The Determinate Counsel
by Pastor Jack Hyles
Preached February 23, 1997
"Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." -Acts 2:22-27
I want to speak this morning on the subject, The Determinate Counsel. This by the way, is the sermon Peter preached on Pentecost. It says, "Him," (talking about Jesus being delivered by the determinate counsel. That word, 'determinate', means settling counsel - they were going to settle something) "by the foreknowledge of God ye have taken and by wicked hands have crucified and slain". I want to speak to you this morning on the Determinate Committee, or the Settling Counsel, if you please.
I told the men in the study a while ago before we came in that I may have a spell while I am preaching this morning and in fact I am about to have now just reading my outline.
There was a time in eternity past when the Eternal Committee met. I do not know exactly who was on that committee. Of course the Heavenly Father was on that committee. Of course his son, Jesus - he was not called his Son then, He was the second listed person in the Godhead - he was on that committee. And of course the Holy Spirit was on that committee. I do not know if Gabriel was there or if Michael was there. I do not know totally who was on it. But the Bible says that there was a Determinate Counsel before the foundation of the world. And this committee had a meeting. And at that meeting they settled a few things. By foreknowledge they looked into the future and saw that man would fall. And then they loved us, loved man, and wanted a plan to reclaim us. So, they settled a few things. Now this morning I want you to notice what they settled.
Let's picture this committee. Are they around the table? I don't know. Are they sitting in a room together? I don't know exactly. Are they meeting on a cloud or a planet? I don't know. But somewhere, before there was ever a world, before there was ever an animal, before there was ever a bird, before there was ever a fish, before there was ever a man, somewhere there was a committee that met called the Determinate Counsel.
Now there are several things. First, they decided that since man was a sinner they had to make a plan whereby they could reclaim man. So this was the plan, and this was the only plan that they could have made, that man had sinned and sin must be paid for. The Bible says that the wages of sin is death. The Bible says that sin when it is finished bringeth forth death. The Bible says that wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men for that all have sinned. Somebody has got to pay for sin. Now that price is Hell. Either you pay for it or find somebody to pay for it for you. So, they realized that all of us were sinners and God, through his foreknowledge looked down in the future with His telescope of prophecy and saw that you and I would some day be sinners.
God, as I said a while ago, loved us so much that he did not want us to go to Hell. He did not prepare Hell for us. Hell was prepared for the Devil and his Angels. And if you die and go to Hell you will be an intruder because God never intended for anybody to go to Hell. God is not willing that any should perish that all should come to repentance, the Bible says.
Now then, there must be a plan. Here was the plan. There was nobody in the world who was without sin. This is way back yonder in eternity past and God was looking down and God saw that man was going to sin. So, the plan was that somebody who had never sinned, and would never sin, would come to earth, become a man and live on the earth for 33 years. Never sin. Never say what he shouldn't say. Never go where he shouldn't go. Never hear what he shouldn't hear. Never think what he shouldn't think. Never be what he shouldn't be and never be where he shouldn't be. Never sin. And that only person who never sinned was the Son of God, Himself. And so God became flesh, His name was Jesus Christ. And he came to the Earth and lived a perfect life. And this was all determined by the Determinate Counsel. All determined before there ever was a world. Before the foundation of the world was laid. And they determined it.
And they determined that Jesus Christ would come and live a perfect life. That he would go to the cross and on the cross he would dip his own soul into Hell. And pay a penalty in your place and in my place so that we do not have to pay that penalty.
Now this morning you have one choice of two. And I'm digressing here, but you have one choice of two. Either you pay your own debt or you find somebody who has never sinned to pay it for you. Only one never sinned, and that's Jesus Christ. The Pope has sinned so he can't pay your debt. The priest has sinned, he can't pay your debt. The Archbishop has sinned, he can't pay your debt. And the church has sinned so it can't pay your debt. Nobody can pay your debt unless he is free of sin. So Jesus came, and lived and died, and paid a debt he did not owe so you would have the debt paid for you. Now all you have got to do is by faith, realize you are sinner, that you owe this sin debt, and accept the payment that God has made for you through his Son, and at that moment you become a child of God. Now this plan was made before the foundation of the Earth was laid. Several times you find in the Bible, something happened before the foundation of the Earth.
So this committee met and this committee decided that Jesus would suffer and his blood would be shed and that salvation would be finished. Now all of this was decided before the foundation of the world. Then he comes along and in Hebrews 9:26 it says, Jesus suffered before the foundation of the world. Did he suffer before the foundation of the world? No, he did not suffer Calvary until 2,000 years ago. But when God decides something it is all settled. This was the Settling Committee. This was the committee that settled the matter. When God decides on something it is as good as done. So, in the mind of God, Jesus was slain before the foundation of the world.
Then it says in I Peter 1:20, that his blood was shed before the foundation of the world. Does that mean that he had to shed his blood before the world was created? No, it means in the mind of God that God settled it and when God settles it then it is taken care of. And so in the mind of God his blood was shed before the foundation of the world.
The Bible says in Hebrews 4:3, salvation was finished before the foundation of the world. Does that mean that salvation was finished way back yonder? No, it means that God decided to do it and when God decides to do something it is as good as done. For example: When you make a promise to make a payment on the first of every month, it ought to be that it is as good as done. May I say this? Whenever I go in debt for something my debts are paid before they come due? Why? Because when I make a promise to make a payment the first of every month, I don't make it the second of every month, I make it the first of every month. It is all settled and when I sign that paper it is as good as paid.
Now when God and the Determinate Counsel met before the world was ever created, they decided that Jesus would come. That he would go to the cross. He would shed his blood, he would be buried, he would rise again and salvation would be finished before the foundation of the world.
In that Determinate Counsel, in that Settling Counsel, that looked down and saw that you and I would sin. That Settling Counsel that looked down and saw that you and I were lost. In that Settling Counsel that decided that Jesus would come. In that Settling Counsel that decided that he would shed his blood. In that Settling Counsel that decided that he would rise from the dead after 72 hours. In that Settling Counsel they also decided that all I would have to do was choose to be saved. They decided that I would not have to get baptized to be saved. They decided that I would not have to join the church to be saved. They decided that I would not have to live a good life to be saved. They decided that I would not have to be baptized to be saved. They decided that I would not have to take communion to be saved. They decided that I would not have to take the sacraments to be saved. In the Determinate Counsel it was all settled that all I would have to do is choose to rely on Jesus to take me to Heaven.
You say, "Brother Hyles, my church doesn't believe that." I'd rather depend on the Determinate Counsel than your church.
"My denomination says that the Pope can pardon sin." I'd rather depend on what the Determinate Counsel said. When God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit met before there was ever a world and decided that all you ever had to do was to understand that you are a sinner, understand that you were lost and owe the debt. Understand that Jesus paid that Jesus paid that debt and trust him and rely on him to take you to Heaven. That was determined back yonder before there was ever a world. So this counsel is meeting still. They are around the eternal table in Heaven. So, it is all settled. Someone on the counsel said, "We know that Hyles is going to trust Jesus. We can look down there in the future and see that Hyles is going to trust Jesus. We may as well put his name in the Book of Life." And God looked down and saw me as a little boy almost 11 years of age down in the Ghettos of the southwest part of Dallas, Texas. And God saw me trusting Jesus, and he said, "Aw shoot, put his name down now." (Yeah, I am about to have a spell, these microphones may fall like bowling pins, I might make a strike this morning.) I am trying to say, ladies and gentlemen, that this was done by the Determinate Counsel. God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, God the Son met and determined that I was going to get saved as they watched on Heaven's video. And they saw me walking the aisle and they decided to make it possible for me to get saved by faith in Jesus Christ.
Because Jesus had decided to go - so he went before the foundation of the world. He decided to live a perfect life - so he lived a perfect life before the foundation of the world. He decided to die on Calvary - so he was a lamb slain before the foundation of the world. He decided to shed his blood - so his blood was shed before the foundation of the world. He decided to be buried and rise again - so he was buried and rose again before the foundation of the world. And he said, "O.K., so we see that he is going to get saved, go ahead and write his name..." That means that my name has been written in the Book of Life ever since the Counsel met back yonder. So, my name was entered.
So, this Counsel said, "See that little boy down yonder? In August, 1937 that little boy, almost 11 years old, is walking the aisle and trusting Jesus as his Saviour. He's going to get saved! Write his name down." That isn't all. The Bible says in Romans 8 that he is predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son. So God said, "Let's just make him a perfect body." And Jesus was at that Counsel and said, "Father, why don't you make just like the one that I am going to have?" That means that before there was ever a world God decided to send his Son. His Son decided to come. His Son decided to die. The blood of his Son was all shed. He had been buried and risen. And salvation was completed before there was ever a bird to fly in the air, a fish to swim in the sea or a beast to roam the field. Or a man to live on the earth. Before there was ever a tree grown, before there was ever a weed, before there was ever a flower, before there was ever grass, before there was ever a planet God looked down, and that Counsel met, and they said, "That boy is going to receive Jesus as his Saviour and we have foreordained that Jesus would come and live and die and rise and that anybody that would choose him can be saved, and that little boy is doing it, so go ahead and write his name down." But that isn't all, they said, "Go ahead and get a body ready for him."
You talk about falling from Grace? You say, "If you sin, your name won't be in the Book of Life." My name has been there for eternity.
So, the Counsel decided to put my name in Heaven. The Counsel decide to make my body just like his.
For example, the Counsel is meeting again. They look down in eternity future and see that Jesus said that he would go and live and die. A lamb slain before the foundation of the world, blood shed before the foundation of the world, my name written in Heaven before the foundation of the world, predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Son. That means that when you see me in Heaven you'll say, "Good morning, Jesus."
And I'll say, "Hold it, I'm not Jesus."
And you'll say, "Well, I'll declare, you look just like him."
And I'll say to you, "So do you."
That means that you'll look like me (you always wanted to look like me haven't you?).
I have already been predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son. So, the committee meets and says, "Jack is going to trust Jesus, go ahead and write his name in Heaven. May as well make his body now also, no use in waiting until he gets raptured. Let's also go ahead and justify him." Whom he hath predestinated them he also called, whom he hath called them he also justified. We are not talking about when I got saved, we are talking about way back yonder before there was anything. Not before there was ever a world but before there was ever a foundation laid, a universe. This committee met and said, "Go ahead and justify him."
Here is what they said. "Is it O.K. with you fella's? Go ahead and raise your hand if it is O.K.. It's all settled right? It is all settled that Jesus is going to go, right? He is going to live and die, right? He is going to be raised from the dead, right? Anybody that will trust what he did will get saved, right? And it's not by good works, not by joining the church, not by being baptized, not by taking communion, not by taking the sacraments, it's just by trusting on what Jesus is going to do?" (Going to do nothing because he has already done it because in the mind of God, God said he would do it).
Listen, this little piddling bunch of people writing new Bibles trying to change what God said. God said it before the foundation of the world! Don't you change what God said back yonder! Don't you change what God said before there was ever a world, bless God, here is what God said right here! I am sick and tired of this Bible of the Month Club! This interesting and I don't understand this - the only folks that can understand the King James Bible are dumb folks like us. All the scholars need a better Bible. And I agree with them. They don't have the Holy Spirit living in them to teach them the Bible and I agree with them.
God said it. Jesus said "I'll go, good as done. I'll die, good as done. I'll shed my blood, good as done. I'll rise from the dead, good as done. Anybody that trusts me can be saved, good as done. Jack's going to trust me, good as done. His name's going to be written in the book, write it down. He's going to have a body like mine, get it ready. And he is going to be justified!"
To the recording angel he said, "Look, if Jack ever sins, don't write it down." That was in the Determinate Counsel. Did you hear what I said? The average person meeting in church this morning has no idea what grace is all about. You couldn't be saved by works because it was settled before you were here. It was settled before you could work.
God looked down and saw that you would trust him and God said, go ahead now and put his name down, and go ahead now and make a body for him and go ahead no and see to it that no sin is charged to his account. That was settled way back yonder. And that was not all, Jesus said to record those sins next to his name instead. To put a note next to Jack's name not to put any sins on his record but to put them on Jesus' record. Why? Because Jesus has already died.
In the mind of God Jesus came before there was ever a world. In the mind of God he lived a perfect life before there was a world. In the mind of God he went to Calvary before there was a world. In the mind of God he was buried before there was a world. In the mind of God he shed his blood before there was a world. In the mind of God he rose again before there was a world. In the mind of God I was saved before there was ever a world. God did not choose me to be saved, I had to choose to do that. But God, having foreknowledge, saw that I would be saved and in the mind of God my name was written in the book before the foundation of the world. In the mind of God my glorified body was already prepared before the foundation of the world. In the mind of God I was justified before the foundation of the world. In the mind of God it was settled that I my sins would not be recorded against me before the foundation of the world. In the mind of God it was settled that my sins would be charged to Jesus. Before the foundation of the world! Well, glory!!
And this committee is still meeting here. "How many want to vote for Jesus to go? How many want to vote for Jesus to live a perfect life? To die for the sins of all the world? How many want to vote for Jesus to be buried and to rise again? How many want to vote for salvation to be simply by trusting in Jesus?" "It's unanimous."
I've got good news for you, the committee has met. It is unanimous.
See that little boy down there in the ghetto getting saved? Let's get him a body just like Jesus' body. Let's justify him now. Let's decide right now to put beside his name, enter no sins here. And let's decide now to put beside his name, enter sins against Jesus' record. He's going to go to Heaven, let's just go ahead and make his place ready now. Let's get his house ready now. Let's make him a home in Heaven. That's what it says, the kingdom prepared before the foundation of the world.
What a deal. You say, "If you don't behave you may lose your salvation." Yeah, you'll lose your salvation, but you won't lose his salvation. His was settled before there was a world. His was settled before there was a foundation of the world and my name was written there, I was glorified, I was justified and God decided to prepare a home for me! That decision was made by the committee, the Determinate Counsel in Heaven. So God said to get it ready.
Did you know that if you trusted Christ as your Saviour, you had to do it because the Bible says whosoever WILL may come. You have to WILL to trust Christ as your Saviour.
Those Pathfinders that sang a while ago, you are just as important to God as anybody. Those mission men and those homeless people and you bus kids and sailors. Did you know if you trusted Christ as your Saviour, that God looked down and saw that you would and before there was ever a world he decided to go ahead and get the whole deal done?
That's what the writer meant when he said, "The old account was settled long ago." He did not mean the old account was settled in 1937 when I trusted Christ. He wasn't talking about the old account was settled at Calvary when Jesus died. He was saying the old account was settled in eternity past when God said he will come, it's as good as settled. When God said, he will die, it's as good as settled. When God said he will shed his blood, it's as good as done. When God said he will rise again, it's as good as done. God said since it is as good as done, just do the whole thing now!
And that means that this morning all this can become valid for you, just like that. You say, "Preacher, who said that I can get saved without getting baptized?" The Determinate Counsel said it. "Who said I can get saved without being confirmed?" The Determinate Counsel said it. "Who said that I can get saved without having the priest absolve my sins?" The Determinate Counsel said it. "Who said that I can get saved without getting baptized or taking the Lord's Supper or the Sacraments?" The Determinate Counsel said it. Anybody that says that you can get saved by taking the sacraments is totally disregarding the divine Determinate Counsel of Almighty God.
I love this. My mother would say to me when I was a little boy. "Son, I loved you before you were born. When I heard you were coming I loved you. Before you were ever born I loved you. Before you ever breathed your first breath I loved you. Before I ever saw you, I loved you."
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. You say, "Oh, that means he gave him at Calvary." No, he gave him before the foundation of the world. And by the way, that means from the time the Determinate Counsel met until the time that Jesus was crucified the Father would look at him and say to himself, "He's got to die." You folks who have sat beside little children who have wilted away from an incurable illness. And you've looked at them and said to yourself, they've got to die, they've got to die, they've got to die! I can't stand to look at it!
The Heavenly Father, for thousands of years, knew that Jesus had to go to Calvary every time he looked at him. He who was perfect love, who loved more deeply than anybody could ever love knew that he had to go to Calvary. All that was settled in the Determinate Counsel when the Settling Committee met and decided. That means that all that meeting was decided because God loves you. For God so loved that he gave. And he gave in eternity past. And he said Son, I'll let you go. And at that Determinate Counsel, through his foreknowledge, God looked down and saw that you would trust him if you will. And God put your name in his book. Justified you just as if you never sinned. Prepared your body for eternity just like Jesus' body. Decided not to ever record any sins against your name. Decided to record every sin you commit on the account of Jesus. And decided to prepare you a home in Heaven before the foundation of the world in this Determinate Counsel meeting.
Now listen to me carefully. Don't you let your priest keep you from going to heaven when you die. Don't you let the Pope keep you from going to Heaven when you die. Don't you let anybody or anything like your bottle of liquor or your lust for a licentious life keep you out of Heaven and send your soul to Hell!
All this can be yours. Truck drivers - when you walk out those doors this morning to get in your truck, you can have your name in Heaven. You can be justified. God will put your sins against Jesus and won't record your sins against you. God has a home in Heaven he wants you to claim.
You sailors can go back to your base with your name in Heaven, sins forgiven as God's child. And be redeemed with the blood of Calvary. You can do it this morning! I don't care who you are or how deep in sin you have gone. At that Determinate Counsel, before there was ever a world, it was all settled.
The old account was settled long ago. Long ago, long ago. The old account was settled long ago. And yes it's clear today, for he's washed my sins away.
Jesus paid it all. Where? On Calvary? Yes but in the mind of God it was paid before there was ever a world. Come this morning and claim what's yours.
You say, "What do I have to do?"
Nothing. It has all been done.
"That seems too easy to me."
Forget what it seems to you and think what it seems to God. He loves you. He loves you mission man and sailor lad and he loves you truck driver. He loves the Pathfinders and he loves all of us. And he said, "I loved you so much it was an eternal love before the foundation of the world." And he'll make you his child this morning and you can go to Heaven when you die.
You say, "Brother Hyles, what church do I join?"
It doesn't make a flip of difference what church you join, as far as going to Heaven is concerned.
Come every soul by sin oppressed, there's mercy with the Lord, and he will surely give you rest by trusting in his Word.
Only trust him, that's it! When? Now. He will save you. When? Now.
You folks who aren't saved ought to be running down this aisle. I recall one service we had a man in the balcony. I told the plan of salvation he got so happy that about five minutes before I finished my sermon he came running down the aisle and trusted Christ.
I preached in East Texas one Christmas night. An old alcoholic was sitting in the back corner. About five or ten minutes away from the end of my sermon he stood up and yelled, "Hey reverend, I can't wait no longer!" And he ran down the aisle and trusted Jesus as his Saviour. Walk the aisle and say yes to Christ.
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