Him always.
NB. Surely, “the disciple whom JESUS loves” and “the prisoner of CHRIST JESUS”, like ALL The Promises of GOD, are available to every believer to obtain, just as John and Paul did.
“And having been perfected, He became The Author of Eternal Salvation to all who obey Him,” Hebrews 5:9.