Many claim that a particular group will reign over the nations with Christ. At one point, the Anglo-Saxons of Britain believe they were the ten lost tribes of Israel. They reasoned that the 10 tribes of Israel versus the tribes of Judah and Benjamin will reign with Christ in the millennium. Our question is, “Who reigns over the nations in the millennium?”
Imagine having a mindset that you’re part of a race of people who will rule over the nations of the world? Would that not foster aggression against other nations? However, Premillennialists hold to a similar view, but only that it is the Jews in Israel who will rule over the nations. Thus, by promoting a Zionist agenda, they believe they are supporting a special nation that God will bless in the millennium. It is for these reasons that knowing what the Bible teaches about ruling over the nations is all the more important.
The Prophecy in Psalm 2:8-9
God promised Christ that he would reign over the nations. I will declare the decree; The Lord has said to Me, You are My Son, Today I have begotten you. Ask of Me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance, and the end of the earth for your possession.” Two things are important when looking at this passage. First, it promises the nations as an inhertance to God’s Son. He is of the tribe of Judah, (Hebrews 7:14), and not of the ten lost tribes. Secondly, this inheritance belongs to Christ, not to an earthly nation.
It is a picture of Christ breaking them in pieces, i.e. destroying his enemies, at the end of which time, he rules in his eternal kingdom. Those who have the privilege of participating with him are those who put their trust in him.
Sitting With Christ In His Throne
The promise to the church in Laodicea of Revelation is that they too would sit down with Christ on his Father’s throne if they overcame the persecutions and trials during the time of the end. “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on Myh throne, as I also overceame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” (Revelation 3:21). This message was sent to the seven churches in Asia. The coming of the Lord was then imminent, shortly to come to pass. The time had drawn near, in the first century. (1:1-3).
In addition, Christ admonished the church at Thyatira to host fast what they had until he came. To those who overcame and kept his works to the end, he promise to give power over the nations. They would rule over them with a rod of iron…” (Revelation 2:25-27. These latter verses are the same as that found in the Psalms. This means they were prophesied in the Old Testament. Thus, their fulfillment falls within the scope of the law and the prophets.
Christ said the law could not pass till all were fulfilled, marking the fall of Jerusalem as the time of fulfillment, Matthew 5:17-18; Luke 21:20-22. This event would happen in the first century generation, Matthew 24:34, Lk. 21;32. Thus, the fulfillment of the prophecy aligns with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.
Hold Fast Till The End
The admonition to hold fast to the end, is not a reference to the end of the time. If so, where would one find the nations over which to rule? Will these nations be in heaven? Not likely. According to premillennialists, the nations over which God’s people rule are the wicked. How do the wicked make it to heaven? If they are Christians, then how do the Christians become the nations? Again, that doesn’t make much sense. Some say this is the reign of the saints during the millennium.
That is not plausible because at the time of the end, the millennium is over. This rule is “after” the end, i.e. after Christ returned. Neither, premillennialism, amillennialism or post-millennialism has an answer satisfactory for the reign over the nations after the millennium. Both amillennialism and premillennialism see the second coming as the end of the millennium. Pre-mils start the millennium at an alleged rapture of the righteous from the world. If that is the case, who reigns over the nations. Their only option is the wicked reigns over the wicked.
Who Reigns Over the Nations in the Millennium?
The more biblical view is that following the millennium of a figurative 1000 years which ends at Christ’s coming in destruction upon the Jewish nation, the saints reign with him in the eternal kingdom over the nations. This is Daniel 7:22, which states that when the Ancient of Days came, the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. That is clearly a post judgment text as is evident from Revelation 20:10-14.
Yet, the nations are being brought into the new Jerusalem and into the holy city under the rule of Christ and his saints, Revelation, 21:23-26. Following the millennium, the unregenerate nations are outside the city, but it is certain that those who do his commandments can enter, (Revelation 20:14-15). The preterist view is the only view of the millennium which satisfied the conditions of the text with Christ’s coming in the past, the millennium in the past but with nations continually being brought under the rule and reign of Christ and his saints. They sat down with him on the throne of his Father and rule with him over the nations.