The Story Behind “Calling Forth The Remnant”
By Stella Paterson
“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30
Calling Forth The Remnant, by Way of the Cross exposes Satan’s stronghold in the Church. It also reveals the root cause of deception and apostasy. Having now been out for several months, it is having a greater impact than I could have imagined. Many have written to tell what it means to them and to thank me for sharing what I have learned. Several stories could be told but I feel I should share the one behind the book itself.
To be chosen to write the book has been an incredibly humbling privilege. To be able to speak with such boldness is an absolute miracle. The fact that the message became a book, in print, is a true work of God. The story behind the book still boggles my mind because I know me, and I am the most unlikely person to be called for such a task. My description can be found in 1 Corinthians 1:26-29, where Paul tells us that “not many wise after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God chose the foolish things of the world that he might put to shame them that are wise; and God chose the weak things of the world that he might put to shame the things which are strong; and the base things of the world, and the things that are despised, did God choose, yea, and the things that are not, that he might bring to nought the things that are: that no flesh should glory before God.”
I don’t know what could be more “foolish” or “weak” than I; having grown up thoroughly decreased and believing I would never amount to anything. It seems that the Lord has always been beckoning me to come to Him and it was wonderful to sense His presence and to know that He was there. The Comforter has kept me throughout the years when I “failed” at everything else. To be “nothing” is good when we can look up from “down there” and see Jesus. He then can become Everything – and He did become Everything to me.
The message in Calling Forth The Remnant is so important that I, the author, had to be further “decreased” and refined in preparation for the task. There was much to learn.
In 1990, I was pretty much reduced to nothing, physically, when a very serious illness took a toll on my body and required a long period of recuperation. With time on my hands, unable to take on much because of work-related burnout, God had my full attention. I asked Him to give me a hunger for His word, to reveal Himself to me and to show me the meaning of Calvary.
The hunger for God’s word came first, and how wonderful it was to “dig in” and understand what I was reading. Then He began to reveal Himself to me in beautiful ways through the written word and my times of prayer and praise to Him. Jesus was increasing! I am convinced that until we become nothing, we cannot truly be His.
The most amazing thing was the answer to my prayer to be shown the meaning of Calvary. It was answered over a twelve-year period, involving thousands of hours of in-depth study that took me from Genesis all the way to Revelation. The quickening of my mortal body by the Spirit’s presence was incredible as I spent many nights with very little sleep. I found that in His presence my physical body no longer had the same needs. The transforming power of the Holy Spirit brings real Life. I had not begun to live until I tasted of Him and the richness of basking in His presence in complete surrender.
That “complete surrender” became as natural as breathing, as day by day Jesus increased in me and taught me the real reason He came. There came a cry from deep within my being to be purged of everything that might come between myself and Him. A desire for holiness gripped me – all I wanted was Him. Nothing else mattered but that desire to be decreased. I told the Lord that I would do anything He wanted and whatever it took, I was willing. Very often I would still be in my bath-robe when my husband came home at the end of the day. He liked this “new wife” whom the Lord was transforming right before his eyes. There was a wonderful sense of peace in our home. Jesus truly is the Prince of Peace!
As time passed, and the meaning of Calvary unfolded, a deep heartache began to grow and a grieving in my spirit overwhelmed me. I began to experience many hours of agonizing intercession as the Lord allowed me to see the Church as He sees her. What a tragic picture it is! There are millions of souls naming His Name but not knowing Him or loving Him! There are no words to adequately describe the apostate condition of those who believe themselves to be the Body of Christ. Apostate man has increased and crowded Jesus out of his life. Oh, he speaks about Him but not as One he knows intimately.
At “seeing” the picture of the Church as through the Lord’s “eyes,” I was devastated. I have never known such heartbreak! He even put names on some faces so that I could grasp the reality of “apostasy”. Right now, as I write, the tears are welling up and I am experiencing afresh that oh, so familiar heartache. One night, after we had retired to bed, I was involved in wordless, deep, grieving intercession as the Spirit prayed. My husband spoke to me, and when I didn’t reply he reached over to touch my face and said “Oh, you’re crying.” I could not utter a word and he seemed to understand. He quietly turned over and went to sleep, allowing me the privacy to weep in agony for the Body of Christ. What a precious, sensitive man I am married to! He has such respect for my times of study and writing. From the very beginning of the studies, I have sensed that constant urge to “write!”
While the Lord took me through the Bible, leading me in word study after word study, He methodically unveiled those things of which I wrote in Calling Forth The Remnant. The book reveals the root cause of error and problem areas within the Church. The book was not written because of what I saw with my own eyes and judged as being “apostate.” Each chapter was developed as the Holy Spirit showed me through the written word what truly grieves Him. Then He went on to identify those things in churches we had attended.He also showed me things about myself, which subsequently had to be dealt with. The decreasing continued. The Holy Spirit truly is a Refining Fire!
It took more than twelve years to undo so much of the religious thinking and to open my eyes to the simplicity of the good news – the gospel of Jesus Christ. What a great Teacher we have in the person of the Holy Spirit! He so gently and patiently took me through each word study, teaching me how to study His way. First of all, I listed all the Hebrew or Greek words from which one English word was translated. Then I wrote out every verse in which the old language words were translated. This opened up incredible understanding as I read the full context in each case – sometimes whole chapters and more. Then the Lord would cause me to branch into another study which would be relevant to the first. An example is that of “flesh”. Once I completed writing every verse in the Bible with “flesh” in it, I moved to “blood.” It had to be, because of so many of the verses containing both “flesh” and “blood.”
The studies went on and on for all those years, and the more I studied, the more excited I became. And the more in love with Jesus I became. He was indeed increasing and the more He increased, the greater my desire to decrease. I wanted to “eat, sleep and drink” Jesus. He consumed my days and my nights. He consumed my thoughts and when I was with other people, all I wanted was to talk about Him. Most folks looked at me rather strangely, not really caring to hear what I was saying. It seemed that no one shared my passion for Jesus. Why?!! The churches are full of them but they don’t care about Him!
As I recall, one of the first things that stood out in the earlier studies was the foolishness of the idea that forgiveness can make us a new creation in Christ Jesus. With the exception of the first study on “tradition,” the “flesh” study became the foundation for everything that followed. Without understanding the relevance of that one single word, we cannot know the central truth in the Bible. Paul made it plain when he said, “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and as an offering for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:3-4) And Jesus was even clearer, when He said to Nicodemus, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto you, You must be born anew.” (John 3:6-7)
Adam introduced flesh when he acquired the knowledge of good and evil and became independent then separated from God. Jesus introduced the Spirit who provides the knowledge of Truth. Jesus reconciled man to God and we now live through relying on Him (faith). No more independence, but total dependence on Him. The first Adam brought death through flesh – the second Adam brought life through the Spirit. The second Adam put flesh to death. (For more on the beginning of flesh, see the second chapter of Calling Forth The Remnant.)
It is all about living and dying. This is what Jesus was saying, in John 12:23b-25: “The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a grain of wheat fall into the earth and die, it abides by itself alone; but if it die, it bears much fruit. He that loves his life loses it; and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.”
A little more about the author
The burn-out in 1990 and being near death in 2003 left me weak in body. I have a bad habit of taking on more than I should, so always must remember to pace myself. Sometimes I am so weak but Jesus is the Strength of my life. I must rely totally on Him every hour of every day. His strength is made perfect in my weakness – both physically and spiritually. When I am writing what the Lord teaches me, and when I am doing the word studies, His presence quickens me so much that I could go on for days.
In April 2006, my husband and I went to a conference in Oregon where my publisher lives. My book was originally scheduled to be out in time for the conference, but instead the problems were only beginning. Nate Krupp, my publisher, asked me to tell the folks at the conference about my book. I was feeling lower than a snake’s belly but went to the microphone and began to tell of my journey and the resulting book. When I finished speaking, a few people shared words from the Lord to me. Oh, how I needed to hear from Him! What a wonderful Lord to give the assurance that He is involved and I wasn’t alone in what was beginning to look like a tough battle.
One man spoke a word, saying that I had “faced railing accusations but that God is pleased” with me...and my book would have “wide exposure.” Only God could have told that man of the “railing accusations” and this confirmed to me that my book was of Him and it would go ahead. Other people spoke words, telling me that God was going to give me confidence and boldness. Another person said I would be “sailing in shark-infested waters but to remember you are in a Big Boat.”
There was another gentleman (Arne Jensen) at the conference who had read the first, rough draft of the manuscript. His comments were that it was a “good, deep, Biblical, theological treatise, but it is very dry.” After a lot of re-working, there was a little more of “Stella” appeared in the book, as he requested. Arne eventually gave an endorsement, as can be seen on the back of the book.
My publisher said that he has never seen anything so opposed by the devil as was my book. The year 2006 was a year of battles sufficient to wear down even the strongest constitution. One day, I told my publisher that if the book was only mine I would have quit long ago. But I had no right to fail in what the Lord had given me to do. He literally had to carry me some days, so I could make it through to yet another challenge. Just as one problem was solved, a new one would surface and costs would continue to mount. It was unbelievable, but the Lord prevailed and we finally have a book available.
To all those who have not yet read the book, I encourage you to read it and help me spread the word. There are comments from others that can be read at this page.