THE DETERMINATE COUNSEL
by Dr. Jack Hyles
Sunday Morning Sermon, February 23, 1997, transcribed from
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
prepare you a home in Heaven before the foundation of the world in this
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
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
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
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?
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.