LIVING GOD, CHURCH OF THE:
An organization founded in 1894 in Indianapolis, Ind., by John Vinson (q.v.) and his mother, Mary Jane Vinson, and by others in other places. It is Congregational in polity; has as officers elders and deacons, serving the local churches; and believes in annual associations of all local churches by delegates. It lays stress upon the fact that its ministry is composed of men and women called by the Holy Spirit; makes the Bible its creed and book of discipline; and its ordinances are baptism of converted believers by immersion, the Lord's Supper, washing of feet, and the kiss of salutation, and it regards as of special importance the visitation of the sick and needy. The church also deems of special importance the doctrine of sanctification. It holds that Adam and Eve were created holy in soul, spirit, and body, and were possessed of free will; that both were allured by Satan and being led by him they disobeyed God's command, after which Satan in spirit entered into, and depraved
them wholly. The depravity to which they were thus subjected affected by heredity only the bodies of their descendants, but soul and spirit of all infants, being the creation and gift of God at conception (Eccl. xii. 7; Zech, xii. 1; Heb. xii. 9), are pure until by voluntary yielding to Satan's temptations they become defiled by their own first act of sin, after the fashion of Adam and Eve. To meet this doctrine of sin and depravity they regard the true doctrine of sanctification to be the following. The
act itself is a "setting apart," a "separation," in which there are six steps: (1) Universal Salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ of all infants from conception until the time when they voluntarily sin (Rom. v. 18; Matt. xix. 14). (2) Regeneration - conversion, by faith and repentance through the blood of Jesus, whereby the indwelling Satan, installed by the commission of the first act of sin, is turned out, when Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and love enter the believer by faith in the risen Lord (Luke xi. 24-26; Eph. ii. 2, iv. 22-23; Col. iii. 9-10; John i. 13; Rom. v. 5). (3) Instantaneous cleansing of soul, spirit and body, of all depravity, thus resulting in perfect holiness (II Cor. vii. 1; Heb. vi. 1), by the blood of Jesus Christ and the believer's faith and consecration (Rom. xii. 1; Heb. xii. 14, etc.). (4) Baptism by the Holy Spirit resulting in the full manifestation of the fulness of the Holy Spirit and of the fire of love (Matt. iii. 11; Acts i. 5, 8, ii. 1-21). (5) Resurrection, affecting the body on the final judgment day, the body being changed, cleansed from its vileness into the likeness of Christ's glorious body (Dan. xii. 2; Rom. viii. 23; I Cor. xv. 52-55; Phil. iii. 21). (6) The healing of the physical body from all diseases by and through the blood of Jesus and by the prayer of faith, diseases being caused directly or indirectly
by Satan and his demons (Isa. liii. 4-5, R. V. margin; Matt. viii. 17; James v. 14-15; Mark ix. 2129; Luke xiii. 11-17).
Statistics are not at hand, but the church reports two congregations in Indianapolis, Ind., and many scattered adherents elsewhere.