Apparently, Jesus has made His second coming via social media, giving blessings and threatening damnation after videos claiming to be Him surfaced online. A TikTok account, which has gained over nine million likes across 70 videos, has been posing as Jesus under the username Daily Believer.
The profile shares clips made with artificial intelligence 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 family and friends and comment “I believe” if they believe in God. However, if they don’t comply with His demands, He tells them they’ll face “damnation.”
On one clip, which is pinned to the top of the Daily Believer account after gaining more than 3.5 million 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 don’t 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 instructions with “I believe.”
@believerdaily ?❤️ Message from Jesus Christ!⏰? Jesus Christ asks for a moment of your time to share an important message. ?️ He promises a miracle, but asks that you share the message with as many people as possible before midnight. ? He reaffirms his constant love and protection, and makes a promise of blessing. ?? #JesusChrist #Miracle #Blessing #Faith #Love #Protection #Christianity #Religion #Spirituality #godisgood #godofwar #god ♬ Epic Moment – Unay
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.” The Daily Believer is not the only TikTok profile engaged in a type of “smash that like button if you love Jesus” content production.
Within the more significant phenomena of #ChristianTikTok, there are multiple profiles engaged in theological discussion and doctrinal issues. There are even more profiles that forgo discussion in favor of performing praise and worship. The use of Jesus’ image as the deliverer of the message is unique.
However, the Daily Believer, with its digital Jesus and its bare-bones gospel of “Believe,” serves as an example of a new expression of an ancient religious motivation – the securing of this-worldly health, wealth and reward in exchange for following the will of the deity or deities.