‘Jesus’ has apparently made his ‘second coming’ via social media — giving blessings and threatening damnation — after a videos claiming to be him surfaced online.
A TikTok account, which has gained more than nine million likes across 70 videos, has been posing as the Biblical figure under the username Daily Believer. The profile shares clips made with artificial intelligence (AI) clips showing the self-declared ‘Jesus’ with long hair, a beard and blue eyes based on the 1940 painting ‘Head of Christ.’
Each clip shows the computer-generated Jesus telling viewers they must share this video with their friends and family and comment “I believe” if they believe in God. But if they do not comply with his demands he tells them they will face “damnation.”
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On one clip, which is pinned to the top of the Daily Believer account after gaining more than 3.5million likes, the account said in the caption: “This video brings a special visitor to you, straight from my home.
“He is someone I know very well, his name is Jesus Christ. He is ready to enter your life, bring protection to your family, and cleanse your heart with His love.”
The same video offers a kind of damnation to users who do not share the clip with friends and family, as the virtual Jesus said: “If you reject, remember what He said. ‘If you deny me before me, I will deny you before the Father’,” reciting Matthew 3:10.
However, he’s not all doom and gloom as some of digital Jesus’s videos feature different blessings for various people and occasions and start with him saying, ‘Hey.’ Over 300,000 people commented on one of his videos following his instrustions with “I believe”.
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While the clip is AI-generated, Brandon Dean, professor of religious studies at the University of Iowa, told The Conversation that it is a “prosperity gospel” phenomenon that is prompting people to respond to the account.
He wrote: “I argue that this TikTok phenomenon, in which viewers are promised good luck for sharing, liking and commenting on videos of a computer-generated Jesus, is close to what is known as the prosperity gospel – that is, a Christian belief that God will reward faith with this-worldly comforts, like health and wealth.”