THE RIVER
(TO MEDITATE UPON)

by Tony Alamo

First of all, we need to know the meaning of the word “meditate,” which is “to plan and to think deeply.”

The LORD tells us to keep HIS commandments and live forever.1 HE tells us to meditate on the things that HE says.2 HE says if we serve HIM with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength—in other words, WHOLLY—we shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven and live there forever. 3

In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses is recalling the past forty years to all Israel. In his speech, he recalls that one man from each of the twelve tribes of Israel was selected to search out the Promised Land to see how it was. They all came back saying it was a good land, full of everything they needed for an abundant life. However, ten of the twelve were negative because there were giants, stating that the giants were so tall that they were as grasshoppers in size to them and their cities were walled to heaven (Numbers chapter 13). Ten of the twelve spies totally forgot and discounted the fact that GOD had recently turned Egypt upside down for them with the ten plagues.4 GOD had also opened the Red Sea, where all Israel walked through on dry ground, and where the entire Egyptian army drowned as the Red Sea collapsed upon them when they tried to do the same (Exodus chapter 14). Because of their disbelief, their doubt in GOD, GOD was infuriated with Israel and had them stay on the desert in the wilderness for forty years until all the elders were dead, with the exception of Caleb and Joshua.5

Now, forty years later, all the youth of Israel were preparing to cross the river of Jordan to enter the Promised Land. Only Joshua and Caleb were able to go in with all of the youth of Israel. They were the only two of the elders selected to go search out the Promised Land that brought back a good, confident report, stating that all of Israel should trust GOD and serve HIM (Numbers 26:64-65).

All the elders of Israel except Caleb and Joshua at that time said, We are worried about our children; they might be killed by the giants (Numbers 14:3). However, after forty years, all of those people were dead, with the exception of Caleb, Joshua, and their children. The ones they were worried about were the very ones that inhabited the land (Joshua chapter 3). 6

Even Moses couldn’t go in. This was because he spoke unadvisedly and smote the rock that brought forth the water—twice instead of once—which was symbolic of CHRIST coming in the future to shed HIS blood on the cross for the sins of the world—once, not twice.7 JESUS said in Revelation 1:18, “I am HE that liveth, and was dead [once]; and, behold, I am alive for evermore.”

So in Deuteronomy, Moses caused all Israel to recall these things before the youth, the ones who were still alive, invaded the land, took it over, and have lived there till this very day.

When people begin to doubt what GOD has done down through the years, they should meditate, think deeply, and plan what they should do. GOD told Moses in Deuteronomy 1:35-36, “Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation [the old-timers] see that good land [symbolic of Heaven], which I sware to give unto your fathers, Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath WHOLLY followed the LORD.”

Think, meditate deeply, as to just how far the people of the world have wandered away from wholly following the LORD and serving HIM, as well as meditating, thinking deeply, upon HIM. Psalm 1:1-2 states, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in HIS law doth he meditate day and night.” In other words, he thinks deeply and plans what he will do both day and night. Isn’t it awful how people don’t think deeply anymore, nor plan their footsteps? They don’t think about how they will serve GOD wholly with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength, or how they will love their neighbor as themselves, 8 no matter the color of their skin. Those that meditate, think deeply, and plan the way they should go shall be “like a tree planted by the rivers of water.” A person like that is not easily moved. He will not be a coward, but will be powerful in the LORD. He shall bring forth his fruit in due season. “His leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3).

Psalm 23:4 says, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” The valley of the shadow of death for the Psalmist David was the world he lived in—the whole world he lived in. King Saul and many others, more than the number of the hairs on his head, sought to murder him every day. Our valley of the shadow of death also is the world we live in. There is violence and murder everywhere. This is why we must put on the mind of CHRIST.9 First Corinthians 2:16 says we who keep all of GOD’S commandments have the mind of CHRIST, which mind is continuously in Heaven, meditating in the Kingdom of Heaven on the law of GOD.

JESUS said in Matthew 5:17, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill [to carry out the law].” Notice that JESUS said, “Think not.” In other words, we are not to meditate on, or think deeply about, or plan, that HE has come to destroy the law! Don’t think that! HE did not come to destroy the moral law. HE came to show us that in our human bodies, we are able to keep much more than the original moral law by living in the HOLY SPIRITUAL REALM.10

We are able to sit with HIM in Heavenly places. Ephesians 2:5-6 states, “Even when we were dead in sins, hath [HE] quickened us together with CHRIST, (by grace [the power of GOD, the SPIRIT] ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in Heavenly places in CHRIST JESUS.”

The twelfth chapter of Romans shows us that we are all members of the same body, which is the BODY of CHRIST. Each of us has a certain purpose, or function, to fulfill as members of the body of CHRIST.11 One of the primary functions in the body of CHRIST is to follow the route into the Kingdom of Heaven through the WORD of GOD. This simply means we are to think deeply, or meditate, on the way JESUS showed us that others made it into Heaven before us, which, if you care for your soul, involves the deep study of the WORD of GOD.12

Before I was a Christian, I used to dream about being in London, England, the United Kingdom. I dreamed of seeing Big Ben, the Tower Bridge, the Tower Castle (where so many Christians were murdered for the Gospel), the changing of the guard, and the big, red, double-decker buses. I dreamed of Paris, of seeing the Eiffel Tower. I dreamed of Venice, Italy, of seeing the gondolas, of seeing the walls of the Old City in Jerusalem; and of Rome, the city that was not built in a day. I meditated on all of that, but none of those thoughts or meditations kept my mind with CHRIST, in Heavenly places with HIM. Nor was I a member of the body of CHRIST. But there is a city which is eternal that I now meditate upon. It is the city where the LAMB (JESUS) is the light. It is the city where there comes no night. It is the city where the streets are made of pure gold; it is the city where we are young and never grow old. It is the city where there is no imperfection, none whatsoever! There is no sickness, disease or infirmity, no pain. There will be no people of false religions there in the Kingdom of Heaven.13

There is a river that runs through the city, which is the river of LIFE. There are trees like a forest on both sides of the river, holding twelve different kinds of fruit of LIFE, and the leaves of the trees are for the healing of the nations.14 We will see our loved ones who made it into Heaven before us, and all those whom we led into Heaven through JESUS, our LORD and SAVIOR. JESUS is the main person there, with all the prophets, apostles, and all born-again Christians.

I have a vision of that wonderful city. Proverbs 29:18a states, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” So you keep that vision as well! There are trillions of other things there that we will love. It will be more than wonderful there. Everything I have mentioned and so much more is what we are to plan for, think deeply about, and meditate on. Nothing else is worth even one minute of our time. So why don’t you start out now by saying this prayer:

Prayer

My LORD and my GOD, have mercy upon my soul, a sinner. 1 I believe that JESUS CHRIST is the SON of the living GOD. 2 I believe that HE died on the cross and shed HIS precious blood for the forgiveness of all my former sins. 3 I believe that GOD raised JESUS from the dead by the power of the HOLY SPIRIT 4 and that HE sits on the right hand of GOD at this moment, hearing my confession of sin and this prayer. 5 I open up the door of my heart, and I invite YOU into my heart, LORD JESUS. 6 Wash all of my filthy sins away in the precious blood that YOU shed in my place on the cross at Calvary. 7 YOU will not turn me away, LORD JESUS; YOU will forgive my sins and save my soul. I know because YOUR WORD, the Bible, says so. 8 YOUR WORD says that YOU will turn no one away, and that includes me. 9 Therefore, I know that YOU have heard me, and I know that YOU have answered me, and I know that I am saved. 10 And I thank YOU, LORD JESUS, for saving my soul, and I will show my thankfulness by doing as YOU command and sin no more.11


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The River (To Meditate Upon) footnotes:

1. Deut. 4:1-9, 5:29, 32-33, 30:16, Prov. 4:1-4, 7:1-3, Matt. 19:16-21, Mark 10:29-30, James 1:21-25, Rev. 22:14-15 return

2. Josh. 1:8, Psa. 1 :1-3, 119:11, Prov. 4:4, 7:1-4, Isa. 26:3, Phlp. 4 :8, 1 Tim. 4:13-15 return

3. Deut. 6:1-9, 11:13-28, 26:16-19, chap. 30, Psa. 119:1-4, Mark 12:30, Luke 18:28-30 return

4. Ex. 7:19-25, 8:5-6,16-18, 24, 9:3-25, 10:12-15, 21-23, 12:29-30 5 Num. 13:17-33, 14:1-38, 32:9-13 return

5. Num. 14:6-10, 22-24, 27-38, 26:64-65 return

6. Deut. 1:20-39 return

7. Num. 20:1-12, 27:12-14, Deut. 1:37, 3:23-27, 32:48-52, 34:1-5, Psa. 106:32-33 return

8. Lev. 19:18, 2 Chron. 12:14, 19:2-3, Matt. 19:16-19, 22:35-40, Mark 12:28-34, Rom. 13:8-10, Gal. 5:14, James 2:8-9 return

9. Rom. 8:5-6, 12:2, 13:14, 1 Cor. 2:9-16, Gal. 3:27, Eph. 2:14-15, 4:22-24, Phlp. 1:27, 2:5-8, 1 Pet. 1:13-15, 4:1-2 return

10. Ezek. 36:27, John 3:3-7, 14:15-20, 23, 26, 15:4-5, 17:21-23, Acts 1:8, Rom. 8:1, 1 Cor. 15:57-58, Gal. 5:16, Eph. 3:16-21, Phlp. 2:12-13, 4:13, Col. 1:10-13, 29, 2 Tim. 1:14, 1 John 3:24, 4:4 return

11. Rom. 12:1, 5-8, 1 Cor. 6:15-17, 12:4-30, Eph. 4:1-7, 11-16 return

12. Deut. 8:1-3, Josh. 1:7-8, Matt. 4:4, 5:6, 7:7-8, John 8:31-32, Acts 17:11-12, Rom. 10:17, Eph. 6:11-17, Col. 3:1-2, 16, 1 Thes. 5:21, 2 Thes. 2:15, 2 Tim. 2:15, 3:15-17, 4:5, Heb. 11:6, 1 Pet. 2:2 return

13. Zech. 14:21, Matt. 7:13-23, 8:11-12, 13:24-30, 37-43, 25:1-13 return

14. Job 3:17-19, Isa. 11:6-9, 64:4, 65:17-25, Matt. 6:19-21, 1 Cor. 2:9, 1 Pet. 1:3-5, 2 Pet. 3:13, Rev. 7:13-17, 21:1-5, 9-27, 22:1-5, 12-14 return


Prayer footnotes:

1. Psa. 51:5, Rom. 3:10-12, 23 return

2. Matt. 26:63-64, 27:54, Luke 1:30-33, John 9:35-37, Rom. 1:3-4 return

3. Acts 4:12, 20:28, Rom. 3:25, I John 1:7, Rev. 5:9 return

4. Psa. 16:9-10, Matt. 28:5-7, Mark 16:9, 12, 14, John 2:19, 21, 10:17-18, 11:25, Acts 2:24, 3:15, Rom. 8:11, I Cor. 15:3-7 return

5. Luke 22:69, Acts 2:25-36, Heb. 10:12-13 return

6. I Cor. 3:16, Rev. 3:20 return

7. Eph. 2:13-22, Heb. 9:22, 13:12, 20-21, I John 1:7, Rev. 1:5, 7:14 return

8. Matt. 26:28, Acts 2:21, 4:12, Eph. 1:7, Col. 1:14 return

9. Matt. 21:22, John 6:35, 37-40, Rom. 10:13 return

10. Heb. 11:6 return

11. John 5:14, 8:11, Rom. 6:4, I Cor. 15:10, Rev. 7:14, 22:14 return