Acts 2:23, “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:”
Determinate counsel simply defined means “settling counsel” or the “settling of counsel” or “to settle something.” There was a time in eternity past where the eternal committee met. I do not know who all exactly was on that committee. It does make sense that the Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit were on that committee. I do not know perhaps Gabriel or Michael was on that committee, but the Bible does tell us that there was a determinate counsel before the foundation of the world.
The Plan Of Salvation Was Decided Upon
Peter tells us in his sermon that this committee had a meeting and at that meeting, they settled something. By foreknowledge, they looked into the future and saw that man would fall into sin. They then came up with a plan to redeem and reclaim fallen men. They settled a few things and Peter in his sermon at Pentecost points this determinate counsel out.
Let us picture in our mind’s eye this committee? Were they around a conference table? I don’t know! Are they sitting in a room together? I don’t know! Are they meeting on some planet somewhere? I don’t know! However, somewhere before there ever was a world, an animal, a bird, a fish, or a man there was a committee that met. Peter called them the determinate counsel.
Since man would be a sinner they had to make a plan whereby they could reclaim man from his fallen state. The only plan they could have made is the one they came up with. Man has sinned and sin must be paid for! The Bible says the wages of sin is death. The Bible says, “Sin when it is finished bringeth forth death.” The Bible says, “Wherefore as one man sin entered into the world and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men for that all have sinned.”
Someone has to pay for sin and that price is Hell forever. Either man pays for it or man must find someone who can sin’s penalty for man. In this knowledge of the future, God saw that there had to be a penalty for sin and determined that Hell was the just and proper payment for sin.
God made it known to the world that he loved man and God made it known that Hell was not meant for man. Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels. If a man dies and goes to Hell he will be an intruder for all eternity. “God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” Thus, they had to come up with a plan.
The One To Pay For Man’s Sin Was Decided Upon
In eternity past God was looking through his foreknowledge and saw that man was going to sin. This settling counsel that Peter preached about came up with a plan. The plan was for someone who had never sinned and would never sin would come to earth, become a man, and live a perfect life for 33 years.
This man would never sin, never say what he should not say, never go where he should not go, hear what he should not hear, think what he should not hear, be what he should not be, or be where he should not be. That same person would be none other than the Son of God. So God became flesh, his name was Jesus; he came to earth, and lived a perfect life. Peter said that this determinate counsel decided all of this.
All of this was determined before there was ever a world, before the foundation of the world. In this meeting they decided that God would become flesh and live a perfect life, that Jesus would be in flesh and go to the cross, die and dip his own soul into Hell, and pay the penalty of eternal death in Hell so that man who would trust Christ would not have to pay their sin debt.
The choice then becomes man’s choice. Either man pays for his own debt or man trusts Jesus to pay for that debt. The Pope has sinned so he cannot pay man’s debt. The priest, Arch Bishop, pastor, or the church are all sinners or composed of sinners thus are disqualified to pay for anyone’s sin.
No one can pay for another’s sin unless that person is a sinless acceptable payment by God. The payee has to be free of all sin. Thus, Jesus came to earth in flesh, lived a perfect life for 33 years, died, and was resurrected to be the acceptable payment for man’s sin.
All man has to do is by faith trust the one who has paid the debt. If a man dies without salvation he will go to a devil’s Hell and never get out because he will never arrive at the point in time of payment for his sin. Yet, Jesus paid for it because God accepted his payment.
This committee met and this committee decided that Jesus was to suffer for man’s sin, shed his blood for man’s sin, be resurrected, and then salvation would be finished and available for all who believe. Thus, Peter tells us that all of this was decided at this determinate counsel before the foundation of the world.
The Suffering Of Jesus Was Decided Upon
Hebrews 9:26, “For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world…”
When God decides something it is all settled! This was the settling committee Peter preached about. This was the committee that settled the matter. When God decides on something it is settled forever and it is just as good as done! In the mind of God Jesus was slain before the foundation of the world.
I Peter 1:20, “Who truly was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”
Jesus shed his blood before the foundation of the world. Does that mean he actually shed his blood before the world was created? No! It means that in the mind of God he settled it at this determinate counsel and once it was settled that takes care of it! In the mind of God Jesus’ blood was shed before the foundation of the world.
Hebrews 4:3, “For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.”
Salvation was finished before the foundation of the world! Does that mean that salvation was finished way back yonder before creation? No! It means that God decided to do it and when God decides to do it it’s done! When a man promises to do something it ought to be as good as done! Whenever anyone agrees to borrow and signs the papers it should be all settled you will make your payments and it should be as good as done!
When the determinate counsel met before the world was ever created they decided Jesus would come to earth in the flesh, go to the cross, shed his blood, be buried, he would rise from the dead, and that salvation would be finished before the foundation of the world and all of this was in the mind of God!
So, Peter is saying it is as good as done for in that determinate counsel in that settling counsel they looked down and saw man would sin and be a fallen creature. They then decided that Jesus would come, live a perfect life in the flesh on earth, shed his blood for man’s sin, be buried, and then resurrected to prove he had power over death, Hell, and the grave.
This determinate counsel also decided that all man had to do was choose to be saved and call upon Jesus Christ to save his soul from a devil’s Hell.
They decided that man would not have to be baptized, join a church, live a good life, take communion, take sacraments, or go to a confessional booth in order to be saved from Hell. They decided that all man had to do was to choose to rely upon Jesus Christ to take him to Heaven.
“But preacher my church doesn’t believe that!” Well, I would rather believe this determinate counsel than your church. “But preacher my church says the priest can absolve sin.” Well, again I say I would rather believe God than your priest! I would rather believe what God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit decided at their determinate counsel before the foundation of the world.
They decided before there was ever a world that all man had to do was understand he was a sinner, he was lost spiritually, Hell was the price for his sin, Jesus paid that debt completely, and all man has to do is trust Jesus Christ as the only payment for man’s sin. Then man is guaranteed of being taken to Heaven at death! All of this was determined before there was ever a world.
The Writing Of My Name Down In The Lamb’s Book Of Life Was Decided Upon
So, this council is meeting! Does someone say we know that Bob Gray is going to trust Christ why don’t we go ahead and do some things now, get it over with, and make it as just as good as done?
Thus, my name was written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life ever since the determinate counsel met in eternity past. Let us go back to that council meeting. They looked down to the year 1957. Did they say look at him going to his bedroom and getting down on his knees next to his bed? Look at him asking Jesus Christ to save his soul from going to Hell?
They then said let’s just go ahead and write his name down in the Lamb’s Book Of Life.
Revelation 20:15, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
My New Body Was Decided Upon
Not only did they decide to go ahead and write my name down in the Lamb’s Book of Life but they also decided to go ahead and make for me a perfect body ahead of time. Jesus said why don’t we make his body just like my glorified body and do it so it is just as good as done
I John 3:2, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
- Before there ever was a world they decided to send Jesus
- They decided Jesus would come in flesh to earth
- They decided Jesus would live a perfect sinless life for 33 years
- They decided Jesus would die
- They decided Jesus would shed his blood
- They decided Jesus would dip his soul into Hell
- They decided Jesus would be resurrected
- They decided Jesus would be seated at the right hand of God the Father after his resurrection
- They decided to complete salvation before the world was created
- They decided to make salvation available to all men
- They decided that all those who trust Christ will have their names written down before the foundation of the world
- They decided to make their glorified bodies before the foundation of the world
All of this was done before a bird flew in the air, a fish swam in the sea, a beast roamed the field, and a man lived on earth before there was ever a tree, a weed, a flower, grass, or a planet.
Jesus said at that counsel he would go to the earth be virgin-born, virgin life, virgin death, and a have a virgin resurrection. Jesus’ blood was shed before the foundation of the world and my name was written down in Heaven before the foundation of the world. I was predestinated to be conformed to the image of his son.
Romans 8:29, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Son…”
The determinate counsel meets and they know through foreknowledge that Bob Gray is going to trust Jesus Christ in 1957.
- They decide to go ahead and write his name down in Heaven now
- They decided to go ahead and create his glorified body now
- They decided to go ahead and justify him now
Romans 8:30, “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, then he also justified: and whom he justified then he also glorified.”
We are speaking of course what happened in eternity past at this determinate counsel. All of this occurred before there ever was a world in fact before the foundation of the world. God said let’s go ahead and justify Bob Gray, as well as write his name down in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and as well as create for him his glorified body.
- Jesus said at this counsel I’ll go – good as done
- Jesus said at this counsel I’ll die – good as done
- Jesus said at this counsel I’ll shed my blood – good as done
- Jesus said at this counsel I’ll go to the grave – good as done
- Jesus said at this counsel I’ll be resurrected – good as done
- Jesus said at this counsel anyone who trusts me as payment for their sins – good as done
- Jesus said at this counsel anyone who trusts me I will write their name down in Heaven – good as done
- Jesus said at this counsel anyone who trusts me I will give them a glorified body – good as done
- Jesus said at this counsel anyone who trusts me I will justify – good as done
To be justified means God will never write down my sins on my heavenly record. They determined that in eternity past. Works cannot save man because it was settled before man ever came. It was settled before man could work!
Justified means do not record any sins on man’s record in heaven who trust Christ rather record those sins on Jesus’ account. All of that was determined in eternity’s past.
- In the mind of God Jesus came to earth before there was an earth
- In the mind of God Jesus lived a perfect sinless life before there was an earth
- In the mind of God Jesus was crucified before there was an earth
- In the mind of God Jesus shed his blood on the cross before there was an earth
- In the mind of God Jesus was buried before there was an earth
- In the mind of God Jesus rose again before there was an earth
- In the mind of God I was saved before there was an earth
God did not choose me to be saved for I had to choose that, but God in his mind saw that I would trust his Son. In the mind of God, my name was written down in Heaven before there was a world, my glorified body was made before there was a world, and I was justified before there ever was a world. It was settled in the mind of God that my sins would not be recorded on my heavenly record and that Jesus’ righteousness would be recorded on my heavenly record.
This committee meets and Jesus volunteers to go to earth in the flesh and they agree. Jesus volunteers to live a perfectly sinless life in the flesh on earth and they agree. Jesus volunteers to die on earth in the flesh and they agree. Jesus volunteers to dip his soul into Hell to pay the sin debt and they agree. Jesus volunteers to be resurrected from the dead and they agree. They decide that salvation would be simply man trusting Jesus Christ as the only payment for man’s sins. The vote is taken and it is unanimous.
- They decided to go ahead and write the names down of the ones who will trust Christ
- They decided to go ahead and make a glorified body for each who will trust Christ
- They decided to go ahead and justify each who will trust Christ
- They decided to go ahead and start preparing a mansion for each who will trust Christ
Matthew 25:34, “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
How in the world can someone believe that man can lose his salvation? Man may lose his salvation but man cannot lose God’s salvation!