Thanks to Chris Anderson for his shared insights in this.
I feel to share here just a short word on “brideship” and “sonship,” which are two very different paradigms for our development into a place of oneness with our Lord. The characteristics and qualities of “the bride” differ greatly from the characteristics of “matured sons,” but the qualities and characteristics of each of those must be fully worked out in us if we are to attain to all that is available to us in Christ Jesus.
Beloved, both “brideship” and “sonship” are centered in the love of God in Christ, but the bridal picture majors more on the intimacy side of our relationship with Jesus Christ, while the “sonship” picture focuses more on the discipline and severe training which leads to our wholehearted commitment to the Father.
Let’s put it this way; brideship is where our love for Jesus Christ is thoroughly enjoyed, while sonship is where our love for God the Father is proven. Are you with me? If you are, you might also be able to see why it will be “the manchild” (and not “the woman”) that will be caught up to the throne of God to rule over the nations in the coming age. This is because sonship is the highest measure of our spiritual development in Christ, not brideship. It is not the bride who will be given authority to rule over the nations in the coming age. No. That is reserved for sons.
Dear ones, can you now see how one can be a part of the body of Christ and yet still not be part of the bride? Can you also see how it is possible to be part of the bride and yet still not be a mature son? Simply put, these terms all describe different levels of our development and maturity in Christ Jesus. Because one has been justified by faith, that does not necessarily make one a part of the bride. And because one enjoys even a bridal type of intimacy with the Lord (with all of the emotional warmth and satisfaction that comes along with that), that does not mean that one will rule in the coming age.
The truth, beloved, is that rulership in the coming age is distinctly attached to sonship, and sonship is distinctly characterized by a military type of loyalty to the Father. This loyalty is not so much developed in us by bridal type of intimacy with the Lord and sweet fellowship with others as much as it is developed in us in very painfull and solitary places. These are the places that the Father leads us into with words like “get out from your kindred,” or “leave your father, mother, children, and friends,” or “leave your nets,” or “let the dead bury their dead, YOU follow me!” It is in these types of places, beloved ones, that our love for the Father is not so much developed … as it is proven. This is the place where rulers are made.